Tofu Tactics

Hey HEY hey! How you doin’? I really can’t complain here. I started out the day totally feeling like McGrumpster, but just now realized that a lot of good things happened today, and I really need to kick myself in the booty if I decide to be grumpy for no reason again.

Anyway, this morning I continued the trend of waking up with the moon around 4:45, and by 5:00 a.m. I was out the door and on my way to meet my girl, Heidi at the gym.

I had my ushe pre-workout snack:

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Smushy smushy then devour

but then I decided to do something in addition…I made coffee! I made it as fast as I could in my sleep deprived state, and drank about a half cup on the way to the gym. Honestly, guys – my run was so much better. Unfortunately, this kind of made me lose faith in the ever-so-hyped up Maca powder. Coffee-1. Maca-0. I’ll continue to sprinkle it on for taste and “energy,” but there’s really nothing like a good ol’ cup of joe.

At the gym, I ran 3.1 miles at my 5k pace, which is currently about 9:07. We decided to make it a cardio-only day, and finished out our workouts on the stair stepper. Fun, schweaty times 🙂

Got back to the crib, showered, and got ready for work, and pulled my breakfast out of the fridge:

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Not my greatest recreation of the breakfast cookie. Sometimes it’s best to stick with what we know. However, it was tasty, and did it’s job of being breakfast for the day. In the combo: 1/2 c. oats, 1 large banana (too large,) 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder, 1.5 T. PB2, 1 t. stevia, and a handful of raisins. Like I said – it did the job.

 

Work was super busy, but sped by like a freight train! However, the good news is, I got to depart to my favorite restaurant here in town for lunch! (Bad news is it was a goodbye lunch because my friend/coworker is leaving the team:( ) I didn’t whip out the camera and take a picture, because there were co workers there who don’t know about the blog, but let me tell you, the salad I ate was foodgasm worthy. Oh man, oh man. Let me paint a picture for you with my words: roasted beets, almond encrusted goat cheese, sun dried cherries, and avocado, atop a bed of arugula leaves. See? I told ya. Died and went to yumtopia.

Got back to work, regained my composure, and did the work thang for a few more hours. By the time I left for home, my body was practically begging me for a nap. You see, I haven’t been sleeping well at all lately. I’m not alarmed by this, because whenever I embark on a new and exciting, but somewhat life-altering journey, I either have nightmares or don’t sleep. This time it’s the latter. Combine that with 4:45 a.m. wake up calls and you get one tired Paigey.

To combat the weary eyes, I went to the bed as soon as I walked in the door, and rested for about a half hour with the furbabies until I was off to the gym to train a client. Even though I didn’t get in any sleep, it totally revived me! 😀 Plus, I was looking forward to the training session, so that always helps.

I got home a little while later and was starving. My appt. was at 6:00, so dinner time was a little later than usual, but I knew exactly what to make…Leftovers! Leftovers are great. They’re cheap, quick, easy, and don’t require much thought. The only downside? It’s a little repetitive. But, my bloggy friends, it doesn’t have to be!

For my dinner, I took the exact same coconut encrusted tofu I made last night, and made a totally different meal out of it, thanks to these guys:

 

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That would be dressing. More specifically, 1 T. coconut oil, 1 T. Rice vinegar, 1 T. agave, and a couple shakes of sea salt! I just put it in this container…

 

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And shook my its money maker!

Add a bed of greens, and you have a delicious and reinvented tofu salad!IMG_5580

 

Please make this dressing and this tofu and thusly, this salad.

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Had it with a side of Trader Joe’s low sodium organic red pepper and tomato bisque soup and some blueberries on the side. Perfecto!

A quick note about tofu… Many of you commented in yesterday’s post that you just can’t seem to make tofu how you like it. Seriously I thought the same thing. I tried baking it, frying it, sauteeing it, and nothing worked. Until one day I accidentally let my tofu freeze, and thusly had to thaw it out. Well apparently when you thaw out tofu, the texture of it becomes spongey. That’s how I found out I only like tofu that’s spongey!! Now every time I buy a pack, I immediately freeze it. Added bonus is it’s better longer 😀 So there ya go…if you just can’t seem to make tofu turn out right, try freezing it. Just a suggestion 😉

 

Well, friends, I should probably but myself off, as it seems I’m in quite the rambly mood tonight. I should get ready to hit the sack anyway. I’m crossing my fingers I get in a somewhat decent night’s sleep!!

 

Question: What’s your faaavorite dish to make for leftovers? I’m a huge proponent of anything leftover, but I really like chili (duh) and any kind of pasta dish 🙂

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Silicon Loose Leaf Tea Infuser and a Cardio Party

Good morning lovely blogettes:) How’s your weekend going so far? Mine has been productive and relaxing – just the way I like ‘em 😉 Shane’s also had a good birthday weekend so far, too.

Yesterday I went to a cardio extravaganza at Gold’s Gym with a few of my girlfriends. We all met there at 8:15 to start with a kick booty spin class. It was a great class with lots of hills, jumps, and climbs. Very heart pumping, and I loved every minute of it. Our instructor went to a Hairbanger’s Ball concert the night before, so her music was inspired by that. Perfect:D So we spun until 9:30, and then jumped on the new arc-trainers at the gym until Zumba at 10:00. Zumba was OK…I liked the first zumba class I went to a while back at Four Seasons gym more. Better music, better moves, better instructors. It was still a fabulous time, though, and a kick butt workout.

Since I burned over 1,000 calories, afterward, I felt like I could eat my leg. Luckily, I ate some Clif shot blocks between classes, but man was I faint/hungry at the end. I couldn’t even wait to make something. I  drove straight to the best place ever:

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And I was so excited to see the Chipotle supports the movie, Food, Inc in that it purchases food that is ethical, environmentally friendly, and family-farmed. So I didn’t feel too bad when I ordered the hubski a carnitas burrito. 😉

I, myself, stuck with a veggie burrito bowl:

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Oh-so-good. I freakin’ love their guacamole!! They sure do load it on, too.

And since the next best place eva is just across the street, the smells lured me in and I had to have some samples:

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I sampled the apple cinnamon bread and the whole wheat bread. They were both glorious, but the whole wheat won my heart. I also had a slice with black cherry jam with my lunch:

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Ahh, finally the beast was tamed. I was full and happy and ready to start on housework. Until the tummy rumbler was knocking on my stomach walls yet again. To shut it up this time, I had a Green Monster with Amazing Meal protein powder, and then some hemp protein powder to boot:

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And drank it in a Family Guy drinking game glass because I’m oh-so-classy like that:

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After some dog walking, house cleaning, and yoga posing, it was time to kick some more booty. But this time, in a game of Euchre!

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That’s supposed to be my “you’re going down” face, but apparently it turned out to be my “I have no make up on and have been cleaning house all day, be scared” face. bahaha

On the table were some cut up cucumber, yellow pepper, and broccoli with hummus for me and ranch for Shane. Oh, and that glass o’ wine is for me, too.

And later some edamame hummus, just because I’m addicted: IMG_1987 IMG_1989 

Unfortunately, Shane kicked my butt by a long shot. *sigh* Can’t win ‘em all!

I drowned my sorrows in this cute little new apparatus I bought!

I’ve been reading about the benefits of loose leaf tea, and was so excited to make some: IMG_1349

It’s a cute silicon tea infuser that looks like a strawberry! I used my Republic of Tea green tea to use on it

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Ya just take off the “stem,” pour in the tea, and steep in hot water with the “lid” they provide:

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Then after your done, the lid becomes a saucer for you to put the infuser on as to not get any wet, messy tea residue on your counters:

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And the tea was glorious!

Some of the benefits of loose leaf tea:

  • The tea leafs are notably larger in loose leaf tea than in bagged, which results in a better taste, because when the leaves are crumbled, the essential oils can evaporate
  • Loose leaf tea generally costs less, if compared by volume
  • More flavor options in loose leaf tea, as you can buy a few and customize your own 🙂

I’m off to meet my girl, Heidi at the gym for some full body weights (I’ve been slacking in that department!!) and then some Starbuckies. See you all tomorrow, and I hope you all have a glorious end to your weekend!

Cardio, Weights, Weights, Cardio, Weights….

Since my focus on strength training has been amplified lately, I’ve had to make some decisions and changes to make strength training have a nice fit in my workout schedule. As I’ve explained in a couple recent posts, I do three days of strength training. However, you might agree with me that fitting in a solid strength-training routine can be quite a feat.

In my opinion, the biggest dilemma occurs when one can’t dedicate separate days for cardio and separate days for strength training. This happens a lot when one prefers to do cardio during every workout, or when they can only dedicate a few days a week to working out.

I work out 6 days a week, which allows me to squeeze in two days of focusing solely on strength training. I don’t do cardio on these days (besides the warm up and cool down.) I have three days for all out cardio on separate days (usually running.) But on the other strength training day, I need to do cardio too. That leads me to the big debate: Cardio first or weights first?

Note: The below opinion is just that – my opinion. It’s just what works best for me. Although I’ve done research on the topic, I’m not a professional on the topic!

In my opinion, if you need to do both weights and cardio in the same sweat session, then weights should take up the first half of your workout. Now obviously there are exceptions, such as if someone’s training for a race, and wants to devote as much energy to accomplishing that as possible. Depending on your fitness goals, your mileage may vary, however, in general, this is the rule I follow when trying to achieve balance. Again, this is what works best for me
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If I use up most of my energy first on a treadmill or elliptical machine, my form suffers during strength training. However if I do weights first, I still have enough energy to get through a moderate intensity cardio workout afterwards. Moreover, when I have poor form, I am much more prone to injury. I’m all about safety and not getting injured, and I’ve noticed I’m much more fatigued trying to lift weights after a cardio session.

Additionally, if I feel fatigued, I know I won’t be able to lift what I’m capable of. And if I’m lifting, it’s safe to assume I’m trying to get stronger, and if I’m not even lifting what I’m able to, this wouldn’t be much of a help.

Lastly, weight lifting eats up glycogen stores, so by doing cardio after, you could get a better workout burn-wise. After zapping glycogen stores, you’re more likely to burn off fat instead. (Note that I put this reason last, and yes, it’s because I think the first two hold more importance – much more.) Also, I understand there’s research that backs up both ways, but this is what has been working for me. (Have I said that yet? :-P)

Ideally, there would be 8 days in a week, and we could all do our cardio and weights on separate days. However, in reality, we’re all busy with scheduleds packed to the max. Depending on your fitness goals, you could choose to do cardio first, weight first, separate days, or even not at all! Do you have a routine you follow dealing with getting in both cardio and weights?

What method best for you?

Speaking of both cardio and strength-training, have you tried any Jillian Michaels’ DVD’s? Completely Delicious Life is having a giveaway for her book, “Making the Cut.” Check it out!

Plus, to recover from those hard workouts, Erica is giving away Mix-1 drinks.

I hope everyone’s having a great day! I’m excited because I see Indian food in my future. Thinking about getting Baigan Bharta this time, but we shall see 🙂