Ovarian Cycle Report and Menu Plan Monday–April 18


This past weekend I took part in an amazing charity event, Ovarian Cycle, a 6 hour indoor cycling event that raises money for ovarian cancer research. Ovarian Cycle started here in Atlanta though now in its 8th year, the ride has expanded to 6 cities across the United States. This year over $300,000 has been raised so far. People can participate in teams or individually. This was my first year actually riding in the event, though I have been involved in the past providing nutrition information for the participants.

I’ve spent the past 6 weeks training for the final ride this past Saturday. My longest training ride was only 4 hours though. The long rides, which I’ve been doing on Saturdays at a gym down in Atlanta (Athletic Club Northeast – highly recommend – awesome club and spin instructors) are geared to push us harder in training so that by the final ride, which is done at an easier pace, you are able to go the entire 6 hours. I felt ready the morning of the event, though I got little sleep the night before between my son being sick and bad storms in the area.

The atmosphere is charged with excitement and camaraderie. Each hour, a different pair of instructors leads the ride and do a variety of things to keep the ride interesting and entertaining. There is plenty of food, sports drinks and water on hand to keep everyone fueled. Volunteers walk through passing out whatever fuel you need throughout the ride. There are short breaks each hour to refuel as well as use the bathroom (which I took advantage of every time – no dehydration for me!).

Me with friend/volunteer Denise

Time passed much more quickly than I thought. I got a wonderful surprise at the beginning of the third hour when my husband and son showed up for a little bit to cheer me on. During the final hour, Bethany Diamond, the founder of Ovarian Cycle, rides up front along with survivors of ovarian cancer. It is a moving hour remembering those who have been lost to the terrible disease and those currently fighting it. I rode my hardest during that last hour, and particularly during the last 10 minutes as we were encourage to do.

I enjoyed pushing my endurance limits again, both mental and physical. I was asked often why I was doing this ride, and simply, the answer is, because I can. It was a great experience overall and one I look forward to doing again. I hope I will have others join me on the ride and the fight to beat the disease, which all too often is diagnosed too late.

I did make a special treat this past week, which I also used as fuel during my ride. These Chocolaty Pumpkin Bars from the Meal Makeover Moms are delicious! My other big hit of the week was the soup recipe I made up myself in the pressure cooker. This was my first time making something from scratch using the pressure cooker and it was very tasty! It was my version of a gumbo that I made from odds and ends in the freezer as well as some fresh okra from the farmer’s market last week. I didn’t write any of it down (nor take any pictures – bad blogger!!), but it included turkey kielbasa, diced chicken, tomatoes, mixed vegetables and okra flavored with bay leaves, oregano, thyme, black pepper, cayenne, garlic powder and onion powder. I cooked it on high pressure for 15 minutes and then let the pressure release naturally.

So, here is what is on this week’s menu:

Monday: Sunflower Zucchini Pie and Italian Blend Vegetables

Tuesday: Thai Chicken with Steamed Carrots, Broccoli and Cauliflower

Wednesday: Flaky Fish Sticks from The Mom’s Guide to Meal Makeovers, Green Beans and Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Thursday: Tempeh, Potatoes and Broccoli from The Veggie Queen’s The New Fast Food

Friday: Chicken Pot Pie Bundles and Salad

Saturday: Leftovers

Sunday: Easter Dinner with family

Hope everyone has a wonderful week! I’m starting out exhausted between Ovarian Cycle on Saturday and clearing my garden of overgrown weeds from the past year and a half on Sunday. But it is a good kind of exhaustion!