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5K Day

16 Jun

Yesterday, Mama Roy and I ran our first 5K together!  It was so much fun and I can’t wait to participate in more races… I’d like to find a 10K to compete in this summer – now THAT would be awesome.

When I run in the morning, I keep myself at around a 10-minute mile.  It’s a comfortable pace for me.  Could I go slower?  Of course.  Could I go faster?  Yeah, I definitely could – but it would give me that gasping-for-air type feeling and I personally like to keep at a more comfortable pace for the duration of 5 miles.

Race day, though, is a little different as far as my pace goes.  Between nerves and excitement, I ended up really pushing harder than I had anticipated.  I finished my 5K in 27 minutes and 14 seconds, making my pace 8:46/mile.  I was really proud of myself and more importantly I loved the feeling of running a race and crossing the finish line.

Fueling your body properly before a race (or any kind of workout) is pretty important.  The food you eat prior to your workout could contribute to how hard you’re really “sticking it out”.  Running, in particular, requires good carb intake.  I don’t eat at all in the mornings before my runs because I go so early that I just can’t stomach anything.  But in the case of yesterday’s race that took place at 6:30 in the evening, I knew that what I ate during the day beforehand would ultimately effect my performance.

I researched here and there a little bit to figure out what to eat before a race and more importantly when to eat.  I already knew that carbs and proteins are essential before a race but what I didn’t realize is that fats can give you a feeling of fullness that lasts hours without weighing your stomach down.  I’m not talking about greasy crap-food from 5 Guys.  I’m talking about healthy unsaturated fats that is in…. peanut butter, for example.  This is the article I read that makes me feel less guilty about my(often large) spoonful of peanut butter daily ritual.

And so, I decided that three hours prior to racing I would eat a bowl of overnight oats… a meal inspired by my good friend at Chocolate and Chaturangas.  It wasn’t made exactly how Evan’s incredible recipes state (she’s got LOTS and I’ve tried almost every single one) because  a meal too high in density would linger in my stomach during the race which is something I wanted to avoid.  I simply soaked 1/2 cup old fashioned oats in 1 1/2 cups of water and zapped it in the microwave for about 4 minutes.  I let them cool to room temp for a while and then stuck them in the fridge for about 8 hours.  I added a spoonful of Greek nonfat vanilla yogurt (to give it body and creaminess), a touch of vanilla extract, a pinch of salt and then stirred it around til it was nice and creamy.  I swirled a tbsp. of peanut butter throughout and sliced up 1/2 a banana in there.  Hello, running fuel.  And thank you, Evan!

Looks good, right?  But please, do yourselves a favor and get the real deal right here.

– Alex

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Maple Blueberry Breakfast Quinoa

14 Jun

It’s June 14th.  It’s raining.  It’s 60 degrees outside.  Do I even have to say my run this morning was not the most fun I’ve had on the pavement at 5:15 in the morning?  And I slipped and fell – I’m talking slid-into-homer-type fall.  Mother Nature, are you going to cut us New Englanders a break any time soon?

This dreary Tuesday morning called for a comforting and warm breakfast.  I decided to experiment with quinoa.  Let’s just say I’m already having a better day!

To tell you the truth, I wish I had made just a little more… as in double that.  But since I was just experimenting and figured I could totally bomb this, I didn’t want to lose good food had it not gone well!!

Serves 2… or 1 person with a big appetite!

Ingredients:

1/3 cup dry white quinoa

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1/2 cup water

3/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Spoonful of Greek nonfat vanilla yogurt

Dash of salt

1/3 cup sugar-free maple syrup

1/4 cup

blueberries (I used frozen but fresh would work too)

Directions:

1.  Toast the quinoa and cinnamon in a medium saucepan on medium heat for about 3 minutes stirring frequently.  Add milk, water and vanilla and bring to a bowl then cover and simmer for about 20 minutes or until the quinoa is cooked, stirring occationally.  Add yogurt at the end while still simmering and mix well.

3.  Heat maple syrup and blueberries in mini saucepan bringing it to a low simmer – the blueberry juice will turn the syrup a pretty purple color!

3.  Drizzle the warm blueberry maple syrup over the quinoa in a cereal bowl and voila! a comforting summer breakfast is born!

– Alex

Monday, Funday

6 Jun

Happy Monday, everyone.  Today is a different kind of Monday today than it usually is.  That’s because Jackie and Bridgette slept over my house last night and are spending the wholllle day with me and Keira.  Not such a bad Monday, right?

I kicked off my day with a 5-mile run along with a hot and heavy chest, back & abs workout that left me feeling alive, energized… and hungry.  So I poured myself a cup of joe and made this bad boy: an egg white omelet of peppers and onions between two slices of whole wheat, extra fiber toast with roasted red pepper hummus.

Jackie and I love the mixed peppers and onions from Trader Joe’s.  They are the best tasting ones we’ve found.  They have a “just came off the grill” flavor to them.  Don’t even bother getting a generic brand at the grocery store – you’ll be disappointed.

1/2 cup Egg whites

1/4 cup chopped onions, red, green & yellow peppers

2 slices whole wheat bread, toasted

A lil’ bitta salt & pepper to taste

1 tbsp. roasted red pepper hummus

1.  Heat skillet on medium-low heat and saute up those veggies just until they’re a little warm.

2.  Turn the heat down to low and add the egg whites.  You’ll want to cook this low and slow so you don’t burn the egg whites – nothing tastes worse than that dry and burnt egg taste.. bleh!

3.  Toast up your bread.  Spread 1/2 tbsp. hummus on each slice.  When the egg whites are cooked through, assemble your sandwich and eat up!!

This is a great go-to breakfast that’s packed with protein and good carbs; perfect for an after-workout meal.  The roasted red pepper hummus really kicks this sandwich up a notch.  And now, off to whip up a delicious protini to complete my Monday morning nosh!

– Alex

P.S. Jackie says she’ll be getting “crack a-lackin” with her posts real soon!  She’s currently doing all sorts of nerdy things with her hard drive right now to get started 😉

My kid doesn’t care that it’s Saturday morning…

4 Jun

…which means she’ll be up at the same time she always is during the weekdays: between 7:30 and 8am.  That being said, regardless of the fact that it is indeed a cozy and peaceful Saturday morning, I was up at 5:20 for my daily (morningly?) run and workout before that sleeping little angel (and husband, for that matter) even woke up.  I like to bang out my routine in the wee hours of the morning so that I have the rest of the day and night to do as I please with my family on this perfectly sunny and 75-degree weathered day.  And anyways, there isn’t anything quite like sharing the sunrise with the cool morning air, birdies, pavement and trusty iPod for a good 5 miles while what seems like the rest of the world is fast asleep.

Breakfast is my all time favorite meal of the day.  It really is.  I genuinely look forward to waking up, accomplishing my daily workout goal, and rewarding my body with a truly healthy and well-rounded breakfast.

Today an egg white omelet with onions and red, yellow & green peppers was calling my name.  Along with that I had a bowl of Puffins cereal with soy milk.  Oh. My. Yum.

Have a beautiful and sunny Saturday, everyone!

– Alex