Category Archives: Quinoa

2010 Goals in Review

Hi friends!  I hope that everyone had a relaxing holiday.  Mine was spent google chatting with Bri, eating delicious french toast (now a Christmas tradition), movie watching with Heather (How Do You Know, which , the more I think about, the more I think I didn’t like it), and partaking in an awesome vegetarian dinner.    image

That, my friends, is an epic vegetarian meal.  There was filet for the non-vegetarians, but the main vegetarian course (Cinnamon Lime Quinoa with Apricots and Almonds from Eat Drink and Be Vegan) was bombtastic (in the photo, it is at 12:00). 

Of course, there was also a little birthday celebrating for Mr. B, who turned five yesterday.  image

My little guy is growing up!  It goes by so quickly.  He definitely enjoyed his birthday cupcake from Sloppy Kisses.  image

It’s hard to believe that the year is coming to a close.  2010 went by so quickly, yet so much happened!  I got married, Bri deployed, I fell in love with Bikram yoga, ran a half-marathon… mostly good things 😀  Last January, I set forth a list of goals that I wanted to accomplish in 2010.  I think I achieved most of them 😉  Let’s take a look.

Goals: Professional

1. Complete at least 50 hours of pro-bono work
a. Well, I definitely didn’t achieve this.  I would say I got about 20-25 hours in.  The organization that I was doing the work for was fairly unorganized, with a lot of no-shows.  I’m happy that I got in what I did but at the same time, I should have been more proactive in seeking out other places to volunteer.

2. Become a better small talker and more confident in social situations where I do not know anyone
a. In my job there are lots of networking events where we put in face time with our members. I am not an outgoing person by nature so when I first started (back in September 2008) I put on a brave front but was often very uncomfortable. I have gotten much better in approaching people and making conversation, but I still have room for improvement.

I definitely made some headway towards this goal!  Of course, it’s an ever-evolving process, but I do feel much more comfortable at the events where I am expected to schmooze (hate that word).  I will continue to work on this in 2010.

 
3. Improve my public speaking abilities
a. I think I improved my public speaking abilities tremendously.  A lot of it is just getting up and doing it time and again.  Of course, there is always room for improvement.  Another goal to continue working on in 2011.

Goals: Health and Fitness

1. Complete the Virginia is For Lovers 14k
a. Yay!  This race was so much fun.   When I first signed up for it last December, the 14k distance seemed huge.  I am so happy that Bri encouraged me to sign up and that I got to run it with him:)

2. Complete the Rock ‘n Roll Virginia Beach Half Marathon
a. The half marathon is the ultimate distance for me. I really don’t think my body can handle a marathon; I love running but it is hard on the body and I already had hip issues before running came into the mix. If I could run a half I would be so happy!  Well, I didn’t run the Virginia Beach Half Marathon (due to a certain someone being deployed 😉 ) but I did run the Hudson Mohawk Half.  Yippee!  It was an awesome race and such a great experience.  It is funny how your goals shift- last year I wrote that I didn’t think my body could handle a marathon…heh I am plotting and one may or may not be on my list for 2011. 

3. Attend a yoga class at least once a week in a studio
a. I blew this goal out of the water!  After finding the hot yoga studio in April, I have been practicing consistently in the studio.  During the summer and half training I went two times a week, and since October it has been anywhere from three to five times a week.  And I love it!

4. Run a 5k in under 30:00
a. 😀 I am so happy to have achieved this.  I ran a 5k this past summer in 28:13– it was hard but felt so great!  Of course, now I have a new goal- sub 28 or bust! 😀

5. Continue overall strength training at least once a week
a. Unless you count Bikram yoga as strength training (haha, I do), I have a lot of work to do in this area.  Prior to the wedding I was attending a body sculpting class once a week and doing my own Jillian circuits at the gym.  Body sculpt went out the window once I started practicing hot yoga. 

6. Complete at least 30 pushups in a row
a. Oops. I definitely did not get to 30 pushups in a row.  I am pretty proud that I can do 20 though.  Although, if I tried right now I would probably have to stop at 15. 

7. Incorporate more veggies into my life
a. I definitely accomplished this.  Since I have been eating healthier, my body tends to want vegetables and other healthy items (weird).  Sometimes now I have a salad because it sounds delicious, not because I should. I also found a new favorite veggie- eggplant!  Going out of your comfort zone definitely yields fun surprises. 

Goals: Personal

1. Cook a new dish at least once a month
a. I have tried so  many new recipes this past year.  I discovered that I really like to cook and bake, which was a happy surprise.  Nicole, one of my besties, hosted a 30 recipes in 30 days challenge this past September and while I didn’t quite reach 30 recipes, it was a lot of fun trying.  I’m looking forward to more culinary adventures in 2011!

2. Do more sweet things for Bri
a.I think I achieved this goal (right love? 😉 ) If anything, I am a master package getter-together.  😀

 
Goals: Financial

1. Save at least $10,000 to put towards an emergency fund.
a. Well, prior to the wedding I had a nice little cushion going.  Hawaii kind of took most of it all of it.  Then I purchased the new car… and yeah, it doesn’t really count as savings if you spend it 😉  Next year 😀


Well, that was quite the list I set for myself last January.  Overall I am incredibly happy with 2010.  I achieved a lot of my goals and also left room to improve for 2011.  Did you achieve the goals you set for yourself this year?  Let me know!

I have some fun posts coming up, including how to layer for winter running (I ran in 20 degree windy weather today, brrrr) and goals for 2011.  See you soon! 😀

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Filed under Bailey, Goals, Quinoa, Vegetarian

Some Vegetarian Options

Alternative title- keen on the quinoa 😉

After reading The Omnivore’s Dilemma and Matt of No Meat Athlete‘s Vegetarian Advantage series, I decided to become vegetarian during the month of December.  I’m still eating fish (though no farm raised fish) so I don’t think that qualifies me as full vegetarian.  Whatever though- I’m setting my own rules 😀 

This brings me to two new recipes, including one food that I have never tried before.  The first recipe is one that I created all by myself.  I must say, I’m quite proud 😉 

Tropical Tofu- Serves 2

  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 block firm tofu, drained for approximately 15 minutes
  • 2 T oil (I used sesame oil, you can use whatever is on hand)
  • 1 small can diced pineapple
  • Tropical-y marinade    

Directions

  1. Cook rice according to directions (boil one cup water, add rice, simmer for five minutes)
  2. After tofu is drained, cut into 1/2 inch squares.  Pour marinade of choice into freezer size bag and coat tofu inside of bag.  I used this delicious marinade:image

3. In a large pan, heat up 2 T oil on medium high heat.  Add marinated tofu, reduce heat to medium and saute for 2-3 minutes on each side, until tofu is lightly browned.  Remove from heat.

4. Stir rice and add a dash of marinade plus the can of pineapple.  Add in cooked tofu and stir. 

5.  Eat!image

Easy!  It may look a little bland but I promise you, it tastes delicious!

My next cooking adventure brought me this:image

Red quinoa!  Why red quinoa, you ask?  Well, it is a complete plant-based protein, meaning that it contains all nine of the essential amino acids our body requires.  Pretty nifty from a ball looking thing, eh?  First thing’s first, though- how the eff do you say quinoa?  After looking it up, I’m fairly certain it is pronounced keen-wah.  Although if you call it quin-noah I wouldn’t judge you.  😉 

To cook quinoa:

Boil 2 cups of water.  Add one cup of quinoa, reduce heat and let simmer for around fifteen minutes.  Once the little balls (that’s what she saiddd) appear translucent and the ring of wheat germ (or whatever it is) separates, you’re good to go. 

Confession: I’ve been eating pretty well for around a year or two now.  I never felt like a weirdo until I opened the lid to stir the finished quinoa.  It looks really weird, different and just plain healthy.  😉  Dare to be different, friends!

I added some pre-made, cooked tofu (thank you Trader Joe’s, I love you) to the quinoa and added the mixture over a huge bed of greens (along with feta and tomatoes) in order to make some headway in the 20 salads in December challenge.

image

The verdict:  quinoa is pretty dang good!  It adds a nice healthy crunch and although it looks weird, I like it!

So, tell me- what is the weirdest healthy food you have tried?  Did you like it?  Are you a fan of the keen-wah? 😉

Have a good one friends!

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Filed under 20 salads, Quinoa, Recipe, Tofu, Trader Joe's, Vegetarian