Foodies Unite: Dishing About Paleo


It’s been a few months now that I cleaned out my pantry and started from “scratch” in the kitchen. Kicking off my Paleo adventures and sharing on my blog! I am always on the hunt for new Paleo dishes, food items, and overall yummy foodstuff!

Last week I mentioned finding (in the freezer section) Salmon burgers at the Commissary. I also mentioned that I would try them and let ya’ll know what I thought – we’ll here it goes:

Sea Pack Salmon Burgers Review!

These patties come vacuumed packed in sets of two. They are lightly preseasoned. Grill ready – so you can take them from the freezer to the grill and you’ll have yummy Salmon Burgers in 10 minutes unless you’re like me and you like all things made on the grill to be a little – well, BURNT! Even though I have learned (from Robb Wolf) that burnt = carcinogens, I just can’t seem to help myself in letting things get a little charred sometimes! I think it adds flavor and apparently it adds toxins as well. (Grrr!)

Served on a bed of mixed greens w/ slices of a garden fresh tomato and sweet pickles!

 GRAPES!

Lately there have been the most delicious red (seedless) grapes at the Commissary. I buy them very regularly b/c they go fast in our house. HOWEVER, they sometimes weren’t lasting long b/c of over ripeness happening very quickly – even though I was keeping them in the refrigerator. I mentioned this on FB and my neighbor Joe (Pampered Chef consultant) told me what I needed to do in order to preserve their freshness.

Here is what Joe told me to do:

Remove them from the stems

Wash them in a salad or fruit spinner twice

Place in large Ziploc bag with a paper towel

Keep them in the fridge

 So – I’m 29 years old and just now learning this! I thought I would share just incase there were other people out there like me who just rinse the grapes and keep them in the perforated bag you buy them in!

Everyday Paleo – Food Review!

Last week (Final Exam wekk for me) I was all about SPEED and CONVENIENCE in the kitchen! Here is one of my favorite recipes from Sarah Fragoso’s book “Everyday Paleo

Pecan-Crusted Chicken

Served with Roasted Asparagus

Ingredients:

½ cup spicy brown mustard

2 Tbsp raw organic honey

1 Cup Pecans crushed

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

How To:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the mustard and the honey in a large bowl (you’ll be drudging your chicken in this later) set aside.

Toss the pecans in a food processor until they are finely chopped. Pour these into another large bowl (same deal) and set aside.

Take one chicken breast at a time, roll in mustard-honey mix and coat both sides.

Then roll in the crushed nuts – both sides. Place chicken in greased glass baking dish. Repeat for all the chicken. Bake for 45 minutes or until done.

Fresh out of the oven!

I like to use my Pampered Chef deep covered baker for this and I cook it with the lid on. This seems to make the chicken extra juicy. ALSO – my favorite way to eat my leftovers of this (the next day) dice the chicken up and toss in a salad. YUM!

Music to my…KNEES!


Nola: Day 4 Typhoon Muifa - The natives were getting restless!

Well it was hard for me to get motivated after Typhoon Muifa trapped me in my house for 3 days. I don’t know about you guys but for me – motivation is a daily affirmation! If I have several days of not being able to affirm my commitment to something like working out and eating healthy – it becomes increasingly more difficult to stay focused!

Thursday – TCOR-1 – Did Upper Body circuit inside the house. Doing well with maintaining positive attitude about being here alone while my husband is in Thailand – NOT experiencing the second typhoon of the season! I had gone shopping on Wednesday in preparation for the storm. I felt sufficiently ready!

Friday – TCOR-1E – Did workout video in the evening. Upper Body & Core. My motivation was starting to fade as I realized how “un-fun” workout videos really are after you have had a personal trainer enter your life. I started to slowly fall off the Paleo wagon as I helped Nola eat her Graham Crackers as a snack! Then some cheese sticks, then some other random pantry items (there were many) that had been staring at me.

Saturday – TCOR-1E still – Didn’t do much this day – had already done all the house stuff I needed to do, I was bored out of my mind reading for school – so I just sort of lay like broccoli on the couch. Fully fallen off of and being run over by the Paleo Wagon. I won’t (or rather can’t) recall or recite everything that I ate but it wasn’t pretty.

Sunday – It was still pretty windy and overcast out but overall the weather was normal. I just seemed to now be in a funk of lying around feeling lazy. I found numerous excuses to NOT run w/ the stroller. You know, there might be lots of debris in the road, tree limbs and such…basically the motivation wasn’t there. Feeling sorry for myself for overindulging in lots of things that were now making my tummy gurgle.

Monday – I had a group project that was due for my Nutrition class, I was the group leader and responsible for the final submission. I hate being subjected to group work over a distance education course. People are barely responsible enough to log in everyday and do the work they need to barely pass let alone fully participate in a group effort. That is why I designated myself the group leader so I could at least have better control over who was responsible for what – and needless to say, but I will – I did most of it! I was done sending people relentless emails about tasks due and what I still needed. I just did it myself which kept me on the computer til almost 11pm. If you know me…you know I am in bed by 8:30pm most nights!

Tuesday – Personal Training w/ Jeanne! I was still struggling with where my motivation was but knew that I was looking forward to a good thrashing. It’s always scary when you show up to train with Jeanne and there is virtually NO equipment around. This is how you know you’re really in for IT! It being an ass kicking by yourself with yourself while she cheers you on and you somehow forget that you asked for and are paying for this!!!

WOD:

1 ROUND =

Run 400m

15 knee to elbows

15 knee-ups

15 burpees

15 TRX suspended pushups

She prefaced this workout with letting me know just how hard it was for HER and everyone else who has done it! First off – if this is a workout that was tough for her to do than BOY am I in for it! Lol! The timer was set for 30 minutes and I was to do as much as I could in that time – no one had made it to a completed 4th round.

I started out (I felt) strong. I was psyched, telling myself the whole run that I totally had this – slow and steady wins the race! I was happy with my initial effort through all of the hanging stuff (knees to elbows is super tough) – was VERY glad that I bough weight lifting gloves and always keep them handy because I never know when I’ll need them! I finish the first round and head out for my 400m run.

I come back a little slower on my round 2 400m run but still at a good enough rate that I could possibly make 4 complete rounds in 30 minutes. Somewhere coming up the steps I realize that this workout seriously is TOUGH!

Knees-to-Elbows

I head out for round 3 and when I get back somewhere between the steps and doing my 15 knees to elbows my breakfast decides it no longer wants to remain in my intestinal tract. I get the overwhelming sense of throwing up and it consumes me. I stop. All I can picture is my breakfast – crepes with vanilla crème filling. OH god – stopping picturing it – there’s that feeling again… Oh god!

I try to keep going but it keeps coming back. I burp a little, spit a bunch and keep going but way slower. I have resolved to know that I will not make it to 4 rounds in 30 minutes.

CONCLUSION – 5 days of not doing much, eating MUCH and having it all come back up your throat on Tuesday… that is motivation enough to NOT let this be a repeat event! Still on the schedule for that afternoon was another 2 miles to run! YUP – that’s right! We are now doing double workouts. I train in the AM with Jeanne and then before I head to get Nola I hit the gym (to beat the heat and take it easy on my joints) and bike or run. I actually really like breaking it up like this. I feel better for getting the miles in and not being completed wasted tired all the time from having tough and long morning workouts everyday.

Map of Comprehensive Park

Wednesday (today) – Ran 6 miles. Nice and Easy! I knocked these out with a little stiffness and a lot of core soreness! Hanging from a pull-up bar and pulling your knees to your elbows is super tough and I was feeling all of those muscles on my run. I went out to Comprehensive Park – it’s a local athletic park with tons of trails and little pond, bridges, a recreational pool, open fields and a beachside view!

I forgot how much I loved running there – especially with all of the shade the trails offer. They have been doing lots of construction there and improving their running trails. There is now a 5K path that is covered in the same materials their running track is. So it’s this rubbery like surface that has cushion to it. Not enough to make your run feel sloppy but just enough to make your knees say, “THANK YOU!” By the time I headed over to this area of the park I was at mile 4 and my knees were starting to ache a little – AS SOON as I hit that cushioned track material I could feel the difference!

If you haven’t been over to Comprehensive Park I suggest giving it a try. If you haven’t been there in a while I suggest a revisit! They have only completed the construction to half of the park but the entire 5K loop has been resurfaced. The paths that have been redone are also almost double as wide as before so a jogging stroller of any size would be perfect!

School Updates: Next week are my finals! I have spaced them out so I can have ample time to study for each individually and then next session I am back to just one class! Phew! That will be a nice break from this session (4 classes) BUT I’ll be taking STATISTICS! EEEEEK!!

Nutritional TidBits:

So about those Crepes that were up in my throat! They are actually extremely yummy and I have been eating them very regularly. My sister-in-law recently trained for and competed in a Bikini Competition in Washington State. She shared this recipe with me. I (as usual) tweaked it to fit my nutritional needs but I really like them either way. I will share her recipe and photos here but also give you my rendition of crepes and crème!

Kayla’s Protein Crepes

Banana Crepe

Ingredients:

4 egg whites (one yolk)

1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder

1/2 packet of Splenda

1/2 tsp vanilla flavor

dash of cinnamon

Directions:

Add all ingredients to a food processor and blend (or blend in a bowl, with a whisk, by hand). Coat a non-stick frying pan with Pam olive oil spray, and heat on med-high for a few mins until hot. Pour half of the mixture into the pan, and once the top is bubbly, flip over. Repeat! Easy peasy..

Blueberry Crepe

Now, there are quite a few different filling/topping options, but here are a few of my favorites:

“PB&J” Protein Crepes:

Add one Tbsp of peanut butter (or PB2, powdered peanut butter) and  1/4 cup frozen blueberries (heated up in the microwave for 30 sec) to the middle of the crepe, and roll it up! Top with sf syrup if desired 🙂

“Peaches & Cream” Protein Crepes:

Mix 3 oz of nonfat, plain greek yogurt with 1 tsp of sf pudding mix (vanilla or white chocolate flavor)- this is your “cream”.. Chop up half of a fresh peach into 1″ cubes, and add to the cream (you may also add some chopped pecans or walnuts). Fill your crepe with this delicious mixture, roll, and top with sf syrup if desired!

** Other options include strawberries or blueberries and “cream”, bananas and peanut butter, or just about anything else you can think of!

The macro-nutrient values for the actual crepes themselves (excluding topping options)=
Calories: 186g
Fat: 6g 
Protein: 29g (this may vary depending on the protein powder you use)
Carbs: 3.5g

Add 1/2 grapefruit or 1/2 cup of veggies to make this a “complete” meal!

Pairing a lean protein with fresh (or even frozen) veggies at each meal is a crucial component of a fat-burning diet!

My version:
½ Cup of Egg Beaters
1 heaping tbsp of Almond Meal
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of vanilla extract
 
Directions: Whish together and watch a YouTube video on how to make crepes – follow the YouTube directions! Lol! Then I make a crème with an instant pudding mix (I really like Pistachio for this – it’s a good combo of flavors). Take whatever flavor of instant pudding you like and mix it with 1 can of Coconut Milk. Put in fridge and let it set over night. The next morning it is nice and thick for a crème. I usually make two crepes and put the crème between them and roll them up and eat it with a fork.

Fresh, Frozen, or Canned? Raw or Cooked?


Today (and yesterday) we are stuck inside due to the intense winds, rain and overall nature of Typhoon Muifa that is slowly (very slowly) moving over our tiny island.

I’ve had time to organiz two closets, clean the fridge, prep foods for lunch and dinner incase the power goes out, study, prepare for one (of 3) final exam(s) and entertain my almost 2 year old little heathen! We have drawn pictures, watched TV, munched on Plantain chips, dried fruits chunks, and drank tons of water! Nola has had my socks on her hands as mittens (off, on, off, on – oh…about 200 times). Then I put them on her feet and hiked them way up like soccer socks and that was a whole new ball game! (yeah for about 20 minutes!) I have done 3 loads of laundry, IM’d w/ the husband in Thailand and worked on some random nonsense research for my own interests.

The word on FB is that the storm is slow moving, very big and will be hovering around our island from now until the eye hits and then still hanging around as the tail end of it passes over – oh geesh!

Today is supposed to be a REST day for me but since yesterday was sort of a wash (did some upper body circuits but not much else) I think I will end the day with a Jackie Warner video after the little monkey heads to bed.

TidBits to Share from School:

This is an article taken directly from my Nutrition Textbook but I found it extremely useful and just wanted to share! I am learning so much from this class and from my transition and journey into the Paleo lifestyle. While I don’t agree with 100% of what is said in the text book (they are pro grains), I have found 95% useful in my kitchen!

Selecting and Preparing Foods to Maximize Vitamin Content

Wouldn’t it be great if we could all shop daily for fresh fruits and vegetables? When picked at their peak ripeness, fresh fruits and vegetables are packed with many different vitamins. Remember that light, heat, air, acid, and alkali can destroy many vitamins, and cooking liquids can leach them out. Even if you can’t buy fresh foods daily, you can still minimize nutrient loss after purchase. Start by choosing clean, undamaged produce at each of your regular shopping trips. Then store foods with minimal exposure to light and air. Many fruits, most vegetables, and all animal products require refrigeration. Get them cold right away, and keep them cold. Because vitamin content can decrease with time, plan on using fruits and vegetables soon after purchase. The vitamin C of fresh green beans, for example, drops by half after 6 days at home. 

What about frozen and canned foods? Their vitamin content is much better than you might guess. True, the heat used in canning is destructive. But the processor typically uses fresh-picked produce, which is higher in vitamins than food transported to faraway markets. The vitamin levels in canned foods remain relatively constant, even after two years. Often, vitamins end up in the liquid in which the food is packed. Use the liquids from canned vegetables in soups and stews to get the benefit. (But be cautious about the sodium)

Carotenoids are stable during the canning process. In fact, research suggests the lycopene in processed tomato products is better absorbed in to the body than that from raw tomatoes. Unfortunately, vitamin C is lost from fruits and vegetables during canning, but much of the lost vitamin remains in the canning liquid and juice. Ready-to-drink orange juice loses about 2% of its vitamin C content each day once opened. 

What is the best way to cook vegetables? To maximize vitamin content, think minimal – minimal heat, minimal cooking water, and minimal exposure to air. A good rule of thumb: “minimize to maximize.” Try to minimize handling the food before and during cooking. Dicing a food such as a potato reduces cooking time, but also exposes more surface area to vitamin destruction. So, cut if you must, but not too small. 

Because steaming, stir-frying, and microwaving minimize cooking time and water use, they are the best cooking methods for preserving vitamin content. If you boil foods, use the cooking water for sauces, stews, or soups to salvage lost water-soluble vitamins. And do not add baking soda to beans or vegetables (some folks do that to intensify color and tenderize). Baking soda destroys some vitamins. 

Remember, to retain the most vitamins in your food, be gentle with storage, kind with cooking, and “minimize to maximize!”

Time Flies When You’re Running!


This is how many weeks I have been training! Wahoo! Where has the time gone?

This will be a short post! I feel terrible taking so much time off from my blog when there have really been some exciting things I have been doing, learning and goals met!

I won’t bore you with the details of how busy life can be – we already know these things!

Well Shane is away for several weeks in Thailand so I had to drop out of my early morning group fitness class – which really bums me out because I was enjoying the moral we all were building and the friendships too! BUT – I have to say – I have been feeling eager to get back to my one-on-one thrashings with Jeanne! PLUS – I really enjoyed the time that we had chatting about life stuff, fitness tidbits and well – this might sound lame but… it was the only time I got “girl chit-chat” time in…no, really! (Lame, I know – I need to get out more!) So lets catch-up on where my training has gone!

The trail we run is called the Habu Trail - and these are Habu's in Sake! Supposed to be strong stuff!

WOOT Run – a few weekends ago Jeanne sent me a goal of 8:30 min pace for a 4mile run. I decided that I was running with the local Women’s running group (trail running that is) for that run. This was a paved trail and one that I have run several times but never that fast. I made sure to let my goal be known – keeping myself accountable for it! Then, I immediately set out to pace with the leaders of the pack! I was really just chasing after them for the first mile or so and then slowly closed the gap. These ladies kept me honest and I ran the 8:30 pace all the way up and down those crazy farm roads! Seriously – proud of myself!

Last Wednesday I was really proud of myself – I ran to the morning group session (the last one I was able to attend) at the Plaza Housing pool, did the swim workout with the group, and then ran home! Total mileage was a little over 8.5 miles and it took me roughly 1 hr and 30 minutes. I averaged a 10:43 pace with the run there all uphill and the run home all downhill!

This weekend I was running with the stroller (27lb monkey plus 20lb chariot) and I still made my LSR (8.47) in an 11 min pace! I wasn’t running it for pace I was just trying to survive it! I picked the beach run since it is the flattest place I know of around here and even though that meant making the loop 3 times – it was worth it! I headed out early enough that we were in the shade for almost the entire run!

Todaywas my first day back to one-on-one training! Jeanne was tough – my quads are smoked!

The workout:

800m run @ ¾ pace

20 Thrusters w. 18lb bar

400m run @ slightly slower than sprint pace

20 thrusters w. 18lb bar

200m all out sprint

and then we did it all over again working backwards and ending w/ a set of thrusters.

This is an example of a Thruster - I was not that bad-a$$ - I only had the bar and no weights added!

ME = Broke OFF!

Then this afternoon – still needing to get some mileage in since we are up-ing my overall weekly mileage – I headed to the gym for a treadmill run (needed to take it a little easy on my legs and we were in “black flag” conditions – so no outdoor PT allowed) – I ran 3.5 miles at an easy 10min pace. I really started to feel my quads getting tight at the very end of the run so I made sure and iced my legs when I got home! My longest run to date is still 9 miles – but I love that Jeanne gets me to reach a new distance and then we hang with that mileage and build a strong base there – so by the time I am adding even more distance to my longest run my legs are very ready for it! This has really been the key to keeping my legs injury free and my mental state where it needs to be as well! When you feel string and confident it shows in the LSR’s!

Nutritional Tidbits:

Hybrid Mini-Meatloaf

These came out so yummy tasty!

I have been trying to find ways to send my husband off to work with some Paleo approved foods and easy to eat, carry with, and reheat foods – so I had to get creative. Since my husband bikes to work her carries his lunch in a backpack that I am sure gets jostled all over the place. Enter the mini-meatloaf! I took the Everyday Paleo meatloaf recipe and my mother’s meatloaf and came up with a hybrid version that we ALL (including the monkey) really dig! This is not Paleo because I have added a few things – so anyone who is hardcore Paleo please skip over this recipe! ;o)

Ingredients:

2lbs Ground Meat (whatever you prefer)

½ tsp white pepper

1 pkg Dry Onion Soup mix

2 Eggs

½ tsp Marjaram

½ C. water

1 C. Almond Meal

1 tsp Basil

1 can Cream O’ Mushroom Soup

Sauce: Mix together ½ onion soup package w/ cream o’ mushroom soup, add water, pepper, marjoram, and basil – stir well, set aside.

Meat: Mix beef, eggs, almond meal and other half of onion soup mix together – blend well. Add large serving spoon scoop of sauce mixture to meat mixture – bland well. Add meat mix to mini loaf pan – these don’t expand much when they cook so you can really fill your more than mine – this was the first batch and I wasn’t sure – they can be pretty full but leave room for your sauce mix. Top with sauce mix. Bake in the oven (uncovered) at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Another snack we have all come to love is a recipe I took from Robb Wolf’s book and sort of tweaked it a bit as well but it is all Paleo still! I just have to work with what fruit is fresh here.

Cinnamon Fruit

The picture does this sweet treat no justice!

1 Orange – peeled, sectioned and chopped 1 Apple – peeled and sliced or diced 1 tsp cinnamon Mix all of the ingredients into a Tupperware container – toss to coat – put it in the fridge and it gets better and better the longer it all soaks!

Tuna Cabbage Salad

This is such a great snack or lunch!

This is by far my very newest and favorite creation. Again, I took the idea from Robb Wolf’s book about a crunchy cabbage salad and just made it my own!

Ingredients:

¼ head of cabbage

1 can albacore tuna – drained and fixed however you like (I added mayo sometimes or just Olive Oil)

1 whole carrot or 3-4 baby carrots

Sesame seed oil or poppy seed dressing

I like to start with the cabbage and toss it into my food processor with the top blade on shred. Then I add the carrot to the same blade – looks like coleslaw! Then I put it into the bowl I intend to eat it out of and add the tuna mix – stir well. Then I add in my sesame seed oil or sometimes I do a poppy seed dressing.

I devour this as a post workout lunch and I ALWAYS eat this with Plantain Chips! It’s truly not the same without it! You can really make this dish your own – add nuts or other veggies and make it a meal instead of a snack!

Miles ran so far this week = 5.25

Miles Ran TYD = 225.19

Finding My Pace


More times than not I find myself comparing and contrasting myself to other females/mothers/athletes, etc. I know that this is not an affliction I am alone with – we all do it! However, it has brought me back to the general appreciation for just how different we all are.

I make time for school and for fitness to be part of my daily routine and overall path to a better life – or I guess a healthier more knowledge filled one would be a better way to say it. I look around me at some of my neighbors and envy their flare for crafts and creative spin on living here in Okinawa. They make time to decorate these cement bunkers (aka housing units) into a real “homey” space. I think to myself, “Wow, I wish I had time for crafts.” The truth of the matter is…if it were important to me – I would MAKE the time for it. I would make the time to paint my walls soothing colors, to decorate the house and cultivate my flowerbeds into a botanical bliss instead of morn their emptiness. Clearly – it just isn’t that important to me or I would make the time.

It also works in reverse. Sometimes I talk with other women about my routine for fitting in school and running/training and they make comments similar to mine – “Wow, how do you find the time for all of that – I wish I had the time for working out.” And I have come to realize that if it were truly important for those people – they would make the time, they would make the choice and get active. I don’t live in a world where everything is black and white and I do completely understand that sometimes “something” has to give. Everyone makes their choices for what their “something” will be. For me – I don’t take the time to be all crafty and “Betty Homemaker”-ish but instead I get up at 4am to make time for fitness. Instead of spending time in the flowerbeds I spend time planning menu’s for the coming weeks paleo meals and snacks and then sift through the mess of coupons from the commissary. Instead of clocking in at a job I clock-in at my “study room” no later than 9am and get my brain swell on until 3:30pm when it is time to leave for picking up Nola!

Anyhow – what I am trying to say is that in life – we all have to set the pace for what we make time for and what is important for us. No peaking over at someone else’s task list or life “to-do’s” – worry about yourself, your family and your household and know that in the end the happiness that resides inside you and your home is the most important. Knowing that you have dedicated your time according to what drives you, what makes you most passionate is paramount in life! If there is something you really wish you were doing instead of what you do – make time for something new, even if it is only 30 min a day. Make the choice and the time will come!

Training TidBits:

This week is a Rest & Recovery week from the Group Fitness thrashing I do with Jeanne. Next week we will be back to our normal 3 days/week at 5am meet-up.

This passed weekend I had to run (Sat) 5 miles at a 9 min pace and (Sun) 4 miles at an 8:30min/mile pace. HOW DID IT GO?

Saturday: I drive over to Camp Foster and figured I would make this an easy run day and hit the treadmill and then do some Yoga. Well…I didn’t realize that the gym opens so late on weekends – so I ended up running around the base. I didn’t plan on running outside so I had NO iPod and NO GPS watch. I had to guess at my pace and at my distance. I did, however, have a stopwatch in my car (there is no clock in my car so I keep an old watch on the steering wheel).

I figured that if I maintained the 9min/mile pace that I needed I should only be running for 45min. So I started my watch and headed out. Since I am normally running at a (easy) 10min/mile pace I know what that effort feels like – so I knew I needed to be slightly faster than that. I made sure that if I felt like my running pace was too easy I needed to pick it up a little. After I made it to the end of the 45min I hoped in my car and drove the route I ran. BINGO! 4.97 miles in 45 min! WAHOO!

I was stoked about this! The whole point of this week (for me) is to learn pacing and what different paces “feel” like.

Totally satisfied and soak in sweat I headed in for the morning Yoga. 1 hr and 15 minutes later I was starving and headed home – to my surprise Shane had already made breakfast and saved me a plate of scrambled eggs w/ turkey sausage! YUM!

Sunday: Goal = maintain an 8:30min/mile pace for 4 miles. I talked Shane into running this w/ me. He pushed the stroller and helped maintain the up-tempo of the run. He is naturally so much faster than me and it makes him a great pacer! We headed out from the house and just went to the beach and back. The paved trail that runs along the beach here is flat and great for these sorts of runs.

Araha Beach Fitness Path

When we first started out I felt like I was just chasing after Shane the whole time – which makes me aggravated very quickly! I asked him what the pace was and he assured me we were spot on. It just FELT so FAST. I pumped my arms and just tried to stay focused and get my mind out of the “complaining” zone it was in.

Even though I felt like I was “racing” the whole time I was running – I was satisfied with the end result = being able to do it!

Here is my email to Jeanne:

Today Shane ran with me for the 4 miles at 8:30 pace. That was tough. I felt frustrated at how hard it was to maintain that pace until I got warmed up good. We jogged a slow 5 min. and then started our run. We stopped at the 2-mile mark and walked for about 3/10ths of a mile, and then stopped again at the 3-mile mark and walked a little. It was really tough to maintain that pace but it got easier as my body loosened up. I felt like I was racing the entire time. BUT I did it!! – even Shane was giving me props at how well I was maintaining that pace w. him.

 

And her response:

Hi Sarah!

Great job on maintaining the 9 min mile pace without your watch!  That is EXACTLY what I wanted you to do – to feel the pace and to be in synch with your body!!! You have now crossed another milestone! : )

Great job with the 8:30 – it was supposed to be challenging and it was supposed to take you out of your comfort zone!  Again, you did it!!! : )

Keep it up, Sarah – you are doing great!  I am so proud of you! Peace, Jeanne

As always – Jeanne is so supportive and motivating! I love having her here for me and with me on this journey!

Monday is my rest day.

Tuesday – 3 miles at an 8min/mile pace.

Since I didn’t have Shane to pace with and I was still feeling a bit sluggish – I decided to make today a treadmill day! Less impact on my joints PLUS I was nervous about being able to maintain this fast of a pace with my Nike+ watch being a terd for keeping an accurate instant pace.

Even on the treadmill this was super tough. I stopped at each mile and walked for about 3 minutes and then took off again. This was a 7.5 pace on the treadmill.

I noticed the same thing here though as with the 8:30 pace Shane and I did on the road. Each time I started again it felt slower and easier. The hard part is maintaining it for the whole distance. That will be my goal next time – no stopping!

Does anyone have any good tips about how to keep pushing through a fast pace?

Nutritional TibBits:

I have discovered some super yummy snacks for my cravings throughout the day and evening!

SNACKS:

Cucumber and Lemon:

So crisp and tart!

This is super easy and great for a salty fix! Just take one cucumber, peel and dice it however you like – place in a Tupperware container. Juice a whole lemon over the cucumber – cover and shake to coat w/ lemon juices. Place in fridge for about 15 min. Take out of the fridge and drain the juices (the acid in the lemon will make the cucumber soggy if you don’t). Serve chilled!

Plantain Chips!

Ingredients: Pantain, vegetable oil - that's it!

We found these at the commissary in the international food isle. These are very yummy and a great substitute for anything you would use a cracker or chips for. We ate these with guacamole. I ate these with my tuna. YUM! I looked up some info on them through google and found that plantains are considered the potato or pasta of the Caribbean and are used for a variety of things. So for all of you gluten free or Paleo people out there – I bet there are super creative ways to cook with these!

My new favorite snack!

Well, – I better get back to my studying! Until next time!

Miles Ran YTD: 170.65

Miles ran this week: 3

Holy Hilly Steps Strike Again!


I can totally hear Jeanne saying this!

This was our final week for the 5 week Group Training Session with Jeanne.

On Wednesdays she combines groups and we (the Tue/Wed/Thr group) train with her (Mon/Wed/Fri group) – um, yeah – did I say that right? Okay – so we all train together on Wednesdays! Anyhow, this being the last week she really hazed us!

Tuesday – 3 sets of:

1Set =

Push-ups (for 1 min 45 sec)

15 sec rest

Burpees (1 min 45 sec)

15 sec rest

Sit-ups (1 min 45 sec)

15 sec rest

Squats (1 min 45 sec)

15 sec rest

Jumping Jacks (1 min 45sec)

Then when the 2nd set started you worked your way backwards through the set from Jumping Jacks back to push-ups. OH Momma – did this hurt! I was sooooo sweaty when I was in the push-up position I could feel sweat running down my scalp to my forehead, then I would stand up for the burpees and the sweat would roll into my eyes! YowZah!

I need to get some sweatbands! This was truly a tough, mentally and physically, workout. By the time you were done with one set an entire muscle group would be smoked – then as you worked your way opposite in the set you would get some relief and then again burn-out the other muscle group! Total body!

Wednesday – HOLY HILLY STEPS! I know I posted about these numerous times but I just think they deserve all the attention I give them! To see these steps in pictures doesn’t do them any justice to the fear they impart on a first timer – they look scary and they are!

View from the top! Hello, Okinawa!

For the steps – Jeanne worked me OUTTAH! I have never done the steps like this before. Normally she has me go up and down 3 times and I have to do pushups on every landing and then I have to wear a weighted vest, etc. not to make it sound easy – its not but compared to THIS TIME – OMGosh!

1st Time Up = 5 burpees every landing and I had to transition from landing to landing as fast as possible.

Look at that naive smile! Only in round 1 sweetheart, 3 more to go!

2nd Time Up – Walk at a pace just below jogging – bog arm swings to help with the momentum and just go straight up.

See the smooth part on the left - I had to run that.

3rd Time Up – I had to run it… GASP, I know! Wha, wha – whaut! Run! So I went up the smooth side of the steps and grunted and screamed a little – and ran up! I made it about mid way and had to move to a much slower pace. Then about 5 landings from the top I though for sure I was going to throw up but managed to hold it back.

4th Time Up – Side steps all the way switching sides at each landing. My hips are so sore!

Coming down for the final time - fasciculation all the way!

This workout was so tough but I loved it! Call me a masochist but it was the sort of pain that hurts-so-good! Now – 3 days later – is another story. DOMS has set in and is really making my calves and gluteus maximus scream. Every one was struggling with this workout – no one walks away from the Holy Hilly Steps without a beat red face and pride!

Get out of your comfort zone ladies!

Thursday – Last Day

Tabata time with 20lb Kettle Bells. I am not a huge fan of kettle bells but only because they are tough to workout with – not tough as in cumbersome but tough as in make my body hurt badly the next day! So the Tabata is a timed exercise for a specific duration of on and off sets. So like – 20 seconds on of hip-thrusters and 10 seconds off – until the total amount of time allotted for the workout it done.

I have signed up for one more 5 week Group Session Training with Jeanne and so haven’t all of the same ladies from my group! YAY! It’s really nice to see the progress that everyone is making – AMY – I saw all that awesome core work you powered through today!!! Just 5 weeks and everyone was showing signs of being so much stronger! This last session will get me through to the end of summer and then the personal training sessions will be back in full swing.

The heat here is just so miserable and life draining. It can sometimes be in the 90’s by 8am with humidity levels already at 100%. So while meeting at 5am is not my ideal time, it certainly enables me to beat the heat!

In other news – Now that I am almost to the double digits range in my mileage Jeanne is now having me focus on faster paces for my shorter distances. This should be interesting! I’ll be putting my new Nike + watch to the test for its ability to be accurate on my instant pace. This has been a problem in the past (the instant pace being very fast) compared to my husbands Garmin.

My up-coming mileage:

Fri – off
Sat – 5miles @9 min
Sun – 4 @8:30
Mon – off
Tues – 3 @8:00
Wed – 5 @ 9 min
Th – 4 @ 9 min
Fri – off
Sat – 4 @8:30
Sun – 7 @ 10

Anyone want to join me for any of these runs? I think Amy and I will try and team up again for my 7 miler but she is training for a marathon in October so her miles are already exceeding mine.

I feel so blessed to be in the company of such an experienced runner. She had already offered up some great advice and I look forward to picking her brain some more before her and her husband PCS off the island.

Nutritional Tidbits:

I have started combing through all of my old recipes to find ways to make them more Paleo or as close to it as I can. Shane called this Paleo Comfort food – which by the way there is a cook book out called Paleo Comfort Foods and if you order it now (before it’s released) you can get it at a discount through Amazon.

Example of one revamped non-Paleo to Paleo recipe:

Pillsbury Chicken and Roasted Vegetables Dinner (Crockpot)

Ingredients:

1 lb unpeeled small potatoes – I subbed acorn squash for this

2 cups ready-to-eat baby carrots

1 cup frozen small whole onions (pearl) – I subbed a med. yellow onion chopped for this

6 boneless skinless chicken thighs (YUM!)

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/8 tsp pepper

1 jar chicken gravy

1 1/2 c. frozen sweet peas thawed – I realize now that peas are legumes and are not paleo

How to:

Spray 3-4 qt. slow cooker w/ cooking spray. In cooker, place (potatoes) acorn squash, carrots and onion. Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper; place all the ingredients except the sweet peas in the cooker. Mix well and cover. Cook on low for 8 hrs. Stir in peas 15 min before you plan to eat.

Without any subbing the recipe states that the Cal per serving (1 1/2 cups each) is 290. Fat 9g, Sodium 640mg (but can be lower depending on the subbing you do for your gravy).

Review: This was so super stinking delicious – the chicken was just falling apart when I was trying to scoop my serving out. The gravy got thicker as it set in the fridge for leftovers and was even more delicious the next day.

————————————– 

I mentioned before that I would talk more about Phytochemicals – so here’s the skinny! Remember that Phytochemicals are herbs and spices – the word sounds weird but it literally means “plant chemical.”

All information listed here is taken from:

Insel, P., Ross, D., Turner, R. E. (2010). Discovering nutrition: Third edition. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers

Overview: 

Phytochemicals make food functional. What does that mean? Well, a functional food is a food that may provide a health benefit beyond basic nutrition.

Example: Garlic contains sulfur compounds that may reduce heart disease risk, and tomato sauce is rich in lycopene, a compound that may reduce prostate cancer risk. The soy protein in tofu and the fiber in oatmeal can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

 

All the functional foods just mentioned get their health-promoting properties from naturally occurring compounds that are not considered nutrients but are called phytochemicals. While the word phytochemical might sound futuristic, its meaning is simple, “plant chemical.”

Vitamins are a food substance essential for life. Phytochemicals, in contrast, are substances in plants that may promote good health, even though they are not essential for life. Plants contain phytochemicals in abundance b/c these substances are of benefit to the plant itself.

Benefits:

An orange has 170 distinct phytochemicals. Singly and together, these compounds help plants resist the attacks of bacteria and fungi, the ravages of free radicals, and high levels of ultraviolet light from the sun. When we eat these plants, the phytochemicals end up in our tissues and provide many of the same protections that plants enjoy.

The trick here is that you actually have to eat the food source to see the benefits. In tests done where people have just taken supplements of the food source (i.e. pills) they did not show the same benefits as people who actually ingested and process the food through absorption and digestion – the same benefits.

 

Good Website for info on Herbs and their levels of phytochemicals

http://www.phytochemicals.info/research/antioxidants-herbs.php

I will now step off of my soapbox! BUT – if this has spiked your interest in knowing about food, your body and how they connect – I suggest NOT buying a “for profit” book sold at Borders or any other commercial bookstore but instead buying a textbook like the one I am reading for some great (somewhat non-biased) information. I have learned so much about how our bodies process and use food!

Have a great weekend everyone and please shoot me some great recipes if anyone is reading this and has tried something new and Paleo – I would love to try it out and blog about it in my Nutritional Tidbits!

Now, I am limping off to eat more protein and hope my muscle pains are better by Saturday when I have to run…and do it faster than normal! Eeeek!

“Double Digits” – Here I Come!


Love my Cocok's Toes! Hand painted by Japanese ladies.

Total Cocok's fashion pedicures in Oki!

Last week was pretty much a wash for my running since I was recovering from Bronchitis. I managed a 7-mile run last Sunday but it was a miserable one due to my lung capacity being stiffened from all the mucus I was coughing up. I did some yoga, strength training here at the house and mainly tried to recuperate. RECUPERATE = Pedicures with the girls! (see photo above of my super sassy toes!)

These digits are looking pretty sassy already!!

I got back into the group training on Friday and was pleasantly surprised at my performance ability. Jeanne had us do a 30-minute session of 400m sprints w/ 5 dips, 10 sit-ups, and 15 squats = 1 set for as many sets as we could muster for the time allotted. For the first 21 minutes I ran a ¾ pace to make sure I wasn’t going to make myself start hacking or coughing and then the last 9 minutes Jeanne told me to go all out and really push it. I followed her directions and immediately could feel the difference. With the next 400m sprints I could feel my lungs being tapped to their VO2max. I didn’t have any coughing or wheezing at all. WAHOO! I finished that workout completely drenched in sweat and pride!

10 miles - here I come!

Saturday I teamed up with WOOT runner and group fitness participant Amy for a 9 mile run. This would be my very longest run to date! We broke up the run in two parts. First, we met up at Kadena Gym at 5:30am and did the 10K route on the base. Then, we got registered for the monthly 5K races at 6:45am. Amy was slotted to mentor a new runner so I did this portion alone.

Proving that I am still a rookie runner: My watch died on mile 4 and my I-pod died on mile 5. Amy sent me our run stats later in the day!

Stats on the 6-mile run:

Mile 1: 10:16

Mile 2: 9:56

Mile 3: 9:55

Mile 4: 10:00

Mile 5: 10:00

Mile 6: 9:56

Independence Day 5K run time: 31:24

I am super stoked about our ability to stay so consistent on this distance. The 10K course was rolling and the 5K course includes a very challenging hill.

New things I tried:

  • I put my recovery Nuun tablets into my camelbak so I could try out replenishing electrolytes while I ran (it is so humid here we sweat buckets).
  • Ate my first Hammer Gel for replenishment after the 1-hour mark and right before the 5K.

Pro’s/Con’s:

  • Pro: I didn’t get a headache like normal on my LSR b/c of the Nuun tabs.
  • Con: the water got disgustingly warm and fizzy from sloshing about on my camelbak
  • Pro: the hammer gel was a lifesaver and I am so glad I took extra plain water to drink with it and make sure it settled in my stomach before the 5K run started.
  • Con: I need to find something a little more substantial to eat during these long training runs (over an hour), midway through the 5K my stomach started to growl and I was becoming distracted by my hunger pangs.

I made sure and got a good breakfast in my stomach as soon as I got home (I had two hard boiled egg whites, apples sauce and a banana before I left). The rest of the day I focused on protein intake and never let myself go hungry. Towards the end of the running my quads were feeling sore and my knees too. I iced all the areas that seemed a little sore intermittently the whole day and I never felt any more pain afterwards.

Nutritional Tidbits:

I have perfected my recovery smoothie and want to share!

In my blender I put:

4oz of Apple Juice (100% pure juice – look on the label for the kinds that say their ingredients are APPLES and practically nothing else!).

This is at the Commissary in a plastic jug on the bottom shelf in the juice isle.

1 cup of frozen fruit.

1 packet of Stevia b/c it is pure dextrose.

2 tbsp of protein powder or (most recently) Yoplait Protein Yogurt (one or the other not both)

2 heaping Tbsp of Plain Organic Greek yogurt (this is if you are not using the protein yogurt).

1 Banana (optional) – for starches and simple sugars

a pinch of salt – for electrolyte

Why do I choose these particular ingredients?

Based off of the information from the Paleo for Athlete’s book they suggest some goals for the first 30 minutes post exercise:

  • Replace expended carbohydrate stores: glucose (aka dextrose) = quick recovery, fructose = steady and slow release. Best taken as liquid for quick digestion. This why I use 1 packet of Stevia
  • Rehydrate: You can loose half a gallon of sweat per hour. This needs to be continuous – so drink fluids for the rest of the day not just this window. 16oz of fluids for every pound lost during exercise. Apple Juice is a good choice b/c it bolsters carbohydrate stores and is rich in most electrolytes.
  • Provide Amino Acids for re-synthesis of protein that may have been damaged during exercise. Best source of protein is egg or whey. Heat increases the need for both carbohydrates and protein.
  • Begin replacing electrolytes – add a pinch of salt.
  • Reduce acidity of body fluids w/ fruits and vegetables – frozen fruit.

 

The Whey Protein has 17g of protein - but it is an expensive option

If you are nervous/unsure of protein powders try the protein yogurt instead!

 

In the end the optimum recovery tools are sleep and diet!

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