In honor of our grill, we made the rare purchase of some veggie burgers. We're experimenting with brands at the moment, but for this, I ...

In honor of our grill, we made the rare purchase of some veggie burgers. We're experimenting with brands at the moment, but for this, I used Amy's quarterpounder.

You'll also need some caramelized onions for this one. We've started keeping these around as a condiment, and I've been enjoying them in grain bowls. Some day when you plan to be around the house for several hours (Friday night movie in? rainy Sunday?), chop 5-6 onions, toss them with salt and a small bit of oil.

Layer them up to about three inches deep in a pan and cook over medium low heat until they are goopy and brown. The heat should be low enough that you don't have to pay attention.

I think this would also work in a slow cooker, and when we run out of this round of onions, I'll give it a try.

Finally, you'll need some tahini, fresh basil and something crunchy. I recommend fresh lettuce, peppers or pickles. (The latter would be really delicious, but we don't keep them on hand.)

First, toast your bread and your burger patty (or brown it in a pan/on the grill).

Next assemble:
Bread + tahini + basil + vegan burger patty + caramelized onions + something crunchy + tahini + bread

The creamy, nutty tahini contrasted with the sharp licorice of the basil, the sweetness of the onions and the meatiness of the patty makes for an incredible sandwich experience. Add the textural play of crisp toast, soft patty, and crunchy veggies and you've got yourself a darn good sandwich.

N.B.: Be sure to read the label on your veggie patty. Many of them contain eggs and/or dairy. Generally, the vegan ones are obviously labeled as vegan.

Last weekend's meal prep was so successful that we went 7 for 7 on our meal plan and finished off almost every thing in the fridge. Lef...

Last weekend's meal prep was so successful that we went 7 for 7 on our meal plan and finished off almost every thing in the fridge. Left after a week? One half gallon of almond milk, 1 cup of pre-cooked pasta, caramelized onions, an artichoke and maybe 8-10 stalks of celery.

So this weekend I'm at it again. Dan was off scuba diving in Monterey today, so I spent the morning working out with our friend and housemate-to-be, Alyssa. After that it was off to Trader Joe's to grab a few items (as well as an unsuccessful trip to look for new running shoes).

I got these ones back in August. It's time to update.
At home, I got busy cooking chickpeas, quinoa, lentils, pumpkin hot cereal and chocolate-covered espresso beans. After our main grocery shopping trip, I'm also planning to make homemade hummus and salsa (our condiments of choices for the week).

I sadly discovered that Trader Joe's chocolate covered espresso beans have milk in them. They are great to have around: perfect before long practices and on weigh-in days, or for Dan's long, early drives to Monterey for diving. So, I bought dairy-free chocolate and espresso beans. Problem solved. They aren't as beautiful as the pre-made kind but they are just as delicious.

Hopefully we have an equal amount of success with this week's meal plan, which includes taco salad, a quinoa grain bowl, and a meal from the grill. (Yea, that's right, we got a grill.)

In other weekend plans: we are currently borrowing a car for a bit, which means lots of fun plans! Although we haven't nailed anything down yet, going to one of the many Sunday farmer's markets is definitely on the list, as well as a possible road trip to Mill Valley at the recommendation of my grandma. We also have high hopes for FINALLY seeing the lights on the Bay Bridge, although Memorial Day weekend parking might be impossible.

Mostly, the hope for this weekend is to spend too much time outside and to travel far and wide. Wish us luck!

What are your weekend plans??

It's been a while since I posted about my training. The season is broken up into a few major chunks. The first chunk was from January th...

It's been a while since I posted about my training. The season is broken up into a few major chunks. The first chunk was from January through NSR1 (or NSR2 for those people who raced in it, which was this past weekend).

Now that some of that selection has been completed, plans are starting to fall into place for the summer season, which lasts through the World Championships at the end of August. (Last summer, Canadian Henley marked the end of the summer season for me, as I wasn't vying for a spot at Worlds.)


It's been just over a year since I started training with CRC and I'm starting to see some real improvements—physically and, more importantly, mentally.

One of my big goals for the past year was to become a better athlete. I have always struggled with pulling back when the going gets tough. When I'm tired, I give 90% instead of 100%. This is especially true when I'm training by myself. I'm beginning to see that change. I'm completing more workouts, pushing the boundaries of my heart rate zones and increasing weights when I lift.

Having training partners and coaches that really care about your individual progress is really helpful. It was also helpful having such a positive experience at NSR1—at that race I felt like I was in the mix, which was encouraging, but not quite where I need to be, which was motivating.

I'm not sure I'm quite ready to call myself an elite athlete, but I certainly feel that I've made progress in that direction.


This summer season, I want to capitalize on that athleticism. It's really starting this week and next. I've got two hard weeks, back-to-back. Most mornings start off with extensive endurance work: 75-100 minutes meant to push the limits of the anaerobic threshold. The afternoons follow up with a "short and easy" 60' run, or a challenging (but not impossible) weight lifting session.

It's a great opportunity to shift my mindset. Previously, I would approach these weeks warily. This time, I'm ready to attack the workouts. I've completed three of the five hardest workouts this week. I'm starting to make the connection between training like this consistently and being really, really fast. I know that the fitness I've built up over the past year has allowed me to get here, but I think it's going to be a lot of fun going forward.


As summer starts, I can also expect more wind. I've been on land every day this week because of it, and I expect a lot more weeks like it. As we get more lightweight women in the club, bigger boats (doubles and quads!) become a possibility; bigger boats can handle rougher conditions. It's also good for me to reconnect with the erg and the weights; and running certainly helps me stay at weight.

Like last summer, it will be over before I know it; and then we'll be down to three years before Rio.. every workout, I'm chasing down my dreams.

Things have been picking up at work for both Dan and I. Add rowing, gardening, scuba diving (for Dan) and general life to the mix and we'...

Things have been picking up at work for both Dan and I. Add rowing, gardening, scuba diving (for Dan) and general life to the mix and we're suddenly quite busy. Still, eating well is a top priority for us. So this weekend, while I was doing laundry, cleaning the house and telecommuting to work, I also put in some time by the stove.

On Friday night, while Dan packed for a scuba trip, I was busy in the kitchen cooking up pasta and rice, all while getting our tofu pressed/marinating, chopping broccoli and cleaning up dishes from dinner.
Tofu, black rice and pasta. That giant pot is full of black bean soup.
Saturday was all about sweat and tears—onions galore!

I made a bolognese style pasta sauce with fake ground beef. It's not something I would normally buy, but our housemate left it here when she moved out and it needed to get used up. It'll be a nice change from beans and tofu.

I also caramelized a huge batch of onions. Well, it was huge until I cooked it.

Our menu plan for the week:

One of the new time saving strategies I've been using: re-using meal parts. For example, we used peanut sauce last week, and made a big batch of it so we had some this week. We're using rice multiple times, and having black bean soup twice with different fixings.

I've also planned lunches so they can be quick combinations of things in our fridge. Saturday's lunch was plain, pre-cooked pasta tossed with artichoke hearts, olives, nutritional yeast, soymilk and paprika. It took 6 minutes to make, including three minutes in the microwave.

It's not ideal. My dad would probably be appalled by our pre-cooked plain pasta. We'll probably be sick of black bean soup by the end of this week. And chances are we'll deviate from our plan at least once, probably twice during the week.

Ultimately, though, we'll eat our fair share of broccoli, onions, kale, whole grains, beans, tofu and more oh-so-good for you things. And all this while working, training and living very full lives.

It's that time of year. Graduation. I remember the triumphant joy when I realized nobody could ever take that away from me. And when I...

It's that time of year. Graduation.

I remember the triumphant joy when I realized nobody could ever take that away from me. And when I visited Princeton, I went out of my way to proudly walk out of the Fitz Randolph gate.

I have grown up a lot since I left school, and I've had a lot of time to reflect on my life so far and on who I am and want to be. There are many things I think I did right, and many I would have done differently.

High school seniors:
You made it. It seems high school has become a tracking system into college, rather than an educational platform. Watching the girls I coached talk about grades, SAT scores and college admissions, I realize that high school is no longer about understanding, but about getting the grade.

I beg of you, don't let college be the same. Spend this summer rethinking your approach to school. Whatever degree you choose to obtain, think of college as an opportunity to learn. You will learn facts, figures, dates and formulae. But also learn how to think. Learn to be passionate. Learn to make choices for yourself—not your parents, friends or professors.

Yes, grades can be important. But when you write a resume, you can leave your college GPA out. It matters much more who you know and how passionate you are—so put as much time and effort into developing relationships and interests as completing your problem sets.

And along those lines, decide your priorities. You can't have it all. It may seem like your peers do, but I promise that you have something they don't: a connection to your family, a full night of sleep or 1000 facebook friends, perhaps. To me, sleep was important, until I met Dan. Then, I sacrificed many a full night to talk and laugh in the dorm stairwells.

College seniors:
If you already have a job, congratulations. If you don't, congratulations—take the free time to find a company that you are passionate about. Go to as many interviews as possible—not to get the job, but to figure out what companies have to offer you. Practice interviewing your friends and family, so you know what it's like being on the other side.

You can give yourself this luxury of time by choosing to live below your means. Certainly spend money on the things you value, but don't spend money on that which you don't. Maybe you value organic produce or being able to watch Comedy Central whenever you want; maybe you'd rather spend time out of your home than have a nice one.

Remember: nobody has time to judge you anymore. In your life til now, somebody has either been tasked with judging you (your parents) or paid to judge you (your teachers). No more! You can choose to love the rain and long lines, to only eat purple vegetables, or to say hello to everybody you pass. Certainly college was an opportunity to reinvent yourself, but there were always constraints.

Your constraints are gone. Embrace the terrifying freedom and make tough choices.

Oh, protein powder. Such a contentious thing. I've definitely tried my fair share of vegan protein powders. I'm definitely not an ...

Oh, protein powder. Such a contentious thing.

I've definitely tried my fair share of vegan protein powders. I'm definitely not an expert, because I'd rather not eat enough of them to become an expert, but I'll add my two cents to the myriad of online opinions.

General pros and cons:
+ much easier than pressing and frying tofu or eating 4 cups of broccoli
+ usually provide complete proteins, often with no limiting amino acids
+ can be added to a lot of foods
- can taste tremendously terrible
- work best in sweet applications, and I'd rather save my sweets for things that are actually tasty
- are usually very processed

Conventional Protein Powders
My two favorite protein powders are the SunWarrior Vanilla

and any kind of generic hemp protein powder.

The SunWarrior seems to disappear into smoothies and hot cereals, adding a hint of stevia flavor and subtle vanilla notes. I only use this in sweet things because of the stevia and vanilla flavors. (I highly recommend vanilla over chocolate—the "chocolate" flavoring is usually pretty awful. If you really want chocolatey protein powder, add cocoa powder to the vanilla flavor.)

Hemp protein powder is great for more savory foods. I mix it into savory oatmeal along with nutritional yeast. I will also use it in sweet hot cereals with richer flavors like molasses and ginger. It's less than stellar for smoothies.

Unconventional Protein Powders
I'm also a big fan of PB2 as a protein supplement.
It's not a complete protein, but it works superbly in both savory and sweet applications, just like normal peanut butter. It's also relatively simple (the ingredients are roasted peanuts, sugar and salt).

Nutritional yeast rounds out my list of supplemental protein sources. It's best in savory dishes, and gets bonus points for being rich in Vitamin B12. The flavor marries incredibly well with curry.

Save your $$$
As I mentioned earlier, skip the chocolate protein powders (and the chocolate PB2) and just add cocoa powder yourself. 

You can probably also skip the soy protein powder. Although I don't eschew soy proteins, I also understand that moderation is key in everything. I drink soy milk and consume tofu regularly. I would rather supplement my protein intake with a non-soy protein powder.

Any other brands I ought to try? What are your thoughts on pea and brown rice protein powders?

Have you heard about Michael Pollan's new book? It talks about home cooking, and why it's important. It's started a whole conver...

Have you heard about Michael Pollan's new book? It talks about home cooking, and why it's important. It's started a whole conversation about how to get Americans back into the kitchen.

Growing up, we had family dinner every night. Despite falling right in the middle of The Simpsons, dinner was served between 6 and 6:15pm daily. (My dad was not amused when afternoon crew practice interfered with dinner timing.)

And, almost every night, that meal was home cooked.

Dan and I have continued the tradition, although we are a little bit more lax about the timing. Oftentimes, dinner is on the table less than 20 minutes after we arrive home. Sometimes, we even eat completely different meals. For example, last week, Dan had lettuce wraps with rice, chopped veggies and peanut sauce, while I enjoyed a grain bowl with quinoa, mushrooms, snap peas and peanut sauce.

How do we do it? It's not as hard as it seems.

A few of my tips:
1. Always make extra.
The rice and quinoa? Those were leftovers from other meals. And later this week, we plan to have black bean soup from a batch big enough for two dinners and two lunches apiece.

2. Multitask.
That black bean soup? We let it bubble away on the back burner while we were cooking, eating and cleaning up another dinner.
While I'm pan frying something, I often turn the heat to medium. Sure, it cooks more slowly, but it doesn't require constant attention. While the broccoli slowly heats, I can make a tasty tahini dressing or begin cleaning up.
Slow cookers and rice cookers do the same thing: they multitask while you're off at work.

3. Share the work.
Dan is our official saucier. Sure, I can brown garlic without burning it, and get a beautiful crust on a batch of tofu. But Dan is the master of sauces. So while I tend to grains, greens and proteins, he dances about the kitchen fetching soy sauce, nutritional yeast, lemons, oils, herbs, spices and more. He always make a big batch—enough for lunch and maybe a second dinner.

4. Think simple.
Ever been to foodgawker? If that was your only source of recipes, you'd think that every meal had 15 steps and 25 ingredients. Not true. Many of my favorite meals seem too simple to share with the world:
-- leftover rice, microwaved with soymilk, nutritional yeast, paprika and curry until creamy
 served with raw veggies and (if I'm feeling fancy) some beans
-- hummus with roughly chopped veggies and pita triangles
-- fresh corn, canned beans, lettuce, olive oil, salt and pepper
All of those dishes can be on the table in 10 minutes.

5. Semi-homemade
Hummus, barbecue sauce, salad dressings, teriyaki sauce—all of these take a collection of ingredients and make them a meal. Dan's not always home to make sauces, so sometimes we use pre-made stuff. I'm not always home to start beans in the slow cooker, so sometimes we use cans.

6. Get better knives.
Nothing sucks the joy out of cooking faster than a dull knife. It will add 50% onto your prep time, and make it impossible to multitask. It will give you uneven pieces of food, which means uneven cooking, increased stress and poor results. And a decent knife doesn't have to be expensive.

Seriously, if you hate to cook, it's probably because you have shitty knives.

The recent press surrounding the Live Below the Line challenge has gotten my attention. Food is near and dear to my heart, and I have a dee...

The recent press surrounding the Live Below the Line challenge has gotten my attention. Food is near and dear to my heart, and I have a deep appreciation for what I can afford and have access to, as well as for how that nourishment affects my body.

Dan and I make an extraordinary effort to eat well. We focus on whole, organic, locally sourced foods. And, although we eat vegan meals for a number of reasons, much of our original motivation was financial—we sacrificed meats in order to afford fruit and vegetables. And, when moving and additional income allowed us to increase our food budget, we allocated that money to organic produce rather than meats or animal products.

Still, we are fortunate. Nothing has taught me that more than travelling.

Our local grocery store just re-organized its extensive produce section, expanding the organic section and relegating convention produce to the back corner. An area equivalent to most stores' organic section is dedicated to produce sourced from a single farm. When I was travelling, I was lucky to find any organics, let alone three different types of organic kale.

Even more fortunate, we have the resources to start our own garden. The SF Bay Area certainly makes it easy. Our local public library has an open seed library, we have a farm and garden store around the corner, and Oakland boasts the best weather in the nation. Still, nothing cuts a food budget down like growing your own herbs and salad greens.

We definitely put some money into building our raised beds and purchasing some of our trees and plants, but many of our most productive plants cost very little. From the orange tree that came with the yard to the peas that are producing as many pods as we can eat, if money were tight, we could coax a lot of food from our small plot of land.

And so, I'd like to take the challenge. Being the analytical person that I am, I needed to test feasibility of ingesting sufficient calories for training on $1.50/day, and so I did some math.

I eat 3000-3500 calories per day. To be conservative, I'll stick with the upper end of that range. Dan eats 2000 calories per day. That means we have $3 to spend on 5500 calories.

Things we can forage from the local cityscape:
Rosemary bushes are abundant, as are fennel plants. There is also a secret avocado tree near the boathouse that occasionally drops its fatty fruits, and the local loquat trees are bursting with fruits. Perhaps we will get lucky. Nasturtium is also plentiful, and I will keep my eye out for easily pluckable plants.
There's also a chance Dan will get lunch at work one day, and I know of a few places to get free samples in San Francisco that might fill in a few hundred calories.

Things we can use from our yard:
Our spring mix is thriving. A packet of 1000 seeds cost me $3.50. I will very generously assume that enough lettuce for the week was 10% of that packet, or 35 cents. The radishes and peas are in full swing and need harvesting; I'm not sure how much those cost to produce. Perhaps we can leave them for 5 days?

Where that leaves us:
That leaves us $2.93 to spend on 5500 calories. That means every 100 calories has to cost less than 5.32 cents. Obviously, the bulk of this will have to come from high caloric density, inexpensive foods. Beans and rice are probably the most cost effective options.

A pound of dry rice has 1600 calories. That means it has to be less than 85 cents a pound to fit into our budget.
A pound of dry black beans has 835 calories. That means it has to be less than 45 cents a pound.
Dry chickpeas? 1100 calories per pound; they'd need to be less than 58 cents a pound.

Is that reasonable? At 60 cents a pound, this rice is definitely affordable. And every bit of calorie we can add for under 5.3 cents/100 calories eases our budget elsewhere.

Before we embark on this challenge, we'll need to use up the supplies in the fridge. We have very little food wasting away in our cupboards and fridge, so this should take more than a week or two. I will keep you updated. In the meantime, if any of you have taken part in a similar challenge and have any advice, please let me know!

Although I didn't start drinking coffee until quite recently, I have come to really enjoy lingering over the breakfast table with a hot ...

Although I didn't start drinking coffee until quite recently, I have come to really enjoy lingering over the breakfast table with a hot cup of coffee. Maybe it's the beautiful garden view from our dining table or the time spent just sitting in the morning quiet with my husband, but it can be so soothing.

Unfortunately, I've noticed that, on the days I skip coffee, I am tired sooner and sleep more and better throughout the day and at night.

Why is that unfortunate? Well, it's become clear that I need the sleep my body naturally asks for.

In college, I didn't drink coffee partly to prevent myself from getting too little sleep. The 8+ hours I got every night in college kept me awake, alert and focused in class better than any triple shot could have. I attribute good sleep to much of my success in college. And, as my college coach pointed out, I become quite a pain when I'm tired.

I've always been a needy sleeper. It seems nothing has changed.

Training 3-5 hours a day, it seems that 9 hours is a bare minimum for sleep. Most days, I sleep 7.5-8.5 hours at night, plus 2-3 hours of sleep during the day. And every other week, I get in a full day of sleeping, spending over 12 hours with my eyes shut in a 24 hour period. (Usually, this is in the form of 9.5 hours of sleep plus a 2.5 hour nap.)

And so I'm learning to cut back on the coffee. Still, I'm attached to our morning ritual. The rough, slippery feel of a warm Heath mug, filled with rich, hot, not-quite-bitter brew calls to me. But, I'm a woman of solutions, and so we've started buying decaf.

I don't always pick the decaf. If I know I'll be working in the morning and napping in the afternoon, I welcome the caffeine. But on days where I expect to head to bed right after the morning row, more and more I'm reaching for the decaf.

Some random thoughts on coffee and sleeping:
- A good mattress makes all the difference! I was having issues with my back and was just exhausted all the time. We bought a new mattress and within a week things were back to normal. We made a pretty big jump in quality (the old mattress creaked and pinged when you sat on it), but I'm a firm believer in good mattresses.

- We love our Aeropress. I've never been willing to commit to having a coffee maker. We started with a french press, but when it broke, we wanted a temporary solution while we waited for Oxo to send the replacement part. Our temporary solution ended up replacing the french press. The Aeropress looks funky, but it makes a mean cup of coffee. Since we switched, I've dropped milk and sugar from my morning cup'o'joe.
Once the water is boiling, the whole coffee making process takes about 2 minutes. (45s to assemble/add coffee; 30s to brew; 45s to walk to the sink and clean up.) Awesome. Plus, it makes espresso, so iced coffee and homemade cappuccinos are not possibilities.

- Dan and I are opposite sleepers. He can fall asleep through anything, but wakes up in an instant. It takes near perfect conditions for me to fall asleep, but once I'm gone it takes an airhorn to wake me up!

One of the things I am already learning is that productive vegetable gardens can be a bit overwhelming! At our old apartment, with limited s...

One of the things I am already learning is that productive vegetable gardens can be a bit overwhelming! At our old apartment, with limited sunlight, a lot of wind, and very few beneficial insects, we lost a lot of our growing ability.
Spring mix was mildly successful on the balcony.

Since then, I've figure out a few ways to create a more productive garden: from amending soil with compost to companion planting, our harvest is bountiful so far.

But what do you do with seven giant heads of lettuce that are all ready at the same time?

We've eaten three heads so far.
Did I mention that we also have spring mix and three heads of butter lettuce nearing harvest? That's a lot of salad, since one of our giant, meal-sized salads barely uses one of these giant heads.

We're definitely enjoying the abundance of sweet peas, tender spring mix and crunchy radishes; I got the quantities closer to right on those. But, being my analytical self, I'd like to be a bit more calculating in the timing of my planting.

Ideally, I would be able to set up a giant spreadsheet, with the quantity we can eat each week throughout the year (accounting for seasonality), that then backdates planting times based on days to maturity. Now that would be an undertaking—and a project I might consider in the future.

In the meantime, I'd like to take a simpler approach.

For one and done plants, like heads of lettuce, radishes, beets and carrots, I can simply plant whatever we can eat in a week, every week. For example, if we eat one salad a week, I need three carrots, one beet, three to four radishes and one head of lettuce.

For continuous harvest vegetables, like cucumbers, peas and tomatoes, I need to think about how much each plant produces per week and how many weeks it will produce. This will take time and experience with the varieties I grow. 

Example: I'm finding that we can harvest an average of 5 peas per plant per week. We have been harvesting for the past 4-5 weeks, and I'm expecting another two weeks of harvest before the weather gets too hot. We can easily use peas as our vegetable twice per week, and we each eat about a cup of peas per meal, or 40 pea pods.

That means we need: (80 peas per person per week) x (2 people) = 160 peas per week
(160 peas per week) / (5 peas per plant per week) = 32 plants

Therefore, if we plant between 30 and 40 pea plants, we'll have two of ten meals worth of veggies for the spring season. Add in that salad, and we're up to three meals worth of veggies.

But that's just vegetables. What about fruits and grains? Right now, we don't come close to supplying our fruit and grain needs. That's something I'd like to change. I'm realizing that the balance of our garden leans towards vegetables while our food intake is more like 1 part veggie, 1 part fruit and 2 parts grain.

I'm not planning to start growing rice and wheat in the backyard. Maybe we can add potatoes, though. We've got a lot of space to grow; I don't need to make any crazy potato towers.

Future grapes

I'd also like to dedicate a bit more space to fruit. I'm planning to let the strawberries put out some runners; another blueberry plant might be nice as well (we've got two at the moment). We're planting melons to supplement this summer's stone fruit and berry supply. And our kumquat tree is slowly recovering from whatever ailed it.

We'll have grapes this fall. Maybe figs? Someday, I'd like to add an apple tree, but I'm not sure it gets cold enough. With the additional of some tropical fruits (bananas, mangos, pineapples) and apples/pears in the fall/winter, that would keep us stocked in fruit most of the year.

I'm trying to think seasonally with the fruit: strawberries and raspberries are showing up in spring; blueberries, stone fruit and melons throughout the summer; apples, figs and grapes in the fall; oranges, lemons, limes (and maybe grapefruits) in the winter. Any extras we can give away or freeze, so best to have too much!

We also eat nuts and seeds. I'm growing sunflowers to add to our food supply, but for now we'll rely on the grocery store for these. Someday...

I've actually gotten a number of questions about how I fuel during and around workouts. I follow two guiding principles: 1. I have a ve...

I've actually gotten a number of questions about how I fuel during and around workouts. I follow two guiding principles:
1. I have a very strong stomach. I can run while eating.
2. I don't like to eat weird gus/gels/chomps/jelly bean/etc.

I usually plan my calorie intake based on my calorie expenditure. A typical workout for me burns 600-800 calories, and I fuel differently for workouts that fall below this range, in the range and above this range.

Some notes on timing:
- My first workout usually starts within an hour of eating breakfast; I try to eat between 600 and 800 calories with breakfast, usually some sort of hot or cold cereal, fruit, non-dairy milk, and coffee; sometimes I follow up with a PB&J.
- I usually eat two lunches, one around 10:30am (brunch?) after the first workout, and one between 12:30 and 1:30.
- My second daily workout usually starts between 3:30 and 4:30pm.
- I typically eat dinner between 6 and 7pm, generally within an hour of finishing the second workout.

<600 calories
1st workout of the day:
If I'm expecting to burn fewer than 600 calories on my workout, I really don't do anything special. It seems my body is very capable of storing this much energy. I will drink water during the session, and probably eat before and after.

2nd workout of the day:
I often get so busy during the day that I am hungry right at the start of my 2nd workout. I've been known to run out the door with toast in hand, munching as I start my warm-up. However, I won't bring anything special with me.

600-800 calories
1st workout of the day:
I will probably bring some sort of liquid calories with me, e.g. Gatorade or iced coffee with some soymilk and sugar added. I've usually just eaten breakfast, so I've got some calories coming into my system.

2nd workout of the day:
Even if I'm busy during the day, I make sure to eat a bit extra. I will probably also bring some sort of snack with me. If I'm in a boat, it can be anything that fits in a ziploc bag (so it doesn't get wet): PB&J, crackers, tortilla chips, apple wedges, etc. If I'm running, I might try to go without and just shove some cash in my shorts in case I'm desperate; otherwise, I will probably bring a Clif bar.

>800 calories
1st workout of the day:
Definitely calls for liquid calories, possibly also solids. 16 ounces of Gatorade is a pretty standard addition (about 100 calories), plus probably enough additional calories that net burn is within the 600-800 range.

2nd workout of the day:
This is pretty rare, since we usually do the longer work in the mornings. It definitely calls for both Gatorade and some sort of solid fuel. I will probably also eat directly before and directly after the workout.

This all sounds super strategic and scientific, but really it's just how things seem to pan out.

As an example, this morning was one of my longest workouts, C4. It's 2x50 minutes at (for me) heart rate 155-165. I was late getting up this morning (I always seem to drag my feet on this workout) and decided to get this done by running.

For breakfast, I ate hot cereal (at least two servings, probably three) amended with raisins, hemp protein powder, molasses and maple syrup. Also drank some coffee. I followed up with a banana and a piece of toast with earth balance, then about 4 ounces of Gatorade and an apple wedge within about 10 minutes of starting my run.

I packed a little snack baggie with about 20 raisins that I ate at the halfway point in the run; I also stopped for water at 25' and 50' into the run. Immediately after the run, I ate the rest of my apple and another 8 ounces of Gatorade, followed by toast with peanut/almond butters about 20 minutes later. Within an hour and a half of finishing the workout, I also had half of a large smoothie (that I later finished with lunch).

The run burned just under 1000 calories; with the bike ride to and from the boathouse I definitely broke 1000.

What do you eat before/during/after workouts? Do you use sports products or natural foods?

We have harvested peas 4 or 5 times already. The grapevine. I like to micromanage the garden—pulling every weed and making sure eac...

We have harvested peas 4 or 5 times already.
The grapevine.

I like to micromanage the garden—pulling every weed and making sure each plant is perfectly placed in its individual plot. So I left the garden at just the right time on my adventures to Australia and CT/NJ.

Early spring is the time for inaction: seed and seedlings are in the ground; nature is providing regular watering; the sun is abundant; and the fruit is not yet enticing to garden pests. I know a lot of gardeners might disagree with this. In many places, spring is time to till the ground, weed beds, plant seedlings and prepare for the summer growing season. For us, that happened in November, December and January.

Some updates from around the garden:

Our beets and carrots are growing nicely, even in our lovely clay.

The peas have exploded; this was our early January planting (or December?). The trellis is less than expertly constructed but these huge peas are a blast to harvest.

This basil plant is a start from our new farm and garden store, Pollinate. It has five brothers and sisters hiding throughout the yard, some of which are quite happy.

The cabbages have made friends with the local cabbage butterfly and slug population, as have our lettuces. We're trying beer traps for the latter.

We've harvested about 7 strawberries so far this year! I'm looking forward to letting this strawberry patch run wild. I've interplanted bush beans recently, and I'm waiting on the arrival of some borage seeds to go in with these.

A blueberry fell off recently; definitely not ripe, but definitely a blueberry. Can't wait!

The grapes are growing nicely. I've also planted sunflowers in this area to help extend our fence and draw in the birds and the bees.

This is my first time growing corn. The women at Pollinate helped me pick out the right type of corn to grow: a hybrid that will hopefully make wind pollination more successful. I've interplanted squash, cucumbers and pole beans, although they have yet to germinate.

We harvested the last of the reachable orange crop this weekend. The tree needs a severe prune, but I don't want to disturb the flowers. Maybe next year we'll harvest earlier, before spring growth.
Next year's orange crop.

We've installed raised beds in the garden. The plants seem to be happy. Our spring mix is exploding and the radish harvest has been regular and tasty.

A few other treats growing in the raised beds: tomatoes, kale, broccoli, eggplants, peppers, green onions, basil, lettuce and more!

Our stone fruit tree is heavy with fruits. I've removed a lot of the fruit so the tree can focus on establishing itself and strengthening its limbs instead. Still, couldn't resist a few apricots, nectarines and plums.

The awkward contraption on the right, above, is all set to house pole beans, melons and cucumbers; just waiting to put the seeds in the ground. There's one little pole bean that survived the transition to the ground.

The raspberry bush is thriving; harvest has begun.

Peas, properly planted. These plants are short and mighty. They are just dripping with sweet, tender peas. I do wonder, had I planted them slightly farther apart, if they might have grown taller.

Our happiest little basil plant. I've been pruning this guy to encourage bushy growth; it appears to be working. I'm hoping for oodles of basil and homemade pesto this summer.

A young fig tree. Who knows what this tree has in store. For now, it's about a foot tall.

Lemon and lime trees, starting to produce fruit again. Our lime tree is much happier with the full sun and wind protection than it was on our balcony last year.

Chives, parsley, oregano and bolted spring mix.

The chives seem to have attracted every aphid in the yard.

In the front yard, we've got some cute little raised beds with mint, chocolate mint and nasturtiums.

Basil and cilantro. (And maybe some marigolds in the future.)

Kale and cabbage.

Spring mix, beets and lettuce.

I'm a little bit late with planting our flowers, but I'm hoping to put in some wildflowers as well as alyssum, marigolds and a nice shade bush in the front yard. It's time to start attracting some pollinators and beneficial insects!

Looking to the future, I've also got some seeds starting indoors still. Once our radishes, lettuces and peas are harvested, I'm hoping to replace them quickly with summer veggies, like cucumbers, peppers, eggplants and tomatoes. By starting these guys indoors, I'm hoping to get ahead.

The ugly pea trellis is actually getting replaced by a planting of summer corn, probably interplanted with more cucurbits (squash/cucumbers) and pole beans.

Although it may only feel like spring in many parts of the country, we have definitely entered the summer season in the Bay Area. With tempe...

Although it may only feel like spring in many parts of the country, we have definitely entered the summer season in the Bay Area. With temperatures in the 70's and 80's and abundant sunshine, it's time to start thinking about sun dresses, fresh corn and picnics.

Inspired by Ashley, I decided to make a summer bucket list. Here are some of the many things I'd love to do this summer:

- have a meal entirely from the garden
- spend a day at the beach in Alameda
- go on a road trip and sleep under the stars
- bike across the Golden Gate
- wear a bikini (more than once!)
- buy a picnic table

The list isn't super long, but who knows where my summer might take me.

Temperatures hit the mid-80's this week, with abundant sunshine and limited wind. It was a bit of a shock, coming from mid-30's duri...

Temperatures hit the mid-80's this week, with abundant sunshine and limited wind. It was a bit of a shock, coming from mid-30's during Connecticut mornings.

As you train in the heat your body acclimatizes. For example, your sweat rate increases, helping decrease your core temperature. There may also be changes in your blood volume and heart rate. The adaptation to heat can take two weeks, so if you know a heat wave is coming (especially if you have important workouts to complete), it can be helpful to prepare.

A few important factors:
Stay hydrated.
Although it may not be helpful to be overhydrated, being dehydrated can decrease your body's response to the heat. Prevent this problem by drinking enough water and consuming enough sodium.

Layer up.
In the weeks leading up to our trip to Australia, I dressed on the warm side of comfortable for our training sessions in California. I'm not saying you should wear a sweat suit, but get used to the heat by wearing an extra layer and turned down the A/C indoors.

Make fake sweat.
When you get into the heat, mimic your body's evaporating cooling response. Evaporating water from the body takes a lot of energy, and ultimately strips heat from our body. It doesn't matter if that water comes from sweat or the hose. Try soaking a long sleeve shirt at the beginning of a workout.

Wear sunscreen.
Sunburns are bad. They can keep your body from properly thermoregulating, i.e. cooling itself down. Skin cancer is also bad. Prevent both by wearing sunscreen. I hate sunscreen, so I minimize the amount I have to wear by donning long sleeve shirts (see above), hats and sunglasses. If you have trouble with sunscreen getting into your eyes, try applying baby sunscreen to your face—it's tear free.

I hope all of you are enjoying the sunny summer weather if it's reached wherever you are. If not, get ready for it! Summer's a-comin'!

I made it back to CA on Monday, just in time to catch a major heat wave. Hydrating with icy lime water before an afternoon run. I g...

I made it back to CA on Monday, just in time to catch a major heat wave.

Hydrating with icy lime water before an afternoon run.

I got pretty sick, probably during the flight, so I've been recovering from that. Also been trying to catch up on a lot of housework. Our housemate just moved to NJ, so have had to clean out the 2nd bathroom and just generally pick up the stuff that got left behind. I also have a huge backlog of laundry from my trip east!

Coming soon: training in the heat and a California garden update!
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