Hey guys!!  I feel like it's been ages since I last blogged.  I guess it hasn't really been that long, but it sure feels like it.  College has already gotten in the way - how could it do such a thing?!  Well luckily, it's off to a pretty decent start.  

First off, important things: my room.  Thought you were going to say food, didn't you? ;-) Well food IS most important, but a good room comes pretty close.  Who wants a room that is small, dirty, and you hardly feel comfortable even walking into?  Not me, but when I walked onto campus to move in, that is exactly what I was faced with.  I'm not normally a complainer - I just try to suck it up and deal with it.  BUT I was not staying in that room, plain and simple.  After several rounds, they finally moved me to a new room in a different dorm that pretty much just rocks my socks off.  Pool?  Check.  Cafeteria (that serves mostly awesome Asian food)?  Check.  Spacious kitchen [for community use]?  Check.  Private bathroom?  Check.  Spacious, CLEAN room?  Check, check.  Needless to say, I'm more that pleased with my current living arrangements.

Second, classes.  Wait, not food?  I promise, it's coming!  I'm just saving the best for last. ;-)  First quarter isn't too bad - just organic chemistry, costume history, art history, and core body.  Second semester though, I just might die because I'll also have calc 3.  Ew.  So far though, my classes seem all right!  I like all of my teachers, though O-chem is, well, O-chem so we'll see how that goes, and I'm not big on history classes (though I love history itself) but the topics are at least interesting to me so that should help!

Oh and really quickly on the running front - the big day is only 4 weeks from tomorrow!!!!  There is a great park to run in near my school so it's been fun to explore that and all the beautiful scenery.

And at last, the FOOD!!!  Not all of these are cafeteria meals but a compilation of food I've had since I got here.
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Vegetable enchiladas with steamed vegetables (at a Mexican restaurant with my parents).
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Fresh picked blackberries.
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Had to throw this in there because I am FINALLY near one again!!!
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Tofu and broccoli stir-fry from my dorm cafeteria.
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Caramel macadamia nut froyo from the Tillamook cheese factory.
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Cheese sampling at Tillamook, aka heaven on earth.
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Vegetable omelet and fresh pineapple.
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Fish, kale, squash, fresh tomatoes, cucumber salad, watermelon.
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Salad with goat cheese bruschetta (from a restaurant with my parents).
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Creamy carrot ginger soup to accompany the salad.
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Whole grain bagel with peanut butter+watermelon.
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Oatmeal that I cooked in the dorm kitchen (sooo excited about that!!) with blackberry fruit spread, flax peanut butter, pretzels, and sea salt.
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Mushrooms, kale, broccoli (that is honey mustard on them - yes, I did bring a [ahem, three] bottles with me... essentials, people), roasted carrots, and quinoa cakes.
I want to do a recap of the road trip here at some point so be on the lookout for that!  I'm not sure when I'll have it up, but hopefully it won't be too long!

I hope all of you guys are doing well!!!  I miss you all. <3
 
 
Hey guys!  Just popping in to let you know that I made it!!  Thankfully we spent the night halfway so it wasn’t too bad, but there was lots of Lost watching, sleeping, and filling out surveys, including this one that Arman tagged me with!  It was a lot of fun to fill out and definitely helped the time to pass.  Thanks, Arman! 

Oh and I’m now on Instagram @ alexvegginout!  It’s probably going to take me a while to figure out how to use it seeing as my battle with technology is never ending, so bare with me.  But if you’re on Instagram too, be sure to tell me your username!

Okay, survey time!        

 

LAST 5 PEOPLE I TALKED TO ON THE PHONE

1.  My Dad to see if he was on his way to pick my Mom and I up (we had to take one of our cars into the shop).

2.  Residential services at my college to see what day I could move into my dorm.

3.  My horse’s farrier to confirm our appointment to have my horse’s shoes pulled and feet trimmed.

4.  My work to let them know that I was stuck at a train and might be a few minutes late (ah trains, they can be such a pain!).

5.  Microsoft support because I was born in the wrong era (i.e. amongst all my tech savvy friends and my brother, I feel like I have two left feet when I touch anything with an on/off button).

LAST 5 MEALS I ATE

1.  Breakfast of green tea, apple, Kashi go lean cereal with almonds, cashews, and blueberries.

2.  Dinner of steamed broccoli with honey mustard, sesame kale, tortilla, veggie dip, cottage cheese – one of those “eat whatever’s in the fridge including the fridge” meals.

3.  Lunch of baked sweet potato with cinnamon, broccoli with honey mustard (can you tell I had a lot of broccoli to eat up?), baked tofu, and a chocolate mint drink.

4.  Breakfast of apple, Chobani peachy pistachio flip, and a tortilla with pb crave cookie nookie.

5.  Dinner of steamed broccoli with, you guessed it, honey mustard (bet you didn’t see that coming ;) ), pizza quesadilla, and a baked sweet potato with cinnamon.   Did anyone notice a slight similarity between meals 3 and 5?  Or is it 5 and 3?  Yeah, that pretty much explains it.

LAST 5 PLACES I'VE TRAVELLED

1.  Currently en route to Oregon, soooo Oregon. (And Oregon last year and a trip back home at the end of the school year, but I’m not counting all that.)

2.  Bermuda with my awesome grandparents (they usually take my brother and I on a trip every year!  Oh and my grandpa is broccoli obsessed too.)

3.  Newfoundland (again, with my grandparents).

4.  Europe, including Greece, Finland, Iceland, Denmark, and technically Germany. (We had an eight hour layover there, got our passports stamped, and walked outside for about five minutes, but that’s literally it.  Call it what you want, but I think I need to go back because I don’t really consider that seeing Germany!)

5.  East coast.  Virginia (for waterskiing – one of my favorite things ever to do), Maryland, and NYC for seven hours.  My grandparents, brother, and I randomly decided to go to NYC for the day so we hopped in the car and went!  It was my first time there, and I must say, it was a pretty fantastic place.  We packed a LOT in, but I really think I need to go back.  I feel like I could spend weeks there and never get bored.  On the bucket list!!

NEXT 5 PLACES I WILL GO

1.  Subway.  Need. food, now.

2.  Gas station to refuel the cars and give my horse water+hay.

3.  Likely another gas station.

4.  Horsey hotel.  Yes, they do exist.

5.  People hotel because, well, we kind of need to sleep.  While my family and I have done our fair share of 24 hour driving trips, we’ve decided not to punish ourselves like that this round.

 

LAST 5 WORKOUTS

1.  Weed spraying (come on, hauling the sprayer around for an hour is totally a workout). 

2.  4.67 mile run

3. 10 mile bike ride con mi mama.

4.  Nature walk (or let’s call it a nature hike because that sounds like more of a workout).

5.  4.5 mile run

FIVE THINGS MAKING ME HAPPY RIGHT NOW

1.  My schedule.  I worked it out, and I think the first half of the semester is going to go pretty well!  I only have three classes (plus core body) first quarter so that will be sooo nice.  Though second quarter is going to be kind of awful… hello calc 3!

2.  My Subway sandwich (yeah, Subway has come and gone).  Anyway, it was goooood!

3.  Hanging out with my dad.  We spent about an hour chatting about the 50s and how awesome it would have been to live then.

4.  My horse.  He ALWAYS makes me happy.

5.  Napkins.  Like seriously, what would we do without them?  I mean food is awesome, but it’s also messy.  Some of my worst nightmares involve picnics with no napkins.  (Um, can you tell I’ve been in the car for a bit too long?)

TAG 5 PEOPLE TO DO THIS SURVEY-

I wish I could tag all of you!!  Oh well, rules are rules.  I’m really not sure who has or hasn’t done this, so if you haven’t feel free to do it (it’s lots of fun!), and if you’ve already done it, well feel extra special that you were tagged again. ;)

1.     Katherine @ Peanut Putter Lover

2.     Tara @ Food and Other Things

3.     P @ Will Study for Food

4.     Courtney @ Courtney Em

5.     Leigha @ Minou Girl


I hope everyone is having a wonderful weekend!!

 
 
Good morning!  Yep, it has started.  As of yesterday, I have officially begun packing for my sophomore year at college.  Friday, my family and I will begin the 20+ hour road trip to get there, so if anyone has any tips on making time fly (besides a time machine which, despite my greatest efforts, I have yet to find), I'd love to hear them!!

I am excited for school start because I do love to learn, I have my half marathon coming up (and a 10k in October), I have a great, relaxing job at my school working in the garden/greenhouse, I'll have my horse, and of course, my friends.  The only think I don't like about school is, obviously, all the studying that comes with it.  It's not that I mind studying too much, but with me, it tends to take over my life.  Here's how it goes:  I'm already way ahead in my studies, but I think if I did a little more, well then I'll really be ahead and wouldn't that be great?  Um yeah, it sounds great, but when it leaves you feeling like you must spend every waking moment studying and feel guilty when you're not studying?  Not so great.  College is an experience, and that experience Includes hanging out with friends, going to cool events on campus, and NOT studying 24/7.  My goal this school year is to actually listen to myself and live life a little more.  

So, what's my plan to do this?  Well, part of my 20 hour car ride is going involve me creating a "master plan."  It's not going to be a rigid "this is what I have to do when" type thing, but I want to know that I can get enough studying done and still have time for other fun things.  I'm going to be sure to block out specific time in my schedule just for hanging out with my friends.  No more of this "I've already studied for six hours today, why not a few hours more?"  Nope.  I'll have my set time for studying, and when I'm done with it, I'm done with it.  That's the plan anyway, and I think it will help if I start with that mindset so I don't get myself into a big hole before I even begin.  

You might be wondering while I'm sharing all of this.  First off, and most importantly, I know that i'm not the only who struggles with this, so hopefully if my plan works out, it will also help others.  Secondly, I'm hoping that blogging can be another outlet to take me away from extra studying.  I was originally thinking that blogging might drop on the wayside during school, but I really don't want that to happen.  I love blogging and the people I've met through it.  The blog world has such a positive, inspiring attitude, and I really don't want to leave it.  I'll probably be around less than I am currently, but I'll try my best not to disappear completely.

Okay, enough talk.  Let's get this WIAW party started!
Yesterday morning started with a couple of energy bites followed by a glorious 4.5 mile run.  My pace was quite a bit faster than my 9.25 mile run - an average of 9:07/mile.  I felt good and strong and loved every minute of it!  I came back starving and had a rather random breakfast.  Since we're leaving soon, I've been trying to eat up random foods in the fridge.  I started with a huge glass of water + a pink lady apple (best apple type ever!) and followed it with plain 2% greek yogurt with Kind blueberry clusters granola (eaten of the yogurt container because I'm classy like that) and an ezekiel sprouted grain tortilla with cookie nookie pb crave.  Oh my goodness, I just can't get over how awesome that stuff is!!!
A little later in the morning, my mom and I went on a nature walk!  We may or may not have gotten lost several times, but we still had a great time. 
Does this bridge look sturdy to you?  It sure did to us, but we both just about jumped five feet when we started across and found ourselves rocking like we were on a sailboat.  And of course my lovely mom made me walk across first haha. ;-)
It was really quite pretty! 
Although at times we felt like we were trekking across the U.S. to Oregon like pioneers... we will be doing that soon, but we don't plan on using a covered wagon.
See anything wrong with this sign?
We came back ready for lunch!  I totally forgot to take a picture (#bloggerfail), but I had a mountain of broccoli with a bucket load of honey mustard, a cinnamon roll scone, baked tofu, Kashi hummus crisps, and some chocolate milk.  Oh and a couple of pretzel M&Ms before lunch and a ginger chew after.  Don't you guys have appetizers and desserts for lunch? ;-)

After lunch, I hit the packing.  Oh the joy.  And then a little later in the afternoon, my mom and I went to run some errands and pick up some things for college.  Of course, we had to stop by Whole Foods which is where my afternoon snacking took place.  They had samples of crab salad with crackers, white cheddar, and parmesan crisps.  I can first-hand tell you that they were all fantastic.  I also picked up these apple chips and of course had to try them out.  Delicious!
For dinner, I was craving something sweet (when am I not craving something sweet?!).  Oatmeal it was!
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Steel cut oats topped with grape jelly, flax peanut butter, and, of course, pretzels.
A quick word on the jelly:  My dad brought this back from a little vineyard he visited in Michigan! (EDIT: The vineyard is in Florida, not Michigan.  My dad travels so much, he's hard to keep track of! :) )  He brought back three varieties, two grape ones and a peach honey butter.  They're all very yummy and flavorful, but the peach honey butter is especially awesome!  They're also all very smooth and would be perfect for "melting" and glazing (or just spreading on toast, pancakes, waffles or, in my case, oatmeal!).  You can learn more about the vineyard here.
To accompany my sweet and salty goodness, I had some sesame kale from Whole Foods and lima beans.  Oh and a lavender kombucha (my favorite flavor!).
Aaaaand for dessert, a HUGE slice of watermelon and some chocolate chips because no day is complete without chocolate.
Does anyone else find themselves over-studying?  If so, how have you combatted it?

Have a wonderful Wednesday, everyone!
 
 
Marvelous is.... my frist MIMM!  For some reason, I've never joined the link-up before, but I've always loved the idea - to focus on the little things that make life (and the often dreaded Mondays) a bit better.
Marvelous is... my 9.25 mile run yesterday!  It was only going to be 8, but then I just had to see what was around the corner, and I couldn't skimp on running through the little community garden... and before I knew it, I was at 4.6 miles and still had to run back!  My pace ended up being  a bit slower than usual with an average pace of about 10:00/mile, but I ran 9.25 miles so who cares?!  And besides, I think that pace is going to be pretty close to my pace come the actual half marathon.  

Marvelous is... a new running tank!  While I have pretty good self-control around regular clothes, when it comes to running gear?  Um yeah, that self-control goes out the window... hey, at least running clothes are more practical.  Okay, maybe everyday clothes are actually more practical, but I have more fewer running clothes so that's my story and I'm sticking to it.
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The lightning kind of makes me look like I have a cold or am crying... promise neither is the case! ;-)
Marvelous is... my last day of work!  I will miss the people I work with, but I've made enough pizzas to last me a lifetime.  Still haven't gotten tired of eating them though, and I don't think that could ever change.

Marvelous is... a homegrown tomato!  A bird got some of them, but the ones that survived?  Oh man, talk about deliciousness!  I will be guarding the rest of these with my magic wand.  What, you didn't know I had one?  (And yes, I am a huge Harry Potter nerd.)
Marvelous is... these pancakes.  I had (more like inhaled) them when I returned from my glorious run above, and all I can say is they make they are best post-run fuel ever.
Marvelous is... Starbucks.  Cool lime refreshers - my summer in three words.  And apparently my name is Alice.  It was actually pretty funny because he asked my name and then wrote it down and said, "Well, it doesn't really look like Alice, but you know who you are."  I didn't have the heart to tell him otherwise so I just smiled... smile and wave boys, smile and wave. (Please tell me you get the reference!)
What's been marvelous in your life lately?
 
 
Well, we've got a lot to get through today so lets get rollin', shall we?  And I think we'll work backwards from what the title suggests because forward is overrated.

So first up:  Dorm Necessities.  What's it all about?  It's going to be a new (or, um, only? so far anyway...) series here on Veggin' Out showcasing some items that I constantly keep in my dorm room and that I pretty much can't live without.  Now, I don't go back to school for another eight days, but of course, I need to start getting ready!  And what better place to start than with the upmost important necessity?  Yep, I'm talking food.  More importantly, chocolate.  Last year, anyone who visited my dorm room quickly found out that I had quite the food stash and that an entire box of that was dedicated to chocolate.  I started early this year when I picked up this lot:
Sea salt and dark chocolate because sweet+salty is the best combo ever, plain dark because sometime some simplicity is needed, chipotle chili dark for that extra kick during those hard study sessions, and strawberry and champagne so I don't feel bad about being in the group of college kids that chooses not to drink.  (Really, who wants to drink when you can have chocolate? Exactly.)

Another good portion of my food stash was dedicated to nut butter, and I'm sure this year will be no different.  I haven't made quite as much progress as I have with the chocolate, but I did pick up this.  I mean, cookie nookie?!  That was just too hard to pass up.
I think this jar will be lucky to ever see my dorm room....

I'll be sure to share other dorm room necessities as they come!

Now, onto the running update.  I did my longest run of 7.5 miles (!!!!) this past Sunday!  And, thanks to some recently purchased knee bands, my knees were much happier.  Just to think, only 5.6 miles more and I could have completed a half marathon. ;-)  Speaking of which, I will be running my half in these:
Does anyone else find buying running shoes better that buying fasion shoes?  Come on, I know the other runners out there would agree with me.  No?  Well, okay then.  I don't mind being the odd ball. ;-)
After trying on several different brands (including some that the guy who helped me called "the watermelons" - and for a good reason because they really did look like watermelons which made want to buy them solely because of that), I went with Brooks.  And I love them!  They feel quite a bit lighter than my Nikes (which I did also love) and a little firmer but in a good way if that makes any sense.  Anyway, I've been loving running in them!  Running is always so much more fun with new gear. :)

Yes, now what you've really been waiting for.  I teased you with some pictures in my last post, and it's time to redeem my meanness with the recipe!  Remember how I said they were protein-packed?  Well, I wasn't kidding.  These babies pack in roughly 40g of protein.  Not bad for pancakes, eh?  Actually, not bad for any type of breakfast.  And they say vegetarians have a hard time getting their protein.... Psh, obviously they never met these pancakes!
Salted Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Pancakes
Pancake recipe based on Christina's All-Natural Protein Pancakes
Serves 1

For the pancakes:
1/4 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup cottage cheese
1 egg
5 drops stevia (or other sweetener)
A handful of chocolate chips

For the rest:
About 2 tbsp chocolate syrup (I used Walden Farms)
About 8 pretzels, broken into pieces (I used Newman's Owns spelt pretzels)
Several pinches large grain sea salt ( I used pink Hawaiian sea salt)

1.  Blend the oats, flour, cottage cheese, egg, and stevia in a blender.
2.  Pour the batter onto a heated skillet to make four pancakes (or more or less - it really doesn't matter!) and then sprinkle the chocolate chips onto the pancakes.  Cook for a few minutes, flip, and cook another minute or so.  I think you all know how to cook pancakes!
3.  Stack the pancakes on a plate, drizzle with the chocolate syrup, top with the pretzels, and sprinkle with the salt.
4.  Dig in to the best plate of pancakes you've ever had!
The sea salt really takes it over the top - I recommend you make sure you have at least a few granules in every bite.  I can't even begin to explain how delicious it is.  I know the recipe is really just a simple spin off of Christina's version (which is delicious on it's own), but trust me, they're worth making.

Well, I guess it wasn't all that long, but we covered all the important things in life - chocolate, peanut butter, pancakes, running - what more could you want?

Have a great day and a fabulous weekend, everyone!
 
 
Confession time.  I don't know about you, but I have so many recipes bookmarked that if I started making one new recipe every day, it would probably take me at least two years to get through all of them.  Actually, I'm not sure I would ever get through all of them because by the time I'd made all of my current bookmarked recipes, I'm sure I would have accumulated at least that many more.  It's a never ending cycle, and I must say that I blame you guys.  You all just come up with too many amazing looking dishes! ;)

But I'm trying my best to work through at least some of them, and this past week, I made a dent.  Well actually, more like a tiny nick as in you can't even tell it's there, BUT that's not the point.  The point is that I tried, and I must say that overall, it was a smashing success!  So let's take a look, shall we?  Happy WIAW!
First up, we have Christine's Cinnamon Roll Scones.  Unfortunately, my pictures didn't turn out half as good as Christine's gorgeous photos, but don't let that fool you.  These little guys are awesome!  I used all spelt flour instead of half all-purpose/whole wheat so I will admit that they tasted a bit more grainy-y, but I happen to love that wholesome taste so I sure wasn't complaining!  The scones were super, super moist and rather biscuit-like and the topping was sweet, cinnamon-y, and crunchy!  It was my first time making scones, but I don't know why seeing as they were so easy and tasty, and my whole family loved them!
Next up, I made Arman's Baked Tofu.  Even before I went vegetarian, I loved tofu - in any shape and form, pretty much.  But one of my favorite places to enjoy it is at Asian restaurants.  They sure do know how to do tofu!  So when I saw Arman's recipe that included some of my favorite Asian ingredients such as sesame oil and soy sauce, I knew I must try it!  Well my friends, I'm already on my second batch, and I can assure you that I will be making it again at least once again before I head back to school (less than two weeks... WHERE did summer go?!?).  I love broiling the tofu for about 5-10 minutes after baking to get it extra crispy.  There it is below with edamame, peas+lima beans with buffalo sauce, and amaranth.  It was my first time trying that cute little grain, and while I loved the texture, there wasn't a whole lot of flavor.  Oh well, nothing a little siracha can't fix!  Anyway, I highly, highly recommend Arman's recipe!!
Ever since I saw Hannah's Squash Crust Pizzas, I knew I had to make them. I've seen lots of veggie pizza crusts in the blog sphere (particularly ones made with cauliflower, which I still need to try), so I thought I would give it a go.  And I'm glad I did!  I'm not going to say these tasted like regular pizza because they didn't, but I wasn't expecting them to either.  I mean they didn't have pizza sauce or cheese so how could they?!  Traditional pizza or not, they were delicious!  I think I should have baked them a bit longer as they were still pretty soft, and my favorite parts were the crispy edges, but I still greatly enjoyed the soft inside.  I topped one with BBQ sauce as the recipe suggested and one with buffalo sauce.  I think I preferred the BBQ sauce, but both were tasty.  Next time, I want to try pizza sauce+mozzarella on the squash crusts just for fun!
For breakfast one morning, I made Davida's Mango Matcha Green Tea Smoothie.  I happen to love green tea (I drink it every morning!), and my amazing mom recently bought me some matcha green tea powder.  I think I went a little crazy with it (I seem to always add extra powdered stuff like spices, protein powder, baking powder... it's just so easy to make the measurements extra heaping!) because the green tea flavor was a bit overpowering.  I think I ended up using at leas two teaspoons of it... whoops...  Haha but it was still super refreshing, had a lovely mango flavor, and I loved how thick it was!  I'll definitely have to try it again, but I'll scale the matcha back to one teaspoon - you see, I can learn. ;)
You see those pancakes picking in above?  Those would be Christina's All-Natural Protein Pancakes.  Aka my new go-to pancakes!  They're super easy to make and wonderful in the taste department as well.  They're not your typical, fluffy pancakes, but who wants typical anyways?  They're denser, but I personally like denser pancakes because you don't feel like you're eating fluff!
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Topped with Walden Farms blueberry syrup.
I even made my own variation on Christina's pancakes...
The name of the game is Protein Packed Salted Chocolate Peanut Pretzel Pancakes.  A mouthful, I know, but trust me, it's one delicious mouthful.  After my baked oatmeal, I knew I had to do more with that flavor combination, and these turned out to be one of the best stack of pancakes I've ever had.  Even better than the oatmeal so if you want that flavor combination and are trying to decide between the oatmeal and these pancakes, I'm going to have to recommend you go with the pancakes.  I'm going to be a mean-y here though and postpone the recipe until next time, seeing as there are already more than enough words in this post.  But be sure to check back Friday or Saturday for the recipe!  You don't want to miss it! 


Do you have more recipes bookmarked than you know what to do with?
What new recipes have you tried lately?


Have a lovely rest of the week, friends!
 
 
Hello everyone!  Today, I thought I would write a review about the running book, The New Rules of Marathon and Half-Marathon Nutrition by Matt Fitzgerald, that I mentioned a few posts ago.  There seemed to be some interest in it, and I really enjoyed this book so I'm hoping you'll enjoy a little more information about it.  Of course, all of these views and opinions are entirely my own, and I was definitely not compensated for this!
What It's All About/Layout

As the title of the book suggests, the book's focus is on the nutritional aspect of running - how to fuel for optimal performance.  And this book covers it all: fueling during training, during the taper period (one to two weeks before the race), the night before the race, the morning before the race, the 30 minutes before the race, the race/run itself, and post-running.  Fitzgerald focuses mainly on food, supplements, gels, sports drinks, and a few other nutritional "tips" such as how to enhance sleeping the night before a big race.  While the main focus is nutrition, there is a small section on pacing, a few section on achieving and maintaining your "ideal racing weight", including what he believes to be a good, balanced diet, and a section on how to best train for "the wall" as well as training plans for the half marathon and full marathon.  Included are a total of six plans, three different levels for each type of marathon.  


Information Sources

One of the great things about this book, is that most recommendations are based on actual experiments and studies.  There is also, of course, stories of personal experience and the experiences of other elite runners, but for the most part, Fitzgerald sticks to the science.  When their are controversies on a specific topic, he usually explains both sides before giving his personal recommendation.


What I Like

Being a science major, I greatly appreciated that in many cases, Fitzgerald explains the science (at least to some extent) behind why he recommends a certain technique.  For example, he explains that fat loading increases the body's reliance on fat as a fuel thus decreasing its reliance on glycerin as fuel source.  This slows the depletion of glycerin stores while running.  Specifics like that make me much more inclined to  actually take his advice that if he had just said "fat loading will you give you more energy on race day."

Along similar lines of being specific, I like that Fitzgerald gives specific foods that he suggests will enhance running performance, including "top meal ideas and recipes for runners."  He also provides a few specific one day meal plan examples for fat loading and carb loading during the taper period.  Also, instead of just saying something like "you need lots of carbs," he gives numbers in the form of x grams of carbs/kg of body weight for different periods in the training/racing process.

Fitzgerald also does a good job about giving you options.  He understands that different bodies are, well, different and that what works for one person won't necessarily work for everyone.  To give an example, he provided five different methods for nutrition during running, each some combination of water, sports drink, and gels (from one extreme - using all three - to the next extreme - using none of the three).

Finally, I think Fitzgerald does a great job explaining the different components of the training plans.  He doesn't expect you to just know what a tempo run is for example (which is a good thing because, being new to running, I had no clue what it was!).  When I first glanced at the training plans, I was lost, but after reading his explanations, not only did I understand what the different runs were but also why they were beneficial to enhancing running performance.


What I Don't Like

There's really not too much about this book that I didn't like.  I mean, not every tip is all-natural or anything, but that's not the focus of the book.  The focus is providing ways to boost running performance, and that's exactly what was provided.  

Really the only thing about this book that I would have to say I wasn't too fond of was that in the reaching your "ideal running weight" section and when Fitzgerald talks about getting into shape after a race, it seems as if he assumes that you're currently overweight or that you will definitely gain weight in the period following a race (I could be wrong about these two things, but it was my interpretation).  Thus he offers a number of weight loss suggestions.  I personally have absolutely no need or desire to lose any weight, and I think assuming that the reader does have that need is not at all necessary.  I find this type of thing in a lot of fitness and health books actually, which drives me crazy.  Some of us want to exercise and eat healthy simply because it makes us feel good, we enjoy it, and we want to treat our bodies well.  Health and fitness isn't just about losing weight!  Okay, rant over.


Conclusion

Overall, I learned a ton from this book and can't wait to implement a lot of Fitzgerald's suggestions in my own training.  I definitely recommend this book if you're looking to boost your running performance, are preparing for a race, or simply want an interesting read about running!

Have a great weekend everyone!  I've been trying several new recipes from around the blogworld lately and can't wait to show them to you guys this WIAW!
 
 
Hello, friends!  I hope everyone is having a wonderful week so far and is ready to get the WIAW party started!
With my current work schedule, it's been hard to obtain a picture of all my eats in a single day, so I'm changing things up a bit and giving you a recipe instead!  But not just any recipe, a recipe for a delicious, decadent, yet still nutritious breakfast.  Oh and it involves chocolate.  That's where the  delicious is.  Anyone who thinks chocolate shouldn't be eaten for breakfast doesn't know how to live.  Chocolate is appropriate for any time of the day. :P
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Combine the dry ingredients.
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Stir in the wet ingredients.
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Pour into a ramekin and bake!
Chocolate Peanut Butter Pretzel Baked Oatmeal
Adapted from my Peanut Butter Protein Baked Oatmeal
Serves 1

1/2 cup oats
2 tbsp peanut flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
About 8 pretzels (I used Newman's Own spelt pretzels), broken into pieces
Small handful chocolate chips (plus more for snacking :P)
A couple pinches of sea salt
1 egg
1 tbsp peanut butter\
2 tbsp chocolate syrup (I used Walden Farms brand)
3 tbsp almond milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
Stir together the oats, peanut flour, baking powder, pretzels, chocolate chips, and salt.
Stir in the remaining ingredients
Pour into a greased ramekin, and bake in the preheated oven for about 30 minutes.

NOTE:  The pretzels do not keep their crunch which I didn't mind, but if you want them to stay crunchy, consider sprinkling them on top (perhaps also putting the oatmeal in a shallower dish, and possibly reducing baking time, so that there is more surface room for the pretzels).  I have not tried this, but it seems like it would work! 
Do you eat chocolate for breakfast?

Oh and running update: I did 7.19 miles on Sunday!   I love my long runs, though around mile five, my knees started hurting so I purposely slowed down a bit because I definitely want to avoid injury at all costs!  I made sure to take ibuprofen and ice them when I was done and that helped, but I did my four mile run on the track yesterday for a bit of a softer surface and less strain.  If anyone has any tips for people like me who struggle with their knees, please let me know! 

Have a great rest of the week everyone!!
 
 
1.  I have no idea what I want to post today.  I started two other posts before deciding I just wasn't feeling it and saving them to my drafts.  Thus, a random post was born.

2.  The ahi tuna salad I had at Elway's with my family yesterday was magic in my mouth.
3.  What other food is magical?   Chocolate, obviously.
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Free sample. The day I turn down free chocolate is the day I've given up living.
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Paid for chocolate - 85% truffle. Free or not, chocolate is chocolate, so of course, this was awesome.
4.  This book is such an interesting read.  Fat loading, caffeine fasting, carb loading.  Wait, there's more to running than racing down the road like a zombie's chasing you?  I have a lot to learn.  In all reality, I have always known that nutrition plays a big part in running performance, but I'm still learning a lot and can't wait to try out some of the things I'm reading about in my training.
5.  This oat square is pretty marvelous.  It tastes like the chewy cousin of those soft, fruity-filled cereal bars that have practically zero nutrition but taste oh-so good.  I went through a stage where I ate almost a box of those a day.  Now, I have a healthier way to get my fill.
6.  I love bareMinerals.  Not only are they one of the only makeups that I feel comfortable wearing because they are all-natural and don't hurt (yes, some makeup, especially eye liner, does hurt), but last time I bought an eyeshadow, I was gifted with a free brush and some mineral veil.  Is it sad that I had to look up what mineral veil is?  Sorry, but I have nearly zero knowledge when it comes to makeup.
7.  My mom and I were looking at baby clothes, and we saw the cutest little dress I have ever seen.  Before we get any further, no I am not holding anything from you.  My cousin just recently gave birth to a gorgeous baby girl so it was the perfect excuse to wander in and gawk at all the adorable little clothes.
8.  I have nine days straight of work starting Sunday.  No fun.  On the bright side, hello paycheck!

9.  Ever since my 6.29 miler this past Sunday, I have been counting down the days until this next Sunday for my next long run.  Hey, that's tomorrow!  

10.  And, to end on food, if you happen to see these on the shelves, do not hesitate.  Light and airy yet very satisfying and absolutely packed with flavor.  These almost taste like a Greek pizza.  I have yet to try them dipped in hummus because they have yet to make it beyond going straight into my mouth from the bag.  Not they they have to be dipped in hummus, I just feel like hummus crisps with hummus would be double hummus awesomeness.
Do you use bareMinerals?
Have you ever tried the oatmeal square or hummus crisps?
Have you ever read a book on running?  Learn anything interesting?
 
 
Good morning!  First, I just wanted to say that you guys are amazing.  All your supportive and encouraging comments on my last were just incredible.  I now feel more ready than ever to conquer that half marathon!  

Today, I have an open to close, 12 hour shift at work which I must say, I'm not exactly looking forward to...  But what I AM looking forward to is sharing all my delicious eats from my trip with my mom.  I'll do a separate post recapping our activities, but for now, it's all about the food.  Hold on - there's lots of pictures headed your way!

After my 5k, I went home, took a shower, packed a few things, and we were off!  We stopped for lunch before arriving at our destination because I was huuuungry!  We went with the Rockbottom Brewery, and while it was terribly slow (I think we waited about an hour!), we did enjoy our food.  I tried the ahi tuna salad because ever since going to Hawaii for the first time, ahi tuna has had a special plat in my heart.
The disappointing part about this meal was the bread.  Cold, white bread with no butter or anything.  Usually, I love my bread, but after one bite, I scooted it to the side.

As we drove into the restaurant, I had spotted a Haagen Daaz, so of course, we had to check that out!  Oh and look at this adorable litlte train we passed!
For ice cream, my mom and I both went with the Belgian chocolate chocolate.  Clearly, neither of us can turn down the promise of double chocolate.  And it's a good think, because it may just have been the best chocolate ice cream I've ever had.
By the time we arrived and checked into our hotel, it was time for dinner!  We found most restaurants to be closed on Sunday, but we finally decided that pho sounded like the perfect option so we headed to I Love Pho.  To start, we shared a mango boba tea (basically a smoothie - yum!).
Unfortunately, it turned out that even their tofu pho was in their beef broth.  So instead, I ended up with the spring rolls.  Always a tasty back-up!
The only problem was that they failed to fill me up so we stopped at a Panera, and I got the half spinach power salad (minus the bacon) with the whole grain baguette.
And that was day one!  Day two started with some simple strength moves (pushups, planks, squats, etc.) and switching to a quieter hotel (neither of us slept well at all!).  Then came breakfast, aka the best meal of the trip!  We went to a joint called Over Easy.  Look at all those pancake options!
But as soon as I saw the breakfast quinoa, I knew what I was getting (with a side of green tea + honey, of course).
I have seen breakfast quinoa popping up here and there around the blog world, but for some reason, I just couldn't quite wrap my head around quinoa for breakfast.  But when I saw it on the menu, well I just had to try it.  And I am SO glad I did!!  We ended up eating at this place twice, and I got the exact same thing again.  It was that good.  I am already hard at work recreating this at home.

Breakfast was followed by a glorious visit to the zoo (again, more on that in a later post), which was followed by lunch at the Olive Branch where I ordered The Wizard sandwich.
Another amazing meal I absolutely must make at home!  And lunch was followed by a Starbucks cool lime refresher.  I LOVE their refreshers!  This one almost tasted minty which I loved.

We had plans to walk around the Broadmoor after lunch and after we rested up a bit at the hotel since we were quite tired from the terrible night of sleep.  But once we lied on our beds and turned on the TV, there was no way we were leaving!  So yes, we spent the rest of the day being lazy in our hotel room, and it felt amazing.  As the evening crept on, we decided we should probably get some dinner, though neither of us were that hungry.  So we headed out to Safeway and pieced together a dinner.  Here were my components:
The next morning started with a run on the treadmill (which was actually pretty fun because I've only run on a treadmill for testing new shoes and such).  Then we decided to save a bit of money and check out the hotel breakfast.  I ended up being very happy with my breakfast - fresh strawberries and grapes, Kashi GoLean crunch+dried blueberries+walnuts+pecans+Oikos vanilla Greek yogurt (sorry, no picture).

Then, we were off to the Olympic Training Center!  (Which, I will tell you now, was pretty awesome.)  After that, we headed to Manitou Springs for lunch and [window] shopping.  On the way, I had another cool lime refresher from Starbucks.  Officially obsessed.

Neither of us was super hungry for lunch, so we split the veggie plate at a Meditteranean restaurant.
And I had to take a close-up of the falafels.  Yep, they were shaped like hearts!
We also finally made it to the Broadmoor that afternoon!

Dinner was at a restaurant that we found our first night there, but they are only open for dinner Tuesday through Saturday so this was our first chance to eat there.  The name of the game was Nosh, a lovely, more modern eatery that had a lot of unique options.  I even dressed up a bit for this place!
But to begin, we kept it simple with some salted edamame.  SO good!
Here are a few of the delicious sounding meals that they offered:
I really wanted to try the brussels sprouts, but our waitress warned that it was very spicy and while I can handle spicy, I just wasn't in the mood for it.  Instead, I went with her suggestion of the roasted cauliflower.  It was fantastic!  A wonderful, mellow roasted garlic taste, but the basil is what made the dish!
I also had to take a picture of my Mom's dish because it was very nicely presented.
After dinner, dessert was very necessary.  There was an ice cream place my mom wanted to try and a froyo place I wanted to try.  My bowl included vanilla almond froyo (made with almond milk and oh so good!) and nsa tropical (also SO good!) and of course plenty of toppings including blueberries, raspberries, chocolate chips, carob chips, cookie dough, a mini pb cup, graham cracker crumbs, and sprinkles.
Our final day started with another run on the treadmill (in my new running clothes which you will learn about next time!) and more breakfast quinoa (my mom had just been waiting for my to ask to go back to that place, and at Nosh, it finally came out from me... it's amazing how well my mom knows me haha!).  Then we packed our bags and headed home!  On the way back, we stopped at Castle Rock for lunch at Panera and more window shopping.  Although this time, I did actually buy something - an Under Armour running head band!  I've used it several times already and love it!  
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Pick two with garden vegetable soup, Greek salad, and whole grain baguette.
I definitely enjoyed being able to try out some new foods while on vacation!  I especially enjoyed trying them with such a lovely person as my Mom. <3
Happy WIAW everyone!  I hope you're all having a great week! :)