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Focusing on a Fierce February

January 31, 2012 Leave a comment

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Feeling inspired, I sat down this morning (who am I kidding, I was already sitting down, with slippers on, drinking coffee and watching cartoons with the kiddo) and decided I need to get something more out of this next month.

I did well in January.  I reached 10 miles in my training, and ran my first 10k event.  I made my trainer happy by dropping body fat and inches, and well, I just plain worked hard and I followed my training.  But February is one month closer to my Half marathon.  It’s crunch time now!  I NEED to require more of myself.  Harder workouts.  Smarter workouts.  Better nutrition.  I want to do everything I can to do and feel great.

No excuses.  And just plain don’t suck.

I want to feel fierce after this month!  I want to lower my body fat by 2%, and lose another 2 inches off my waist.  And I want to really improve my core strength.  I came up with 3 goals this month that are VERY attainable. They’re simple.  All I have to do is do the following, consistently, and I will get there.

1. No pizza in February!  It is my favorite food on this earth, but it is getting in my way.  So it has to go.

2. Have a salad every day.

3. Increase my reps and weight in my strength training workouts.  In addition my bench sit ups will increase to 4 sets of 12, as well as my upside down crunches.  These are my favorite things to do at the gym, so it shouldn’t be too hard to follow.

Keepin’ it simple.  I have my miles all planned out for Feb.  I am integrating speed work on Tuesdays, and am on track to hit 13 miles by Feb 18th.  These few extra goals should compliment my running plan nicely.  I feel confident in my training and look forward to where I will be in just a mere 4 weeks!

A delicious salad

November 9, 2011 Leave a comment

It’s not fancy. It’s just deliciously simple. Spring mix with raisins, golden raisins, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds and apple pieces. I put the same stuff on my oatmeal this morning. So good.
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Categories: Food, Nutrition

Playing with Protein

September 18, 2011 Leave a comment

Eventually you’re going to get sick of protein shakes. Sure, they’re delicious. But I really hate cleaning the blender. I’m so over that. So how else can I use my whey protein powder? This week I started putting a spoonful of it in my morning coffee mixed with some milk. It isn’t bad- just kind of boring. This morning I put a little in my oatmeal. Mixed in some flaxseed and vanilla almond milk and boy that was delicious (with an egg on the side). I’ll definitely be eating that again soon.! What else could i do with it?

I came across a recipe for “runners cake” in my Runners World Magazine. I skimmed through the list of ingredients and….wtf…black beans? Yah that’s right. Instead of oil and butter it used black beans. Weird! I was pretty interested in finding out if this was legit. I tweaked the original recipe a bit, making muffins instead of mini loaves, adding 1/2 cup of shredded zucchini. I’ve never had agave nectar before so instead I used zero calorie sweetener instead. (I failed to find Stevia at the store so I used Splenda. Not my first choice but I made an exception even though I don’t prefer artificial sweeteners). Ok so here’s the recipe:

1 cup Applesauce (use one that’s either organic or no sugar added)
1 15oz can of black beans, drained
1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cocoa powder (one with as much cacao as possible)
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup zero calorie sweetener (I actually recommend using less, maybe 1/2 – 3/4 cup. I don’t like the taste of Splenda)
2 eggs
1/4 cup coffee
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tblsp ground flaxseed
1 scoop chocolate whey protein powder
1/2 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350. In food processor, blend the applesauce, zucchini & beans. In a bowl, whisk the whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt. In a bowl of an electric mixer, whisk the sugar & eggs until light & foamy. Reduce speed to medium and add in coffee. Add bean, applesauce & zucchini mixture and vanilla to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Add whole wheat cocoa mixture. Beat on low until smooth & moist. (30 seconds or more). Divide batter among 12 greased muffin tins (fill each 3/4 of the way full). Bake for 20-25 minutes.

Out of the oven they looked like chocolate cupcakes. They smelled delicious, too. I tried one while it was still warm and I was pleasantly surprised! I couldn’t tell it had black beans in it! It was moist and dense and tasted chocolatey. (oh man they would make a delicious dessert with chocolate chips).

So here’s the nutritional info per muffin: 200 calories, 39g carbs, 4g fiber, 6g protein, 2g fat.

I would recommend these as a pre or post workout food. I actually preferred to eat half the muffin (only 100 calories then) about 30min – 1hr before a run. It was enough to keep me from being hungry and I had plenty of energy (I’m sure the coffee in it helped with that)!

In the end I’d say I had a lot of fun baking these. They are something new to enjoy and even though they sounded so weird in the beginning, I really like them. They taste yummy. (Healthfood-yummy. Remember, this is supposed to be somewhat good for you. So use it as fuel). And keep in mind you need to refrigerate these.

The only negative thing was that I could taste the Splenda and I wished I had used real sugar instead -or anything else that doesn’t taste like Splenda). Oh, and the food processor wasn’t fun to clean either. 🙂

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Categories: Food, Nutrition Tags: , , , ,

Are you filling up on “fillers?”

September 9, 2011 Leave a comment

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This week has been different. For the first time in at least 7 months, I am sick. So while I rest up and get better I have been doing some reading. I love learning about nutrition because the more I learn, the smarter I can workout. I’m not about to waste an hour a day sweating on the elliptical if there’s another way to get my body to burn more calories, while working less. (And there is). My point is, the more knowledge I take in, the more smart decisions I can make towards an efficient calorie burning body.

This week I’ve had my mind on food. I love food. And I came across an article that made me think a little more about the ingredients in my food. I always look at the ingredients when I buy my groceries. Everything that goes in the cart. But I don’t know everything (duh) and something has been slipping past me. It’s called Cellulose. Never really sounded that bad. Cellulose. I didn’t know what it was, but I didn’t care to question it either, probably because I could pronounce it and it wasn’t “partially hydrogenated” or “fructose-anything.” Right. So the article I read about Cellulose was called “15 Food Companies that Serve You Wood.” (http://www.thestreet.com/story/11012915/2/cellulose-wood-pulp-never-tasted-so-good.html). huh? I had to read more. Come to find out it is wood pulp. Like from…..wood. It’s made by cooking wood in chemicals to separate the plant fibers. So that creates Cellulose. Food companies add it to food as a filler to mimic fat. It makes food thicker and creamier. So they’re able to market an item as low-fat and “high fiber” and even as organic! They’re saving around 30% in ingredient costs by using Cellulose instead of more expensive raw materials like flour, oil and sugar. Forgoing these ingredients to substitute in a chemically produced wood pulp doesn’t scream organic to me.

Ok so sure, it adds fiber and the FDA says it’s safe to ingest. But the thought of eating “wood pulp” didn’t exactly thrill me. I’m not sure this is something that belongs in my diet. Why would I want to get my fiber from a wood pulp? I don’t! There are definitely better sources of fiber that offer real nutrients along with it. Here is a good list: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/high-fiber-foods/NU00582. Balance is best.

So back to my grocery cart. I’ve seen Cellulose before and I don’t remember where. So I start going through my fridge and my pantry. Well I guess I’ve eaten most my weekly groceries it being Friday and all. But I did find one culprit. Sandwich Thins. Only 100 calories and 100% whole wheat. Oh, and the package says it’s “an excellent source of fiber.”  Sounds like a fantastic choice right?  Obviously, because it ended up in my home.   It’s funny how something that looks (and claims) to be so great could be uh, maybe not so great.  I’m not big on bread anyways, so I wont be repurchasing these.

So although I couldn’t run this week, or workout, I did learn something.  And now I can make more smart choices when it comes to where I want to get what my body needs.  And well, I don’t need fillers!