Posts Tagged ‘almond butter’

12-Miler #3

Half marathon #3 means 12-miler #3! 🙂 The San Diego Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon is in 18 days, which means my 12-miler (the longest of my training) took place last Friday. I am running this race with Team in Training again, and our big official event for this 12-miler (or the 21-miler for the marathoners) was on Saturday. Since I am a mentor for TNT, I was out there supporting instead of running, and I did my run on my own the day before.

Truthfully, I was really worried about this run because I had a solid two weeks of unspectacular runs. And not just unspectacular, but bordering on bad. I have no idea what it was, but it was the biggest running rut that I’ve had so far. :-/ I had to do run-walk intervals for the second half of an 8-miler, and the next week I could only finish half of my scheduled 8 miles! Of course I am still thrilled that I can run that, but it’s not good news five days before I’m supposed to run 12!

However, I was pretty darn determined that I was going to finish my 12. In the couple days leading up to the run, I focused super-hard on my water, my food, my rest, and my positive thinking. All of which I think contributed to my awesome 12-miler! Granted, I didn’t run it as fast as I would have liked. But my time was better than my previous two 12-milers, and considering the variables (it was so hot) I am thrilled. San Diego, here I come!

Besides running, I’ve been keeping up with the weight lifting as always. My current favorite workout is this one from Women’s Health. (Especially those Spider-Man pushups. ;)) I pick that magazine up on a whim every once and a while—I have subscriptions to Shape and Self—and I really like it! They have great workouts.

Of course, I’ve also been doing a lot of eating. It’s been so exciting to have a kitchen to cook in again, and I’m eating it up (pun completely intended). Plus, I have no idea what my options will be in Australia so I’m taking advantage of all that I can! Get ready for a whole lot of random eats…

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This is one of my very favorite recipes; I had it for lunch a few days ago. It’s even on my recipe page! For two servings, I mixed a can of wild salmon (skinless/boneless, I buy it at Costco) with a few tablespoons of Greek yogurt, chopped apple, chopped carrot, dried cranberries, salt, and paprika. Yum. 🙂 It’s really delicious on toast, but I ate it this time with Kashi crackers.

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I’ve also been really obsessed with green monsters. I’ve always liked them, but all of a sudden I’m usually drinking one a day. I just love them, and I’m digging the simplicity right now.

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I make them right now with one banana, one cup of milk, and a few handfuls of spinach. That’s it! (Every once in a while a frozen strawberry or two.) And I promise you can’t taste the green. 😉

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Ooh, this was a good lunch, too! It doesn’t look too appetizing (my fault…I grilled the wrap too long and it ripped) but it was tasty. I stuffed a wrap with spinach, hummus, and chopped carrot before grilling it for a few minutes longer than I should have. I love pretty much anything that’s warm and has hummus in it.

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Oh my goodness, then there was this breakfast. Disclaimer: it may have tasted extra delicious to me because I had just finished a hot run. But I bet it tastes amazing no matter the circumstances. I really, really love these waffles. I don’t buy them that often because they’re expensive and I have no qualms about eating them every day. This is the brand (I get the HempPlus ones) and they’re just awesome. But the really amazing part of this breakfast was the “sauce” I made.

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In a small bowl I mashed together half a banana, a tablespoon of almond butter, a tablespoon or two of milk, and a couple drops of maple syrup. Then I microwaved it for about 20-30 seconds and stirred until it came together to the consistency you see above. It was SO. GOOD. I want to make it all the time and smother everything with it. I am not ashamed at all to tell you that I licked the little bowl.

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And I used the other half of the banana to make a green smoothie—told ya I was obsessed. Plus half a cup of milk and some spinach.

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And last (I promise) was this dinner. First a confession: I had never made tofu before! But I followed this recipe/guide, and it turned out great! Next time I’ll definitely marinate the tofu or make a sauce because it tasted pretty plain, but I like the taste of plain tofu. (For lunch the next day, I mixed the leftover tofu with hummus and made another grilled wrap. Yummy.) Rounding out this dinner was roasted broccoli and zucchini with some sweet potato chips. Love me some sweet potatoes.

And that’s it for tonight! See you tomorrow for some more eats…and maybe some more of that banana-almond butter sauce. 😉

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Two-Course Meal

Happy Tuesday! 🙂 I woke up this morning and was eager to try out Jillian Michaels’ 30 Day Shred DVD again. It wasn’t as hard as I remembered, so I guess that’s a good sign! And then my grumbling stomach reminded me that it was time for breakfast.

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I usually tend toward smaller meals and more snacks, but today I decided to try a bigger breakfast and see how that changes the day. Experiments are fun.

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Course one was oatmeal. On the stove, I cooked 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup skim milk, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 sliced banana, and 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds. After a few minutes when the oats were done, I added cinnamon and a tbsp. of almond butter on top. Yummm. There are not many things—if any—that I like more than oatmeal.

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And on the side I had another green smoothie! I made this one with the other half of the banana, 1/2 cup almond milk, 1/2 tbsp. chia seeds, a handful of frozen strawberries, and a couple handfuls of spinach.

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Simple but delicious. Yeah, it looks a little like swamp water, but you cannot taste spinach at all, I promise. Just tastes like a strawberry-banana smoothie.

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 Quote of the day: It takes a lot of courage to release the familiar and seemingly secure, to embrace the new. But there is no real security in what is no longer meaningful. There is more security in the adventurous and exciting, for in movement there is life, and in change there is power.

One-Bowl Meals

Gah, I had my post all written and Windows Live Writer ate it. 😦 Let’s try this again.

The other day I got this cute little sample box from Kashi…

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…that I was really excited to try this morning! Kashi Heart to Heart is my cereal of choice, but my grocery store only sells the regular flavor (not warm cinnamon). I’ve tried this flavor once before, though, and loved it. Today was no different!

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I put about half a cup of Greek yogurt on the bottom of my bowl along with the sample box of Heart to Heart (which was a little more than a serving), a sliced banana, two HUGE chopped strawberries, and a small spoonful of almond butter tucked in there.

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And I’m super excited that berry season is not too far off. These were organic strawberries from California…which is better than from Chile!

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Here’s proof that yogurt was indeed underneath there. Sure, it’s not as photogenic, but I can promise you that it was delicious. 🙂

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My lovely—and somewhat lazy—Sunday was full of errands, brunch out, and time on the couch watching the Canada-U.S. hockey game. How exciting! And if the U.S. was to lose, as least we lost to Canada.

Before too long, it was time for dinner, another meal in a white bowl. I was thrilled to be back cooking again. I just love putzing around the kitchen, creating a healthy meal while listening to some music. Life just doesn’t get much better. 🙂

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I started off by cooking bulgur on the stovetop. Bulgur is one of my favorite grains: it’s hearty, chewy, tastes awesome, and doesn’t take very long to cook. I cooked it in chicken stock (1:1.5 ratio) and added various veggies: sliced mushrooms, zucchini, summer squash, carrots, and edamame. I brought the mixture to a boil and then covered it and let it simmer for about 10-15 minutes. (Be sure to check on the liquid level often! I needed to add more a few times.) Meanwhile, I boiled some shrimp, which I chopped and added to the bulgur when it was done. I plated (bowled?) the mixture on top of a bed of steamed broccoli (takes 2.5 minutes in the microwave!) and finished it off with a sprinkle of sliced almonds.

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This was so delicious! As in, it’s going on the recipe page right now. I’ve got some of the bulgur-veggie mixture left over, and I cannot wait to have it for lunch tomorrow.

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So what about a workout for today? I didn’t run since I did that yesterday, and I didn’t go to the gym. I left my kettlebell and my resistance bands in my dorm room, so what’s a girl to do?

Body weight exercises!

Whew! I also threw in a few yoga moves and some stretches.

Anyone else watching the closing ceremonies? I haven’t gotten to watch much of the Winter Olympics at all, so I’m soaking up this last night. My favorite parts so far are Michael Buble and the giant inflatable moose.

The Best Breakfast

My very favorite breakfast is super simple. Prepare banana oatmeal as usual.

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Take advantage of an almost-empty almond butter jar.

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Combine. (Be sure to eat with a long spoon so you can scrape all the almond butter off the bottom and the sides of the jar to get it in every bite.)

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Moan with happiness and enjoy your breakfast.

A Spoonful of Almond Butter…

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…helps the medicine go down! I wouldn’t exactly call this tasty afternoon snack medicine, though.

First, my major accomplishment of the day: I have class at 8:30, so normally I wake up at 7:40 to have enough time to get ready, eat, and make the 15-minute walk. But on this lovely Monday morning, either my iPhone decided to rebel against me by not going off at 7:40 or I sabotaged myself by somehow turning off the alarm while still asleep. Either way, I woke up naturally and immediately panicked. I hate that foreboding feeling as you flip over and fumble for the clock to see what time it is and by how much you are completely screwed. It was 8:14.

I barely had time to mentally thank my early bird body clock for being on top of it today as I rushed around like a mad woman. The result? I left the dorm at 8:19 and made it to class on time. How can it not be a great day after that?

Turns out it did turn out to be a pretty good day, partially thanks to this:

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I mixed plain Greek yogurt and cinnamon, then added a mix of Cheerios with a little bit of granola on top.

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And it got even better with an almond butter spoon!

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I personally love Greek yogurt and almond butter, but this snack mix works with any kind of yogurt, cereal, and nuts. Protein (yogurt) + healthy carbs (whole grain cereal) + fat (nuts) = a balanced snack. Successfully got me from lunch to dinner.

Dinner was quite unremarkable and therefore unphotographed, but I spent a lovely hour with my book (The Happiness Project) and headed to the gym around 7:30. I had planned to do weights today, but scheduling conflicts shortened my workout and I spent a quality 40 minutes doing intervals on the elliptical instead. (While watching The Bachelor. Please don’t judge.)

Then came my post-workout/evening snack, featuring these two lovely ingredients.

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Can you tell I really like almond butter? Probably my favorite food. Good on toast, in yogurt, in oatmeal…plain on my finger… Anyway, it makes a great snack on sandwich thins (which are really just a cross between toast, an English muffin, and a bun) with sliced banana.

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A great evening snack to power me through a night of homework. Equally good with apples and peanut butter!

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Tip of the Day: Back to my gym workout for a second. I don’t think of the gym as a place I have to go several times a week and be miserable. Instead, I see it as a lengthy break from studying when I get to go with my friends, spend time reading magazines, and watch TV that I normally never watch (aka The Bachelor). If you can just adjust your perspective on the gym, your whole attitude will change and going will be a lot more bearable! Figure out what works for you to get you to the gym more often. Buy some new music off iTunes? Schedule your gym trips around your favorite TV show? Invest in a magazine subscription? (You can get tons of magazine subscriptions on Amazon for like $12, which is a pretty small investment if it helps you get to the gym.) Start thinking of gym time as play time and I can guarantee you will go a lot more often!