Thursday, April 26, 2012

Food 101: Canned!

So you've probably heard of BPA?  It increases leptin. Elevated leptin = bad.  BPA is used in can lining so that creates a little problem, particularly if your local wine store disguised as health food store Trader Joe's only carries canned beans.  

Let's look at another aspect of this issue:

Calories are equal....that's good. The bag has 11 g of protein and the canned has 6 g?  Strange. This probably has to do with water content as it also varies for the fiber and some of the micronutrients.  More concerning is that the sodium is increased by nearly 16 times.  Gross.  I realize some sodium is good but that is more than I would like.

Cooking dried beans is pretty simple especially if you have a Crock Pot. 

Cooking Dried Beans

1) Rinse the beans in a colander and check for rocks.
2) Put in a Crock Pot and cover with 2 inches on water.
3) Set to high and let cook for 5-6 hours.

It takes some planning but not a lot of actual work! Enjoy your musical fruit without the BPA :)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

It's a Matter of Mind

The temps have once again swung from the 80's to the 50's and I'm pulling sweaters and my favorite holey ol' sweatshirt out of their boxes.   This hasn't slowed me down from making some summery dishes! Fish tacos with homemade tortillas (I was out and I thought, why not? Dumb, dumb idea.)

Usually, I peruse several recipes and come up with a combination of my favorite elements, but when  I came across this tortilla recipe from Hillbilly Housewife I went with my gut instinct and tried it.  Making tortillas is hard work!  I definitely see the many ways our lives have become sedentary. Although I don't think any of my ancestors made tortillas...Anywhatzit,  I marinated the fish (any light fish will do) in lime and garlic then lightly cooked it in a pan.  I topped the tortillas with the fish fillets and my favorite toppings (err...whatever I had in the fridge).

I also made an eggplant salad but I'll spare you the camera phone picture I snapped before lunch.  Just check here and trust me, it's delicious.  I used roasted zucchini instead of avocado though. It's what I had :) No grill needed, just bake the eggplant in the oven.

PS - I also made, what else?! Muffins!  This recipe was actually quite good!  I used BodyTech Banana Cream protein powder because I have so much of it. (Side note: As a drink, this stuff clumps into taffy if the water is too cold.  Blech.)

I also tried a spin class for the first time in a decade!  In the past, I've had the seat adjusted too high and it caused some issues.  Painful issues.  This time was different, I had so much fun...I will definitely be back.  I see it soon becoming addicting!

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mojo is MIA

Wow.  I've applied to so many jobs today, it's exhausting.  I can't really tolerate being in front of a computer this much so I've been a blog-slacker.  I really was going to post a 'Five on Friday' yesterday...Now I can't even recall any of the 5 things I had in mind...

My workout this morning was even a fail.  Lately, my muscles have felt tapped out 100% by the time I even step on a machine.  This is particularly true for my legs.  So when I hopped on the stair climber this AM, it was a short lived effort - 10 minutes! So I pranced over to the ellipti-suck thinking I could get in a lower impact workout.  Unfortunately, I was on a machine behind a guy who was evidently having quite the conversation with himself, God, one of his other personalities, or all of the above.  Complete with hand gestures and waving. That was the last straw, I went home.

I did take a nice walk this evening with Bear while talking to one of my (sadly) long-distance friends... Cardio? Not really.  Just what I needed?  Definitely.

Good night! xo

Thursday, April 19, 2012

WIAW: Fancy v. Functional {On a Thursday}

I had a somewhat fancy Wednesday. My typical weekday food is plain. For example, if my diet plan that day means I need to eat 6 egg whites that AM, I will probably eat them with just a little of thyme & pepper. Sort of gross to most people. SO this Wednesday I made an effort to fancy it up a bit. For breakfast, I made some awesome egg salad the night before:

Here's what it looked like made into an open face 'wich:

Why, yes, those are peas...And for lunch I had a sweet potato stuffed with zucchini, onion, barley, and balsamic chicken (barley seasoned with thyme, lemon juice, oregano, and chili flakes)...

BTW for my snack in the AM I had my usual 20 almonds, and in the PM a protein muffin (leftover from in the freezer!)

I worked late, hit the gym for an hour of cardio, and came home famished around 8:30, despite the fact that I'd eaten a Pure Protein bar at 5. I pulled out this smorgasbord...

I snacked on a couple carrots and strawberries while I prepared some salmon (yogurt was dessert). I topped the salmon with S&P, Italian seasoning, and a lemon slice.

I loosely placed a piece of plastic wrap over it, set the microwave to 70%, and it was done in 3 minutes! {So much for being fancy.} Functional usually wins for me, I guess.

Good night! xo

Shaved Asparagus and Pea Breakfast Egg Salad
2 chopped boiled eggs
1 chopped boiled egg white
1/4 frozen peas
2 asparagus spears
1/4 c finely diced onion
1 T mustard
1 t smart balance mayo

1) Shave asparagus with a vegetable peeler.
2) Stir together all ingredients with a fork. Really smash the yokes with the fork to make it creamier.
3) Chill for a bit if you like :)

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Book Club

Here in the mid-Atlantic it was a gorgeous day to flop oneself across a towel in the sun with a book after a nice long run. On my reading list is the May issue of Women's Health and You are an Ironman.

I came across this delish recipe for ceviche in Women's Health. I've never tried it before and it sounds perfect for a hot summer day! Or a hot April day ;)

I've been reading Ironman for the past week, and it covers personal quests to compete in races and, ultimately, Ironman. Some of the stories are so incredible, I've started to tear on the metro while reading at various points! I'm about half-way through it and highly recommend it.

Other great, inspiring books I've read recently are The Long Run & Into Thin Air. I'm also really looking forward to reading Drop Dead Healthy by A.J. Jacobs. If you haven't read his other works, put down the YA lit and get some!

Have a great week everyone!

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


WIAW is not special here. I'm pretty sure this blog is more buns and breakfasts, and less about running. Do not fear, I will organize my scraps of paper from the gym with my workouts on them into an Excel sheet one day soon...Until then, here's a WIAW, with a bonus WIAM and WIAT (I know).
{Click to enlarge}

Monday, April 9, 2012

Nando's Salad & Banana Cream Protein Muffins

The Nando's Butternut Squash and Couscous salad is possibly one of my favorite salads. Ever. This photo doesn't do it justice. In fact, I'm not even sure it's the exact salad as the one served at my local Nando's. I digress. Anyway, I recreated it using quinoa & sweet potatoes. Peel, cube sweet potato, and boil. Top spinach with chopped onion, canned (or frozen) corn, cooked quinoa, potato cubes, and Spanish olives. I made the dressing with olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, lemon juice, S&P, and a splash of milk. I put the dressing in a small jar (like from artichokes) and then into another ziploc to take the salad to work. (Every fancy salad and dressing container I've ever bought has broken!)

This past weekend I also made Banana Walnut-Cream Protein Muffins. Tasty, no?

3/4 c oats

3/4 c Banana Cream protein powder (via Vitamin Shoppe. You can use vanilla!)

2 t baking powder

1/2 t baking soda

1/2 c Splenda (or 1/4 c agave)

2 eggs

3 bananas

1/2 c yogurt

2 t vanilla

1/2 c chopped walnuts

1/2 c coconut oil

3/4 c whole wheat flour

1. Mix the liquids.
2. Fold in the dry ingredients.
3. Bake at 350 for 20-25 minutes.

Each muffin has about 170 calories and 9 g protein! (Based on 12 muffins)

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

WIAW: What I Ate Wednesday

{Protein pancake with almond butter & chia, spinach salad w. boiled egg & veggies, green smoothie, dinner tonight - sweet potato, lemon-rosemary chicken, steamed kale}

I love quick dinners. Came home to marinated chicken, turned on the broiler, washed & steamed the kale, popped the chicken in the broiler, & then microwaved the potato for 6 minutes. 15 minutes & under 400 calories! Enough room for dessert ;) Maybe after I lift (did cardio during my lunch)...Have a great night!

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Playing Catch-up

If you've seen my Pinterest, it's no secret that I love meatballs...

No, not that meatball...although he is getting fatter. I'm referring to the yummy turkey pesto meatballs I made. They're super easy to thaw and take into work for a quick lunch. You eat at least 21 meals a week; they can't all be exciting but they can still be healthy! Handy that I also had some pesto in my freezer! I've pinned lots of other meatball recipes though if you don't have pesto lying around.

Today I also ran the freaking Cherry Blossom 10-Miler. Not going to lie, it was not this pretty:

But I'm so glad it's over!! My time could have been better but I stopped to pee twice. The first time, at mile 3, there were only 3 port-a-potties (for a 15,000 person race) and the line wasn't moving so I freaked out and jumped back in the race thinking I could just suck it up and hold it. At mile 6, there were a bunch of no-line-facilities just a quick 50 meters away....riiight. Thanks, good planning.

{Post-race cuddles. Yes, I'm obsessed.}

My favorite race is still the Baltimore half - most spirited crowd, for sure :) Platters of gummy bears, orange slices, beer, and music. AMAZING community there. Love.

So with running over, I'm on to something new:

I've got 9 weeks of it! Wooohoooo! More weights, less running..yessss. I mean I still love running but my body needs a break and lifting is much more natural for me ;) It's been a while, I can't wait to get back into the gym.

So for a quick, high-protein breakfast this week I made some protein pancakes and popped them in the freezer.

Protein Pancakes (this is a triple batch for freezing!)
1.5 C cottage cheese
1 C oatmeal
1/2 C ground flax meal
4 eggs
4 egg whites
sprinkle of cinnamon

1. Mix in blender.
2. Use a 1/4 cup measuring cup as a ladle and cook until bubbles come through then flip.

Makes 16 - 18 pancakes. Each pancake is roughly 70 calories, 5.4 g protein, 1.5 g fiber!