randomthoughtrunning

Running 13, 13.1's in 2013 and the thoughts along the way!

Spinach Smoothie Success!

Just wanted to share that I was successful in finding and trying a spinach smoothie. Never thought I would be drinking a nasty color green smoothie, but it was delicious. I am someone who has trouble eating or drinking things that looks a  little “off”. Can’t eat fish because the thought of eating something so ugly, just makes me loose my appetite…and don’t even get me started on shrimp…but anyways I gave the Spinach Smoothie a try thanks to Cooking Light and it gets two big thumbs up from me!

spinach

Adapted from Cooking Light:

3 -4 Cups Spinach

1/2 a Kiwi Chopped (I recommend freezing them before, to get the smoothie nice and cold)

1 ripe Banana

3/4 c non-fat plain Greek Yogurt

1-1.5 cups Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

1 tbsp Agave Nectar

Blend all together and Enjoy!

 

Run On-

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Fuelin’ Up

source:dimedigger.com

source:dimedigger.com

I may have had one too many Rum and Cokes last night, so this mornings run was a bit fuzzy and reminded me of how NOT to fuel up for a run. On days I am not randomly drinking on a Sunday night, my fuel for running is pretty basic. I eat a balanced diet and try to avoid processed foods, I don’t eat a ton of carbs which can be tricky for long runs, but do my best to up the carbs a day or two before real long runs.

Daily fuel before a workout is a glass of water and 1/3 of a Cliff Bar. Yup, I cut a Cliff bar into 3 pieces and have one each morning. I am an early morning workout person, so I am not hungry when I wake up, but know I need to eat something to get the metabolism going, so 1 piece and I am good to go!

Long Run Fuel (10+ miles) includes a slice of bread with with 2 tbsp of peanut butter and a glass of water. I try to eat this about 30 minutes before I run, unlike my daily fuel where I can just grab a bite and be out the door running, I need things to digest a little before  getting out on the road. I also have broken down and bought a fuel bel (Nathan Speed 2: http://www.nathansports.com/our-products/hydrationnutrition/racespeed-series/speed-2), so I have 2 bottles of water with me as well. I can’t say I love my water belt, it leaks alot, but after lasts years really hot summer and the many times of driving the course before running it to hide water in the bushes, the belt does have its benefits. I try to drink a sip of water every 20 minutes or so. When it does get hot, I will add half gatorade, half water to the bottles. Bloks_blkcherry-12-10As for eating, I love Cherry Clif Shot Blocks (by the way I am not spokesperson for Clif Bar, just happened to like their products!) they come 6 in a pack and generally 2 throughout a run holds me over. I will eat one each hour depending on how hungry I get. For really long runs(20+ miles), I will add a Gu into the mix. Some are grossed out by Gu, but this stuff is my favorite, if I could eat it on a daily basis I would, the chocolate flavor taste like cake batter, and really does give me an extra boost when my energy starts to dwindle.

Race Day Fuel is pretty much the same as long run fuel, but depending on the time of the race from when I get up, I will space out my PB sandwich and add in a banana for a little extra potassium.

Post Run Fuel is my biggest struggle, as crazy it is to think that I am NOT hungry after running for a few hours, I am not. I have no appetite for at least an hour after a long run. I know I need to eat so I will drink a protein shake or glass of chocolate milk to get something in my stomach. Fast forward to an hour after I am done and I am STARVING! This was my biggest mistake when I first started long distance running, I would run a train through my kitchen eating everything and I actually GAINED weight after my first marathon. I have now learned from my mistakes and eat a balanced meal with protein and carbs, usually chicken breast and brown rice or quinoa with some salsa is my go to.

Of course this is what works for me, and I definitely urge you to eat what works for you. This may take some trial and error, thats what training is for. As important as it is to get the miles in, it is also important to practice your fuel. Once you have found what does work well, keep with it, no point in trying a new adventurous dish the night before a race!

What fuels you?

Run On-

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Home Sweet Home

IMG_0271My husband is still in bed at 6pm, we have an empty keg on the back porch, and the house is clean…I would say it was a great house warming party!  We had a fun time opening our new house to our family and friends. Drinks were flowing and the food came out great. After a week of prepping I am really happy with how everything turned out and as promised here is what was on the menu:

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Main Snacks:

Sandwich Platters from Roche Brothers

This was great to have the sandwiches pre-made, while I like making every thing from scratch, buying these ahead of time was great. Tasty finger sandwiches and reasonably priced. Roche Brothers is a local supermarket in the Boston Area, and while the name may gross you out, its a great store and I will definitely use their catering again.

Mozzie Tomato Skewers

Easy snack! Threaded small mozzarella balls, cherry tomatoes, and a basil leaf on a toothpick and serve! I used marinated mozzarella from Costco which added to the flavor, they were sooo good!

Buffalo Chicken Dip

Franks Red Hot dip recipe is a party must, I pretty much make it for every gathering and its an easy make ahead app.

Sun Dried Tomato spirals

This was another pinterest idea that I found several places and ended eye balling the amounts of ingredients.

Take one roll of puff pastry and roll it out on a cookie sheet

Sprinkle 1/2 cup of shredded parmesan cheese on the puff pastry, followed by 1 cup shredded basil, and 1/2 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes.

Roll up puff pastry and bake at 350 until golden brown (20-25 minutes)

Let cool, and slice into half inch slices and serve

Bacon Scallion Pesto Flat Bread

I make this for dinner often and thought it would be an easy snack to serve, it was a hit!

Check it out over at the food network: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alexandra-guarnaschelli/flatbread-with-bacon-and-scallion-pesto-recipe/index.html

Tex Mex Snack Mix

Thanks to Shugary Sweets, a nice twist on your basic chex mix.

Macaroni Salad

 

Desserts:

Reeses Peanut Buter Cookie Dough Dip

IMG_0273

I can’t take any credit for this, but you need to try this recipe. Head over to Shugary Sweets, for tons of great ideas. (http://www.shugarysweets.com/2013/01/reeses-peanut-butter-cookie-dough-dip) It was a hit, everyone loves eating the leftover cookie dough after a batch of cookies. Well this recipes cuts out the cookie part and just lets you eat the dough and not feel guilty about eating raw egg!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 8 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup semi sweet mini chocolate chips
  • 8oz pkg Reese’s peanut butter cup Minis (or about 1 1/2 cup chopped Reeses cups)

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add brown sugar and butter. Whisk until completely combined and butter is melted. Bring to a boil, remove from heat. Whisk in the peanut butter and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese with powdered sugar until creamy (about 3-4 minutes. On low, add in brown sugar mixture (that has cooled to near room temp). Mix until combined. Fold in mini chocolate chips and mini Reese’s cups. Serve immediately or store in refrigerator until ready to serve. Enjoy with pretzels, animal cracker and graham sticks.

Chocolate House Keys

I found a key mold on Amazon.com and bought different color melting chocolates to have “House Keys” as a tasty treat!

IMG_0274

S’more Pops

This may be my new favorite “easy” dessert. Simply put marshmallows on skewers of lollipop sticks, dip them in melted semi sweet chocolate chips, and roll in graham crackers, and serve. So easy and GOOD!

Magic Bars

Chocolate, Coconut, Graham Crackers, YUM!

Drinks:

“Pirate” Punch

This punch is inspired by our favorite punch served in Key West, so while it is a copy cat of the genuine punch in florida, it does the trick!

1 container orange juice

1 can (big size) pineapple juice

1/4 cup grenadine

1/4 cup simple syrup

Juice of 2-3 limes

We mix ours in a large gatorade container, and add a bag of ice. Mix all together and enjoy!

Kamakzie Shots

Red Velvet Cake Shots

These were a desert in a glass and probably could lead to major trouble if you indulge in too many!

1 oz Creme de Cacao

1 oz Whipped Pinnacle vodka

splash of grenadine

Combine in a shaker and drink!

And of course…BEER!

While I want to keep this post a reasonable length, I won’t share all the recipes, but if you are interested in any of them, just let me know. I must say most of my menu was inspired by Pinterest. If you haven’t gotten on the pinterest bandwagon, check it out. There are so many fun ideas out there, from outfit ideas to recipes. I am hooked! Now back to the grind and another week begins. Ocean’s Half Marathon next weekend, which means back on track with healthy living, but every once in a while a good night of drinking and partying is needed!

Run On-

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Smoothies and More

Hope everyone had a good weekend and I realize I am saying this on Wednesday when it’s nearly the weekend again!

I had some great visits with friends and family and overall enjoyed my weekend. I got 7 miles in on Saturday morning, which was nice to finally get back outside, but unfortunately it was like ice skating more than running and really a slow run. Oh well! I did get outside this morning, which felt great. I will hit up the elliptical tomorrow and then its rest time before the Half on Saturday. Can’t wait!

I did attempt a few smoothies as mentioned before and have been adjusting to my new protein. Before I start, my smoothie craze has started because each year I give up coffee/tea/hot chocolate for Lent. I steer clear of all coffee shops for 40 LONG DAYS. So to fill the void each morning I make smoothies, while they are nowhere near the same as delicious as a Soy Mocha, they hold me over. So back to my new protein and smoothie recipes.

I decided to try something new on my last order of supplements. I primarily order from bodybuilding.com, I am in no way shape or form a body builder, but they have great prices, tons of variety in flavors of protein, and you can’t beat the shipping. I generally have an order at my door within 2 pays of placing it. I also like shopping with bodybuilder.com because I am not a fan of GNC and other chain supplement shops. I don’t have anything against them, but I just know what I want and don’t want to be bothered by the salespeople who are always trying to up sell me on something “better” than what I am buying. I have a background in Fitness and do a ton of reading on what’s “out there” in the supplement world, so I feel I have a pretty good handle on what I take.  I digress, but really check out bodybuilding.com!

I decided to try Pea Protein, yup you read that correctly and surprisingly its pretty good. I have been taking hydro whey for that last 2+ years and while I have no problems with it, I have read about Pea Protein and its easy digestion while still reaping the protein benefits. Here is the description from the Olympia Labs website:

“Pea Protein is a natural, vegetable-based protein powder derived from yellow peas (Pisum  ativum). Yellow peas are more commonly known as “split peas” and are used extensively in food preparation such as in soups and purees. Pea Protein is ideal for vegans, offers an excellent nutritional profile. Vanilla & Chocolate Flavor. “

So far I have had a good experience with it, it is very thick and a little less sweet than I am used to. I ordered the chocolate flavor which I regret slightly as I feel like I could add a lot more things if I had the vanilla flavor.  I don’t have any complaints or dislike besides the amount you can order. There are only 30 servings in a container, which for me only lasts about 2 weeks. I generally like ordering a 2-3lbs at a time, so I am not paying for shipping every other week.  Here are the smoothies I have made so far:

Choco-Peanut Butter Smoothie

1 scoop Olympia Labs Chocolate Pea Protein

1 tbsp flax seed

1 tbsp Teddy Natural PB

3-4 ice cubes

1c water

Aprox ¼ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

Pinch of Guar and Xanthum Gum

I found precut frozen strawberries and bananas by Dole in the grocery store which have been great for quick assembly in the morning for this next smoothie, pretty plain and simple

Strawbanana Smoothie

1 scoop Olympia Labs Chocolate Pea Protein

1 tbsp flax seed

1 c frozen bananas & strawberries

3-4 Ice cubes

½ cup Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Milk

¾ cup water

This next one was a reach, but I actually enjoyed it. I get teased because of my love for sweet potatoes, so when my Husband saw me making this, I think he finally accepted that I am crazy for sweet potatoes. I might omit the nutmeg tomorrow but still tasty

Sweet Potato Smoothie

½ cooked sweet potato (I left the skin on for an extra fiber boost)

1 c greek non fat yogurt

dash of cinnamon and nutmeg

1 c water

Agave nectar for sweetening

So far that is all in my smoothie quest, I have to note that most of these recipes were adapted from other bloggers, I love reading peoples recipes and attempting my own version with tweeks here and there. One of my favorites is heandsheeatclean.com, check it out, they put these few recipes to shame!

Run On-

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