A Big Week for Bikes. . . and Tofu

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Pixie cuts pair well with speed workouts

Last week was a little strange weather-wise, with a smattering of hot, sunny days interrupted by a few non-consecutive days of torrential rain. When the skies were grey, I worked late. When the sun was out, I tried to take advantage of the beautiful weather and I spent a lot of time outside. I received my crash replacement helmet from Bell, and last week I finally got back in the saddle.

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That’s right, first time back on the bike in six months! I was not technically cleared to ride yet (I see the doctor this week), but I felt ready and the weather was perfect, so I carefully took a lap around the neighborhood just to see how it felt. . . it was magnificent! I have so missed riding a bike. I had no wrist pain during or after the ride, and no crazy crash flashbacks when I zipped downhill (braking. . . all. . . the. . . way), so I call it a success!

riverview

Later that week, I was scheduled to run with a friend, and the high temperature that day was over ninety degrees. Due to the heat, we decided to run trails instead of road, to take advantage of the shade and any breeze we could pick up by running in the woods alongside the James River. I’m not technically cleared for trail running yet either, but I was riding high from the cycling success, and I only tripped on rocks once – no falling!

My arm was super sore and swollen after the short run. That night, the pain in my wrist woke me up several times and I tossed and turned, trying to get comfortable. After a long and stressful day of typing at work in pain, I headed to my regular Friday afternoon appointment with the occupational therapist and got bad news. My therapist wasn’t very happy with the pain and swelling, so I got this weird iontophoresis patch that made my arm look like a battery.

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The patch uses electric current to slowly inject an anti-inflammatory medication into my wrist over a few hours. It worked well so I’m glad that my therapist prescribed it, but after the titanium plates, the screws, the Storm Trooper splint, and now this, I do kind of wonder if OrthoVirginia is trying to turn me into a bionic woman. Am I slowly becoming a machine?

After overdoing it on physical activity in the great outdoors last week, I took it easy over the weekend and practiced being a spectator at the Virginia Capital Trail Foundation’s Cap2Cap ride. Spectating is awesome because it allows you to a) wear whatever you want (hey there Boho tank!), b) eat and drink whatever you want (Capital Trail Pale Ale, anyone?), c) support the participants you love (Kyle! Dad! Adrienne! Lindsay!), and d) take non-sweaty selfies during downtime (see my Instagram account).

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I had the privilege of cheering on my dad, Nick, and my husband, Kyle, as they completed the 50-miler together. I’ve watched them both ride bikes for years, but because they live in different states, they have only ridden together just a handful of times. I had a great time with my Mom, riding from one water stop to the next, to cheer on the boys and catch up on life this Mother’s Day weekend. They played it cool, but I know they both really enjoyed the together-time too.

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Although cheering from the sidelines was fun, I am so ready to get back into an exercise routine. Please send positive thoughts my way this week and maybe the doctor will clear me for more activity! I think that as long as I promise to ice my wrist after exercise and not fall, not even come close, I’ll be able to get back to hiking, biking, and running very soon.

One great piece of news is that I have gotten enough mobility back in my wrist that I am no longer cooking one-handed, and I was even able to cook Mother’s Day brunch for some of my family on Sunday morning, which felt great! My Mom has cooked for me so much over the last six months, so it was great to repay her for at least one meal by making Billy Bread strawberry French toast and cilantro scrambled eggs all by myself!

I also whipped up an awesome salad last week with cranberry balsamic vinegar that I got from my occupational therapist, who totally supports cooking. . . way more than she does trail running. The salad was composed of mixed baby greens, roasted Chioggia beets, goat cheese, roasted pumpkin seeds, olive oil, and cranberry balsamic vinegar. I topped it with the best baked tofu I have ever made. I cannot take credit for this wonderful recipe, but I can link to it so you can try it too. I highly recommend Perfect Baked Tofu from Healthy Tipping Point. You will not be disappointed!

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Have a delectable week!

We Got the Beet

Among my finds at the farmers’ market last week were some beautiful beets. I have shied away from the beets at the market in the past, because I wasn’t sure what to do with them. Don’t get me wrong, I love beets in salads and on sandwiches. I’ve even had them sliced paper-thin in a playful vegetarian appetizer called “beet carpaccio” and I loved them. However, when it comes to preparing them at home, I simply have not played in that arena before.

I started out by washing and scrubbing the beets, and then I did a little research as they dried. Before hitting the books, all I knew about The Beets involved a fictitious musical group that performed songs like “Killer Tofu” that provided a soundtrack to my childhood.

It turns out that the kind of beet you get at the market is even better food for young minds and bodies. They are high in folate, manganese, potassium and fiber. In addition, beets provide a decent amount of vitamin C. They have also been found to have antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and immune health-boosting properties. In order to maintain the nutrients responsible for all of these health benefits, beets should be cooked lightly. The healthiest way to prepare them is to steam them for 15 minutes, while the most common method is to roast them.

I got right to work.

Caught red-handed!

I chose to roast the beets in their skins in a covered baking dish with a few tablespoons of water. I popped them in a 425 degree F oven for 45 minutes. When they were done cooling, the skins slid right off – no vegetable peeler required! I sliced a few for a salad, but you could dice them, grate them, or cut them into matchsticks.

The first thing I made with these beets was a fresh salad, which I served with barbecue tempeh tacos. This was a great meal for the hot weather we’ve been having lately.

 

Arugula and Beet Salad

Ingredients:

  • sliced beets
  • arugula
  • crumbled goat cheese
  • black walnut pieces
  • fresh mint, chiffonade
  • your favorite vinaigrette (I used raspberry)

Preparation:

Toss everything together in a large bowl and add freshly ground black pepper to taste. Split between plates and serve immediately at room temperature.