Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 6, 2009

It’s Friday and I PR’d!

And I just ran 4.25 miles.  That is the longest I have EVER run — can you believe it?  I didn’t have a pre-planned route this morning — and actually wanted to swim, but I woke up too late.  I just took off toward the ocean, and now I have a distance PR to end my week.

Today, I’m buying my secretary lunch because I accidentally caused her a little extra stress yesterday.  That means I don’t have to pack one — and that I have ten extra minutes to myself this morning.  Ahhhhh ……

Now time to put on a suit and go knock out this hearing 😉


Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 5, 2009

A Rest Day

It’s 6:30 a.m. and I’m awake with nowhere to go!  I don’t have any training planned today. I’ve already accomplished four sessions this week, and I want to be well-rested and full of energy and focus for today and tomorrow — both of which are hugely important days at work.

I’m using the extra time this morning to pack a brain-powering and energizing lunch and breakfast (a task which fell off my agenda last night when I ate dinner at 9 p.m.). This is not as easy to do when you’re out of spinach and tomatoes — two of my staples.

I made a mexican-themed rice bowl with black beans, diced red bell peppers, scallions, brown rice, and a scoop of herbed goat cheese on top:

Rice Bowl

To round it out, and to get me through the rest of the day, I also packed:

  • A whole wheat tortilla
  • Herdez salsa verde
  • A hard-boiled egg
  • A Honeycrisp apple
  • A string cheese
  • My Clif Kids Z Bar
  • Granola, and oatmeal mixed with extra flax seed, craisins, and sliced almonds
  • A banana

Friday is in sight now!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 5, 2009

Fast Food, Slower.

Tonight, I didn’t get home from work until after 8:30 p.m.  On the drive home, I was trying to identify what I wanted for dinner — and the truth is, I wanted fast food!   Frankly, I like fast food (and lots of other unhealthy foods — in moderation).  I wanted a burger, or chicken nuggets, or fries … and I started to think about how fast and easy it would be to hop in the drive-through lane and scarf down a salty, comforting meal before I even got home.

But, I knew I needed a few more vegetables today and that I had plenty of food in my fridge at home. Yes, I was tired and I just wanted calories from anywhere, fast, but I held out.  I was able to hold out because I know that when I crave fast food, Boca Burger’s frozen chicken patties are usually in my freezer.  I used them tonight to make this:

Fast Food, Slower

I used these …


I added a lot of random stuff to this sucker:  Red bell peppers, cucumbers, scallions, cheddar cheese, spicy brown mustard, and Nasoya soy-naise.

On the side, I had steamed carrots — and for the first time, I turned them into fries by topping them with a little kosher salt and ketchup.  I first saw this idea over at The Inner Workings of a College Graduate — she usually makes okra fries, so I figured, why not try it with carrots?! Annnnnd, they were GREAT. (I was a little surprised — I am pretty loyal to real fries.)

Happy almost Thursday! (Why is it taking forever to get here?)

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 4, 2009

A Swim for My Training Partner

My training partner needed a motivation buddy for her 6 a.m. swim this morning, so I happily agreed to spend another morning in the pool and busted out another half mile.  I’m pretty proud of even these short distances considering that, in August, I couldn’t swim one full lap without feeling like I was in danger of drowning.

Made a delicious homemade smoothie while trying to run out the door — it had vanilla soy milk, frozen blueberries, a whole banana, and the last of my spinach.

Get this woman a travel mug

This means I went through my entire bag of spinach in 6 days.  Not bad, but now I have no greens in the house for the rest of the week, and I’m not ready for another grocery shop, so I’ll have to either go without greens until the weekend, or stop by the store for ONE purchase.  Arrrghhh …

Also, can you tell I need a travel mug? Right now I’m using disposable Solo cups for my morning smoothies, which I drink in the car on the way to work.  Not very green of me 😦


Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 4, 2009

An Example of Why This is Hard.

This week is a painful reminder of why it will be, and has been, hard to balance my athletic goals with my professional responsibilities.

That’s because I was supposed to participate in a sprint triathlon next weekend with my training partner — who is not only my dear friend, but also the incredible woman who got me started on this triathlon journey, and an amazing athlete who finished fifth in our age group (and got a medal!) in our first triathlon together.

But, work got in the way, and I had to back out of the race, leaving my partner to race it alone. You see, between the date when I registered for the race, and today, one of my cases had a hearing scheduled for this Friday, completely out of my control and with little notice.

Normally, that wouldn’t interfere with a Sunday race, but in this case, it’s a disaster:  First, the race is on Saturday, and second, its location requires a ferry ride on Friday evening to get to the packet pick-up and to the location of the race.  Third, the ferry departs from a port that is — without Friday rush hour traffic — approximately an hour away, and the location of the hearing puts me even farther away from the boat.  I knew I couldn’t get from the location of the hearing to the location of the ferry in time for the last boat of the day unless I (a) drove like Batman, AND (b) experienced some sort of traffic miracle.  Moreover, if anything went awry at the hearing and I was required to be there for one second longer than planned, my chances of making the boat would be shot.

Instead of running around with my blood pressure through the roof and a car packed full of expensive race gear all day on Friday, stressing about making a ferry departure when I should be worried about my client’s hearing and only about my client’s hearing, I decided not to race.

I comforted my disappointment tonight with a delicious batch of healthy spaghetti:

Healthy Spaghetti

I sauteed chopped garlic and tomatoes in white wine and olive oil, and threw in chopped spinach at the end. I tossed in Barilla Plus angel hair pasta and topped the bowl off with some cubes of tofu that I baked in balsamic vinegar.  Everything, as always, was topped off with kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper.  It was really comforting — just what I needed!

In other news, look at who I had to leave behind on my pillow this morning when I went for my swim — she made it so hard to leave:


Finally, here’s a picture of the wrap I made last night, which I ate for lunch today and tweeted about.  I just love the look of hard-boiled eggs — so wholesome and pure.


Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 3, 2009

Breakfast and an Experiment

I just downloaded the WordPress for Blackberry application and am giving the mobile upload my first try! Bear with me.

I stuck to my guns this morning and swam 1,000 yards (or a little over half a mile) before work! That means I’ve done work in all three disciplines already, and it’s only Tuesday?!? Maybe that means I can squeeze in a yoga class or video this week – I usually can’t fit yoga classes in during the week because none starts late enough in the evening, or early enough in the morning, to accommodate my 8:30 a.m. to 7:30-ish-and-often-later-and-totally-unpredictable workdays.

I’m now refueling from the swim with nonfat Greek yogurt, a spoonful of peanut butter, and Nature’s Path granola – with flax seed and sliced almonds added in. This could use a little fresh fruit, but I’m enjoying it as is.

(…Now how do you add a photo using this WordPress for Blackberry app??? So much to learn.)

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 3, 2009

Small Victories, Big Salad!

I take a lot of pride in small victories.

And today is a small victory:  I made it to the gym this morning before work and did my (slow) 3.5 mile run on the treadmill; I ate my packed breakfast and lunch and snacks;  and I just made a nutrition-packed salad for dinner.  These don’t seem like a big deal, but I’m proud that I stuck to my routine today.  And check out that salad, baby!

Big Dinner Salad

This killer had a handful of spinach, some diced tomato, a few tablespoons of brown rice, diced scallion, diced red bell peppers, a tablespoon of goat cheese, shredded carrot, a little avocado, chopped cucumber, and … a skillet-cooked, crumbled Dr. Praeger’s veggie burger.  Those Dr. Praeger’s burgers are my absolute favorite, but they sure do crumble when you cook ’em 😦  Makes them a great salad topper, though.

I plan to swim a structured half mile in the morning, and I am greatly looking forward to it. My next triathlon is in at the end of November, so it’s time to BUILD, BUILD, BUILD while work is relatively calm … my work days are going to get longer right in time for my taper.  Convenient!  🙂

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 2, 2009

Sunday Night Means Business.

On Sunday nights, I try to do a little prepwork in anticipation of the long work week ahead.  Tonight, I started by spending an hour on the bike trainer in my living room while watching a movie:

Bike Trainer

(Yes, I put the front wheel on black binders because I was too cheap to buy the piece you’re supposed to put your front wheel on!  But, the binders work fine.)

Then, I got to work in the kitchen.  I hard-boiled four eggs, which I bring to work as snacks; I pressed my tofu, which makes it easier to cook with; I peeled some carrots that need to get eaten this week; and I made a batch of quick-cooking Success brown rice.


Success Rice

Then, I used the brown rice to make dinner — a deconstructed burrito.  This morning’s sauteed veggies were still on my mind, so I recreated them! I sauteed spinach, red bell pepper, garlic, mushrooms, and grape tomatoes with tofu, extra virgin olive oil, kosher salt, and freshly ground black pepper.  I served it with a scoop of the brown rice, topped the whole plate with some shredded cheddar cheese, and ate a whole wheat tortilla on the side. Enjoying a glass of pinot noir with it!

Deconstructed Burrito

Finally, I packed tomorrow’s breakfast, lunch, and snacks!  This has to power me through a solid 12+ hours:

  • Nonfat plain Greek yogurt, which will be topped with half a honeycrisp apple, and Nature’s Path granola.  I added sliced almonds and flaxseed to the granola.
  • Brown rice topped with leftover sauteed veggies and tofu, with a scoop of herbed goat cheese on top
  • Carrot sticks
  • A hard-boiled egg
  • String cheese
  • A Luna Berry Almond bar — a new flavor for me!


Enjoy what’s left of your weekend!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | November 1, 2009

Post-Halloween Sunday Brunch

Happy November!

I carved one of my pumpkins last night, and this morning, I let it borrow my devil horns since the festivities are over, and I no longer need them:

Halloween Punkin'

For breakfast, I had two whole scrambled eggs, half a whole wheat bagel topped with real, salted butter, and an array of fresh, chopped veggies sauteed in extra virgin olive oil:  Garlic, red bell peppers, spinach, grape tomatoes, scallions, and mushrooms.  I tossed a sprinkle of kosher salt and freshly ground pepper over them, and they came out piping hot and full of simple but lively flavors.   I love veggies at breakfast!

As for the butter … I’ve never been able to, nor seen a convincing reason to, make the switch to margarine.  I don’t eat butter at every meal, or every day, but when I want buttered toast or a buttered bagel, only the real thing will do.

Sunday Brunch

My goal for this afternoon is to run or bike. The weather is downright priceless today, so it shouldn’t be hard to get outside … if I can get away from the deadly lure the couch + football, that is!

Posted by: bettythebalancer | October 31, 2009

$50 Worth of Trader Joe’s Groceries

Here’s what it looks like!

Trader Joe's

Usually, my haul costs me about $30. Here, I splurged on two $7 items, which increased my bill a bit: Two wild salmon fillets (frozen), and a bottle of white wine.

The goods:

  • Nature’s Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Plus Granola, with Omega-3’s
  • TJ’s Vanilla Soy Milk
  • Organic Firm Tofu
  • Organic Old-Fashioned Oatmeal
  • Lowfat String Cheese
  • A dozen large eggs
  • 3 containers of Nonfat, Plain Greek Yogurt
  • 3 oz. of Chevre Herbed Goat Cheese
  • 1 Clif Kids’ Z Bar in the Honey Graham flavor (these are so good!)
  • Chunky, Salted Peanut Butter
  • 4 Bananas
  • 2 lbs. of Honeycrisp Apples
  • 2 Red Bell Peppers
  • 1 Bag of Spinach

…  And, of course, the salmon and the wine (my favorite parts!)

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