The mountains of my youth. This is home, and it always will be. I did an amazing hike with my parents while up in NC last week. Super fun and a great way to get some fitness in.
I mentioned previously that I’ve done a bit of a shake up with my workouts lately. In Miami there was a lot of walking: at least a mile or two, or five, every day. It was amazing and that’s something that I totally miss about living in a place where everything that you need is at your fingertips. Also as I mentioned, while I was down there I had a bit of frustration with my work out routine — I began to feel a bit bored with it and a little frustrated with my fitness progress.
Walking shoes bought in Miami. I’ve taken to going on more walks these days to keep up the wandering I started this summer.
Let me step back here for a minute and really talk about what it is that I do first off. I’m a volume lifter. That means low weight, high reps. I do most of my exercise in my own apartment, not at the gym. This is what works for me; I like the time to unplug and listen to a podcast or NPR, make lovey eyes at the cat and walk into the kitchen every time I need to. I take about 1 rest day per week, more if I need to, and have 2 days of cardio.
Lately, I’ve bumped up my reps even more and made an effort to keep a better count of sets I’m doing each day. A few new movements tossed in the mix and I’ve been a bit sore lately. Such a welcome feeling! I love kicking my own ass, and feeling super strong both in the process and as a result. Nothing like it in the world.
That said, my eating has gotten a bit of a bump up too. I’ve been paying attention to macro nutrients, which are the big 4 primary groups of foods that your body needs. That breaks down to: carbs, fats, proteins, and greens. Okay, so greens aren’t REALLY a macro, it’s just the first three, but to me they are! With each meal, I’ve been trying to get in my greens, complex carbs, and proteins. Often, as shown above, this translates to greens, grains, and beans! This past week, it’s been mainly lunches of red quinoa, black beans, massaged kale salad dressed with a bit of olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, and red onions with tomatoes thrown in. Oh, and I added a roasted pepper just for kicks. Basically the feed bag formula!
This week it’s something similar: I’m making fresh hummus, brown rice cooked in homemade veggie stock, and some adzuki beans. Those will go with greens and a few fresh veggies for my lunch bowls this week; the hummus will be a side with some carrot sticks or as a snack smeared on a brown rice cake with sliced local tomato on top. I’ve been playing with my oils lately–trying to use a few different ones and measuring them out etc. to make sure that part of my eating is well balanced. I eat a bit of peanut butter a couple of times a week, and the occasional avocado, so my cooking oils tend to fill in the fats gap in my food consumption. Been digging coconut oil these days! And there’s always a bottle of olive oil in the cabinet above the stove for cooking. Stoked to play with a few more sauces and dips in the coming weeks, getting a few of those down before the semester begins next month.
Breakfasts are often overnight oats soaked in unsweetened almond milk. These usually get mixed with some protein powder (Vega’s french vanilla these days) and I often soak the oats with chia seeds. I also keep Lara bars, fruit, and some sort of nuts on hand for snacks and to keep hanger at bay. I’ve been making more of an effort to prepare as much as possible in my own kitchen. This is not only rewarding (cooking is a great stress relief outlet for me) but it’s also something I’m trying for my own and for overall environmental health. Example: I’m doing away with canned beans! I’m cooking my own from dried, bulk purchased beans. Not only is this a bit cheaper, but the beans are so delicious cooked this way! The waste and energy that goes into packaging is also greatly reduced.
This has led me to renew my love of beans, try a few new ones (I’ve never cooked adzukis before!) and get more creative with ways to season, prepare, and eat legumes. I got this idea from my father who has been cooking his own beans a lot lately, too. I’ve adopted his bean cooking formula: soak over night in a brine (1 teaspoon salt per every 2 cups of water) wash, rebrine, bring to a boil, let sit for 2 hours, bring to a boil again, another 2 hours and done! So far, this has worked perfectly for all of my legumes. If anything, smaller/softer beans like garbanzos and adzukis will only need one boil/cool round. When you’re done, the beans will be al dente. You can eat them as is, reheat them, or add them to other dishes. I drain my beans and put them in the fridge after they’ve cooled. Lately, I’ve just been adding them to kale salads and spooning them into my lunch bowls, sans augmentation.
So The Foods these days: macros at every meal! Trying creatively to get good fats in, eating almost exclusively from my own kitchen. Completely gluten free. Eating frequently, and loving every bite.
Food updates on Veganland are always based on my own personal experiences and what’s working for me at the time when they are written. They are in no way intended to serve as a model or act as medical/dietary advice. As always: you do you!