Monday, April 24, 2017

Passover Seder 2017

I hosted my annual seder.  Twelve years ago when I first went vegan, there were exactly two vegan passover cookbooks, and if you would enter "vegan passover" into a search engine, my blog would be one of the first entries to come up!  But now, there's lot of options, lots of cookbooks, and plenty of great vegan recipes for Passover.

We started with matza ball soup from Nava Atlas, the best vegan matza ball recipe around because the matza balls taste good and don't fall apart in water as they do in some vegan recipes.

 Dinner, buffet style


Gefilte 'Fish' -- Maybe some things just should never be veganized.  I was never a big fan of gefilte fish even as an omnivore.  These actually came out quite good and were polished off, I added about half a cup of whole wheat matzah meal to make these patties a little firmer. 

Spinach, leek and potato matzo gratin -  avocado and cashews make a perfect sauce for between the layers.  Recipe suggests adding Daiya vegan cheese -- no need.



 Squash and roasted potatoes

"Bloody" potatoes -- mashed potatoes with beets, and sweet potato, carrot, and apple kugel


Ratatouille -- from the Vegan Start Passover Cookbook

Salad with candied walnuts and dried cranberries

My Plate

Desserts -- Chocolate matzo loaf, chocolate chip cookies, brownies, and fruit

Happy Passover!!!

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Life After Ironman

It's fun to post about achieving success as an athlete.  But what happens when all that training winds down?

I started in the sport of triathlon in 2005.  With hard work and good coaches, I peaked from 2012-2015.  I worked out twice a day most days, six days a week, long workouts on the weekend.  And I achieved a lot of success -- look back on blog post after blog post about race after race.  And, even though it was hard work, I loved it, the people I've met, the adrenaline rush of racing, great conversations on long bike rides and runs.
I earned all this good stuff

After Ironman Boulder 2015, for several reasons, a bit of burnout and some other personal stuff, I decided to take a step back from all the hard training.  I certainly didn't become a couch potato, but what I do now is a far cry from back then.

And there are consequences of the decreased training load.  Some are good -- I'm less stressed out because I don't have to worry about fitting in my workouts.  I don't have to figure out how to do a four hour bike ride while remaining within twenty minutes of my car in case someone needs an emergency angioplasty.  And, I have more time for things like sleep and weekend brunch.

But, I'm definitely not as fast, particularly as a runner.  I found that out in a big way when I ran a half marathon in December, hoping for one goal and definitely not achieving it.  And my body has changed.  I'm not heavy, but I certainly don't look as ripped as I do in the photo from the frequently circulated article about me on Forks Over Knives.

There's guilt too -- I'm so used to doing morning and evening workouts, am I really exercising enough if I run in the morning and don't do anything else later?  Or if I decide to sleep in past 5:30 am?  And people still ask, "When's your next Ironman?"  Am I still worthy of the reputation I've gained as the VeganHeartDoc who swims/bikes/runs like crazy?

I had a lot of reasons to tone down my training.  I don't regret it.  I still work out six days a week, but most of the time it's just one workout a day, not two.  I'm training for a marathon at the end of May, the Mountains to Beach Marathon.  Initially I thought my goal for the race would be 4:20, but I may be finishing in the high 4's.  And that's ok.