Wednesday, July 10, 2013

On the Road

So I'm on the road for work this week. Of course on the shuttle to the hotel, I'm looking scoping out places that I can continue my training. I ran 4 miles today. Ummm......I've lived on the West Coast for the last 7 years which does not have humidity, and I'm currently in Atlanta where it's only 50% humidity, and I'm dying. Like I'm having a hard time breathing and that's just walking. I busted out 4 miles like a champ, but I thought I was going to die! Okay...maybe not die, but it felt like I was running on day 1 like day 1 of ever working out. I have a 3 mile trek tomorrow which isn't too bad, but I had planned to run the long distance run this week - 7 miles - here. I think I'm going have to re-think that. I just don't know if I will make it.

But anyway, when you're traveling, plan to work out! Pack for it! And if it takes up a little more room in your suitcase, look at it this way, if you keep up the running, soon your smaller clothes won't be taking up the room anymore.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

Marathon Training - Week 2

Well, this post is mainly week 1 and 2 wrapped up into 1 post. 

Week 1 - Well, whenever you start anything, you're excited and can't wait for the next day to accomplish your goal. I did well with the miles, and I felt good the paths I was taking. They included hills and sprints and all my miles were staying within the main goal of keeping pace for a sub 4 hr. marathon finish. 

And then life happened.....

Staying up too late...not wanting to wake up the next morning...just saying that "I'll just make it up another day..."..."It doesn't matter if I skip that day..."

Well, let's just say that Week 2 was MAKE UP WEEK. 

My goal, my adventure, my journey for this marathon is follow everything in this training. I want people who are reading this to see the many miles that is put into doing a marathon, and the dedication and commitment that you have to make. Well, okay, not everyone has to do this, but I HAVE TO do this to make sure that I make it through. 

So I made up the mileage. I did an extra couple of miles on Tuesday, and then today, I did an extra 3 miles. I ran a total of 9 miles this morning, and I felt amazing. I ate half of a Lean Muscle Cookies & Cream Bar. Can I tell you...gross? I wanted to throw it up as I was choking it down. There was the taste and the look of Cookies & Cream, but the overwhelming taste of chalk in my mouth was way too much. And my first 3 miles sucked too as a result. I just felt the bar sitting in the middle of my chest. I felt like I couldn't get my breathing under control and that my body was just going into autopilot mode. But I will say around mile 4, that heaviness went away, and I felt powerful. I felt like I could run and run and run...and I did. I had made a plan at mile 2 that I wasn't going to run up this giant hill toward the end, but at mile 7, I had convinced my body of otherwise, and I ran up that hill. I felt amazing! 

I learned a hard lesson this week. 1) Don't miss days, but 2) 50% of this training is really about going through the mental exercise of fighting your body through another mile, another building marker, or just another step to reach the end goal. 

What made me really smile this morning was that my mom had texted this morning, just letting me know that they had made it back home from their trip, and she was wondering what we were doing today. I told her that I had ran 9 miles this morning, and my dad instantly calls me, and the first thing out of his mouth was, "You impress me." I was totally shocked by this statement. I mean, I run 9 miles for fun. It was a challenge, but it was fun. To me, I hadn't thought that it was impressive. Then, my dad tells me that he has to start looking for tickets, so he can watch me run 26.4 miles. I kindly reminded him that it was 26.2, but he said that I have to think 26.4, so I made sure that I run all the way through the finish line. 

Ah..good thinking...

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Lasagna Roll

If you love pasta and cheese and cheese and pasta, then you will love this recipe. It was delicious. And the green from the spinach makes this dinner look beautiful! I would recommend making a salad to go with this meal. Having the 1 lasagna roll - which is the serving size - might seem a little small, but balancing off the meal with a salad would make this great. Also, this recipe lends itself for you to add additional items to make this meal hearty. I would recommend adding squash, zucchini, and even ground turkey, since this is a veggie dish.

10 servings | Cals: 240 | Pro: 15 g | Carbohydrates: 25 g | Fat: 8.5 g | Saturated fat: 3.5 g | Cholesterol: 18 mg | Fiber: 5 g | Sugar: 4 g | Sodium: 460 mg | PointsPlus: 6 | PreviousPoints: 5 |

  • 10 whole wheat lasagna noodles, cooked to al dente (about 8 minutes), well drained
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce (no sugar added, I like Ragu Lite or Amy's Pasta Sauce)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 6 cups baby spinach, loosely packed and chopped well
  • 1 cup low-fat ricotta cheese
  • 1 1/2 cups part-skim, shredded mozzarella
  • 1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese (small curd if possible)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • Kosher or sea salt to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Add 1 1/4 cups marinara to a 13" x 9" x 2" casserole dish.
In a large skillet, add oil and heat to medium-low heat. Saute garlic until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add chopped spinach and saute until wilted, about 3 minutes.
In a large mixing bowl, combine garlic, spinach, ricotta, 1 cup mozzarella, cottage cheese, egg white, oregano, salt and pepper.
On a work surface, lined with parchment paper, arrange lasagna noodles flat, add 1/4 cup cheese and spinach mixture to each noodle, spread evenly to cover noodles. Start rolling the noodle at the end closest to you. Place lasagna rolls seam side down, not quite touching, in the prepared casserole dish. Evenly spread 1 cup marinara over rolls, sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and parmesan.
Cover with aluminum foil and bake 20 minutes, or until cheese is hot and bubbly. If desired, serve rolls with additional heated marinara. 

Three Cheese Ziti w/ Turkey

I've finally had a chance to start cooking, which has made me a much happier camper. During my high school years, ziti was a recipe that my mom would turn to every week. It was easy, great flavors, and produced a lot of leftovers. Although the ziti was delicious, it was full of calories. This recipe made it feel just like home but with a healthy twist. Delicious comfort food. And the best part - leftovers!

Servings: 8 | Calories: 289 | Total Fat: 7 g | Previous Points: 5 | Points Plus: 6 | Saturated Fat: 3 g | Trans Fat: 0 | Cholesterol: 20 mg | Sodium: 228 mg | Carbohydrates: 43 g | Sugars 3 g | Dietary Fiber: 5 g | Protein: 15 g

  • 1 pound lean ground turkey, (optional, if you prefer meatless)
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 (24 ounce) jar marinara, no sugar added
  • 4 cups cooked ziti or penne shells (cook according to package, about 2-1/2 cups dry shells)
  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese, shredded, low fat
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
In a large skillet add ground turkey, diced onion, minced garlic, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and cayenne pepper. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up meat as you go, cook until turkey has lost its pink color. Drain any fat from turkey and add the entire jar of marinara sauce, stir.
Cook ziti or penne shells according the package instructions, al dente is preferred (firm but not hard). Drain and add to cooked turkey and marinara.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a large mixing bowl combine cottage cheese, mozzarella, ricotta and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and oregano.
In a large casserole dish or 9" x 13" pan, add 1/2 turkey mixture (cooked turkey, marinara and cooked shells), top with half cheese mixture, repeat.

Cook uncovered for approximately 30 minutes or until cheese is melted and bubbly.

Slow Cooker French Toast Casserole

So I've noticed this recipe a lot, and I have always been wanting to try it, but for whatever reason, I never had any of the ingredients. Well I ended up having a loaf of bread in the pantry, and since this recipe takes 9 slices, it was an excellent choice. This is an excellent item for Sunday morning brunch. Get up, put everything in the slow cooker, go work out, and then come back for some delicious (and healthy) food! Thanks Skinny Ms.!

Yields: 9 Servings | 1 Serving: 2 Triangles | Calories: 227 | Total Fat: 7 g | Saturated Fat: 1 g | Trans Fat: 0 g | Previous Points: 4 | Points Plus: 6 |Cholesterol: 9 mg | Sodium: 187 mg | Total Carbohydrate: 34 g | Dietary Fiber: 4 g | Sugars: 19 g | Protein: 9 g

  • 2 whole eggs
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups 1% milk, (almond or soy will also work)
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract|
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 9 Slices whole grain bread
  • 3 cups finely diced uncooked apple pieces (Honey Crisp or Gala are both great in this recipe)
  • 3 tablespoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup diced raw pecans
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
Add the first 6 ingredients to a medium mixing bowl, whisk to combine. Lightly spray the inside of the slow cooker with nonstick cooking spray.
Add all the filling ingredients in a small mixing bowl and stir to coat apple pieces, set aside.
Cut bread slices into triangles (that's in half, just triangle shaped). Place one layer of bread (6 triangles) on the bottom of the slow cooker, add ¼ of the filling and repeat until there are 3 layers of bread. Add the remaining filling to the top.
Pour egg mixture over bread. Cover and cook on high 2 to 2-1/2 or low 4 hours, or until bread has soaked up the liquid.
3 Bananas (diced) can be substituted for apples.

Note: Drizzle with 100% pure maple syrup if desired.
This is a good candidate for putting it in the fridge and warming it up the next day for breakfast. Unfortunately though, the way that the recipe is designed, the egg mixture goes on the top of the bread, creating a trickle down effect, so some parts are soggier than others, and for me, I am NOT A FAN of mushy textures like flan and things like that, so there were parts of the casserole that I didn't enjoy that much. But overall, the meal was delicious. Great flavors!

The Start of Marathon Training

The day finally came! The reason why I even started this blog. Yesterday, I started marathon training. I've been telling everyone that will listen to me. Of course when I say, "I started marathon training," the immediate return question is, "How many miles did you run?"....hahahahahahahaha. Only 3 miles. But it was a great 3 mile start. Felt good being out there, following a training plan.

The plan that I'm using is Can I tell you that it was difficult to search the internet for a marathon training plan? Most of the things that I did find, I had to pay money for, and then the other collection of training plans seemed too rude. What I mean is like they seemed they were yelling on the computer screen that you shouldn't attempt this plan if you can't run this long. I don't care if you're just walking, you should try and encourage everyone set a goal and accomplish that goal.

So for this marathon, I have 2 goals:
1) Finish it - That's the ultimate goal! The amount of people that start a marathon, do not finish it, and I want to finish it.
2) Sub 4 hrs. - I know, this sounds crazy to try to have this kind of goal for my first marathon. The average time for a woman my age in 2010 was 4:48. I'm saying that I'm going to do it 49 minutes faster than the average. Haha...good luck to me.

I think it's getting the right mindset. Another thing that I also started on Monday was MFP. Well, I restarted MFP. I believe I had a streak of over 430 days, and then it died on Friday. It probably should have happened a while ago. I was only checking in to put one, maybe two foods down just to keep the streak, but then I would be eating bowls of ice cream and handful of chocolate nuts and everything. This start of the marathon training gave me the right start to say, you need to recommit yourself to your body, living a healthy lifestyle, and wanting to be the best that I can be.

Well as the time goes on, I will keep up the blog, so you see how doing my first marathon goes. I hope that I don't turn people away from the idea of a marathon, but there aren't many blogs that showcase the beginnings of the blog. Usually they are geared more to the end. So that is the commitment I am making to you, reader.

So have fun and Happy running!

Friday, June 7, 2013

Excuses Don't Burn Calories

Saw this on pinterest today, and I thought it was an excellent poster. We can come up with every excuse of why we shouldn't work out, but how about coming up with a reason to work out. If you want to feel good about myself, then the enemy aren't clothing designers, and the enemy aren't your genetics, it is all those times when you beat yourself up and told yourself that you are a failure.

You are not a failure...