I registered for Barb’s Race, a womens’ 70.3 triathlon coming up this July in Sonoma, CA. My ‘plan’ had been to do a couple Olympic distance tri’s this year and move up to the half iron distance next year, but I got a little full of myself on my 37th birthday last week and registered as a ‘present’ to myself. Right, a present that is going to cause me months of pain and make my family wonder where their wife and mother disappeared to. The upshot, though, is that my blog name will be official, in less than two years start-to-finish.

So I’ll attempt to blog about my training, if anyone is interested. The big training news this week was that I completed my first double-digit run, 10 miles. This is notable because I have osteoarthritis in both knees and a meniscus tear from an injury a couple years ago. My doctor told me a year ago that I shouldn’t run, but I decided to let my body decide. I started out slow and was diligent about strength training. I said all along that if my knees got worse I’d back off. And though there were some achey days, for the most part my knees held up well, and now, a year later, not only am I able to run (mostly) pain free, my knee function has actually improved (I have a little greater range of motion) and I experience less pain. They still creak and get stiff, but the net effect is positive. I’ve developed a bit of a ‘use it or lose it’ philosophy as a result.

So anyway, yes, I ran 10 miles, and I got a little emotional about it. Because if I can run 10 miles, who’s to say I can’t run 26.2? Then I’d need to change my blog name to Couch to 140.6.

Vegan Body

There are a couple places I hang around online where the dominating train of thought is that to build muscle one needs to eat meat or drink whey protein shakes or some such nonsense. This is me rolling on the floor laughing my ass off.

Dinner Tonight

I threw a couple things together tonight and they both turned out really well so I’m sharing. :) Here’s what I had to work with: 1 large onion, 4 zucchinis, a package of baby portabello mushrooms, 3 cups of cooked garbanzo beans, 4 ounces of leftover Field Roast ‘Classic Meatloaf’ (vegan), half a jar of julienned sundried tomatoes in olive oil, and leftover brown rice. The pantry items I utilized: olive oil, a cup of vegetable broth and 2 cloves of garlic. This is what I came up with:

Stewed Garbanzo Beans

olive oil
half a large onion, diced
1 TBSP sundried tomatoes in oil
2 cloves garlic
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
1 cup vegetable broth
cooked brown rice

Brown onion in olive oil, then add tomatoes, garlic and beans and continue cooking until beans begin to brown. Add vegetable broth, use it to deglaze the pan, and let simmer until most of the liquid evaporates. Serve over rice.

Portabello Zucchini Sautee

olive oil
half a large onion, diced
4 zucchinis, diced
8-10 ounces baby portabello mushrooms, quartered
1/4 cups sundried tomatoes (if using oil packed, rinse and drain)
4 ounces Field Roast Classic Meatloaf (or another gluten based seasoned meat substitute)

Brown onion in olive oil. Add zucchini, mushrooms and tomatoes, cook until softened and lightly browned. Add meatloaf and continue cooking until warmed through.

A Very Chardy Soup

Yikes, sorry I didn’t post anything in January! It was a stressful month, my husband had the flu and our cat died and both kids had a series of colds. I didn’t get ANY of the sickness though. And not for lack of exposure. That’s the power of a healthy diet and regular exercise.

I have a new soup to post. Like all my soups, it’s pretty simple. I loved it and it’s overflowing with green goodness, it’s almost entirely made of chard. The husband and one kid gave it thumbs up, the other kid doesn’t like anything, so she doesn’t really count.

Chard, Red Potato and (Veggie) Italian Sausage Soup
Makes 6 generous servings

2 TBSP olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
1 link veggie italian sausage (I used Field Roast brans, but Yves and Trader Joes’ both have decent versions), diced
4 medium red potatoes, skin on, diced
8 cups vegetable broth
2 bunches chard, chopped

Sautee onion in olive oil until softened and lightly browned, add garlic, sausage and potatoes and cook a few more minutes until potatoes begin to brown. Add vegetable broth and bring to a boil, then simmer until potatoes are tender. Add chard and cook 2-3 minutes more. Serve with freshly ground salt and pepper, and a sprinkle of parmesan if you eat cheese.

Calories 212

Calories from fat 62
Total Fat 6.9g

Saturated Fat 1.2g

Cholesterol 0mg

Sodium 1370mg
Total Carbohydrates 27.8
Dietary Fiber 5.1g
Protein 11.8g

Vitamin A 188% ' Vitamin C 96%
Calcium 12% ' Iron 24%