First week of summer

This time of the year is always strange.  My brothers are still in school for another month, summer training hasn’t really picked up yet, and my internship doesn’t start until the end of the month.  Every year, I have trouble with the transition to summer mode because I’m the type that gets anxious if I have “nothing to do” on a given day.  I tend to feel guilty and unproductive even though the ability to relax is just as important for overall health as things like sleep and exercise!  So the beginning of this past week was hard, but I’ve been able to enjoy the leisure time more each day!

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Highlights of this week:

Miles run: 16
Minutes cross trained: 70
Number of times I went out to eat: ZERO! (I’m really proud of that- trying really hard to be more frugal.)*

*Okay, I did go to Starbucks twice, but only because I had a gift card!

The few miles that I did run felt good.  There was some bunion pain, but the rest of my body didn’t feel as lethargic as I’d thought it would!

One day, a friend and I went on a picnic and enjoyed the beautiful weather.  Another day, I went hiking with another friend.  I read a cliché summer book (The Vacationers) in one three-hour sitting.  We ate dinner outside as a family and tried fruitlessly to keep the mosquitos away with Citronella candles (didn’t work).  I spent hours and hours outside, soaking up the Vitamin D and beautiful weather.  One night brought a counterintuitively peaceful summer thunderstorm.

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I’m trying to cook even more (and be more creative in the kitchen), and my brother has been helping with the food photography because he has a nice camera 😉  This week, I made the pancakes mentioned in the last post…

Lentil stew stuffed sweet potatoes from The Cutting Veg

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Topped with yogurt and fresh basil (sounds weird, tastes incredible)

…and I also sauteed turnip greens for the first time, so as to not waste them.  Yum!

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Roasted turnips and sweet potatoes, fresh tomato, sauteed turnip greens, mushrooms, green onions, and garlic with chicken

I also made copycat Levain Bakery cookies!  I’ve never actually been to Levain Bakery, but these cookies turned out incredible.

Last but not least, I cooked my first live crabs yesterday.  I love crabs and hadn’t eaten them in years!  They were delicious.  What a cool experience.

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Now that I’m at home, I have access to a plethora of foods that were much more difficult to access at school.  We have the seasonal vegetables from our CSA.  Turnips, radishes, spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, lettuce…all local and much fresher and more flavorful than anything you’d find at the grocery store!  Amazing farmer’s markets.  A semi-stocked pantry (although with two teenage boys and a college runner, nothing lasts long in this house).

This is allowing me to continue to develop my passion for cooking, for which I am so grateful!  It’s also been easier to avoid going out to eat and be more innovative and think of what I can make with the ingredients that we already have in the house.  Three cheers for saving money and eating cheaply, but healthily!

I’m itching to start training for real, but reminding myself to be patient!

Black Forest Breakfast Mousse

Happy Hump Day!  The best breakfast experiment happened this morning.

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I went for a nice 4-mile run this morning before it got too hot out.  My left bunion was bothering me, and I think it might be because I’ve been slacking on the rehab and maintenance since taking my break from running and leaving campus (and the training room).  I also used new shoes since my old ones are beyond dead.

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Took myself on a Starbucks date yesterday: overnight oats, almond milk cappuccino, and the Washington Post magazine

After my run, I decided to experiment a little for breakfast.  I had made dark chocolate banana overnight oats (oats, almond milk, chia seeds, mashed banana, and dark cocoa powder) the night before, but I had chocolate mousse on the brain and wanted to see what would happen if I whipped egg whites into stiff peaks and folded them into the overnight oats.  So I did!

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Two whipped egg whites

After whipping the egg whites, I folded them into the oats.  It worked like a dream.  They turned unbelievablyfluffy and delicious, almost exactly like mousse, but with a slight chewy factor from the soaked oats!

IMG_5811.jpgThe bowl was enormous, and I topped the mousse with cherries and strawberries to make it “Black Forest”-y.  I also had plain nonfat Greek yogurt and peanut butter.

I would highly recommend whipping egg whites and adding them to overnight oats.  I think this is going to become a staple in the breakfast lineup!

The rest of my day will be pretty chill.  I found a bunch of gift cards while cleaning out my room, so I’m going to hit up Barnes & Noble for some summer reading, as well as do some yoga and run some errands.  Later today, I’m going to go cheer on my high school team at their conference meet!  My remote internship doesn’t start until the end of May, so I’m trying to relax before that starts and before training picks up.  I’m notoriously bad at relaxing…

I hope everyone has a great Wednesday!

Weekly Recap + brownie batter oatmeal

Good morning!  After a restless night’s sleep, I woke up way too early this morning (as usual) and went to the locker room to do some yoga and core before sitting down to an incredible breakfast.  I’m taking a much-needed off day from running because my body is complaining loudly.

Today’s agenda includes the usual Sunday laundry, chores, homework, errands, and a Super Bowl party at a friend’s apartment.  My goal for today (and this week in general) is to get ahead on schoolwork so I have more time to focus on doing all the little things, contributing to extracurriculars, and starting to prepare for midterms!

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Brownie batter oatmeal: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 mashed banana, 1 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder, and 3 tbsp egg whites.  I added a heaping spoonful of Trader Joe’s chia/flax peanut butter.

Anyway, here is a recap of the past week of training:

Week of 1/30-2/5:

Monday: AM: 7 miles trails, tired so took it kind of relaxed, core routine.  PM: 2 lap warm-up, hurdle drills, 1.5 mile run, hurdle/stride work after and tweaked my right glute.  Total: 9 miles.
Tuesday: 2 mile w/u, 5 x 800 with 1:30-2:30 recovery (2:55, 2:52, 2:51, 2:51, 2:50) last one retro, 20 min c/d.  10 parallel pull-ups.  Stim/ice on glute, NormaTec boots 20 minutes.  Total: 7 miles.
Wednesday: 60 min pool (30 aqua jog, 30 swim).  Sleep-deprived but progressively better.
Thursday: AM: 2 lap w/u, drills/speed ladder, 8 miles fast-ish, 4 x 100m strides, upper body lift in weight room.  PM: 2 miles + foam rolling.  Started using new shoes.
Friday: AM: 2 mile shakeout.  Tight/tired but progressively better.  PM: 20 min w/u, drills/strides, 3 x [4×400] with 60/90/2min rec and a lap between sets (81, 82, 81, 81, 78, 76, 76, 77, 76, 76, 76, 72), 3 mile cool down, ice bath
Saturday: 10 miles on trails.  Terrible.
Sunday: no running; 40 min yoga/stretching/core

Total: 47 miles + 60 min XT + yoga

Honesty time!! I definitely increased the mileage and intensity too fast.  Running-wise, I went from normal mileage (around 55) to 9 miles to 35 miles to 47 miles and workouts.  This is partly my fault, partly my coach’s fault.  Anyway, my body hurts.  Like, everywhere.  Legs are heavy, bunions are killing me, hip flexor is complaining a lot, and everything is tight.  Which is why I’m taking an unplanned off day today!

Sleep was terrible.  Ugh.  I don’t know what else I can do.  I just…don’t sleep.  I journal every night, try to unwind, and go to bed at 10, but I still end up not sleeping.  I feel like I’m wasting time and it’s completely avoidable and hampering recovery and it makes me ANGRY.

On a positive note, both of this week’s workouts were solid!  Also, my roommate ran her first indoor race in two years last night and absolutely crushed it.  She’s had a rough couple months and was so nervous and didn’t believe in herself, even though there were no expectations for this race.  But in the second half, she really came alive and dropped the hammer.  It was awesome to see.  I’m so proud and excited for her.

Throughout the past week, I reapplied to the business school, joined Women’s Initiative in Leadership, and applied (and got accepted) to Spoon University!  I will be researching, writing, and publishing articles about food- and college-related topics, and I’m so excited.

Gotta go get my laundry so that’s all for now!  I hope everyone has a great Super Bowl Sunday!

Sweet Potato Waffle

A few weeks ago, I purchased a new waffle maker to take back to school (and for future apartments), mostly thanks to Christmas sales and gift cards.  A few days ago, delayed-onset post-workout hunger resulted in the inauguration of the waffle maker via sweet potatoes 🙂

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The workout was 3 mile warm-up, 3 x [9 minute progression (pick up the pace every 3 minutes), 5 minutes “off”], 2 mile cool down.  I was lucky enough to be able to work out with two teammates!

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After the coldest week of winter, the weather decided to be beautiful!  It was 40 degrees and partly cloudy.  We went to the canal, warmed up for 3 miles (verryyy fast) and did drills.  The first 9-minute segment started a little faster than I wanted to, and I’m not sure if I actually progressed or just maintained! Oops.  Overall, I was feeling pretty stiff and mentally not in it.

I struggled throughout the second segment because I wasn’t feeling too great physically and just got in my own head, but my lovely teammates helped me through it.  Once the last set was halfway over, I finally realized “I can do this!” and had a great last 5 minutes.  Better late than never, right?

The post-workout fatigue hit hours later, and after lunch, a dentist appointment, and a quick power nap, I woke up starving.  Scrolling through the #wafflewednesdays on Instagram for five seconds secured my decision– sweet potato waffle!!

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I completely eyeballed ingredient measurements, but here’s a rough estimate:

  • 3/4 cup baked sweet potato, mashed
  • 2 egg whites
  • splash of vanilla
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/3 cup oats
  • sprinkle of cinnamon

Mix everything together and pour into a preheated waffle maker.  Difficult, right? 😉

(Adding regular wheat flour probably would’ve helped it firm up a bit, but I didn’t want to.)

As you can see, I topped mine with plain nonfat Greek yogurt, Wild Friends sugar cookie peanut butter, and semisweet chocolate chips.  Delicious.  And a good mixture of protein, complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats- a perfect, indulgent post-workout snack!

 

 

Banana Zucchini Bread

Good morning!  After a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run yesterday (7 miles and I took like 15 breaks) and the pool closing due to a thunderstorm after a whopping 10 minute swim, I took stock of our overripe bananas and abundance of zucchini from our CSA and perused Pinterest to cheer myself up.  Result: a delicious banana zucchini bread, mostly following this recipe.  It was incredibly easy to make, and 16 hours later, the loaf is gone.  I think it was a hit.

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Banana Zucchini Bread:

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg
  • 2 mashed overripe bananas
  • 2.5 tsp vanilla
  • 1.5 c flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 heaping tsp cinnamon
  • 1 cup shredded zucchini

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit (325 if using convection).  Mix sugar and oil.  Add egg, bananas, and vanilla.  Mix together dry ingredients and pour into wet.  Add zucchini.  Pour into greased 9 x 5 loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes or until done.  Let cool at least 20 minutes.

The bread is dense, flavorful, and gets moister (is that a word? ew) as it sets due to the zucchini.  You can also add chopped nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, or dried berries!

It made for a delicious addition to my breakfast this morning after my running buddy and I had a pretty strong workout.  20 minute warm-up, drills, 6 x [4:00 hard, 1:30 easy], 20 minute cool-down for a total of 9-10 miles.  Even with high humidity and some hills thrown in there, we killed it. Maybe because we knew we had the bread to look forward to at the end 🙂

Strength time, Quest bars, and quesadillas

I went to the gym on Saturday for the first time in months!!  I go with my dad because I’ve been too lazy to take the teen course that allows teens to use the equipment unsupervised, but my dad just leaves me to do whatever for the most part and does his own thing.

No body shots because I only take pictures of myself working out when I know no one can see (and judge) me.  Hehe.

I PRed in the shoulder press with two 20 pound dumbbells, but that’s not saying much because I don’t lift for PRs, I lift to get strong and cross-train for running!  I felt the burn as I did a descending ladder-type shoulder press by going from super heavy to heavy to kinda heavy to medium to light.  Ouch.

The other day, I went on Amazon and ordered a 12-pack “sampler” of Quest bars!  I’d heard fantastic reviews about them, so I decided that I would order the sampler pack in order to see which flavors I liked.  So far, I’ve tried chocolate chip cookie dough and strawberry cheesecake……

photo 4 photo 5BOOOOO.  I did not like them.  Why didn’t I like them?? I feel like an outcast now because 95% of fitfam peeps swear by the bars and are willing to die for them.  (I totally just made that statistic up by the way.)  Also, the outside is completely misleading.  When I saw the smooth texture, I assumed the entire bar would be smooth and creamy and delicious like real cookie dough.  Nope.  The inside is dry and gross.  Baking it made it slightly better, but definitely not like a real chocolate chip cookie like everyone on Instagram claims!

Anyway, I still have ten flavors left to try, so hopefully I’ll find one that I enjoy.  The artificial sweeteners are nasty, though.  I’ve never been a big fan.

In other news, I made the best quesadilla of my life today!  It was amazing.  Loosely based off of Hungry Runner Girl’s “Cowboy Quesadillas,” I included plain chicken, corn, tomato, black beans, and mozzarella cheese.  Pile it onto a tortilla, stick another tortilla on top, and cook on a frying pan on low to medium heat for about 3 minutes on each side.  Quesadilla heaven.

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Our first captains’ run was today, and a dozen people showed up!  (That’s a lot.)  Usually everyone skips because they’re on vacation or just don’t feel like coming.  The freshmen were underwhelmed, though– “I thought there would be more people here!”  Oh, just wait until August when official practices start and there are 130 kids on the track at the same time…

 

Chocolate is greater than homework (and everything else)

I have lots of physics homework.  I have a math quiz tomorrow.  Most importantly, I have a 25-minute oral presentation for English that may happen tomorrow.

But am I currently working on any of this?

Nope.

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To be fair, I was doing my homework.  I’ve typed up five pages of a script outline for my presentation, but I can never concentrate for more than an hour without eating.

So…chocolate!

On Friday, I really, really wanted brownies.  I arrived home from school at 1 pm (it was an early release day) and opened the baking cabinet to find…

No chocolate chips.

No baker’s bars.

No unsweetened chocolate.

Gahhhhh!!!

I did, however, find a cup of vanilla Greek yogurt in the refrigerator.  I can’t stand vanilla Greek yogurt by itself, but then I thought: “Can I use this in brownies?”  I found a recipe online (granted, it called for stuff that I didn’t have), made a few tweaks, and waited to see what would result.

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Success! A fudgey yet cakey brownie (sans chocolate chips) made with vanilla Greek yogurt!

Recipe:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup vanilla Greek yogurt
*Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips

Mix flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder. In a mixer, combine butter and sugar until smooth.  Add eggs, egg whites, and vanilla; mix until incorporated.  Slowly add flour mixture, followed by yogurt.  *Add chocolate chips if using.  Spread into an 8×8 pan and bake 20 minutes at 350 degrees.

I would have preferred if they didn’t have butter and whatnot, but they were definitely not as unhealthy as they could have been.  They turned out delicious and I probably could have taken them out of the oven a couple minutes earlier, because they did continue to bake while cooling.  Leaving them be (in a sealed container) for a day makes them much sweeter and gooier.  Yay!

This weekend has been a mixture of chocolate, boredom, exercise, and schoolwork-related death.

Today, I decided to make hot chocolate truffle cookies, after failing at making these last week.  This time, it was a success!!

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They aren’t very photogenic… but they taste amazing!  Another plus is that they have zero added sugar.  (They have dates in them)

Yes, I did take pictures of cookies on a windowsill.  But I think their truffle-like decadence makes up for it.  Seriously.  They are so good.

I’ll admit they’re a tiny bit dry, but that makes them all the better for dipping in milk! Yum! Or even better– eating with vanilla ice cream!!

All this chocolate consumption has me worried for regionals on Wednesday…… I’ve officially decided to run the 2 mile! Eek!

 

 

New obsession and lazy days

I had one of those weekends.

Those weekends being the kind where you don’t leave the house and just eat a lot and watch YouTube videos and pretend you’ve gotten something done by vacuuming your bedroom and watering the plants.

Yesterday started out productive- I woke up at 7:30 and had a nice weight-lifting session with my dad at the gym.  Hell yeah, I’ll be a bodybuilder with my ten-pound dumbbells 😉 There was a kiddie basketball camp going on at the same time which was one of the most adorable things I’ve seen.

I ate a lot of peanut butter and banana toast.

It was really icy outside all day- although the temperatures reached all the way up to 24!!!- but I had to get my weekly long run in somehow.  Finally, around 3, I sucked it up and headed out the door.  I didn’t use the GPS on my watch because who cares about distance and pace for a slippery slow snow run?  At the end, I felt great, so I started singing along (loudly) to my iPod.  Nothing like Kelly Clarkson and Avril Lavigne to help you fly down icy neighborhood hills.  I couldn’t hear myself singing, but I’m pretty sure I sounded like: “Make a wish, *gasp* take a chance, *wheeze* make a change, *gasp* and BREAAAKKKKAAAWAAYYYYY!”

On the bright side, I had fun not being color-coordinated.

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Don’t mind the awkward camera angle. And the shoes are pink, I swear.

Today was the laziest of all lazy days.  I really took the whole “rest day” very seriously.  No physical activity has happened unless you count eating (which happened a lot).  I didn’t get out of bed until close to NINE, then made waffles and had a feast just for me.

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Waffle tower, OJ, nonfat plain yogurt with wheat germ, fresh strawberries, and banana….yum. Oh, and the Meg Cabot book, of course. I’m such a girl.

I spent the morning on the computer and with my Econ textbook, then spent the afternoon having fun with my new obsession: “made-in-a-mug” desserts! I’ve made tons of brownies all week (I had two yesterday, and they’re not exactly small).

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I used dark chocolate cocoa powder which is why it’s so dark

Today, I made a miniature coffee cake that was delicious (kind of spongy, though, and I forgot to take a picture) and a chocolate cake that was not.  After dinner, I made a blueberry muffin.  I could’ve baked it, but the microwave only took two minutes and it tasted really good.

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It looks kind of goopy on the outside, but the inside was crumbly and soft.

I discovered that “Chocolate Covered Katie” has tons of amazing recipes that I definitely want to try.  Maybe not all this week, though, because of my mile on Saturday.  But definitely soon.

It’s back to almond butter and healthy food for me for the next six days! I can’t wait until my mile!