2016-No Excuses

A few weeks back I was incredibly touched to hear someone I have never met reads my blog. I originally started this blog for me, but have come to love the ability to connect with other like-minded souls through this online space. That connection is why I continue to keep this up, despite the business of life. For a while I was silent,  but I have come to terms with the fact that no one  is dictating the rules…. that it is  perfectly acceptable to write every few months….that something is better than nothing…that even if only one person is getting something out of this blog then the effort is worth it. Yoga helps me see clearly that life is not about rigidity but fluidity. Even if I only have 15 minutes to come to the mat and do a few sun salutations , something is better than nothing . I am aiming for balance, not rigid rules.

It’s no secret to my close friends and family that I am busy, that I have little time to check in with friends and be proactive.

But that’s not a valid excuse…for anything.

Everyone is busy.

We make time for what matters most.

In 2016 my resolution was to make time for what matters and cut out the noise.

Health matters. Family matters. Marriage matters. Time with friends matters. Keeping a roof over our heads matters. Doing what we love matters. Giving back matters.

Worrying about things…feeling overwhelmed and trying to do everything well all the time….not only is it not possible, but it is a waste of valuable, precious time that could be spent helping myself and others around me grow and learn.

Therefore, I am posting the first recipe of 2016 as a healing, no excuses recipe that anyone can make.

If you have 15 minutes you CAN make this and you CAN take charge of your health. This is a power-packed meal, but also rather decadent and special because of the homemade croutons.

Check out these green ingredients!

gazpacho ingredientsThis soup is best served cold or room temperature and a good  choice for one of those Savannah-winter -70- degree- days.

Cheers to 2016 and a healthier you!

Green gazpacho

Serves 5
Prep time 10 minutes
Allergy Tree Nuts
Dietary Vegetarian
Meal type Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish, Soup
Misc Pre-preparable, Serve Cold
This no-cooking-needed green soup can be made in a flash and will leave you feeling refreshed and healthy from the inside out.

Ingredients

  • 3 Cucumbers , peeled, medium
  • 2 celery sticks
  • 1/2 baguette(split into 2 parts)
  • 1 teaspoon minced jalapeno
  • 4 large garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 cup walnuts
  • 6 cups fresh spinach (or 1, 16 oz bag frozen)
  • 1 cup basil(or cilantro)
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 4 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 3/4 cups olive oil
  • greek yogurt
  • 2-3 cups cold water
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper

Note

This soup can easily be made gluten free by substituting the bread with a peeled baked potato and leaving out the croutons.

Directions

Step 1
Lightly toast the walnuts on a sheet pan and let cool.
Step 2
Roughly chop the peppers and cucumbers and garlic so that they are easier to drop into the blender.
Croutons:
Step 3
Chop 1/4 of a baguette into cubes. Toss with 2 T of olive oil, 1/4 t of salt and 1/4 t pepper in a plastic bag. Roast cubes at 400 degrees for 20-30 minutes until toasted. Let cool and store for up to 1 week in pantry.
Step 4
Blend all vegetables and walnuts , 1/4 baguette, vinegar and honey until smooth. Add in yogurt , olive oil and and cold water and salt and pepper. Add cold water to desired consistency.
Step 5
Serve cool with toasted croutons on top.

 

 

 

 

 

Sweet Sweet Summertime

I have to say I am thrilled to see my blog is still in existence. I had serious doubts.

I know I dropped off the face of the Earth for 5 months a while . I am not going to apologize anymore because sh* happens. You  forgive me, right?

Why don’t I start when I left off, sometime in March before I started studying for another dreadful exam and had no life for 3 months?

We brought home a package of bees and embarked on a beekeeping adventure with the bee boxes I had bought Larsen for Christmas.   Their population has exploded so much that we have added a 4th box to their hive, which will be slowly filled with honey over the next several months. I have noticed folks are quite curious about them.  Most commonly, people ask how we will actually extract the honey. That, my friends, is done with what is called an extractor, which we will be purchasing shortly. Basically,  after you uncap the wax off of the frame filled with delicious honey (which is covered in wax to keep the honey in), the extractor will spin  the frame to remove the honey. You then filter the honey and jar it. You can actually use every part of the hive in some way, including wax, propolos, honey and royal jelly. Pretty neat!

bees

The garden has been in full swing since April , but sadly the tomatoes have not fared well again due to the rain and bugs and disease. Many of them have black bottoms. I am so disappointed in our tomatoes this year. However as you can see from the photo below, the marigolds, jade green beans , yellow squash and carrots have done amazingly well!

veggies summer 2014

 

On the cooking front,  grilling out fish and veggies has been our summer meal of choice . I thought I would share a recipe I developed with grass fed beef and fresh herbs and cucumbers from the garden. See below for the recipe! It is super fast, fresh, healthy and the perfect meal to cap off a dreadfully hot day because no oven is required.

I am happily back to running, coaching and working out hard, incorporating light weight training at home and power yoga into my week too. It’s great to be back with the crew! Rock N’ Roll Marathon is right around the corner in November, then I will be training for the Charleston Marathon (if I can be convinced to run another full marathon, cough cough), then Cooper River Bridge Run. We have a lot of travel planned for the first half of next year, so  I just hope I can fit everything I want to do in. But travel is another post in itself!

For cross-training, here are 2 of my favorite online workouts so far for the experienced yogini or exerciser, both intermediate/advanced levels. (Please do not try these workouts if you are not familiar with proper weight training form or yoga.) These will kick your butt. Be forewarned. But nothing in life is worth having if you didn’t sweat a little for it, right?

YOGA:

ALI KAMENOVA INTERVAL POWER YOGA-40 MIN

WEIGHT TRAINING(need 5 or 10  pound dumbells):

GYM RA ADVANCED DUMBELL/CARDIO WORKOUT

We are officially boaters now, which was completely unplanned thanks to my wonderful grandfather.  I cannot wait to take friends out on  the boat,  fish, and explore the rivers. We had to drive all the way to Louisiana to get the boat from Pa and celebrate his 87 th birthday with the family for a short but sweet long weekend in Cajun-country.  Much to my  vegetarian friends’ dismay(sorry I am really not sorry) I ate a huge fried oyster po’boy, Zapp’s potato chips, cracklins(which is double fried pork fat dusted with a delicious seasoning), boudin, homemade crawfish etoufee, duck, turtle soup, and coconut pie in  matter of 48 hours. Then we drove home for 16 hours listening to a book on tape . I didn’t want to look at meat for 2 days after that.  Totally Worth It.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Pa fishing

Pa and all the ladies in the family!

Pa and all the ladies in the family!

Life is good. Summertime is sweet.

And I missed you guys!

With Love,

Lydia

Mediterranean Burgers with Cucumber Salad

Serves 6-8
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Milk
Meal type Main Dish, Salad
Occasion Barbecue
This summertime deconstructed burger is a perfectly refreshing meal topped with a light cucumber salad.

Ingredients

  • 2lb grass fed beef
  • 1/2 cup grated onion and juices
  • 1.5 teaspoons cumin
  • 1.5 teaspoons coriander
  • 2 cucumbers (peeled and cubed)
  • 2 tablespoons Greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons low fat mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon chopped mint
  • 1 tablespoon chopped basil
  • .5 tablespoon olive oil
  • salt (to taste)
  • pepper (to taste)
  • 6-8 wedges Naan bread or pita bread
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoons pepper

Note

You can buy Naan bread at Whole Foods or make your own! Grass fed beef can be found at your local farmer's markets and specialty grocers.

Directions

Step 1
Combine the grass fed beef, grated onion, cumin and coriander in a large bowl. Add 1 t salt and 3/4 teaspoon of pepper.
Step 2
Shape beef into patties and grill over medium-high heat until just cooked through and juices run clear. Remember that grass fed beef cooks significantly faster than store-bought beef. Cover with foil and set aside once they are cooked.
Step 3
Combine the yogurt, mayo, olive oil, fresh herbs and cucbmbers in a medium bowl and chill for 20-30 minute.
Step 4
Serve the burgers on top of warm Naan bread topped with a huge helping of cucumber salad.

 

 

 

 

Theraband Mania Workout

get off the couchHere is another workout for you. You will need a medium-strength theraband and a large space, like your driveway or a park!

Tie the ends of the theraband together, so that it forms a loop. Step into the loop so it sits on your ankles.

with theraband around ankles:

90 Secs –stepping to the right- Side Squat Stepping 

90 Secs-Stepping to the Left-side Squat Stepping

90 Secs forward-Duck Walking 

90 Secs backward-Duck Walking 

Theraband around your thighs just above the knee for this one

90 Sec Leg Abductions in Bridge Position

NO theraband:

90 Secs Walking Lunges

Theraband Upper Body Exercises: Repeat 2 times through

60 secs Shoulder PressSit on the middle of the band. Grab each end and press it straight up to the sky.

60 Secs Pushups– no band

60 Secs Row– Sit upright with legs extended in front of you. Wrap band around your feet and pull band towards you, squeezing your shulder blades together.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Working out on vacation?

Howdy.

I ate and drank a great deal this past weekend. Pomegranate sangrias, artichoke spinach dip, chips with bleu cheese, wine cocktails, fireball shots, and some greasy pizza at 2:00 a.m. that none of us actually bought…hmmmm.  Some of those foods may or may not  have been fallace- shaped. If they were, you will not ever see the photos.’ Twas my bachelorette weekend with the girls, and by girls I am talking about girls I have known for practically my entire life :my sister, her best friend who has been going on family vacations for years, and my two best girlfriends I have known since 7th grade. Everyone lives out of Savannah, so it was a blast to get together for several days and celebrate!

 

While on the beautiful Seabrook Island, South Carolina, I had time to think and ponder life while basking on the beach. I thought about how I  need to get my booty into gear and post about fitness and health. I work out. Why not share some tips?

HOW TO FIT IN A VACATION WORKOUT


#1 Prior to your vacation, DO NOT fool  yourself  .That thought “We’ll see what happens. Maybe I’ll work out while I am gone….”. is totally ridiculous (unless you are a major type A personality- perfectionist- control freak ).

All of us non-perfectionists and lazy folk on our vacations will be  pigging out, drinking too much,  going sightseeing and having a fantastic time because that is what we do on vacations. Do you REALLY think you might work out? NO, my friends. The magical workout fairy is not going to descend upon you and plant an idea that working out would be fun amidst all the other REAL  fun. So you must not ever say “maybe”. You will or you won’t. Choose “WILL”.

# 2Plan, plan, plan. The only way you will get in a workout is if you pack a few outfits, shoes, and ipod and prepare for exactly what  you will do . That means researching where you might run or ride your bike or swim or whatever else you need to do. If it is weight training, you should check to find a local gym or hotel gym and how to get in. Check to see what the hours are. Write out your work outs or upload a yoga podcast to your ipod.

#3 Communicate with your travel partner that you will be working out. This is very important. Tell them “Hey honey, I am going to workout out on Wednesday at the hotel gym while you ______. That way , they know it is important to you. Better yet, plan to workout together. Motivate each other.

#4 Keep it short. You are on vacation, so I realize you don’t want to spend time working hard because the point is to relax.  By doing a short intense workout  you can still reap the benefits of  a long one. If you usually run 6 miles, run a hard 3 miles. If you usually do 3 sets of an exercise, even doing 1 set will help you maintain strength. Think smart and short.

#5 Be flexible. That means doing a quick in-room, bodyweight hotel workout if there is no gym available. It means running the stairs outside the local hostile you are staying in. It may even mean hopping on an elliptical when you are , gasp, only accustomed to the treadmill.

Below you will see my go -to  hotel workout with links to most exercises included. All you need is yourself. Clothes and shoes are not required, though I recommend them in case housekeeping pops in…

 

30 jack -squats

30 pushups

20 Stationary Lunges Each Leg

20 chair dips

30 Lying Straight Leg Raises

30 Glute Bridges

Plank -hold as long as you can

25 supermans

Stretch 5 minutes.

 

 

Do you workout while on vacation?! Share your tips!!

To your health and fitness,

 

Lydia