The Great Debate: Pre-Workout Fuel

16 10 2009

TGIF! TGIF!

Good morning FitFeat friends!  Are you so excited that the weekend is upon us once more?  I am ESPECIALLY excited because this weekend they are forecasting some 70+ degree weather and sunshine!  More chances for me to get some Vitamin D action!  😉

What a week it has been.  Have you noticed what’s been missing this week?  WOGGING!  My poor dogs.  They haven’t been out on a walk since Monday evening.  I’m a bad puppy-mommy this week!  I’ve had daily “social-cizing” plans and the rest of the time I’ve been glued to my PC in preparation for the upcoming blog move. 

Maybe yet today I’ll be able to get them out.   

Check out my new breakfast creation:

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Now I know what you’re thinking:  “OMG what IS that?  It looks disgusting!”  But let me tell you this was one delicious little pre-workout fuel!  It is toasted Ezekial smeared with coconut oil (in lieu of vegan butter) and then smeared again with a MEDJOOL DATE!  Mmmm coconutty-datey sweetness!  Brendan Brazier (professional Ironman triathlete) says that coconut oil and dates are great exercise fuel:  the coconut oil has MCTs (medium chain triglycerides) that are more easily converted to energy by the body, not to mention easily-digested simple carbs in the form of the date. 

I often will eat half of a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar for pre-running fuel thanks to Brendan’s info.  That particular Larabar contains dates, coconut and coconut oil. 

I met up with my friend (and fellow personal trainer) at The Bluffs yesterday morning for a hilly run.  Wendy is a serious running pro, let me tell you.  She’s a multi-time marathoner (including the BOSTON which one must qualify to enter).  The only reason I’m able to run with her currently is because she is nursing a foot injury.  Notice I’m not saying “keep up with her currently” — because she still could have TOTALLY left me in the dust yesterday, I know it.  🙂 

We got in 3.62 miles of hills and dales.  It was a BEAUTY of a morning!  And I felt fantastic afterward.  Wendy, thanks for a great time – I’m looking forward to going again soon!

After that I hit up Starbucks to catch up with another friend and her adorable son, where I had a grande SOY STEAMER.  (Essentially that means I have Starbucks heat me up a nice cup of soy milk, with no coffee or flavoring, and then pay them probably 3 times what a whole container of soy milk would cost!)  Ahhh gotta love th SBUX.  (Thank you Magen for treating — that was very sweet of you!)

Riley never gets any photo love since Rascal is the ham of the family, so I had to get her in the shot.  See what she’s saying with her eyes?  It’s “why haven’t you walked me today, ya big jerk!”  🙂

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Lunchtime meant it was time for me to get my major veggie fix.  I still don’t think photos do this salad bowl justice.  It is HUGE.  I measured yesterday and it is 11″ in diameter.  🙂  This one was chock full of spinach, heirloom tomatoes, yellow pepper, dulse, avocado, zucchini ribbons, kalamata olives, nutritional yeast, and pepper.  Dressed with extra virgin olive oil.  I ate every last bite and had a few baked potato chips on the side. 

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A little Pecan Pie snack in the afternoon: 

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And leftover “Lazy Girl Dinner” from the other night whenI had Amy’s Organic Southwestern Vegetable soup.  I had it in a mug with a  little raw goat cheddar and Mary’s Gone Crackers on the side.  Right back to the PC I went…  MSP had his last softball game of the season, so I was right back to the PC to get some more blog work done.

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I did need an evening snack since my soup didn’t keep me full very long, so I made a bag of homemade microwave popcorn (1/4 cup of plain popcorn kernels in a brown lunch bag, fold up the top, microwave for up to two-and-a-half minutes or until the popping sounds are far apart).  No fake butter flavor, no crazy chemicals, no fumes that allegedly cause lung cancer.  Sprinkle with some sea salt and/or nutritional yeast, and munch away!  

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I fell asleep while watching “The Office”.  Lame.  All the social activity of the day combined with a whole lot of sitting at the computer made Shari very sleepy…

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So for today’s discussion, I’d love to hear how you fuel your workouts
Are you an “empty stomach exerciser” or a “fully fueled exerciser“? 

I definitely vary, depending on the situation.  For running, ideally I get it done first thing in the morning after just a cup of coffee (and maybe a bite or two of Larabar at the most).  I feel lighter on my feet and don’t experience ‘side stitches’ when I don’t have food in the system. 

But sometimes when I meet up with running buddies, it’s usually a little later in the day and I don’t like to go that long without food.  So I’ll try to eat something about 90 minutes prior to the outing (usually anything sooner and I get severe side cramps during the run).  Yesterday’s toast with the coconut oil and date worked perfectly.  I had some simple carbs, some complex carbs and the coconut oil.  The date gave me some quick energy and the sprouted grain toast gave me some sustained energy.  It was plenty for my run and held me over for about 3 hours until it was time for SBUX. 

Other forms of exercise (like my weight training and hiking) don’t cause me to have to overthink the food situation as much.  Weight training is usually first thing on an empty stomach.  For hiking I eat about 90 minutes for hitting the trail, then bring a Larabar in case I need it on the trail.

There are a lot of schools of thought as to whether you should work out on an empty stomach vs. being ‘properly’ fueled.  Some say that if you exercise on an empty stomach first thing in the morning, you’ll burn more fat (still burning the same number of calories, but because your glycogen stores will be lower first thing in the a.m. you potentially dig into fat stores sooner.)  On the other hand, there are those that say if you exercise without properly fueling for it, you will be causing a bit of catabolism of the precious muscle tissue we all work so hard to keep.

My opinion is this is highly individualized from one person to the next.   Feeling crampy or nauseous during a workout from a belly full of food isn’t something that will keep you coming back for more.  But feeling lightheaded or dizzy from not eating enough and hence lacking energy isn’t good either.   Base it off of how long or how intense the workout will be.  Common sense applies here.  Listen to your body and take note of how you feel so that next time you can make the right ‘tweaks’ to feel FANTASTIC during your workouts. 

Isn’t that really what it’s all about anyway?  🙂  I’d rather feel great during my workouts (which means I’ll be more inclined to do it again tomorrow, and the day after that, etc.) than be too focused on what percentage of the calories burned are from fat.  (Been there, done that…!)   Overall if you are moving your body regularly and eating nutritious foods, you’ll get where you want to go.

Let us know which side of the fence you’re on — drop a comment!

Alrighty friends, I’ve got a LOT on the plate today so I’m gonna get cracking!  Have a FAB FRIDAY! 

If all goes as planned today I may be back later on with the last notice before the blog moves.  If not, you’ll know I hit an speed bump… 😉  

See ya next time! 

— Shari B. =)

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To Sprout or Not To Sprout?

14 10 2009

Good morning blogosphere! 

Thank you so much to those who shared their own sprouting experiences – I appreciate hearing from all of you! 

Upon reading some of the comments as well as websites discussing the toxins and bacteria potentially in sprouts, I will confess I’m torn. On one hand I hear experts touting sprouts as being the king of nutrients and digestability.  Then at the other end of the spectrum you have experts telling you to pretty much avoid them (especially alfalfa).  And I’ve been eating alfalfa sprouts EVERY day for months now, in smoothies, sandwiches, wraps. 

I feel at this point I’ll continue to eat sprouts in moderation.  I think, at least for me personally, the benefits outweigh the risks.  That may change as I continue to read up on the topic.

Therefore, my sprouting (ad)venture has commenced… but I think this first attempt isn’t going to go all that well.  We’ll see.  Not that I’m trying to send negative vibes out into the universe or anything 😉 I am starting with millet because that is what I happened to have on hand.  Reading into the instructions of sprouting millet, I learned that tray-style works better for this particular grain using 100% cotton cloth above and below it, as I’ve done here.

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The issue I think I will run into is the rinsing and draining.  Once you get little shoots they say to be very careful because they can break easily.  Not sure how I’m going to manage rinsing and draining from this pie plate without moving the little buggers around!  I also read that some of the millet might ferment rather than sprout.  Plus I’m not even sure if what I have is hulled or unhulled millet.  And I’m quickly realizing in this dry climate that my cloth dries out CRAZY-FAST so I think I need something thicker like a washcloth. (Overthink things much, Shari??)  🙂

Time will tell!

What I DO know is that the sprouts I PURCHASE cost me about $1.99… so if I spend too much time on this experiment, I’ll be sticking with store-bought!  🙂

On the subject of millet, I did cook up a big batch of it to keep in the fridge.  So for breakfast yesterday I had a bowl of warm millet with almond milk, some raw honey and raisins.  It was a nice change from oatmeal.

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It made for a perfect post-run meal after a chilly and VERY dark outdoor run.  MSP and I went out for three miles at about 6:20 and it was still pitch black out when we left.  I can be wide awake when I leave the house and then get out into that darkness and it’s like my body floods my system with melatonin because I get really sleepy again until the sun comes up.  Thank goodness for electricity or I’d be sleeping 16 hours a day during winters!

Midmorning I had half of a Cashew Cookie Larabar.  

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I’ve had a small box of Sunshine Falafel ‘burgers’ in my freezer waiting for me to try.  Since I bought a huge tub of roasted red pepper hummus, I decided I’d break out the falafel burger for lunch before the hummus is gone!  (It doesn’t last long in this house!)  I used half of a sandwich thin as the base, with a schmear of hummus topped by a slice of heirloom tomato.   The Sunshine burger acted as the bun lid.  For some reason this picture makes it look like an Egg McMuffin, doesn’t it? 

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It was definitely tasty.  A little drier than I imagined but that worked perfectly for a TOPLESS sandwich!  🙂

And of course, my large salad to go with my meal!

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I spent most of Tuesday glued to the computer, working on and reading about taking my blog self-hosted this weekend.  I needed a snack that would allow me to still type, so just a quick handful of Mary’s Gone Crackers and the rest of the morning’s Larabar.

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I made a hamburger potato casserole for MSP’s dinner which did require a little kitchen time, so when it came time to decide what to make for moi, I wasn’t feeling in the mood to cook anything.  Lazy Girl Dinner would have to suffice.  A can of Amy’s Organic soup.  Folks, let me tell you that these soups are pretty much the reason I have yet to actively seek out recipes for soup.  Amy make’s a kick-a$$ soup!!  Look at how chunky this soup is!  This one was Southwest Vegetable.  Even the little pieces of corn had grill markings on them.  🙂 I will definitely be stocking up on cans of this particular ‘flavor’.  I almost ate both servings, but decided to save some for another meal.  On the side was a piece of toasted Ezekial, with Earth Balance vegan butter and a sprinkle of garlic salt.

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Sometimes cooking is just overrated when you can heat up an insanely quick dinner like this.  🙂

And last, my evening dessert:  in concept I thought this would be such a cute photo.  It SO did not turn out that way.  In my mind I was thinking “banana sushi rolls” with almond butter as my ‘wasabi’.  It didn’t plate up that well though and I got quite a laugh out of it.  For any South Park fans out there, I’ll just say that this picture brought to mind Mr. Hanky and leave it at that!

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It did TASTE great though, with cinnamon, raw honey drizzle and the almond butter.  😉

If you are in the mood for a giveaway, hop on over to The Fitnessista’s blog where you can enter to win free VEGA Sport items.  She will announce the winner on Thursday morning so you have all day today to get your entries in.  You know I love my Vega products, so I’ve used up all of my three ways to enter that contest! 

OK, blog buds I have plenty more to say today but feel like I’ve borrowed enough of your time as it is so I’ll save it for another post!  I’m heading out to get my HIKE ON. 

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Just another reminder for those who may not get to read daily:  FitFeat will be going self-hosted over this coming weekend (provided all goes well when it comes time to ‘flip the switch’!)  If everything goes as planned you should be able to find me at the same address I can be found at now which is www.fitfeat.com.  Currently that redirects you to this wordpress dot com blog location.  Over the weekend it should redirect you to the new location.  If you have any trouble finding the blog or notice something that doesn’t seem right, please email me at shari@fitfeat.com.

— Shari B. =)





Save Our Soles!

13 10 2009
Holy moly FitFeat Friends… there was an explosion of activity on the blog yesterday!  Wow!  A record number of hits to the FitFeat site.  Whatever you guys are doing to spread the word, THANK YOU!  And please keep it up – you’re AWESOME!

So I thought I’d take some time today to talk about another one of my favorite “tools” – but this one is not related to the kitchen.  It’s for our feet. 

Back when I was running half-marathons more often and putting a lot of miles on my feet, I was getting blisters left and right. 

Two friends / running buddies each recommended that I try a particular brand of sock called the Wrightsock Coolmesh.   What’s special about these socks is that they are made of two thin layers.  Instead of your sock and foot rubbing together, the two layers of material rub together and the friction stays within the layers as opposed to on your skin.  

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

I wasn't kidding when I said I have SMALL FEET...!

These socks were lifesavers (well, OK that might be an overstatment 🙂 at the very least they were sole-savers!)  They are a small investment early on, but worth every penny.  I now own about 8 pair and I wear them every day:  running, hiking, walking.  Anytime my sneakers go on, so do these socks.

If you’re a runner, walker, hiker or just someone who is prone to blistered feet, you should look into trying out these socks.

I am grateful to have learned about these socks at a time when I really needed them (thanks Scott!  thanks Lori!) and wanted to pay it forward, so to speak.

In light of the recent FTC ruling about product reviews and blogs, I thought I’d make a note for the record that all of the products I have reviewed and/or recommended to date on this blog are offered up solely because I use and like the products, not because I am being paid to do so or offered any sort of kickback.

On to Monday’s eats:

After the nice Back/Trap workout I detailed in yesterday’s post, I wanted a quick influx of carbs.  So I opted for a bowl of mango-licious.  This one should have been given over to the green smoothie gods though, because it wasn’t as ripe as it should have been.  That’s what I get for being impatient and dying to eat my yummy mango taunting me from the fruit basket on my counter!
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Shortly thereafter it was time for my real breakfast so I had a bowl of OATSMILE:

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Lunch was yet another leftover serving of Veggie Enchilasagna with a side of spanish rice.  There’s one more sliver of this still in the fridge, but I’m pretty sure at this point that I’ve had my FILL of this particular food for awhile.

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I also had a side salad with lunch (spinach, tomato, dulse,  pepitas, hemp oil, balsamic vinegar, nutritional yeast):

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Followed by a little dessert!  Endangered Species brand 72% dark chocolate… mmmm chocolate!

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Afternoon snack time came up FAST!  I was busy on blog hosting study… I decided to forego the standard Larabar for some hummus, Wasa, raw goat cheddar and baby carrots.  Tasty and fiber-rich!

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When MSP got home, we still had some daylight and it wasn’t completely freezing outside, so we decided to take the dogs out for their wog:  a quick 2-miler to work up a little appetite before dinner: another set of leftovers that I tried to make into something different.  I had some of Friday night’s “Warm Asian Thai-Fry” left, so I warmed it up, then wrapped it into red chard leaves.  The ‘dipping sauce’ is just a generic version of Annie’s “Gingerly Vinaigrette” from a bottle. 

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It wasn’t bad at all for a meal that only took about 90 seconds to build!  But I was still a little hungry after so I had a few Mary’s Gone Crackers with some slivers of the raw goat cheddar

OK, friends, I’m off to get Tuesday started!  Have a fantastic Tuesday!  If you’re located in the Colorado are, KEEP WARM!  If you’re located someplace outside of Colorado that is warm, please send some heat our direction!

For today’s discussion, do you have any tips/tricks/tools that have helped any of your outdoor activities, in the way that the Wrightsocks have helped with my blisters?  You FitFeat readers are very FIT-SAVVY, and have lots of great info to share!  Thanks for doing so and keep it coming!  We are ALL learning and benefiting from each other!

See you tomorrow!

— Shari B. =)





I’m in Shoe Heaven!

11 10 2009

Hello blog buds!  How is  your Sunday going?

Mine is flying by as fast as the cold jet stream that’s blasting us with the Canadian deep freeze!  I don’t understand the time-phenomenon that makes Mondays drag and the weekends go by in double-speed!

Thanks to everyone who commented on the winter sports question… I am now convinced to give snow-shoeing a try again this year, but with properly sized equipment!  I’ll keep cross-country skiing as a close second on the list for now… I will have to convince MSP to try that one with me!

Speaking of WINTER, I must confess that I wimped out on the Bluffs yesterday.  It just kept feeling colder and colder outside.  We broke a record yesterday for not only the LOWEST temp for October 10 (a 109 year old record, I might add) but also broke the record for the coldest high temp on Oct. 10:  26 degrees.  When MSP and I ran errands yesterday I was so chilly that the thought of going back out in it just made me shiver.  I wanted nothing more than to curl up under my Sunbeam Heated Throw (set to HIGH) and get some warmth flowing. 

So I called up my friend and asked if she’d be allow me to be a total ninny!  I asked if she’d be up for meeting today instead since it was SUPPOSED to be 54 degrees.  Guess what it is right now?  29 degrees at 1:00 in the afternoon.  Damn the weather forecasters and their lies! 

But I won’t bail today.  Stick with me here till I get to the moral of the story below and you’ll see why! I went down to the Nike factory outlet just a little while ago, as I’ve been in dire need of some new running shoes.  And I scored BIG-TIME!! 

My old Nike Shox 2:40 running shoes have no tread left to speak of and actually have a crack in the bottom:

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Close friends know that I have been addicted to Nike Shox shoes since 2003.  I would determine the costs of things based on how many pair of Shox said purchase would cost.  Plane ticket home to visit family?  Uh, no .. I could buy three pair of Shox with that kind of dough!   Groceries?   Nah, not this week… that would equal one pair of Shox. 

I’m (somewhat) over this crazy addiction, especially since I changed careers this year and don’t have any the same amount of disposable income as I had a few months back.

No luck finding Shox that wowed me enough to take money my from savings (they were all $69 and up, which YES is a bargain for Shox, but at my current income level not worth THAT much).  Instead I found a beautiful pair of AirMax Torch 3’s.  Aren’t they PURRRTY??? 

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And for the BONUS SCORE, a pair of Nike ACG Trailframe trail runners for $19!  Yes, you read that right:  NINETEEN buckaroonies… Now I’ll feel like I have some traction again, instead of feeling like I’m running uphill with buttered shoe-bottoms

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Moral of the story:  trying out new trail shoes trumps sub-freezing temps!  So now I’m all excited to get outside in this crazy cold and see how the new trail kicks do!

I’ll leave you with the “action shot” MSP took last night (his words) of me grating some raw goat cheese onto my dinner.  Yes we had pita pizza again.  I know – I’m so boring  🙂  But when something is so tasty (and healthy even) it’s hard not to crave it every day!  Soon I’ll get so sick of pita pizzas that I will probably not have them for like a year.  This happened once with Body-for-Life enchiladas:  MSP and I LOVED them, ate them WAY too often, and then the mere smell of enchilada sauce would make us gag.  Luckily we are over that…

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Hope you are all having a super Sunday!  See you tomorrow!

— Shari B.  =)





Who You Callin’ a Prune?

10 10 2009

Hello FitFeat friends!

Well today I have to say I feel like a BONA FIDE runner.   “Why?”, you ask.  Because it was 17 degrees and snowing this morning, and I still went for an outside run!  And dragged poor MSP with me 😉  He’s really a saint, I tell you.  After a couple miles, we did decide that I was a little crazy and turned back.  But I felt fantastic when we got home … so refreshed and actually pretty darn toasty!  Nothing like a good run in the cold to get the internal fire stoked! 

Plus I get to go out in it later in the day. I’ll be meeting up with a girlfriend this afternoon for some SOCIAL-CIZING and we’ll be hitting up my fave trail (The Bluffs!)  They say we’ll be lucky to hit 32 degrees for the day’s high, so at least it will be TWICE as warm this afternoon as what it is now!  😉

In yesterday’s post, I left off after having hit up The Bluffs with another friend and then my umpteenth Starbucks visit of the week … allow me to rewind through my Friday:

Once home, I needed just a tiny bite to carry me through till lunch time.  I had a prune dried plum.  (I can no longer eat these without cracking up, thinking of Sarah over at the Fit Tip Exchange blog, who said this once: 

“…prunes are for old people…I eat dried plums..”

 So now I no longer eat prunes because I refuse to feel old – I too eat dried plums.  😉  Rascal on the other hand could care less what it’s called as long as there is a chance he’ll get a nibble…

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When it was time for lunch, I munched on the last of the cold Pesto Gnocchi ‘salad’ while I was waiting for my actual meal to heat. 

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Check out my veggie “enchilasagna”  (layered leftovers of the casserladas).  Yet another meal that tastes better the second day…

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 And a few squares of dark chocolate for ‘dessert’:

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Today’s midafternoon green smoothie was a bit of a departure from my normal recipe.  A few of the recurring characters:  cucumber, spinach and sprouts.  Then the guest stars:  pineapple, FROZEN banana, kiwi, pepitas and hemp oil.  I was low on fresh fruit so was pulling from pantry and freezer to round out this one.  

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It was GREEN BLISS 🙂  mmmmm.  I will never tire of these I think.

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I was still feeling the need for extra warmth when dinnertime rolled around, so I decided to get creative and make something along the lines of a heated salad.  I started out with an old recipe called “My Thai Chicken Wraps” from allrecipes.com that I used to use when I was still a meat-eater.  Then I did some tweaking to make separate versions: vegetarian and meaty.

First I mixed all the ingredients for the ‘sauce’ — minus the sugar.  Last time we used this recipe we thought it was plenty sweet with the hoisin sauce on its own, so no need for the extra sugar.

Then I divided the sauce into two pans.  One would be mixed with JUST the shredded rotisserie chicken (about 1/3 to 1/2 of the chicken) for MSP’s version.  I did not use the slaw veggies in his.   Heated his through then served on a whole wheat sandwich thin like kind of like a Thai BBQ Sammy.  I also roasted some quartered Yukon Gold potatoes for him to have “fries on the side.”

For my version I mixed the pre-cut ‘broccoli slaw’ with some chopped zucchini, chopped yellow pepper, scallions and mushrooms.  I sauteed all the veggies in coconut oil until soft, then added in the hoisin sauce mixture and simmered for probably another 10 minutes or so.  With SO many veggies diluting the sauce,  it ended up a little bland, so I mixed up a squeeze of agave nectar, a smear of organic peanut butter, low sodium soy sauce and a little thai curry paste for some spice.  That did the trick.

Behold my Warm Slaw Thai-Fry with Roasted Golden Beets:

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(Toasted sesame seeds sprinkled on for garnish!)

It was GOOD!  And I even ate it with chopsticks!  So much better than take out and SOOO MUCH HEALTHIER!!

Which leads me to today’s discussion question: 
Do you have a favorite decadent dish (whether take-out or not) that you could tweak at home to make healthier?  If you’ve done so, how did it turn out? 

If you have one that you want to tweak but aren’t sure what might make it healthier, mention that too — I’ll be happy to offer suggestions if I have any and I’m sure the FitFeat readers will chime in with their ideas too!

On a side note… I’m aiming to get FitFeat moved over to a self-hosted site in the very near future (hopefully in the next week), so I want to start giving everyone a heads-up.  Currently if you go to www.fitfeat.com it will automatically route you to www.fitfeat.wordpress.com, which is where the blog is currently housed.  Once I go self-hosted, it should just be www.fitfeat.com.  So if for some reason you follow along via subscripion or via Google reader and DON’T see a daily post after the move, please come looking for me!  I’ll post a notice out here before I make the switch when the time comes. 

Have a SWELL SATURDAY my friends!  Thanks again for reading and for all of your great comments!

See you next time!

–Shari B. =)

 





A Challenge for Football Fans

27 09 2009

Hi blog buds!

Ahh, relaxing Sunday.  It’s my last full day of vacation visiting my family and it sounds like we might spend some time this afternoon watching football and enjoying some of the fish they caught locally over the summer.  It’s been so long since I’ve eaten walleye that I don’t remember what it tastes like or whether I like it — but I’m looking forward to trying it tonight!

In yesterday’s post I covered the Guest Room Workout and run that I did for the day’s activity.  Let me be the first to tell you, IT WORKS!  Oh boy do I feel my hamstrings and chest muscles today! 

Before yesterday’s workout, look what I found in my brother’s kitchen cabinets:

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 A Starbucks mug!  It felt just like being at home 🙂

Then before my run, I fueled up with a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar

After the run, I was craving a green smoothie.  This time around I used 8 oz of water, a big fist o’ spinach, frozen mangos & peaches, 1/3 apple, 1/2 cucumber and 2 stalks of celery.  I was also feeling the need for some protein, so I threw in a heaping spoon of vanilla rice protein.

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I love the cups my sister-in-law has – they make a green smoothie look so pretty! 

Later in the morning we were getting ready to head to the anniversary party and I knew I’d be eating a variety of things there, so I just munched on a few handfuls of pepitas.

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Then came the party food!  I think my mom gave my aunt a heads up on my eating style, because when I got there my aunt told me she had all my bases covered on the healthy food.  It was very thoughtful! 

My aunt’s kitchen was ENTIRELY covered with food.  I asked her if she had been cooking all week!   Since we did a lot of grazing through the day and I never really made a plate, I’ll just show you the spread:

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(As I uploaded the photo I just realized my adorable niece snuck into the picture too!  Isn’t she a cutie-patootie??)

This layout of food had swedish meatballs, hot chicken sandwiches, a cabbage-n-noodles dish, baked beans, BBQ pork sandwiches, veggie trays, jello salads, shrimp cocktail, assortments of cheeses and crackers, a huge fruit tray, a fruit salad, lil’ smokies, chips & dips, deviled eggs.  Every table in and out had bowls of peanuts, mints or chocolates.  I am SURE I am forgetting plenty of what was there.   My family members all know how to throw a good shindig.

After we got there, I started with the shrimp cocktail and a lot of veggies (cucumbers, celery, red pepper) so that I could fill up on lighter foods and not overdo it on a lot of the denser treats later.

Next, I ate a few crackers, and tried the noodles-n-cabbage dish.

Later in the day, they had a champagne toast and cut the cake.  I first had a half-piece of the white cake filled with raspberry, and then tried a sliver of the chocolate side (because I needed to compare you know…!  😉 )

My cousin’s toast to the Happy Couple of 40 years brought tears to everyone’s eyes – it was truly touching.  40 years of marriage is remarkable these days! 

On into the evening there were backyard games of frisbee with Wii games inside – by then I’d worked up an appetite.  My ‘dinner’ was a bowl of baked beans along with couple of deviled egg halves.  The recipe my mom and aunt use for baked beans has always been one of my favorite ‘comfort food’ dishes –  a trip home to visit the fam would not be complete if I didn’t have those beans!

None of what I ate was a full meal per se so when we made the hour+ trip back to my brother’s house, we were hungry again.  I had a few bites of leftover Cappellini Pomodoro from Olive Garden.  Then we put on our pj’s and stayed up chatting into the night.  🙂  It was a great day, seeing a lot of people I hadn’t seen in years and just having some good family time.

My cousin’s husband and I traded green smoothie stories (yay, a health food ally in the family – I’m very happy I’m not the only one).  He uses broccoli and kale often in his mixture. I haven’t tried broccoli in mine, so maybe that will have to be in one of my upcoming concoctions!

OK, so here’s your FitFeat Challenge if you are a fan of football and watching today:  do something active during every commercial (and I don’t mean 12 oz curls… !)    NFL football shows a LOT of commercials!  Pick a couple of body parts and go to town.  In one commercial break, do some ab work with bicycles or crunches.  In another commercial break, try to hold in the squat position for the entire commercial break.  In the next one, do pushups.  You get the idea.  Drop me a comment with what you did during the commercials – maybe we’ll all learn a few new moves!  Add the team you support too!  I support the Denver Broncos (who will be playing the Raiders at 4:15 EDT today) but because I am also a Jay Cutler fan, I now keep an eye on Da Bears here and there. 

If you won’t be watching football, do this with your TV show of choice.  It’s a good way to fit in some movement without feeling like a couch potato.

Have a beautiful Sunday everyone!   See you again tomorrow!

— Shari B. =)





Roadside Finds

24 09 2009

Happy Thursday blog buds!

So I just have to say I am LOVING all of the comments about you guys trying green smoothies (and some purple ones too!)  Thank you all for sharing your experiences. 

While on the subject of fresh produce…

One of the things I’ve noticed while touring through my birth state of Michigan is the number of permanent roadside produce stands.  That’s something I don’t really see where I live in Colorado.  I’m in the ‘burbs and we have a set day each week for the local farmer’s market, which I love to visit.  But how great would it be to have a huge selection of different roadside stands with fresh fruits and veggies open and available to you spring through fall?  I realize I can go to the grocery store at any time and choose pretty much any produce, but I love the idea of the roadside stands knowing that I’d be getting fresh local produce straight from the farm it grew on.  Especially after reading books like “In Defense of Food”, “Food Matters” or seeing the movie “Food, Inc.”

During the RV trip we passed orchards full of apples and peaches; vineyards and cherry farms; cranberry marshes and blueberry fields.  Roadside stands advertising fresh sourdough bread or cherry pies or homemade preserves.   And these stands were busy too, which I was very pleased to see.  I am so glad that people are choosing to support their local farmers and economy.

I suppose this is something that I saw all the time as a kid here, but never really appreciated. 

Today’s questions: Do you have access to any of these types of permanent stands where you live?  Do you grow your own produce?  Visit farmer’s markets? 

Mmmm all of a sudden I am craving apple pie….  😉

On to my recap for yesterday. 

In the morning I started my day with a mug of coffee in the camper.  I’ve been waking up every morning around 5:00 AM.  Truly when I get back to the Mountain Time Zone, I’m going to be on a sleeping pattern of 7:00 PM to 3:00 AM.  🙂  I hope I don’t mess up MSP’s sleep!

After coffee I took two bites of a Coconut Cream Pie Larabar for a few calories to sustain me during my morning run.  I ran 3.5 miles along the shore of this beautiful lake:

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It had rained all night but luckily stopped just in time for me to run.  The sun came out toward the end.

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When I got back I was ready for something FAST to eat, so I finished up this half-cantaloupe.

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And I was still hungry to I finished off my cold veggie mini-pizza from the night before.

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When lunchtime rolled around I still had some leftover tuna fish ‘salad’ from the previous day.  There wasn’t much at all so I followed it with some pepitas until I was full (and a few pieces of saltwater taffy for dessert!)  😉

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About 2 hours later, I had half of a leftover Larabar, Chocolate Coconut Chew. (I sound like a broken record – all my meals are leftovers!)

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And then we pulled in to my mom’s driveway!  The end of the RV trip.  So of course with all the counterspace now available to me, I had to make a green smoothie!  This one was a little different because I had forgotten I had some frozen fruit mix all the time I was in the RV (that I found while unloading!) 8 oz water, fist o’spinach, 1/2 cucumber, frozen fruit mix (mango, strawberry, peach) and some baby carrots.  It was dinnertime but no one else was ready to eat so this would have to tide me over.

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Then for dinner I made a Gardenburger with some chopped onions, roma tomatoes, mustard and sweet pepper sticks for my “fries”.  I also munched on some unpictured Sun Chips.

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We spent time before bed going over all of the pictures we took on the trip, and did a lot of laughing.  🙂

Today I head on to my brother’s house for the next few nights so I can spend some time with him, my sister-in-law and my 2 year old niece.  I can hardly wait to see her!  She and I get to spend all day together on Friday – I’m guessing that will be my exercise that day!  😉  Bet I’ll be tuckered out at the end of the day for sure! 

I won’t be posting tomorrow because I plan to devote the full day to my niece since I only get to see her once or twice a year. 

Enjoy your Thursday and have an even better Friday!  Keep the comments coming, I love hearing from all of you! 

— Shari B. =)