I made it! And a Semi-Recipe

Hi friends! Welcome back from the weekend. I hope it was great, mine sure was!

One of the great things was my run this weekend! I don’t know how I managed to pull it off, but I actually made it through the whole 160 minute run on Saturday. I was completely anticipating pain-city and having to stop. My coach gave me the go-ahead to run as long as I didn’t have any sharp pains; discomfort was okay to run through. Remarkably, it stayed at that!

To set myself up for success, I wore compression sleeves, ran super slow, and stopped at all of the water stops (and stretched at several). The most important thing was that I made it. Almost 16 miles – my longest EVER! I kind of looked at this run as a deciding factor as to whether or not I’ll be able to complete the marathon in a few more weeks. I’m happy to say that after running this, it seems much more realistic 🙂

I made sure to stretch and ice a lot afterwards, along with wearing my compression socks during my post-run nap. Those things work wonders.

Later that night, my friends and I celebrated my birthday! It’s actually not until Friday, but we all have busy schedules next weekend, so we did it a little early.

They were super sweet and brought a cake before our festivities out on the town

Candles blown out!

Such a fun time! I feel so lucky to have such great friends 🙂 

On Sunday, I got my hair cut. It was MUCH needed. I think the last time it was cut was summer maybe…? Oops!  My dad’s cousin’s sister-in-law ( there is probably an easier way to describe that relationship?) cuts hair, so I had fun chatting with her while she snipped away. (P.S. She also has a blog and bakes some very tasty/creative things…check it out here!)

Healthy again!

Now onto the semi-recipe to share with you. I say semi because it’s something I’ve made before, but I just discovered how I like to eat it best.

Quinoa Fried “Rice” (w/optional Peanut Flour Sauce)

Prep time: 2 Min
Cook time: 10 min

Ingredients

  • 1 Cup frozen asian veggie blend (or whatever frozen veggies you feel like)
  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg + 1 egg white

Peanut Flour Sauce (Optional)

  • 2 tbsp PB powder
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1.5 tbsp warm water
  • .5 tbsp rice vinegar
  • shake of garlic powder & ginger powder (optional)

Directions

1. Spray a medium size pan with cooking spray. Heat medium-high, add veggies when hot.

2. When veggies are tender/warm, add quinoa and heat through. Turn heat to medium-low.

3. Using a spatula, push veggies and quinoa to the side. Crack egg + egg white into pan. When they begin to cook, add a splash of water and stir. Continue to stir until eggs are cooked and everything is well combined.

Sauce: Mix all ingredients. Stir into pan, or leave to drizzle on top.

My epitome today was that I actually like this without the sauce stirred in. Maybe this is kind of weird, but I like things plain sometimes. I drizzled the sauce on some of it, but the rest I ate plain with just some salt & pepper on top. Delicious both ways!


I’ll leave you with one kid quote:

babysitting 3 y/o girl, she playing with her named “Tigah”

Girl: Tigah used to be a baby, and I used to be a baby
Me: Yep, everyone used to be a baby. Do you know how old Tigah is now?
Girl: Ummmm…he’s 5….16ths!
Me: 5/16ths?
Girl: Yep!  

Goodnight!

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Why I Love allrecipes.com (+recipes from the week)

Hello friends!

Hope you had a good week; I was sure TGIF-ing this today.

This week was pretty uneventful for me, but I am excited to share with you some recipes I made this week! I’ll also give a quick knee update and kid quote at the end of this post.

First up, we have:

Lebanese-Style Red Lentil Soup from allrecipes.com 

I typically find most of my recipes from the blogs I read , but I love to use allrecipes when I have an idea of what I want to make, but am unsure of the proportions of ingredients to put together.

Once I find the recipes that match what I’m looking for, I look at the number of reviews and how many stars each recipe has been given, and usually pick the one that has the best combination of those thingsThen, I click on the recipe’s review, and sort the reviews by “most helpful“. I usually read the first few reviews, and incorporate tips/changes that people have found helpful.

I have no idea what I was looking for when I bookmarked this recipe (it was a while ago) but I’m glad I did!! It it was absolutely fantastic and surprisingly simple! I halved the recipe, and changed a couple of other things. Here’s what I ended up with

  • 3 c vegetable broth
  • 1 c red lentils
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 large onion, chopped
  • Large handful of baby carrots, chopped
  • 1/2 tbsp ground cumin
  • lemon juice for garnish

Directions 

1. Put veggie broth in lentils in a large pot, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover and simmer for about 20 minutes.

2. Saute garlic, onion, and carrot in olive oil until onion is translucent.

3. After the 20 minutes, stir the onion mixture and cumin into the lentils and continue cooking until lentils are soft (mine were already soft after 20 minutes, but I let it keep cooking anyway to soften the carrot & onion some more)

4. Blend soup if desired – totally NOT necessary… I blended mine a bit, but wanted to leave a little texture

5. Stir in a big squeeze of lemon juice if desired & serve!

*I tried the soup with and without the lemon juice and honestly cannot decide which way I prefer it – both are great!

Served w/sides of brussel sprouts and sweet potato fries

The other recipe I made this week was a take on Southwest Potato Salad. I found this recipe one day while I was looking at Food Buzz Top 9

I’ve noted my changes here, but please see the original recipe for the directions!

  • 1 1/2 lbs baby red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
  • 1 cup frozen sweet peas, thawed  1.25 cup frozen shelled edamame
  • 1 avocado
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (veins and seeds removed if you don’t want it spicy)
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced  3 dorot cubes cilantro(= 1tbsp)
  • 3/4 cup frozen corn (I used Trader Joe’s fire roasted)
  • 1/4 tsp salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper

Edamame, avocado, lime juice, salt

Smooth & creamy

Red onion, cilantro cubes, fire-roasted corn

All together and done!

Fabulous! 

Knee Update

Last week, even after my long run, my knee felt pretty good. After going to physical therapy on Monday, it was pretty sore and didn’t feel quite right when I ran on Tuesday. Actually, it’s felt a little off the whole week… I wouldn’t say it’s painful , but more uncomfortable and I can tell it’s still not totally healed. I pretty frustrated/discouraged because I’ve been doing my recommended exercises, stretches, and icing and really haven’t been running that much. I’m going to try going the TNT run tomorrow, but I’m not expecting to get through the whole 160 minutes of it. I am getting worried that with the marathon so close, I won’t be prepared if I don’t do these next few training runs.

Kid Quote 

This isn’t a long one, but I still thought it was worth sharing…

Out of the blue, the forth grader I work with came up to me (somewhat privately) and said,

“Hey, so, um what’s a Kardashian?”

After I controlled a bit of laughter, I told him they’re a ridiculous celebrity family that people sometimes like to gossip about.

Questions:

What is your favorite way to find recipes?

What would you have said if asked what a Kardashian was?

Have a wonderful weekend! 

Picture Crazy

Hello all! Happy Monday.

I’m back in Boston after a wonderful week at home.

Often, I forget to take pictures of things I talk about on this blog, but this weekend I went a bit overboard with the picture-taking. All about balance, right?

Here’s an overview of the rest of my weekend!

Friday 

As I mentioned, I drove down to the Austin area with my family to pick up our new boat. We got the boat in the morning, then spent a good chunk of the day driving back. It was a little stressful, because we had never towed a boat with our car, but we were all very excited! 🙂 

When we made it back, I went to see my chiropractor uncle  again (more stretching), which was awesomeeee.

Then, I did a little shopping with my mom. Afterward, we had dinner at Chipotle! I don’t know why, but I have been craving it for months and just haven’t gotten around to going. Must. Go. More. Often!

I got a Hugh Jass salad that contained the following:

  • Black beans
  • Corn salsa
  • Grilled veg
  • Fresh tomato salsa
  • GUAC

Dominated

When I got back from dinner, I finally fulfilled my urge to bake muffins. I had been thinking about doing so all week, but kept running out of time/forgetting. I made these Banana Mango Coconut muffins, with the following changes:

  • Bob’s Red Mill GF flour instead of all-purpose (+2tsp xanthan gum)
  • Flax ‘eggs’ (2tbsp ground flax mixed with 6 tbsp warm water, sit for 10 min) instead of eggs
  • dried apricots instead of dried mango
Yum!

Saturday – Run

After taking so much time off of running, I was determined to make my long run happen. I was nervous about how it would go, and anticipating a lot of knee pain. I set out for my local track, thinking it would be the best surface for my knee. Sure, 7 miles around a track isn’t the most exciting scenery, but with some good music it wasn’t terrible! The track is about 1 mile away from my house, so I completed about 9 miles total.

Optimal running weather

Fortunately, I did not have much pain in my knee at all! Chiropractors = miracle workers? I think yes. Even though I didn’t have a lot of knee pain, the front of my leg (same as knee injury) hurt a bit throughout the run. It was almost like shin splints?? I’ve never had them, so I’m not sure…

When I was in major freak-out mode last week, I was reading up on some other people’s experience with patellar tendonitis, and many mentioned that Vibrams were really helpful because they allow you to run in a way that forces you to have correct form, thereby reducing your risk of injury. As I’ve mentioned before, I used to run in my Vibrams a lot, but unfortunately I had left them in Boston. Anyway, I had this bright idea to see how it would feel on my knee to run barefoot, so I ran 2 laps sans socks and shoes. I thought it felt great, until I went to put my shoes back on…my feet were BURNING (and continued to do so for the rest of the day). Yeah, won’t be doing that again anytime soon.

Today, my knee still feels okay! A little dull/achey, but I had expected much worse.

Saturday – Boating

After my run, plus some much needed stretching, icing and re-fueling, we headed to Lake Texoma to put our boat in the water!!

It was a beautiful day, perfect for taking our first spin. Still a little cold to go in the water, though.

Can’t help myself from thinking of the Red Neck Yacht Club 

Make way for the ducklings!

That evening, I cooked dinner for my mom and dad at my dad’s house. I made them the Maple-Balsamic Sweet Potatoes, Chickpeas, and Kale I made a few weeks ago. They really liked it, although I was a bit disappointed the flavors weren’t as strong this time around.

Sunday

Was spent traveling back to Boston, and catching up with my wonderful roomie.

Today was a bit rough getting back into the swing of things, so I am ready for bed! Goodnight 🙂

Quick Road Trip (+ Recipe Page Added!)

Hi Friends!

Excuse the lack of posts this week… as previously mentioned I am at home for April Vacation, and I’m trying to maximize my time with my family and friends 🙂

Here are a few updates about what I’ve been up to, along with some info about my new Recipe Page!! (at the end of my post)

Road Trip

I am currently a few towns north of Austin right now, blogging from the corner of a hotel room while the rest of my family is asleep. We drove down earlier this evening because tomorrow we are going to pick up the boat that my dad and step-mom just purchased!!! It’s our first boat, so we’re pretty excited.

On our way down, we stopped at Monument Cafe for dinner. It’s actually located in the town that I spent my freshman year of college at. I had never been there before, but ironically we just saw the cafe was recently featured on Food Network’s Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives! I ordered the house-made veggie burger and it was great!

Siera and I

Papi and Tracy

Other Recent Eats 

I’ve been terrible about taking pictures, but here’s a few recent eats lately….

A few nights ago, I made this Tempeh Spaghetti with my mom

And last night, I made this peanut tofu for my family. I made some extra sauce to put over some steamed mixed veggies…it all turned out wonderfully! The only changes I made were adding a good shake of garlic powder and ginger powder, as well as a squirt of lime juice to the sauce

On Tuesday, Siera and I went to see Hunger Games! When I came home I wanted something fast and easy…this is one of my go-to ‘recipes’.

Sweet Potato with Egg

  • Microwave a sweet potato until soft (5-6 min)
  • Cut in half; scoop out most of the potato (enough for your egg to fit -leave a little potato to surround the skin)
  • Crack an egg into each half, bake at 375 until desired firmness is reached
    *I like my egg yolks runny, so I usually do about 10 min

I also roasted up some brussel sprouts (most of them didn’t reach the plate before entering my mouth…thus the small pictured amount)

I recently tried a new-to-me flavor of Kombucha (Gingerade)

I really liked it! To be honest, it didn’t think it tasted that different from than the other two flavors I’ve tried, but it was still really good. I would love to try making my own sometime; I rarely buy these because they are SO expensive.

Knee Update

Still not feeling great 😦

I have seen my uncle (he’s a chiropractor) since I am at home, and he has helped me a bit by doing some stretches to my quads and muscles behind my knee. 

I am getting really frustrated because I feel like I am doing all I can with icing and stretching, but have not experienced any major improvements.

Recipe Page

I figured that it was time to create a recipe page because I am documenting so much of what I eat/cook on this blog, and I also because am trying to make more of my own recipes.

Have a lovely evening!

Heather

Home Sweet Home

Hi friends! I’m currently at home (in Texas!) because Massachusetts schools have a week off for April Vacation! 

It’s been a while, let’s catch up!

Running

I had another PT appointment before I headed south. It went fine, but I haven’t had any stellar improvements. I tried running again yesterday, but was feeling some pain so I stopped after about 40 minutes. I keep seeing people out running in the neighborhood and it’s driving me crazzzzzzy!!! I just want to run…I’m starting to get worried that I won’t be ready for my marathon (June 3) if this doesn’t resolve itself soon. Fingers crossed !

Since I’ve been home…

I arrived on Friday nightFortunately I didn’t have any bad luck while I was traveling. Lexi and I were very excited to be reunited 😉

She loves to give hugs! Also, she's a bit of a nutjob

I haven’t really done much worthy of reporting since getting here. I did go to my friend’s new apartment for a little party last night, which was fun. She and I have been great friends since 2nd grade, and it’s always great to see her! Especially since she is one of the only friends I have that still lives in the area. Today, I went to brunch with my mom and two of my aunts. Later, I went to the gym and cooked dinner for/with my family.

Food

Somehow I’ve remembered to take a few pictures of things I’ve been eating/making lately….

Last week, I bought my first cantaloupe of the season. Words cannot express the perfection that is this melon (underripe cantaloupe is naaaaasty!). Also, I have a problem with cantaloupe…once I start, I cannot stop.

I tried making these brownies for my friend’s party, but they were a mega fail. The batter tasted delicious, but after being in the oven for the 35 min the recipe indicated + an additional 10 min, they were still pretty much batter. I have no idea what happened.

These, on the other hand, were a mega success! Peanut butteryyy! And gluten-free! 

Gobble

This morning, I had a green monster smoothie before brunch. ‘Twas delish!

Just drinkin' some swamp

This combo was:

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 c frozen blueberries
  • 1 tbsp flax
  • 2 tbsp oats
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla Sunwarrior
  • 1 c almond milk

As a post-gym snack, I had this tasty number:

  • Plain greek yogurt
  • Banana
  • Mango (another current fruit obsession)
  • Peanut butter

Tonight, my fam and I recreated the curry recipe I made a last month (I forgot to take pictures tonight). We changed out a few of the vegetables, and it came out delicious once again! The whole family actually enjoyed it!

That’s all for today! Hope you are having a nice night 🙂

What was one fun thing you did this weekend?

Spinner, Winner (+ Easter Treats!)

Hi Friends!

Hope you all are swell. I am happy to report that I am feeling MUCH better today.

Knee Stuff

Like I mentioned yesterday, I had my first physical therapy appointment. I really liked the therapist; she was very thorough, and knowledgable about running/marathon training. She thinks a large part of the reason I am having patellar tendonitis is because my IT band is outrageously tight. She also said that my gluteus medius muscle is weak, which may also be contributing to the problem.

The therapist gave me a few exercises and stretches to do on my own (along with icing 1x+/day, and I am planning to go to the center 1-2x/week. She said to stick with cross training for the week, but I should be okay to at least try a long run on Saturday.

Today

It was an uneventful day at school, other than the kiddos dressing up. This week is Spirit Week, so each day they get to wear something different. Today was Crazy Day, which was pretty much a free-for-all. I saw kids in suits, halloween costumes, mis-matched, etc. I didn’t participated because I totally forgot since I was out on Monday. Tomorrow is Hat Day, so hopefully I can dig something up. 

My excitement for the day was finding a mouse in one of our mouse-traps. I may have freaked out a little lot. Luckily, my roommate was there to dispose of the creature. I don’t know what I would have done on my own. We’ve been trying to catch this guy for a couple of months now (hopefully he was the only one?), but it’s actually kind of funny that it happened today. Last night, I had a dream that there were animals all over our apartment (think bunnies hopping) and we had no idea how to get rid of them.

Tonight I decided to go to a spin class. It was great! Unlike last time I went, I really liked the instructor. I especially liked what she did with tonight’s class. The songs were all Red Sox player songs, in honor of opening day. Fun!

Easter Treats 

I meant to post this on Sunday, but being sick got in the way a bit.

I wanted to show you the awesome Easter basket my dad, step-mom, and step-sister sweetly sent to me! I mentioned receiving it in this post  , but had the will-power to wait until the holiday itself to open it 😉

Thanks again, guys! The basket was ordered from Well Basket. I had never heard of the company before, but it seems like a great one! From their website:

Well Baskets offers unique healthy gift baskets for birthdays, holidays, and special occasions. Dietary restrictions/allergies are never a problem, and our signature line of illness-specific get well gift baskets will have them feeling better in no time.

I also received a few fun things from my aunt and her family and my grandparents on Sunday…

  • Spring-y scarf
  • Salad container w/fork, knife, and separate dressing container (will be perfect for work!)
  • Fun VEGAN candy bars!!! (+ one more unpictured) … I had to try one right away 😉 Delish!

What is your favorite Easter candy?

Easter Weekend 2012

Hellooooo! Hope you all had a nice holiday weekend! I definitely did, except now I am at home, sick. Boo.

Friday

I had the day off, so I went to visit my cousins for a couple of hours. We went to lunch at a really  cute place called Blue Moon Bagel Cafe. I drove by this everyday to/from work last summer, but never went in…wish I had! After lunch, we took a walk around a big park. 

Aren't they adorbs?

Then, I went to tutor one of the kids I babysit for. I have never really done any tutoring before, but it went really well!

On my way back, I stopped by the gym and went on the elliptical for a bit, followed by a few strength exercises.

Saturday

Even though my knee had started to bother me a bit again the past couple of days, I was determined to at least try running with my TNT group. I woke up early, ate a quick breakfast, and was on my way. This week our clinic was on injury prevention (a little late for me…)

We had 90 minutes on the agenda today, and it was PERFECT running weather! Sunny, cool, and very little wind. I wore a cho-pat strap on my knee, but I’m not sure it helped. I felt a tiny bit of pain for the whole run, but the last 10 minutes were not good. 

Immediately after the run, I did some stretching and used the stick roller. I also talked with my coaches about seeing a physical therapist who has helped a lot of TNT members in the past. Then, I hurried home so that I could take another ice bath. I drank a hot cup of almond milk + protein powder while in the tub, and that definitely helped!
After my body warmed itself up, I took a quick shower and headed back out to meet a friend of mine whom I work with at camp for coffee. We live so close by, but do not see each other nearly enough!
Then, I came back and took a nap. I think it was around this point that I started to realize I wasn’t feeling great, again. Like I mentioned the other day, I was feeling kind of crappy but thought that I nipped it in the bud by taking some echinacea. Well, something was clearly lingering and it started to come back. After napping, I packed up and headed over to my aunt’s house to hang out with her, my uncle, and two cousins.
All I really wanted to do was sit around on the couch at that point, which is exactly what we did, after hitting up the grocery store for some recipe ingredients and a can of soup for dinner. My aunt also got me hooked on the show “Missing” – I watched the first 1.5 episodes (before crashing) and want to catch up on the rest before the next one airs on Thursday!
Sunday
Voice totally gone, countless tissues used. Feeling disgusting. I took my time getting up, and eventually did some prep-work for this recipe for chocolate peanut butter eggs .

The filling

Then, I ate a leisurely breakfast (oatmeal) before finishing up on the recipe.

Creamy goodness

Dipping process

Finished product! (With sprinkles, of course)

Once the eggs were ready, I forced myself to put on something a bit more presentable before my grandparents joined us. That was followed by some more sitting around chatting (or trying to ) with them, and watching the Red Sox game. 
About an hour before we planned to eat, I got started on making this risotto from Daily Garnish. Since the rest of my family are all meat-eaters/ not quite so obsessed with healthy food, my aunt offered to let me make something she knew I’d enjoy eating. I had made the recipe once before and loved how it turned out. Plus, I thought the lemon and asparagus in the recipe were very spring-ish!
It turned out great once again, and my family who tried it seemed to enjoy it. The only downside was that I doubled the recipe for the 7 of us, but with all of the other food we had, it ended up being way too much. Oh, well…more for leftovers!
After dinner we continued watching the Red Sox game, and I headed home towards the end.
I went to bed thinking I’d see how I felt in the morning for work, but I could pretty much tell it was going to be a no-go. I woke up several times to blow my nose and felt terrible each time. When my alarm went off, I made the necessary contacts to tell work I was sick, then fitfully went back to sleep for a couple of hours.
This morning, I woke up craving pancakes. I almost never make them, and my appetite has been funky the past couple of days due to being sick, but I went with it! I used this recipe, which I have been meaning to try for a while. It was a success…these hit the spot!

Topped with PB, Maple syrup for dipping!

Now, I am thinking I might head to a minute-clinic to see what’s up, even though I don’t really want to have to take any anti-biotics. I haven’t been sick in well over a year, but that doesn’t make this any less fun!
 I also have my physical therapy evaluation this afternoon – I will let you know how it goes!!
Have a nice Monday!