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super speedwork session

I rushed home from work to get in a speedwork session in the daylight!  Well, I got in my run, but it got dark so quickly.  Oh well!

I finished 7.28 miles in 1:06.  In those 7 miles, I did 8×800 with a 2 minute rest between each (and a 1 mile warmup and cooldown).

8×800

1 – 3:50

2 – 3:48

3 – 3:53

4 – 3:52

5 – 3:53

6 – 3:50

7 – 3:53

8 – 3:46

I stayed pretty consistent and killed that last one!  I have less that 2 weeks to go until my Half Marathon, so I think that this will be my last speedwork session.  I can’t believe that I am in week 10 of my training!

Felt great after my run, but very ready for dinner.  Good thing my wonderful husband had it all ready for me!

Our main ingredient was romaine lettuce, since we do not have many other veggies in the fridge and are trying to use up some food in our cabinets before buying anything else.

The romaine provided an excellent base for our meal.

On top of the bed of greens was a mix of basmati & wild rice (from TJ’s – they have the best rice mixes!), oven roasted tomatoes & onions, toasted sliced almonds, raisins.

The tomatoes and onions were drizzled with olive oil and maple syrup, then baked in a 400°F oven for 25 minutes.  They were sweet and tender with just a hint of maple flavoring.

There is the rice peeking out from underneath all of the deliciousness!  This blend from TJ’s was a mix of basmati & wild rice, lemon, herbs and spices.  It had just enough flavor for my liking.

Served with a toasted whole wheat sandwich thin with a spread of earth balance and a sprinkle of parmesean cheese.

All around delicious meal with leftovers for tomorrow’s lunch!

And, for dessert I broke out another vitatop – Chocolate with Peanut Butter Chips – and topped it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and chocolate drizzle.

It’s been a super productive day!  I’m ready to hit the sack.  Goodnight!

cherries & chocolate

I made the best smoothie for breakfast this morning!  I was looking around at other blogs to be inspired, since I was getting sick of my smoothie combinations and I came across Kristen’s Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake!  It is all over other food blogs out there, so I knew I needed to try it pronto.

Below is Kristen’s recipe, with the few additions that I made.

Cherry Chocolate Bomb Shake
Recipe by Kristen Suzanne of KristensRaw.com
Yield 3 cups

1 cup filtered water
1 frozen banana, chopped
1 cup frozen cherries (I used 1/2 frozen berry mix, 1/2 frozen strawberries – it was what I had!)
1/4 cup hemp protein powder
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons raw chocolate powder
splash vanilla extract (I used a few drops vanilla stevia)

added: 1 tbsp cacao nibs, 2 handfuls spinach!

I didn’t have a cup big enough to hold this smoothie, so I used two!

But, obviously, I drank both cups myself.  This smoothie was SO good!  It was the best I have had in awhile.  It tasted like chocolate covered strawberries and I could not taste the spinach at all.  If you haven’t tried this already, you need to try it!

I also had a slice of millet toast with earth balance, flaxseed meal and cinnamon.

When lunchtime rolled around, all I wanted was another Cherry Chocolate Bomb!  But, luckily, I had packed a nutritious lunch to get rid of my cravings.

Whole wheat pita filled with 1 laughing cow wedge, cucumbers and romaine.

Pineapple Chobani with homemade granola.

This was a delicious lunch (I love this Chobani!), but I still wanted some more Chocolate Covered Cherries, so I headed out to Barnes & Nobles for a new beverage that I heard was debuting today at Starbucks – the Dark Cherry Mocha!

Well, I was disappointed!  Compared to my awesome smoothie this morning, this drink tasted really artificial.  I was bummed.  Plus, I have not been drinking coffee, so this instantly hurt my stomach.  I drank about half, which satisfied my craving for the time being.  Next time, I’ll stick with tea!

A few hours later, it was snacktime!  Guess what I had?!

Cherry Semolina crackers from Dr. Krackers and Sabra hummus.

I also had an unpictured apple because I was feeling like I needed more fruit.

I never realized how much I love cherries and chocolate!

Off for a run, then a simple dinner!

healthy lap of the week – change up your greens

Healthy Lap of the Week – Change up your Greens!

(Source)

Incorporating vegetables into your diet is important to make sure that you consume the essential vitamins and minerals that your body needs to survive.  However, it is also important to vary the vegetables that you eat!  Many people buy the same things every week at the grocery store.  I used to be guilty of this.  I would buy spinach, peppers and brocolli every single week!  But, I got so sick of them.

The reason that I was getting so sick of eating the same vegetables week after week, was because my body was craving other nutrients that I could not get from my spinach, peppers or brocolli!  My new plan of attack at the grocery store is to purchase items that are on sale.  This way, I am buying different veggies each week and my body is getting all of the necessary nutrients it craves and requires.

Different vegetables contain different nutrients.  This is especially true with greens.  There are so many varieties of greens in the produce section these days, many of which customers have not even heard of.  Try to incorporate a different leafy green into your diet each week.

Recipe websites, such as 101cookbooks.com, epicurious.com and allrecipes.com, allow you to search for recipes by vegetable.  I have found recipes using these sites multiple times!  And, they all have turned out delicious.  Before heading to the grocery store for the week, look up some recipes using a new vegetable that you would like to try.  Your body will love you – you’ll get some different nutrients and keep your mind and body guessing.  This will also keep you from getting bored with your ‘go-to’ recipes.

Here are  some examples of dark green leafy vegetables, the nutrients that they contain and the best way to eat them (Source):

  • Arugula has a peppery taste and is rich in vitamins A, C, and calcium.  It can be eaten raw in salads or added to stir-fry, soups, and pasta sauces.
  •  Broccoli has both soft florets and crunchy stalks, and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and fiber.  It can be eaten raw or steamed, sautéed or added to a casserole.
  •  Collard Greens have a mild flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C and K, folate, fiber, and calcium. The best way to prepare them is to boil them briefly and then add to a soup or stir-fry. You can also eat collard greens as a side dish. Just add your favorite seasoning and enjoy!
  •  Dandelion Greens have a bitter, tangy flavor and are rich in vitamin A and calcium. They are best when steamed or eaten raw in salad.
  •  Kale has a slightly bitter, cabbage-like flavor and is rich in vitamins A, C and K. Kale is tasty when added to soups, stir-fries, and sauces.  Or, when made into Kale Chips!
  •  Mustard Greens have a peppery or spicy flavor and are rich in vitamins A, C, and K, folate, and calcium. They are delicious when eaten raw in salads or in stir-fries and soups.
  •  Romaine Lettuce is a nutrient rich lettuce that is high is vitamins A, C, and K, and folate. It is best when eaten raw in salads, sandwiches or wraps.
  •  Spinach has a sweet flavor and is rich in vitamins A and K, folate, and iron. It tastes great eaten raw in salads or steamed.
  •  Swiss Chard tastes similar to spinach and is rich in vitamins A, C, and K, potassium and iron. It is best stir-fried or eaten raw in salads.

Most importantly, have fun trying these new greens and new recipes!