Archive for April, 2008

Here are two recipes that were requested in comments from the April 14 Menu Plan Monday Post.

Cumin-Rubbed Pork Roast

Adapted from Chris Carmichael’s Fitness Cookbook.  (Chris Carmichael was Lance Armstrong’s coach and trainer.)


  • 2 tbsp ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 minced garlic cloves (1 tsp from jar)
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp salt (I use reduced-sodium salt)
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp water
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

Rub on all sides of a 1 pound lean pork loin.  Put the pork loin on a baking sheet at bake for 30-35 minutes at 375 degrees.  I take it out of the oven when it is 156 degrees on the thermometer.  Medium is 160 degrees and medium-well is 170 degrees.

Lemon Rice

Adapted from Light and Tasty Magazine, Dec/Jan 2005

For 4 servings:

Boil 1 cup chicken broth (reduced-sodium) or water

Add 1 cup quick-cook brown rice

Cover and cook according to package directions (my rice cooks for about 10 minutes)

When the rice is cooked (water absorbed), remove from heat.  Add lemon juice (a few squirts from a bottle) and black pepper.

*The original recipe calls for 3 cups broth, 1-1/3 cups uncooked long-grain rice, 1 can (4-1/2 oz) chopped green chilies, 3/4 tsp salt, 1tbsp each minced fresh parsley, cilantro, and chives, 1/2 tsp grated lemon peel, and 1/4 tsp pepper.

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Last week, I cooked the entire week’s dinners on Sunday.  We ate leftovers for lunch today and we still have pasta left!

I went ahead and made a menu and purchased groceries, although I haven’t prepared any new dishes yet.  In fact, I haven’t even cleaned my pots from last week!  My husband has been awesome, because he has been washing everything that can go in the dishwasher (the pots must be hand-washed).

This week, I’m going to try to spread out cooking dinners to at least two different days.  That way, the food will be fresher.

Here is the menu for the week of April 14:

Lunches will be sandwiches.


  • Cumin-rubbed pork roast, lemon rice, and strawberry-mozzarella salad
  • Turkey casserole
  • Chicken fajitas with caramelized onions
  • Shrimp with lemon rice
For more menu ideas, check on orgjunkie.com.

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Today, I rode my bike for 30 minutes around my neighborhood.  I rode right past my church at about 8:30 A.M., finished my ride and arrived home, showered, ate breakfast, and drove my car right back to church by 9:45 A.M.!

As I rode up and down small hills in my neighborhood today, I contemplated a lady’s triathlon that will be held south of town in the middle of May.  On my very first triathlon, I completed a different race that used the exact same course.  I was using a borrowed street/mountain bike, so the hills were very difficult.  They were also quite frightening, because I was ready to walk my bike on the way up, and praying that I wouldn’t hit a bump and fall on the way down.  

That race course has been on my mind recently.  I would like to try a super-sprint (shorter run) triathlon in May, and the lady’s race is a close location (so packet pickup won’t be an inconvenience).  The only things holding me back are those hills…

I keep reminding myself that I now have a proper bike, I’ve done a few triathlons, and I survived that initial race on the hilly course.  Plus, I’ve gotten better at tackling hills in general.  I am a bit concerned about my endurance, because I didn’t exercise much over the winter (back injury).

Advice, anyone?  Encouragement?

I know that I’ll probably end up registering for the race (this is the last week to sign up without raised fees), but I just want to feel more motivated/excited and less concerned.

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I finally got back into sewing again this weekend.  I’ve been putting it off, probably because I’ve been tired.  I guess that I can blame my laziness on allergies.

Anyways, I completed the second blue shirt.  If you remember the first blue shirt (see Sewing Saturday – February 23 and Sewing Saturday – March 22), it did not fit properly.  The neckline was too big.  I had to pin it to my bra, which was a bit difficult, especially when my eyes began to cross.

I modified the neck pattern pieces by shortening them at both ends.  This took in the neckline at the center front/back, as well as the shoulders.  The second blue top fits much better now.

As you can see in the picture above, the neckline of the first shirt (left) is much larger than that of the new one (right).  I tried on both shirts tonight.  The neckline of the old one was falling off of my shoulders.  I’m so glad that I altered the pattern and made a new shirt.  The fabric and colors were great.  The style of the shirt was wonderful, too.  All it needed was a smaller neckline.

What have you been sewing lately? Add your link into Mr. Linky below.  Make sure to mention http://www.learningtobefrugal.wordpress.com in your post.  When you’re done, check out the Mr. Linky site.

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Today, I walked/hiked 3 miles at a local state park.  Luckily, the rain held off, so there was humid, cloudy weather, which wasn’t too hot for hiking.  After work, I went jogging 20 minutes before going up to church for dinner and handbells.  Believe it or not, after I got home, I ended up going for a walk again (slowly this time).  In all, I’d say I covered about 5 miles today.

I’ve definitely earned tomorrow’s rest day!

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Today, I biked 30 minutes and then ran 5 minutes.  I kept it easy-going, because my allergies have been acting up.  I’ve been medicating with decongestants, allergy meds, and ibuprofen all day.

I’ve had a cat getting digging holes in my strawberry garden.  I planted some marigold seeds in it today.  I also planted larkspur and cornflower seeds (perrenial and native to our area) in the side beds that used to be my garden.  I selected larkspur and cornflower, because their packages said partial to full sun.  I hope that they sprout, grow, bloom, and do well, so that I will have flowers on that side of the house every year.

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Today was my strength training and swimming day.  Before work, I completed 12 of my 15 strength training exercises (crunches, dumbbells, squats, etc.).  After work, I drove to the pool and swam for 10 minutes (about 300 meters/yards – I’m not sure how the pool I was at is measured).  When I got home, I completed my remaining 3 strength exercises (wall squats with a yoga ball behind my back, dumbbell rows, and toe raises with dumbbells on them).  I used 5 pound weights.

The book I’m using for my training is The 12-Week Triathlete: Train for a Triathlon in Just Three Months by Tom Holland. I’ve been using this book since I first began training for triathlons.  It has workouts for each triathlon distance (sprint, olympic, half-IronMan, and IronMan).  Each distance has two levels of workouts (you want to finish vs. you want to improve your performance).  I’ve tried various distances and leveled workouts in the book over the past few years.

The book gives you running, biking, and swimming times.  It lists which days of the week to do each activity, along with strength training.  The book also lists strength training exercises (with photos), stretches (also with photos), and has extensive information about gear, nutrition, etc.

I first picked up the book when I was investigating triathlons, because the author, Tom Holland, related his first experience riding a bike in the city.  He was worried about traffic and not used to cycling, so he ended up walking part way.  That sounded like how I was feeling about cycling at the time, and from then on, I’ve been hooked on the book.

Right now, I’m on Week 12 (counting down) of the Olympic Finish program in the book.  I just switched over from the Sprint Finish program, which I was using as I recovered from a back injury (my SI joints were inflamed from doing too much jogging mileage in November).

I’m taking 1-1/2 to 2 weeks to complete Week 12’s activities, but that’s okay.  I’m taking a day off when I need it.  I can tell when one is necessary, because either my body is really sore or I’m too exhausted to get off the couch.

For dinner, I ate a chicken breast, rice, and a strawberry-mozzarella salad.

I’ve renewed my USA Triathlon membership, so I’ll be registering for a May race very soon.

How am I frugal?  I exercise at home, in the neighborhood, and at a free (heated, but still outdoor) swimming pool, instead of at a gym.  I have to say that I used a free 30 day pass to a gym in December/January, and that was great, because the pool was in my neighborhood, instead of across town.  Plus, it was indoors, so I didn’t freeze!

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