Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Run With Your Heart

The last two long runs I've done were 15 miles last week and 16 miles this weekend.  Thinking about the distance pretty much freaks me out and I can't believe I accomplished that!

I woke up on the morning of the 15 excited!  I had made my own gels and I thought I had the recipe close to perfect!  I also brought boiled potatoes sprinkled with salt that I cut up to alternate with the gels (I read that they are a good fuel for endurance sports).  I also brought a bottle of water and money to stop for more later.

Homemade gels. It's just geletin, chia seed, and juice. 

I had thrown the gels in the freezer the night before, but by the time I ate my first one at 3.5 miles, it was already liquid, it was supposed to have a more jello-like consistency.  On the plus side, the potatoes worked really well and were delicious!

The run also seemed to pass quickly, except miles 8-10 seemed to drag a bit.  I even sprinted the last bit to finish strong!  I felt really great afterwards...besides the fact I could barely walk because my feet hurt.

The next day, I laid on the couch and watched the whole first season of Orange is the New Black on Netflix.  That would be  reason I was so sore - I didn't move!  By the second day, though, I felt fine.

The 16 mile run was a little tougher.  I was really excited to run! I had Clif Shot Bloks and a Luna bar for fuel along with water and money to stop for more.  Becky planned a new route to Kenosha, which followed the bike trail out to UW-Parkside and through Pets.  Once we got to  the park, the route started getting pretty hilly.  There was one hill that I would have walked if Becky weren't running in front of me!

 I was also really, really thirsty the entire run.  I started with a bottle of water, then I bought another water at mile 6 or 7 when we stopped at a gas station for the bathroom and beverages.  Then, I refilled my water when we got into the park.  And I filled up again at mile 13ish when we stopped at another gas station, where I got a large bottle of Gatorade, which I chugged, and a water to refill my bottle!  

I was SO ready to be done with this run.  I was just mentally drained.  I really didn't care if I finished (even though I really did).  I was telling myself to let Becky go ahead and I would just walk home.  I was already a few strides behind her.  Then, Becky turned around, waited for me and said, "We are finishing this together!"  So, we ran side by side until there was about .2 left and she took off to sprint to the end.

Next week is only 12 miles! I'm way too excited about that!

What's the longest distance you've ran?  Do you run with some one or solo?

Friday, August 9, 2013

Lifeway Kefir Smoothie Recipes

Influenster sent me a coupon for a free Lifeway Kefir product that I reviewed here. I made a couple of smoothies that I really liked.  Here are the recipes!

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

1 c. Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Plain
1 c. Strawberry
1  frozen banana (softened, per instructions below)
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 oz. coffee, hot or cold

Put all of the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.

I use at least one fruit as frozen, usually the banana.  Just throw your bananas into the freezer once they begin to get too ripe to eat.  When you want to use it, throw it in the microwave for about 30 seconds and the peel will come right off!

Mango Protein Smoothie

1/2 c. Lifeway Kefir Lowfat Plain
1/2 c. Simply Nutritious Morning Blend
1 mango, peeled and cubed
1 Tbsp. Chia seeds
1 Tbsp. NutriBiotic Rice Protein Powder

Throw all of the ingredients in a blender.  Blend until smooth.

I had the mango one after a long run for some quick protein.

Do you like smoothies?  What's your favorite?

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Influenster Lifeway Kefir Review

I'm fortunate to be a part of Influenster. They send out products to be tested and reviewed with your honest opinion. I've been sent a Voxbox, which had a lot of different items in it, a new type of Palmolive dish soap, and now I was sent a coupon for any free Lifeway Kefir product.

I chose the Lowfat Plain flavor. I figured that way I can add it to a variety of foods to see how it tastes. I tried it in a couple of different smoothies and some in my scrambled eggs.

Strawberry-Banana Smoothie

Mango Protein Smoothie

Fluffy Scrambled Eggs with Spinach

The taste has a bitter sort of sour flavor, just like a plain yogurt. The texture is like a thinned yogurt, very thick and creamy. I don't think I could ever drink the stuff straight up, but the girl at the grocery store and someone on Twitter told me how much they loved every flavor!

While I chose the plain flavor, there are a ton of others, including frozen products such as fro-yo and frozen Kefir bars!

Here are some perks of Kefir directly from their site:

-Lifeway Foods ONLY uses milk from grass fed cows that is rBGH free (Bovine Growth Hormones) and Antibiotics free. The milk also comes from farms that take great care for the cows, treating them in a humane way

-Lifeway Kefir Products are sweetened with Organic Cane Sugar not High Fructose Corn Syrup

-Lifeway Plain Kefir is unsweetened for the sugar conscious

-Berries like Pomegranate, Blueberry, Acai, and Cherry contain a higher 
Antioxidant count. Lifeway makes all of these great flavors loaded with Antioxidant Power.

-All of Lifeway's products are gluten free.

My overall opinion of the plain flavor?  It was okay.  It added protein to my smoothies and didn't bother my stomach like dairy milk does.  I didn't care for the thickness or bitterness of it, which I could taste through the other flavors. I also wished they had some recipe suggestions on their website like other products do and because of the thick consistency, I couldn't think of much else to try it in.

"I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes.  As always, the opinions are my own."

Have you ever tried a Lifeway Kefir product?  Love it or leave it?

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Sweet Pepper and Barley Soup Recipe

Today, I had a 7 mile run to do.  I was determined to get it done, but I took a while to get going.  I finally hit the pavement at 1:30.  I thought the run would go well...for some reason.  It was a tough one.  It was hotter and more humid than I thought and I was drinking more water than I planned.  I was taking it slow though, with my miles between 12:30 and 13:00.

I did a simple out and back; run 3.5 out turn around and run back.  By mile 4, I took a walk break.  I was so hot and thirsty.  After a couple of minutes, I started running again.  I walked two more times by mile 7.  I had saved about 5 oz of water for after my run.  It was hot, yet delicious.  I need to remember to just keep a couple of dollars in my fuel belt so if this happens again I can just stop somewhere and buy some water!

After that, I ran another 2 miles with my friend Melissa who is starting the Couch to 5k.  I offered to go with her for some support.  It's always easier with a friend!  And we would have to push 2 strollers for her 3 little kiddies.  We ended up only needing one, because the third stayed home with his Grandma to sleep.

I have to say, moms who run with strollers get a lot of respect from me.  I don't think I could do that with one, much less 3 kids to push!

I also made some soup today.  I've had a craving for some lately.  Maybe it's the cooler weather we've been having.

Sweet Pepper and Barley Soup

2 c. chopped sweet peppers
2 c. cauliflower, chopped into pieces
2 c. kale, ripped into smaller pieces
1 c. barley
1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, diced
3 cloves garlic
3 c. vegetable broth
5 c. water
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. black pepper

Heat a soup pot over medium heat. Pour in the EVOO.  After about a minute, add the onion and garlic.  Let them cook for about a minute, until softened.  Add the sweet peppers and cover.  Cook for about 3 minutes, or until they've softened up a bit.  Add the cauliflower, barley, vegetable broth, salt, and pepper.  Bring the soup to a bowl.  Then lower the heat, cover, and simmer for about 30 minutes.  Add the kale and simmer for another 10 minutes. Enjoy!

Do you eat soup in the summer?  What's your favorite kind?  
Do you run with a stroller?  

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Rock My Run

Someone on Twitter suggested the app Rock My Run for running music.  I checked it out and decided to download it.  They have running mixes that are different lengths of time (30-120 min) and also give the bpm for the mix.  Any mix under 45 minutes is free to listen to.  If you want longer mixes, it is only $2.99/month.  For now, I just downloaded some free mixes.

Rock My Run

Yesterday, was a 10 mile run.  We only listened to music for the last 2-3 miles.  I turned on my Rock My Run music and really liked it.  It's a DJ mix where the songs are pretty seamless and just float into each other.

I really liked the app, because I didn't know what songs were coming up as opposed to when I play my iPod.  I feel like even in "shuffle" it plays the same songs in the same order.  There were a lot of songs that I've never heard before, which I liked.  It made the time go by.  If you are someone that is picky about your music, then you might not be interested in something like this, but for someone like me who doesn't really care, it was a welcome change.

The run went pretty well.  Becky and I both worked that day and went afterwards. We have both been struggling to eat well lately and spent a good portion of the run talking that out and planning for the week.

We each came up with some weekly goals to keep us on track.  Here are mine:

1) Drink a lot of water.  4-5 of my bottles a day which will be 100-125 oz

2) After today (because I have some bread to eat) limit carbs.  Brown rice, beans, etc. ok, but no bread, tortillas, cake...

3) Limited dairy (because of my Kefir I have to use up).  After that, none.  I feel better when I don't eat it.

4) No added sugar, including in coffee. (Eek!)

5) Cook!  Make at least one new recipe and at least two other go to meals so I have something on hand.

6) Follow my running plan.  I have the time, so I don't have any good reason not to. 

7) Make sure I'm getting enough sleep.  No falling asleep with the T.V. on.  Listen to relaxing music if I feel restless.

Have you ever tried Rock My Run?  Do you make weekly/monthly goals?  What are they?

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Tuna Avocado Salad and a Whole Lot of Fruit

Today, I went fruit and veggie shopping so I would be well equipped to handle my healthy eating goal for August.

I love going to Aldi.  They have such amazing prices on fruits and veggies and let me tell you, when you're a vegetarian (most of the time) you go through a lot of that stuff.

I ended up spending about $30 dollars and here's what I ended up with

1) 2 lbs bananas
2) 3 avocados
3) 4 cantalopes
4) 4 pints blueberries
5) 2 lbs strawberries
6) 2 tomatoes
7) 4 nectarines
8) 4 mangos
9) 4 lbs grapes
10) Sweet peppers
11) 1 lb of broccoli crowns
12) 3 sweet potatoes
13) 3 bulbs garlic
14) 3 pack of multi colored peppers
15) Whole wheat bread
16) 4 cans tuna

When I got home, I cut up the peppers, and half of the strawberries and threw them in the freezer and put half of the blueberries in the freezer right away.

For supper, I made an amazing combination that I threw together.  I call it Tuna Avocado Salad.

1/2 avocado
2 oz can of light tuna in water, drained
1 Tbsp onion, diced
1 clove garlic, diced
1/4 large tomato, chopped in cubes
2 Tbsp cilantro
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix all of the ingredients together in a bowl.  4 servings at 1/4 cup each.   I put mine on corn tortillas.  It was SO good!  It would have been even better if my avocado were a little riper.

What did you have for supper?  Do you ever make up your own recipes?