Gardein of Eden

Disclaimer: I meant to post this the other day but alas I did not get around to it. Since it was so yummy, I think it’s still worth writing about.

In my ever-continuing quest to keep as meat-free as possible as often as I can, I bought my first pack of Gardein Chick ‘n Scallopini to give myself something new that wasn’t my normal go-to meal of smoked tofu and seitan.

Since I adore a tasty chicken marsala, I thought chick ‘n marsala would be equally tasty – and I was right.

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First, I threw some kale – since I’m on another kale kick – in a pan with some olive-oil spray and began sautéing it as I sautéed some mushrooms in a pan with olive oil and marsala.

Once that started getting where I wanted it to, I put the chick ‘n in the mushroom pan and did each side for about three minutes each after adding some more marsala.
Note: Since I like things a little burnt (and am not a very good cook), my pan was a bit too hot, so the dish ended up not being as marsala-y as I would have liked since most of the liquid ended up burning off. Things to keep in mind for next time, I s’pose.

Once  the chick ‘n was singed to my liking, I plated and enjoyed the hell out of two of the pieces.
But twixt you and I, I totally could have housed the entire bag of four … which is kind of ridiculous for how pricy it sort of is. Just sayin’.

But I will definitely get this again – as well as the other Gardein products at my Wegmans. I love how it really does taste like, well, chicken, which is pretty important to someone who’s been eating the real thing for more than 30 years.
And gagged every time she had to touch it raw!

I love that my veg repertoire is growing!


Blood, sweat and … gross

I’m fixing to make a bold statement here:
I think the people who don’t wipe off their machine after working out at the gym are despicable.
Quite frankly, I think they’re just as despicable as the influx of people I’ve been seeing – no, hearing – every time I’ve been to the movies lately: The people who won’t. shut. the. hell. up.

The past few times I’ve been to the gym – which you’ll recall just started happening on a regular basis last week, so you’re probably thinking, “Who the hell does she think she is?” but just forget you know that now that I’ve brought it up – I’ve seen so many people sweat it out on the treadmill/elliptical/bike. They wipe themselves off with their T-shirts the way I do, then touch the buttons or hold onto the rails, eventually hitting “stop” before they get off and walk away – never to return with the paper towel dripping with disinfectant.

Ugh. It burns my liver, as my old man used to say.
And then, especially when I go after work when there’s not a lot of open machines so someone hops right on after Gross Sweating Person, and they touch the same buttons that were just touched by GSP, oh, it turns stomach (as it burns my liver, of course).

Sorry, Planet Fitness, I know it’s a “judgment-free zone” – and I love that it is – but I’m totally judging the people who don’t clean up after themselves. Just sayin’.


Early bird gets the … workout

So someone was at the gym at 5:55 this morning … and … what?
There were … other people there? And there were actually a lot of other people?
Who are these freaks??

Well, this morning, I became one them there freaks because I knew I wouldn’t be able to work out tonight or tomorrow after work, so I last night I thought to just be proactive and get there this morning.
It’s not like I sleep well anyway, so I might as well take advantage of that blasted insomnia.

Sure, it pretty much sucked driving in darkness to my brightly lit Planet Fitness, but once I finished my five-minute warmup on the treadmill and did 15 minutes of walking/jogging, that circuit room was looking mighty attainable, and for the second time this week, I made it my bitch – and I think it enjoyed it almost as much as I did.


HIITing the gym again

Since I wrote this on Feb. 23, I’ve not seen the inside of my Planet Fitness until tonight after work.
Hey, it’s better than the six-month lapse before that date, yes?? 

I’ve had all these grandiose plans of exercising at home in the morning and hitting the gym post work (that has pretty much been my plan from the moment I started joining gyms many moons ago), but as you know, that never goes according to plan.

I hate exercising after work, I’m usually too damn exhausted, hence why I shine as an a.m. exerciser – and the gym is close, but not close enough to run there before work, come home to shower, etc. then head to work.
Yes, I am one of those people who cannot shower in public. It is what it is.

But today, I packed my gym bag and ordered myself to go – and I’m so very glad I did because I finally did some HIIT (high-intensity interval training) that I’d read about in a recent SELF, and it really felt good.
If you’re not familiar, HIIT involves bursts of high-intensity movement (in my case, running on the treadmill for two minutes, speed(ish) walking for two minutes, repeat). It’s supposed to improve fat burning and is great for short-on-time workouts. 

After I did that for 25 minutes, I was going to skulk out as I most often do (when I go, of course), but decided against it and headed to Planet Fitness’ circuit room.
I’d entered there before, but always got self-conscious around other people and did a few of the 10 machines and, yes, skulked out.

Today, I said , “Screw it, no time like the present!,” and the second that light turned green, I started stepping at the first stop … and kept up with every single stop after until I hit No. 20, where my body was pretty much begging for mercy – which was a truly fantastic feeling.

What a great workout! I was there for about an hour, and it went so fast. What the hell was I so afraid of? Feeling better about myself? Maybe finally kicking myself up a notch and actually – GASP – enjoying a workout that wasn’t in the comfort of my own home?

Oh, silly, silly Nikki.
It’s just a room with exercise equipment.

So tell me, have you tried HIIT? Do you have any advice for me?


Resolution check: April

According to my Exercise Log Book, I had my best month in April:
I exercised 23 of its 30 days.
Which, by the by, is FIVE more than what was previously my best.

Is it wrong that I kinda maybe sort of patted myself on the back?
I hope not, because I totally did.

And now, I’m shooting for 25 days in May!


Sunshine Awards!

Many thanks to veggiewhatnow for nominating this here blog of mine for a Sunshine Award. I’d discovered her blog recently and it’s on my “check back daily” lists – especially as I try, succeed and struggle with going vegetarian as much as I possibly can.
Be sure to click on the blue link above and check out her blog, mmmkay??

Sunshine Award Rules:

* Include the award’s logo in a post or on your blog.
*Answer 10 questions about yourself
* Nominate 10-12 other fabulous bloggers
* Link your nominees to this post and comment on their blogs, letting them know they have been nominated.
* Share the love and link the person who nominated you

1. Favorite color? Black.
2. Favorite animal? Chupacabra (even though some say they don’t exist).
3. Favorite number? 33.
4. Favorite non-alcoholic drink? Mom’s homemade iced tea.
5. Prefer Facebook or Twitter? Though I’m pretty active on both, I’m obsessed with Instagram.
6. My passion? Writing.
7. Prefer getting or giving presents? Getting (sad but true).
8. Favorite pattern? Leopard.
9. Favorite day of the week? Saturday.
10. Favorite flower? Sunflower.

10 blogs I nominate (in no particular order):

1. The Rockstar Diaries – The very first blog I started to follow way back in 2009, and, quite possibly, just about the cutest, most loving family on the face of the earth.  

2. See Sondra Slim – Love this girl – she’s one of the most inspiring people I follow as she documents her post weight-loss surgery journey.

3. A Beautiful Mess – I would give anything to be as crafty (and fabulous) as sisters Elsie and Emma (and also to shop in their darling store, Red Velvet, which coincidentally is also my favorite flavor of cake).

4. Food Coma – The aforementioned Emma’s food-centric blog makes me drool. And she’s funny. Try not wishing she was your friend after taking a gander.

5. In Pursuit of More – Another inspiring blogger, with great quotes and even better recipes.

6. Crash Test Vegetarian – I love reading about people who are on similar paths to me (the trying to go veg path). This blog helps a lot.

7. Domestic Diva, M.D. – Not only is the diva going to med school, but when she shares anecdotes about her day, she also gives some really, really yummy-looking recipes.

8. Skunkboy Blog – I discovered the fabulous and crafty Katie when I started reading A Beautiful Mess, and she’s adorable (plus, I’m seriously considering trying out her gorgeous hair color).  

9. Andrew + Carissa – They take the most stunning photographs.

And last but most certainly not least:

10. Beyond Madison Avenue – Where my fella spills his guts about the good, the bad and the ugly he’s seen in his 20+ years in the world of advertising.

And that’s a wrap!

Thanks again, veggiewhatnow, and I hope you all enjoy discovering some of my favorite peeps out in the blogosphere.