Friday, May 27, 2011

Eating from A to Z

One of my favorite bloggers out in the blogger world meals & moves did a post in response to an A-Z survey.  I'm not one for survey's really but this one looked really fun so why not!

A: is for Apple, what is your favorite variety:
I love me a granny smith apple, but I have to have it cooked because raw apples make my mouth itch really badly...super weird I know, but it's true

B: is for Bread, regardless of nutrition, calories, or whole grains what is your favorite type to have a nice big piece of? 
I recently sampled Famous Dave's Sin Dawg bread and it was the most delicious thing I have ever eaten.  I'm too afraid to actually buy a loaf in the event I would gnaw through the loaf in one sitting. 
C: is for Cereal what is your favorite kind currently (just one!)
I actually don't eat cereal anymore but growing up my favorite was Cocoa Pebbles because we only got them once in a while and I would eat them for breakfast and after school snack every day.

D: is for Doughnuts, you might not currently be eating them but what kind do you fancy?
Top Pot maple bar...hands down! 

E: is for Eggs, how would you like yours prepared?
I have my 2 eggs scrambled almost every morning but nothing beats my dad's way of cooking them over medium.

F: is for Fat Free, what is your favorite fat free product?
I eat fat free greek yogurt on almost a daily basis. 

G: is for Groceries, where do you purchase yours at?
Trader Joes, PCC Natural Market and Whole Foods (WF only when I'm feeling extra rich!)

H: is for Hot Beverages, what is your favorite hot drink?
Tall soy latte please...sometimes with 2 pumps coconut syrup if I need to pretend I'm somewhere warm and tropical which is almost daily in Seattle these days.

I: is for Ice Cream, pick a favorite flavor and add a fun topping.
Ben and Jerry's Half Baked!  I would add some sunflower seed butter since ice cream obviously isn't creamy enough already.
Two of my favorite desserts (brownies and cookie dough) mixed with ice cream = HEAVEN

J: is for Jams or Jellies, do you eat them, and if so what kind and flavor?
I don't have jam or jelly often but when I do I don't really have a flavor preference. I got a jar of homemade jalepeno jelly once and it was AMAZING on crackers with cream cheese.

K: is for Kashi, name your favorite Kashi product?
Haven't had too much Kashi but I like Kashi Go Lean cereal on top of yogurt...adds just the right about of sweetness and crunch.

L: is for Lunch, what was yours today?
Lunch is going to be at Vios at Third Place Books...I'll most likely have some sort of gyro.  I'm hoping to get enough cash from my used books to help pay for the lunch :).

M: is for microwave, what is your favorite microwave meal/snack?
I don't put much in the microwave except for leftovers so I'm going to take a pass on this one.

N: is for nutrients, do you likes carbs, fats, or proteins best?
Proteins for sure...cheese, greek yogurt, chicken, salmon...YUMM

O: is for oil, what kind do you like to use?
Most of the time olive oil, but I've been experimenting with coconut oil and toasted sesame seed oil is amazing in Asian

P: is for protein, how do you get yours?
I try to have protein at every meal/snack and my daily favorites include eggs, hummus, tuna salad, greek yogurt, and whatever meat I have at dinner.

Q: is for Quaker, how do you like your oats?
I don't eat oats very often but when I do I like them with honey, craisins, some sunflower seed butter and a splash of soy milk.

R: is for roasting, what is your favorite thing to roast?
Right now, asparagus...I probably eat 2 bunches a week. Drizzed with olive oil, salt and pepper, roasted at 425 for about 10 minutes = perfection!

Easter dinner this year...salmon, roasted asparagus, coconut milk wild rice and a side salad
S: is for sandwich, what’s your favorite kind?
Don't eat a ton of sandwiches but I do LOVE Metropolitan Market's grilled cheese with red onion confit jam!

T: is for travel, how do you handle eating while traveling?
I don't "handle" anything, I indulge on travel and eat what I want...isn't that what travel is all about?

U: is for unique, what is one of your weirdest food combos?
This one is tough. I just discovered that yams with sunflower seed butter, sea salt and cinnamon are pretty delicious...does that sound weird?

V: is for vitamins, what kind do you take?
This should be more like what SHOULD I take which is Vitamin D, Omega 3 and a multivitamin, I should get back on that.

W: is for wasabi, yay or nay?
NAY!! I'm not a big spicy fan...I'm the gal who orders 1 star at Thai restaurants.

X: XRAY. if we xrayed your belly right now, what food would we see?
Just finished a spinach feta wrap and ice coffee from Starbucks and I'm about to eat a banana.

Y: is for youth, what food reminds you of your childhood?

Cheesy Chicken
Hostess cupcakes
Pepperoni bread - I need to post this recipe to the's famous (just ask any of my friends)
Cocoa pebbles

Man, I ate really well growing up...or I just remembered the bad (meaning delicious) things. My mom actually cooked pretty well balanced meals for us on a daily basis.

Z: is for zucchini, how do you prepare it?
My favorite is in ribbons tossed with pasta!

And to copy meals & moves even more take the two to three letters from your initials and find the corresponding questions, then answer them. That will be fun.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Race Recap: Girls on the Run 5K

I could give you a race recap that told you all about how I raced a personal record during this 5K and how this is the probably the first and ONLY time I'll ever come in in the top 10 finishers of any race, but that isn't what this race was about.  It was all about the girls...the young ones that is.  Girls on the Run is a nationwide organization that promotes positive self esteem and fitness for elementary aged girls with an after school program.  Saturday was the end of their program where they get to run a real 5K, complete with vendors handing out free products, an official start line, medals and post run food.  I signed up to be a running buddy and was paired with a very dedicated little runner, Delaney.  She was actually the coach's daughter and was happy to not be running with mom :).
Everyone wore the number 1!

I met Delaney at the practice 5K a few weeks ago where we ran a nice slow 5K in about 35 minutes.  She told me at the end of the practice she wanted to beat that time during the real race. I thought, no problem!  Well not only did we beat it...we SMOKED it...or rather she smoked it and I huffed and puffed in an attempt to keep up with her.  The stopwatch guy at the end said we finished in 26:50, my watch said 28:08...pretty fast for a 9 year old!

Mile 1 - 9:31
Mile 2 - 9:16
Mile 3 - 8:47  <--- I think it was a mistake to keep telling Delaney how far we had to go...she just kept picking up the pace!

I asked Delaney how she prepared for the 5K that morning and she replied with "I ate a chocolate chip muffin in the car on the way here, I like to bake".  I'm pretty certain she also had a sample of pop chips and a luna bar pre-race as well...the fuel of champions!
Look at that perfect form...arms at 90 degrees and everything!

We ran along the shores of Lake Washington in Seward Park where I have never been.  The course was fun and two hills challenged us both along the way.  After we were finished Delaney and I went back to the finish line to cheer all her friends in and she was SOO excited every time one of her teammates would run by, it really shows you how close these girls get over the course of the program.

As I was leaving I asked Delaney if she was going to go home and rest for the afternoon to which she replied "no, I have a gymnastics competition this afternoon".  Oh to be young and FULL of energy!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Book Review: Second Wind

So in my effort to get motivated for marathon training I decided to pick up an inspirational running book to get me in the training mood.  While browsing Half Price Books a month or so ago I came across Second Wind - one woman's midlife quest to run seven marathons on seven continents by Cami Ostman.  I bought it without really even reading the back and dug right in that weekend.  I was thrilled to find out Cami actually lived in Seattle and then moved to Bellingham so I could relate having lived in Seattle now for 5 years and going to college in Bellingham for 4 years! 

Here is the product overview from amazon:
Second Wind is the story of an unlikely athlete and an unlikely heroine: Cami Ostman, a woman edging toward midlife who decides to take on a challenge that stretches her way outside of her comfort zone. That challenge presents itself when an old friend suggests she go for a run to distract her from the grief of her recent divorce. Excited by the clarity of mind and breathing space running offers her, she keeps it up — albeit slowly — and she decides to run seven marathons on seven continents; this becomes Ostman’s vision quest, the thing she turns to during the ups and downs of a new romance and during the hard months and years of redefining herself in the aftermath of the very restrictive, religious-based marriage and life she led up until her divorce. Insightful and uplifting, Second Wind carries the reader along for the ride as Ostman runs her way out of compliance with the patriarchal rules about “being a woman” that long held her captive and into authenticity and self-love. Her adventures — and the personal revelations that accompany them — inspire readers to take chances, find truth in their lives, and learn to listen to the voice inside them that’s been there all along. 

So...the good:
  • Cami discusses her training in pretty good detail and her race recaps are VERY detailed...sometimes a little too much like when she talks about getting her period DURING a race and having blood down her legs for half a marathon.  All I thought was "great, one more thing I have to worry about during race day".
  • She is real and holds NO feelings back.
  • She isn't a super athlete or a fast runner, in fact I am faster than her and that is almost impossible! Her accomplishments make me know I can complete my marathon without dying...maybe :)
  • Again, the local connection was pretty cool and I could really relate to her stereotypes of the Pacific Northwest.
And the bad:
  • Cami starts all this running business after a tough divorce and she attempts to "find" herself again.  I wasn't really looking for a self help book on relationships so I didn't really enjoy those parts of the book.
  • She was a BIG Debbie Downer for large parts of the book and sometimes I wanted to reach through the book and strangle her.
  • I really struggled during some of her cry me a river moments.  I did feel bad for her and her divorce but she seemed to find and marry a new man very shortly after her divorce making my sympathy for her go down a little.
Would I recommend you read this book if you are looking for some marathon motivation?  I think I would for her race recaps alone.  She runs in some amazing places and my desire to run an international marathon is even stronger now...who is with me?

Since I NEVER read the same book twice are there any readers out there who want mine to read?  I'm willing to ship it within the U.S. to the first person who comments that they want it.

QUESTION: Do you have any other running books to recommend to me?  I'm currently reading Tina Haupert's Carrots 'N' Cake book based off her amazing blog. So far I'm undecided.  I think what makes her blog so great is her photos and without photos in the book it's is a little on the boring side. 

Friday, May 13, 2011

My 5 Favorite Things This Friday

I'm not sure if you all caught my mini rant about my camera being broken in a previous post, but it is currently being sent to Canon for repair so I have no way to share photos with you all or document anything going on in my life right now.  Plus, I'm pretty sure you don't all want to see the blurry, dark photos my phone takes.

The Whole Camera Story:
While at a lovely dinner at Daniel's with my friends a few weeks back I asked the waiter to take a picture of our group.  He picked up my camera and must have had butter all over his hands because it literally flew across the room.  He picked it up and took a picture with it and gave it back to me.  I realized something was wrong when I tried to power it off and the lens wouldn't close.  After consulting my camera manual it told me to see a repair place...BOO! I LOVE my Cannon PowerShot S90!  It came highly recommended my photographer friend Colson...warning, shameless plus coming...go to his website NOW and check out his amazing work.  I guarantee when I get married, have babies, or have any important life event I will hire him to take photos.  So, my camera is at the camera hospital for right now so for all my 5 blog will have to deal with stock photos and the rare phone photo that turns out decent looking.

Sidenote: I decided to contact Daniel's customer service just to see if they might do anything and without hesitation they told me to send the invoice for the repair and they would reimburse THAT is customer service!

Back to the regularly scheduled blog 5 favorite things this Friday!

1. My energy and appetite are back!  I always feel like I'll NEVER feel better after being sick but I finally have all my energy and appetite back after being sick for the past week.  I knew it was true when I ate 2 donut halves and a cookie during coffee hour this morning. Top Pot donuts are too good to resist!
2. Happy Hour with friends...or HH has we refer to it because we have to shorten everything we say.  I met my friend Lindsey or EY since everything has to be shortened at a place I've been wanting to check out for a while, Citrus on Lake Union.  We try to HH every Friday as the summer rolls around and it is always the perfect kickoff to the weekend and then we don't feel as bad about going home and crashing at 9PM from a long work week :)

3. My pup greeting me like I've been gone for days every time I come home!  Sometimes I'm only gone for 30 minutes and when I come home I swear she acts like I was gone for a  whole month.  But I love it and she always brings my mood up if I'm feeling a little down or stressed about something.  My friend Heather, who also happens to be an amazing photographer, took these of Stacey girl last time I was visiting her.

This is Stacey's "try to hump me one more time and you know what is going to happen" face!
4.Getting back to running weekend.  I tested my energy this week with a couple short runs, but since the next half marathon is right around the corner (Rock and Roll Seattle June 25) it is time to start the long runs again.  I plan on doing a easy 6 miles around Lake Union to ramp up the mileage again. If you live in the Seattle area Lake Union is the perfect 6 mile loop that isn't challenging.  You run by lots of cute cafes (that you secretly wish you were at instead of running), through Gasworks park on the Burke Gilman, and by multi-million dollar yachts.
Man I live in a gorgeous city...when it's not raining and the temp reaches above 60!

5. Dinner party!  My friends and I have actually stuck with this dinner club idea and we've almost been at it for a year now.  Tomorrow's party theme is "on a stick" and I'm planning on bringing veggie roll ups (recipe to come!). Rumor has it there will be little smokies, caprese salad on a stick and cake pops! Who knew food on a stick was so freakin popular...I searched around for a recipe and found these books on the market:

Pop-Bakery Recipes on a Stick
On a Stick!

What exciting things are you up to this weekend? Do you believe in Friday the 13th superstition?  I don't at all and hardly even realized it was Friday the 13th until about right now!

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Kirkland Half Marathon - Recap from Others

Words I heard from my friends who ran the Kirkland half marathon today:
  • Toughest half marathon course I've ever run
  • I'm pretty sure the first 4 miles were all uphill
  • It started to get flat and normal around mile 7
None of these phrases were from my mouth because I didn't run it :(.  I pride myself on being a very healthy person and rarely get sick, let alone sick enough to take me down for more than one day at a time.  Well, I got sick right in time for my parents to come into town for Mother's Day weekend and the running of the Kirkland half.  I decided to do what was best for my body and not run since I was running a 102 fever the day before. 

I'm pretty bummed I didn't run this morning especially after training for it over the past month or so, but after I heard how difficult the course was I think I would have been more sick after if I had run it.  Plus, I went out for a short walk with the doggie this morning and was exhausted when I came back so I'm thinking running 13.1 miles worth of hills might have killed me.

One major bonus for the weekend was I had my mom to take care of me while I was sick which is always nice.  I still tried to celebrate Mother's Day with her as much as possible and we ended the weekend with brunch at Anthony's with the McFath's who did run the Kirkland half and had those wonderful things to say in the bullets up there.

I just went searching through my computer for pics of me and mom but could only find ones of her with she hinting at something?

I know my mom will make the BEST grandma...SOMEDAY...don't hold your breathe mom :)

Sort of found one...the whole fam at my bro's graduation in 2008
Happy Mother's Day MOM!  I love you and couldn't imagine a better woman to call my mom!

QUESTION: Have you ever had to not run in a race before because you were sick or injured?  How did it make you feel?  I'm not gonna lie, I'm still bumming a bit about it and I'm even considering running a training run next weekend of 13.1 miles to make up for that crazy?

Monday, May 2, 2011

I wish I would have done more HILL training!

The Kirkland half marathon is this weekend and while we ran our 11.5 miler on a lot of the Kirkland course I'm still a little nervous...especially after mapping and seeing the HILL profile.  I don't mind a little hill challenge now and then but starting uphill in the very beginning and not getting a break for the first 1.5 miles is going to physically and mentally challenging!

Click "View Elevation" and please provide any advice for running a hill at the beginning of a half marathon!