Archive for May, 2010

Double double, toil and trouble…

Yesterday I completed a double workout and man was I tired afterwards!¬† I went to bed on the early side last night though and slept for almost 9 hours last night ūüôā¬† What can I say?¬† I kicked my own butt!

If you guys have no idea what I’m talking about, a double workout means just that – I ran in the morning and then I ran again after work.¬† I used to do doubles during marathon training after reading this article in Runner’s World: Double Your Pleasure¬† Basically the article states that the more miles you log per week, the better your running economy… meaning you use “less energy to run fast”.¬† Who wouldn’t want that?

I guess there are people who would argue that it’s better to vary the types of workouts you have so that you consistently burn lots of calories, but personally I’d rather be able to run and burn fewer calories per mile because it means I can go for longer without having to carry extra food with me.¬† There was a time in my life when exercise equaled calories burned, but now I run for my cardiovascular and well, mental, health.¬†

I’ve actually noticed over the years as I have upped my mileage that I am less ravenous after a run – regardless of distance, and feel much less drained and needing of a nap.¬† To me this is good news because I like running to be a part of my day, not to be the focal point of my day.¬† My life is punctuated¬†by runs, My running is not punctuated by periods of rest & sleep.¬† Of course don’t get me wrong… I love biking, swimming, snowboarding, kayaking and a million other activities, but running probably has the biggest and most consistent presence in my¬†daily life.

Why do I run?¬† I actually keep a list of reasons saved on my computer that I like to open and read occasionally for motivation.¬† I’d like to share my reasons with you (in no particular order of importance)¬†– maybe they’ll change the way you look at running a little.

Why I run…

  • No matter how short the run, I get a wonderful feeling of accomplishment afterwards
  • A healthy immune system
  • Makes me appreciate my body and remember that true beauty is strength, health and endurance
  • Instant stress and tension relief
  • A complete escape from my thoughts ‚Äď I can literally just ‚Äúturn off‚ÄĚ
  • An all over glow and relaxed, yet energized feeling afterwards
  • Provides an escape from the boredom of sitting inside
  • A chance to get outside and remember how beautiful nature is
  • Gives¬†me an¬†opportunity to talk to God
  • Makes me feel strong and like a true athlete
  • Makes me look at food in a different way; more as fuel and something to be thankful for than a source of stress or anxiety
  • After a run I always sleep better
  • After I complete really hard runs, or run in bad conditions, I feel like I can tackle any problem in my life
  • The more I run, the more pride I feel in taking care of myself
  • Makes my cramps go away!
  • Food never tastes as good as it does after a hard run
  • I love the way running makes my body look

Why do you run??

May 28, 2010 at 9:32 am 3 comments

Another use for chickpeas

Hey guys, hope you’re having a lovely Hump Day!¬† It’s gorgeous out here in NYC today and I finally feel like summer’s here.¬† I know, it’s not “officially” summer until June 21st, but since I’m not in school anymore my definition of summer says that once my office goes casual after Labor Day it’s here.

Yesterday I decided to run home from work again along the Hudson River… I seriously love that I’m able to do that!¬† I didn’t do the extra loop in the park I did last week since it was HOT, but going straight home it was still a solid 8.5 mi – not bad!¬† When I got home despite the a/c cranking out cold air in my apt I just didn’t feel like cooking up a hot dinner.¬† I had some cooked chickpeas stored in my freezer that were felling neglected so I decided to thaw them quickly for a quick spin on a dish inspired by an article in the NY Times by¬†Mark Bittman a while back that I had saved.¬† He called it “Chickpea Tabbouleh” – I called it delicious.¬† ūüėČ ¬†

Chickpea Tabbouleh (serves 4)

  • About 3 cups cooked chickpeas, chilled (canned is ok)
  • 1 small bunch parsley, roughly chopped
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tsp olive oil, plus more to taste
  • salt to taste

This is so simple!¬† Add you have to do is throw everything in a food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and roughly chopped – I left mine with some whole chickpeas remaining because I didn’t want it to become too finely ground. ¬†

I made a quick Tzatziki Sauce to pour overtop.¬† I used Greek yogurt for the fiance, but if I had more time/ingredients I would’ve used goat milk yogurt or cashews as the cream base since I’m lactose intolerant and unfortunately even 0% Fage doesn’t quite like my tummmy.¬† The tzatziki sauce was as follows:

Tzatziki Sauce (contains dairy)  

  • 6 oz. Fage 0% yogurt
  • 1 tsp dried dill
  • 1/4 cucumber, peeled & chopped
  • 2 tsp salt
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

I threw all of the ingredients in my Vita-Mix and pureed until a thick sauce formed.¬† It was so so good… I only wish I could handle more than just a small taste ūüė¶ ¬†You could easily make this non-dairy by using coconut or soy yogurt though!

To put it all together I put some of the Chickpea Tabbouleh into a pita pocket along with sliced tomatoes, sliced radishes, chopped lettuce, diced cucumbers and topped it with a tiny dot of Tzatziki… I couldn’t resist.¬† I ate the other half in salad form and it was just as delish!¬† Such an easy summer meal… you will definitely see this one pop up again soon!

May 26, 2010 at 7:27 pm 1 comment

Slaw & salad

I love and hate Sundays in a way… I mean, I love that it’s the weekend, but there’s something kind of melancholy about Sundays. ¬†The work week looms ahead, the fridge is in need of refilling and everything seems so lazy and quiet, like everyone around me is winding down. ¬†Sorry, that sounded kind of depressing, just a case of the Sunday night blues I suppose.

Tonight my appetite was just non-existent for some reason. ¬†I had a super heavy lunch from Candle Cafe today that tasted amazing, but was just so dense. ¬†It was a vegan taco salad with strips of seitan, corn, beans, tofu sour cream and some other delishiousness over greens and tortilla chips and I think my stomach just never quite recovered from it. ¬†Since I didn’t want anything heavy I decided to make use of the fresh ingredients I picked up at the Union Square Farmer’s Market yesterday and made a huge salad. ¬†

In the mix was red & green lettuce, a plum tomato, half a cucumber, a couple radishes and green olives.  

I topped everything off with a dressing made out of dijon mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt & pepper. ¬†I don’t know if you can even tell in the picture, but this was enormous!! ¬†It was still light though, which is what I was going for.

On the side I made some Dairy-free Coleslaw. ¬†I didn’t follow a recipe and instead just went off what sounded good. ¬†In order to get the creaminess that usually comes from mayo I made my own cashew milk using very little water in the Vita-Mix to make it thick and creamy. ¬†I whisked in some raw honey for sweetness and voila! ¬†I’d say I used about 1/2 c. cashews and 3/4 cup water, and then ended up pouring in half of the resulting cream. ¬†I added in approx 2 tbsp honey as well. ¬†

For the slaw itself I shredded 4 medium carrots and 1/4 of a napa cabbage in my food processor with the grater accessory on. ¬†Then I chopped up 1/2 a large Granny Smith apple and threw in about 1/2 cup raisins. ¬†Mix everything together and dig in! ¬†You could get creative and add some minced parsley or walnuts as well, but I wanted to keep it light and simple. ¬†Ok bloggies, I’m off to watch the Yank – Mets game… let’s go Yankees!!

May 23, 2010 at 8:14 pm Leave a comment

A different kind of commute

I accomplished my goal for yesterday Рand then some!!  I had been wanting to try to run home from work for some time now, for both the challenge and to experience a new running route since open spaces for running in NYC are sorta hard to come by.  After work yesterday I changed into my running clothes, stuffed my work clothes and shoes into one of my drawers and locked it and grabbed by subway pass, ID and keys and hit the pavement!  I made sure not to bring my purse or wallet yesterday to reduce the amount of things I had to carry home with me.  I work waaaaay downtown Рliterally at the bottom point of Manhattan so I had a bit of a journey ahead of me up the West Side highway to get to Central Park, and then cross over to the Upper East Side.  I had no idea how far it would be so I took my trusty Garmin Forerunner 405. 

The West Side Highway running path was much nicer than I had expected!¬†¬†¬† Not only are you separated from the highway so that you’re not breathing in exhaust, but it goes alongside the Hudson River so I got a nice sea breeze as I ran along.¬† I even got to see the USS Intrepid on my way uptown!¬†

…it’s massive my friends!¬† I finally left the running path and made my way eastwards towards the park entrance at 72nd Street.¬† I looked at my Garmin and saw that it only took me 6 miles to get there – not bad!¬† When I got into the park I debated a little; cross directly at 72nd Street and head up to my apartment, or keep going?¬† The masochist in me won.¬† I almost think it’s a dangerous game for me to be reading the book Ultramarathon Man¬†by Dean Karnazes.¬† It’s a truly amazing book, but it definitely awakens the warrior inside me and makes me want to push myself further and harder.¬†¬†

…12 miles later I found myself at the exit to the park, tired and exhilarated.¬† It was my longest run since the Boston Marathon¬†in April and felt great!!¬† I’m actually considering making this a weekly occurence for me.¬† Maybe it won’t be 12 miles every time (it would have been just about 8 miles if I had gone straight home), but it’s just a nice and different way to end the work day.¬† Next time though I’m definitely going to remember to bring some of these suckers though in case I make it a long run again…¬†

I was kinda fading by the end.¬† These little Honey Stinger¬†chews¬†are great though if you’ve never tried them.¬† Processed foods and running gels/chews can do a number on my digestive system so I was so happy to find these a little while ago.¬† They’re organic¬†and use honey as the main sweetener so it’s much gentler on your tummy.¬† Plus they contain sodium, potassium and magnesium; which helps prevent cramps during intense exercise.¬† Try them out!!¬† Enjoy the beautiful weather today everybody – I know I will! ūüôā

May 21, 2010 at 12:59 pm 2 comments

Monster greens!

Happy hump day everybody!! ¬†The weather here is still damp and cold, so I came home absolutely craving a baked potato this evening. ¬†I just discovered this stuff called Delhi Saag made by Jyoti and I am so freakin’ in love! ¬†I highly recommend this stuff as an alternative baked potato topping! ¬†

I was clearly in a very green mood tonight because I ended up making a monster salad to go along with my potato. ¬†Seriously, this picture doesn’t even begin to show you how massive it was… I used half a head of green leaf lettuce, half a cucumber, one plum tomato, a ton of spanish olives and a homemade dressing of dijon mustard, red wine vinegar, olive juice, salt & pepper. ¬†Love, people; love. ¬†

All together now!  

I’m sitting here downloading my morning run stats from my Garmin and I am shocked – my mile time has gone waay down!! ¬†I ran 3.72 miles this morning with an average pace of 7:32!!! ¬†Maybe I should change my name to Speedy: ūüėČ ¬†Well off to chillax and watch some Real Housewives action. ¬†Gotta rest up because I’m planning to run home from work tomorrow!! ¬† I think it’s about 8 miles, but let’s just hope I don’t get lost!!

May 19, 2010 at 7:46 pm 4 comments

Back on track

So I am finally done with my cleanse and happy to say it served it’s purpose in my opinion and I feel great. ¬†Since I’m no longer marathon training I have been kind of struggling with the transition back to normal meals and snacks and the cleanse really helped me “press reset” if you will. ¬†I was not doing this to lose weight as I am happy with my body as it is, but I did want to get back in touch with listening to my hunger. ¬†You see, with all those extra miles I was logging I felt like I was eating for two! ¬†I needed to make sure I was well fueled before and after my runs, but the problem was, once the running cut bak, the eating did not ¬†ūüė≥ ¬†The cleanse does give your digestive system a rest, but it also is very helpful in making you become more in tune with your body and hunger levels. ¬†For me it helps get back on track and stops those annoying sugar cravings – I swear once I have sugar or junk, it’s the only thing I can think about eating for days afterwards, and although I normally don’t cave into those feelings because I know it’s a vicious cycle and makes me feel worse, it’s just plain annoying. ¬†Especially when on a normal day I’d take savory over sweet every time!

Anyway, the BluePrint Cleanse advises you stick to fruit only for the first day, but I know my body and I knew I couldn’t do that… the real key I think is just to slowly introduce solid foods that are easier to digest so as not to shock the system. ¬†Even if you’re not vegan, I’d say it’s a good idea to stick to a vegan diet the first few days (although I’m not a Dr. – just going off what works for me). ¬†Last night I had some veggies and wine even though I was technically ending the cleanse and had no problems so I figured it was fine to move away from just fruit today. ¬†The morning started off with a glorious 7 mile run through Central Park followed by some fresh juice (green apple, pear, celery and carrot), and a monstrous green smoothie. ¬†Mmm looks like toxic waste… ūüėČ ¬†

I don’t know what it is about these, but I actually like the subtle flavor the spinach gives. ¬†Plus, they’re the most effective post-run drinks I’ve ever made… instant, easy to digest food for your muscles which reduces soreness and speeds up muscle recovery. ¬†This particular mix had: Banana, maca powder, 1 tsp instant coffee granules, a few sprigs fresh mint, Vegan protein powder, vanilla extract, chia seeds, 1.5 cups water and about 6 ice cubes. ¬†Yummers!!

Today was gorgeous out so I took full advantage and did a whole lot of walking around. ¬†There was a quick stop to Slice for a bite of deelish vegan pizza (2nd Ave between 73rd & 74th St – check it out) and then there were some various nibbles throughout the day… ¬† Hummus = love.

Well I’m going to go read for a bit… I just started Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes and I am totally engrossed! ¬†Enjoy your evening lovies!!

May 16, 2010 at 5:14 pm Leave a comment

Day 1 – check.

Wanna know what I ate today? ¬†I’ll give you a hint… you can slurp it all up through a straw. ¬†That’s right, I just finished the first day of my 3-day BluePrint Cleanse – Foundation Level. ¬†The juices are all raw & unpasteurized and quite tasty I might add! ¬†I started off my day with Green Juice, which was filled with Romaine, Celery, Cucumber, Kale, Parsley, Green Apple, Spinach, Lemon. ¬†

Since I did the Foundation level, there were actually three of these spread through the day (juices 1, 3 and 5). ¬†The next juice was one of my favorites… the Pineapple, Apple & Mint Juice. ¬†Yummers! ¬†…followed by another Green Juice. ¬†

Juice numero cuatro was a Spicy Lemonade made out of Lemon, Agave and Cayenne Pepper. ¬†I seriously love this juice regardless of how gross it sounds. ¬†I’ve heard people say it’s similar to the Master Cleanse, but I’ve never tried that one so I have to trust their word on that. ¬†…followed by the final Green Juice. ¬†

Drumroll please for the best part of my day… Cashew Milk!!! ¬†

This drink is a mix of Raw Cashews, Vanilla, Cinnamon and Agave and tastes like heaven in a bottle. ¬†Ever since my first time doing the BPC I have actually started making this drink in my Vita-Mix quite regularly. ¬†It helps to soak the cashews when making it yourself, but the Vita-Mix is so crazy powerful you almost don’t have to.

How do I feel? ¬†Quite good actually! ¬†I normally eat mainly vegan with the occasional sushi/sashimi dinner so I didn’t have much “preparation” to do before this. ¬†Last time I think my body was being filled with a lot more junk so I experienced some detox side effects like headache, fatigue and nausea, but this time so far so good. ¬†At work today I was kind of cold, but then again I’m normally cold at work… ¬†I was actually even able to hit the gym and get a swim in! ¬†I limited myself to 1/2 mile so as not to burn myself out because I want to be able to go to spin class tomorrow.

Ok chickadees, I know it’s only 8:48pm, but I’m off to get ready for bed. ¬†Although it is a nutritional cleanse and provides lots of vitamins and still gives you 1,250 calories. ¬†Not a ton, but way more than most “fasts”.

May 13, 2010 at 7:59 pm 5 comments

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