Monday, June 23, 2008

Gary Bjorklund Half Marathon

I cannot believe I ran my first ever half marathon. It seems like just the other day that I decided to sign up, but June 21st came before I knew it. 

On the ride up to Duluth on Friday afternoon, I was nervous. To calm my nerves I tried to listen to music and visualize my race. Once we got there we headed straight to the convention center to pick up my race packet. The convention center was packed with runners and families. The energy of the people was contagious and I started to get more excited and anxious for the next day. After I received my packet, we had dinner at Olive Garden. By then my nerves were back and I felt sick to my stomach. I had a plate of salad, 2 breadsticks, and a few bites of my pasta. I couldn't eat. My dad told me I needed to eat more but I just felt sick. After dinner my dad wanted ice cream but I only had a few bites of his. 

We finally got to Chris' apartment around 10 and I tried to calm my nerves by setting out my clothes for the next day. I wasn't able to sleep very much- I tossed and turned for an hour before dosing off. I woke up every few hours until my alarm went off at 4 am. I got up, got dressed, shaved my legs, and forcefully ate my peanut butter and chocolate chip clif bar. My dad drove me to the bus stop at 5, where we waited in line for half an hour. The weather was cool, but not as cold as I had originally thought. My nerves were on full force (see picture below). Once on the bus, I started talking with a group of older women and I felt a little bit better. 

Waiting for the race to start felt like a long time, but finally the line began to move forward. I slowly jogged toward the starting line and crossed it about 5 minutes after the start. The first half of the race felt great. I started out a nice, easy pace (10-11 min miles). The views were amazing. We ran along the scenic highway with breathtaking views of Lake Superior and downtown. Only slowed down twice during the water stations. I saw my parents, Chris, and Brody at mile 6. It felt great to see them because I knew I was almost halfway there! 

Around mile 6.5, I started to get tired. I started thinking- 6.6 more miles? I don't think I can do it. I kept pushing but around mile 7 I finally took a walking break. My knees were starting to hurt, I was thirsty, and in a mental block of negativity. I continued to walk/jog until mile 9. There was a big sign that read "Good job runners! Only 4.1 miles to go!" At this point I thought to myself, You can do it! This is an easy 4 mile run. You've got it! I pushed myself to keep running. It wasn't easy but all of a sudden I was at the 3 mile mark, then 2, and then 1 mile to go! The last mile was by far the toughest. My body was aching, I was thirsty and hot, and my legs were weak. I kept turning corners, expecting to see the finish line only to find I had to make another turn. Just as I thought I couldn't go on, I saw the finish line. I gathered all of my strength and crossed the finish line in 2:21. 

I have to say that the spectators were amazing. The entire 13.1 mile course was filled with people cheering and encouraging the runners. The energy at the finish line was incredible! I am so happy that I was able to accomplish this goal. A year ago, I would have never thought I would be a runner. I hated running. Now I'm proud to say I am a runner. My next race is August 24th, when I will be running the Woodbury Days Half Marathon. I hope to complete a full marathon in the near future as well!

Thanks so much again for all of your support and kind comments. It was extremely motivating to think of all of the support I had! 

Here are a couple of pictures from the race.

Waiting in line to board the bus that brings you to the starting line. 

Feeling good at mile 6.

I think this is somewhere around mile 10 or 11. 

Getting kisses from Brody

I finished!!!

Friday, June 20, 2008

15.5 Hours...

I want to thank all of you for your sweet, supportive comments and good luck wishes. I am beyond nervous, yet excited to participate in tomorrow's half marathon! My aunt called me earlier to give me advice and calm my nerves. She has ran many marathons before, and was the one who inspired me to start running. It was incredibly sweet and she managed to calm me down a little. My parents are due home any moment and then we'll be on our way to Duluth. The forecasted weather at 6:30 am is a cool 50 degrees which will be just perfect running conditions. I'll be sure to take as many pictures as I can while I'm there and have a full report. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Less than 48 hours!!

Okay sorry for the super late post. I was having issues with blogger so I gave up trying to post earlier today! 

Remember how on Tuesday my morning was filled with cherries? Well today was filled with blueberries. Keep reading for details...

I bet you'll never guess what I had for breakfast today...Swiss Oats! This time I did switch it up a little to keep things interesting! Last night I soaked the oats with soy milk, cinnamon, walnuts, and DATES. Then this morning, I added blueberry soy yogurt and fresh blueberries

Blueberry heaven in a blue bowl :)

The weather was gorgeous again, so I knew I had to get out of the house if I wanted to get any studying done. I sipped on an iced cold-pressed coffee with soy while I worked on Nutrition homework at Sati. I wanted a light lunch before meeting with my trainer so I had a small spinach salad with strawberries, slivered almonds and little bit of balsamic vinaigrette. I also had my very first Clif bar- Blueberry Crisp. It was really really good. I ate the whole thing as part of my lunch, but I can see how I would only eat half of it as a snack. 

Training went well, we worked all upper body and core today. I ran for about 20 minutes afterwards to loosen my legs. That's it- no more working out until my race on Saturday which is in, um, less than 48 hours!!!!!! I cannot believe it is almost here. Anyways I had a Very Berry Blast smoothie from Life Cafe that included strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, orange juice, and whey protein.  I like the dairy based ones better, but they make my stomach hurt so I'm trying to avoid them. 

For dinner my mom made ceviche. Whenever I eat ceviche I'm reminded of beach vacations in Mexico. This popular latin dish is a perfect, light, fresh meal for hot summer nights. I ate this with Honey Flaxseed crackers from Trader Joe's.  

Dessert was a cool and creamy scoop of mango sorbet and vanilla soy ice cream. 

Have a great evening :)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Long Hump Day!

It's been a long hump day- at least the weekend is almost here! I got up at the crack of dawn for work. Despite having to wake up early, I actually prefer working in the morning. It's a fast shift and I like seeing the "world" wake up. I was hungry right away, but I held off eating breakfast until 7:30ish. If I eat breakfast at 5:30, I'm hungry for lunch at like 10! I sipped on coffee with soy for the first few hours though so that helped my hunger. 

Breakfast was a repeat of yesterday's swiss oats. I love this breakfast! I prepared it last night by combining a serving of oatmeal, 1/2 cup of soymilk, dried cranberries, and walnuts in a bowl. I covered it and set it in the fridge overnight. The cinnamon definitely intensified overnight so it's a good thing I love it. I added berry flavored soy yogurt and sliced bananas to the mix right before I ate it. Once again, this breakfast did not fail and filled me up nicely!

I was done with work at 11 and stopped at the grocery store on my way home to pick up milkfor my mom and some other items for myself. By the time I came home, it was almost noon. I knew I needed to eat something before my workout even though I had no appetite. One of the things I bought at the store was an Amy's Tofu and Spinach wrap. Once I remembered this, I was excited to eat it. Yum! I love Amy's products! I highly recommend this brand for quick meals. 

I met with my trainer at 1 and did an hour long of leg and core strength. He usually stretches me out afterwards for a few minutes, but today was extra long to make sure my legs are loose for Saturday! I came home and read The Memory Keeper's Daughter for a little while. I wasn't hungry at all after my workout, I actually felt sick so I didn't eat anything. It's bad, I know, my body needs fuel to recover, but today I just didn't feel right. I finally got hungry around 4ish. I don't really know what to call this, so I'll say my "third mini meal" of the day. It was the last of my Chickpea-Quinoa-Cashew pilaf with grilled veggies. I'm so sad it's gone now, guess I'll have to make some more. 

My friend (who's getting married in 10 days!!!) and I went for a 2 mile run around the lake. It was nice to catch up before the wedding. 

I'll be back with a dinner update!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Cherry filled Morning, Veggie filled Evening

The first half of my day was filled with cherries. The swiss oats I had for breakfast contained black cherry yogurt. And my lunch was very similar to breakfast. I asked myself what it was that I was craving and this is what I came up with. A bowl of fresh cherries, black cherry soy yogurt, and Kashi Mountain Medley granola (contains dried cherries!). 

This light, cool lunch was just what I was craving in the hot sun. I had to reschedule my training session for tomorrow because of car problems. So I sat outside for 3.5 hours so I could finish the book I was reading. The book I finished, Baby Proof, took me a few months to get through because the first half was kind of boring. Well, the second half picked up and I couldn't set the book down. Now my back and arms are a light shade of red! 

I came in and showered to get ready for work. I started to get hungry around 4, so I made a big salad with grilled veggies to hold me over until dinner.

My sister and I got to work together tonight, so it was fun. Earlier today I made a big batch of quinoa, cooked in vegetable broth, and mixed in grilled veggies, chickpeas, and raw cashews. Since the grilled veggies had a lot of flavor from the marinade, I skipped a dressing. I packed 2 servings for my sister and I to have for dinner.

This dinner was perfect! Sitting in the fridge all day let all of the flavors blend together. I love one bowl meals because they are so satisfying to me with all of the different textures. 

I made a little "apple pie" for dessert while still at work. I love the apples we use for our caramel apple crepes. The apples are cooked with brown sugar, cinnamon, butter, lemon juice, apple cider, and a little bit of flour. They are so delicious and comforting. I especially like to have this dessert during the cold winter nights. Tonight I filled a little cup with the cooked apples, added a little caramel and warmed it up in the microwave. Then I topped the apples with crushed graham crackers. 

I'm about to turn the lights off and go to bed since I have to be up at 5 tomorrow. I am working the opening shift so the good news is I'll be done by 11 am. Night!

Pretty in Pink

As soon as I woke up  this morning I went into the kitchen to prepare breakfast. I combined a serving of oats with 1/2 cup soy milk, walnuts, dried cranberries, and cinnamon, covered the bowl, and set it in the fridge. I had 1/3 of a huge banana before my run. My run felt great, I hope I feel this good on Saturday! I was dreaming of breakfast while running, so I didn't waste time! When I was ready to eat, I mixed half of a 6oz container of black cherry soy yogurt and 1/3 of a sliced banana into the chilled oats mixture.  

My oat mixture turned into a pretty pink color with the addition of the cherry yogurt. I ate the pink mixture in a pink bowl while I sat outside on our deck. This is my new favorite summer breakfast! I'm already craving tomorrow morning's breakfast which will be a repeat of today's!

I'm sipping on iced coffee as I type. It's hard for me to give up coffee, not because of the caffeine, but because I love the taste! I'll take it any way I can, whether it be hot, iced, or cold-pressed. 

It's a stunning day- I'm so thankful I don't have to work until tonight. I plan to read and lay around in the sun for a few hours before heading to the gym to meet with my trainer. I have to go straight to work from the gym so I'll need to prepare snacks and dinner for tonight before I leave. Since I had a later breakfast today, I'm thinking lunch will be something light. Maybe a smoothie? Have a wonderful day :)

Monday, June 16, 2008

Loooong Weekend

What a crazy, busy weekend! I feel like I have been away for a month! Everyday this weekend was filled with some sort of celebration. 

Friday morning I was up bright and early to help my parents with an event. I don't know if I've mentioned this before, but they are in charge of the Silestone market in the Midwest. On Friday they had Candice Olson, from Divine Design, come to their showroom to give a presentation to designers. (Candice is the spokeswoman for Silestone.) Then it was off to the Mall of America where she signed autographs for the public. Basically,it was a big publicity event for Silestone. Friday was also my brother's 21st birthday! Since my parents were having a company dinner, Chris and I went out to dinner with Billy and his girlfriend, Ashley. We went to Rock Bottom Brewery in downtown Minneapolis. 

Here's the birthday boy with his first legal beer.

I had amazing grilled mahi tacos. They were served with coleslaw and a spicy pineapple salsa, with a side of guacamole, beans, and rice. I was stuffed after one taco, but ate 2. I also had a beer.

Chris wanted his chicken fried chicken to be on the blog ;)

I was the sober cab for the night so I stopped drinking after dinner. We headed back towards the Grand Ave. area of St. Paul, where we met up with my brother's friends at Billy's Bar and Grill. I stayed close by the entire night to make sure he didn't get dehydrated or out of control! It was a very long night and I was beyond tired, but my brother had a blast and that's all that matters!

I went to bed at 3 am on Friday, er Saturday morning, and had to be up at 7 am! I finished frosting/decorating the cake for the Silestone showroom's open house and then headed to work for a 7 hour shift. Tired is an understatement for how I felt that night. My brother had friends over for a big Mexican feast. My mom made a delicious assortment of Mexican dishes. I really wish I would have gotten a picture but I was so tired/lazy. For dessert we had the best chocolate cake ever. I usually don't care for cake because I find it bland and dry. I prefer cookies or ice cream. Well, this cake made me love chocolate cake. I used the recipe for Classic Chocolate Cake with Chocolate Ganache frosting from Baking Bites. Everyone raved about it. It was so moist and packed with rich chocolate flavor. This is my new "go-to" chocolate cake. If you are a chocolate fan, you must try this cake! (I am super sad because I thought I took a picture of it but I can't find it.)

Sunday I worked a 7 hour shift at the coffee shop again. The afternoon was incredibly slow so that made the day drag on. After work I went over to Chris' house and had dinner with his family. His mom talked me into having 2 glasses of wine. Yeah, it took a lot of convincing ;) It was a nice, relaxing way to end the busy weekend. 

My eating was all over the place this weekend. It usually was off to a good start and then went downhill. I blame being tired and unprepared for my poor eating habits this weekend. My stomach is pretty upset with me for filling it with more junk than usual. I'm obviously off of the cleanse and I feel disappointed in myself. My body felt so great the last few weeks. 

Today I got back on track for the most part. I started the day off with a hearty bowl of oatmeal made with bananas, strawberries, sliced almonds, and a little coconut. I worked all day again but this time I packed quinoa-chickpea pilaf for lunch. This was super filling and I didn't need a snack until almost 5. I had a big pear and a cherry chocolate Kashi granola bar. When my parents came home from work we went for a walk around the lake. It was such a beautiful evening, although a little on the cool side.  I wasn't too hungry for dinner because I picked on this while my mom prepared dinner:

This grilled veggie platter was leftover from this weekend's events. The vegetables are lightly grilled so they still have a nice crunch to them. You will definitely being seeing a lot of these grilled veggies this week! My dinner plate included grilled veggies and brown rice with a little bit of crusty french bread. Although I was full after dinner, I gave in and had the last small piece of chocolate birthday cake. 

I'm excited to be able to sleep in a little tomorrow morning! My plan is to run an easy 4 miles before breakfast. This is my last real run for the week- the rest of the week I'll just be running 2 miles to keep my legs loose. The half marathon is in 5 days!!!!!! See y'all in the morning!

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Another Busy Day!

I am exhausted and ready for bed!

I spent the majority of the day running errands for the event and assembling marketing bags. While at the grocery store this morning, I bought a new item for lunch- Matthew's Veggie Vegan Burrito. This burrito contains black beans, wild rice, carrots and spices in a cilantro tortilla. I really liked it but I didn't really get to enjoy it. I had bites of it in between stuffing bags. I'll have to keep a few of these in the freezer for quick lunches/dinners. There was still a lot to do but I had to meet with my trainer, John, at three. I ate half of an apple pie lara bar, good, my favorite flavor!  After weight training, I ran a comfortable 6 miles. The weather outside was hot and humid and apparently so was the gym. I felt very gross afterwards so I took a cool shower in the locker room. The other half of the lara bar was eaten along with a smoothie from my gym's cafe- banana, pb and soy milk. 

I came home to bake more cookies and another cake. Unfortunately the cake from this morning didn't turn out. The cake tasted bland, it was dense, and undercooked. This one turned out beautifully though!  I'll post a pic once it's decorated too. 

My appetite has been odd today. I haven't felt truly hungry, rather, I just ate to fuel my body. The last few days I've also been feeling sick right after I eat. Around 9 I made a salad for a light dinner. 

This salad had mixed lettuce, spinach, carrots, shredded cabbage, cauliflower, red bell pepper, cucumbers, beans, and brown rice with italian dressing. About 10 minutes after I ate, I felt sick to my stomach. So weird. 

I'm not sure how much I'll be able to post the next few days. I have a crazy busy schedule starting tomorrow at 7 am! I'll make sure to have recaps though. Have a great weekend!!

Double Oops!

Sorry I wasn't able to post last night. When I got done with work at 9, Chris and I met my parents at the restaurant next door. I had already eaten a light dinner, but I munched on some yummy grilled pita bread with various hummus type dips. I may have had a glass of Pinot Noir too. Oops! Anyways, I got home late and just wanted to go to bed. 

Yesterday was busy- I spent a good chunk of the afternoon baking dozens of cookies for the event on Saturday. I chose to bake Chocolate Chip Cookies and White Chocolate Pistachio Chunkies because I think they will hold up for a few days. I still have more to bake, including a gigantic sheet cake and more cookies. I'll take pictures of the final products and post recipes in the days to come. 

This morning I woke up starving. I didn't feel like waiting for oats to cook so I made a big bowl of cereal. I'm really loving the peanut butter panda puffs. I had 1 cup of the puffs, 1/2 cup heart to heart, 1/2 banana, and blueberries with vanilla almond milk. 

This huge bowl of cereal was perfect. It left me feeling full, but not stuffed and weighed down. 

I made the marble cake this morning and now it's cooling in the pan. I had to double the recipe to fit the 18 in x 12 in sheet pan.  As I was putting the ingredients away, I glanced at the salt, baking soda and powder. I FORGOT TO ADD THEM!! Oops again! Ah, too late! The cake was already in the oven. It doesn't look too bad so I hope it still tastes alright. 

I didn't run yesterday so I'm going to do that right now. Then I have to go to the office to help stuff goodie bags, pick up flowers, etc. Meeting with the trainer at 3, and then I'll probably have some more baking to do! Happy Thursday!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Buckwheat waffles and Cantaloupe Juice

I started my day with 2 buckwheat waffles with bananas and ground walnuts, drizzled with agave nectar. This breakfast was amazing. I licked the plate clean to make sure I got every last bite ;)

The wildberry buckwheat waffles are gluten-free from LifeStream. They were very good, but I miss the fiber from whole wheat waffles. These waffles only have 1 g of fiber. That's one thing I've found about gluten-free foods. They don't have a lot of fiber in them. I guess if you eat plenty of other whole foods you don't need to worry about it. 

Last night, my mom made juice from an overripe cantaloupe. You just blend the cantaloupe (seeds included!), add a little water to reach desired consistency, and add sugar if desired. It's a wonderfully refreshing drink in the summertime. 

I'm going to get started on preparing dinner for tonight so that I don't have to rush to put some together before work. Then I have to go to the tailor and my parent's office. I'm not sure if I'll be able to post in between, otherwise I'll be back tonight. Have a great day!!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Super Charged Cookies & Spicy Dinner

Something I love about June in Minnesota is that the sun is just beginning to set at 9 pm. It throws me off schedule because I never realize how late it is. The late sunset tricks my mind! But I love it. 

I decided to bake more Super Charge Me! cookies after lunch. It seems my family liked my no added sugar, gluten-free modified version. They are all gone and I ate maybe 2! The batch I made today is even better. Note, these are not gluten-free (used spelt flour), and they do contain added sugar (maple syrup and molasses). 

-Dates instead of raisins
-Orange Zest
-Mini semisweet choc chips
-Molasses instead of oil

I calculated each nutrient packed cookie at about 150 calories. Instead of a dessert type cookie, I like to think of these cookies as snacks. 

My workout felt extra tough today. I felt stronger today lifting weights, but I also felt out of breath more often than usual. I was ready to go home after an hour long strength session, but I forced myself to run for half an hour. I have to keep reminding myself that I have 1.5 more weeks to push myself running-wise. After my race I can choose to take a break!

Post workout Super Charge Me! cookie and an orange. The orange zest in the cookie left me craving a fresh juicy orange. Sadly, this orange was rather dry and bland. 

My friend (and fellow bridesmaid) came to pick me up at 7 to get our dresses altered for the wedding. I realized I needed to eat beforehand, or I would feel sick. I needed something super quick though. I forgot I had another serving of Trader Joe's Lentil Rice Biryani in the fridge. I heated it up and added extra brown rice for more volume. I really like this. I think when I reviewed it last week, I said I wouldn't go out of my way to buy it. Actually, I think I will buy this again to have on hand for  a quick meal. It's quite spicy though. I love spicy food, but beware this is hot!

Unfortunately the tailor closes at 6. My friend was rather disappointed since she works downtown Minneapolis and doesn't even get home until after 6. I'm going to go in tomorrow morning and talk to the lady. We're getting nervous since the wedding is only 2.5 weeks away!

I'm off to relax and start unwinding for the night. Looks like tomorrow will be another busy day. I have to help my parents out at their office after the tailor. They are having an event this weekend, and need help with some errands and planning related things. Then I have to work tomorrow night at Sati. Somewhere in there I have to fit in a long run as well. 


I feel like I accomplished a ton of things before lunch. I donated clothes, returned a few items, inquired about a possible job, worked on my resume, bought a new cookbook, and finally made lunch. Whew!
My brother gave me a gift card to Barnes & Nobles for Christmas. I was so excited when I got it but surprisingly I hadn't used it. Borders is closer to my house so I usually stop there. Anyways, it was a tough choice to pick out just one book. But thanks to my generous little brother, I bought Veganomicon. I can't wait to try some of the recipes! Any suggestions as to which ones I should try first??

I was starving by the time I got home so I threw together a quick lunch. Lunch consisted of a salad and taco. 

For the salad I had spinach, mixed greens, carrots, red cabbage, and quinoa bean pilaf tossed with extra lemon herb vinaigrette. Thank goodness, the quinoa bean pilaf made a ton of leftovers. After this lunch, I have about one more serving left!

 On the side, Dr. Praeger's tex mex veggie burger taco with chipotle salsa. 

I think I went overboard with my lunch. I am completely stuffed and have to meet with my trainer in an hour and a half! 

Hot Breakfast, Iced Water

The sun is shining this morning, which always puts me in a great mood. Unfortunately, the sunshine isn't going to last all day so I better take advantage of it now. 

I woke up early enough today that it was still a cool 58 degrees. Plus, with the AC on I wanted a hot breakfast. I made oatbran with half a banana, cinnamon, and unsweetened vanilla almond milk. After it cooked, I added 2 chopped dates, sliced almonds, and a little bit of coconut. Great breakfast, I'm stuffed! 

As soon as I was done eating I needed iced water to cool me down. On the agenda today is a busy day of running a few errands, studying, meeting my trainer at 3, running, and getting my bridesmaid dress altered! It's a good thing I was up earlier than usual to fit everything in! Have a lovely day!

Monday, June 9, 2008

More Leftovers

Dinner tonight was more leftovers! I had no problem eating these leftovers because it is one of my favorite meals.  I reheated last night's broccoli cashew teriyaki tofu stir-fry and served it over brown rice. It was just as good as last night!

I am in the mood for some of TJ's Mango-Vanilla soy ice cream. I'm pretty satisfied from dinner, so I'm trying not to give in to temptation! Instead I'll make some tea to warm up. My mom turned the AC on and I'm freezing! I think tonight will be in a early night. I'm in the mood to curl up in bed with a good book. Have a good night!

Look at the cool pink sky we had tonight. 

Where'd the day go?

Hey guys, sorry for the late post! I can't believe it's almost dinner time. I tried to post this morning before work, but I ran out of time. I woke up this morning to glorious sunshine and comfortable 61 degrees. Perfect running weather if you ask me. I had half of a banana before my run. Lately, I've had trouble getting into a good running pace. It's been frustrating since my race is less than 2 weeks away. Today I felt great, which made me very happy. I would've kept running but I had to come home and get ready for work. 

I was too warm for a hot breakfast, so I decided on cold oatmeal. Before jumping in the shower, I combined half a cup of oats, cinnamon, half a cup of soy milk, and the other half of my banana, and stuck it in the fridge. When I was done getting ready (about 30 mins later), I took the mixture out of the fridge and topped it with blueberries, raspberries, sliced almonds, and little more soy. This combination turned out delicious! 

I packed leftover quinoa bean pilaf, raw cauliflower and baby carrots, and a peach for work. (I'm sorry for the horrible picture, I was in a rush!) The quinoa was even better served cold because the lemon herb vinaigrette was more pronounced. 

I had the peach as a snack about half an hour ago because the pilaf is super filling! Does anyone have tips for cutting a peach? Lately my peaches won't separate from the pit so I end up with a mushy mess. While at work, I had an iced decaf soy latte. 

I don't know how well this cleanse is going to work now that I'm working at Sati again. As assistant manager, I have to help make decisions about new recipes. That means I taste test crepes and drinks. I just have small samples, so I think it will all work out as long as I stay on track outside of work!

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Weekend Highlights

Hey y'all. Sorry I didn't have time to post at all this weekend. I was out of the house a lot and I worked most of the day today. I'm tired and plan on getting up early tomorrow for a long run so I'm just going to post highlights. 

Quick update on the cleanse: I have to admit I went a little of the cleanse at times this weekend. However, my stomach has been bothering me again so it has convinced me to get back on track with cleanse friendly food. I really did feel great this week, when I stuck to the cleanse guidelines. 

Weekend Highlights

Saturday breakfast was Kashi Heart to Heart, Peanut butter Panda Puffs, banana, and blueberries with unsweetened vanilla almond milk. Delicious! 

I set out to run 9 miles yesterday in the late morning. It was uncomfortably hot and humid so I only did 4.5. I think I'm going to have to wake up early to get my long runs done now that it's getting so hot! Whenever I run outdoors, I crave smoothies. I dreamed up a tropical concoction yesterday, quite fitting with the tropics-like humidity we were experiencing. This post work-out smoothie was made with strawberry banana soy yogurt, frozen mango chunks and lite coconut milk. Perfect way to cool down from the steamy heat. 

Tonight for dinner I made one of my favorite recipes from Eat, Drink, & Be Vegan,  Broccoli Cashew Teriyaki Tofu Stir-fry, served over brown rice. The tofu was extra crispy today, just the way I like it. 

Friday afternoon, I baked a batch of Super-Charge Me! cookies from ED&BV, with modifications. I used gluten-free pancake and waffle mix in place of the spelt flour, apple sauce instead of oil, and agave nectar instead of maple syrup. These wholesome treats taste are packed with rolled oats, unsweetened coconut, raisins, carob chips, almond butter. They are a bit on the dry side and not very sweet- but they satisfy my cookie craving. 

I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and is starting the new week well rested! 

Friday, June 6, 2008

New Recipe + New Obsession

I thought about making a quick salad for lunch- but that's boring. I came up with a quick and easy recipe for Quinoa Bean Pilaf. I tossed the cooked quinoa with beans and veggies, in a lemony herb dressing. 

Although this was good, I think it will taste even better later once all of the flavors have marinated in the fridge. I can't wait for leftovers! I decided to have dessert after my lunch because of the strong dressing flavor in my mouth. My new obsession is mango-vanilla soy ice cream from Trader Joe's. Holy yum-o!! Yes, it has added sugar, but I didn't have soy yogurt today so it evens out. Plus, it keeps me motivated ;)

I actually went back for more after I finished this. Now I'm torn between continuing to study or going to the gym. My body says run, my head says study, my eyes say nap. Sadly, caffeine could easily give me motivation for the first two things.  The lack of caffeine is hard. Today is the first day I don't have a withdrawal headache, yet I don't feel quite alert. Feeling lethargic is a result of caffeine withdrawal, but I hope it goes away soon!

Italian Dressing Recipe

Some of you have asked for the homemade Italian dressing. I posted the recipe here. Enjoy!

Wishin' for Sunshine

Two tomato plants, sweet basil, and a pretty flower.

I am so fed up with this gross weather! Today marks day 5 without sunshine, and looking at the forecast, it's not going to get any better. We have had such a long winter/spring this year. May was the 4th month in a row cooler than average. I love hot weather so you can see why I always dream about moving somewhere else! Besides, this weather makes me sleepy so I don't get as much done during the day. 

Unlike most of you who have switched to warm weather breakfasts, I'm sticking to my oats. I had my current favorite combination: apple, cinnamon, raisins, and walnuts. There is so much texture in this combo, I think it's why I like it so much. 

For dinner last night, I threw together a quick pasta dish using brown rice spaghetti. I combined the pasta with leftover grilled vegetable from a couple of nights ago and little bit of all natural tomato basil sauce. This was really good, but a bit sticky from the starch. I made two servings, and had about half of this pot. I also had a little bit of salad. 

As far as the cleanse goes, I've been feeling great. After I eat, I get the full feeling, but my stomach isn't bloated or uncomfortable. To be honest, no gluten is very hard! So many things contain gluten. This cleanse is opening my eyes to be grateful that I don't have a gluten sensitivity. I've also been craving dessert after dinner, so I might try to find a recipe for a cookie that is gluten-free, vegan, and use agave nectar as the sweetener.