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Vegetables And Stuff

gym-diet

We tried this whole clean eating thing for a week, well, five days…OK 4.5 days. It was hard as heck. The goal was to not consume any refined sugars, simple carbohydrates, alcohol, meat, and dairy. Two reasons why we wanted to do this: 1) To inspire healthier than usual eating habits (we eat vegetarian during the week, but the food choices aren’t always healthy. 2) Force us to try new recipes and be more creative with staples we have around the house.

I wouldn’t say we noticed any significant changes. We didn’t all of sudden start running faster and our skin didn’t turn Jay Lo-esque, but there was a feeling that eating this diet made us more superior than most people…j/k! It was guilt free eating.  What we were ingesting was actually good for our body. We felt good. My farts didn’t smell and I know that has to be a good thing.

Unless you’re rich and can afford to constantly buy prepared food from Whole Foods or M Cafe, then you have to cook the stuff yourself. I will say that eating a strict vegetarian diet is less costly than eating animals and processed foods. For a week’s worth of produce and fruits we spent about $35 at Super King. This was for three meals a day with snacks! Although organic would be ideal we can’t all the time because rent and financial aid payments.

If you decide to do this clean eating thing you’ll also notice that the recipes will be very simple and more emphasis is on combing ingredients to create certain tastes. Garlic is magical and chili peppers don’t always have to taste spicy. Spices are key. Don’t be afraid to try new things.

So, big takeaways: 1) Cheaper to eat fruits and vegetables specially if you eat with the seasons. 2) Planning and effort. You have to plan your meals and make time to prepare them. 3) Farts won’t smell. Junk in. Junk out.

Here are some recipes of food we ate during the 4.5 days:

Kale and Quinoa Fry
Cook 1 cup quinoa in 1 3/4 cup water for 15 minutes. Fluff and set aside.
Mince 3 garlic cloves and half an onion. Chop as much kale as you’d like. If you don’t like it as much, 2 cups is good. f you love it then 6-8 cups is plenty.

Saute the garlic and onions in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil until the garlic is close to browning. Add 1/4 tsp. chili flakes then add kale. Add 1/2 cup vegetable broth or water and cover until kale is a bit wilted. Add quinoa and turn up the heat a bit. Continue to stir and make sure most of the liquid has evaporated. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Wheat Berry Waldorf Salad
Soak 1 cup hard wheat berry overnight in the refrigerator. Boil wheat berry in 5 cups of water for 40 minutes. Strain while runnign cold water over wheat berry. Set aside.

Dice 1 apple (Fuji or Gala), medium onion, 3-4 stalks celery. Add 1 cup dried cranberries and 1/2 cup chopped walnuts or pecans.

Whisk 1/3 cup safflower oil, 1/4 cup apple juice, 1/4 cup rice wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons honey, pinch salt and pepper.

Combine apple mixture with wheat berries. Toss with oil mixture. Refrigerate for an hour. Eat.

Breakfast Smoothie
Blend 1/2 cup oatmeal until it’s a powder. Add 1 1/2 cup coconut milk (we use the drinking kind from Trader Joe’s), 1 banana, 1/2 cup frozen strawberries, 1/2 cup frozen pineapple, and 1 tablespoon honey. Blend until smooth. Drink.


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Trying The 50 Mile Distance…Again.

Although I fell behind my training schedule for Sean O’Brien due to the bike accident, I managed to pull together four solid weeks of running.
Distance: 322.64 mi
Time: 57:12:54 h:m:s
Elevation Gain: 67,823 ft
Max Elevation Gain: 7,492 ft
Max Time: 4:55:08 h:m:s

I feel confident I can finish the race in under 9:30:00 based on my training. I would estimate a better finishing time, but I was unable to go on a 5+ hour/30+ mile run. So, all I can hope for is to run a gritty race. Two weeks ago I ran the back half of the course as a training run and was physically beaten by the amount of downhill running. I’d like to think all those runs up and down Mt. Wilson Toll Rd. has prepared me well.

I think I’ve been a responsible eater most of the time. I made sure to eat a recovery snack post-run (mostly in the form of a smoothie) and calorie/nutrient dense food most meals. I hydrated fairly well, being conscious to drink water first thing in the morning and intermittently during runs. I haven’t had any major stomach problems and have dialed in my race day nutrition plan. I’ll be using GU gels, Nuun tablets, and Probar chews. My mindset has been to eat for energy; food as fuel. It’s helped me stay focus and limit junk food.

Seven more days until I toe the line. I have goals for the race and none bigger than to keep moving forward no matter what happens or how I feel at any time. Big question is, music or no music?

The course and elevation profile:

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 11.10.26 PM

Screen Shot 2015-01-31 at 11.07.21 PM


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Bulldog Thoughts

When I registered to run Bulldog 50k in July I had every intention to train hard with long miles and serious climbing. What happened instead was a bunch of short runs with not a lot of sustained climbing and downhill running. The combination of settling back into life in Los Angeles and general fatigue due to activities related to moving led to s a lot of uninspired runs. I would often start my runs with double digit mileage in mind, but I would cut many runs short. So, most runs looked like this: Scary Post Run. An intended 17 mile run that I bailed on.

Picture 12

What do I wish will happen this Saturday? Well, I hope my lack of training miles actually leaves me with a healthy body and inspiration to prove to myself that the impossible is probable. What I think will actually happen is I’ll finish middle of the pack leaving me with the comfort of knowing I finished strong  without a good training base. I’ve ran this course many times and I know what is possible. I can only hope for the best and pray that I’ll be able to will myself to push past the comfort zone and finish at an effort I can be happy about.

So, here it goes, my predicted times:
“A” Goal: Sub 4:10
“B” Goal: 4:15
“Deserves all the beers” goal: Sub 4:20

The specs:
Shoes: Mizuno Wave Kazan
Clothing: Sugoi Titan run shorts, Wright CoolMesh II socks
Accessories: Ultimate Direction Jurek Essential belt and Handy 20 handheld water bottle.
Nutrition: NUUN Hydration Strawberry Lemonade, PowerBar Berry Blast and Kona Punch, and salted pretzels


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November Recipes

As a runner I eat plenty of bananas, but sometimes I buy too many and they become overripe. This is a recipe I messed around with that actually turned out pretty good.

Banana Cream Cheese Cupcakes
8 oz softened cream cheeseIMG_1122
2 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup olive oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 overripe bananas, smashed
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Mix eggs, sugar, oil, cream cheese, vanilla, and bananas together until well blended. In separate bowl mix flower, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Slowly incorporate dry mix into wet mix. Pour into muffin cups. Bake for 20 mins. or golden brown.

Risotto is actually easier to make and very versatle than what some people think. The only hard thing about making risotto is the amount of attention you have to give to build a creamy rice. You can add whatever you want to add flavor and texture to the rice. Personal favorites include bacon, edamame, peppers and sausage.

Butternut Squash and Mushroom Risotto
2 cups squashIMG_1182
1 cup white mushroom
3 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt to taste
black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon chili powder
1/2  onion, diced
1-1/2 cup Arborio rice
6 cups (approximately) vegetable broth
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric
1 tsp. fresh rosemary (1/2 tsp. dried)
1 tsp. fresh thyme (1/2 tsp. dried)
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup parmesan cheese

Heat broth in a separate pan. In large deep skillet, heat 1 tablespoon butter and olive oil.  Add squash and mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until squash is semi-soft, but not mushy. It will continue to cook when you set it aside.

After plating the squash mixture to cool, add remaining butter to pan and saute onions until translucent. Add rice. Season with chili powder, turmeric, and herbs. Mix for a couple of minutes to make sure rice is covered with butter. Add about 2 cups of heated broth to rice and stir. Cook down liquid before adding more broth a cup at a time. Continue this until all the broth is used. Cook rice down until soft, but not mushy. Before serving, season with salt and pepper. Add cream and cheese to the rice and mix well. Mix in squash mixture and fold into rice mixture gently.
IMG_1177    IMG_1179


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July 2013 Recap

Bowerman and ChoyMiles: 255.19
Time on feet: 37:20:02 h:m:s
Max time: 2:46:03
Long run mileage: 16.34
Number of activities: 30

July was a very inconsistent month for me. I modified a lot of my workouts by either cutting miles or skipping them altogether. I completed all of my “hard” workouts (intervals and tempos), but was less strict with my recovery and “easy” run days.

My favorite workouts are long intervals. This past month I ran 3x2miles, 8x1000m, 4x1mile, and 6x1200m. Each interval was run progressively faster, where the last one was at lung busting pace. I feel the leg turnover and aerobic toll during longer intervals more closely simulates and prepares the runner for the half-marathon “fast pace” rather than running 200m-400m sprints, which I will never be fast enough to utilize in a race.

Like my running, I’ve been inconsistent with my nutrition. Some weeks I eat really well; densely caloric and nutritionally healthy foods and other weeks I over-indulge in calorically unhealthy foods and beverages. My guilty pleasure remains anything from the McDonald’s dollar menu. Some days I end the day with a caloric debt, spending more than what I took in. Those days are followed by fatigue and my body craving “bad” carbs (usually satisfied by donuts, bacon, and chocolate milk).

The Kauai Half Marathon (AND WEDDING DAY!!!) is a month away and I feel like all I can do is execute the quality workouts and not get injured — I won’t get any faster or stronger. I’ve modified my goal based on how my pace training have gone. Instead of a sub 1:19:00, my new goal is 1:21:00.


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May Recipes

Tofu TacoCIMG5237
1 package firm tofu
1 cup kimchee
1/3 cup pickled sweet banana peppers
1 tablespoon Sriracha
1 bunch of cilantro
Canola oil for frying
Corn tortilla
salt
lime (optional)

Cube or slice tofu and fry in medium-high heat. Note that tofu will shrink as moisture isCIMG5236 cooked out. Fry until golden brown, salt, then drain and set aside.

CIMG5235Mix together kimchee, peppers, Sriracha, and cilantro. For one serving, warm 2 tortillas and fill with tofu and top with kimchee mixture with a squeeze of lime. For added texture, sliced cucumbers are great!

Spaghetti With BaconCIMG5233
1 package whole wheat spaghetti
1 package bacon
2 tablespoons olive oil (and more if desired)
6 cloves garlic
1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dry oregano
1 teaspoon dry basil
5 Roma tomatoes
salt
pepper
8-10 fresh basil leaves (optional)

Prep sauce ingredients: Peel and slice garlic thin. Cube tomatoes.In small bowl add oregano, basil, and chili flakes. Cut bacon into small chunks.

Cook pasta al dente according to instructions on the box.

Sauce takes approximately 8-10 minutes! While the pasta is cooking, cook bacon in large non-stick pan until golden brown in medium heat. Remove half of the fat in the pan. Return to heat and add olive oil, garlic, and herb mixture. Before garlic turns brown add tomatoes. Drain pasta and add to sauce mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste and more olive oil if desired. (I add another 2 tablespoons, myself.) Before plating, mix in fresh basil.

Some other things I cooked the past month were very simple to make and very good.

CIMG5210Oven roasted sweet potatoes. I peeled and cubed the potatoes and tossed in olive oil, salt, pepper, and cumin. Baked at 350 degrees for 30 mins. A very healthy side dish to bring to a potluck.

IMG_0507

Pan fried plantains. I use the macho variety available in most Mexican groceries. Choose a banana that is slightly soft. Don’t be afraid if there is some blackening on the skin. Slice and fry in canola oil. sprinkle with either salt or sugar after taking off heat. Also makes a great side or dessert when served with some ice cream.


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March Recipes

Garbanzo And Spinach Cakes

1 can garbanzo
10 oz. spinach (I used fresh, you can use frozen)
4 stalks green onion
3 cloves garlic
1/3 cup plain bread crumbs
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. cayenne powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
1/2 tsp. paprika
2 slivers ginger

Dredging ingredients
2 eggs+1/4 cup milk beaten together
flour
panko

I foolishly used fresh spinach, so I had to saute it then squeeze out as much of the remaining liquid. If you use frozen make sure to thaw and squeeze out the liquids.

IMG_0439In a food processor, add garbanzo, spinach, chopped green onions, chopped garlic, bread crumbs, cumin, cayenne, salt, pepper, ginger, and paprika. Blend together until garbanzo is finely minced. Don’t over process! You want there to be a little texture.



IMG_0443Shape patties about 1/4 in. thick. The thicker it is the longer it will take to cook through.






IMG_0442Prepare the dredging station. First, cover both sides with flour, then dip into egg mixture, finally coat in panko.






IMG_0444Pan fry in olive oil until golden brown on both sides. About 5-7 minutes on each side in medium heat.






IMG_0446You can fry them up ahead of time and freeze them. Reheat in a microwave. Best eaten right away.







Sweet Potato Pancakes

I use my basic pancake recipe less some milk and add 1 cup mashed sweet potato. I bake two small sweet potatoes wrapped in foil at 350 degrees for 45 mins. Peel and smash with a fork. Measure 1 cup.

Pancake Recipe

3/4 cup whole milk
2 large eggs
1/4 cup olive oil
2 cups flour of your choice
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
1 cup mashed sweet potato

Beat wet ingredients together. Mix dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Slowly mix dry ingredients into the wet mixture. Batter should be a little on the dry side. (If you take a spoon full of batter it SHOULDN’T smoothly flow, but rather drip on the pan.)

CIMG5198Butter a pan and cook the pancake like you normally cook pancake. Wait until the bubbles on the edges stop boiling before you flip over.


Sweet Potato Chocolate Chip Cookies

Simply delicious! I cool the batter in the fridge for half an hour cause I like my cookies to sit up. If you want them flatter, go ahead and melt the butter and spoon right away.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup maple syrup
1 stick softened butter
4 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. pumpkin spice mix
1 package milk chocolate chips
2 cups mashed sweet potato

Beat eggs, butter, brown sugar, maple syrup, vanilla extract, sweet potato, coconut milk, and milk together.

Mix flour, and baking soda together. Slowly mix into wet mixture. Fold in chocolate chips. Set batter into refrigerator to cool for 30 mins.

CIMG5200I use an ice cream scoop to spoon the batter on a greased baking sheet. Bake for 30 mins. or until golden brown. Cool on baking racks so it can “crunch up.”


Southwest Brown Rice Salad and Buffalo style Cauliflower

Very easy recipe you can make to last the week.

1/2 cup uncooked brown rice
1 cup water

1 large sweet pepper, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 cucumber, cubed
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
Handful of cilantro, chopped
Juice of 1 lime
Juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper to tasted

Cook brown rice for 30 mins or until all liquid has cooked away. Lay cooked rice out on a large plate to cool.

CIMG5202Combine everything in a large bowl and set in refrigerator to cool before serving.



CIMG5203Click HERE for the Buffalo Style Cauliflower recipe.







Chocolate Coconut Bread Pudding with Bourbon Whipped Cream

I had this thing with bread pudding when I was living in Hawaii. I fell in love with the dessert after having it for the first time at Cafe Pescatore. For the next two months I did nothing but bake all sorts of bread pudding, experimenting and refining recipes. Below is something I came up with using croissant and coconut milk.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
1 cup milk
1 can coconut milk
5 eggs and 1 egg yolk
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
6 large croissants, torn

beat eggs with sugar then add milk, coconut milk, and vanilla extract. Mix well. Add bread and let soak for 10 mins. Fold in chocolate chips and pour into greased 9×9 or 9×13 pan. If you like a thicker piece pour into smaller square pan. Bake for 40 mins. or until a toothpick comes out cleanly.

Bourbon Whipped Cream
1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 oz. bourbon ( I use Maker’s Mark)

Add sugar to whipping cream and whisk until soft peaks form. Add bourbon and continue whisking until you get stiff peaks. Serve over warm bread pudding.