Ironman

Thursday, January 19th, 2012 | Posted under Health, Sports

I think I may have mentioned that I am enthralled by the Ironman Championship.

It’s a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile run, and a marathon back to back. Don’t worry. You get 17 hours to finish. ๐Ÿ™‚
Maybe it’s the dramatic NBC tv editing?
There I was crying like a baby on a Saturday afternoon last month watching a woman who had just finished battling cancer; an 81 year old man doing his 22nd Ironman; and a woman who had just lost hundreds of pounds cross the finish line. I’m such a sucker for people accomplishing things they thought they couldn’t, or maybe I’m just a weirdo who has a secret death/pain wish or an untapped masochistic streak. That video doesn’t really help either.
No, I’m not doing an Ironman anytime soon. I still haven’t done a second 5k! It doesn’t mean that I don’t think about it though. ๐Ÿ™‚
It could be a great reason to go to the Big Island of Hawaii, too. Anyone been to the Big Island and not just Oahu? Do you know anyone who’s done an Ironman or even finished a half Ironman? Have you ever done a triathlon?

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Reset Week (A Week of Healthy Eating)

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012 | Posted under Cooking, Health, Personal, Recipe

I mentioned in my 101 things in 1,001 days post about doing what I call a Reset Week. This is a habit that I started last year. As someone who likes to eat…a lot…and now eats a wide variety of things that I didn’t before, I’ve decided that I need to give my body a break once in a while. I have done juice fasts before, which are fine. After the last one I finished, it was hard to incorporate solid food again, even when I added things back slowly.

Then I got an idea. Why don’t I just cut out some of the foods that I’d like to cut back on for a week (more like five to six days) instead of cutting out solid food altogether? I would begin to think again about how I am eating and remind myself of how to eat healthier. In a way, I would be resetting my eating patterns.
During a Reset Week, beginning on a Sunday or Monday, I refrain from the following until I have a nice, triumphant dinner on Friday night:
No Meat
No Dairy
No Sweets/Dessert (including sugar sweeteners. I try to use agave nectar)
No Alcohol
No Caffeine
and probably something else I’m forgetting as I write this
Essentially, I become a non-drinking vegan for about a week. I also try to eat more fruits and veggies than I normally do already. To be quite honest, it’s not as hard as I thought it would be. The easiest for me is refraining from caffeine since I rarely drink coffee or other caffeinated beverages, including soda. No meat is fine since I was a pescetarian (a fish eating vegetarian) for years and used to it, and I’m not big into dairy (except for cheese…I LURVE cheese).
Surprisingly, the sweets have gotten to be the hardest for me. These days I tend to like a little something small and sweet after dinner. During these weeks, I’ll drink Vanilla Almond milk as my sweet fix. It’s sweetened with cane juice, but I guess it could be worse.
I know many of you are thinking “What’s left to eat?” Well, here’s a sampling of the things I eat during a Reset Week:
Breakfast
-Vanilla Soy Probiotic Yogurt with apple, berries or some other seasonal fruit, sprinkled with ground flax seeds or flax meal
-Steel Cut Oatmeal with drizzle of agave nectar and banana, apples or berries mixed in
I usually use McCanns Quick & Easy Steel Cut Irish Oatmeal because steel cut oats tend to take longer to cook. These take way less time than normal to make.

-Fruit smoothie with almond milk and flax meal
Snacks
-Most nuts (especially walnuts, and almonds are my favorite) are fine. I avoid salted ones though.
-Rice cakes (I like the Lundberg whole grain ones with little to no salt)
-Fruit (I find apples are filling and a great source of fiber)
-Lots of herbal decaf tea (unsweetened or a little agave nectar)
-Lots and lots of water (I like adding big hunks of fresh lemon)
Lunch
Lunch is usually a salad or leftovers from the night before. Here’s one of my favorite salads from this summer:
I like to use spinach for my greens, so I’ve already got one good veggie. This salad also has beets, artichoke hearts, yellow peppers and carrots. For a protein kick, I would add chickpeas, sunflower seeds or maybe some tofu. Go light on the dressing, or just use a sprinkling of balsamic vinegar.
Dinner
I usually try stay away from some of the more processed vegetarian “meats” and patties in favor of things like beans, quinoa, seitan, and tofu (I’ve been trying not to depend on soy very much for protein). Here are few dishes that I will probably be eating this week.
Santa Fe Quinoa Salad with steamed veggies or sauteed kale
Here’s some of the Santa Fe Quinoa Salad I made during last summer’s Reset Week
In the summer, I love Spicy Quinoa, Tomato & Avocado Salad.
-Seitan Stir Fry with Sesame Ginger Sauce
I love seitan. Have you ever had mock meats at various vegetarian restaurants? Well, seitan/wheat gluten are the basis of many of those “meats.” Those who are allergic to gluten might want to avoid seitan, but you know more about gluten allergies than me. Like tofu, seitan takes on the flavors of what it’s cooked with.

Seitan right out of the bag. Not necessarily pretty, I know

For this dish, I don’t make my own stir fry sauce (Sigh..I know I should). I just try not to get too heavy handed. In the pic below, I did. Oops!
Seitan with bok choy (Chinese cabbage), carrots and peppers and Whole Foods sesame ginger sauce

So that’s my Reset Week in a nutshell. I know that I indulged a lot this past holiday season, so it’s nice to start the year off with a renewed look at how to eat healthfully. I’ll be doing this at least three more times this year. If I try any new recipes, I’ll be sure to share.

Are you looking to eat healthier this year? What steps are you taking to do so? Do you have any healthy recipes that you’d like to share?

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101 in 1,001 Days

Monday, January 2nd, 2012 | Posted under Blogging, Faith, Family and Friends, Health, Personal

Happy New Year, everybody!!

I know that many of you are starting off the year and this week with resolutions. I sorta don’t do resoutions anymore but primarily do goals. I feel like you can start great habits at any time, but I do like to set goals at the beginning of the year. At the same time, I recognize that setting too many goals for one year can be overwhelming. I don’t know about you, but last year flew by so quickly. I looked up, and it was Thanksgiving!
A while back I had read about 101 things in 1,001 days lists from some blogger friends. I thought it was a great idea. I specifically like the fact that I don’t have to finish everything in one year. I have over 2 1/2 years to do them. The last time I made a list like this, I thought it was really helpful in figuring out some of the things that I want to do for myself more often or will help propel me forward. Some of the goals are easily reachable and others are things that I am hoping I can accomplish. In general, it was harder to come up with 101 things than I thought. Who knew?
Anyway, here’s my list. They’re annotated ’cause I’m verbose like that. ๐Ÿ™‚ Are any of these on your list of goals for this year? Does anyone out there have a 101 things in 1,001 days list? By the way, I didn’t include all of them. In some instances they are marked as private.
Start Date – January 1, 2012
End Date – September 27, 2014

Food, Cooking, Eating & Dining

1. Bake a pie from scratch including making my own crust

2. Bake brownies from scratch

3. Master a cake recipe from scratch

4. Master a cookie recipe from scratch

5. Learn to make an omelet (I’ve never made an omelet!)

6. Make my own ice cream

7. Take a knife skills course (I really need to learn how to chop and dice better!)

8. Buy all fruits and veggies from the farmers’ market for two months (0/2)

9. Use up beans, spices and other special items in โ€œpantryโ€ (Do you have those dry goods that you need to finish off? I do!)

10. Cook at least one Caribbean food dinner once per week for 6 months (0/24)

11. Eat a meal in each of NYCโ€™s five boroughs in one year (I usually eat in three of the five but the Bronx and Staten Island will be a challenge! Any recs in those boroughs?)

12. Eat only raw foods for one day (It can’t just be living on salads either)

13. Leave a 100% tip


Get Organized

14. Back up photos and video that are on my laptop (I know, I know….)

15. Revise/create a will (There’s kinda one in existence, but….)

16. Create an organization system for physical addresses, e-mail addresses and business cards

17. Get my own personal stationary (I have some but not with my hyphenated married name)

18. Sell or donate wedding dress (I’ve been married for over two years! I should be ashamed of myself. It’s not like I was in love with my dress.)

19. Scan old photos

20. Prepare an emergency kit for the apartment and for personal use (In case the world ends in 2012 ๐Ÿ™‚)

21. Create 10 Itunes Playlists, of which 2 must be for running (0/10)

22. Clean out that godawful drawer under the sink (You know you have a drawer like that, too)


Fun

23. Learn to knit

24. Take a beginners capoeira course

25. Take a modern dance class workshop (I’ve had my eye one one for a few months)

26. Attend a ballet performance

27. Attend a live music event once per month for a year (0/12)

28. Go to an art museum or art gallery once per month for a year (0/12)

29. Go to a professional American football game (I’ve been to pro “soccer” games before)

30. Start and run my own fantasy football league (I love fantasy football a little too much. My team was horrible this year!)

31. Do a book reading project with at least 5 assigned books for 2012 and 2013 (0/2) (I started the project for this year yesterday. I’ll be sharing soon)

32. Get a facial

33. Do something special on 12/12/12


Health & Fitness

34. Learn how to do pilates and add it to my workout routine

35. Go to the actual gym at least 3 times per week for 6 months (0/72) (I have no problems working out regularly. HOWEVER, when it’s winter, I will find every excuse to pop in a workout video and not go to my gym, which isn’t even that far away in the first place. I’m bad, and I don’t want to waste money.)

36. Run 1 hour on the treadmill

37. Run a 10K

38. Run a half marathon

39. Get mile time under 10 minutes (I’m slow but at least I’m trying)

40. Run on the street two times per week for 4 months (0/32) (Running on the street makes me feel self-conscious. I don’t know why.)

41. Find out my blood type (Again, this is a bit ridiculous that I haven’t done/don’t know this.)

42. Do a Reset Week once per quarter for a year (0/4) (I actually started one yesterday. I’ll explain what that is in a separate post)


Personal (These are definitely TMI)

43. PRIVATE

44. PRIVATE

Financial

45. Quarterly finacial meetings with Husband J for the duration of the 1,001 days (0/8)

Travel

46. Travel internationally alone again (I have some ideas already, but I am not sure where or how yet)

47. Travel with BFF

48. Do a volunteer travel trip

49. Go on a weekend ski trip

50. Visit family in Toronto, Canada

51. Visit three U.S. states Iโ€™ve never been to before (I must leave the airport and driving through does not count)

52. Do Trip Advisor reviews for all hotels Iโ€™ve stayed or will stay in from 2011 until the end of the 1,001 days

53. Renew/re-obtain my Antiguan passport (This is a whole other story)

54. Play mas in Antigua’s carnival


Personal Development

55. Get a makeup lesson (I can barely apply makeup correctly…barely)

56. Get a better camera (DSLR or otherwise) and learn how to use it

57. Print and frame an engagement and a wedding photo

58. No internet for a weekend

59. Write a hand written letter to a friend just because

60. Send hand written notes to 5 new people that I meet while networking + follow-up within 6 months

61. No TV for one month (It’s easy to do this during the summer when nothing is on anyway)

62. Do Happy Black Womanโ€™s 31 Day Reset (This is a great blog, and it’s not just for Black women. It’s for anyone who is into personal development, goal setting, entrepreneurship and living life authentically. Check her out!)

63. Do a language exchange (for Spanish or maybe Portuguese?)

64. Write 5 year goals

65. Write 10 year goals

66. Write a personal mission statement


Buy

67. Buy a designer dress or outfit (Why not? I don’t own anything designer)

68. Buy sexy lingerie ๐Ÿ™‚


Helping Others

69. Find a volunteer program to participate for one full cycle or however long the organization requires me (Volunteering has been such a big part of my life over the years, and during the past few years, I haven’t done anything. That needs to stop).

70. Join the board of a small non-profit

71. Get involved in a local community civic group

72. Buy a composter and start composting on the balcony

73. Do an anonymous favor/donation that will personally affect one person or family

74. Donate books that I donโ€™t want or need


Family

75. Take my goddaughter somewhere at least once per quarter for a year (0/4)

76. Work with goddaughter to find a summer program/activity/job each summer until she finishes high school (0/3)

77. Call or e-mail my cousins at least once per month for a year (0/12)


Professional

78. PRIVATE

79. Join a professional network/professional group in my interest area

80. Beef up my profile on Linked In

81. PRIVATE

82. Continue training for my secret project (That’s the only way to describe it)


Blogging & Social Media

83. Redesign Try Anything Once

84. Learn WordPress (I feel like one of the few people in the world who doesn’t use WordPress or at least know how to use it)

85. Do at least 20 blogs posts in one month for TAO

86. Find 10 new travel or food blogs that I like and be active an commenter on those sites

87. Attend at least two different blogging conferences (0/2)

88. PRIVATE

89. Reach 2,500 Twitter Followers (Eh…why not? I’m actually not THAT far from this, but it hasn’t exactly turned into blog traffic, so yeah…)

90. Do 31 Days to a Better Blog exercises

91. Learn Google + (Am I the only one that doesn’t get it?)

92. Post on Tales of a Thirty-Something Nothing at least once per week for a year (0/52)

93. Have a reader meet-up (Would anyone in the NYC area be interested?)

94. PRIVATE


Spiritual

95. PRIVATE

96. PRIVATE

97. PRIVATE

98. read through the Bible completely within a year (I’ve done it in 14 months and not 12)

99. PRIVATE

100. practice stillness/meditation 2 times per week for one month (0/8)

101. Fast for clarity one month (eating only one meal per day) (I‘ve done this before and I have to admit that it was a very powerful month for me)

Set any goals lately? If you have a 101 things in 1,001 days list, I’d love for you to post a link to it in the comments, so we can encourage each other!

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I Did It! My First 5k! (Plus a Quick Trip to DC)

Monday, June 6th, 2011 | Posted under District of Columbia, Family and Friends, Health, Virginia


I’m back from our quick trip to the Washington, DC/Northern Virginia area this past weekend. It was nice to see Husband J’s friend, Davey. I actually mentioned him last year.
Most importantly, I FINISHED the Christopher Carter Foundation’s first annual 5K and Fun Run/Walk! It was sooo much harder than I thought it would be. Why? Because of the HILLS. No matter how much I would have worked out in relatively flat Brooklyn, nothing would have prepared me for the approximately four large hills and three plus small ones that I had to jog/run up, BUT I DID IT!
Husband J and I before the race

I didn’t walk AT ALL. I actually got a little bummed because people WERE walking. I know that it was a fun run, but I just couldn’t walk my first time out. I had a lot to prove to myself, and I was really thinking about why I was running (for Chris’ memory and for my own personal goals). There were people who would pass me, and I felt sorta dumb, but I knew that I was going at a pace that I could handle even if it was slow as molasses. It didn’t help that I was appreciating some of the many cute houses that I was passing by in Arlington, Virginia. It was such a pretty neighborhood, and we had lots of residents cheering us on.
Seeing the sign for mile three made me VERY happy. I was so happy that my not very good high school sprinter’s kick came through, and I finished really strong (which means I can go faster that I actually do). Here’s some pics that our friend Davey took of me finishing.

Husband J and I joke that this looks like I finished last, but I actually didn’t. I was surprised that there were people behind me (although not that many).
We actually ended up doing quite a bit for less than 24 hours in Washington, DC. We took a quick boat ride on the Potomac River with some of Davey’s friends. Even though I had lived there for a short time, I didn’t realize that there was a small boating community in DC.
A view of the Lincoln Memorial from the Potomac. I didn’t have my camera, so my IPhone with no zoom had to take this pic.
We also went out for dinner on 14th Street in the Logan Circle area. 14th Street has changed so much in the five years since I left DC. I’m glad to see more dining options in the area. We had a very late, but fun dinner at Masa 14, a Asian-Latin fusion restaurant and lounge. I think it was a good place for me and Husband J. Loud enough to make you feel like you went out without feeling like you actually went out for the night. Hey, we’re old married people. ๐Ÿ™‚
Tuna Sashimi Flatbread from Masa 14.

Well, that was my quick weekend away. How was your weekend?
Runners, what was your first race like?
For all of you, is there a personal, physical or other goal that you were determined to accomplish? What was it?

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My First 5K & Why I’m Running It

Friday, June 3rd, 2011 | Posted under Family and Friends, Health, Personal

** Thanks, everyone, for the kind well wishes on my Blogaversary! I appreciate it! :)**

Tomorrow I should be running (okay, most likely jogging) my first 5K. I am by no means a “runner.” I kinda amble along and try not to complain too much while doing it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I like the safety of my treadmill. I even asked my Super Runner Friend, Mara, of A Runner’s Life how to kick my treadmill safety blanket (here’s her answer). Mara is a badass distance runner and completed many a marathon including the Boston Marathon a few months before her wedding! Go girl! If you can believe it, I have been too shy to run by myself on the sidewalks of Brooklyn because I feel super self-conscious. I’ve done a few “runs” by myself now, but it’s still something that I am getting used to.
Obviously not me ๐Ÿ™‚
I’m not really sure whether or not I want to become a real competitive runner doing multiple races, etc. I’m happy to just have another outlet that I can add to my exercise repertoire. At the same time, I do harbor this strange secret desire to actually run a marathon someday or even better a triathlon (Apparently, I might want to learn how to really SWIM). If you want me to cry like a baby, sit me in front of the Ironman Triathlon. I find it so inspiring. Seriously, I’m weird like that. ๐Ÿ™‚ By the way, the major Ironman in Hawaii is a 2.4 mile swim, a 112 mile bike ride and a marathon back to back without stopping really, so I hope you realize why I have such admiration for the people that do it.
Honestly, I don’t really care how fast I finish tomorrow. To me, it’s really about finishing period, which I think I will do. It will feel like a major sense of accomplishment for someone who hated the idea of running anywhere for any reason last year.
I writing this post actually to tell you WHY I am running this 5k. It’s the inaugural 5k run for the Christopher Carter Foundation. Husband J knew Chris from their college fraternity days. Chris fell ill in the Spring of 2009. Thinking it was just a cold or something benign, he tried his best to kick his illness. What he did not know was that he had diabetes and what he was experiencing was an aggravation of that condition. He passed away shortly thereafter. He was only 34. Although I only met him once very briefly, I remember him being very sweet, personable and extremely funny. I know that his friends and family miss him dearly.
Chris’ friends established this foundation in his honor to promote diabetes education, prevention and awareness in the Northern Virginia area. They are hoping that through their efforts, in conjunction with the Virginia Hospital Center in Arlington, Virginia, they will be able to create a diabetes treatment and education clinic within that hospital, an awesome goal!
This hits home for me as well because Chris was African-American, and sadly for a variety of public health and sociological reasons, Black folks are 2 times more likely to be able diagnosed with this condition. Check out some stats from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of Minority Health. They are sobering to me.
Anyway, this is all to say that I won’t be very self-conscious tomorrow as I will remembering why I am running and very proud that I will be helping promote this cause and remember Chris’ life.
Chris Carter
Have a great weekend, everyone!

3 Comments »

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