My New Favorite Thing to Do On the Treadmill

is….

READ!

nookontreadmill1It seems kind of crazy, because it is a little difficult – but seriously, it makes the time pass sooo much faster.

If I’m not running outside, the sights and sounds on the treadmill can be exactly the opposite of exciting.

A lot of the time I do like to zone out and use running as relaxation/meditation/a de-stresser and just listen to my tunes. But other times (especially on the treadmill) it is lovely to have a run fly by and just be over with!

I just finished my book club book, What Alice Forgot, last night.

It’s a girly fluff book that is a fast and fun read. Definitely a good vacation [or treadmill] book.

Now I’m starting The Secret Race, which obviously has some serious dramz.

I do love me some athletic man drama.

Keep in mind I’m reading on my nook! I think it would be a lot harder to read an actual book while running – but I haven’t tried it, so who knows.

If only I could get rid of the reading-with-drunk-goggles-on feeling…

http://edithwithgooglyeyes.tumblr.com/ (aka, funniest site ever)

http://edithwithgooglyeyes.tumblr.com/ (Why is this site so funny to me?!)

Warning: reading on the treadmill may cause slight motion sickness.

But I think I’ll get the hang of it eventually!

Do you read on the treadmill? Or while working out?

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Healthy Lobster Mac and Cheese

This “recipe” is quintessential CNG because it is ridiculous little kid/comfort food and is super easy to make.

Ok, so really – this is a work in progress. I definitely like the idea of this dish but I think it needs to be tweaked a teensy bit in the future to make it perfect. I’m thinking along the lines of baking it, casserole style. Prepare yourself for some future revamps of healthy lobster mac and cheese.

Ingredients:

  • boxed mac and cheese
  • fake lobster (i.e. fish flavored lobster flakes → pretending this is not fish)
  • old bay seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

It’s healthy because of the wheat noodles. Yeah. Healthy.

anniesmacandcheese

lobstersmartDirections:

Cook boxed mac and cheese as directed.

Season “lobster” with old bay, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.

Mix together and serve.

lobstermac3I actually ate mine with wheat pita chips as noodle scoopers on the side.

Tuna says I’m weird, but just go with it.

lobstermac2Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

Do you know of any good ways to spruce up comfort food?

 What weird food combos do you like? 

The Perfect Cadence Playlist

Not only did my friend Vicki inform me about tofu, she also was kind enough to share the best running playlist ever with me.

What’s so special about this playlist?

It was made for runners.

Let me explain.

Actually, let this screen shot of some internet research explain.

My fav running book, Born to Run, backs this up.

“Fortunately, Ken had already begun doing physiological testing on triathletes as part of his kinesiology studies…Ken’s first test subject was Alan Melvin, a world-class Masters triathlete in his sixties. First, Ken set a baseline by having Melvin run four hundred meters full out. Then he clipped a small electric metronome to his T-shirt.

‘What’s this for?’

‘Set it for one hundred eighty beats a minute, then run to the beat...’

‘Kenyans have superquick foot turnover,” Ken said. “Quick, light leg contractions are more economical than big, forceful ones.’

Within a year of creating his new technique in 1997, Ken became unbeatable, winning the world disabled championship the next two years in a row. Once word got out that Ken had figured out a way to run that was not only fast but gentle on the legs, other triathletes began hiring him as their coach. Ken went on to train eleven national champions and built up a roster of more than one hundred athletes” (McDougall, Christopher: Born to Run, page 149).

Yes, I’ve tried to count my footstrikes during a run….and yes, I always lose count within approximately fifteen seconds.

With Vicki’s cadence playlist from Spotify, the music counts for me! I recommend downloading any of the below songs – they all consist of 180 beats per minute, perfect for running.

playlistcadencepic

  • Vampire weekend: A-Punk
  • Postal Service: Such Great Heights
  • Presidents of the United States of America: Kick Out the Jams
  • MuteMath: Electrify
  • Jimmy Eat World: Praise Chorus
  • Don Henley: Boys of Summer
  • Tinie Tempah: Written in the Stars
  • Metric: Gold Guns Girls
  • TV On the Radio: Wolf Like Me
  • Iggy Pop: Some Weird Sin
  • Billy Idol: Dancing with Myself
  • Black Keys: Everlasting Light

They sure helped me with my long run on Sunday!

What are some of your favorite songs to run to? (I need to add some more to my iPod!)

Weekend Recap

Big news today. I ran 8 miles outside and didn’t die.

Though I kind of thought I was going to during miles 6-8.

longrun8milelongrun8milespace

You can tell I was dying by my even slower slow splits.

I was glad I got to run outside on my fav new beautiful trail, though. We all know that long runs on the treadmill can seem like torture.

*****

On Saturday afternoon, Tuna and I went to the Torpedo Factory in Alexandria to check out his sister-in-law’s awesome art exhibit.

torpedofactory1It was pretty cool that we got to tour the exhibit with the artist!

Afterwards we headed over to RedRocks Pizzeria for some beer and fancy pizza.

I sampled the Lagunitas Little Sumpin’ Sumpin’ Ale (not gonna lie, I picked it just because of the name) and it was delish.

sumpin'sumpin'1It’s a good thing that the pizza was amazing, because Tuna and I were pretty pissed about our appetizer. We experienced a terrible injustice when our “bacon wrapped scallops” order arrived with ONE measly scallop.

scallop2We ate our nine dollar scallop in one bite.

*****

New obsession = Homeland.

If you haven’t started it yet, you have to. End of story.

Let’s cross our fingers that I wake up tomorrow! It always seems harder to get out of bed the day after a long run. My clean sheets are calling – catch ya later!

Tell me about your weekend! What did you do?

The Chronicles of Tofu

I was talking to my BFF Vicki the other day and she was telling me about how I should try tofu.

Tofu? Hmmmm.

But then she told me:

  • it tastes like nothing
  • it costs $3.00 for a block of it = cheap ass protein
  • it absorbs soy sauce really well

Trust me, I surprised myself too when I started wandering around the aisles of Giant looking for tofu.

Not ashamed (well…maybe a little ashamed) that it took me approximately 17 minutes of wandering to find it.

I had no idea whether it was in the frozen section, the coldish section near the eggs, or sittin’ on the shelves next to the ramen. I was even too embarrassed to ask a worker where it was, since I didn’t want to look like a wide-eyed dumbass next to the ramen.

Once I finally found the tofu aisle, there were so many options to choose from. Extra lite tofu? Extra firm tofu? Wtf.

I settled for middle-of-the-road FIRM.

tofuboxLies.

It was not firm.

tofublock1A little less gross than cooking raw chicken though. Speaking of chicken, I only semi-freaked out had to double check that I didn’t need to cook the tofu for a certain amount of time in order not to get salmonella. Thank god for Google.

I tried to cut it into little pieces like the kind that come in Pad Thai.

tofucooking2But it turned into the kind that looks like cat food.

tofucookingThe result:

tofu4 I can’t decide whether I like it or not.

Vicki was right about the above bullet points, but I’m not so sure about the texture.

I think I need to try EXTRA EXTRA FIRM next time.

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

What is your opinion on tofu?

Love it? Hate it? What do you eat it with?

Magic Anti-Flu Tea

We’re in the midst of flu season, which makes me paranoid. I’ve already had a cold recently and couldn’t do my long run, so I better not get sick again until April!

My foodie aunt found a magic tea that protects you from the flu. I had one every single day last week, and it’s working so far!

goji berry tea

Ingredients:

  • green tea
  • 1 lemon slice
  • a pinch of cayenne pepper
  • a small handful of goji berries
  • 1 squirt of honey

How is it magic? Look at all the benefits of what’s in it!

Green Tea

“Green tea’s health benefits — particularly its potential to fight cancer and heart disease — has been more than intriguing, as have limited studies about green tea’s role in lowering cholesterol, burning fat, preventing diabetes and stroke, and staving off dementia” (source)

Lemon

“The two biggest are lemons’ strong antibacterial, antiviral, and immune-boosting powers and their use as a weight loss aid because lemon juice is a digestive aid and liver cleanser. Lemons contain many substances–notably citric acid, calcium, magnesium, vitamin C, bioflavonoids, pectin, and limonene–that promote immunity and fight infection” (source).

Cayenne Pepper

Though cayenne pepper has many health benefits, some specifically relate to the flu.

“Cayenne pepper aids in breaking up and moving congested mucus. Once mucus begins to leave the body, generally relief from flu symptoms follows”(source).

Goji Berries

I didn’t know that goji berries existed before last week! Why are they healthy? They’re full of antioxidants, which “boost the immune system and lower cholesterol”(source). 

Honey

Honey is an immune booster. It has a “type of antioxidant that helps to protect cells from free radical damage. It can also contribute to heart health as well as protect against cancer”(source). 

All I know is if you need me – you can find me chugging this tea all week!

Getting Location

I realized yesterday that the Shamrock Half Marathon is in less than two months!

That is kind of terrifying.

I did feel more like a real runner this past weekend though because I finally got to use my brand-new Garmin Forerunner 10 that my dad got for me for Christmas!

garmin1It is pretty cool that I will be able to show you sweet charts and stats from my runs now – though I may not want to because they are embarrassingly slow. But I did read in Runner’s World that the first few years of distance running are about building your mileage, not freaking out about your time.

Of course I messed up the stats from my first Garmin run. I accidentally pressed “save run” in the middle of it, so the run was split into two separate stats!

The lap button also seems to hate me because it said I did 13 laps and I only ran 6 miles. Whoops. I’ll have to figure that out this weekend

It is interesting that I am not at all concerned with my times with the Garmin, but waaay more concerned about my pace (and distance, of course).

The other very exciting part of my run on Sunday was the new trail I ran on! I finally ventured over to the very flat, very awesome trail leading into D.C. near Tuna’s house.

It had such cool scenery – like this ancient brick tunnel.

bridgeonrun

I’m definitely going to start running on this trail more often. Can spring please come asap so it won’t get dark at 5pm and we can all run on the trails outside all night long?

I refueled this weekend with Tuna’s cheesy chicken. He had the genius idea to shove a bunch of cheddar cheese inside of it.

cheesechickenI may start shoving cheddar cheese inside all of my food.

Do you use a Garmin?

Are there any good trails to run on near you?

DNF Banana Chips

Ummm…guys? I have something to tell you.

I had a What I Ate Wednesday fail. #wiawfail

wiawfailI made a new recipe to brag about today and it sucked.

Here’s the deal.

Last night I attempted to make banana chips. You know, the kind at the store for like $5.99? Well,  I was really excited because I saw a homemade recipe for them online.

I’m not going to tell you which blog I found it on because I don’t want to throw anyone under the bus.This is serious business.

This was the recipe (basically):

Ingredients:

  • 3 or 4 bananas
  • 1 lemon

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 200º F
  • Slice bananas
  • Squeeze lemon juice on banana slices
  • Bake the bananas for 90 minutes

Easy enough, right? How hard can it be to chop up some bananas and put them in the oven?

bananachips1Hard, apparently.

They were slimy and gross and smelled like rotten bananas. I thought they might harden in the fridge overnight. Nope. They just made my apartment smell like rotten bananas.

I feel like it has got to be the recipe though…or perhaps I am just cursed when it comes to bananas.

Anyway, why am I posting a shitty recipe?

Let’s think about this from a running blog perspective. If I ran a marathon (ha) and didn’t finish it (DNF in running lingo), I would probably still post about my marathon and how it sucked and what I leaned from it.

10kfinishIt should be the same thing for food blogs, don’t you think? Not everything you make is going to be delicious. Blogs shouldn’t just about our successes –  they’re about our failures too.

I’ve tried some new recipes lately that I am just not a fan of. I could refrain from posting anything I don’t really love, but I want to! I want to show you what I did and share
my thoughts with you.

Ok, so my thoughts this week: What I Learned From My DNF banana chips…

I need to start making my own recipes.

Let’s get confident in our food skills and be creative. Who’s with me?!?

Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

FitKit Monthly Guest Post – How to: Make A Frittata

Remember when I told you about FitKit awhile ago?

FitKit is a place where nutrition is made personal for everyone. Their mission is to build a community around making health and fitness transparent.

I’m super pumped because I’m going to be a monthly contributor to the FitKit blog!

Want to know how to make a frittata? Of course you do….

frittata2Check out my guest post here!

Cajun Sweet Potato Fries

sweetpotatofries1If I had to pick one food to eat on a desert island every day for the rest of my life, I would choose french fries.

I certainly love noshin’ on a tub of fries, but it’s definitely not the best thing for  my waistline.

Subbing in sweet potatoes instead of regular french fries makes all the difference health-wise, as sweet potatoes are considered a “super food”(source). Sweet potatoes are chock full of antioxidants and vitamins that our bodies need daily.

Fries and super food in the same sentence? Yes, please.

This spicy recipe is adapted from Cookie and Kate (Um, I like that blog name!)

Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 tbsp corn starch
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp hot chili powder

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into fries.

Place the uncooked fries into a mixing bowl or a plastic bag.

Add cornstarch, olive oil, and additional seasonings and spices to your bowl/bag o’ fries. Mix everything so that the fries are evenly coated.

Pour the fries onto a baking sheet(s) covered with parchment paper or a non-stick baking sheet(s) and spread the fries in a single layer with some breathing room.

Bake for 20 minutes.

Take out and flip the fries with a spatula.

Put back in the oven and bake for 15-20 more minutes. Remove when fries are crispy.

Add ketchup and enjoy!

sweetpotatofries2Thanks as always to Jenn @ Peas and Crayons for hosting What I Ate Wednesday!

If you had to pick one food to eat on a desert island every day for the rest of your life, what food would you choose?