clean eating

Gonna get a 2 day head-start on the New Year’s resolutions:

I’m not gonna lie, I have been pretty lazy since vacation started (Friday before Christmas)… that needs to end tomorrow.

Marathon training doesn’t officially start until January 14th,  but I am in serious need of getting my base miles up again.  My asthma has been off the charts bad lately, so that should be fun, but it will feel great to get back into the swing of things.  Tomorrow, it will just be an easy 2 miles, and I will just keep it moving from there.

I also need to clean up my eating a little bit again.  Work was so crazy the past few weeks and I was so stressed, I sort of got into the habit of eating whatever was in front of me.  It is no wonder I haven’t felt very well lately.  All in all, I feel like I need a complete overhaul.

In related news, my dad was admitted to the hospital last night with numbness and chest pain.  He had a heart attack 11 years ago, and has numerous stents in his heart.  A few years back, his doctor told him he had to go vegan for his health because all of his medications were starting to have adverse effects on his body.  Sure enough, within a few months, all of his “numbers” improved.  Because he was getting better, his doctor allowed him to reintroduce foods into his diet.  3 years later, and a 24 hour visit to the ER, his doctor once again has told him to clean up his act.

Diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, heart disease, cancer of all kinds, all run in my family.  I am so thankful that my dad got this cosmic reminder as opposed to a heart attack, and I also take it as a reminder that I am still young enough to do my best to avoid these sorts of health issues in the future.

So, I am kicking my own ass into gear, and getting a head-start on my resolutions:

1. Run 2 marathons

2. Eat clean

3. Remember that I deserve to treat myself well.  I deserve to fuel my body with good food and reward myself with an active lifestyle.

I am worth it.

You all are too 🙂

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Happy Monday!!!

It was an early start to my day due to the commercial shoot at State of Fitness!!!  It is always a lot of fun getting testimonials from our members and hearing how we impact peoples lives, makes me love my job that much more 🙂

We just put this up in the lobby so you can read it as you leave.  LOVE IT!

Now I am fueling for my run with a big ol’ salad… super clean eating until October!

Recipe of the month: Beet and Walnut Salad!

I went into this recipe like a complete 12 year old; “Beets are gross and I hate Rachel Ray” (because it is a Rachel Ray recipe).

Ok, I don’t really hate Rachel Ray, I just think there was an over-saturation of her a few years back that I am scarred from. I didn’t need to see her on every channel, not to mention on my box of Wheat Thins.

But I digress…I said, “I don’t like beets”, but I would be hard pressed to tell you the last time, if ever, that I have eaten one. Plus I figured, this whole cooking experiment was to open my mind, so with my open arms in a cranial sense, I loaded up at the grocery store.

The best part about this recipe is that there is no actual “cooking” involved. Not only did it turn out to be super tasty, but it is a great way to get loads of vegetables into a meal, vegetables that I would guess most people don’t use on a daily basis.

Beets are actually a very underrated vegetable. Ancient Romans used beetroot as a treatment for fevers and constipation , amongst other ailments. Today, beets are one of the best foods out there for you. It is a high-fiber little power house that can help lower your LDL, or bad, cholesterol, is a known anti-inflammatory, is loaded with natural antioxidants, and contains folate, an essential B vitamin.

A picture of my dad and aunt picking beets back in the day… I’m just kidding, I found this picture on the internet. I have no historical connection to beets.

Let’s not forget about the radishes! Also a high-fiber contender, radishes are loaded with vitamin C. Both beets and radishes are also noted as being cancer fighters, mainly colon cancer.

Pick ‘em up next time you are at the farmers market! They are great for snacking too!

The preserves (I used raspberry) gave this salad a very sweet and refreshing finish, and all in all I found this to be a great little dish! And it turns out that beets aren’t really gross at all.

You can find the entire recipe at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/rachael-ray/beet-and-walnut-salad-recipe/index.html .

I will have original pictures back next month. Technology was not on my side this weekend.

Enjoy!

Recipe of the Month: Baked Tomatoes with Quinoa, Corn, and Green Chiles

This recipe really tested my skill level in the kitchen. Broiling, carving, bagging, this one was certainly an adventure.

The shopping was all pretty straight forward, until I got to the “Poblano chiles”, because, according to Meijer, they are “Poblano Peppers”. Enter, exhibit A:

Alas, I believed it to be the same, so off to the check-out we went, and from here on out they will be referred to as “peppers”. This actually wasn’t the first “interpretation” I made on this recipe, for example:

“Place tomatoes and tops, if desired, on a jelly-roll pan”

What the H is a jelly-roll pan? Google tells me it is just a baking sheet, so all systems were a go.

The broiling turned out to be way easier than I thought it would be, since it was just a button on the oven next to “bake”. I used to be under the impression that broiling was a fancy way to boil something in a frying pan. Oh, how adult-hood is changing me.

Post-broiled peppers, blackened skin acquired.

I was a little unsure about putting the broiled peppers into a paper bag, but then realized it was probably to dry them out, making the skinning process easier.

A Horrocks bag sealed with drink mixers is kind of the same thing the recipe asks for. Paul tried to take a picture of me putting the peppers into the bag, but said my face looked too disturbed.

Skinning the blackened peppers, by the way, not annoying at all! Just kidding, it was a total pain in my butt.

The tomato carving was the most nerve-wracking part for me. I was deeply afraid of failure in this step, but, I am happy to report that I was very successful! I envisioned a massacre, but it was very much like carving a pumpkin. Just don’t stab through the bottom (or a side) and you are all good.

So cute!

I actually did the tomato carving first, that left the pulp to pretty much drain itself while I was preparing the peppers, onion, and corn. By the time I was ready to go back to it, I had very little pressing to do.

Confession time: I didn’t rinse my quinoa. I never do. I am a second child, I ate stuff off of the floor, got pacifiers straight out of the dirt, and shared my ice cream cones with the dog. I doubt my life will be saved now by rinsing quinoa. It always turns out just fine!

I questioned whether the last step was necessary or not. What major difference could 1 and a half minutes in the broiler make? Paul, in all his wisdom, told me that baking will cook it all of the way through, and the extra broiling will crisp the top. Thank goodness for adult supervision while I’m cooking.

Ready to go into the oven!

What a flavor-full turn out! Even if you don’t like tomatoes, eating just the filling will satisfy you without an overwhelming tomato taste. And it looks so impressive and presentable!

The only thing I might change is the quinoa to corn/onion/chili ratio. The mixture turns out to be mostly quinoa, but I believe it could be have a stronger flavor with more of the corn mixture.

All in all though, this seems like a very tedious recipe at first, but is one that can be mastered after just a few swings at it.

You can find the full recipe here: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/baked-tomatoes-50400000121356/

The recipe I will be tackling next, a little more in my comfort zone skill wise, is a beet salad. It will be my first go around with beets, so we will see how it goes!

I hope everyone had a safe and happy 4th of July!  i will post about my vacation sometime this week, I promise!