GF Cauliflower Crust Pizza & Cookies..+New Finds!

As I mentioned yesterday, while I was at home last week I tried a few new foodie things.

First up was a Cauliflower Pizza Crust that I found here from Meals and Moves. I had been wanting to try for a while. I think I had a mind-block that this was going to be very involved recipe, but it turned out to be really easy! Definitely will be making this again.

I pretty much followed the recipe to a T, but I used Daiya (mozzarella flavor)  instead of real cheese.

Pureeing cauliflower

Ready for Mixin’!

Post-baking

Toppings! Red onion, bell pepper, spinach, mushrooms, and 1/2 with parmesan for the father

I sort of expected the recipe to yield more, but it was the perfect amount for my dad and I. Yum!!!

Next up was Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies that I found here (FYI – this blog has a TON of amazing- looking GF recipes…will be revisiting again very soon 🙂 ) They turned out AWESOME! 

Dry & Wet

Now onto the new-to-me things I found at the local grocery store….

Santa Claus Melon 

Looks like a Squash?

Tastes like Candy!

really like melon. All melons. I was a bit apprehensive about buying this melon because I didn’t know anything about it and there is nothing more disappointing than cutting into an under-ripe melon. This was definitely not the case for this melon, though! I am so glad I tired it…really may be one of my new favorites! So sweet.

Tempeh Bacon

Another thing I came across in the store was Lightlife’s Fakin Bacon. I know making your own ‘bacon’ from tempeh is pretty easy, but I thought for convenience’s sake I’d give this a shot first. I really enjoyed it, and surprisingly, so did my dad! It really was simple – just put it on the pan.

My only qualm is that it is not actually gluten-free – the soy sauce they use contains wheat. Side note – a few nights ago I had Chinese food and I think I went on soy sauce overload – I had a huge headache later…maybe because of gluten?? No idea.

Anyway, I’m sure this product only contains a very small amount because I felt fine after, but it would be just as easy to make on my own.

 

I’m off to shower and hit the hay! Have a great night!

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Why Home (Can Be) Awesome

I got back late last night from an awesome week in Texas! Here are a few of the reasons why my week was so great….

…..I was reunited with these weirdos…I miss them so much!!

….I was able to enjoy outdoor lap swimming  in a pool all to MYSELF! Holla early a.m adult lap swim!

…..I caught up with a couple of friends who I hadn’t seen in ages!

….I made a couple of recipes and discovered a couple of new foods that were a hit with my family! Post on that to come tomorrow 🙂

…..I went shopping. I’m actually such a bad shopper because I get overwhelmed really easily and end up leaving with nothing. This time I am happy to report that I got a few new tops, some earrings, and some awesome new minimalist shoes! I’m going to wear them for camp

Love the neon.

….. I spent Friday and Saturday them both in the sun, in the water, and on boats!

My aunt and uncle ironically purchased a boat and lake house around the same time that my family got our boat, so my mom and made the trip to go check it out. The lake was beautiful! It’s was located in East Texas and was much smaller lake than Texoma, but different in that it was very peaceful and heavily wooded.


…..I went waterskiing! On Saturday, my dad, step-mom, and I headed out on our own boat…we had a great time just the 3 of us!! 

They recently got the skis, so this was my first time out on them. I was a little nervous because I haven’t waterskiied in a couple of years, but I was excited that it came right back to me! It probably helped that the skis were made for very beginners – they were super wide. At one point I tried to drop to one ski, but I didn’t quite get there. Next time! 

So fun!

Driving the boat….Yeah, right

Lounging

That’s all folks! I’ll be back tomorrow with the new recipes/food finds!

Goodnight!

Smoothiesssss

Hi friends! 

This post IS about smoothies, but I just wanted to give you a little update on my life status first.

1. Yesterday was my last day at school. I don’t think it’s really hit me yet, but I am definitely going to miss the kiddos. Fortunately, the student I was primarily an aide to is going to my summer camp, so I won’t have to suffer from too much separation anxiety 🙂

2. I am at home! I came back to the grand ole state of Texas last night and I will be here until Sunday so that I can be back for some camp trainings.

3. My runner envy is out of control. Runners are EVERYWHERE in the nice weather. Two more weeks of my self- imposed hiatus from running! Knee better be ready.
Ok, so…remember that time I said I would post soon about smoothies? Whoops! Better late than never 🙂

Smoothies are my very favorite thing for getting a lot of nutrients in each morning. I really feel like I have more energy when I have a smoothie for breakfast compared to other things I might have for breakfast. Plus, they’re so portable, versatile, and QUICK! 

In general, I use the same measurements of ingredients, but mix up the flavors a bit. Here’s my standard “recipe”

Favorite Smoothie Combos

Ingredients 

  • 1/2 a frozen banana (wait until they are REALLY ripe, then break into chunks and freeze)
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup frozen fruit (strawberries, blueberries, peaches, etc)
  • 1 tbsp ground flax
  • 2 tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 scoop protein powder (current fave is Sun Warrior Blend)
  • 1 tbsp nut butter OR 2 tbsp whole nuts
  • handful of spinach or kale (fresh or frozen)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp guar and/or xanthan gum (optional – makes smoothie thick)

Sometimes I add cocoa powder or cinnamon depending on the other ingredients. I also sometimes add a few drops of liquid stevia after taste-testing – sometimes I add a bit more spinach than I mean to – but usually the combination of fruit and protein powder makes it sweet enough.

The great thing about this recipe is that it is really adaptable. You can really use whatever fruit you want (sometimes I do a whole banana and no other fruit), and things like the flax, oats, protein powder, and nut butter can be omitted if you don’t have them or are looking for a lighter snack versus a whole meal.

Steps

1. In this order, add frozen fruits, flax, oats, nuts/nut butter, spinach/kale, almond milk

2. Blend! Stop to stir if needed.

3. Add protein powder, pulse a few times then allow to blend completely

4. Taste test, add stevia if desired.

5. Add guar/xanthan gums (if using) and blend until desired consistency is reached.

And visually…

I realize the color of this smoothie is a bit disgusting (this is due to the spinach), but I promise you won’t think a thing of it after you taste it! 😉 Also, cocoa powder/choco protein powder can help mask the color if it really freaks ya out at first.

Happy smoothie making! Let me know if you try any stellar flavor combos!

Vegetarian Success!

Hello friends!

Today I am excited to share new recipes I have made lately!

I am especially excited because one of them was an actual experimentation, and another was approved / enjoyed by my extremely picky grandpa who does not really seem to understand vegetarianism.
Recipe 1: Lemon Cilantro Cannellini Burgers 

I changed a few things in this recipe to work with what I had on hand. I am happy to report the burgers came out fantastically! I’ve noted my changes below, but you can find the original recipe by clicking on the link above.

  • 1 can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 large handful of fresh cilantro, chopped2 cilantro dorot cubes 
  • 1/4 cup oatbran1/4 cup rolled oats 
  • 1/2 cup breadcrumbs1/2 cup crushed crisp brown rice cereal (I used this brand
  • 1 egg
  • 2 TBS of lemon juice
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • A generous drizzle of olive oil
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Loved the easy directions – mash everything together and fry!!

I really enjoyed the texture and flavor. I think I would probably add a little more lemon juice next time though, because I didn’t really taste the lemon at all in the leftovers.

 

Recipe 2: Lemon Quinoa w/ Zucchini and Chickpeas  < Grandpa approved!

When I was brainstorming ideas of what I could make for dinner at my grandparents, I had a few requirements. I wanted it to involve quinoa (aka veg protein), have no exotic flavors (palatable to everyone), and be easy to prepare. I used recipage.com to find the winner!

Sauteing onion

Prepping ingredients

All together….

Done! And delicious.

I didn’t change a thing about this recipe except for omitting the lemon zest – there was enough lemon flavor with out it!

Too cute

 

Recipe 3: Tempeh and Broccoli

I’ve been wanting to try this recipe for a long time now, and just got around to it. I really like tempeh, so I’m not sure what took me so long!

I served it on top of quinoa. It was a little sweeter than I had expected/wanted, but overall very good! Maybe a little less agave next time?

 

Recipe 4: Black Bean and Corn Salad < experimentation!

Ingredients

  • 2 cans black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 cups fire-roasted corn (or any other corn)
  • 1 large tomato, chopped
  • 1 large red onion, chopped
  • 2 cilantro dorot cubes (or fresh chopped cilantro)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1.5 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 4 tbsp apple cider vinegar (you may want to use a little less…)
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Directions: Mix all together, and let it sit in fridge! The longer it sits, the more the flavor will develop

 

Wow that was a lot of food at once!

Have a wonderful night! 🙂

San Diego Marathon Recap – Part 2

I left off in my last post right after I had crossed the finish line with a final time of 5:07. Not super stoked about this time, but so happy I finished that I didn’t even care (more about this in reflections at bottom of post).

I had been instructed to go to the Team in Training tent to check in immediately upon finishing. I started to wonder around, looking for the tent and/or anyone I knew. I kept seeing signs, but the actual tent was no where in sight.

On my way over, I was stoked to find some potato chips (not sure why I was craving them so badly), but much of the other post-race food was gone by this point. I really wanted to find out where the bag pick-up was because I was eager to get my phone to call my parents. Fortunately, I spotted it before finding the tent, which was a good thing because the tent was still another good .5 mile away. Seriously?!?

After checking in at TNT, I wanted nothing more than to sit. So sit I did. I spotted some teammates and called them over;  there was no way I was getting up, especially with those potato chips in hand.

We took a couple of photos, then headed to the shuttle back to the hotel.

Winners!

When I got back to my room, I was in a bit of a mental funk. I wanted to take an ice bath, but also knew I needed to eat a real meal. I decided delivery was the way to go, so I started looking up places on my phone while alternately trying to figure out the bath situation. I usually just do really cold water (no ice), but the water was not getting cold, and I definitely did not feel going to the ice machine 1032492 times.

After looking through delivery menus with no success (either places were closed or had nothing I wanted), it occured to me to look at the room service menu. Umm, duh? They had a tofu breakfast burrito that sounded amazing,  but it was post-breakfast hours. Luckily, they were still able to hook it up! Score.

Once I had ordered, I made a single trip to the ice machine to fill up my ice bucket, and I got into a semi-cold bath. By the time I was done, I wasn’t sure if I’d have time to shower before the room service came, so I just changed back into clothes and decided to wait. I felt absolutely disgusting, so as soon as the food came I tried to quickly shower, however that ended up being a mega fail because it took me 19319 minutes to detangle a huge knot in my hair. The braid system failed me.

Finally clean, I was more than ready to eat.

Devoured.

At this point, it was about 3:30. I debated taking a nap, but decided my time would be better spent hanging out with friends for my last few hours there. Plus, I figured then I would actually sleep on the plane. I slowly got my act together and headed to a friend’s room. We laid on her bed and recapped/gossiped for about an hour. Then, it was time to get ready for the Victory Dinner! 

The dinner turned out to be a bit of a bust. It was a come-and-go kind of thing, very informal. Also, vegetarian options were really lacking. It was still fun to see the whole team, though! Lots of congratulations, hugs, and photos were had. 

After a while, everyone was ready to move on. They wanted to go get drinks elsewhere, but I decided to head back to the hotel because we were leaving in about an hour for the airport and I needed to finish packing and do some stretching. 

Luckily/coincidentally, my two coaches were on the same flight as me. I was absolutely exhausted by the time we got to the airport. After going through security, we had a bit of time before our flight, and decided to get some beverages to help us sleep a little easier 😉

Hydration Station

The flight was not so great. I slept, but not restfully. I woke up several times and could not get comfortable. When we landed, I just wanted to get into my bed. I actually started to feel really nauseous in the cab back to my apartment, but eventually it subsided and I was able to get to work.

Everyone was really understanding at work and tried to help me out as much as possible, which was great because the slightest movements were quite a task.

As soon as work was over, I came home and ate lunch, and promptly passed out for 3 hours. It was a fabulous nap 🙂

Since then, I feel like I have definitely caught up on my sleep. The first few days my legs (especially quads) were pretty sore – stairs were a total joke. Now, I can go up and down them at a normal pace and they don’t feel sore at all. My knee is definitely not healed, so I am going to continue physical therapy and give it as much rest as it needs – although I am already getting runner envy. I have been taking it easy this week and going to yoga a lot though, which I definitely feel has helped. 

Reflections

1. I am so happy to have been able to have this experience.

2. I would definitely recommend Team in Training to anyone training for their first endurance event. First of all, they really take care of you and prepare you in every way possible. Additionally, they are such an amazingly supportive group of people, and I feel like I have really formed some great friendships that will last beyond this race.

3. I would definitely like to do another marathon sometime in the next year or so, after my body has totally recovered. As I mentioned, I wasn’t stoked about my time, but given my injury all I really cared about was finishing and I am so happy I achieved that goal. That being said, I definitely have even more motivation to see what my body can do when it is not injured

4. Things I would do differently next time:

  • Not be injured during training
  • At least two 20mile runs beforehand – I don’t think the one 18-miler this time was enough to prepare my body for the 26.2 mile distance
  • Yoga at least once a week

And that concludes my recap and reflections – hope you enjoyed reading them!

Have a wonderful weekend!

I Finished!!! My First Marathon – Part 1

Hi friends!

I am so happy to report that on Sunday I finished my FIRST FULL MARATHON!!!

I had mentioned before that because of my knee injury, I was having a lot of doubt that I would be able to make it all 26.2 miles.

Thanks to a lot of rest, stretching, KT taping, and most of all, the amazing support of Team and Training, I did! And I couldn’t be happier.

Here’s a recap of the race weekend (warning – will be long!)

Friday

Leave Boston around 4:00pm.

Someone switches seats with a teammate of mine, we chat for a good part of the flight (life stories shared!), while the rest was spent sleeping/reading. Flight flies by!

Arrive in San Diego around 7:30pm (10:30 in Boston).

Go to hotel, eat, stretch, ice, and pass out for several hours (so needed).

Saturday

  • Eventually get out of bed to stretch and eat some breakfast.
  • Meet team to go to the race expo.
    • Overwhelmed – I have never been to an expo this big! Also, so excited.
    • I buy a shirt, then get in line at the Sports Authority booth to get my knee taped.
    • The line takes FOREVER. Luckily, an awesome friend of mine is nice enough to wait with me!
    • Finally, it is my turn. The guy explains to me what he is doing (cutting two pieces in half, stretching bottom piece out to 100% then back down to 75%, next piece out to 100% then 30% for this half 80% for that, etc) – I just nod my head. Never going to remember what he said.
  • Finally done! Back to the hotel.
  • Lounge around in one of my teammate’s rooms with the rest of the team. She was one of the top 10 fundraisers of all of TNT (over $10k!), so she scored the presidential suite, which was out of control ridiculous.
  • Boston TNT chills hard

  • Get ready;  walk back to convention center for Inspiration Dinner
  • Great speaker, crappy food.
  • Decorate our singlets in the presidential suite.

    Very concentrated

  • Back to my room; lay out outfit/gear/fuel.

    Note the brightness & in-tactness of the puffy paint on the singlet…

  • Stretch/ice one last time. Say a prayer that my knee will hold up.
  • Lights out, alarm set for 3:45!

Sunday

  • Wake up at 3:15. Drank wayyyy too much water.
  • 3:18 – back in bed…somehow manage to fall back asleep for 20 minutes.
  • Up and at ’em!
  • Quickly brush teeth and start to get dressed, then realize my fail of the night before. It didn’t occur to me to put a piece of newspaper in between my shirt, so the paint bled right through to the other side, and onto the bedspread! OOPS!
  • Gently put my still-wet singlet on, and head downstairs to meet my team.
  • Take team photos(full team photo coming soon)

    See that puffy paint now? Yeah, lesson learned.

  • Get on shuttle bus. SO NERVOUS
  • It is cold. Perfect running weather, though – 65 and cloudy. Very thankful that a friend had an extra throw-away shirt she let me wear 🙂 Noted for next race.
  • Get in line for porta potty.
  • Chat with teammates to ease each other’s anxiety. 45 minutes later, it is our turn!

Mile by Mile

  • Head to Corral 27. Myself and 6 others decided we’d all start there (some of us were in earlier corrals)

    Love this. Clearly, we all have different expressions of anxiety

  • First gun goes off at 6:15 am

    *Not sure when this was taken (borrowed photo)

  • About 40 minutes later, we are finally crossing the start line! Everyone is dancing and so excited.
  • Immediately break off into two groups (of 3 and 4).
  • Mile 1: Instantly feel knee pain. Thinking there is no way I will finish this race.
  • Mile 1-3: Great much awesome spectator energy! Great bands/music.
  • Mile 3: I am already so unexpectedly sweaty. Humidity? See best sign of the day: “I just farted. Keep running!”
  • Mile 5: Run through the Padres’ stadium!
  • Mile 5.5: Vanilla Gu + water. Decide that my knee will be fine unless pain gets worse
  • Mile 6: The other 3 girls I was with go ahead; I know I should be maintaining a slower pace.
  • Mile 8: See my coaches standing above me at an overpass!!! So glad to see them.
  • Mile 8-10: Highway stretch. Mostly uphill, and the road was totally slanted. Super uncomfortable. Also, so quiet! No bands/cheerleaders.
  • Mile 11: Chocolate GU + lots of water.
  • Mile 11-14: a bit of a blur…I remember feeling really cold at one point – maybe dried sweat? Gross.
  • Mile 14: Knee goes numb. Feeling GREAT! Thinking about when I should sign up for my next marathon.
  • Mile 16: Why have I not seen ANYONE I know in so long?!?
  • Mile 17: Finally pass friends headed the other direction. Ecstatic to see them!
  • Mile 17.5: Vanilla GU + salt packet + lots of water. See favorite runner costume of the day: Gumby!
  • Mile 18 – 20: Beginning to slow down a bit…
  • Mile 20: EFF this. Body is done. Everything hurts.
  • Mile 20-22: take a walking break every mile. Walk about 1/10th of a mile, very slowly run the rest of each mile.
  • Mile 22:  Chocolate GU + water. A coach hands me another salt packet, which I figure can’t hurt.
  • Mile 22: TNT coach runs with me for about .25 mile. Welcomed distraction/conversation!
  • Mile 23: See my coaches again! Cross over the water to run around a 2 mile island. Thinking I can still maintain sub-5:00
  • Mile 23-25: ISLAND OF DEATH. Normally, this part of the course would have been beautiful. I mean really, an island in San Diego?? Plus, it was super flat. But, during this time, I wanted nothing more than to lay down. Everything is hurting so much. I begin taking a LOT more walking breaks. There are also more TNT coaches (from other teams) during this stretch, so I frequently get asked how I’m doing/if I need anything.
  • Mile 24: Realize sub-5:00 is out of the question. Primary goal becomes finishing.
  • Mile 25: 1.2 miles has never seemed so long.
  • Mile 25.8: Finally see my coaches again after getting off the island!! Try my best to smile for a picture
  • Mile 26: Clearly see the finish line. Want to start crying. A random coach runs with me
  • Mile 26.4 (race was off a bit): DONE!!! Want to immediately start crying. Get handed a metal. Do my best to compose myself for the professional pictures

Stay tuned for a Part 2 – post-race recap + my reflections on the race!