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Archive for February, 2012

This month’s What I Ate Wednesday posts are all about showing some love for vegetables. It’s no secret that I do indeed love vegetables and try to eat plenty of them every single day. A meal without veggies is just not satisfying for me.

Here are some random meals from the past two weeks:

Pea soup

Pea soup

Smooth pea soup with smoked tofu cubes and sour cream. That was a very quick and delicious work day dinner.

Green salad

Green salad

This was and Italian inspired salad creation, with big white beans, sautéed mushrooms, tomatoes, artichoke hearts, and romaine lettuce.

Chocolate chip banana brownies

Chocolate chip banana brownies

After all those vegetables it was time for something sweet, so I made a small batch of chocolate chip banana brownies. I followed a recipe I found on Daily Garnish. They were amazing!

Red lentil soup

Red lentil soup

Back to the veggies. I got this recipe for red lentil and carrot soup in a vegetarian magazine. It was ok, but a bit boring. Next time I’ll probably add some curry powder.

Green salad

Green salad

And another salad. This one had mixed greens, mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet corn, and cheese. I topped it with sunflower seeds for some extra crunch.

Veggie lasagna

Veggie lasagna

Friday night is pasta night in our house, and last Friday we made lasagna. We made two different batches, one for me with extra zucchini, the other for my husband with ground beef. Delicious and very filling.

Breakfast

Breakfast

You might call me crazy, but I even love having vegetables with my breakfast! Last weekend I made fried eggs in a bell pepper ‘basket’. I think it looks like a flower. That was a very tasty breakfast.

Millet Marinara

Millet, marinara, black lentils, parmesan

On Sunday I felt very experimental, so I cooked up some millet and black lentils. I topped it all with jarred marinara sauce, sautéed zucchini, and freshly grated parmesan. I love the look of this dish, and despite being kind of random it was also very delicious.

What’s your favorite way to include vegetables into your meals?

See you!

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Apparently, I’m that girl who likes to exercise while others are partying and getting drunk in bright daylight. Just like last year, when I ran straight through a Carnival party. Don’t get me wrong, I do love to party, having fun with my girls, but people are just plain crazy during Carnival season, and I’m not really into that.

But obviously, I’m not the only one who wanted to get sweaty today, my gym was packed! Anyway, I bought a pair of new sneakers last week and wanted to test them out, so I did a short run on the treadmill.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 1 mile (1,6 km)
  • Time: 11:20 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:20 min/mile
  • Feeling: Speedy

Verdict on the new shoes: No good for running! But I’m going to keep them for other indoor activities like Zumba, Squash, Pilates, and home workouts. I was in the mood for more sweating, but didn’t want to damage my feet with those shoes, so I grabbed a magazine and hopped onto a stationary bike.

The Stats:

  • Distance: 10 miles (16 km)
  • Time: 38:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 15.8 mph
  • Feeling: Sweaty

After that I stretched a little and called it a day. And that’s how I celebrated Rose Monday this year.

Are you into Carnival parties?

See you!

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Still Running

Yes, I’m actually still running, even if I haven’t written a post about it for a while. It’s just that my runs haven’t been that interesting lately. I have been running about two miles on the treadmill twice a week, that’s all.

It’s been freaking cold here for the past three weeks – less than 15 °F during the day, sub-zero at night. Is this Germany or Siberia?! But that cold front seems to be over now, finally! It feels a bit weird to think of 35 °F as ‘mild weather’, but compared to what we had last week it’s so much nicer.

I’ve been feeling a little under the weather the past few days and didn’t feel like working out at all today, but once again one of my co-workers literally kicked my butt and made me go on another Lunch Break Run with him. Thank goodness for running buddies!

The Stats:

  • Distance: 4 miles (6,4 km)
  • Time: 47:00 minutes
  • Average pace: 11:45 min/mile
  • Feeling: Muddy

We were quite slow today, but considering that the side walks were all still covered in mud and snow and quite slippery, I’m very happy with that run.

By the way, I just updated my races page and added the events that I want to participate in this year. I probably won’t do all of them, it’s more like a ‘wish list’. We’ll see how training goes and how many races I will be able to squeeze into my crazy, busy life.

See you!

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Project Better Sleep – Week 1

Last week I announced my personal Project Better Sleep. Today I have to confess that my first week was a total failure. Oops!

I planned to go to bed at 10:30 pm on Monday to Thursday, but that totally didn’t happen. On Monday and Wednesday I got at least close to my goal, being in bed before 11 pm. And I totally paid for it. On Friday and Saturday I was so tired that I took a two-hour nap on each day.

Why is it so hard for me to stick to an earlier bedtime? I think there are two reasons. First, I just can’t finish my ‘preparations’ for the next day in time. I always pack breakfast, lunch, and snacks, lay out my clothes, and sometimes pack my gym bag if I plan to workout during my lunch break or after work. Despite the fact that I have streamlined the whole procedure as much as possible, it still takes quite a while every night. This week I’ll try to get all my prep work done right after dinner, so that I can relax the rest of the night.

Second, there’s some personal drama going on in my life at the moment, that has literally been giving me sleepless nights. Arctic cold, broken shower for five days, financial issues – but worrying doesn’t change anything, so I’ll try to focus on the good things in my life right now.

Although week one wasn’t successful, I won’t give up and continue my little project until the end of the month, like I originally planned.

Time to go to bed!

See you!

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Let’s skip the sugar-coating, I’ve had a really rough week. I’ll spare you the ugly details. Anyway, the current stubborn cold front has made me crave comfort food, so that’s what we were having.

Accidentally, my meals have been quite international last week. Thinking about it, we always eat ‘around the globe’. Guess that’s no surprise in a multi-national household.

African Chickpea Stew

African Chickpea Stew

This heart-warming stew was inspired by Mama Pea’s Spicy African Peanut Stew. Delicious!

Griessnockerl Soup

Griessnockerl Soup

Now, this is German (or Austrian?) comfort food at its best! Vegetable soup with semolina dumplings, called ‘Griessnockerl’.

Strawberry Smoothie

Strawberry Smoothie

Is it weird that I’m craving ice cream, even in arctic weather conditions? Whatever. This smoothie totally tasted like strawberry ice cream. No, it was even better, without all the added sugar, saturated fat, and additives. Ha!

Weekend Breakfast

Weekend Breakfast

One of the things I love the most about weekends is a relaxed breakfast. Much better than eating a sandwich while sitting at my desk at work.

Potato Pancakes

Potato Pancakes

On Saturday, the Husband insisted on making potato pancakes. Naturally, I wasn’t complaining. I had mine with sour cream and ajvar. Unconventional, but so good.

Pasta Casserole

Pasta Casserole

On Sunday I improvised a veggie pasta casserole. Not pretty, but surprisingly tasty.

What’s you favorite ethnic cuisine?

See you!

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Project Better Sleep

Now that my personal off-season is almost over, I’ve been thinking about how to prepare for my upcoming races. I used to think that I just need to get my long runs and my weekly mileage in, and that’s it. But apparently I was wrong. When you are training for a race, you also need to care about proper fuel and recovery.

What to eat before, during, and after training runs or races is a very personal thing, and I’m still trying to figure it out, but I really love the running fuel tips over at NoMeatAthlete.com. And Caitlin from the blog HealthyTippingPoint.com wrote a great post about how to recover quickly after long, tough runs.

But today’s post is about the one thing that I’m struggling with the most: Sleep! Because of my job I have to get up at 5:30 am every morning. But as I’m a natural night owl, I have a hard time going to bed before 11 pm. As I can’t fall asleep immediately, I get about 6 hours of sleep per night. While this is enough for many people, it is definitely not enough for me, especially when I’m going to increase my weekly mileage again. I’ve already noticed, that I’m very tired on most days, struggling with lack of concentration all day long. The problem is, all the sleepiness is gone after 9 pm, so I usually can’t motivate myself to go to bed at a (for me!) reasonable time.

For a while I’ve tried to simply accept my current situation, thinking that I don’t really need more sleep, that I’m totally fine with only 6 hours per night during the week, as long as I can sleep in on the weekends, but this approach just isn’t working on a long-term basis.

So here’s the deal: During the month of February, I’ll try to go to bed at 10:30 pm on Monday to Thursday, which should give me about half an hour of extra sleep per night. Doesn’t sound like much, I know, but it’s a start. Additionally, I hope to improve my quality of sleep, which will include turning off my laptop about 30 minutes before bedtime, and a few other strategies.

How long do you sleep? Do you feel like it is enough?

See you!

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Looks like last week’s „What I Ate Wednesday” was quite popular. So let’s do it again! I probably won’t post my meals every week, though, only if they are sort of interesting.

This week I’ve been feeling particularly lazy and not at all in the mood to spend a lot of time in my kitchen. That happens sometimes. So instead of cooking elaborate dishes, I raided our freezer and found some tasty leftovers.

Instant Noodle Bowl

Instant Noodle Bowl

Saturday’s lunch was a big fat failure, though. I made a pack of instant ramen, and even tried to ‘healthify’ it by adding some broccoli and cubed tofu, but the soup base was just awful. I tossed it after a few bites. Yuck!

Veggie Chili with Fries

Veggie Chili with Fries

Saturday’s dinner was much better. I enjoyed some previously frozen veggie chili with home-made fries. I simply peeled and cut a few potatoes, and baked them in the oven. No oil, no seasoning, that’s how I like them.

Bibimguksu

Bibimguksu

Also on our weekend menu was a quick and easy Korean noodle dish, called Bibimguksu (follow the link for the recipe!). I added some black bean sauce, that’s why my sauce was black instead of red, but it was still good. The original recipe is better, though.

Split Pea Curry

Split pea curry with brown rice

On Sunday night I had a yellow spit pea stew (from my freezer stash, again) with brown rice. I don’t even remember how I made that stew, but it was still okay.

Fried Rice

Fried Rice

The laziest meals of all are the ones my husband makes. Zero cooking time for me! Yesterday’s dinner was a spin-off of our favorite fried rice, and it was delicious.

What are your favorite ‘lazy’ meals?

See you!

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