February 2013 archive
New here? Be sure to check out Week 1: Getting Started on a running program, Running for distance , Making a playlist, Pre-Workout Nutrition, Core-Exercises for Running, Post-Workout Nutrition, and Outside vs. Treadmill?
If you’ve been following our running challenge, hopefully you’ve ventured out for a few long runs. I’m not going to put an exact mileage down on what I consider to be a long run, as they will vary from individual to individual. I consider a long run one you would consider bringing fuel along for: sports drink, chews, gels.
If you’re training for an event, such as a marathon or 1/2 marathon, your long run is much different than your weekly recovery runs. Remember that it takes several long runs for your body to become fully acclimatized to the distance. Add a few miles each week until you’ve reached your maximum distance. That way, you’re not overwhelming your body and you’re also less likely to get injured.
First, prepare your route. If your planning on going over 10 miles, try to find a route that will include a bathroom stop or two and water fountains. I am fortunate enough that I can run around parks and through the city. Close enough to pop into a Burger King for a potty break or by the public fountains if I don’t want to carry a water belt. I have a 5 mile loop from my house. I recommend finding one of similar distance and repeat it. That way, if you become fatigued, become injured, or have an emergency, you’re never more than a few miles from home.
It’s also a good idea to tell someone where you’re going. We’ve all seen the Law & Order episodes of girls who run in Central Park. Be smart. Don’t run at night, especially alone, and let someone know when your expected back. My usual line to BL is ” If I’m not back in 2 hours, call my cell. If you still don’t hear from me assume I am dead or kidnapped.”
Clearly there are no other possibilities.
You could also consider a Road ID. I don’t have one but always encourage others to, especially if you have life-threatning allergies or diabetes.
While I might sound like a worrier, and quite possibly your mother, it’s because I care. Plan for the worst, just in case.
Ok, enough with the dark and gloomy.
Let’s talk nutrition for long runs:
Dehydration is usually my first thought on long runs. Especially as it gets warmer outside or you run in a humid environment. Try to get some fluids in at least every 30 minutes during the run. There are many different types of water belts or hydration belts, find one that works best for you. If you’re running more than an hour in the heat, 90 minutes in normal conditions, make one of your beverages a sports drink.
After the 90 minute or so mark, you’ll want to start considering fuel and electrolyte replacement. Sports drinks aid in both. Since Gatorade is full of artificial colorings & flavor, make your own. My favorite DIY sports drink is from Brendan Brazier of Thrive and Vega.
You will also be depleting your glycogen stores, the carbohydrate fuel your muscles use. We’ve already discussed what you should eat before and after your runs, now let’s talk about fuel during the run. For runs lasting more than 60 minutes, it’s a good rule of thumb to take in 30-60 grams of carbohydrates every hour. Good food choices include: energy gels, endurance chews, goos, fig newtons, dried fruit (raisins are my favorite), sliced oranges, plain bagel. Find what works for you. GI distress is a common concern. Know what works with your body before race day.
What do you use to fuel your long runs?
Happy Tuesday! How was your weekend?
We spent Saturday at a fundraiser breakfast and then headed to San Francisco for the afternoon/evening.
Ah, the city. It’s quite possibly my favorite in the world. I love the energy, the people, the culture. We love walking around, exploring different neighborhoods while shopping and eating.
Before our jam-packed weekend, I made this on Friday night. Usually our unspoken dinner-out night, we decided it would be nicer to relax at home.
I have a pretty good size list of ‘Date-Night-In Meals’. Dinners that impress, don’t keep me in the kitchen the whole evening, and are fancy enough that we can justify not venturing out to eat. This one definitely tops the list.
I know what you might be thinking. Risotto has quite the little reputation of being complicated, laborious, and fussy.
I promise you, this recipe is worth it. 20 minutes. That’s it. 20 minutes is all it takes to stir the risotto, from start to finish. Quite the bargain for a luxurious meal like this.
You will need to use Arborio rice for this. It’s essential for making risotto, regular rice won’t behave the same way. If your local grocery store doesn’t carry it, you can find it online. DK readers can use code KCF880 for $10 off $40 purchases or $5 off purchases under $40.
Prepare a quick salad for a side; baby greens and a simple dressing. Whisk together extra-version olive oil, red wine vinegar, 1/2 tsp. dijon mustard, 1 small clove minced garlic, salt/pepper. Toss with greens.
Roasted Butternut Squash Risotto
6 cups vegetable broth
3 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1 tbsp. butter
2 garlic cloves
1/2 tsp. cumin
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
1 tbsp. chopped fresh sage
1 tsp. salt
4 tbsp. nutritional yeast
Preheat oven to 450ºF. Toss squash cubes with 1 tsp. olive oil and a pinch of salt. Place in roasting pan or baking sheet and cook for 45 minutes until fork tender.
In a saucepan, bring broth to a simmer. In a separate saucepan, heat butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice, garlic, cumin, nutmeg and stir. Cook for 3 minutes.
Stir in 1/2 cup simmering broth and cook, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Continue adding broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring and allowing each 1/2 cup of broth be absorbed before adding the next. The risotto should be creamy but still al-dente. You might not use all the broth.
Add roasted squash, nutritional yeast, salt, and sage. Stir together and cook an additional 1 minute. Serve immediately.
You made dinner, right?
Make your sweetie do the dishes. It’s the least they could do for enjoying a meal like this. ; )
I have a hard time keeping a straight face when someone tells me they enjoy granola bars as a ‘healthy’ snack.
Let’s look at the ingredient list of Chocolate Chip Chewy Bars
GRANOLA (WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED OATS, BROWNSUGAR, CRISP RICE [RICE FLOUR, SUGAR, SALT, MALTED BARLEY EXTRACT],WHOLE GRAIN ROLLED WHEAT, SOYBEAN OIL, DRIED COCONUT, WHOLE WHEATFLOUR, SODIUM BICARBONATE, SOY LECITHIN, CARAMEL COLOR, NONFAT DRYMILK), SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS (SUGAR, CHOCOLATE LIQUOR, COCOABUTTER, SOY LECITHIN, VANILLA EXTRACT), CORN SYRUP, BROWN RICE CRISP(WHOLE GRAIN BROWN RICE, SUGAR, MALTED BARLEY FLOUR, SALT), INVERTSUGAR, SUGAR, CORN SYRUP SOLIDS, GLYCERIN, SOYBEAN OIL. CONTAINS 2% OR LESS OF SORBITOL,CALCIUM CARBONATE, SALT, WATER, SOY LECITHIN, MOLASSES, NATURAL ANDARTIFICIAL FLAVOR, BHT (PRESERVATIVE), CITRIC ACID.
Sugar sources have been highlighted for your pleasure. A common trick of food companies, they add multiple sources of sugar so you don’t see that sugar, by weight, really is the biggest ingredient. A single bar contains 3.5tsp of sugar.
Other questionable ingredients include Artificial Flavorings, BHT
& Caramel Color
Are we still calling this a healthy snack?
Ditch your packaged bars and make these instead. Not only do you have control over the ingredients, they taste much better than traditional granola bars.
And you save money. And wasteful packaging.
Hopefully you don’t need any more convincing.
Yes, these still contain chocolate chips (I still had to get BL to choose these over regular bars), and they contain a little sugar. Not nearly as much as the packaged kind though. Your choice of liquid sweetener; I used agave but you could experiment with honey or maple syrup.
Mmm. Chewy, chocolate peanut butter granola bars. And around 100 calories per serving as well.
Wham! Bam! These are kicking those quaker bars butts.
These will keep for two weeks in the fridge. Make a pan, slice them and eat as needed. They make a pretty good on-the-go breakfast as well.
DK’s Peanut Butter Chocolate Chewy Peanut Bar
1 cup rolled oats
1/2 cup brown rice crispy cereal
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 cup agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener, see above)
2 tbsp. brown sugar
3/4 tsp. vanilla extract
⅓ cup chocolate chips
1/4 tsp. salt
Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine rolled oats, flour, baking soda, brown sugar, salt and brown rice crispy cereal in a large bowl. Combine peanut butter and agave nectar in another bowl. Add the peanut butter mixture into the dry ingredients. Stir together, add the chocolate chips, and pour into a lightly-greased 8X8. Place a piece of parchment paper over the bars. Use a can or heavy object like glass measuring cup and gently beat down the mixture until it is compact and fills the pan.
Bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes.
Cut into 12 bars.
Somethings are better than the original.
Pumpkin Fettuccine is better than regular Fettuccine.
The Life of Pi movie was slightly better than the book.
This pot-pie is head and shoulders better than a traditional pot-pie.
This month’s Recipe Redux theme: A healthy recipe inspired by this year’s Oscar Picks.
With so many options to choose from, it was hard to pick just one. This Life of Pi imagined dish combines a literal pie with a hearty, Indian filling.
Or as I like to call is: Samosa Pot Pie.
Spicy, hearty filling of peas, potatoes, cauliflower, and carrots topped with a flaky whole-wheat crust.
And much healthier than traditional pie, to boot.
Anyone that knows me understands that Oscar night is a big deal in our house.
I can’t remember when we first started betting on picks, but it’s become quite the tradition, one we look forward to for weeks. The day of the Oscars BL and I bet on various categories, one picking a winner the other taking the field, to up the ante while watching the festivities.
We have some pretty fun prizes: car wash, cleaning the bathroom, dinner out, massage…
I guess this is what a competitive couple does for fun?
But what would a night of gambling be without a spread of delicious food?
We each usually bring 2-3 items that we can snack on: dips, desserts, my Oscar star cookies, and of course champagne!
Because that’s exactly what a competitive couple who also loves food does for fun.
This year, I am going to bring these. A fun twist on my favorite appetizer, the samosa, baked into a miniature pot pie.
We already established that mini versions of our favorite foods were better than the original, and this pie is no exception.
However you celebrate Oscar night, be sure to check out all of the Oscar-inspired recipes in the Redux Roundup below.
Cross your fingers that I win!
Whole Wheat Pie-Crust:
3-4 Tbsp Ice Water
1/3 cup Unsalted Earth Balance Shorting Sticks, chilled
1/2 tsp. salt
1 cup whole wheat pastry flour
Place flour and salt into a mixing bowl. Using a pastry beater, mix together the flour and salt. Drop small peices of butter into the bowl, one at a time and mix until small peas of dough form, Add water, one tablespoon at a time until dough forms. Form dough into a ball and press each into a disc shape. Wrap plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before rolling.
Pot Pie Filling:
2 tbsp. coconut oil (or other oil)
1 1/2 cups vegetable broth
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup chopped cauliflower
2 yukon gold potatoes, chopped
1 tbsp. freshly grated ginger
3 tsp. curry powder
1 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. ground mustard
3/4 cup green peas
1 tbsp. agave nectar (or other liquid sweetener)
1 small lime, juiced
1 tbsp. Earth Balance butter, melted
1 tbsp. soymilk
salt, to taste
Heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic. Cook, stirring often, until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the cubed potatoes and 3/4 cup vegetable broth. Bring heat to medium-high and cook until potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes until they resemble chunky mashed potatoes.
Add the carrots, cauliflower and spices. Add the remaining vegetable broth and simmer for 15 minutes until thickened. Add agave nectar, lime juice, and frozen peas. Stir together. Season with salt, to taste.
Place filling into greased ramekins or pie plate.
Roll the dough out until ~1/2″ thick. If using a pie plate, place the dough on top and crimp the edges. If using individual ramekins, cut a circle slightly larger than the ramekin. Place on top and crimp the edges with a fork until sealed.
Make a small X on top to let steam escape. Combine the melted butter and soy milk. Lightly brush tops with the butter-milk mixture.
Bake at 375°F for 45 minutes.