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…

***

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. =)





The One Thing You Can Do Now to Improve Your Fitness Journey

7 10 2009

Good morning FitFeat friends!!  Happy Wednesday to you!  Friday is getting closer!  It’s supposed to be mid-70s today and then SNOW tomorrow!  So I better get outside while I can (‘scoop-n-squats’ anyone?)

While I was out on yesterday’s 3 mile dog wog, I was listening to a Tony Robbins recording on my iPod. 

Right off the bat I’ll confess that there is something about Tony Robbins that just gets me going!  Sadly I don’t do the written exercises that he suggests.  And I rarely get past day 1 or 2 in a 7-, 10-, or 30-day set.  But just hearing him speak lights a fire under my tail like nobody’s business.  Yes, I am a self-help junkie.  🙂

One question I’ve noticed he poses in most of his programs is: 
What is your “camera lens” focused on?

This is something I think about often in terms of personal training clients looking to improve their fitness and/or their body composition, so I thought I’d touch on it today for a FitFeature.

In your own fitness journey, are you focusing on negative or self-defeating points like “I’m on a diet”, “I have to work out”, or “I can’t believe I can’t eat such-and-such”? 

Sometimes the best path to getting fit is more about making the mental shift than it is about what program you choose to follow.  Wouldn’t you rather focus on the positive things like “I feel so energized after working out”, “The foods I’m eating are making me healthier by the day”, or “I choose not to eat [insert fave junk food here] because it makes me sluggish and I’d rather feel vibrant.”  Once you do, you will be amazed at how easy your journey becomes.  Focusing on the negative wastes a lot of energy.

I’ve stated this before but in my early “dieting” days if someone had recommended to me that I follow a nutrition plan similar to the way I eat now, I think I may have felt it REALLY restrictive.  Mentally it would have been a huge jump for me.  (What? No chicken?  Minimal dairy?  How will I survive if I can’t mix cottage cheese into everything?)  But now?  I feel such a sense of freedom from dieting because one, I don’t consider what I do ‘dieting’ now, and two, that’s not what my “lens is focused on”.  Now I am focused on all the great things I DO eat, all the energy those foods provide me, how I no longer have digestive issues.   The fact that I’ve lost body fat is just icing on the cake.

About 6 years ago I participated in a fat loss program where one of the requirements was to eat 4 cups of veggies every day.  As I hadn’t yet made the shift, getting ‘those veggies in’ was a huge struggle for me.  Which is funny because these days, I pretty much meet that ‘requirement’ in one green smoothie, and that’s just the start of my day!  Add in one of my crazy big salads, and that’s probably another three cups more!

How hard or easy something feels is simply a matter of where you choose to aim your focus. 

***

Speaking of all that healthy food… 🙂  Tuesday started with a Vega chocolate whole food health optimizer, with some added vanilla rice protein powder, shaken violently with some almond milk!  Greens, probiotics and maca, oh my!

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Someone (known on the comment board as MSP Buddy) gave MSP a BABY LARABAR to give to me!  Thanks MSP Buddy!  That was so sweet… and my little pecan pie snacky is so cute!

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At lunchtime I tweaked another recipe, this time for a tuna burger.  But my tweaking actually made it worse, so I won’t be adding it to the “Build A Meal” section!  I made it into an open-faced sammy, with the “top lid” as a piece of lettuce.

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Oh my afternoon snack was total bliss …. I am hopelessly addicted to mangoDo you think I could make a mango tree survive in the Colorado climate??  I kid you not, when I finished cutting this thing, I gnawed all the extra ‘mango meat’ from the core.  I did not want to miss one bite…

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Tuesday is Hell’s Kitchen night (w/Gordon Ramsay) so I felt all “chef-like” setting out my ingredients to prep for dinner.  🙂

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 And voila!  Pesto Gnocchi with Zucchini, Asparagus & Sun-dried Tomatoes (with an unpictured side salad)

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Well folks, I’m off to stock up on enough sunshine to get me through the next few days!  🙂

Keep your ‘camera lens’ in mind today and look for areas where you can ‘adjust your focus’!  Make it a great day!

— Shari B. =)





Bitten by the Hungry Bug

2 10 2009

Wahooo TGIF!  I love Fridays and Saturdays!  Got any big plans for the weekend? 

My Thursday started off with a little Rascal looking at me through my coffee mug.  I sure love that little guy!  It doesn’t matter what kind of day I’m having – Rascal can alwas put a smile on my face. 

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Speaking of smiles, here’s another on on my morning toast!  (Ezekial with almond butter and raw honey.)

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After a client session this morning, I ate half of a HUGE cantaloupe. 

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I blasted through my to-do list, then did my ADC (attention-deficit-cardio).  I can tell I’m not ready to be running indoors just yet:  I was on the treadmill for about a mile then had to start mixing other things in because the monotony of the TM was killing me.  I did intervals of step-ups, mountain climbers, bench hops, jumping jacks.  Anything to keep my heart rate high and not bore me to death

Mid-morning, I finished off my Gingerberry Kombucha, in a wine glass 😉  Makes it feel more festive!

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So one of the new (to me) veggies that I picked up at Whole Foods on my quest to try new foods was Red Chard.  Very Christmasy looking!  It almost makes a good centerpiece!

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I wilted it over medium heat in some macadamia nut oil, seasoned it with a little onion powder and fresh ginger, then topped it with a tiny drizzle of agave nectar.  Thought it might go well with the leftover Spicyaki Boulder Bowl from Tokyo Joe’s.  The chard wasn’t bad, but not one of my favorites (at least prepared in this manner.)  I’ll try some in a green smoothie and see how that goes.

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I was still hungry after I finished the plate above, so I  made a quick open-faced sandwich of Ezekial, herbed goat cheese, sliced cucumber, slice of tomato, and a sprinkle of pepper.

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And a few squares of dark chocolate make the lunch complete:

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My standard afternoon snack:  Larabar!  This time I had Ginger Snap, with a side of green tea.

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For dinner I made MSP a swiss & spinach chicken roll with a side of rice pilaf.

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And for me, I made a MONSTER of a salad with a side of Amy’s Organics Split Pea soup.  This is my new salad bowl (I think it is literally 12″ or more in diameter…  I’ll have to measure.  It is HUGE!)  My salad was bursting with ingredients:  spinach, kale, red chard, cucumber, tomato, dulse, nutritional yeast, sprouts, zucchini ribbons.  I made a vinaigrette of hemp oil, olive oil, basalmic vinegar, a pinch of lime juice and a pinch of agave.  Turned out pretty tasty!

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While MSP was at softball late in the evening, I had almond milk flavored with some chocolate syrup, and an unpictured banana with almond butter and honey

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I have been seriously bitten by the hungry bug this week!  (I even have a pic to prove it!!)

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The little bugger got me good, no wonder I’m famished!!  😉  I’m having a tough time feeling full for some reason this week.  I wonder if it’s this streak of cold weather we’re having and my body thinking it needs some extra insulation for the winter!  I better dress warm today to trick it!  Since it is currently 28 degrees(Dear Summer, please, I beg you… do not leave me yet!  I’m not ready!)

When the hungry bug bites, I don’t want to ignore it completely if I’m truly feeling hungry (and not bored, stressed, tired or thirsty.)  In this situation I aim to fill up on nutrient-dense, high volume food, which is why I had such a HUGE salad for dinner.   It would be really easy to go grab something that I can stick my whole face into like a bag of baked chips, crackers, cookies, etc.  But I know that would just be adding insult to injury, and not doing any good for my body or my mood.  So I eat quality foods until I feel full.  If that doesn’t do the trick or if I have a feeling I’m just craving things for emotional reasons, usually a hot cup of herbal tea or a decaf coffee will work wonders.

Today’s questions:  Do you have your own strategy to fight off food cravings if you know they aren’t true hunger signals?  Do you have a “go-to” food or beverage that will squelch any cravings and keep you feeling fit?  Drop me a comment!  I’d love to hear from you! 

(Speaking of comments, where’s my sister-from-anotha-mister, Alexandra??  Hope you are doing well!)

Have a fit & fabulous FRIDAY! 

— Shari B. =)

 

 





Mashed Faux-tatoes

30 09 2009

Hey everyone! 

Well, my quest for finding a fun new veggie didn’t turn up anything.  King Soops only had ‘normal veggies’ so I at least bought a veggie that I haven’t had in a long time:  cauliflower.  (Looks like a trip to Whole Paycheck Foods is in order to find the fun stuff!  Better leave the credit card at home…!)  

Back when the South Beach Diet first came out, there was one recipe that quickly became ‘famous’ from that program and that was using cauliflower to create a dish that resembled mashed potatoes.   The ingredients in the South Beach version include a couple of dairy products, and while I don’t shun dairy completely, I will find ways to minimize or avoid things made from cow’s milk when I can. 

Here is my twist on the original recipe of what I like to call Mashed Faux-tatoes:

  • 12 oz package of cauliflower florets
  • 2 tbs MimicCreme
  • 1 tbs nutritional yeast flakes (approximate – use to your own taste)
  • sea salt and pepper to taste

Steam the cauliflower until tender (I used the steamable microwave bag, 3-4 minutes on high). Place steamed cauliflower in a food processor and begin pureeing.  Add the MimicCreme and continue pureeing until you have the consistency of mashed potatoes (a few minutes max).  Add nutritional yeast, sea salt and pepper to taste then run the processor for a few seconds more to thoroughly mix all the ingredients.

This makes a pretty small batch (essentially a single serving) since I am the only one in my house that will eat cauliflower. Adjust your batch size as needed if you have veggie eaters in your house.

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Before my trip I’d ordered the MimicCreme to have on hand when I returned.  I’d planned to use it in my coffee but learned that it can also replace cream in most recipes, which is why I’d decided to try it in the faux-tatoes before giving it a thumbs up or down.  I’ve been searching for something to use in my daily coffee other than fat-free liquid Coffeemate and thought this might be the solution.  I tried it for the first time yesterday.  I had to use a fair amount to get the level of lightness in my coffee plus a full pack of Stevia as this ‘cream’ is unsweetened.  It does give a very creamy taste to my coffee and it worked great in the cauliflower, so I’d say it’s a definite thumbs up!  Which is good, seeing how I had to order a package of SIX from Amazon!

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 My Tuesday started with my Denver mug, in honor of being home!

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I woke up hungry so had 1 cup of Kashi GoLean cereal with some almond milk. 
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Then I took the dogs out together for their wog.  We did 2.5 miles – Riley got really tired right at 2 miles and kept stopping to lay in the grass, so we cut the loop really short.  I’d been aiming to get them out for 4 miles but I need to remember that in dog years she’s like 70 and so I need to take it easier on her.  That was the extent of my ‘planned’ exercise and the rest was running stairs from the 2nd floor to the basement floor with laundry and massive unpacking!

After wogging I had a scoop of Chocolate Vega mixed with almond milk.  
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For lunch I was in the mood for a veggie wrap.  This one started with a warm whole wheat tortilla, smeared with Tofutti.  I sprinkled pepitas on, then added sliced avocado, sliced tomato, alfalfa sprouts, sea salt and pepper.  For crunch I added a few Baked Lays on the side.  It was so good… I might have to have another one for today’s lunch too!  But maybe with some fauxtatoes on the side.  🙂

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Afternoon snack was a delicious lemon flavored Larabar.  And some hot green tea.

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For dinner I ate my leftover Chipotle bowl (rice, black beans, fajita veggies, pico de gallo, and corn salsa) with a spinach salad on the side.

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I’m working on getting the recipe page going since I had a few requests for that before I left for my trip, so you should see that coming soon

Have a WONDERFUL WEDNESDAY!  Still looking to hear some comments on your favorite interesting veggies or a veggie you’ve never tried but wanted to!  I like to eat pickled beets, but have never tried them any other way, so that’s one that I’d like to purchase and prepare myself to see how it goes.  My most recent new veggie was fennel, which I tried because I heard that it tastes like licorice and it actually kind of does!

— Shari B.  =)





Happy Homecoming!

29 09 2009

Hey there FitFeat friends! 

I’m blogging today from my own desk again!  YAY!  It sure feels good to be home

My dogs were SO excited to see me last night, which I truly wasn’t expecting.  Here’s why:  When we take them to their favorite dogsitter’s house (Auntie Tricia’s) and then we get back to pick them up, they act like we’re chopped liver.  They have such a great time at her house that I think they are like “aw, darn – now we have to go home!”  So I figured that since they were already home with MSP, I’d walk in the door and they’d act as if I was just coming in from the grocery story.  But they actually went nuts, especially my Weimaraner, Riley.  And she kept it up most of the evening!  She dropped her ball in my lap repeatedly and she had ‘crazy eyes’ going on (where her pupils are so dilated they are solid black) and she was panting like she’d just been sprinting.  I love that my dogs love me so much.  🙂 

They are going to get one heck of a wog today for sure!

Here’s the recap of my travel day Monday.  I started the morning early again, this time at 4:30 AM.  I read my Kindle in bed for an hour before getting out of the warm bed.  I went downstairs after my mom was awake and had my coffee and a piece of Ezekial toast with a side of more Kindle.  🙂  I’m still trying to finish the new Dan Brown book.  If anyone had told me that I’d go on a 12-day vacation and NOT finish one whole book, I’d tell them they were crazy and must not know me very well.  I thought I’d read at least 3 while I was gone.  But I just didn’t have a lot of time to read during this trip. 

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After the sun tried (and failed) to peek out, Mom and I did a couple of miles on this trail in a forest park near her house:

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We interrupted the breakfast of these deer:

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It was FREEZING outside so by the time we got back I was ready for some oatmeal to warm me from the inside out.

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Later, we ate a quick lunch before we had to head out for the Detroit airport.  I used all of my leftover veggies and made a HUGE salad (spinach, cucumber, HB egg, carrots, pepitas, sundried tomatoes, celery, a Gardenburger, pepper and a drizzle of bleu cheese dressing.)  On the side, I had a couple slices of homemade pickled beets.  I really think I am a little burned out on Gardenburgers for awhile. 

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I knew that the minute I was checked in at the airport I’d be hunting down a latte since I was once again near a large city.  I thought for sure they had a Starbucks in this airport, but no such luck.  Caribou Coffee would have to suffice.  This was my first soy latte in over 2 weeks.  I enjoyed every last sip and might have licked the foam out of the lid had I not been in a public place!

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A slice of pie goes great with a latte, so I had a Pecan Pie Larabar as I sipped my beloved elixir.  🙂

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Then I boarded the plane and was headed toward beautiful Denver.  It was nice and warm when I got off the plane.  I practically ran to baggage claim because I could not wait one minute longer to see MSP.  I missed him so much.  I got a little choked up when I saw him waiting for me – he didn’t see me because I’d missed a turn, so I got to sneak up behind him with a bear hug. 

Since I knew I didn’t have any veggies in the fridge at home, we swung by his favorite place (Chipotle) on the way to pick up some din-din.  I ordered a veggie bowl.  Once home, I portioned out half of it, and added some baked Tostito Scoops with which to eat my guac.   

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Then we settled in for some serious couch potato time, since I’d been missing all of the season premieres while I was gone.  We watched Hell’s Kitchen, The Office, and Community.  It was the perfect homecoming.

Eating Chipotle always requires a taste-change afterward, so I had a little chocolate.

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Well kids, now I’m off to tackle this mess: 

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Then do some sort of workout, then grocery shop, then catch up on some blog reading and what feels like a million other things on my list of playing “catch-up”. 

When I grocery shop today I’m going to look for some new and interesting veggies to try.  I’ve missed my kitchen and am really ready to try some new recipes.  Do you have a favorite vegetable?  Or one that you’ve wanted to try but haven’t?  Drop me a comment – I’d love to hear what veggies you are eating as inspiration for my shopping!

Have a TERRIFIC TUESDAY!  I’ve got a LIST of topics that I want to cover this week, so keep checking back for new posts!

— Shari B. =)