Thursday, December 15, 2011

The Runner

“The runner does not know how or why he runs. He only knows that he must run, and in so doing he expresses himself as he can in no other way. He creates out of instability and conflict something that gives pleasure to himself and others, because it releases feelings of beauty and power latent within us all.” Roger Bannister, The Four Minute Mile.


(Picture Source)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Fat Burning Workouts for Turkey Day

T-2 days until we turn overselves into butterballs after consuming every amazing dish.

But if you're anything like me, you want to enjoy the day but also not gain 10 pounds over the holidays.

A friend recently asked me for some workout ideas, and thought what I sent her might interest others who are wanting to burn fat while still enjoying that piece of pumpkin pie :)

The one workout that will be best is high intensity interval training (HIIT). These workouts are relatively short, but they burn calories during and after your workout, which makes them more effective than doing a leisurely run.



60 minute toning + running intervals (See above video. I think I'm going to do this one on Thanksgiving!)

30 minute treadmill intervals (I about die doing this. It's quick and burns lots of calories during and after your workout)

30 minute elliptical intervals (In case you're not in the mood for running)

Fat Blasting Stair Workout (Do you have stairs around? This looks awesome!)

50 minute Elliptical Intervals

Treadmill HIIT + Core Conditioning (I love this ab video. Haven't tried it yet, but definitely will soon!)

Question

How are you staying fit over Thanksgiving? Anybody doing a Turkey Trot?!

I want to do a Turkey Trot sooooo bad, but I don't want to pay $30 :/

Sunday, November 20, 2011

10 Tuff Miles

Sometimes running is all rainbows and butterflies.

But sometimes it's just tough.

Sometimes a three mile run is just as hard as a 10 mile run. The distance doesn't matter when it's just plain hard and your body doesn't want to move.

This weekend's run was one of those mentally and physically hard runs.

I was exhausted from my weekday workouts and even though I was so excited to run, the magic just wasn't there.


But I did finish! And sometimes that's all that matters.

It's these mentally challenging runs that I remember during future hard runs, and I remind myself that I did it once before and I can do it again.

The mantra that got me through this weekend's run was "pain is temporary." I repeated this to myself from miles 2 through 10. I also kept telling myself "you can do this." I love mantras :)

I feel kind of bad for Justin during these type of runs because I'm a pretty irritable person to be with when I'm not having a good run. I take out my frustration on him and act like he's the reason I'm having a bad run. Note - sorry Justin! Thank you for sticking it out with me. And you know I really want you there :)

In the end - I'm happy I was able to check it off the training list and wrap up the week with quite the workout schedule:

Monday - Spin Class (60 min)
Tuesday - Body Pump (am) + 3 mile run (pm)
Wednesday - 5 mile run
Thursday - Body Pump (am) + 3 mile run (pm)
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 10 mile long run
Sunday - Rest

Whew - I'm whooped, but oh so ready for spin class in the morning!

Despite being super sore on Saturday, I did manage to fit in some fun with the highlight being The Rockette's Radio City Christmas Spectacular at the DPAC.


Source

The Rockettes + Girlfriends + Dinner = a lovely Sunday evening.


We started our girls night early with a 4:30pm dinner at Cuban Revolution in Durham. It has a great atmosphere and reasonably priced meals. Also, it's walking distance to the DPAC, which was perfect for us!


There are some awesome Broadway shows coming in early 2012 that I want to see so bad - West Side Story, Chicago, Wicked, and Memphis (winner of 2010 Best Musical Toney Award). Looks like I know where all my money is going next year :)


Overall, The Rockette's show was definitely fun...lots of singing and dancing, but they keep it interesting...there's even real camels in it! I don't recommend going with a boyfriend because it would probably be too girlie for him, but hey, maybe he'll like it ;)

Now I'm all in the holiday spirit after seeing 10,000 Santa Clauses tonight!

Question

Has anyone else seen the Rockette's perform? Any recommendations on dance or Broadway performances that are a must see?!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

2 Year Anniversary

11.11.11.

What a special date!

Justin and I celebrated our two year anniversary this past Friday :)


We went to Magnolia Grill in Durham. I've heard a lot of great reviews about this restaurant and knew it would be the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion. We asked our waiter for his recommendations because everything looked so delicious, and he said the chef is most proud of his seafood entrees because they're local fish that are shipped in from the North Carolina coast every day.

We decided on the grouper and flounder. Yum! We especially loved the banana foster desert :)

This evening was very similar to the night we actually started dating. Two years ago....Justin and I went to dinner together and were supposed to go to a Carolina basketball game, but got so wrapped up in our dinner conversation that we missed it.

This past anniversary was also the same day as the Carolina game on the aircraft carrier. Since we're older and wiser now, we made reservations at 5:30pm (old people dinner time) and then finished in time to catch the game! We love our Heels!

The next morning we woke up bright and early at 7:30am to run 9 miles and get the weekend started.

It was a chilly 30 degrees! Brrrrrr.


Doesn't he look like he's having fun already? Ice on the car was not very encouraging, but I was still all smiles and ready to run...


I love my new pink jacket! It's a the perfect running jacket for these cooler temperatures. It has a nice fleece lining, but still thin and warm. I thought I would wear it for the run, but I knew how hot I would get so I stuck it out with just a long sleeve shirt.

Definitely need to invest in some gloves because our hands were chilly!


Ever since my run with Anne, I knew I wanted to go back to the Tobacco Trail for my long runs. It's over 22 miles of trails for bikers, runners and walkers. It's generally pretty flat, but you can definitely notice slight inclines/declines along the way.

It ended up being a great run...


Followed by endorphin overdose...


Not sure why I like to jump in the air after my long runs, but it always seems to happen :)


The fall leaves along the way were truly breathtaking. I felt like I was in runner's heaven on that trail.

Overall it was the perfect anniversary - date night, Carolina basketball and a long run - doesn't get much better than that :)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Fall Running + Taco Night!

There's no season like fall to make you fall in love with running.


The air is crisp. The colorful leaves add beauty to my running trail. The sound of the leaves as they crunch under my shoes make me feel one with nature. I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be at that moment. I feel home.

My running trail is home?

Yes, it's my home. It's where I go to get away. Where I let out all frustrations and just feel happy when it's all over.

See...a sweaty sMile from Callie...


In order to get my runs in before the sun goes down, I have to do them as soon as I get home from work! I'd much rather sit down and unwind, but in less than an hour it's pitch black, and I'm a scaredy cat.

I usually groan about this, but once I wash my face and put on my shoes, I'm actually excited and ready to roll.


I really didn't think I'd be able to run 4 miles today after Body Pump yesterday. I'm so sore that I can hardly walk up stairs. It hurts!

(PS - this was my first Body Pump class in a month thanks to my new workout buddy Thuy! She just joined my gym and has been my motivation to wake up at 6am for the class. Yay!)

I told myself I could run whatever pace I wanted as long as I got the 4 miles done. Somehow they went pretty well.

Refueling was an easy decision since my adorable roomie texted me earlier today claiming it was Taco Night!




For the record: Peter (Hannah's boyfriend in the above photo) ate 10 tacos!!! Machine!

Yum..yum...yum. I'm so full.

Hopefully my legs will magically recover over night because it's another 6am Body Pump class with Thuy in the morning.

Question

Does anybody else actively run and strength train?
I know they're both important, but it's so hard to run when your muscles are sore!

Are you a taco night fan?

Monday, November 7, 2011

Thai Steamed Mussels Recipe

I love muscles.

But I really love, love mussels.


Every time mussels are on a menu, I have to order them for an appetizer.

I love sipping the yummy sauce out of the shell, the texture of the mussels, sopping the sauce with warm bread, etc., etc. etc.

Plus, it's probably the simplest shellfish to eat. I feel like lobster and crab really make you work for your food, but mussels just open up for you before they hit your plate.

I've been dying to finally make some Thai mussels, but I've been super intimidated. Mainly because I didn't know how to "debeard" or "scrub" the mussels. Sounded like so much work! Other than debearding the mussels, the directions looked really easy, but I feel like until I see someone else do it then I really know what I'm doing.

This would be where helpful how-to YouTube videos come in handy.

I found this great video that quickly shows how to debeard a mussel, clean a mussel, and how to tell if it's alive or dead.



I especially found this video helpful because it demonstrates how to determine if a mussel is alive or dead. Dead mussels are the ones that are already open when you buy them at the grocery store. If they won't close, they're dead and a health hazard to eat.

This meal really couldn't have been easier to make. All I had to do was toss all the ingredients into a stock pot, bring it to a boil and then add the mussels.

Voila!



I found the original recipe on AllRecipes (like always) but made a few tweaks to the amount of ingredients.

Thai Steamed Mussels Recipe

Serves 2
Prep: 20 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes

Ingredients

- 2.5 lbs fresh mussels, scrubbed and debearded
- 3 tbsp lime juice
- 5/8 (13.5 ounce) can unsweetened coconut milk
- 3 tbsp dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
- 1 tbsp Thai red curry paste
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tsp Asian fish sauce
- 2 tsp white sugar
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Directions

- In a large stock pot, combine the lime juice, coconut milk, wine, curry paste, garlic, fish sauce and sugar. Stir to dissolve sugar and curry paste and bring to a boil over high heat. Boil for 2 minutes then add mussels. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until mussels are opened, 5 to 8 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and discard any unopened mussels. Pour mussels and liquid into a serving dish and toss with cilantro.

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Question

Do you like mussels? Have a favorite type of shellfish? Any recipe suggestions?!

Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Crisp Saturday Run + Tuna Salad Recipe

There's nothing better than starting your day with a run.

Mine and Justin's training plan calls for long runs on Saturdays, which we LOVE because we can knock it out first thing and then play all weekend!

This week was a cut-back week, so our long run was 5 miles. Easy breezy, beautiful Covergirl 5 miles.

It was a crisp 48 degree morning! I didn't bring a long sleeved running shirt with me, so I borrowed Justin's :)


It's kind of pathetic that it actually fit me pretty well ha.

I even got him to do the running pose with me...


Yayyyy...we love marathon training!!!!!

This was our first week that neither one of us missed a workout. So proud! I'm even more proud of Justin since he's known to skimp on the weekday runs in favor of only doing the long runs.

The other week when we were doing our long run, I whizzed passed him in the last tenth of a mile and gave the victory dance at the end. This was my plan again today until he decided to run a sub-8 pace during the 5th mile. GRRR!!


I was originally running a 7:50ish pace during the 5th mile, but admitted defeat and backed off while Justin just cruised without me...so sad.

He makes running a sub-8 pace look like he's just having a relaxing run. I feel like if someone saw me running that pace they'd clearly notice that I'm sprinting and out of my element.

I'm pretty sure I looked like this in my attempt to keep up with Justin...


Source

Either way, it was such a relaxing yet invigorating run. I could definitely notice a difference during this run after doing all three training runs earlier this week. I can tell my body is getting used to running again, and it's beginning to feel more natural than forced. Then again...it doesn't hurt that it was only 5 miles. I'm sure next week's 9 miler will be singing a different tune. Also, this course was super flat, and the hills in Chapel Hill are a killer on the calves!

Even though my tummy was feeling a little shook-up after my last speedy mile, I knew it was necessary to get some food in my belly.

It's important to fuel your body properly when you're constantly running, and the time period after your run is especially important. The meal should be a balanced healthy carb to protein ratio in order to help repair and build muscle (source).

What better than a super high protein tuna salad sandwich? Easy, cheap and delicious!


High Protein Tuna Salad Recipe

Serves 4 to 5
Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients


- 10 oz Solid White Albacore Tuna aka 2 cans (drained)
- 6 oz plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tbsp Parmesan Cheese
- 3 tbsp Sweet Pickle Relish
- 1/4 of a Sweet Yellow Onion (finely chopped)
- 1/2 tsp Curry Powder
- 1 tbsp Dried Parsley
- 2 tsp Dried Dill Weed
- Sprinkle of Garlic Powder

Directions

Drain tuna and mix it with the yogurt, relish, finely chopped onion, and dried seasonings. Thinly slice the tomatoes and add it on top of the tuna. Serve sandwich on whole wheat bread.

---

I made this recipe the other week and healthified the version I found on AllRecipes. I love that website! Yogurt instead of mayo is a healthy substitute that reduces the unhealthy fat found in mayo and adds lots of protein. Protein = feeling fuller longer + builds muscle.

Now it's off to watch lots of football! GO HEELS!!

Question

How are you enjoying this beautiful weather?

I've noticed a lot more people are running and walking along my normal running route. So nice to see everyone being so active!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Peace Within

“May today there be peace within. May you trust that you are exactly where you are meant to be. May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith in yourself and others. May you use the gifts that you have received, and pass on the love that has been given to you. May you be content with yourself just the way you are. Let this knowledge settle into your bones, and allow your soul the freedom to sing, dance, praise and love. It is there for each and every one of us." ...”
- Mother Teresa


Source

I found this quote on the bulletin board of my yoga studio and it really struck a cord. When I got home I googled it to get it word-for-word and came across quite a few others that remind me of what's important in life and in ourselves.

“Love to be real, it must cost—it must hurt—it must empty us of self.”

“It is a poverty to decide that a child must die so that you may live as you wish.”

“Do not wait for leaders; do it alone, person to person.”

“Never worry about numbers. Help one person at a time and always start with the person nearest you.”

“Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.”

“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God's kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.”

Read. every. word. Take it to heart. I feel perspective coming back to me already...

New Running Playlist!

I love adding new music to my running playlist!

It gives me such a burst of energy and turns what can sometimes be a routine into something a little more exciting.

Check out my new tunes...

Good Life - One Republic
We Found Love (feat. Calvin Harris) - Rihanna
Pumped Up Kicks - Foster the People
Without You (feat. Usher) - David Guetta & Usher
Stereo Hearts (feat. Adam Levine) - Gym Class Heroes
You Make Me Feel...(feat. Sabil) - Cobra Starship
It Girl - Jason Derulo
The One That Got Away - Katy Perry
Beautiful People - Chris Brown
Viva la Vida - Coldplay

Rihanna's "We Found Love" was the first song to play, and I think I was almost sprinting to it because I love it so much!

These definitely added a little pep to my step during today's run. I wasn't quite in the mood to run when I first got home, but once I added these I couldn't wait!

Adding new music is a great way to motivate yourself to workout. Other tips include buying new workout gear or trying a new class. I was actually supposed to swing by the Nike outlet today to pick up some winter running gear, but got off work a little too late.

I guess I have something to look forward to next week!

Now I'm off to stretch these tight muscles out with some vinyasa yoga. Mmmmm.....

Question

What are some of your tactics to motivate yourself? What keeps you excited about exercise?

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

The Harder I Work - The Better I Get

The best part about running is that it's the gift that keeps giving.

Running in itself is a gift. I'm thankful to be healthy and have two strong legs that can carry me through as many miles as I make them.

Sometimes my legs hurt and sometimes they're sore, but I am able to run, and that is the greatest gift of all.

I've learned so much about myself as I've tacked on the miles week after week, month after month.

I've learned to persevere when I want to quit. I've learned that pain is temporary. I've learned that running never gets easier, I've just learned how to tolerate it better. I've learned that hard work will always produce results. I've learned that I'm so much more than I thought I could be. I've learned to believe in myself. I've learned that the sky is the limit. I've learned that I can achieve anything as long as I work for it.

The lessons I've learned in running are ones that I can equally apply to my life.

Running has become more than a weekly mileage goal - it's a way of life.

It keeps me sane. It makes me happy. And in turn - I'm a better person for it.

Plus - the more I do it, the faster I get, which is pretty fun :)

This past Sunday, I went for a long run of 7 miles.

My calves were tight and didn't feel to "springy." I told myself that I was just going to run by feel and not look at my pace.


Holy moly, does anyone else see mile 1's pace? 7:36??

I had no idea I ran this fast until I uploaded my workout. I quickly bragged to Justin! He was equally impressed. We both didn't know I had it in me ha.

I for sure thought I was slow poking it in the 9 minute range. This would explain why the middle miles lost their juice.

I generally don't run for time. I rarely look at my Garmin during my runs, and just run by feel because that's how I enjoy running the most. It's so much more fun to me when I'm not stressing over my pace and just enjoying the moment.

However, as much as I enjoy running by feel, I do have goals in my head about how fast I'd like to run. It's been very rewarding to see my pace improve by about a minute per mile over the past 8-9 months.

When I first started running on a regular basis back in late February, I was running a 9:40 to 9:30 pace. Now I'm running in the 8:40 range. Woohoo!!

Here are a few inspirational running quotes that I identify with most:


I've learned that I associate running with my best self. When I go through a dry spell, not training, it indicates that the rest of my life is a little messy or worn down. Running strips away something like what Virginia Woolf called "the cotton wool of everyday life" so that there is nothing between my intimate insides and the air and light and landscape unfurling under my sneaker treads. It's release through motion.
- Amanda Gladin-Kramer, Runner's World reader

There is something magical about running; after a certain distance, it transcends the body. Then a bit further, it transcends the mind. A bit further yet, and what you have before you, laid bare, is the soul.
- Kristin Armstrong, Mile Markers blog at Runner's World.com

In the end I have to hold myself accountable. It is my career and my responsibility to do what I need to do to be the best I can be. I had to make a change if I really wanted to reach the goals I had set for myself. I had to get out of being comfortable and get into a situation that was going to really push me.
- Kara Goucher on joining the Oregon Track Club Elite group

The quotes say it best.

Question


How do you feel about running? Is there a particular exercise that makes you feel similarly?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

1..2..3....UPDATE.

Ah, I'm doing a bad job at balancing these days. So many crazy, fun, hectic days have filled my October to the brim.

My 2x a week Body Pump class has been missing from my routine for the past couple of weeks....cycling has been MIA too....and I just feel off.

I miss my routine: Body Pump...RPM (cycling)...running...intervals.

It's my fault that it's been lackluster these past couple of weeks. I've been pretty blah.

Just writing this makes me excited to change this ASAP.

However, I have been running!

Justin and I are contemplating training for a marathon in February, so we're going along with the training plan and if in a month we still want to do it...then it's for real!

Kind of exciting!

I'm only hesitant because I love variety. I felt a little burnt out after training for my last half marathon, so I can only imagine I'll feel like that again. I know I love running, and I love the challenge of it even more. I'm thinking the excitement to run 26.2 miles will make up for any boredom in training.

Also, some crazy, BIG, sad, but still happy news for the week is that my baby sister moved to St. John!!



I'm so excited for her, and proud of her courage to move outside of her comfort zone. I would like to think I could do the same, but I don't handle change well and would probably be too scared to go by myself.

Julia and I were originally born in St. John, VI, so it comforts me to know that she still has old friends whom she can get in touch with now that she's down there.

Justin and I recently vacationed there and had the time of our lives! This is what initially sparked Julia's decision to move back.


Best of luck, Lil Jules! I miss you already!!!!! Can't wait to hear about all your exciting adventures!!

In cooking news...

I've been trying lots of new recipes lately!

For Julia's going-away dinner, I made veganized baked mac and cheese by Clean Eating Chelsey.


(I'm borrowing Chelsey's picture since I didn't take any.)

Who would think mac & cheese would be good without real cheese? Surprisingly, it was soooooo yummy! I knew it had to be since it looked so good ;) Plus it gave me an excuse to go to Whole Foods!

Last week, I was randomly CRAVING chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. I've been eying a low fat recipe by Gina's Skinny Recipes for a while now and finally decided to give into my temptations.


These were perfectly chewy. I brought them to the office, and they were a hit!

And the final new concoction I made was a tuna salad with a healthy twist!

Anne from fANNEtastic foods was talking about how to make recipes healthier by substituting yogurt for ingredients like mayo or ingredients commonly found in baked goods.

I decided a tuna salad would be perfect especially since I'm not a fan of mayo at all. I found a recipe on AllRecipes that caught my eye. The two ingredients that really stood out to me were the curry and Parmesan cheese.


Um...this turned out to be quite the flavorful tuna salad. I doubled the recipe so I had enough for three lunches this week...woohoo!

I altered the recipe a little bit based on the reviews. I substituted plain Greek yogurt for mayo and used less parsley and sweet pickle relish than the recipe called for originally.

Question

What have you been up to? Ever tried using Greek yogurt as a substitute in recipes? Anybody else love variety in their workout routine or prefer one thing like running??

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Run.

Source

The above explains me perfectly.

The fat day was yesterday, the dysfunctional family is always, and frustrations are gone once the run is over.

I run to be the best version of myself.

However, I don't wake up every morning excited to hit the gym, nor do I come home from work all energized and ready to pound out some miles.

Nope, this week I've been in much need of some workout motivation, and turned to Pinterest to help me out. Enjoy!

Source

Source

Source



Source

Alrighty, now it's time to get off your butt and get moving!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Happy Fall!

I almost want to cry at how fast time is flying by.

My eyes may or may not water when I think about this because I'm 23 years old, and I feel like I have so much I want to do and not enough time! I'm loving every second of the moment and want to hold onto it as much as possible yet I'm highly anticipating all the great things to come.

Maybe this month I will focus more on being present in the moment as opposed to going with the flow.

I guess this would be a good way to segway into my...

October goals!

1) Write, think or say what I'm thankful for at the end of every day.
Hopefully this will help me reflect on the day and try to be more "present" instead of letting the days slip by into one blur.

2) Eat more veggies.
I eat lots of fruit, too much peanut butter, and not enough greens. For some reason this seems hard to me. I love veggies! But I really I'm just lazy when it comes to them. Next week I'm planning on making a big pot of ratatouille to eat for lunch throughout the week so that should help!

3) Up the weight.
I've been consistently going to BodyPump twice a week for about a month now and plan to start adding more weight in order to continuously challenge my muscles. Change creates change, right? ;) I started this today by adding more weight to the back muscles segment. It felt great! I don't know how I'm going to go up in biceps or chest...maybe I'll wait until November :)

4) Just run.
Fall is the perfect time of year to take advantage of running! It's this weather that makes me fall in love with running. Since my half marathon, I've been running about 3 days a week (in addition to cycling), which includes one long run on the weekends. This is perfect for now. I want to maintain this if not add a fourth run into the mix.

5) Find a place to volunteer.
I've been meaning to do this for a while, and was reminded of it since my friend Elisabeth is making moves to volunteer in her area. I think I want to find an organization that works with young girls or women. I have some ideas and will keep you posted on where I end up!

Workout Update

I'm really, really loving my routine. For someone whose only gone to the gym occasionally, not consistently, I'm beginning to feel like I live there.

I'm especially drawn to it because of the Les Mills classes. These classes are located at gyms all over the country and have become very popular. The classes are structured by music tracks and energetic instructors. I guess this is why I love them so much. Whether it's cycle or BodyPump, you're moving your body to the beat of the music and pushing yourself to your limit.

My weekly routine looks a little like this:

Monday: BodyPump
Tuesday: 30 minute intervals on elliptical (or 4 mile run)
Wednesday: RPM (cycling)
Thursday: AM: BodyPump PM: Abs Sculpt + 30 minute cardio intervals
Friday: RPM
Saturday: long run
Sunday: rest

My muscles are so sore by the end of the week. I'm trying to stretch as much as possible because it really does help!

Question

What are your October goals?? Do you like the gym or do you prefer to do at-home workouts/outside exercise?

I much prefer exercising outdoors, but I love to have a variety of both!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Weekend Inspiration

Feeling like you could use some motivation?

Or maybe just have some downtime this weekend?

You MUST watch the 2008 Ironman World Championship.

I cried. I cheered. I loved it.




2.4 mile swim. 112 mile bike. Plus a marathon (26.2 miles).

I'm beyond inspired by these athletes. I would want to be them, but I think I'll settle with my shorter endurance events for now :)

I lied, I still want to be them.

This film truly inspires me to be the best I can be. I love how far you can push the human bodies' limits.

I do think back on this film from time to time during a tough workout just to remind myself that others are doing the same thing for a variety of their own goals and reasons.

Simply put - I'm highly infatuated with the idea of being my best even if it's not the best out of everyone.

Also, I must say thank you to The Hungry Runner Girl for sharing this video first!

Once I finished this movie, Hulu already had another movie lined up - Spirit of the Marathon.


(Source)

I've heard a few other runners mention this documentary with mixed reviews. I definitely loved it and it does make me want to run a marathon, but it wasn't as moving as the Ironman film.

I still recommend watching it if you're a runner or want to know why people want to run a distance that the first person died doing after he finished it :)

Good thing I watched those last weekend because this weekend's relaxing motivation is coming from a new book that I can't wait to crack open...


I've heard such great things about The Long Run and finally made the purchase!

Now me and my sweet boy...


Bandit are going to cuddle up on the couch, read a book, and get inspired!

Question

Any recommendations on some more documentaries or books that have inspired you??? What's your source of motivation?

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Overnight Oats: Healthy and Quick

Chocolate for breakfast?

Yes, please.

Did I mention it's healthy and super quick to make? Bonus points.

Good morning my beautiful Chocolate Overnight Oats breakfast!


I'm a big fan of oatmeal in the morning for all the above reasons. It's quick, healthy, delicious, and you can add new things to it all the time (ie. bananas, peanut butter, strawberries, blue berries).

I randomly stumbled upon a post by Oh She Glows that described the nutritional difference between four types of oatmeal - Instant Oats, Quick-cooking Oats, Rolled Oats, and Steel-cut Oats.

Here's a review from her blog:

Instant Oats have been cooked, dried and rolled and are the most processed way to eat oats. Instant oats are very thin and need only hot liquid to soften. They are ready in about 60 seconds. While they are the most convenient (although some might argue that overnight oats are the most convenient!), they often have a lot of added salt, sugar, and other strange ingredients.

Quick-cooking oats are simply rolled oats that have been cut into smaller pieces. They cook in about 3-4 minutes.

Rolled oats are also known as Old-Fashioned Oats. They have been steamed, pressed with a roller, and dried. Cooking time is between 5-10 minutes. These are the oats that I use in my oatmeal recipes and in some baking recipes.

Steel-cut oats are also known as pinhead oats (pinhead…ha), coarse-cut oats, Irish oats, or Scotch oats. They are oat groats (the inner portion of the oat kernel) that have been cut into 2-3 pieces rather than being steamed and rolled. Steel-cut oats are coarse in texture and remain chewy even after cooking and re-heating. They generally take about 20-25 minutes to cook, although there is a quick-cook overnight method too.

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So what kind of oatmeal have I been eating for the past year or so? Instant oats.


I loved that darn variety pack (especially the banana bread flavor)! But just like my love for Brixx pizza was ruined by finding out that pizzas are over 1200 calories, my love for this oatmeal is out the window too.

However, I don't have time to make oatmeal in the morning, especially after a morning workout. I need something quick and satisfying.

Here's where overnight oats come into play.

All you have to do is scoop some Old Fashioned Oats and milk into a bowl the night before, cover it up with some plastic wrap, and in the morning you're breakfast is ready!

This morning, I tried Julie's Chocolaty Overnight Oats recipe.



Chocolaty Overnight Oats recipe


Ingredients

1/2 c. old fashioned oatmeal
1/2 c. almond milk (regular milk will also work)
1 heaping spoonful dark chocolate cocoa powder
1 tbsp. chia seeds
1 packet or 1 tsp. sweetener (such as Stevia, Splenda or sugar), optional
½ banana, sliced

Directions


Combine oatmeal, sweetener, and milk in a container, cover, and refrigerate overnight. In the morning, stir up oatmeal mixture. Top with frozen banana slices, stir, and enjoy! Note: You may stir in more milk in the morning until your desired consistency is achieved.

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I didn't have any chia seeds, so no need to include them if you don't already have them :) Also, I went a little too heavy on the "heaping spoonful" of cocoa powder. I love chocolate, but I think this morning fixed any chocolate cravings I'll have for a month. I think next time I'll go lighter on the cocoa and add some peanut butter.

Here are a few more yummy looking oatmeal recipes I can't wait to make!

Chocolate Peanut Butter by Kath Eats Real Food


Cinnamon Peanut Butter Swirl Steel-Cut Oatmeal by Oh She Glows


Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Glazed Steel-Cut Oatmeal by Oh She Glows

Apple Pie Overnight Oats by Clean Eating Chelsey


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Want to read more about oatmeal? Check out these interesting oatmeal articles:

10 Fun Ways to Cook with Oatmeal
How to Make Overnight Oats and Oatmeal Ideas
Make Ahead Steel-cut Oatmeal Recipes

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Question

Do you like oatmeal for breakfast?! Do you try new recipes with it??