Thursday, May 19, 2011

Recent Obsessions - Volume 2: Clean Eating While Training

I dedicate this post to my grandpop who dedicated his life to eating healthy.

About a month ago, my grandfather past away at 95.
He was such an interesting man. He always led a healthy and active lifestyle. He started swimming later in his life when my aunt (a former Kona Ironwoman) needed swim lessons. As he developed gout in his leg he swam until one day he fell at the pool. Instead of giving up on fitness, he developed a home gym in the living room and dining room where he attached resistance bands and had hand weights to continue to be strong. His plates were always colorful with veggies and fruits. He told us the secret to everything was wheat germ.

When he passed, my aunt asked if I could type up his essay that he wrote for her for a class. As I read this well thought out story of his life I understood the values and mantras that he passed on to us "onions" - He was the Original Big Onion (aka Cipolone). Eating lots of fruits and vegetables!!!

Here was a short exert from his story.

"Today, it is recommended that we eat lots of fresh fruits and vegetables. That was no problem for us. Our standard diet is what is now referred to as the Mediterranean diet. The vacant lot next to our house was planted for several years with vegetables and cultivated by mostly Mom and Grandpop with the help of us kids doing some weeding and picking off bugs by hand to be burned in an open fire which was permissible then; no permit required. Pear trees and a sour cherry tree was also out there. This supply was supplemented by vegetables and fruit brought home from the farms on which we worked.

For several years, pop cultivated an empty lot near our house with a tracter he built from a chopped 1925 Buick sedan and a rear axle and transmission from his Model T Ford truck. He planted it in sweet potatoes which lasted us all winter. We had baskets of potatoes stacked up on the steps of two stairways and enough to fill a spare upstairs bedroom. My uncle called us potato eaters for a long time."

He goes through this story, talking about Sunday dinners and how they preserved food for winter by sun-drying their tomatoes to make tomato paste.

It was a different time then but some things don't change. I wanted to share some "colorful" and healthy recipes that have been getting me through some long training sessions.

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chickpeas and Oranges

(recipe from the Gluten-free Goddess blog - here is the link -

If you are looking for the power meal - look no further, this has beets to help us with endurance, complete protein with quinoa and chickpeas and some Vitamin C with the Oranges. I love this meal - I make the whole recipe and use it for some recovery meals after swim, bike or run.

Lemon Herb Salad with Artichokes and Avocado
This salad is my latest favorite and pick-me up. I either add Roasted chicken, grilled chicken, white fish, or chickpeas for some added protein. The fresh herbs and lemon really make this a "happy" salad. I couldn't help but smile when I ate this and then repeated it for about 3-4 times that week...

Spring Mix
Chopped scallions
Chopped basil, dill, cilantro and flat leaf parsely
Chopped avocado
Canned artichokes in brine
Olive Oil
Sea Salt

I literally just squirt a lemon on the salad, a few swirls of olive oil and sea salt and pepper. It is amazing!

Mediterranean Spaghetti Squash
Spaghetti Squash
Cherry tomatoes
Artichokes in brine
Balsamic Onions (I used Trader Joe's frozen in a bag)
Yellow peppers
Olive Oil
Dried Spices (red pepper, parsely)
Flat leaf parsely

Roast a spaghetti squash. 1/2 the squash, scoop out flesh, rub olive oil and seasoning. Place squash face down in about an inch of water and roast at 375 for about 45 min.

In the meantime, saute onions, garlic, peppers, cherry tomatoes.

Use a fork to make "spaghetti" from the squash, add veggies, and fresh basil, parsely and scallions.

Very delicious. I served this with Weyerbacher Double Simco good...

Tempeh Salad and Marinated Aduki Beans

Tempeh Salad
Both of these recipes were adapted from (Clean Food by Terry Walters)
1 8oz tempeh
1 carrot shredded
1/2 red onion chopped
2 tablespoons sweet pickle relish
1 tablespoon capers
1 tablespoon parsely
2 tablespoon canola low fat mayo (vegan)
salt and pepper

Cut tempeh and steam for 10 min. Remove and allow to cool. Crumble tempeh into small pieces. Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine.

Marinated Aduki Beans
2 cups cooked aduki beans
2 carrots shredded
1/2 red onion
2 tablespoons of sesame seeds

2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon fresh ginger
1 teaspoon tamari
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
1 teaspoon brown rice syrup

Rinse beans in colander and drain. Place carrots and onions into bowl. Bring 2 cups of water to boil, pour over carrots and onions for a min and drain. Add carrots and onions to beans.

Separate bowl, whisk marinade. Pour over bean mixture and stir. Let sit for 15 min before serving.

Clams and Spaghetti (updated)
One Monday night, I had a hankering for my mom and dad's spaghetti and clams. I had been at Trader Joe's and picked up their canned clams to try them out.

I sauted the garlic and onions in some olive oil, adding some crushed red pepper. I also added some portabello mushrooms and yellow pepper - they were both close to going bad, little did I know this was the update the old recipe needed. I added the clams, and about a cup of Italian dry white wine. I used something that was also drinkable. I let that simmer for about 15 min while I cooked some wheat pasta.

I added flat leaf parsely and cheese - it was delicious.

Foiled Fish and Veggies

This is probably the easiest on the go recipe you can do. I take a filet of a mild white fish and drizzle with olive oil, sea salt and Trader Joe's 21 Seasoning Salute.

Put that on a large piece of foil.

In a separate bowl take baby spinach, onions, garlic, red onions, mushrooms, cherry tomatoes, peppers and add balsamic vinegar and GOOD olive oil and sea salt and pepper. Mix well.

Place salad over fish and wrap up loosely in foil. Place in the oven for about 15-20 min at 350 degrees.


Stay tuned, I am finalizing Volume 3: Spring/Summer Beer List post!!

If you are looking for other fine recipes visit my brother's (@big_onion on twitter) site at MrOnionsNeighborhood - he is the creative one in the family in cooking and makes phenomenal meals!!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Recent Obsessions -Volume 1: Fashion in Triathlon Training

If you have been reading my blog you know I am obsessed with fashion, triathlons, food, beer and music. You also know I like sequels as seen with past blog posts.

So here is Part 1 - Fashion in Triathlon Training

It is a fine line we draw with looking cute and disgusting at the same time. I also direct you to Heidi Austin's latest blog post with her "Girly's Guide to Triathlon Training" for health and beauty tips :)

My style tends to be rocker meets feminine in real clothes (although I was recently told I was channeling Debbie or Deborah Gibson last time I was out...)
so to try to find that same style training is difficult at times. Here are some of my more recent purchases over the past couple months that have met the criteria.

1. Betty Designs Dream Bike Kit - BettyDesigns

I mean how cute, I mean kick-ass is this. I am obsessed with skulls, the detail of the design is great - my favorite part is the band of skulls on one side and the butterflies on the other.

Besides the fact that this LOOKS awesome, it is very functional and comfortable. The shirt fits nice, I got a small and I feel like I have man-back sometimes from swimming but this fit very nice. I don't have much in the bosom department so this fit good on me. But contact Kristen at Betty Designs, I was able to ask questions and figure out fit from there.

I hate bike pants and that elastic band at the waist that cuts into you when riding, this has more of a yoga pants fit, the back has a higher rise then the front which means no ass crack sticking out. The leg fit is great and I have bigger thighs (ummm muscular) that usually means the band makes me look like someone put a rubber band or wrapped up some sausage links, but NO sausage links here!! Not to say they aren't tight enough to be good for my skinny thigh friends but great fit for us muscular thigh girls.

This is also the first time I owned a pair of actual bike shorts instead of only tri-shorts which means my lower body has been thanking me profusely.

2. TYR Rockstar Thin-X Back Bathing Suit AND TYR Swim Punk Reversible cap - TeamEstrogen

I love the comfort of the TYR bathing suit and this has the comfortable X back and kind of sexy in a one piece way....I recently embraced the one-piece and actually have had a more comfortable swim than the two-piece.

The swim cap is reversible - enough said...

3. 2010 Quintana Roo Dulce in pink camo - I got mine in 2010 so this is the new model link QuintanaRoo

I even blinged it out with my betty design water bottle that I won (I never win anything!!) on Chloe's blog - Running with a Bottle of Wine.

This bike has been awesome! It feels incredibly light compared to my road bike. I want to take it out every day. As much as I love the pink and black seat, I am replacing it with a gel seat from Specialized, that has been the only issue thus far and my husband upgraded my wheels. The wheels were pretty crappy that came with the bike.

4. Lululemon Turbo Run Short, 50 Rep Bra and Cool Racerback - Lululemon

I am still a fan of the speed short, but I like the length of these - just slightly longer than the ultra so more ass coverage. I am a bit addicted to anything by lululemon and have basically replaced a lot of training clothes with theirs. The quality is top notch and lasts! I just wish they made tri clothes (are you listening lululemon???)

That's all for now...stay tuned for Volume 2 - Easy Clean Recipes and Lastly, the 3rd installment of ...wait for it...Volume 3 - Spring/Summer Beer List (I know that is what you are waiting for...)

Monday, May 9, 2011

Black Bear and Katy Perry

I went on blogger the other day and looked at my posts....3/25 was the last post. It is hard to imagine it has been that long. I had a number of events happen over the past month that have caused my training to take a bit of a back seat. I looked on my Training Peaks and I saw my time log go from 12:30 to 7:29 to 9:07 to 5:06 and then the last two weeks were about 10 hours. I don't regret not training, I spent a lot of time with family and friends and shared some wonderful moments and many sad ones.

I have had tons of ideas with posts and will probably just bombard you with them this week if you are still there.

I have a lot on my plate right now with work, and the countless obligations that come along with summer. I just found out I got a great project but that will mean going away for 2 weeks to Canada and Mexico and getting home just in time for Black Bear Olympic race. Black Bear is not just any race. I recently checked into last year's results and the average bike pace for the top female was 19mph and the top in my 35-39 age group was (gulp) 16.8....ummmm can you say hilly?? It says "scenic yet challenging" hills...I already knew what I was getting myself into, because a friend of mine said things like "people fell over" "some were walking it and they were good cyclist" and well the Ironman brand is coming in and using the course for the 70.3...should be interesting...

So here's the issue...where do I go to train for this? I have been doing a lot of heavy gear riding to get ready but nothing is going to get me ready for what they call "sling- shot hills" (that is where you climb and then you turn and you think you are flat and there is another hill immediately). I would have loved to get out there but there is just no time.

My other conundrum is that I don't know whether I should take my new tri-bike "Aura" or my road bike. I hear mix reviews so if you have any advice - PLEASE GIVE IT!!

I have a couple 13 hour training weeks over the next couple week before I travel. I figure the weeks I am away I will have to do some running, weights and exercise bike and just be a weekend warrior. I am fully prepared for an Olympic but I need to up the ante a little on the HIM plan. I have lots of obligations so it means take some deep breaths, wake up a little earlier and get'er done. I usually just get a little anxiety, start freaking out to my husband and friends and then about 5 minutes later just figure that what happens happens and I'll get through it!

So back on a good note I leave you with Beyond Dishonor's latest video - covering Katy Perry's ET (I guess you were trying to figure out the Katy Perry connection). This is a MUST-SEE and not just because I am the wife of a drummer that BTW recently got sponsored by Dark Horse Percussion - check out the link!!

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