Monday, November 26, 2007

I Want to Swim!!!

Those are words you'll rarely hear me say.

In my two full triathlon summer seasons, here's how it works: I burn out toward September, and get sick of biking and swimming. Then I start running more and train for a half marathon. And then I do whatever on earth I feel like to stay in shape, treadmill, kickboxing, spinning classes, until March, when it's time to get back in the pool and dust off the road bike for another season.

But I have more ambitious goals now...... I'm training for a Half Ironman!!!!!



Yes, that's 1.2 miles of swimming, 56 miles of biking, and a 13.1 mile run.

This past season, I had no coach. But to do a half ironman, I definitely need one. So, I'm going back to my coach from Rochester, Mary Eggers of Train-This. She is a triathlete superstar and will be my online coach.

I've found a local masters swim group. And I want to swim! After the City of Angels half marathon on Sunday, I'm ready to start training for my first half ironman!!

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Vegan Thanksgiving 2007

Tofurky

Stuffing, gravy, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes

My plate!!!! Gone in no time. Clockwise from upper left: Corn muffin, tofurky with gravy, stuffing, cranberry sauce, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, squash, and a generous helping of mashed potatoes and gravy in the middle.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Staying on Track During the Holidays

Sometimes we fall off the wagon and a few pounds creep on. We ease up from our good habits, cut out a day or two of exercise, slip up on the diet with a few extra cocktails or chips and dip at a few social gatherings. Over the course of a few weeks, they may lead to a few extra pounds.

Now, we don't just gain weight for no reason. Our weight reflects a balance of what we take in, food and beverages, and what energy we expend by exercising or through our daily activities. A gain in weight means we're either moving less or eating more, or both.

The first thing to do is to take a step back and analyze what it is we're doing wrong. Next we have to decide how to correct that.

For watching what we eat, one of the most effective strategies I've found is a food diary. Write down everything you eat, the quantities of each food, and the number of calories. Share the list with your doctor. Or, use it to be accountable to yourself. That way, if you're tempted to have another four cookies, you know you'll have to write it down, and will be less likely to splurge.

And, even if everything you eat is vegan, that doesn't automatically mean it's healthy. I'm a big fan of Turtle Mountain Purely Decadent vegan chocolate almond fudge brownie ice cream, but even vegan treats need to be consumed in moderation.

Exercise time is one of the first things to disappear at this time of year too. But, make a commitment to stay in shape. Write in exercise "appointments" on your calendar, just like any other appointment that you would make. Or, if your exercise routine is getting stale, try something new.

I find the show The Biggest Loser to be really inspiring. If you've "fallen off the wagon", I find it helpful to see people who are even farther off from their goals reach them through hard work.

Have a great Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Back on the Bike

After my Long Beach Triathlon disaster, my bike has been sitting in my living room unused. I've been doing a lot of running to get ready for the City of Angels Half Marathon on December 2. My cycling has been limited to a weekly spinning class at Bally Fitness to keep my quads strong and avoid muscle imbalance issues that led me to major iliotibial band problems last year.


But, as I plan on finishing a half-ironman this coming year (1.2 mile swim, 56 mile bike, 13.1 mile run), I need to be riding on the roads. The LA Tri Club had a (mostly) women's beginner ride, 32 miles up the Pacific Coast Highway from Malibu. More experienced riders called the route "mostly flat". For me, not so much.

The first sixteen miles were okay. On the last sixteen, my legs felt like jello toward the end. Which tells me, I need to ride more.

Next: getting back to swimming. I haven't swam since my last triathlon either.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Veggie Stew


Sautee vegetables in oil for five minutes. I used potatoes, cabbage, carrots, cauliflower, and celery. You could easily use any other vegetables. Peas, corn, or sweet potatoes work well here. Then add broth. Simmer for 25 minutes. Then add soy sauce and flour. Cook another 10 minutes. Season to taste and serve over rice or pasta.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Creamy Corn Chowder


I have never made a soup that I thought was fabulous... until now. This is from the Blossoming Lotus 7 Minute Chef, an online book put together by the chefs of the Blossoming Lotus restaurant, who are the ones who catered my brother and Mary Ruth's wedding in Hawaii.




The soup is not hard to make. I started by sauteeing an onion with garlic, salt, and pepper. Then I added some potato, and then water, corn, carrot, and a little soy milk. After simmering, I added roasted cashews, blended half of the soup, mixed it back together, and added some more corn. This made for a very delicious and filling soup.

Friday, November 09, 2007

It's done!

The interventional cardiology board exam is done!!!!! Did I pass? I think so, but I won't know for a few months.

And now it's back to living normally. It felt good to go back to work today, to get out of my apartment where I've been studying for hours on end.

I accumulated a to-do list while studying. It includes baking cookies, getting an oil change, framing my diplomas from the past few years, and buying an ipod. And, losing the two pounds I gained while studying -- sadly, even with running 23 miles, a spinning class, and two days of weight training in a week, while sitting on my rear end the rest of the time a couple pounds crept on.

So back to life. And the picture? Yes that's me. I've decided I need a picture of my face on the blog, instead of the back of my head running past a bunch of port-o-potties.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Interventional Cardiology Board Exam Tomorrow

I've been studying for months. Hopefully, it will all pay off.

Those of us who became board certified after 1990 have to re-certify every ten years. It's a nuisance to study and take exams, but I suppose there's some merit to it -- medicine changes so much in just a few years. In my specialty, interventional cardiology, in ten years alone there have been revolutionary changes to how we perform angioplasty, the medicines we use, and the stents that were just beginning to come into use ten years ago.

One of my mentors, who certified years ago, likes to gloat to me about how he never has to take an internal medicine or cardiology board exam ever again. I jokingly remind him that that's because he's old.

So here goes nothing tomorrow. If I pass, then no more exams until 2012, when I have to re-certify in internal medicine.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

More Eat Your Veggies Meals

Peanuty noodles, greens medley, and baby carrots.


Tofu scramble, yucca fries, and strawberries.

Eat Your Veggies Delivery Service. They've even fed Alicia Silverstone. And these two weeks before my interventional cardiology boards, they're making my life much easier.