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Alex's swim journal

500s day; time in the kitchen...

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by , July 31st, 2013 at 09:57 PM (255 Views)
I'm waiting for the split-pea and barley soup to cool a bit, so I've got some time to blog after spending a good hour and a half in meal prep (more on that presently). Today I did a distance workout that totally kicked my butt, BUT made me feel pretty good about my progress. Here's what I did:

4000 SCY in 75 minutes

WU (1000)
400 EZ swim (200 fr, 100 bk, 100 br)
4 x 100 IM on 2:15 (1:39, 1:35, 1:37, 1:38)
4 x 50 fr on 1:00 (:40, :39, :38, :39)

MS1 (2500)
5 x 500 on 8/9:00 (7:35, 7:36, 7:46, 7:50, 7:56)
--Went on 8:00 for the first 3 and then 9:00 for the last two; I felt like I was swimming through quickly hardening concrete in the last couple of 500s

CD (500)
10 x 50 on :55
--these were all around :45-:47... wasn't pushing it, just trying to bring the heart rate down a bit

PROGRESS: There was a time, a few years back, when I was straining to do 500 yards in 10:00. In January I probably could have counted on one hand the number of times I'd swum a 500 in under 8:00. In fact, my time in the only 500 I've done in a meet setting was 7:38, last January. My split at the 1650 in March was faster than that. I feel pretty good about this set, the first of its kind I've done... something to extend the speed work and pace work I've been doing at shorter distances and help bridge the confidence gap for holding faster paces for longer distances.

TIME IN THE KITCHEN: One of the things about a plant-based, whole foods diet is the amount of time it takes to prepare food... washing and chopping veggies, taking time to cook my own meal even when the rest of the family is just pulling pork out of the crock pot and depositing it on buns. I could save a lot of time with microwave dinners or canned one-dish wonders, but it's definitely worth it to prepare everything myself. I mentioned in a previous blog that I've been cooking in big batches on Sunday nights the last couple of weeks... so I have a nice assortment of combined grains, legumes, kale, nuts and dried fruits to mix and match during the week. A dinner salad on other nights (mixed greens, chopped tomatoes and beans is a good combo) or throwing together some vegan tacos generally doesn't take that much time, though it does involve more chopping. I'm also trying out new recipes for hot meals... Here are some tofu migas I made (had enough left over to reheat for lunch the next day... and tofu migas keep a lot better than their egg counterparts):

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Served with a side of vegetarian refried beans (from the can) and my own guacamole (mash half an avocado and add in some finely diced onions, tomato and cilantro) on a bed of mixed greens. I adapted the "Migas Especiales" recipe from Rip Essylstyn's Engine 2 Diet website.

But what about soups and stews?

I've got this one figured out too... it does take some time, but I'm organizing my time differently to adjust. Today, for example, I made that split-pea and barley soup (from Nava Atlas' "The 5-Ingredient Vegetarian Gourmet"... the book has lots of recipes that are "uncomplicated"; thank goodness!). Putting the ingredients together was a piece of cake (ooo, bad analogy!), it took 5 minutes to get everything in the pot and headed toward a boil... but the recipe calls for the soup to simmer on low for an hour, then add two more cups of water and simmer for another 30 minutes... yikes, that's a long wait. But, hey, I'm not just going to sit there and watch the pot boil. I prepared and ate a dinner salad while I waited. Here's a picture:

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We picked up three different varieties of lettuce at the farmer's market and have been using that for salads all week... I also chopped in some spinach, some cilantro, a tomato and an avocado. Sprinkled in chopped walnuts and sliced almonds, then drizzled on some balsamic vinaigrette. After I took the picture I even remembered to sprinkle on some ground flax seed. Yummy. I had plenty of time to prepare it and eat it (actually went back for a second plate!) while the split-pea/barley soup was working on the stove top.

The dinner salad is an awesome thing. As I mentioned you can give it a little more "meat" by putting on some beans or hominy... Didn't do that tonight since I'm going to have plenty of legumes in the soup. Speaking of the soup... it smells really good. I'm going in!

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