Welcome, 2012!

I don’t think I could welcome a New Year more than this year. Has it been a year since I wrote about my thoughts on New Year “resolutions” already? And I must admit 2012 has started off quite well in my book. I find a new year is similar to a new beginning– another year has passed, many lessons learnt, and I am–you– are here. Yes, 2011 did not end with the happiest of endings (a car accident puts the miracle of being alive into perspective), but what better way to start a new year, thankful for everything that has occurred?

I’ve welcomed amazing warm weather, which has allowed me to spend more time outside doing the things I love and not cooped up on the trainer. Not that cold weather has stopped me in the past year from doing anything outside, but for some reason with this mild weather we have had recently in the Northeast, I’ve become more sensitive to the cold; perhaps because I’m simply not used to biking or running in sub-freezing weather yet. It’s only a matter of time before I’m dressed like an insane person. And, I learned that watching The League while riding the trainer doesn’t work so well. Trying to stay focused on target heart rate/interval time and cracking up with tears in my eyes from laughing so hard/the inability to breathe because of laughter are two things which I cannot do at the same time.

Cheesy smile, matching my bike mountain bike ride at 909. Yes, I'm working on the shoes.

For those of you in the area, there are specific places in the Hudson Valley which have great, well maintained mountain bike paths. Click here for a great website which hosts numerous different mountain biking paths in different counties in the area.

Frozen fingers, toes, and frozen smile. If only I wore my white helmet, I'd be completely color coordinated with my bike, again.

I’ve welcomed the ability to experiment with my knife in the kitchen–and, knock on wood, I have not sliced off any tips of my phalanges. If you are looking for a simple, easy, healthy dinner idea, I cooked Eggplant and Chickpea Curry the other night, which can be spiced up for those who can tolerate spicier foods, and was a hit, even for the non-vegetarian I prepared it for. I cannot wait until I can test out other recipes…Perhaps another dinner party might be in my future.

It looks like a one-pot mess, but smells incredible. Yay for spices!

The only thing in the recipe which takes time is the eggplant, which needs to be baked before being added to the chickpeas and red pepper/tomato/onion mixture.

With fresh parsley garnish served over couscous

I’ve welcomed being introduced to new places, including the  Stockade in uptown Kingston, which is a must-visit small bar in (yes, you guessed correctly) Kingston, New York. What was at one time a sewing location is now a quaint bar with old sewing machines as tables and serves clever beverages from different eras, and almost perfectly symmetrical ice cubes. If you have never been there before, I would advise asking the waitress what the drinks are when she does ask if you have questions about the menu. I did not really have a clue as to what I was ordering, only upon leaving was it when I realized that the reason my choice was so incredibly strong and why I could not finish it was because it was composed of five different alcohols.

Holy strong drink, the Grand Carre

I’ve welcomed being able to spend time with friends and those whom I care about– I am determined to spend more time with others this year…And I’ve welcomed living a non- nocturnal life. It really is incredible how different running at two in the afternoon feels than running at two in the morning. Ohh sun, how I’ve missed you.

Sunset

I’ve welcomed the ability to start afresh.

I wish you a belated very happy, healthy, and fantastic New Year!

And, once again, I leave you with a couple music videos– the first being the theme song to my first mtn bike ride of the year (or rather, it was on the radio and I knew exactly who was singing it). The second, from a movie which put even more crazy cycling ideas into my head. Ohh man, it’s dangerous to introduce me to anything related to running or biking…Or climbing…Or anything dealing with the outdoors that pushes you mentally and physically and emotionally, actually.

Every end is a new beginning. 

Advertisements

One Week…Not That Anyone is Counting…

For the first time, I’m following the advice of a trained medical professional (minus the me working part) and have not done any training whatsoever in a week. Seven (almost) full days. No pool. No bike. No running–ehh, well, exception taken for being at work, as nursing does entail a fair amount of running around and somewhat heavy lifting. And, if I go any longer without activity, I might go crazy.* For this chica to go from being “I-need-to-be-doing-something-twenty-four-seven” to, basically, doing nothing, something drastic must have happened. Let me tell you, this inactivity has definitely been quite an experience in itself. I’ve slept more in the past four days than total hours of sleep I’ve had in the past month, and am still more fatigued that I was when working and training. It’s odd, I feel I have much more time on my hands now.

So, what have I been doing, except for sleeping upto, if not more than, twelve hours a day (I know, unbelievable, right)? Let me tell you.

1. I’ve gone through all 2011 Oscar Nominees and Oscar Nominations, and composed a list of who I think should win this year. The movies are all impressive, but I really thought James Franco had a moving performance in 127 Hours— a film I strongly suggest everyone see, but do warn that some of the content is not suitable for the faint of heart. However, Colin Firth is a brilliant actor. (Ladies, who could forget Mr. Darcy?)

2.I’ve learned that plastic melts quite quickly, and the fire alarms in my house function without a problem. Furthermore, I have the mouth of a sailor not only when cycling up hills but when things are burning in my kitchen.

Oops, my bad

3.On that note, I have embarked on a culinary and baking expedition, turning my kitchen into a food laboratory: dissecting, slicing, marinating… Experimenting with types of flour I have never heard of…And I’ve decided that the Geuss name should once again be associated with baking.**

My make-shift steamer, after melting plastic

It’s advised that you make sure you have all the cookware needed before starting to cook

4.After creating dozens (I kid you not) of different baked goods, I’ve decided to go on a raw foods diet, thus further exploring the raw foods culinary world (it was more of a decision made due to the fact I only have raw foods left in my house and do not feel like going shopping–to think I lived over a year in Virginia without a car and had more food in my refrigerator than I do now with two cars is somewhat concerning). I made Mediterranean Tabouli out of Hemp Seeds*** last night, as well as homemade peanut butter. Matt Amsden is a culinary genius. Note: this decision to go raw will not affect my baking safari, so fear not, if you live close to me, you’ll still receive plenty of baked goods.

5. I’ve learned that not only does my cat eat Tofu, but will also consume Soy Milk when she’s on a Molly Diet (aka, an “I really need to go shopping because I ran out of cat food” diet). I think she is a much happier, healthier cat now, as she runs into walls less. We are still working on mouse hunting skills together.****

6.I’ve watched an insane amount of YouTube and Netflix videos, teary eyed from laughing so much. I’m not going to say how many, because that is simply embarrassing.

7.After losing my mobile phone, and time spent debating with coworkers if I should go iPhone or other Smartphone route, the fact Verizon will have the iPhone next month pretty much made my decision for me.

8. I think Justin Harris is my new triathlon idol. I have Jennifer Dougherty to thank for this.

Lastly, number 9. I’ve decided to take up Snowshoeing (I have my father to thank for putting this idea into my head) when I’m allowed to be the overly active person once again.

The list could go on, but whilst taking a break from composing this post, I decided it was necessary to pick a shovel back up and finish the walkways, and just found out from the head doctor it’s okay for me to spend QT with my Scott once again…And found my phone…And went food shopping.

As pretty as snow is, I’m ready for spring

*Some would argue that I’ve already gone mad. As long as I have not lost my sense of humor, everything is okay.

**My great grandfather was a baker who owned the Geuss Bakery in Kingston, which closed down in the 1950’s after a fire.

***Hemp seeds are one of those “perfect foods” which contain all necessary amino acids to sustain life. No, you do not get high when eating them raw.

****Don’t worry, I take very good care of my cat. I actually have plenty of cat food in my car, so Lucky will continue to be a worry-free, happy-as-a-clam, fat, friendly feline who simply stares at mice running across the floor.

She Cooks

It’s a new year, and you know what that means: new years resolutions are the talk amongst friends sitting and getting coffee. It’s in magazines. On television. What is your new years resolution? Things people say they are going to do and stick with the resolution for a couple weeks, and then the excitement of changing something in their lifestyle dwindles right along with the resolution. That’s why I’ve never made new year resolutions. Instead, I prefer to see something in my life which needs some “tidying up,” and work on that. For example, my spelling skills need work (read any of my posts and you are sure to find numerous spelling mistakes).

This post is actually about food, not bikes, or guitars, or races. But food is a vital component for any athlete. Whetever he or she puts into her mouth can affect his or her performance drastically.

After  swimming 2100 at Bard, and a 45 minutes on the trainer, I became somewhat hungry and decided to check out my culinary skills and…cook. Start the new year off with eating healthy. Sounds like a good idea, right? Plus, after stepping on the scale for the first time in who knows how long I found out that I gained (gasp) weight. The dreaded 6-letter word starting with “w.” There’ll be no meat in the picture (which is easy since I’m a vegetarian),  no sweets, even as tempting as they might be at work and you are exhausted at 0400. No dairy, which can help improve the digestive system. So, basically, a modified vegetarian diet…Almost exactly what I was before.

This change in eating habits actually occured after someone looked into my refrigerator (and the scale issue had something to do with it too), the interior composed of only a jar of pickles, britta filter with about three drops of water, Soy milk, and lettuce.”I think you need to go get some food. Your refrigerator is pathetic.” I felt embarrassed for my poorly stocked refrigerator. So, this girl, more commonly known for her baking (heck, the baking runs in the Geuss blood), is brushing off the spider webs of her knife handling skills

I wandered around the internet for some healthy yet nutritious and easy thing to make, and I came up with Sweet Potato Falafel with  Yogurt Tahini.  If a meal will take me more than 20minutes to prepare, chances are I’ll lose attention and bag the recipe (sounds like trying to stick to a training plan). This evening I decided to try this recipe out, after seeing in on  Fat-Free Vegan Kichen’s web site (great site if you want something easy to make, and lots of vegetarian/vegan options).

The ingedients:

1/2 tablespoon ground flax seeds + 2 tbsp hot water
2 medium sweet potatoes (about 18 ounces, total)
2-3 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
1/8 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (to taste)
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup minced parsley
juice of 1 lemon
1 cup chickpea flour or besan
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
sesame seeds (optional)

the ingredients (sweet potatoes were in the oven)

Mix the flax seeds with two tablespoons hot water and set aside to thicken. This acts as a binding agent, similar to what eggs do.

Pierce sweet potatoes several times with a fork and place on paper towels in microwave. Microwave on high for 2 minutes, turn over, and then cook for another 2 minutes. Check for tenderness, and if not cooked all the way through, cook in increments of 30 seconds until tender. Set aside to cool until easy to handle; peel and place in a large bowl.

note: I put my sweet potatoes in the oven, as I never knew you could cook a potato in the microwave…

Preheat oven to 400F. Mash sweet potatoes well with a masher or a fork. Add the flax mixture, seasonings (including parsley), and lemon juice and stir well. Mix the chickpea flour with the baking powder and add it a little at a time to the sweet potato mixture. Stir until well-combined. Batter should be stiff; if not, add chickpea flour a tablespoon at a time until batter is thick. (If the batter is too stiff to blend in all the flour, add water a tablespoon at a time.)

all the ingredients in one bowl

Oil a baking sheet or line it with parchment paper or silicone baking mat. Use a cookie scoop or rounded tablespoon to make about 20-22 little mounds of dough on the baking sheet (dippingthe scoop in water every now and then will help prevent the dough from sticking to it).

balls

Flatten the balls to about 1/2-inch thick and 1 1/2-inches wide. Sprinkle with sesame seeds, if desired.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until bottoms are medium brown. Serve hot with yogurt-tahini sauce.

I made a pick-your-own- veggie station...for myself (not crazy at all, right?)

Since I didn’t have any tahini paste with me, I  made home made Tzatziki sauce to go with them, which worked out perfectly.

Et voila: la Pièce de résistance

Now that it is 2011, a fresh new year, a time we can start over again, improving ourselves, learning from the mistakes of the past…How amazing life gives you second chances!

I hope this year will find you good health, happiness, a life full of  friendships and amazing experiences which are yet to come.

Happy Belated New Year

Experiment

A lot has happened to me this past year, and I’ve come to accept what has happened, happened. It’s never to late to look back on your life, and decide to change. And with night shifts starting, I’ve noticed my body has been affected negatively and something needs to change.

With the night shifts, my eating habits have been poor, my caffeine intake has skyrocketed, and I am exhausted. It messes up your sleep pattern. Actually, it just messes you up, period. Even though now I have the ability to go for a run or ride before work, which I could not do when it was so dark in the mornings (but my Petzel headlamp always helped when I ran in the dark–which is a positive,) my body feels yucky. Ohh Memories of running up and down, zigzagging through the streets of alexandria, met the newspaper man delivering newspapers to all the shops along King Street, and Starbucks on Orocono preparing for their first customers…

Anyway, I’ve decided it’s come to make a change–wipe my palate clean, so to say. My experiment is more like a lifestyle change. My friend is completing a  “cleanse” as we speak. She said she feels amazing–and her face is glowing. I tried going two days on her cleanse but could not survive without the caffeine during night shifts. But, I  have a feeling the change in eating will help me feel better, both inside and out, and give my body a break.

So what does that mean? Nix the sugar–of any kind. Nothing artificial–no diet cokes, no “diet” anything…Waaaay to many chemicals in those foods.  I read once an athletic journal on how athletes, switch to gluten-free diets during their training and this seems to improve their performance. Honestly, I forgot the Journal’s name. Therefore, I’m trying this gluten free diet- it may be easier on my intestines, and may make my stomach less irritable. The body is incredible at sensing the smallest changes your body makes. So, no more gluten (for now)–this might actually help with my horrible stomach disomfort I always have. I am also cutting out anything that is canned . If it’s fresh and colorful, I can eat it. Cutting out meat will not be an issue, because I’m already a vegetarian. No dairy. Only fresh foods. I can eat seeds, lentils, nuts, soy, etc. I actually just  cooked up kale for the first time in my life the other day, and realized there are so many different wonderful, exotic fruits and vegetables that we never eat.

Kale chips--actually pretty tasty- mine did not come out as pretty as the ones in this picture

It’s just an experiment to see how I feel. I’m hoping it will give me more energy, help me improve physically, and give my body a rest from all the crap I’ve been doing to it.

When was the last crazy post written?

October 2019
M T W T F S S
« Apr    
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031  

What’s catching peoples attention

Sign up to receive updates on my adventures by email.

Join 73 other followers

Monthly Archives of my nonsense