Upcoming Races and a Roasted Salad

I really hope that yesterday was our last cold day of the season! I worked at noon so I did my long run starting around 7:30 and I froze. It was about 9F when I woke up and was 17 or so when I finished. Luckily it wasn’t windy but I definitely did not dress warm enough because I actually started getting really cold halfway through my run. You’d think that I would know exactly how to dress since I work at a running store but I thought that it would warm up a little more along my route.

Why am I doing long runs? I have decided that I’m definitely going to run a marathon in May. I think I’m going to run Madison this time but haven’t actually signed up yet. I tend to procrastinate on those things. Has anyone run it before? OR, do you have any other great spring marathons that I should do? I’m open to suggestions.

I did, however, sign up to run the Get Lucky triple 7K on St. Patty’s Day. Runs themed around a holiday are always fun and exciting because you never know what people are going to wear! I don’t know what I’m going to wear! I really don’t own a whole lot of green clothing and don’t think that it would be comfortable running 13.1 with a shamrock headband on…. Maybe I’ll make a shirt. I wish that Elysia could run it with me but I guess I’m flying solo this time around. Are any of you signed up?

All of this spring training has me thinking of warmer weather, which usually means that I tend to eat quick and lighter meals. In fact, sometimes I just crave a giant salad and because both of us are incapable of making something without adding a gazillion little touches to it, my salads are usually never plain. I love to mix in raw and cooked veggies for a little variety, and roasting veggies is usually my favorite way to prepare the because they turn out to have so much flavor!

If you don’t usually like beets, I encourage you to try them roasted. Adding a sprinkle of salt and pepper to them brings out their flavor, and truffle oil is always my favorite addition. Slicing these beets thinly turn them into crispy chips, but you could always cut them into chunks as well if you want them roasted (they will just take a little longer).

Spinach Salad with Roasted Veggies and Truffled Beet Chips

  • 2-3 cups Baby Spinach
  • 1 Medium Carrot
  • 1 cup Cauliflower (cut into large pieces)
  • 1 medium Beet
  • 1 medium Tomato
  • 1/2 cup Beans of Choice
  • Garlic Salt, Pepper, Nutritional Yeast, Italian Spice Blend
  • 1 tsp. Canola Oil
  • 1 tsp. Truffle Oil (black or white)
  • 1-2 tsp. Balsamic Vinegar (I used Raspberry-flavored)

– Preheat oven to 415° F.

– Slice the tomato and beet into thin slices. I used a veggie peeler for the beet and a sharp knife for the tomato. Cut the carrot in half width-wise and then cut it into smaller pieces lengthwise (2-3 times depending on the size of your carrot).

– Spray a foil-lined baking sheet with cooking spray and then spread the tomato slices across it. Sprinkle with a mixture of garlic salt, nutritional yeast, and the Italian Spices.

– In a bowl, add the carrot and cauliflower and toss with the canola oil and salt and pepper to taste. Then arrange these on the baking sheet as well.

– Toss the thinly-sliced beet with truffle oil and a sprinkle of salt and then add them to the baking sheet (you may need more than one). Alternatively, I have a bottle of spray truffle-oil that works well too.

– Roast the veggies in the oven for 20-30 minutes, flipping them halfway through. The beets should become slightly crispy.

– Meanwhile, toss the spinach with the Balsamic Vinegar and salt and pepper, to taste. When the veggies are cooked, add them to the spinach and throw the beans on top, mixing everything together. If you like, enjoy the beet chips by themselves! Also, adding a serving of millet or other grain would make a perfect full meal for dinner.

Thinly-Sliced beets. I may have gotten a little carried away with the veggie peeler...

I topped my salad with pinto beans to add a little protein.

Do you have any races coming up??


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year! I know we’re a couple of days late for New Year wishes but better late than never, right? As Elysia mentioned, we’re detoxifying our bodies after a holiday season filled with too many sweets and food that made us feel less than 100%.

This past summer we went to a Vegetarian Festival outside of Chicago where one of the speakers discussed raw foods and health. One thing that she talked about that stuck with me is the definition of food. The dictionary describes it as:

Material, usually of plant or animal origin, that contains or consists of essential body nutrients, such as carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, or minerals, and is ingested and assimilated by an organism to produce energy, stimulate growth, and maintain life.

She then went on to talk about how many of the items that we consider ‘food’ today, really don’t fit that definition. Do Cheetos really nourish you and provide ‘essential body nutrients’? Sure, they may fill your stomach but they really don’t do anything for you other than leave you ultimately feeling like a sloth with orange fingers. Obviously we don’t eat Cheetos since they contain cheese, but there are a lot of vegan junk food options out there that we’ve enjoyed a little too much lately.

We set out yesterday both planning on doing the Whole Living action plan, but have since decided that it is somewhat poorly written. For instance, these are the ‘six to skip’ for the whole cleanse:

  1. Processed foods and beverages.
  2. Added Sugar
  3. Dairy
  4. Gluten
  5. Caffeine
  6. Alcohol

Those are easy enough. Stay to the outside of the grocery store when shopping and you’ve missed most of the processed foods. Gluten will be a challenge but we are skipping it. The above six aren’t what we found confusing. In the magazine itself, it says that we should eat ‘fruits, vegetables, and plant-based fats, including nuts, seeds, and oils’ in week one and ‘add seafood, beans and lentils, and organic soy’ back in week two. However, under week one snacks and in some recipes they include beans.  Because of this and other questionable items we have decided to modify the detox a bit.  We’ll still leave out the ‘six to skip’ but will be eating beans this week. Other than that, we’re going to follow it unless other things are confusing. Ultimately the most important thing for me is to eat real, not processed foods that will nourish our bodies and start 2012 off the right way!

Whether you’re following a detox, dieting, or just trying to eat healthier, there is one thing that is in abundance in all plans; vegetables! So have a salad for lunch and try new veggies that you haven’t before (you never know what you’ll like). The following isn’t a recipe, per se, because you can sub whichever vegetables you like, but here’s some inspiration for starting the year off right:

Detox-Friendly Salad
Serves 1]

  • 1 Portabella Mushroom
  • 2 mini bell peppers
  • 1/4 red onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 1 Tablespoon Nutritional Yeast
  • Garlic Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups dark, leafy greens (I use Mache and Spinach)
  • 1/4 medium avocado, sliced
  • 1 Tablespoon raw pepitas (pumpkin seeds)
  • drizzle of truffle oil (or other oil)

– Preheat oven to 400F.
– Cut the mushroom, peppers, onion and tomato into slices. Then layer them in a small baking dish with the mushroom on the bottom followed by a sprinkle of nutritional yeast/garlic salt, then the peppers and onions, more nutritional yeast, tomato slices and another sprinkle of nutritional yeast/garlic salt.
– Cook until the mushrooms are desired doneness (about 35-40 minutes).
– In a large bowl or plate add the greens, pepitas, cooked veggies and avocado.
– Drizzle with truffle oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste.

I like to use a combination of cooked and raw veggies in my salads to change things up a bit, but feel free to figure out what you like and sub in as many veggies as you want!

Are you doing a 2012 Detox or just trying to eat healthier?