I guess it’s Christmas time

Philadelphia experienced its first brutally cold temperatures this week (it dropped to 14°F!) and we even had snowfall yesterday! So this weekend was spent indoors, listening to holiday albums of my youth. (Hanson’s “Snowed In,” anyone?) Yesterday, my boyfriend made us biscuits and mushroom gravy (with my homemade seitan & bean sausage) for breakfast and it was the absolutely perfect way to begin our lazy Saturday. (Though, admittedly, it was noon when we ate.) Today, I wanted to make pancakes but he requested waffles–with chocolate chips! So I obliged. This is what I came up with:

Vegan Belgian Waffles
Yields 8
Deliciously soft & fluffly waffles with a crispy exterior!
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Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
Prep Time
10 min
Cook Time
15 min
Total Time
25 min
225 calories
30 g
0 g
11 g
4 g
3 g
101 g
113 g
6 g
0 g
7 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
101g
Yields
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 225
Calories from Fat 92
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 11g
16%
Saturated Fat 3g
15%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 0mg
0%
Sodium 113mg
5%
Total Carbohydrates 30g
10%
Dietary Fiber 2g
7%
Sugars 6g
Protein 4g
Vitamin A
0%
Vitamin C
2%
Calcium
10%
Iron
5%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1-1/4 C flour
  2. 1/2 C rolled oats
  3. 1 Tbsp sugar
  4. 1 Tbsp baking powder
  5. 1/4 tsp salt
  6. 1/4 C semi-sweet non-dairy chocolate chips
  7. 1 ripe banana
  8. 1-1/2 C non-dairy milk (soy, almond, rice, etc.)
  9. 1/4 C canola oil
  10. 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Instructions
  1. Combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Whisk with a fork until combined. Add chocolate chips and stir to combine.
  2. In a separate bowl, mash the banana with a fork until smooth. Add the milk, oil, and vanilla extract, whisking with a fork until combined.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry and stir gently to combine.
  4. While the batter rests, begin pre-heating your waffle iron to your desired crispness. If necessary, spray with oil to prevent waffles from sticking.
  5. When the light turns green, use 1/3 cup scoops of the batter to fill each waffle mold.
  6. The waffles are ready when steam stops rising out of the iron.
  7. Top with vegan butter, maple syrup, and powdered sugar, or any toppings of your choice.
beta
calories
225
fat
11g
protein
4g
carbs
30g
more
acid-stars.com http://acid-stars.com/
They are perfection! They are so light and fluffy yet still have that delectably crispy shell. I didn’t even take any pictures because they were devoured so quickly >_<

Now to continue this lazy weekend with some reading and knitting, while listening to ‘NSync’s “Home for Christmas” album…

Eat, drink, move, sleep

I was bummed to miss out on a group ride this morning (thanks to a sleepless night) so I took my freshly-tuned-up bike out for a quick spin through some streets on the south shore of Staten Island. Ended up stopping at three parks before powernoia set in and I called it a day.

Wheels keep turning… #spring #bike #bicycle #salsa #casseroll #salsacasseroll #park #bloomingdalepark

A photo posted by Allie (@averbovetskaya) on

The last time I was on my bike, my life was very different. Things are slowly becoming normal again and it was amazing being back in the saddle. My current situation doesn’t allow me to commute by bike anymore and I work on weekends (preventing me from going on long-distance rides) but I miss my bike to the point of tears sometimes so I’m making it my mission to make time for the things that are important to me.

Where I decide to lift things up and put them down

In July 2012, I bought a book on a topic that I’d been curious about but had been incredibly intimidated by for a long time: The New Rules of Lifting for Women: Lift Like a Man, Look Like a Goddess, by Lou Schuler with workouts by Alwyn Cosgrove and nutrition information by Cassandra Forsythe. Cheesy subtitle aside, I was drawn to this book because it speaks frankly about women’s abilities in the weight room. Schuler understands that women can work out just as hard as men and, with the help of his co-authors, provides a six-month training program for women to follow.

For three years, though, this book sat unread on my shelves. Then, two weeks ago, I decided that I wanted to make some changes and fitness was one aspect of my life that always felt out of control. Sure, I biked to work on a regular basis and bragged about how I didn’t need to pay for a gym membership. I was still weak and flabby, though, and I was keenly aware of that. Then, in September, I moved in with my parents and lost my bike commute, putting an end to the only form of regular exercise I had. I began to spend at least two hours a day on a bus—in addition to the 8 hours I sit at my desk—four to five days a week. I also have a weekend gig where I assist at a library reference desk so that’s another 8 hours of sitting and 1-2 hours driving to & from work every week. That left me with one free day a week that I usually spent curled up with a book or Netflix, being too tired to do anything else.

Finally, enough was enough. I couldn’t continue living this sedentary lifestyle anymore so I joined a big box gym. Luckily, my sister is already comfortable in the weight room (with the help of personal trainers and time spent in a boxing gym) so she helped me work out that first day. (We had limited time so we only did squats and calf raises.) Then, later in the week, I took advantage of a LivingSocial coupon offered by a local yoga studio and took my first ever yoga class. I went to a basic yoga session with my sister (who had been to yoga classes at her gym before) and a couple of things happened:

  1. I managed to keep up with the class, surprising myself, my sister, and the instructor (and gaining the respect of my classmates).
  2. I found my sister’s strength and flexibility awe-inspiring, instilling in me a more profound respect for her while motivating me to be more like her.
  3. I cried during savasana (corpse pose), releasing some emotional baggage I’d been carrying around with me since July.

The experience was invigorating and solidified my plans to work out on a regular basis. This is when I pulled out my copy of NROLFW, downloaded & printed the workout logs, pulled out some old workout apparel (that needs to be updated, stat!), and hit the gym one more time with my sister to learn how to properly execute the ten exercises I’ll be doing during the first stage of the NROLFW plan (which lasts 6 weeks out of the plan’s total 6-month regime). I then added each workout to my calendar, ensuring that I would be held accountable for my actions and have no excuse for slacking off.

Everyone, even my sister, thinks I’m insane, though: I’ve scheduled my workouts for 4 in the morning, three times a week. This is so I can catch the same bus to work and be in the office at my regular 7:30 AM start time. (This is so I avoid traffic on my bus commute, something I’d never had to worry about before.) I’m usually home by 5 PM, which gives me plenty of time to make & eat dinner, pack lunch, watch TV or read a magazine/book, spend some time with my cats, and prepare for the next day before heading to bed. On the two “rest” weekdays each week, I plan on taking a spin class at the gym as well as continuing a weekly yoga session at the studio. My energy levels skyrocket after physical activity so I expect to be tired but, really, I’ll be invigorated-tired, not lazy-tired.

This has been my first week following this schedule and I’m loving it so far! I’ve always been one of those people who feels better in the mornings (and succumbs easily to sleep in the evenings) so this is sort of my ideal schedule. The gym is super quiet at 4 AM, allowing me to focus solely on myself and feel less self-conscious of my weak muscles. I already feel stronger, which is a great motivator to keep going.

Onward and upward!