Monday, February 28, 2011

Babe: Pig in the Lab

Yes that is as sad as it sounds.

In my humyn bio class this week we are dissecting fetal pigs. My motivation toward vegetarianism started out as and is still mostly moral so needless to say I am having a rough time with this. Not to mention that my camera is now filled with not only delicious food photos but also that of an unborn pig being being examined to see where muscles and organs are located... unhappy.

With all of the technology available today it just seems to be to be inhumane and unnecessary to perform dissections in the classroom.

I luckily kept down my delicious lunch throughout this experience. I had a mexican like salad

DSCI0012.JPG In the mix

Black beans




nutritional yeast

garlic salt

cumin to give it more of a mexican flair!

This was super delicious, I love corn and black beans together!

Once I regained my appetite after class I snacked up some use it up food


Baby carrots and hummus plus chocolate whey protein

I was going to get creative in using it up for dinner but in favor of time and what I wanted... I didn't =P


Super cheesy omelet with steamed veggies


Plus and english muffin 1/2 with barney butter and cinnamon, 1/2 with smart balance light and black cherry fruit spread (just opened it, I like!)

DSCI0087.JPGTotally one of my favorites... can't beat it!



Share with me your views on dissection, animal rights, and general grossness.

We also have an eye dissection this year which I feel I'll be able to stomach better but I still find it cruel.

Make it Real

I did not do my job to use food last night because I ended up having pretzels and nut butter... *sigh*. I figure I'm bound to get tired of it someday! I also had some faux marshmallow just because I wanted it =/.

I feel like I have been having more artificial foods as I would like to, there have also been some undocumented diet cokes this week and a decent amount of splenda went into my coffee this weekend because stevia wasn't available where I was. I have been happy with my meals but the artificial sweeteners should take a little break.

Before I left today I had some bread with naturally more (I think this is my favorite kind of PB, although I do love arrowhead mills crunchy as well!)


I ran again today! I didn't do speed work but I did 3 miles in 28:46 with no pain so I was very happy! Followed by full body strength per usual. I started to do lunges but they were hurting my knee so I guess those are out for now!

Breakfast bowl


6 oz cup chobani

1 cup organic spelt flakes

a ton of raspberries

2 heaping tbsp wheat germ

honey drizzles


Last weeks goals

Drink green tea every day- Done, plus this morning!

Eat more nuts in place of nut butter- meh, I just love nut butter!

Run at least one day- 6 miles on Saturday!

Foam roll/stretch/yoga- yes, yes (although could have been more) and yes!

Not too shabby!

This weeks goals

Less artificial sweeteners

Make it through my bio pig dissection (kill me please)

Use up food

Go to Florida!



What are you goals for the week?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

My afternoon looked like


Instead of yoga club... have you tried it? PerMa and I love her!


Someone decided that it was a good idea to put 18 kids and counting on netflix instant... they helped me with my homework


Snack of cottage cheese (almost gone!) quaker square, raisins and cinnamon

And for dinner


Sweet and Spicy Roasted Sweet Potatoes

Serves 1

1 good cup diced sweet potato

1 tsp EVOO

1/2 tsp honey


chili powder

black pepper

Roasted in the oven at 425 for 25 minutes... delicious!


Plus this salad made with tofu and craisins minus the carrots!


Lightish dinner, probably will have a hearty evening snack that includes greek yogurt! Time for The Office, 30 Rock and nail polish!



What did your Sunday afternoon look like?

What's a good spring break nail polish color?

Use it Up!

Afternoon! I had a very nice walk this morning, it usually takes me about 7 minutes to walk to the store but I just turned it into a 30 minute brisk walk, about 15 at the store and 10 minute back! I made a friend along the way...

doggie friend.jpg

He followed me for a very long block! Even if I started to get away he would sprint to catch back up... I want please and thank you. <3 <3 <3

I just had some veggies plus a few non food things to grab because I am realizing that I have food to be used! So just for a warning my food stuffs may get repetitive the next week and there will be a lot of eggs, hummus, tofu, baby carrots and greek yogurt x10000.... more so than usual with this stuff =P.

For lunch I started with using an avocado, hummus and baby carrotsDSCI0007.JPG

Whole wheat wrap with a mixed spread of hummus, nutritional yeast and avocado with some spinach


I also did have baby carrots and almond butter as a post-work snack last night so I guess that's really where I started. Homework and yoga afternoon, see you for dinner!



Sunday Morning

What is it about Sunday that makes people just want to chill out? Sometimes I love it and sometimes I don't but this morning I am loving it. I woke up craving a big bowl of oats which I usually make in the microwave but this morning I took the time to try out my first whipped banana oats stovetop and let me tell you I do not regret my choice.


These are very much up there with the best bowl of oats I have ever had.


Cooked in the mix (using above method)

1/2 cup oats

1/2 cup skim milk

1 tsp flax

1/2 banana thinly slice

dash vanilla

Added in

frozen raspberries

other half of banana

glob of dark chocolate dreams


Hazelnut coffee with one packet stevia and a sprinkle of cinnamon... I even somehow got the strength of my coffee perfect.

The forecast says it's only 19 degrees out but it looks gogeous so I am going to bundle up and go for a walk! I'll stop at the store for some veggies too. Just enough to get me to Friday because in six days I'll be in sunny Florida!



How has your weekend been?

Do you prefer Saturday or Sunday? I like them both for different reasons! Love my long run Saturdays but yoga Sundays are wonderful as well =)

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Over Stimulated

I spent the afternoon working at my favorite coffee place where afternoon snacks included a cafe au lait, an apple and a latte. I only got the Latte because I was still in need of something and it was free. I should have gotten decaf but I sure did get a lot of work done!

I've been hungry today but I know it's not where it should be... longer runs always do weird things to my stomach must figure this out before the really long ones start!

I walked home, looked for summer jobs and made a quick dinner


New Ezekiel sesame bread (really good) with melty cheese and hummus


A very colorful salad! In this mix



red pepper


sesame seeds



garlic saltDSCI0015.JPG

With herbal blueberry/blackberry tea. I have work again tonight snack later on will probably be some cereal or sweet potato chips!



What was the best summer job you've ever had?

Any runner advice for stomach issues?

And I did...

6 miles baby! Feelin' it on the come-back!


A little on the slow side but still not horrible for a longer run and coming off of an injury I'll take it! I also take walk breaks when I run so my actual running was faster than that.

I didn't have much knee pain but I felt tightness in my IT band. What this tells me is the foam roller has been working and I just need to keep doing it and probably do it more. No injuries the year of the first marathon!


Happy enough for a photo shoot!

I did indeed foam roll write after and then quickly made the best post-work lunchDSCI0019.JPG

A big omelet! With 1 egg, 1/3 cup whites, left over black beans, mushrooms, tomatoes and topped with Mrs. Dash and ketchup... yum!


Plus chobani and some granola


I forgot to mix the spinach in so I just had it in a slight "salad" form. Totally works!

I'm now sipping a Cafe Au Lait and getting ready for some English studying and paper writing, see you tonight!



What has your biggest accomplishment been lately?

Is it snowing where you are? If it's not can I come visit you?

Who's in the mood?

To run?! Me me me!! Technically for my training plan I should be running 10 miles today but since it's my first run in a while I've decided to go as far as I can and will be thrilled to get in 6 or 7!

For some snacks last night I had my standard of pretzels and nut butter but I also threw in some faux marshmallow fluff =). See I have a horrible gum habit that I haven't been trying to break but just to cut back on so yesterday I told myself if I had only three pieces during the day I could have some "marshmallow" at night... totally worked! I also had a chocolate pure protein bar because I was hungry and my muscles felt like they needed it.

For breakfast this morning DSCI0003.JPG

Nut butter quesadilla! I combine almond and peanut butter in a brown rice tortilla and grilled it up! Then I grilled a banana and threw it on top with cinnamon and a good drizzle of agave (need those carbs!)


Warm nut-butter is the bomb diggity fa sho

I of course would have usually gone for cottage cheese instead of banana but I've been known to have some tummy troubles on longer runs and taking Matt's advice from yesterday am taking a break from dairy for the morning.


I will spend the rest of my morning waiting for the gym to open, foam rolling and stretching! I'm doing my run on the treadmill because it's snowing =(.

Have a great Saturday!



Friday, February 25, 2011

Advice and Recipes

Hello weekend! The best part? Only one week until Spring break! I had a bio exam today so I fueled up at lunch with some avocado egg salad.


One whole egg and two egg white mashed with avocado, siracha and mustard. Over spinach, corn, tomatoes, green bell pepper and nutritional yeast. Orange on the side.


I killed my exam so treated myself to a little stroll and some grocery goodies! On the way to the store I had this bar. Flaxy kind of day? Although it did majorly take care of my hunger and powered my afternoon... flax I think I love you.


The goodies... how insanely food blogger of me =P. I am very excited for those sweet potato chips though!

For dinner I had an idea of what I wanted to I pulled inspiration from two of my favorites.


Black Bean Sweet Potato Warm Salad with Coconut

Inspired by Caroline and Angela

Serves 1


1.25 cups sweet potato diced

2/3 cup canned black beans

1/3 cup frozen diced onion

1 tbsp coconut butter


How To

Microwave the sweet potato cubes in the microwave in a shallow dish with about an inch of water until just soft. Heat black beans and in liquid from can in a shallow sauce pan, add sweet potatoes once warm. Allow to simmer until most of the liquid has evaporated. Plate and top with cinnamon and coconut butter.

I was quite happy with the results!


Had with okra and ketchup and some apricot splash white tea (good stuff!)

Now a quick question. I've mentioned that I've struggled in the past with fueling my activity. This is for a number of reasons but one is that I tend to gravitate toward low-calorie, high fiber foods that are very filling so when I am listening to my body I do not always take in adequate calories.

I am concerned about this as my half-marathon approaches and I will get deep into marathon training. For any running or very active vegetarians or health junkies out there, how, when in training, do you make sure you are getting enough calories to fuel your activity? Do you count? I realize that not everything works for everyone but I would just like some feedback!

Does anyone else see carbs and nut butter in my future? If you did not say yes, you may not pass go, you may not collect $200.



Power Food

Last night for snacking I had honey wheats and cinnamon raisins swirl PB.... why is this the most additive snack ever? Snack redundancy aside (well kind of) I wanted to hit on my new favorite pre-workout snack which is pita with PB2. I have two kinds of pita on hand now and the one that I've been having pre-workout is this one DSCI0001.JPG

Joseph's high protein, whole wheat pita with flax and oat bran. It has a great texture and is a good size! And for whatever reason is completely delicious with PB2 so much that I wake up craving this as a snack! I usually just sleepily wolf down my pre-workout snack and savor my breakfast but this snack rocks!

It also has been working amazingly well for my workouts. I have more energy and feel fuller than with others I've tried. I like using the PB2 because while I have no opposition to real PB (obviously) I like that it's lighter for right before a workout. I also am coming to believe that it's the ingredients in this pita that make me feel so great! Oat bran and flax do have great nutritional benefits in health fats and whole grains for a mix that gives you great sustained energy.

Basically I had a power of foods realization last night and proceeded to order a case of these pitas online because they were a "special purchase" and Wal-Mart and I don't know where else I would find them =P.

For my workout this morning I did my cardio/strength circuit with some different moves here and there. I then wanted overnight oats for breakfast but didn't make them last night... that will not stop me!


In this mix

Almost empty yogurt container (maybe 1/3 cup?)

1/3 cup oats

1/2 cup skim milk

Mixed before I hopped in the shower! 30 minute overnight oats? Yes indeed!

Topped with a handful of oat squares, banana, flax, cinnamon and a little drizzle of honey


A little bit soupier than regular overnight oats but just as delicious!


Sugar cookie sleigh ride and green

It's also Friday which mean Fearless Fridays!

This week I was afraid that I would not be able to prepare in time for my bio exam but I actually feel really good going into it! I took my studying slowly but surely and that worked out great! I am also afraid that I will not be able to run tomorrow but we'll see how that goes in the morning...

Standing between me and the weekend...

Class, work, bio exam

let's get it done!



How have you experienced the power of food?

What's you fearless Friday for the week?

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Diet or Health?

Evening! I have a good deal of things for you tonight so let's get to it! Today for lunch I packed up some tofu salad then got the makings for a sandwich at the school snack bar.



After. I just mixed about 1/4 block tofu with 2 big scoops of nutritional yeast, black pepper and some Mrs. Dash no-salt tomato-basil seasoning. On russian rye with onions and spinach. I normally get wheat berry bread but this looked super good and I looked at the ingredient list and it was pretty legit! Only partially whole wheat but I'll take it! Had with a mix of dark chocolate mint almonds, craisins and raisins.


When I was photographing this guy I know asked what I was doing (fair question) and I explained to him that I write a healthy living blog about my life through exercise, food and school. He thought it was super cool but gestured to his fries and taco salad and said "bet you wouldn't see food like this on there". I responded that I try for a balance of healthy food and treats and if I happened to eat that I would post it.

He then said "I could never do that, I love my calories". I was shocked and responded "I'm in training for a marathon, I love mine too!"

I think it's amazing how health is automatically associated with diet. It wasn't even thought that I'm not trying to lose weight but really just trying to be healthy.

Now let's play a little question game!

Q:What do you do when you are starving after class and really want hummus but only have this much left? =(


A: Create nut-butter hummus


Blob each of sunflower and PB


Mixed up with carrots and apples... SO GOOD!

Q: What do you do when you are not really in the mood to cook and can't think of anything except your bio test tomorrow and have been craving middle eastern food?


A: Get WAY too excited when you remember you have this!

Cooked up one serving according to the box (kind of like mac and cheese) and added onions, tomatoes, broccoli and a boca vegan burger for bulk


And made a quick amazing sauce out of these plus lemon juice and water (it tasted EXACTLY like the tahini yogurt from my favorite middle eastern restaurant at home! Too excited again).

All served over spinach with red pepper flakes and a little spoonful of dried chopped figs.

DSCI0059.JPGBowl of freakin' amazingness.

Who's ready for Friday!?



Any thoughts on the story above?

What's your favorite type of ethnic food?

Heart to Heart

Actually I don't want to have a deep conversation with you all (well I do but that's just not in this post!) Let's talk a little about heart rate and zone training. I mention that I do sprints for speed work, sometimes plyometrics and interval bike work outs. The sprint work double here but the reason for these kind of workouts is to improve my endurance by lowering my anaerobic threshold through zone training.... huh?

Let's start first by busting the myth of the "fat burning zone". It is an old-school thought that you will loose weight more efficiently if you work at a lower intensity because your body is burning fat instead of carbs as fuel. This is true about what your body is using as fuel however it DOES NOT mean you will more efficiently loose weight, the only way to loose weight is to burn more calories than you consume and the harder you work, the more calories you burn.

Now, what is your anaerobic threshold? I could give a very biological answer about how your cells use oxygen but really just think of it like this. Your AT is the line between your point of endurance and pushing it hard. My spin teacher would describe it as above your AT is "that point of work where when I make you hold it you want to walk out of the door." When working above AT you cannot breath through your nose and your muscles are on fire due to lactic acid build up.

Why work above your AT? Working in short intervals past your point of endurance makes your heart stronger efficiently. It lowers your heart rate over all thus lowering your AT giving you more steady-state endurance. 201102201937.jpg

Here's an idea of your target heart rate in each "zone" if you wear a heart rate monitor while working out (which I don't). The blue line is your AT to get a basic idea of where you stand take 180- your age and that would be your AT number, of course this will vary depending on fitness level.

Here is an idea of what my heart rate training workouts on the bike look like. It is slightly different from HIIT because it is longer and includes more recovery time during the workout although it has the same affects.

See here for the benefits of HIIT.

10 minute warm up on random

5 minute slow climb to "qualify AT" (notice what it feels like when you hit your AT so you will know what it feels like to push past it) This should be the moment that you can no longer hold a conversation or breath through your nose.

30 seconds recover to zone 2 (easy but still some work)

3 minutes to reach zone 3 (working with noticeable effort)

1 minute to reach AT and push into zone 4

1 minute sustained zone 4

30 seconds recover

2 minutes to reach zone 3

1 minute to reach AT and push past

1 minute sustained zone 4

30 seconds to recover

1 minute to reach zone 3

1 minute to AT and push past

1 minute sustained zone 4

2 minutes recovery

Repeat sequence

5 minute cool down

*Note- There are two ways to move between zones, by increasing/decreasing your resistance, your speed, or both. I encourage you to do what works for you!

This workout should kick your tushy in a good way and leave you feeling great and full of energy afterwards!

Next time you're in training or looking for a new fitness goal, try to make it a point to make you heart stronger by zone training!