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Sunday, October 27, 2013

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese

Vegan Macaroni and Cheese 
12 ounces macaroni (I used whole wheat)
1 shallot, peeled and chopped
1 medium potato, peeled and chopped
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
1/2 cup onion (I used red onion)
1/2 cup chick peas
1 cup water
1/4 cup raw cashews
some extra virgin olive oil
2 tsp. sea salt
1/4 tsp garlic, minced (I used garlic powder)
2 Tbsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/8 tsp. cayenne
1/4 tsp. paprika

Cook pasta, drain, rinse with cold water and then set aside. In a pan add shallots, potatoes, carrots, onion, beans and water and bring to a boil. Cover and simmer until tender (15-20 minutes). When that is done preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (176 Celsius). In a blender process cashews, salt, garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, pepper, cayenne and veggies with their water. Process until smooth. Toss the pasta with the sauce, put in a dish and bake 25-30 minutes.

It may seem unbelievable (because it was to me) but this really, REALLY tastes like mac and cheese! I was so thrilled when I made it because it was so easy and so delicious. I made it last week and it was a hit with my husband. 
I actually made it again today (yes, it's that good) and mixed in some sauteed spinach, peas and roasted red peppers. I also doubled the "cheese" so that we had extra to put on top because it's so tasty.

I got this recipe from a website called Feed Me I'm Cranky although a gluten-free version was posted. Please, please try this!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Achieving Six Pack Abs: Month 1 Update

The last exercise for this month was done today right before I had lunch. I have a HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workout to do every Saturday. But I wanted to do something a little different, and more challenging, than simply doing sprints.

So I did this HIIT program I saw on a new channel I subscribe to on youtube called fitnessblender. It was one of those descending workouts. I started with 10 reps of burpees, 10 side lunges, 10 push-ups and 10 jump lunges. Then with each subsequent set I would go down a rep until I finished with 1 rep of each exercise. Definitely click here to see the workout.

I was sweating like a you-know-what by the end! It was deceptive because I didn't feel ridiculously tired immediately after. However, about an hour later everything was sore and I even had to take a nap! It was great.

Overall, I do notice that my body feels different. My husband says that my muscles are way more defined and after a workout he can see my six-pack peeking through. I don't see any difference in my abs but I can feel a difference all over my body.

Actually, after I did my HIIT workout today I could see my abs as well. I just need them to stay like that all the time! But I'm hopeful that I will have accomplished a lot by the end of December.

On Monday I start weeks 5-8 and for this month I will increase my weight so I'm only doing 6-8 reps for each exercise. 

(I will be doing the same exercises so look at my weight routine to see what I'm doing). 

I will also add another HIIT workout. Currently I only do HIIT twice a week but I will start doing it three times a week. Probably by incorporating exercises I can do in the house to just break up the running routine.

Running has been great. That 7.5K race I did last week, I found out later that day that I came in second place! So I have to get my trophy at some point next week.

On November 3rd I'm running a 16K race that I signed up for today and at the end of November I'm running a half-marathon that the city of Córdoba has every year.

All in all I'm pleased with the program and I can't wait to see what my body looks like at the end of November! I will take pics at that point and post them to the blog.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

XXX Carrera Popular Cross San Rafael de la Albaida

As I stated in my I'm-turning-30-next-year post, I have a running goal of doing at least one race a month.

This morning I ran a 7.5 Km race in a neighborhood near where I live. There were tons of people, as there always is for shorter distances. However, it was a very low-key race. My bib number didn't even have my name on it. Then again, it only cost me 1€ to sign-up!

It was part asphalt and part trail and it was definitely challenging. Most of the race was uphill with me trying not to stumble over rocks and such. I had a great time and can't wait for my next race in November.

A friend of my hubby and his girlfriend.

The finish line (or la meta) !

I'm near the end now!

I fought to cross the line before those two women!

And yes, I did beat them.

Breathing hard here.

This is one of my students.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Achieving Six-Pack Abs: End of Week 1

The 27th of September is the date I started my weights, abs, and back routine for my Achieving Six-Pack abs goal.

So I felt that I should come in here at the end of Week 1 and talk about how I'm feeling and how things went etc.

Even with some rainy weather I managed to get all my workouts in. My separate running goal is to run 5 times a week but I was only able to get out 3 times with the weather. However, I still got my distance in by just doubling up on the days I was able to go out.

I have to admit that I was exhausted at the end of the week. My body was ready for a break by Thursday/Friday but I still had HIIT to do on Saturday morning. I'm hoping that I don't feel as tired by the end of next week, which will mean that my body is getting stronger.

My ab muscles are getting firmer to the touch but there isn't any real noticeable difference in appearance. Actually, right after a workout my abs look superb but then go back to "normal" an hour later or so. Then again, it's only been a week. There should be some weight loss by the end of October.

Overall I'm enjoying myself and enjoying how, not only my abs and back, but also the rest of my body is responding to this new regimen.