iFeliz Cinco!

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This has been a great weekend for running.  I didn’t have training Saturday so I was able to run 8 miles even though I was kind of stiff and sore.  The weather was absolutely perfect.  Afterwards I treated myself to an acai bowl and a great view at Swami’s.  I kind of wish every Saturday could be like this one!

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Today I ran the same route as Sat, but added an additional mile out, resulting in a 10 mile run.  It was a little gloomier, but pretty humid.  I could have used a little more breeze.  Coincidentally my newfound parking spot makes it oh so convenient to frequent my favorite little hippie/health shack.  Today I went for double trouble with a Lina Spiralina smoothie (apple juice, peaches, strawberries, raspberries and spiralina) and an iced coffee.  Overall, I was satisfied with my ability to run 2 longer runs in one weekend.  This might be a trend for upcoming weekends, as I’m thinking I should start increasing my weekly mileage.

And finally, it’s Cinco de Mayo.  After a day sans-margaritas, mexican beers and tortilla chips, I felt the need to do something holiday-spirited.  So for dinner we made these beauties I spotted on Fed and Fit.  I served them over a simple salad of arugula dressed with lemon and olive oil, some diced tomatoes and oven-roasted orange and yellow bell peppers.  It made for a very festive and healthy iCinco de Mayo!

photoPaleo Stuffed Avocados with Cilantro Cream Sauce
From Fed and Fit
INGREDIENTS:
1 lb chicken breast, cut up into tenders
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 container low sodium chicken broth
3 Hass avocados
1 can {14 fl oz) full-fat coconut milk
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. chili powder
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
½ cup cilantro, chopped
4 limes, juiced
DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Preheat olive oil over medium heat.  Add chicken breasts and cook until you start to see white edges around the meat (about 2 minutes).  Flip and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  3. Then add the chicken broth to cover the meat.  Reduce heat, cover, and let simmer for about 20 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat from the pan and shred with two forks.
  5. Add the cumin, chili powder, salt and pepper to the chicken.  Mix together.
  6. Cut the avocados in half and remove the seeds.  Place on parchment lined baking sheet.
  7. Stuff the avocados with shredded chicken and bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
  8. To make the coconut cream sauce, mix together the coconut milk, lime juice and chopped cilantro.
  9. Remove the avocados from the oven and drizzle with the cream sauce.

Eating for the Season: Hunter Gatherer

I’ve been looking for a way to incorporate more leafy greens into my diet, to compliment my increasingly meat-centric meals.  This stir-fry is the perfect thing for when you want a warm and healthy meal.  I feel like the secret ingredient (which might be completely normal and not a secret at all) is the sugar snap peas.  They add a nice bit of crunch and work nicely with all of the other ingredients.  Option to start off with your favorite protein and work in the vegetables, or to pair with (my favorite), baked chicken wings!

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Vegetable Stir-Fry
This recipe is Whole30 and Paleo-approved
INGREDIENTS:
1 crookneck squash
1/2 eggplant
5 baby bok choy
2 cups crimini mushroom
2 cups sugar snap peas
2 cups kale, chopped
2 Tbsp. olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste
DIRECTIONS:

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  1. Cut the squash and eggplant into half-moon pieces.  Separate the bok choy stems from the leaves.  Cut the stems at a diagonal and cut the leaves horizontally.  Keep the stems and leaves separated.
  2. Heat 2 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.
  3. Sautee squash, eggplant and bok choy stems over medium heat, for 10 minutes (or until stems start to become translucent) while intermittently stirring.
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  4. Add mushrooms and sugar snap peas and sautee for 5 minutes.photo
  5. Finally, mix in the bok choy leaves and kale and cook for 3-4 minutes.

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The Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day

Ok. So it really wasn’t that bad.  But yesterday was one of those days I probably should’ve just gone home and taken a nap.  Instead we went for what quickly changed from a 5 mile, to a 4 mile, to a 3 mile run.  And even with that, our run was more like a trot at a 9:45 pace.  You know those days when no matter how much effort you exert, you feel like you’re not going anywhere?  I couldn’t seem to move my body any faster, but then again, I didn’t really want to.  After our slow finish, I wasn’t regretful.  I felt more energized than if I had just laid down and relaxed after work.  And I really believed that our light and slow bad run was better than no run at all.

photoLast night we made buffalo burgers.  Buffalo as in the meat.  Not in the style or sauce.  The week before I told my boyfriend I wanted to make buffalo burgers and I realized there was some confusion.  The exchange went like this:

Me: I want to make buffalo burgers
Him: As long as you don’t make me eat it with ranch
Me: Why would we eat it with ranch?
Him: Because people love to put ranch on buffalo wings.
Then in my head I started to go all Jessica Simpson and think, buffalo’s don’t have wings?  But some how I rationalized this conversation and promised him there would be no ranch.

Then when he asked me as to what kind of meat I wanted to use, I realized he thought I wanted burgers doused in buffalo sauce and dipped in ranch.

So last night we made plain buffalo with sauteed mushrooms, avocado, and a fried egg – yum! This was my first time making a fried egg and it was pretty successful.  The buffalo was the perfect fork and knife burger, because you literally didn’t need a knife.  It broke apart so easily.

I also received my package for “Natural Calm” that I read about on Fit & Awesome‘s Top 30 Whole 30 Essentials.  This is a magnesium supplement that helps with sleep, anxiety, and can produce loose stools.  I was primarily interested for the sleep benefits.  I just ordered 2 days ago and it’s already here (I love Amazon Prime!)  For some reason I wasn’t thinking when I ordered a 16 oz bottle that it was going to be huge.  Probably because the picture on the website was small. doh!  There were rave reviews on Amazon  such as “This one supplement has changed my life!” ” A MIRACLE SUPPLEMENT!!” and “Less Stress, Better Sleep, Great Product.”  Being a natural product it seemed legitimate.  I tried it last night and needless to say, I woke up the morning at 7am naturally, and started writing this!  I got the original flavor, and although it doesn’t taste the best, I added some squeezed lemon to it and that did the trick.

I Am Impulsive

My impulsive moves for the day:

  • Racing – I just have the urge to just go balls up and do a marathon this year. This led to researching marathon training plans and potential fall races.  Kauai Marathon quickly became my ideal when I saw Dean Karnazes in the promo video, and then creeped on his website to see that he would be making an appearance this year (amongst other amazing factors).
  • Shopping – Thanks to Olive to Run‘s post/promo code, I bought two new pairs of ProCompression socks.  This was the lesser of evils, slated against a new pair(s) of shoes I really don’t need yet.
  • Running – Our run today started off at a 9:15 pace, decreased to 9:00 pace.  Then, since I felt the need to redeem myself after consecutive 9:00 pace runs, I ditched my running partner and hustled for a 7:47 and 7:45.

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My short-lived, yet nonetheless, fast and final push

Area where I could use a little impulsive push: grocery shopping for dinner.  I walk around aimlessly and can’t make up my mind!  I am all burned out on most vegetables.  Mushrooms and zucchini just remind me of sogginess, cauliflower…I eat too much, broccoli…eh, and beets (the red ones…no, no) served me with a dose of beeturia.  This led to roasted brussel sprouts (which I eat just as much as cauli) and a complete failure of cooking artichokes.  Who knew the prep work was so tedious!  Then, the leaves didn’t turn out moist and meaty, rather hard and dry even though it simmered and steamed for over a good 45+ minutes.  Luckily my favorite part, the heart, still turned out.

Sunday Run Day

Here’s a recap of yesterday’s activities.

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WORKOUT: Slow and easy 10 mile run – 9:22/mi pace.
Plank-a-day: 4 minutes of Love Me by Lil Wayne

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For dinner we made open-faced portabella bun burgers inspired by the picture of Indian Spiced Turkey Burgers in Practical Paleo.  We just made regular beef patties seasoned with some french tarragon, oregano, salt and pepper that sat atop a large portabella mushroom cap roasted in the oven for 12 minutes at 350 degrees F.  The mushroom added an extra meaty element and made the dish very filling.

photoAfter dinner we celebrated the last day of our Whole30 with some long lost Yogurtland.  Surprisingly, I didn’t miss it, even with the limited edition tiramisu flavor.  I even regret delving into this dessert too quickly before reintegrating dairy into my diet.  With the combination of dairy, sugar, sugar, sugar, and processed candies, it resulted in a restless night and stomach ache.  I have definitely learned a lot from the Whole30 process (recap to come) and plan to adhere closely to a Paleo diet from here on out (minus some social situations).

Accidental Strip Steak

Last night, after grocery store hopping from Trader Joes to Ralph’s to finally Whole Foods, our sought after meat got lost in the mix.  From the recipe directed skirt steak, to thinking it was flank steak, to purchasing strip steak, we ended up with the wrong meat!

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I’m not one usually for red meat, but I’d eat strip steak everyday.  At $22.99/lb go figure it was good!  With a high price tag, we opted for 1/2 pound of strip steak, and 1 pound of flank steak.  We couldn’t find any good looking bib lettuce, so we went with rainbow chard and ended up making the tacos more like wraps.  Overall, it was delicious and I am so excited to make some more recipes from Practical Paleo!

photoStrip Steak Tacos
Rendition from Practical Paleo Haley’s Skirt Steak Tacos
INGREDIENTS
Juice and zest of one lime
1/4 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon red chili flakes
1/2 lb strip steak
1 lb flank steak
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
1 bunch of rainbow chard
2 dozen cherry tomatoes, halved
1 avocado, thinly sliced
DIRECTIONS

  1. Cut the chard leaves from the stems and rinse them off.  Set them aside to dry.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the lime juice, zest, paprika and red chili flakes.  Place the steaks in the bowl and massage the seasonings into it.  Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  3. Pan sear over medium-high heat for about 5-7 minutes on each side (depending on how you prefer your “doneness”).
  4. Set the cooked steak aside to rest for 10 minutes.  Then slice against the grain into small strips.
  5. Serve the steak, tomatoes, and avocados in your lettuce wraps.

Baa Baa: Day Twenty-Six

I was due in for a long run this week since I ended up not running any extra mileage after Sunday’s race.  By the time my mom finished I was cold (wet sweat) and nothing sounded better than a nap.

Tonight I was originally I was going to try the Lululemon running club, but I kind of forgot about that by the time I was off work.  I seriously thought about how nice it would be to just go home and relax, but I’m already taking it easy tomorrow (morning yoga) and Friday (resting/babysitting).  So  I went out with the intention of running around 6 or 7 miles.  By the time I got to around 2.5, I decided I might as well go for 9.  Seems logical right?  Haha.  As I hit the 3 mile mark, I thought, just as well do 10.  So out 5 miles and back, I finished up just before it started getting dark.  I love these daylight savings days!

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After my run I patrolled Whole Foods for something new to eat.  I’m just getting bored and lazy with my usuals.  So I picked up some lamb sausage, even though I wasn’t sure if I’d  like it.  My few but previous experiences with lamb have been negative. 1. braised lamb in SF with my then-boyfriend and his 94-year-old great aunt –the whole situation reminded me of convalescent food. And 2. lamb skewers at a hookah bar in Jacksonville, FL. –not the most ideal eating establishment.

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The lamb sausage was different but good!  It tasted very robust and meaty, but not a whole lot like beef.  I also roasted some red and golden beets and some rainbow carrots — all outside of my veggie norms.  Of course I still paired everything with an egg omelet smeared with coconut butter (that tonight, tasted kind of like a donut).

Now early to bed, early to rise!