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!

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Being touristy

In New York,
Concrete jungle where dreams are made of
There’s nothin’ you can’t do

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Okay, sorry for the insane cheesiness, but I just got back from three days in New York City!  Two of my friends and I took the bus up on Wednesday and came back a little sooner than we had planned in order to avoid the worst of the snow.  While we didn’t get to do everything we wanted to, it was mostly a blast!  We stayed in the heart of Koreatown, which was definitely interesting.  I woke up earlier than my friends in order to get my training in; unfortunately, I had to do run-bike combinations because of foot pain.  Yikes.  I’m a little frustrated, but at least I can do something!

Highlights of the trip:

We saw the Paramour musical version of Cirque du Soleil on Broadway!  The performance was absolutely mesmerizing.  The acrobatics were intricately dangerous, the singing was phenomenal…oh man.  I’m in love.

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We toured Jacques Torres’ new chocolate museum on Hudson Street and even met Jacques Torres himself!  The exhibits included a detailed history of chocolate, chocolate sculpture masterpieces, authentic Mexican hot chocolate (pure cocoa + hot water + spices), and unlimited free samples.  A master chocolatier made dark chocolate ganache-filled truffles right in front of us.  This chocoholic claims that they were the best chocolate I have ever had.

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We took the subway to Battery Park and took the ferry to see the Statue of Liberty and tour Ellis Island.  You can sense the legacies of the immigrants that passed through the immigration system.

We went to Molly’s Cupcakes!  I fell in love with the cupcakes and the atmosphere; when we walked into the cheerful yellow shop, Phillip Phillips was playing on the radio. I got the flourless chocolate cupcake with a dulce de leche ganache filling, vanilla bean buttercream frosting, and cocoa powder dusting.  Amazing.

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Other highlights included Black Iron Burger for dinner, an eclectic, socialist bookstore, and aggressive street vendors.  This morning, we kind of just hibernated until our bus arrived because it was snowing very hard.

My body is definitely craving routine, and I don’t even want to think about the schoolwork I’ve been avoiding over break.  I’m having a little anxiety.  But it’s all good.

 

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!

Summer Training Week 8: 58 miles

Happy National Ice Cream Day!  My shift tonight is going to be crazy.

Okay, I had no idea what summer training week we were on, so I wrote “6” in the title for this post…then I realized it was the end of week 8.  How has it already been 8 weeks of summer training??

Summer 2016 week 8 (7/11-7/17):

Monday: AM: 7 miles bike path, drills, strides, upper body strength.  PM: 3 miles bike path
Tuesday: 20 min hilly w/u, fartlek (7-5-7-5 with 2 min rec), 20 min c/d
Wednesday: 3 miles + small hike
Thursday: AM: 7 miles bike path, drills, strides, upper body strength.  PM: 3 miles treadmill, some planks
Friday: AM: 2 mi w/u, drills, 24 min tempo, 2 mi c/d, ice bath.  PM: 2 mi treadmill, leg lift.
Saturday: 3 miles (went too fast), 15 min yoga, 5 min planks
Sunday: 12 miles bike path

Total: 58 miles + small hike

So I didn’t quite hit 60 this week, but that’s okay!  It’ll come.  On Wednesday, I was really tired and had an 8 am dentist appointment to get cavities filled–I’ve never had cavities before :(( –so I only did 3 miles instead of 5.

Both my workouts started out eh and got progressively better.  Tuesday’s workout was straight downhill for the first half and straight uphill for the second half, but I felt really strong on the last 5-minute section!  And on Friday, I was mentally negative throughout the first half of the tempo, but I realized “I can kick butt on this workout” during the second half.

Saturday’s 3-mile recovery run with a friend was way too fast.  Afterwards, we did yoga and core and went for brunch, and I had my first acai bowl!  Sunday’s 12 miles were done all alone…but oh well.

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Acai bowl!  Source: Yelp 

My youngest brother’s birthday party was yesterday, and my mom and other brother made an amazing cake!  Three layers- chocolate cake, chocolate ice cream, chocolate cake- with vanilla and chocolate buttercream frosting, chocolate shavings, and strawberries.

Not much else to report, went on some outdoorsy adventures and read How to Start a Fire by Lisa Lutz.  It was okay, but I didn’t love it; the characters were sometimes weak, and the ending felt like a rushed cop-out.

Probably going to drop the mileage down this next week!  I talked with my coach about throwing some more cross training in there.

One of my top 5 hardest workouts

(OK, I actually did write this post this morning; I just forgot to publish it.)

Good morning!  It’s a beautiful spring day, I just finished my 3-mile double, and I thought I’d talk about Tuesday’s track workout while I eat a lovely breakfast of Greek yogurt, Wawa coffee, oatmeal with apple/chia seeds/almond butter/cinnamon, and of course my daily multivitamin.  No class until 12:30. 🙂

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Oatmeal is THE ugliest food ever but still so good

All right!  Tuesday’s workout…Let’s just say I have no trouble recalling the experience because my body still despises me two days later.

The (good? bad?) thing about getting fitter and faster is that your coaches will adjust your workout paces accordingly.  On Tuesday, I was put in sort of a new workout group.  We went out for our 3 mile warm-up and then did drills and strides before our coach told us the workout.

5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds, 4 x 800 at 2:38, 4-5 x 400 at 77-75 seconds

*Dies*

What actually happened: 5 x 400 at 76-75 seconds, 3 x 800 at 2:43, 2:47, 2:48, 1 x 600 at 2:04, 4 x 400 at 78, 77, 76, 76

By the time the first 5 x 400 was over, it felt like I’d already done an entire workout, and we were less than 1/3 done.  Our coach told us to hit 79 for each lap of the 800s (um, what), but I’m pretty sure the only time I ran 79 was the first lap of the first 800.  Each one after that got slower and slower.  And they were still fairly faster than I’m used to!  By the third 800, my legs were immovable logs and I was pretending the 800s were 600s because the last 200 doesn’t matter amirite 😉  So I’d get to 600m and then just death-march the last 200.  My coach modified my 4th 800 to a 600 (bless).

Am I being dramatic?

For the last set of 400s, she had us do the first two backwards on the track, which was pretty weird.  I led the last three 400s and at that point I was just riding the pain train home.  We hit 78, 77, 76, and 76.

After a 3 mile cool down in which we were so destroyed that we were babbling nonsensically, we completed a leg lift and then stretched, rolled, and ice bathed.

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Choosing my post-workout treat was hard (I chose a truffle)

The next morning, my roommate and I both woke up to cross train, fairly hobbled to the rec, and I sat at the edge of the pool for a little bit because I just could. not. get. in. Everything hurt.  I felt like a zombie.  But this is the work that will give us an edge in future races!

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In my meeting with my coach yesterday, she brought up a really good point (see above).  I’m at an entirely new fitness level for myself right now.  While the paces she gives me may sound scary, she gives them to me because she thinks/knows I can hit them.  Just because I’ve never run that fast before doesn’t mean I can’t do them now.  I need to work on believing in myself in races and in workouts when I get to the point where I can either make a move or stay where I am.  In this new fitness territory, it’s all about confidence!

PMS aka chocolate monster syndrome

Just a bit of TMI coming…

It’s official!  I definitely have a cycle again.  I didn’t have my period for five months (January to June), during which I simultaneously enjoyed being period-free but also started to get really worried.  I’m not stupid.  I know about osteoporosis and all that, and I know I’m not invincible.

It was really nice not to have my period and deal with cramps and PMS, but on the other hand, it meant that my hormones were screwed up and my body fat was too low and my bones were in danger of breaking down.  I’ve never restricted calories, and I don’t think I had lost any weight, but clearly something was wrong.  I finally got it again last month at the WORST possible time (ten minutes before my race at states), but there was still the possibility that it was just a fluke and would go away again.

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That time I got my period after five months and subsequently had one of the worst races of my life ❤

A few days ago, though, I noticed I was having huge cravings for anything dessert-related.  Up until last year, I used to give into my everyday sugar cravings because I had no self-control or knowledge of nutrition, but these days the cravings have all but disappeared, and it’s easy to pass up the ice cream and brownies and cake.  That’s how I knew something was up!  Over the past three or four days, I’ve indulged in blueberry crumbles, blueberry pies, cupcakes, way too much vanilla ice cream, Java Chip frappuccinos, and fruit.  No guilt.  Finally, yesterday, I got my period!  So it’s officially back!  June wasn’t a freak occurrence.  My body fat and hormone levels are (hopefully) normal enough again!   *Celebratory dance*

Unfortunately, that means I have to deal with being stuck with it now. 😉

PMS is definitely real.  All I want right now is chocolate, ice cream, and chocolate ice cream.  Starbucks has curbed my cravings…for now…

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Java Chip ilysm

Why do we crave sugar and especially chocolate when we are PMSing?  I found some interesting information.

“Cravings for sweet foods are common before and during a period, and some women also crave high-carbohydrate foods like pasta, white rice and white bread. These cravings are often a sign of low blood sugar, especially if they are accompanied by feelings of fatigue and headaches. Some women’s bodies become more responsive to insulin during their monthly cycle, making them more prone to blood sugar drops. The brain instigates a sugar craving in response to the need for more fuel.”

http://www.livestrong.com/article/460961-why-do-i-crave-sweets-during-my-period/

Chocolate also mimics serotonin levels and quickly releases endorphins which is basically why we love it so much. 😉  Also because it tastes like heaven in your mouth, of course.

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BUT they also say that you should fulfill your sugar cravings through healthy means like yogurt and fruit and AVOID chocolate on your period because the caffeine can make you crabbier! That’s hilarious.

Time to go laugh in the face of whatever article thinks I should avoid chocolate.  Maybe I should eat chocolate for dinner…that actually sounds like a brilliant idea!  It’s dark so the antioxidants prevent cancer…that’s good enough for me!!

…Aaand I’m out.

🙂

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!