I’m Such a (Book)Mooch

Yesterday a fun package came in the mail.

A Fun Package

Oooo I love packages! So what’s inside, what’s inside!?

Why it’s a book!

Intuitive Eating

Have you read Intuitive Eating? It quite literally saved my sanity early this year when I was having a tough time with food.

I’ve never really had a difficult relationship with food. I’ve never been a “dietier” per se, and have always known that it’s better to just live an active lifestyle with a regular diet full of the whole foods – instead of eating diet foods, avoiding treats and junk food for a short period of time while you’re “on a diet” to lose weight. Once I figured out the math behind losing weight (calories in < calories out) weight loss came pretty easily. I counted calories to lose weight but what it boiled down to was smaller portions, not going back for seconds and cutting out mindless eating combined with regular exercise. What you don’t find out until after you’ve lost a significant amount of weight (35 lbs qualifies as significant for me) is that maintaining your weight can almost be harder than losing it in the first place.

Last year at this time I’d reached the weight I’d dreamed of for almost 15 years. I'd run my marathon. Awesome! But now what? I was out of goals to work toward and felt like I had nothing exciting to look forward to anymore. I found myself turning to food for excitement and fun. I would restrict and "be good" during the week and then overeat – and as horribly embarrassed as I am to write it: binge on the weekends. Seriously, I want to backspace that last sentence right out but I'm leaving it in because I know now that I'm not alone. I sure felt alone back then though. "Back then" being only 9 short months ago.

I honestly thought I was losing my mind and that I was heading for an eating disorder. I felt like it was almost completely out of my control. Unable to stop eating treats once I finally let myself have even one. I would get caught in that “well, I’ve blown it, might as well go nuts now” mentality. I would feel so guilty come Monday that I would restrict calories all week long to feel like I was making up for what I did over the weekend. I would continue restricting calories for the second half of the week to save up calories so I could splurge the following weekend. But an innocent splurge would almost always turn into eating so much of some otherwise forbidden food that I would reach the point where I felt sick – both physically and mentally. This restricting and binging cycle allowed me to maintain my weight but it did a real number on me from a psychological stand point.

It was nasty cycle. I realized soon that this was not the way I wanted to live. I had to get to the bottom of what was going on, I'd never experienced anything like this before. I knew it had to be possible to have a healthy relationship with food and also maintain my happy, healthy weight. These things couldn't be mutually exclusive!

Enter: Intuitive Eating. I wasn't blogging when I read this book but I have to give it a shout out because it truly turned things around for me. It pulled from me from the vicious cycle I'd gotten myself into. I read this book feeling like it was written just for me! The book describes 10 principles toward eating intuitively and while I found value in all 10 principles the big ones for me we’re honoring my hunger and making peace with food.

I got Intuitive Eating from library earlier this year and didn’t buy it because I got everything I needed from it while I had it on loan. It showed up in mailbox yesterday through thanks to this awesome website called Bookmooch! It’s a site that allows you to mooch books for free from other people – provided you list some books you have and are willing to allow people to mooch from you. All you have to do is pay for shipping your own books to other people and they pay to ship to you. I love Bookmooch and it’s a great way to swap out books I’m done with and get new books I want without having to pay for them OR pay late fees at the library! SCORE! I’ve mooched a bunch of great books and have emptied my book shelves of books I’m done with too.

I’d had Intuitive Eating on my “wish list” for a while and I got an email just recently when someone listed it in their inventory. I logged in and snagged it immediately and it came yesterday. The arrival of it prompted some reflection and lead to this post today. I’m very glad I own it now, and I’m even more glad I didn’t have to pay for it! I want to be able to refer to it if I ever need a refresher and I want to be able to loan it out to my friends and family if they’d like to read it.

Today was supposed to be a juice day but I dawdled too long at the computer this morning and before I knew it I was really hungry. I decided to honor my hunger and eat a bowl of cereal NOW rather than spend a half hour start to finish on juicing.

I was excited to bust out the cacao nibs from yesterday!

Cacao Power!

Yesterday Averie left a comment saying that she found cacao nibs to be bitter, and I thought the same thing when I sampled them straight up.

Sprinkled on fruit cereal this morning though the sweetness from the fruit easily masked any bitterness and they gave the cereal a subtle chocolaty flavor with a very nice crunch! Plus I love that they made the cereal completely raw. (Unsweetened cocoa powder is not.)

Fruit Cereal with Cacao Nibs

This morning’s fruit cereal combo was a diced banana, the last beat up pear and three chopped medjool dates all coated in ground flax. Sprinkled with some hand crushed walnuts and some cacao nibs and topped with unsweetened vanilla hemp milk.

Medjool dates in fruit cereal? Bliss. PURE. BLISS! I expected the cacao nibs to be the star but those chewy sweet dates stole the show!

Later this morning I had a couple of almond butter stuffed dates before I headed out for a nice leisurely Sunday long run. Yes. More dates. I’m making up for lost time apparently.

Dates Stuffed with Almond Butter

I was going to run 7 miles but felt so good at the 3+ mile mark that I opted to go the long way and do 8 instead. I was back in just over an hour.

Lunch today was a no brainer! We’ve got salad leftover from last night’s birthday dinner making lunch easy peasy.

No Brainer

Red leaf, carrots, orange cherry tomatoes, green pepper, cukes, alfalfa sprouts and a sprinkle of raw hemp seeds too. Heather told me this morning that she sprinkles hemp seeds on salad, so that’s what I did with the ones I bought yesterday. You can see them in their untidy glory around the edges of the plate. Honestly I couldn’t even taste them. I sampled a small handful before I put them on the salad though and they had a nice nutty flavor.

We’re off now to a picnic with friends to say good-bye to summer and welcome the official arrival of the new season. Autumn is near!

Let’s Play Brendan Says

I’m still smiling after yesterday’s half marathon – even waking up with sore back muscles and quads, I think this smile is permanently affixed to my face for the next few days. Thanks for all the heart warming comments and congrats yesterday!

I got up early this morning to tend to things around the house. I’m loving this new routine, it’s working so well. I’m raring to go first thing in the morning and have been very productive in the early mornings recently.

Ready for my “Brendan Says” for today?

Wait, before I get there, let me back up for a moment. From a broad perspective I must say Thrive and the Raw Foods Detox Diet are pretty evenly matched in my mind. They both describe the benefits that can be reaped from a largely raw, vegan diet.

I became more interested in a raw food lifestyle in the spring after reading the Raw Foods Detox Diet by Natalia Rose. At the end of May I started incorporating some of the principles from Natalia’s book into my life. I dove in a little too fast and made too many changes at once – it became overwhelming and I had to ease up a bit. Not completely though, and of course I’ve always eaten raw fruits and vegetables – but I wasn’t (and am still not) ready to go “high raw”.

Thrive renewed my interest in eating more raw meals and snacks, cutting out processed foods – even the seemingly innocent Kashi crackers and organic, whole grain boxed cereals. I found it easier to incorporate his ideas into my life thanks to reading and trying out the concepts in the The Raw Food Detox Diet a few months earlier. While I’ve only playing “Brendan Says” for the last couple of weeks, I’ve really been moving in this direction for the past 4 months.

So today’s Brendan Says has to do with sleep. Brendan Brazier says that one of the benefits of the Thrive diet is improved sleep – and therefore you need less. Eating a diet consisting largely of whole foods takes stress off your body. Processed foods put a stress on your body, and when you remove that stress you are in essence saving energy.

I have always felt that I need 8 solid hours of sleep to feel good. I could squeak by on 7 hours, 6 hours left me pretty cranky and tired without coffee. 5 hours? Forget it.

Recently I’ve been going to bed between 10 – 10:30pm and I bound out of bed at 5:00 – 5:30am raring to go. 7 hours and I feel like a new woman ready to take on the day. Whether you read Thrive, The Raw Foods Detox Diet or any other book or blog *cough cough* that discusses these concepts, chances are you can benefit from these ideas! Whole foods are our friends, processed foods are not. Maybe it’s all in my mind, but I think there’s something to this and I’m sticking with it.

After I spent an hour and half working around the house and spent a little time getting caught up on my virtual life, I decided to take a short bike ride to loosen up my sore legs and get some of the lactic acid flushed out of my muscles. 30 some odd minutes and 8 miles later I was home to see Zak off to work and then get breakfast going.

Last week I received a sample Chia seeds to try from Greens+. Thanks Diane for hooking me up!

Bloggie gal pal Heather thought she was the last blogger in the blogosphere to have yet to try them, but I’m afraid I just stripped her of her title. (Sorry Heather!)

If you haven’t heard about Chia seeds – well, let’s just say they are the new black. Or better yet, the new flax! They are an excellent source of unprocessed Omega 3 as well as other essential fatty acids. You can read all about the benefits of chia seeds here.

Greens+ My Chia Tube

A close up look at these little buggers.

Chia Seeds

Thanks to my girl Cindy and her love of tweaking recipes, I was inspired to toss my fruit cereal in my sample of chia seeds this morning!

Monday Fruit Cereal

I diced up a banana, a pear, some prunes and sprinkled on the chia seeds and mixed until everything was well coated.

Fruit Cereal with Chia Seeds

Topped with some hand crushed walnuts and unsweetened vanilla hemp milk – I’m calling it another fruit cereal success story. The chia seeds gave today’s cereal the perfect crunch and the ones toward the bottom of the bowl at the end had a chance to develop that strange yet interesting-but-not-gross gel coating that people take advantage of to make chia pudding.

So now before I sign off I’m dusting off the old Magic 8 Ball and when I asked “Will I eat chia seeds again soon?” it said

It is certain

Will I win my new friend Averie’s chia seed giveaway?

Cannot predict now

Grrr… this Magic 8 ball, I tell ya!

I’m not usually a blog-about-a-giveaway kind of girl but this one seemed relevant today. Plus it gives me an extra entry into her giveaway and I want to win these!  BONUS! Now that I’m a Chia Seed Society inductee I want them again! You can enter Averie’s chia seed giveaway too if you want a chance to try some for FREE because they are not exactly cheap.  Clickety click click here. Now you can’t say I never told you anything useful.

Half Marathon Race Recap

I’m going to spoil the ending by jumping ahead and saying right at the start that today was probably one of the best runs of my entire life.

The day started at 4:55 AM when I woke up a half hour before my alarm was supposed to go off. I slept like a rock and felt great when I woke up. I called Shawn at 5:30 to make sure he was awake and moving around.

Shawn and I went over our strategy last night, but I was still feeling unsure about our approach this morning. Fast at the beginning? If so, how fast? Save it all for the end? How much do I hold back? Maintain a steady pace throughout?

I really wanted to finish in under 1:50 but I just didn’t know if I was going to happen. My dad, an avid runner, had called yesterday to predict a time of 1:48:15. My step dad, an avid cyclist, predicted a time around 1:45:00 when I saw him and my mom Saturday afternoon. I was touched they both had so much faith in my speed, but I was still wary.

This morning I remembered the McMillian calculator, a tool runners can play around with to predict times for various distances based on your best time for a given distance.

I entered my 22:56 5K PR from early August and it predicted a 1:46:00 half marathon time for me, meaning an 8:06/mile average pace. Given that’s about my average pace for a maintenance run, I decided I was just going to go out there and RUN and not give it too much thought.

I was also undecided about breakfast. I thumbed through Thrive for some guidance and decided on a smoothie. Brendan Brazier says (I feel like I start every sentence like that these days!) that whole foods in liquid form save your digestive system the work and basically provides you even more energy. I channeled Angela and decided it was a Green Monster for breakfast.

A Green Monster, and coffee for the road. Yup, it’s been two weeks but I definitely wanted the caffeine boost this morning.

These are a few of my favorite things!

There Are a Few of My Favorite Things

Given how long I’d be running today, I used the same approach to fueling this morning as I used for my last 10 mile training run – aiming for my pre-race breakfast to be 60% carbohydrate, 35% fat and 5% protein.  My Green Monster contained two bananas, a couple handfuls of spinach, a good pour of unsweetened vanilla hemp milk, ground flax seed, and a scoop of almond butter.

Green Monster

This was the best combination of flavors! I’ve been so busy drinking green juice these days that it’s been a while since I’ve had a green smoothie!

While I waited for Shawn to arrive I made a breakfast picnic basket for the family, knowing that they would have little time to get out the door by the time they were awake and dressed… this way they could eat breakfast on the road or once they got there.

Picnic Basket for the Fam

Shawn showed up and we were on our way. The race started at 7:45 and we got there at 7:00.

Alison, Before the Race Shawn, Before the Race

With a big travel cup of a coffee on the ride I definitely had to use the restroom before the race started. We grabbed our timing chips and used the restrooms at the stadium near the finish and then began the 1/2 mile walk to the start.

A 1/2 mile later I felt the urge to pee again. Nothing urgent, but I would have liked to have a completely empty bladder! I guess my cup of coffee was just a little too big.

We got in line for the porta-potties and it was probably 200 people long! We had 10 minutes until the start. I kept looking at my watch. Looking at the line. My watch. The line. My watch. Eventually we had two minutes until the start and with 20 people ahead of me I realized I was out of time. We jumped out of line made our way to the start.  I figured that when I had to go bad enough I would just use a porta-potty at a water stop.

The timer sounded and we were on our way.  We were among a sea of 1800 people. I started my watch when we finally crossed the start line about a minute behind the official start.

The Start

Shawn very generously offered to carry my camera since the pocket of his shorts were so big. I thought it could be fun so I agreed.

We weaved through the masses and after the first couple miles it thinned out.  Thanks to Shawn’s garmin we knew our average pace was at about 7:30/mile. We both felt great so we held on to the pace, calling it “money in the bank” for the end if we needed to slow down.

Shawn kept running ahead and then stopping to turn around and take my picture.

During

At least he entertained me!

Again

I remember around mile 5 he asked how I was feeling. I told him I felt like I could cry – I was just feeling so good I had a hard time believing it. I honestly felt incredible. I felt fast and strong and from the pace we were holding I started to believe we just might come in under 1:50.

At mile 6 I snagged a Gatorade at a water stop. I didn’t want to stop running – since I wasn’t feeling very thirsty I managed a few small sips and tossed the rest.

Around the half way mark we passed this guy with crazy hair and a funny shirt.  Shawn told this guy he was going to take his picture and fortunately the dude laughed and didn’t care. His hair was in the upswing in this picture!

Zoom Zoom Sucka

We were still feeling great around the mile 7 mark. Our average pace had dropped to 7:50/mile. I decided it was time to whip out the sport beans.  Shawn and I each had two. I didn’t need them yet but I thought it would be better to have a little cushion – because if you wait until you really NEED to refuel you’ve gone too long!

At 8 miles the urge to pee reared it’s ugly head again and I told Shawn I had to stop at the next water stop to hit a porta-potty. I really did not want to stop but I knew I would be more comfortable if I did.

The next water stop came at 9 miles and the urge had lessened some and I thought “ok – 4 miles to go. 4 miles is like a morning run. I can hold it for 4 miles”. Our average pace was now at 8:00/mile and I had my heart set on finishing in under 1:50 at this point. I knew that as long as our pace stayed under 8:23/mile we’d be good, but I just didn’t want to waste a single second in the stupid porta-potty! I could pee after we finished!

Around mile 11 I began to notice how tired I was starting to feel. I could feel my pace slowing too.  I decided to look on the bright side and told myself that if I was feeling really fantastic at mile 11 then that meant I could have pushed myself harder earlier on. Shawn said he wanted to push the pace for the last couple miles so we picked it up, easing off if necessary and then picking it up again.

Just before mile 12 we came off the park path we had been on for the past 5 miles and were back on the city streets. It was at this point I told Shawn that there was a good possibility I was going to pee my pants when we crossed the finish line. I was half joking, half serious.

We saw the the balloon archway for the start of the last mile to the finish and we picked up the pace and held on to it.  It was not easy but we did it.  We decided right about then that we were going to sprint hard as we rounded the last corner for the last .1 mile to the finish line.

I was tired, no doubt, but I had enough in me to finish hard. We saw the finish line and went balls to wall.  (Please note that my step dad took this picture earlier in the race – we did not spot the finish line at 1:35!)

The Finish

I heard my mom and step dad cheering us on as we blew by, their support meant so much! We probably passed 15 people on that last stretch. I’m sure they all cursed us as we ran by. Shawn kept saying “keep going! We’re almost there!” and I needed those words so much, I’m positive that’s what kept my feet moving fast! From Shawn’s Garmin stats that he emailed me this afternoon I can see now that our pace for that last stretch got down to 5:00/mile!  I totally believe we were running that fast, it certainly felt like it!

Sprint!

We crossed the finish line and somehow I had enough wherewithal to hit the stop button on my watch. I hadn’t even looked at the clock because I knew the time would be off given we were about a minute behind the official start.

My Watch Says 1:47!

YAHOOOOO! And I didn’t even pee my pants!!  Shawn’s watch had the same time and said our overall average pace was 8:06/mile.

They took off our timing chips, hung metals around our necks. We walked through the tents and scored some post race food! I bypassed bagels, chocolate milk and pizza and went straight for the boxes of bananas and oranges.  Playing “Brendan Says” yet again, I took his post-exercise nutrition advice to heart and went with simple carbohydrates.  Protein comes later.

We found my mom and step dad in the crowd and they took our picture while we regaled our tale. Having Shawn as my running partner was amazing – everything fell perfectly into place and unfolded beautifully. He could have ran faster but stayed with me and pushed me along – but without pushing me too hard either. It was exactly what I needed and was a huge part of what made today’s race so fantastic.

Done!

I devoured my second orange while we waited for the results.

Second Orange

My jaw almost dropped when I saw the clock time on paper. My dad’s prediction was 3 seconds off!

Results

Shawn’s time is on the top and mine is on the bottom. That bastard finished 2/10 of a second ahead of me!  We were 298 and 299 of out of 1800+.  I’m still unsure of my official chip time or age group results and won’t know until later tonight or tomorrow when the official times are posted on the race website.

UPDATE: My official time was 1:47:15. 19th in my age group out of 146. 297 out of 1716 finishers. 77th of 967 females.

We met up with Zak and the girls and the 4 of us we’re on our way home. I was tired but not nearly as tired as I was last year after the marathon. Besides some mildly sore quads I was feeling fabulous. And HUNGRY!

I got home and immediately whipped up a huge salad and some of my mom’s gazpacho that I demanded she share with me she gave me yesterday afternoon.

Post Race Meal Mom's Gazpacho

Although delicious, I knew I needed some protein too and had a little dried fruit and nut combo for dessert.

Dried Fruit Dessert

A shower and food – what came next? A NAP!

I could not be happier with every aspect of today’s race. The weather was picture perfect. I went into this race feeling well trained, well rested and well fueled. I’ve spent the last two weeks following the principles in the Thrive Diet diet as closely as possible. I fully believe that a largely raw food and mainly vegan diet had a huge impact on how fabulous I felt today. Vegetables are where it’s at baby!!

I want to THANK ALL OF YOU for your encouragement and support, both on and off the blog!  I swear to god that I brought to mind all the fabulous, sweet, supportive comments from yesterday when I was hurting at mile 12. Thanks to everyone for cheering me on! And a huge thanks to Shawn for being the best running partner a girl could ask for.

We’ve just finished an unphotographed dinner (any more pictures in this post and I think it just might burst!) and now we’re off to get ice cream.  Shhhhh don’t tell Brendan!

Make Your Own Cereal, Take 2

I left my alarm set to 5:15 from yesterday and got up at the same time today. I got a ton done in just a short period of time. Amazing what happens when you will yourself to stay off your computer immediately upon rising. As soon as the sun came up I got dressed and headed out on my bike for a short ride.

I didn’t want to go too far or too long today given I ran for well over an hour yesterday. My official ride ended after 35 minutes but then I stopped at home to grab my back pack and wallet and rode a mile to the corner store to pick up a few things for another Thrive inspired breakfast this morning.

When I got home I whipped up a couple of juices for myself and the man.

Like two peas in a pod! Or more accurately, six fruits and vegetables in a glass. But who’s counting?

Juice

Romaine, a beet, cucumber, lemon, apple and ginger.

So I believe I’ve established I like cereal? I know, like that’s something special and extraordinary… who doesn’t?? Brenden Brazier has a couple of great sounding cereal recipes in Thrive. I used his Banana Ginger Pear Cereal recipe as inspiration to come up with my own based on what I was in the mood for and the ingredients I had on hand.

Well, what I had on hand + what I rode to the store for this morning too.

Fruit Loot

I diced up a perfectly ripe pear and a small banana into bite sized pieces. I dragged out a package of prunes from the very last of the Newman’s Own Organics stash we were sent a couple months back.

Prunes!

That’s right. PRUNES. I remember some food blogger (can’t remember who! – I’m thinking Lynn from The Actor’s Diet?) recently saying that they didn’t know why prunes got such a bad rap, they really aren’t that bad. After sampling one upon opening this bag I have to agree. I can’t even remember the last time I had a prune. Probably as a child? It has a mildly sweet, interesting flavor. And their stickiness suited my cereal recipe well this morning. I predict prunes will be spotted with more regularity around these parts. Interesting choice of the word regularity, no?

I chopped up the prunes and threw all fruit, both fresh and dried, into a small mixing bowl.

Diced Fruit

I was then reminded of something I use to do for Ava as an infant. I would crush cheerios and cut fruit into small pieces and then “bread” the fruit with the crushed cheerios. The cheerios would stick automatically making it easier for small fingers to pick up and shovel in.

But instead of crusted cheerios, Mama’s breading of choice was ground flax! I crushed up some walnuts in my hand and added them to the mix. Stirred it all around until everything was coated and well mixed.  All the fruit was perfectly wet and sticky and the flax stuck easily.

Breaded in Flax

Topped with hemp milk and eaten with a spoon like a bowl of cereal.

With Hemp Milk

Holy goodness in a bowl this was fantastic! I loved every bite!  Perfectly sweet, filling and satisfying too!

I remembered that Justine from The Confessions of a SAHM made some fresh fruit cereal this summer and I thought it was such a good idea, I never tried it though. I’m so glad I finally did. Fruit cereal, what a concept. I smell a new breakfast staple.

I’m going to be offline for the long weekend – take it easy! And eat a salad, ok?

Peace out!

Thrive Inspired

I was able to make some progress with Thrive while the girls played in the water and the sand yesterday afternoon. I was excited to put a lot of his principals into practice today with a long run planned for this morning.

My friend Shawn has decided to run the half marathon (13.1 miles) with me next weekend and we made plans to run long together this morning. I set the alarm for 5:15 so I would be ready to go when he arrived at 6.

About 20 minutes before heading out I had a very Thrive inspired pre-run snack. Brendan talks about the protein, fat and carb content of pre-run fuel based on what kind of training you’ll be doing. From a walk, a bike ride, hiking, running, swimming to tennis, basketball, golf, whatever – based on how long you’ll be out and at what intensity, he describes the ratio of carb, fat and protein you want to eat before your chosen form of exercise. Based on his descriptions I felt like a long run at a decent pace fell into the “moderate intensity” category since we were going long for endurance and not so much focusing on speed. The other categories would be low intensity and high intensity.

Based on his approach, I was aiming my pre-run snack to be 60% carbohydrate, 35% fat and 5% protein. Of course I didn’t want anything too heavy so I chose a handful of dried apples, raisins and raw almonds. It took the edge off my ever so slight hunger and hopefully was close to the right proportion of macro nutrients that I was aiming for.

Pre Run Snack

We set out just as the dawn was breaking and watched the sun rise. The air was cool and crisp, it was a fabulous run. The time flew by and I felt great for the entire run. We’d planned to go 9 miles but we were both feeling so great at the end we agreed to go 10. Shawn has the Garmin 305 so it was easy to keep running and know how much farther we needed to go to hit 10 miles.

We finished 10 miles in 1:24:49 making our average pace 8:27. If we can maintain that pace for the entire half marathon we’ll come in under 2 hours, which is my only time goal at this point. This is the longest run I’ll do between now and the half marathon. I’m unofficially tapering my mileage now and will keep all runs from here and through next week around 4 to 6 miles.

Back home and with Thrive still on the brain, I cracked open a young coconut I’ve had in the fridge for a few days and drank the young coconut water for a “snack consisting primarily of simple carbohydrate”.

Post Run Coconut Water

I thought coconut water would be a good choice but looking at the nutritional stats now coconut water really doesn’t have that many carbs! Oh well, now I know.

When I felt hungry about an hour later I was ready to make a recovery breakfast consisting of “high-quality, easily digestible raw protein” from “natural whole food sources”. Brendan really likes using hemp as a plant based protein source but I don’t have any yet. Flax seeds are another option he recommends. Can do – Flax Seeds R’Us!

I’d stuck a couple of bananas in the freezer yesterday for banana whip whenever the mood struck – and the mood struck this morning. I put the scooped out young coconut meat in the freezer an hour earlier when I had my young coconut water, so it was slightly frozen but not rock solid either. Coconut meat and banana into the food processor to make coconut banana whip!

Recovery Breakfast

I after the coconut and banana were whipped up and smooth, I added a healthy helping of ground flax and a scoop of almond butter to make the recovery breakfast to beat all recovery breakfasts.

Banana Coconut Whip

Totally creamy and yummy, a perfect post run breakfast for me!

I’m totally psyched about all the concepts in this book, I can’t wait to finish it up and write my full review. I’m convinced and I definitely feel that this is worth a read by anyone, whether you’re an athlete or just want to be fit and healthy and naturally reach your ideal weight.

In other news, a couple of you asked about my hummus recipe, I plan to make hummus today and will post  about it tonight! I know you’ll all be biting your nails and sitting on the edge of your seats until then!

The Fountain of Youth

It’s crazy me with my crazy green juice again.

Crazy Me

I was thinking this morning about why I drink this juice most mornings of the week. I want to be fit and healthy, but I also want to hold on to my remaining shreds of youth for as long as I can.

Maxine was born when I was 27, and it was about that time I started to notice how old my body was feeling. Achy and tired, I blamed it on my second pregnancy. When I still wasn’t feeling like my old young self after her 1st birthday – and the big 30 creeping ever closer – I knew it was time to get down to business. I wanted to lose weight. Oh right, of course I did. It was only my New Years Resolution for close to the last dozen years. This time though, something was different. I realized it was more than getting into my skinny jeans. I wanted to feel good again.

So I finally did it. I lost the weight I’d always wanted to lose. I ran a marathon. I felt good in my skin. No more achy joints, unexplained muscle soreness or pains. I now sleep better, feel happier and more satisfied with my day to day life than ever before. Confident enough to post a picture of myself in a sports bra first thing in the morning with my camera on my bed head. This didn’t just happen by chance. (Although admittedly the picture was pretty of spur of the moment.) Bitch slap me if you must, but it’s no coincidence that I’ve moved away from the Standard American Diet and focused my diet around whole foods.

Now it’s all about fighting the hands of time. Thanks to The Raw Foods Detox Diet I’ve come realize the fountain of youth lies within a plant based diet. The fact that it makes maintaining my healthy weight effortless is just money in the bank. So yeah, that would be me knocking people over to push my way to the front of the line for green juice.

I’m still only at the beginning of Thrive because lord help me I get to read about one page before someone comes screaming into the room buck naked demanding my attention. From the introduction of alone he reaffirms my beliefs of the power of food and how a plant based diet can slow the aging process. Ummm, yeah, hand over the sign up sheet for that.

After some green juice reflection (thank you Erin) and pondering the reasons I suck down green juice faster than you can strip off your clothes and run naked into my living room, I set up camp to do a some yoga. Stretched out and centered, I enjoyed the continued peace and serenity with my white peach as the naked screamers slept late this morning.

Thrive

Who needs botox and eye cream when you’ve got green juice? Bottoms up, here’s to keeping my body as young and immature as my mind.

If you’ve changed your eating habits, what factors motivated you? What differences have you noticed in yourself on your own journey toward health and wellness?

Zombie Contest

I think the best thing about days where I only drink green juice and eat fruit until lunch (a la Natalia Rose and The Raw Food Detox Diet) might possibly be banana whip as part of this complete breakfast.

Yay Banana Whip

And watermelon. But you knew that.

For lunch I was figuring out what to have with my salsa and carrots. I whipped up some garlic hummus and did my open faced sandwich thing.

But first let me say that we love, love, love this brand of salsa.

My favorite salsa

No, no one is paying me to say that. No one sent me a sample of this salsa. I just really love it and want to spread the love. (And spread the salsa on my sandwich.) I’ve only seen it at Wegmans, and it’s found in the cooler section with the cheeses and lunch meats.

It’s the only salsa I buy, it always tastes SO fresh and they’ve got a bunch of fun “flavors” too. Artichoke Garlic? Why that’s my middle and maiden name. Mrs. Alison Artichoke Garlic. Oh great, now you’re going to go open a credit card account with my name and charge a bunch jars of almond butter aren’t you?

Hummuna Hummuna

I was also contemplating my recent love of open facedness today and realized that it’s a trail of an explanation. Walk with me now.

I like sprouted grains for nutritional reasons, therefore I buy Ezekiel bread.  I only like Ezekiel bread if it’s toasted. Toasted bread is not very forgiving in a sandwich with soft fillings. Hummus is soft. If I put as much hummus as I would like on a sandwich, I’d end up with a big mess on my hands. Open faced solves this problem AND it’s like I get to eat two sandwiches. It’s win-win.

During lunch, I watched the UPS truck back into my driveway. I met him at the door to be hand delivered a new book I get to review!

Thrive

Thrive, by Brendan Braiser.

After reading The Raw Food Detox Diet in July, I was totally intrigued at the idea of moving toward a raw food diet and proper food combining – and how it could make a difference in my health (making peace with food and food cravings in particular), but I wondered how it might effect running and fitness in general too. Was it “safe”? Would I have enough energy? (Yes and yes. If anything, I’ve found that it’s done nothing but wondrous things for my runs and energy levels.)

I can’t wait to hear what a professional athlete has to say on a plant based diet. Based on the reviews I read at No Meat Athlete and Hangry Pants, I’m pretty sure Brendan’s book is going to be right up my alley.

But I digress.

Out of dark chocolate and totally needing my Vitamin C(hoc) – I was forced to scrounge the bottom of the box sent by Newman’s Own Organic a while ago.

Peppermint

I was not uber excited about these mint cups, thus they have remained uneaten until desperate times. I was expecting them to be all York Peppermint Patt-ery (not my fav) but was pleasantly surprised that they reminded me of those Andes mint chocolates. The mint part is firm, not mushy. I could insert an obvious joke in here about my ass or thighs but I think I’ll pass, thanks.

Notice who’s eyeing my prize?

Who's eyeing my prize?

This is Zak and his best mint zombie.

Mint Zombie

Yeah, that’s good. But I think my date and almond butter zombie was better. But whatever, it’s not like there’s a zombie contest. Yet.

And someone tell him that even though he’s on vacation doesn’t mean his brush is on vacation too.

Speaking of hair, I played playdoh barber shop and cut Ava’s hair today.

Hair Cut

It was looking sort of ratty and don’t even get me started on the hair brushing battles day in and day out.

My reason for cutting her hair was three fold.

1. Short hair is easy to brush.
2. I enjoy the challenge of cutting the hair of something that doesn’t stop moving.
3. I find I’m more patient with her when her hair is neat. Same thing with a clean face. Don’t ask me, I’m just raising these beasts.

And speaking of beasts, I had a beast of a salad for dinner.

Salad dayz

Red leaf, diced apple, tofu, feta, cashews tossed in miso dressing.

+ unphotographed 70% Green and Black that I stocked up on today. Phew. That was a close one.

That’s it from me. Don’t forget to tip your waitress.