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7:45 AM (at the gym):

Resistance training at the gym: 3 sets, 12-15 reps of each:

  • back extension (15lb barbell in each hand)
  • chest press (70lbs first set)
  • seated row (70lbs)
  • shoulder press (45lbs and 50lbs)
  • assisted pull-ups/tricep dips (2 sets each @ 45lbs)
  • front/side planks (1 each x 60sec)
  • 10 push ups

6:30pm:

Temperature: 14° C

Distance run/type: 7.5k / Tempo

Clothes: Capri pants, Lululemon tank top, Adidas outer shell, Asics TrailRunners.

Feeling: Good. I started off a bit cold, and my arms stayed cold for a while, but eventually I warmed up and was glad to be wearing the tank top.

♦♦♦

This morning began with a Green Monster (half a banana, 1/4 c strawberries, 2 big handfuls of spinach, 3/4c soy milk) and half an Ezekiel 4:29 English Muffin with 1 tsp almond butter. Delicious, and I managed to get in two servings of by 6:45am – pretty impressive, no?

After I finished up a medium-effort session at the gym, I refueled with half a scoop of protein powder with water, and then enjoyed a mug of Italian Blend coffee with some 2% lactose-free milk. Mmm….

Mid-morning snack:

For lunch, I forgot to bring some of my Kasha (that was not), so I ate a big spinach salad with beets, cucumbers, 1 hard boiled egg, black olives, and fat-free Italian dressing. On the side, I toasted a mini whole wheat bagel and had some jam on it (for lack of having anything else to top my bagel with!).

It actually hit the spot pretty well.

For dessert, I indulged in some more Easter candy:

  • a piece of a raisin and oatmeal cookie
  • 1 cookies and creme egg
  • 4 dark chocolate mini eggs
  • 2 slivers of lindt chocolate (that was once a bunny!)
  • 2 jujubes

Two and a half hours before my run, I had some instant cinnamon oatmeal with some dried blueberries.

I was still hungry, so I ate a date roll rolled in almonds about one hour before my run.

It was a tough run. However, I’m fairly certain that I ran it faster than last week (we did the same route) and I finished it feeling relatively okay. Can’t really complain about that!

After the run, I refueled with half a banana, and a few other goodies when I got home (read: two Balsamic and Basil Triscuits, 4 Whoppers, 4 Robin Eggs, 1 small piece of dark chocolate, 1 jelly candy).

At least I somewhat countered my sweet tooth with the below salad – salad greens, black olives, chickpeas, cucumber, beets, Kasha, Sriracha, and fat-free Italian dressing. I know, it doesn’t look very pretty, but it was refreshing, delicious, and filling so that’s enough for me!

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Temperature: 4° C

Distance run/type: 16k / LSD

Clothes: Capri pants, Lululemon tank top, Adidas outer shell, Asics TrailRunners.

Feeling: Great! My hands were a bit cold for the first 8k or so, but they warmed up, and the cold wind felt amazing while running in the sun.

♦♦♦

After yesterday’s hot cereal breakfast, I woke up extra early so that I could prepare another hot breakfast before my long run. I figure now is the time to experiment with different types of breakfasts in case I’m interested in changing up my usual morning routine. This morning, I didn’t think I had time to wait for the Red River Cereal to cook, so I cheated and used prepared 1/2 cup  5-grain hot cereal with 1 cup water. To it, I added (inspired heavily by Caitlin’s Pumpkin Spice Oatmeal):

  • 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin
  • 1 tbsp espresso powder

When it was ready, I topped it with some slivered almonds, frozen strawberries, and lots of cinnamon. The pumpkin actually added a lot of volume to this, and it yielded about 1.5 cups of cereal. Since today was my long-run day, I decided that I’d probably be okay eating this as my sole fuel for my run. It was fabulous! I didn’t even take a gel halfway through the run like I normally do and I felt energetic throughout the majority of the (pretty hilly) run.

When I got home, I refueled quickly with a small helping of Mocha yogurt before I got to work on my Banana and Nut Butter Stuffed French Toast.

Banana and Nut Butter Stuffed French Toast

I first came across this glorious sandwich on Megan’s blog (who was inspired by Caitlin’s Grilled Banana Sandwich). I finally had an opportunity to make my own version today – and am I ever glad that I did!

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices Ezekiel 4:29 bread
  • 1 small banana
  • 1 egg
  • dash of milk (I used organic unsweetened soy milk)
  • brown sugar
  • cinnamon
  • almond butter
  1. Beat the egg and milk in a shallow bowl and soak both pieces of bread on it. Slice the banana length-wise and then cut each length in half.
  2. Preheat a non-stick pan to medium-high and coat with cooking spray.
  3. Add the bread and bananas to the pan, and sprinkle brown sugar on the uncooked, egg side. After about 2 minutes, flip the bread and bananas, and sprinkle cinnamon onto the other side.
  4. When the bread and bananas are finished, remove from pan, spread some almond butter on one of the slices of bread, add bananas and the finish it off with the other slice of bread.
  5. I didn’t have any powdered sugar or maple syrup, so I drizzled mine with some organic honey and proceeded to stuff my face for the next 10 minutes. As if this weren’t indulgent enough, I am seriously considering adding some chocolate nut butter to this sandwich next time I make it. Mmmmm

Well, now that I’m rightfully stuffed for the time being, I’m going to run some errands and enjoy the rest of my Sunday.

Happy weekend to everyone!

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Temperature: 4° C

Distance run/type: 6k / steady run

Clothes: Capri pants, Lululemon tank top, Adidas outer shell, Asics TrailRunners.

Feeling: It was a gorgeous and sunny, so about 10 minutes into the run, I had to take off my outer shell and run with my tank top.

♦♦♦

I love Saturday mornings. It’s the one day a week that I don’t have to set my alarm and I allow myself to sleep in. Unfortunately, since I wake up between 6:30 and 7:30 every other day of the week, “sleeping in” usually means waking up at 8:30 – even when I don’t go to bed until 3 or 4am the night before. I tried as hard as I could to sleep in, but at 9am, my body refused to sleep any longer, so I finally rolled out of bed and cooked (note, not threw together!) some Nut Butter ‘n Espresso Cereal.

Ingredients:

  • 1/4 cup Red River Cereal
  • 1 cup water
  • dash of salt
  • 2 tsp natural almond butter (or your favourite nut butter of choice)
  • 1/4 cup frozen strawberries (they get all nice and melty! but you can use fresh as well of course)
  • 1 tbsp instant espresso powder

Cook Red River cereal with water and salt until it reaches your desired consistency. Add nut butter, strawberries, espresso powder and a healthy splash of milk (I used organic unsweetened soy milk). Mix together and enjoy!

All mixed together. It was delicious!

I took my time getting ready to go for my morning run, so just before I left, I had two fresh strawberries and some Mocha yogurt with a few multigrain pretzel waffles.

It was a perfect day to go for a run. The wind was cool, but the sun warmed me up immediately. When I run on my own, I usually listen to music, but lately I’ve been running without it. I find that it allows me to concentrate on my surroundings, my breathing, and my thoughts. I may still need my music on longer solo runs, but for now, I’m content with just taking in the scenery around me.

When I got home, I was craving another pumpernickel egg sandwich, so I made a Goat Cheese, Asparagus and Red Pepper Egg Pumpernickel Sandwich.

Ingredients:

  • 2 slices pumpernickel bread
  • Two Asparagus stalks, chopped
  • 4-5 Red Pepper slices, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • Dill (of course!)
  • Black olives, chopped
  • Minced garlic, about one clove
  • 1 tbsp goat cheese
  • 1 tbsp green salsa
  • 1 handful baby spinach
  • Salt
  • Your favourite spices/seasonings (I used Italian and roasted pepper spice mixes)
  1. In a small non-stick pan coated with cooking spray, heat up your garlic. When the garlic is ready, toss in the red peppers and asparagus and cook until they are softened, maybe 5 minutes.
  2. Toss cooked vegetables into beaten egg. Add spices and mix. Pour mixture into the heated pan and cook on both sides until done.
  3. Spread goat cheese and green salsa on one side of toasted Pumpernickel bread. Layer the egg onto the bread, add baby spinach and top with a second slice of pumpernickel bread.

On the side, I had some lovely grilled asparagus, red peppers, and red beets, dressed with chopped black olives and green salsa.

In the afternoon, I snacked on some toasted Ezekiel 4:29 bread (my new favourite bread!) topped with almond butter and fresh sliced strawberries, along with a giant mug of coffee. Mmmm.

Oh yeah, and I had a few of these throughout the day. Maybe 4 or 5? I’m not sure what my life would be like without chocolate.

Dinner was a partial success – my Easy Grilled Mahi Mahi was incredible, but my Kasha was not.

Easy Grilled Mahi Mahi

Ingredients

  • 2 Mahi Mahi fillets
  • 5-6 slices of lemon
  • Roasted Pepper seasoning (I use this)

Preheat the oven to 350º, and a cast iron grill on the stove on medium-high heat. Pat the Mahi Mahi dry, and rub a generous amount of Roasted Pepper seasoning onto the flat side of the fillet. When the cast iron grill is ready, place the fish onto the grill, seasoned side down. Important: do not move the fish – allow it to sear as it will create a lovely crust! Once the oven is ready, and the fish is partially cooked through (you’ll notice a colour difference between the cooked and uncooked part of the fish), add some lemon slices on top of the fish, and move the grill into the oven to bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on your oven. The lemon slices keep the fish really moist and juicy. This is my favourite way to prepare any kind of fish. It has never failed me!

The Kasha That was Not

Instead of just cooking it with water (I didn’t have broth), I decided to add some turmeric, onion, and garlic powder to my Kasha. Unfortunately, it still lacked in a lot of flavour, so I started randomly throwing in different spices, in a poor attempt to save it. Furthermore, I think my water was too hot, because as soon as I threw in the Kasha, half of them exploded and turned mushy. The pieces that didn’t explode were too crunchy, so I ended up adding more water (as it kept disappearing quickly) in an attempt to continue cooking the raw pieces. I think I threw in some soy sauce, and a few different herbs and spices. It tasted okay. Definitely not something to write home about. Hopefully I’ll have better luck next time. I heard they can be turned into some pretty tasty pancakes, so I will definitely have to explore that.

As for the side salad, I just mixed some salad greens, baby spinach, cooked beet cubes, cucumber, black olives, Sriracha, and some fat-free Italian seasoning. I overdid it slightly on the Sriracha sauce though, as my tongue was numb halfway through eating the salad.

I ended the evening with some green grapes, air-popped popcorn, and 2 mugs of caffeine-free Chocolately Chai tea.

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Ah, Rest Day. I always enjoy them. I began it with a delicious bowl of cold cereal and organic unsweetened soy milk .

When I got to work, I somehow managed to resist my morning coffee urge and made it to lunch with one container of yogurt.

Again, I was too busy to prepare my lunch ahead. Definitely going to try to fix that for next week. After much debate, I decided to treat myself to Camros Organic Eatery because their food is always wholesome and I never feel gross after consuming it. I also love that their three-item combo allows you to mix as many of their items as you want. For example, for one salad item, I actually got to try three different salads – beet and carrot, kale, and black bean. As expected, my lunch was satisfying and delicious.

For the rest of the afternoon, I snacked on:

Four dark chocolate mini eggs.

Some baby carrots (almost forgot to take a photo!).

One milk chocolate nugget.

One square of intense mint Lindt dark chocolate.

One white cheddar rice cake.

Aaaaand, a few pieces of dried blueberries.

Normally I eat something a little more substantial for my mid-afternoon snack, but a) I already had so much chocolate after lunch, and b) I had a feeling I’d be eating a lot for dinner. After work, I finally got to try Ethiopian food for the first time at Ethiopian House. My friend and I decided to split the Bayaaynatu and Vegetarian Bayaaynatu menu items which were basically a sampling of various different meat and vegetarian dishes. Before our main meal arrived, they brought Injera, a soft, spongey sourdough-like bread that we would use to pick up our food with.

After dinner, we enjoyed a cup of coffee. The hostess poured the coffee at our table, and left some frankincense at our table afterwards. The aroma was wonderful. The extra basket of popcorn was nice, though unnecessary as most of us were stuffed after dinner.

Definitely going back.

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7:45 AM (at the gym):

3 sets, 12-15 reps of each:

  • chest press (75lbs)
  • seated row (75lbs)
  • shoulder press (50lbs)
  • hip abductor (75lbs outward motion, 95lbs inward motion)
  • assisted tricep dip (50lbs, then 40lbs)
  • bicep curls (30lbs barbell)

♦♦♦

I wasn’t on my best behaviour today. I didn’t even photograph all the evidence of my shameful “treats galore” day.

I began my day well enough though with the breakfast cookie that I made last night. It was delicious and surprisingly sweet. I think that must have been a result of the banana and chocolate protein powder. Definitely a serious contender for a regular breakfast spot – maybe weekly?

I was in a big rush this morning because I spent a bit more time than usual scouring the internet for reasons I will explain shortly. Needless to say, lunch was not packed, nor was protein powder for an after RT refuel drink. Therefore, I indulged in a small carton of chocolate milk, followed by a Belgian Chocolate coffee from Second Cup after my work out. I wasn’t complaining just now.

Mid-morning snack was one white cheddar rice cake, and one puffed spelt thin cake.

Lunch was a mish-mash of different items from the salad bar at Longo’s. I tried my hardest to get light items (I filled more than half of it with spring mix leafy greens and yet this salad was still much more than I expected it would be). Longo’s should really stop putting out so many delicious salads that I feel the need to try. At the end of the day (or my lunch), my stomach was satisfied as were my taste buds so I guess I can live with the fact that my salad that probably cost just as much as my combined lunches from the past three days did.

I decided to have some dark chocolate for dessert.

My guilty conscience caused me to follow that up with some baby carrots.

You may have noticed that my pictures from yesterday’s post were from two different sources. That’s because I accidentally dropped my iphone into a bowl filled with water in my kitchen sink. Apparently I’m not very good in a crisis, because as soon as I scooped my phone out, I wiped as much water off as I could, frantically started testing the phone, and just left it on all night thinking that the water behind the camera lens was probably not a big deal and would be gone within a few hours. By morning, when I saw that it was still there, I really started to panic. I spent a considerable amount of time after my breakfast looking for things that I could do to try to fix my phone. I ended up reading some recommendations about using rice to help suck out the moisture inside the phone so that’s what I did. It sounded funny but it was better than doing nothing. By the end of the work day, the water had vanished. It seems like my phone is in perfect working order, but I guess only time will tell.

I should point out that the below picture depicts some jujubes that I ate before I realized that my phone was okay. Clearly I was very stressed and not in the right mind frame otherwise I would have exercised better restraint. I don’t want to talk about fact that I actually had a second helping of jujubes and a vanilla girl guide cookie that I didn’t photograph.

Shh.

I managed to go through a whole box of spring mix salad greens by mid week and I was starving when I got home which so I knew I didn’t want to wait long to eat dinner. I should run out of spring mix salad more often because my dinner was fabulous thanks to my pumpernickel egg sandwich.

Pumpernickel Egg and Black Olive Sandwich

You will need:

  • 1 egg
  • A few black olives
  • Lots of dried dill
  • Italian seasoning (or your favourite herbs/spices when cooking eggs)
  • Dash of salt
  • Sriracha
  • Green Salsa
  • Baby Spinach
  • 2 slices of Pumpernickel bread (or your favourite bread)

Beat the egg in a bowl and toss in black olives, dill, Italian seasoning, and salt. Cook the egg in a small omlette-sized non-stick pan until done. Cut into four pieces and layer the egg onto one slice of toasted bread. Add Sriracha, green salsa, and baby spinach. Try to simultaneously enjoy the sandwich and marvel at the fact that it took you less than 10 minutes to make something this tasty.

On the side, I grilled some asparagus and red peppers in my cast iron grill until both vegetables were tender. I decided that throwing some green salsa on my vegetables would probably be a good thing. I was correct. Don’t worry, I also thoroughly enjoyed those baby carrots that are hiding in the corner.

For the rest of the evening, I’ll likely snack on some dried fruit along a few steaming mugs of tea. Tomorrow is Friday which also equals rest day and (I’m a little too excited about this) I’m going to try Ethiopian food for the first time! I predict a very happy and full Alison by end of day tomorrow. Will keep you posted.

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Temperature: 13° C

Distance run/type: 8 hill repeats (plus 3k walk-of-shame warm-up/cool down) / hill training

Clothes: Capri pants, sports bra, Adidas base layer, Adidas top layer, Asics TrailRunners.

Feeling: A little too hot, but by the end of the run, I got cold fast and was glad to have a long-sleeved shirt.

♦♦♦

I woke up feeling stiff from yesterday’s tempo run. Not a good start to the day, considering what lay ahead of me that evening. I comforted myself with my old faithful breakfast: 1/4 cup each of Banana Nut Muslix, Kashi Go Lean, Kashi Go Lean Crunch, and Fibre 1 cereal with 1 tsp chunky peanut butter, 1/4 frozen strawberries, and 3/4 cup of organic unsweetened soy milk.

Mid-morning snack consisted of one container of fat-free yogurt (another excellent flavour!).

I didn’t have time to prep a salad for lunch so lunch consisted of 1/2 curry rice with peas, raw red peppers, “steamed” asparagus (all I did for this was rinse the asparagus before microwaving it – the water from rinsing the asparagus is all you need to cook it), and the other grilled haddock fish fillet that I made earlier this week. It was surprisingly good.

Not long after, I snacked on some baby carrots and one white cheddar rice cake.

Oh, and I had four of these babies. I love Easter candy!

About two hours before my run, I snacked on a wheat ‘n honey bagel double toasted with peanut butter and jam. May have overdone it again – I’m still trying to figure out how much to eat before a tough run – but tasty nonetheless.

First of all, remember when I said yesterday that the plan was to do 6/7 hill repeats tonight? Well, it was actually 7/8. Despite it being the steepest hill I’ve encountered this year, and almost feeling ill by 4th hill, I managed to tough it out and complete 8 hill repeats. As if that wasn’t masochistic enough, I guilt-tripped myself into doing some planks and push-ups after we got back to the store. I definitely paid for it – I could barely put my coat back on afterwards and I definitely did not have enough energy to do my usual light run home. On my way back, I picked up a banana, but my queasy stomach could only handle half of it.

When I got home, I put together another quickie salad with black olives, red peppers, cucumbers, one hard-boiled egg, and salad greens with Sriracha and Italian fat-free salad dressing. I ran out of rice, so I toasted up a piece of pumpernickel artisan bread and added a thin layer of herb cream cheese and topped that with cucumber slices. Delicious!

I also snacked on a few dried figs (nowhere near as tasty as the organic ones I bought the other day – major lesson learned here!) and cherries. I may have also shoved a few Basil and Balsamic Triscuits into my mouth as well.

Since I’ve got plans to do some resistance training tomorrow, I decided to whip up a breakfast cookie to enjoy before I went to the gym tomorrow. I used:

  • 1/3 cups rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 2 tsp espresso powder
  • 2 tsp shredded coconut

Hopefully it will taste as good as it sounds!

My appetite was through the roof tonight. After I put away my breakfast cookie to mellow out in the fridge overnight, I had about 1/2 cup of Mocha fat-free yogurt, 2-3 cups of air-popped popcorn, and a steaming mug of Peppermint, Ginger, and Fennel Tea.

It will be interesting to see how I feel when I wake up tomorrow after tonight’s hill training. I predict lots of pain – hopefully not, but I didn’t stretch as much as I should have. I’ll keep you posted.

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7:45 AM (at the gym):

Resistance training at the gym: 2 sets, 12-15 reps of each:

  • lunges (20 each side)
  • chest press (70lbs first set, 75lbs second set)
  • seated row (70lbs)
  • shoulder press (45lbs and 50lbs)
  • assisted pull-ups/tricep dips (2 sets each @ 55lbs)
  • front/side planks (2 sets of each x 60sec)

6:30 PM:

Temperature: 10° C

Distance run/type: 7K (plus 2.5K warm up & cool down)/tempo

Clothes: Capri pants, Lululemon tank top, Adidas outer layer, Asics TrailRunners.

Feeling: So-so – I wore my jacket for the first 1K or so because it felt a bit cold, but I ended up overheating so I took it off – and then I felt slightly cold for the next 2K or so until I finally warmed up. Next time, I would consider wearing a t-shirt instead of a tank top.

♦♦♦

Note: my regular digital camera finally kicked the bucket yesterday so I will have to make do with my iphone camera until I get a replacement digital camera.

This morning, I decided to experiment with replacing my usual cereal breakfast with a Green Monster which included:

  • 3/4 cups soy milk
  • 2 big handfuls of raw baby spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 scoop chocolate protein powder

While delicious, I still felt like I needed to eat something solid so I toasted up one mini bagel and slathered on a thin layer of almond butter.

Before work, I headed to the gym to do some Resistance training. I felt pretty good, but I’m not sure if I pushed myself to my capacity so I might try to increase the intensity next week. I’m always nervous about going too far and injuring myself… but I want to make the best of the time that I do spend at the gym as well.

I finished up my workout with 1/2 scoop protein powder and water.

Then I rewarded myself with a mug of Noisette coffee from Timothy’s lactose free skim milk. When I got to work, I ate a container of fat-free yogurt. Just for the record, I’m finding this dessert yogurt absolutely delicious! The lemon parfait (pictured below) is very yummy.

For lunch, I had the fish that I grilled/baked last night, along with a giant leafy green salad with red peppers, cucumbers, and 1/2 cup of curry rice with peas. The first was perfect! I suspect it would have tasted even better if I had eaten it right out of the oven because there would still have been a crust on one side of the fish. Oh well, it was still really tasty.

Thanks to Easter candy sales, I opened a package of candies that I picked up from Shoppers last night and shared the rest with my coworkers – the majority of the candies were gone within hours!

At around 4pm, my stomach started growling and I thought I’d try fueling myself before tonight’s run with a wheat ‘n honey bagel, double toasted with butter and cheddar cheese. While delicious, it didn’t quite taste as good as the 12-grain toasted bagel with butter and cheddar cheese that I had from Cafe Supreme two weeks ago. Unfortunately, I did not feel very energetic during my 7k run later that night. In fact, I was huffing and puffing for the first 3K, feeling incredibly out of shape. When I finally felt warmed up enough to stop panting loudly as I ran, I was already on my way back to the finish. Next time I may experiment with something a little more refined like a sesame seed bagel. Or, I may just stick with having a sports gel before the run. I just don’t want to become dependent on gels if I don’t have to!

After we got back to the store, I continued running at an LSD pace to cool down. I ended up stopping at the Longo’s near Yonge and Bloor and picked up a banana as some recovery food until I could get home for a proper dinner.

While waiting for my eggs to cook, I snacked on three (yes, there are only two pictured below) Balsamic Vinegar and Basil Triscuits and about 25g of Wakame salad.

Dinner was another big salad with salad greens, red peppers, cucumbers, curry rice and peas, 1 hard-boiled egg, italian fat-free salad dressing and some Sriracha (aka “Rooster Sauce”) sauce.

Evening snack consisted of some baby carrots, one dried organic fig, and about 2-3 cups of air popped popcorn.

I am not really looking forward to hills tomorrow – we’re onto 6/7 hill repeats and it looks like it is supposed to rain. I’m keeping my fingers crossed that the rain miraculously disappears during the 2 hour window period of training.

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