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!

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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!

Tofu Cakes I Did Make

After lunch today we were off to run some errands and explored a brave new frontier. OK really it was just a playground we’d never been to before. Brave new frontier sounds much more interesting though if you ask me.

A dino? Or a rhino? You decide.

Dino?  Or Rhino?

This was my second attempt to take this picture…

Swinging Things

My first attempt was thwarted by this… this… THING!

Jerk!

Through my sunglasses this looked like a bumpy slide. Kind of like an incline with traction that you can walk up. But as I quickly discovered when I LEAPT on to this thing and my feet slid out from underneath me – that no, this not a bumpy slide at all. Those would in fact be ROLLERS.

And I fell. HARD. Totally confused, camera flying, feet, legs and ass in the air. Somehow I jammed my pinkie finger and it still freaking hurts right this very second. Is it possible to sprain just the tip your pinkie finger? Well if it is, I did. Every time I hit the enter key I’m reminded of what an idiot I am.

I swear my first thought was: can I still run on Sunday?? Shut up you dork it’s just your pinkie.

Uh oh, the pink shoes have already been replaced. We found tap shoes today on sale after we dropped off some things at Goodwill.

Tap Shoes

Did you know that the floor of a grocery store is the perfect tapping surface? I do. So does Maxine. So do all the people we passed in the grocery store today after we left the playground.

But before we left the playground, we had a packed snack!

Packed Snacks

And some packed dinner inspiration too.

Shriveled fruit and nuts (don’t say it) for me. Dried apples, raisins, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Snack Pack

Ava discusses playground decorum while Maxine listens thoughtfully. Or maybe she just smells something.

Ava Muses, Maxine Doubts

For dinner tonight I picked the Tasty Tofu Patties from the October issues Vegetarian Times that arrived yesterday!

Tasty Tofu

I followed the recipe but had to sub a couple of the ingredients based on what I had.

First, I subbed vegan mayonnaise for coconut oil. Brendan Brazier sings the praises of coconut oil in Thrive. I was a little worried about how it was going to work out but considering a ton of the recipes in Thrive contain coconut oil, I went for it.

I was little surprised at the consistency of coconut oil, it reminded me of margarine I’d say? I was expecting something more like Crisco based on how it looked, but it was much softer.

Coconut Oil

Read the label if you like.

Read the Label Why Dontcha?

My tofu patties contained:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1 tsp yellow mustard
A couple shakes of paprika
A couple shakes of dried parsley
1 14 oz package of extra firm tofu, drained
1 small onion, diced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1/4 cup of sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 cup of flour

I mixed the coconut oil, mustard, onion and spices together, then mashed in the block of tofu with a fork. Stirred in carrots and sun dried tomatoes. The original recipe called for bread crumbs but I didn’t have any. I would have used whole wheat flour but I just used up the last of it to make banana bread yesterday. So white flour it was.

Mixed and spooned into a pan sprayed little with olive oil.

Smashed Cookin

Cooked on each side for about 5 – 7 minutes. Served on a bed of steamed spinach.

Thursday Dinner

These turned out great! When I make these again I will add more mustard and more sun dried tomatoes too – the flavor was good but could have been beefed up a little. Beefed up. Appropriate adjective for a vegetarian recipe, wouldn’t you say? These were easy and yummy. Different too, they were very cake like!

Now I must go get these kids out of the tub. Here’s the conversation that just went down.

Ava: Mom! Maxine is splashing!
Me: Maxine? Are you ready to get out?
Ava: Yes! She’s ready to get out!
Me: Ava, I wasn’t talking to you.
Ava: Who were you talking to?
Me: Maxine.
Ava: Oh.

Water Snacks and Pink Shoes

We had an errand to run this morning, and fortunately it landed us very near the library, so we stopped in for a visit. First stop: the bird cages.

Checking Out the Birds

Be sure to check out Maxine’s self selected ensemble. I just got those shoes for her at a thrift shop ($2!!) and no other shoes have been worn since. I kid you not that she threw a complete fit last night when I told her she could not wear them to bed.

Maxine's Ensemble

Home from the library, I was thrilled to get the mail and find the new Runner’s World waiting for me!

Runners World Oct 2009

I’m especially excited about this issue though because yours truly is mentioned in one of the articles this month! Do you get Runner’s World? Be sure to check out the article “Run for All” article by John Hanc. When I attempted to train for the marathon in 2007 I had to stop because I wasn’t ready, but I still volunteered at the race that year and it made me more determined than ever to do it in 2008. The article is basically about how running can do much more for you than just shedding some pounds.

Breakfast was so late this morning that I wasn’t really hungry for lunch, but I felt like I should eat a little something and cut up a (Washed! TWICE!) apple for a mid day snack.

Big Apple

Later in the afternoon while I made a late lunch for myself the girls were ready for a “snack”. This would be Ava’s recipe, hold on to your hats.

Water popsicles.

Water Popcicle

They were so excited for ice cubes on a stick it made me wonder why I ever buy them cookies. Ava made these a while ago but found them today when the snacks I offered (an apple, a banana) were unappealing to her.

Someone remind me why I spend so much money on organic food.

Magenta Popcicle

During water popcicle fun, my I enjoyed a sun filled salad with the left over white bean dip smeared on a piece of Ezekiel toast.  My beast of a salad was comprised of red leaf, spinach, grape tomatoes, cucumbers, sprouts, mushrooms, broccoli and carrots.

Sunny Salad

After water snacks Ava and I sat down on the couch together to read a book about volcano’s and Maxine crawled up into my lap to listen, but apparently we bored her to sleep.

Sleepy Max

Tonight for dinner I was in the mood for something new. I was going to try one of Brendan Brazier’s pizza recipes but when I realized it was getting kind of late and the pizza recipes in his book take 45 minutes just to BAKE (not even including prep time) I decided to save it for another night and went with a new spin on black bean burgers instead.

Tonight’s All Star Ingredient? Why sun dried tomatoes! Thanks for asking!

Sundried Tomatoes Mini Prep

I put about a 1/2 cup of jarred sun dried tomatoes packed in oil into my mini prep and chopped them up to mix into the can of rinsed black beans that I had mashed up. I then chopped up about a 1/2 cup or so of sunflower seeds in the mini prep and stirred it all together. I added a little minced garlic on a whim, formed into patties and cooked on each side for about 4 – 5 minutes.

New Burger

Sun dried tomato burger on an Ezekiel roll with pickles, mustard and red leaf lettuce.  This turned out so great and held together the best of all my veggie burger experiments yet!  Served with steamed broccoli topped with Nutritional Yeast. I usually use parm but Brendan talks about the benefits of nutritional yeast in Thrive and I’ve had some in the cupboard for a while now, not knowing what to really do with it.   I whipped it out tonight for a broccoli topping and it was good. It’s got a very nutty, almost cheesy flavor and is a good source of protein. I liked it and will use it again.

And now I better prepare myself to fight the Pink Shoes Bedtime Battle again tonight, I’m sure. Wish me luck.

And We’re Back!

I didn’t know if I was going to blog tonight but after a weekend away at the family cottage, completely removed from all forms of technology, the girls are making up for lost time and reacquainting themselves with their forgotten friends, Computer and Television. I like to call those friends Peace and Quiet, respectively.

A little photo journal from our weekend away. We had picture perfect weather and lots of uninterrupted family time.

Nature Pics

Pretty

The exact same picture, but behind my sunglasses. Because I’m cool like that.

Same picture, behind sunglasses

Randomness.

Blue Flowers Fire!

Saturday was a rest day but I enjoyed a little unofficial exercise in the kayak. Holy shoulder work out batman.

In the Kayak

Yes, it’s really me behind the camera!

Yes, it's really me!

Rapids!

in_the_rapids

I see… a bad moon rising! There’s a bathroom on the right… or whatever the lyrics are to that song.

Moon Rise Over the River

Food Pics

Have veggies, will travel.

Have Veggies, Will Travel

I put together a couple of these little trail mix containers for easy snacking and packing. This was my pre-run snack this morning. Dried apples, raisins, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Happy Trails

I love to run at the cottage because the change of scenery is a great way to mix it up. Plus the area is hillier than an SOB and is another great way to mix it up. The hills also give me a great chance to try out new curse words too.

Kids Pics

This would be Ava’s new favorite thing: being buried to her neck in sand.

Ava's New Favorite Thing

Rinsing off and Zak showing Ava he can float.

He Can Float

And of course she had to be buried again this morning before we left.

Again Today

This concludes tonight’s photo adventure. Back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow AM!

Salad Adventures and Lessons in Hummus

So I know what you’re thinking. Another boring salad for lunch. Well not today’s my friends. Today, salad went on an adventure.

First, salad wanted to know how tall it was. So we got out the measuring tape.

How Big is Salad?

How big is salad?

Soooo big!

Soooo big!

Then, salad wanted to ride on the rocking horse. I didn’t see any reason NOT to so off we went.

Rocking Horse

Next, salad wanted to play the drum. OK salad, but just for a minute.

Play Drums

Salad, still feeling a little musical, wanted to play the keyboard. Salad totally rocked some funky beats.

Play Piano

Then salad needed to make a few calls. I waited patiently. Salad has excellent telephone manners.

Chatting on the Phone

Then salad was feeling sleepy and it was time for a nap. Shhh. Salad is sleeping.

Time for a Nap

I waited for salad to fall asleep. And then I ate him.

In other news, I made hummus today!

When I make hummus, I might used canned garbanzo beans, and sometimes I have more time and patience and I cook my own.

I use to be very intimated by cooking my own beans, but then I slapped myself a few times and said shut up they are just beans get over it.

There are two methods. Patient and Impatient

The Patient Method: Soak dried beans completely covered water for 8 hours. The beans are going to expand so you’ll want to add enough water so that the water level is a few inches higher than the beans. 8 hours later, *drain and rinse, fill pan with fresh water, add beans and bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for about an hour and you’re ready to rock.

The Impatient Method: Put dried beans in a pan with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Cook for 5 minutes and remove from heat. Let beans soak for about an hour, follow from * in The Patient Method above.

And for the record, The Extremely Impatient Method: use canned beans.

I cooked half a 16 oz bag of garbanzos for this batch using the Patient Method. I made garlic hummus today with cooked garbanzos, garlic, canola, tahini and salt.

Make Hummus

I’ve made hummus so many times now my food processor has basically paid for itself. I do not measure anything, so these are estimates.

2 – 2 1/2 cups of cooked garbanzo beans, whatever was made from the 8 oz of dried beans.
1 teaspoon of tahini. I’ve learned that you only need a little tahini! Too much and it tastes weird to me.
4 cloves of garlic. I use jarred minced garlic in water, probably 1 Tbsp which = 4 cloves.
Canola oil, probably 2 or 3 Tablespoons. Maybe more. The more oil you add the creamier it will be.
Dash of sea salt.

If I use canned beans I drain most of the liquid but not all, leaving maybe 15 – 10%. This adds to the creaminess factor too.

Everything in the food processor and give a spin.

Let's Rock

Whoops! Almost forgot! The juice from half a lemon. I use to buy lemon juice in the little plastic lemon jug you can find in the produce section, but now that green lemonade is a staple in our lives I always have fresh lemons on hand. I like it.

Almost Forgot

And now it’s time to eat. Just in time for a snack too! What a coincidence!

So Pretty

I spent the afternoon working around the house. Productivity was high today! Probably because Aunt Ellen took the girls to the playground for a couple hours and gave me a chance to get caught up on life. But before I knew it, it was dinner time and I hadn’t made anything but hummus.

Having resisted the urge to grocery shop today I was left with the bare bones of produce and made a very simple but very yummy vegetable sandwich. Said sandwich involved two slices of toasted sesame Ezekiel bread, mustard, lettuce and roasted red pepper from a jar. On the side was unpictured carrots and hummus. If you are wondering what it looked like, please scroll up.

Dinner Sandwich

OK, just wanted to make sure you got a good dose of ridiculousness tonight. If you have forgotten the ridiculousness of this post already, please scroll up.

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!