Thursday, July 24, 2008

EAT your protein!

I'm having some concern as to whether or not you're all eating your protein...mostly because I'm not. Aack! I'm getting better every day, but it's been a hard switch from a chicken breast to loads of beans, quinoa, hummus, etc. Before all of those things were just a fun side dish, now they're the main dish.

So, more recipes from fellow vegetarian Keri:

Black Bean & Mozzarella Bowl

Mixing mozzarella with panroasted core, black beans, and avocado creates a rich Mexican-inspired feast.

1/4 c smoked tomato vinaigrette
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp cumin (I LOVE CUMIN)
2 c fresh corn kernels (two ears)
2 oz smoked mozzarella, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, quartered
3/4 c coarsely chopped avocado
1/2 c finely chopped red onion
1/4 c chopped fresh cilantro

1. In a large bowl, combine vinaigrette, beans, cumin, salt and pepper to taste; set aside

2. Heat a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add corn and pan-roast, stirring occasionially, until lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Stir corn and remaining ingredients into black bean mix and toss together

3. Chill until ready to serve. Divide evenly into 4 salad bowls

4 servings, 324 calories ea., 9 g fat, 11 g fiber, 13 g protein.

Lime Biryani

This one has Quinoa!!

2 limes
1 c dry quinoa
1 1/4 c water
3 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp curry seasoning (such as Spice Islands)
3/4 tsp salt
10 oz shredded carrot (I use a cheese grater...about 1 med carrot)
1 c canned chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 1/2 c thinly sliced scallions
1/4 c sliced almonds, toasted
1/4 c dried currents or golden raisins
3/8 tsp pepper

1. Zest or finely grate one lime to produce 1 1/2 tsp. zest, then jice both limes

2. In a saucepan, combine 3 Tbs. lime juice, quinoa, water, 1 Tbs. olive oil, curry seasoning, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover, and simmer for 15-20 mins or until quinoa turns transparent and liquid is absorbed. Cool and place in a large bowl.

3. Add carrots, chickpeas, scallions, almonds, and currants. Toss

4. In a small bowl, combine remaining 3 Tbs. lime juice, zest, remaining 2 Tbs oil, 1/4 tsp salt, and 3/8 tsp pepper; wisk until well blended. Pour over quinoa mix and toss.

4 servings, 431 calories, 14 g fat, 10 g fiber, 17 g protein.

Vegetarian Fajitas

2 teaspoons vegetable oil
1 cup quartered, sliced onion
1 cup red, green or yellow bell pepper strips
1 (15-ounce) can black, pinto or kidney beans, drained
1/2 cup frozen whole kernel corn
1 (1.25-ounce) package fajitas seasoning
1/3 cup water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
6 (6-inch) fajita-size flour tortillas, warmed
Heat vegetable oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until vegetables are tender.
Stir in beans, corn, fajita seasoning mix and water; bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low; cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 minutes or until mixture thickens. Remove from heat; stir in cilantro.
Spoon 1/2 cup fajita mixture onto each tortilla; fold in half.
I used pita pockets to fill mine, I toasted them first for just a minute. Really good! I am really enjoying this new meatless thing, I don't fill so heavy after eating.


When I ran out the door for a 6 miler this morning I had no idea I'd get some good duathlon practice. 3 miles into the run, HURICANE season in Houston DOWNPOUR!!! I was soaked (as in just jumped in the lake kind of soaked) in a matter of seconds. At one point lightening struck so close I could smell the smoke. Yikers. Most of all, it was a lot of fun and refreshing.

*By the way, I made qunioa burgers for dinner tonight...delish!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Q and A


Okay, so I've got a question. Two questions, actually.

1) Is there something other than running that I can do for a cardio work out that won't irritate my IT band? I had problems with it after Madison and I ran the other day and it started acting up again, the other knee this time. It gets really tight and feels like it's going to snap. I did the elliptical machine instead, but it isn't as cardio intensive. Any suggestions?

2) How do I get rid of my mommy tummy? I mean, what should I focus on more cardio or ab work out or what? I know I need to do both cardio and strength and some flexibility, but what is most important for this particular "problem"? I was asking Chris last night and we both agreed that I never really got rid of the whole thing after Madison. I lost all the weight and more, but the darn bump never went away...


1. If there's one thing I know about runners, it's that it's hard to replace running! We love it and few things make us feel as good and as happy. However, swimming and possible jumping rope will give you a GREAT cardio workout without irritating your IT band. I've been there before with the IT band and mine acts up every once in a while if I'm not being a good girl and doing to following:

*Weights! Squat, lunges, adductor moves.
*Yoga! one of the best poses for the IT band is the side plank. Start by lying on your side on the ground, legs extending straight. Lift up on one forearm and the outside edge of foot (stack feet). HOLD! Do this on the side that hurts and the other side too just in case! Also do this pose lifted onto your hand, opposite arm stretched in air. Seriously, do yoga! If I'm doing it faithfully NOTHING EVER HURTS!

2. Mommy tummy, oh yes. It sounds like you have a good grasp on the fact that you need to mix up your workout, so I won't go there (but it's important). I won't say that one thing is more important than the other, but how you are performing each of these things could be more of the answer. Going for a fun jog is always great, but a track workout that really kicks your trash a few times a week is going to tone you like never before. Lifting weights is important, but adding plyometrics, kenetic strength training or dynamic movements(lifting weights while performing multi-planar movements), and really kicking your trash a few times a week is a must. Stretching for a few minutes after a workout is smart, but comiting to a serious yoga session and really kicking your trash is going to take you to where you want to be. If you've caught my really have to kick your trash a few times a week! If I truely had to narrow it down to one thing that can really get your tummy toned like before, I would say kenetic strength training. There, I picked one. ALSO!!! just to cut yourself a break, TIME is an important factor. It takes 2-5 years for a body to recover from a pregnancy. So, getting your best abs back may also be a matter of time off from having babies. Until then, suck it in. Really, just sucking your tummy in throughout the day can build and tone muscle!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

It's a Meat thing

Tomorrow makes 1 week of no meat for those trying the vegetarian lifestyle for a month. I just wanted to see how you all are doing, any changes you've notices, difficulties/successes you're having.

A few things that I've heard from "you" are: face is clearing up of zits...or was that the chemical peel from 2 weeks before?, lost 1 pound with no changes besides no meat, feeling lighter, and trying some new foods.

As for myself, I'm feeling pretty good. Just being more aware about protein and making sure I don't accidentally pop some chicken into my mouth has woken me up to a lot of thing. I'm definitely eating more veggies, something that I normally struggle with. Now that I have a normal food missing from my diet, I've turned to broccoli, carrots, beets (yes, I now like beets!), peppers, and cucumbers to fill the hole (and I like it!). I have had a rough time getting the protein that I do need in. I've stocked up on quinoa now and I think that I'll be okay this next week. I feel like I've been eating better all together, just being more aware of what's going on, however, I've also had a problem getting enough calories. I know, sounds like a dumb problem, but before I go to eat something, I think, "I don't eat meat, I shouldn't eat candy, I don't want to eat yucky processed foods, or white pastas....there's nothing to eat!" So, I end up eating nothing and finally not enough. I just bough a bunch of Tupperware and I'm just going to cut up veggies, cook beans, quinoa, etc and have everything ready so I'm not constantly making food, and I think that will help me out on the "there's nothing to eat" problem I've been having. Also, having some freezer vegetarian options will also help.

Again, how are you all doing? Please make sure you're getting enough protein!!!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

You've gotta try this!

Just ran in from a new fantastic repeat run. All of you who are reading this and still have not broken out of the rut, running the same miles at the same speed, please try this one out!

In fact, I ran 8 miles on Thursday at a decent pace, but was bored out of my mind on the treadmill and almost talked myself out of it several times. Today I also ran 8 miles, but using this workout and LOVED it. The miles sped by faster and were much more effective and intertaining!

Warm up 2 miles

5x1200 going race pace (early in training you can go a little slower, later in training you can go a little faster)

400 rest jog between each repeat
Cool down 1.5 miles

This workout is also a little less daunting than mile repeat (being that it's just 3 laps!)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Meatless Monday

I just got clued into this site and think that it's potentially great! I have to check it out a bit more, but it will be great for those of us doing the Meatless Month.

I'd just like you all to know that I survived a baseball game yesterday on hummus and pita chips (super yum) and a veggie hot dog (I'll pass next time).

Monday, July 14, 2008

Meatless for a month

Okay, today is the start of our meatless month. Last night I had "Mighty Meat" pizza...yum. I could only eat a few pieces and thought, "I'll save it for tomorrow." Then I remembered, and ate another piece! ha!

Good luck everyone...write in with how it's going!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Quinoa. Let me introduce you to this protein packed little seed. It's sweet, nutty flavor is great for breakfast, salads, dinner and dessert. It contains all nine essential amino acids, making it a complete protein (a raritey in plant protein sources). It's rich in fiber, VB6, Riboflavin, Magnesium, Zinc, and Iron. Perfect for our meat free challenge. I've seen it in lots of spots in the those clear "Red Mill" packages or boxed by the flax seed.

Here's several recipes you can try:

Greek-Style Quinoa Burgers (I'll be trying this one for sure!)
serves 4
prep time 35 mins

1/2 cup quinoa, rinsed
1 medium carrot, cut in large chunks
6 scallions, thinly sliced
1 can (15 ounces) great northern beans, draned and rinsed
1/4 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon ground cumin
coarse salt and ground pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 cup plain nonfat Greek yogurt
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
4 pita breads (6-inch)
1/2 English cucumber, thinly sliced diagonally

1. In a small saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of water to a boil, add quinoa, cover, and reduce heat to low. Cook until liquid is absorbed, 12-14 mins, set aside (stop here for basic quinoa recipe).

2. In a food processor, pulse carrot until finely chopped. Add cooked quinoa, half the scallions, beans, bread crumbs, egg, cumin, 1 teaspoon slat, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper; pulse until combined but still slightly chunky.

3. Form mixture into four 3/4 inch think patties (dip hands in water to prevent sticking). If too soft, refrigerate 10 mins to firm. In a large nonstick skillet, heat oil over medium; cook burgers until browned and cooked through, 8-10 mins per side.

4. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt, lemon juice, and the remaining scallions; season with salt and pepper. Serve burgers in pita topped with cucumber and yogurt sauce.

per serving: 493 cals, 20 g protien, 14 g fat, 75 g carb, 13 g fiber

Quinoa Pudding
serves 8
prep time 30 mins

Pair this lighter version of rice pudding with your favorite dried fruit

3/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
4 cups skim milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup honey
2 large eggs
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots

1. In a large saucepan, bring quinoa and 3 cups milk to a boil; reduce to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 12-14 mins.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, whisk together sugar, honey, eggs, cardamom, and remaining cup of milk. Reduce heat to medium-low. Stirring constantly, slowly pour egg mixture into quinoa; add raisins and apricots.

3. Cook, stirring constantly, until mixture is think enough to coat the back of a spoon, 3-5 mins. Pour pudding into a 2-quart dish and let cool slightly. Cover surface directly with plastic and refrigerate until cool, at least 2 hours.
(I like mine hot though!)

per serving 226 cals, 9g protein, 2 g fat, 45 g carb, 2 g fiber

Quinoa Salad

2 cups quinoa
1/2 cup crushed hazelnuts, toasted
1/4 cup minced green onions
1/4 cup dry black currants, soaked in warm water then drained
1/4 cup sherry vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

Boil 4 cups water, add quinoa and cook on medium heat for 10 mins. Drain in strainer, then spread on cookie sheet and let cool. Do not rinse.

After quinoa has cooled, place in a bowl, add the remaining ingredients and season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.

As an option: Add 1/4 cup finely crumbled blue veined cheese.

YUM!!! Can't wait to try these!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Getting Ready

With our vegetarian challenge just a few days away we have to get ready! Like I said earlier, we will be getting rid of meat but NOT the protien! Protien is important for people who exercise in just a few YOUR MUSCLES are made of the stuff! Sooo, we need to really make sure we're getting the right amount since we're getting rid our usual protien supplier. Without protien, fatigue, injury and amenorrhea are just a few of the problems we'd be facing. No thank you.

Most people need between .36 and .8 grams of protien/pound body weight each day. If you are active you'll obviously be on the higher end of that scale. I'm going to recommend we all get at least .5g/pound body weight each day.

Since we're not eating meat we'll also have to be aware of our Iron, Calcium, Zinc and vB12 intake which we also commonly get from meat sources. Whole grains, veggies, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds, and soy products will help with the iron, calcium and zinc. Breakfast cereal w/ milk, fortified soy milk, soy/veggie burgers will fill in with vB12.

I'm excited because I think we'll all become more aware of protien and it's importance and learn about alternative protien sources to meat.

I'll be posting more ideas, but for now stock up on:

*hummus *cottage cheese *peanut butter *legumes!! *soy products *veggie burgers(I love the black bean kind) *whole grains *veggies *fruits *nuts *seeds *cereal *protien bars (find one with little sugar...these may help get that protien in if you're having a hard time

Your homework:

*calculate your protien needs with at least .5g protien/pound body weight
*go shopping for some yummy meat alternatives
*email me if you're really in...I need current weight & height, current consumption of meat, age, activity level, current energy level (how you're feeling)...

Thursday, July 3, 2008


Quieting a few concerns:

This is not a protein free study. We will be eating from mostly non-animal protein sources. We will still eat eggs, cheese, milk and other animal products, just not meat. We will make sure that we're getting enough protein from other sources, it will be fun to try a few new vegetarian products.

As runners/joggers/dancers/people/exercisers it is important to eat protien!

In the next few weeks leading up to the 14th I will be posting recommendations and menu ideas. I'm not going to leave you high and dry!

All other aspects of your diet should remain the same. This way we can see what change occurs based soley on eliminating meat from the diet.

Feel free to voice other concerns.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Join me for a study

I've alway been interested in the benifits of a vegetarian diet. However, I also feel that meat is important (and tasty) too. I've read several studies on the benifits of eating a vegetarian diet during the summer months including a cooler body temperature and metabolic cleansing and rest. It also seems that during these months it's difficult to avoid eating meat due to all of the parties, bbq's, and baseball games. In an effort to motivate myself to give this summer vegetarian diet a try, I thought I'd make it official and hopefully get some people to join me.

I want to really see if there is a change in the way you feel in response to a summer vegetarian diet. Here are some of the controls I'd like to present in this study for the participants.

*currently consume meat product (pork, chicken, turkey, beef, etc.) at least once every other day (at LEAST!)

*are willing to provide a record of current weight, current amount/type/frequency of meat consumption

*NOT eat meat for 1 month (once the study begins)

*are willing to provide a record of changes seen in weight, overall health, and any other noticible changes

*Study will commence the 14th of July until the following month, the 14th of August.

I know that this may seem a little challenging, but it will help to do it as a group and I would love to provide support along the way. I will post vegetarian recipes and other helps as we go.

Please sign up in the comments below and write any other questions you may have.