Training Week #15: 18 Miles

Yet again, this was a tough run. It was made especially hard since I’m coming off a 4-week (flippin’…FOUR WEEKS) cold that turned into bronchitis…the last month has been exhausting from that alone. Whatever, I’m just glad to wake up and not cough up a lung. So, following my doctor’s orders to not move from my bed, I took a two week break before our early morning 18-mile run. I was a little nervous that my legs would stop working, and they almost did, but I finished. And I kept running a quote from famed runner Dean Karnazes through my head:

“Run when you can, walk if you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up.”

Excellent advice from an inspiring athlete.

Beach Run2

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Training Week #13: 16 Miles

Whew! Sixteen miles. So that’s done. This was the training run that really made everything click—that this marathon is happening and running it is really hard. Twelve miles was hard. Fourteen miles was hard. But this week, 16 miles was painful. Especially once we hit the last three miles, when I felt like I was crawling through an ocean of molasses just trying to get back to the parking lot. Weirdly, this has made me even more excited for our 18 mile run coming up in two weeks.

The best thing we did was switch up the scenery and run at the beach. We started just south of the Santa Monica Pier and ran four miles north, just a little past Temescal Canyon Road. It was a beautiful day at the beach. We are so lucky to live here!

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A Happy Start to the New Year: Vegan Whole Wheat Waffles

Happy 2014, everyone! Instead of black-eyed peas, we started the new year with whole wheat waffles, a recipe from “Vegan Cooking for Carnivores” by Roberto Martin. Don’t worry, you don’t even have to ask—they are sooo freaking good. Highly recommend. I also recommend buying the cookbook if you’re curious about a vegan diet—Roberto is excellent at making a plant-based diet palatable to those who prefer the meatier side of food.

breakfast

Ingredients

Step 1: In a medium bowl, combine the flours, baking powder, cinnamon and salt.

Step 2: Stir in the milk, water, applesauce and melted butter until well incorporated.

Step 3: Let the batter rest for about 5 minutes while you preheat the waffle iron.

Step 4: Spray the preheated waffle iron with nonstick spray and cook the waffles according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Serve with maple syrup.

*Makes 8 medium waffles.

Ring in the New Year with Healthy Habits

I’m a big believer in New Year’s resolutions. Most people wait until January 1 to start on their new goals, but I like to jump in head first—two weeks early (though, I realize right now we’re less than a week from NYE). I’ve been doing this for a few years now, and it’s always much more effective when you can step into the new year with a strong start on your resolutions.

It’s easier to exercise daily/lose 10 pounds/eat healthier/volunteer more if you’ve not only been doing so for two weeks, but you managed to fit those things in around the holidays. Plus, when you’ve planned ahead and started your resolutions early, you won’t wake up on New Year’s Day hungover and thinking, “I’ll just start eating healthy tomorrow…”—that’s the end of the beginning.

One more tip? Tell bunches of people your resolutions so you’ll feel accountable to your words. (Mine are below! And if your resolutions include charity work, start now! Find details on donating to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital here!)

So what are your resolutions? Do you guys have any special tips on sticking to those goals for 2014?

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Marathon Training vs. a Nasty Cold

Marathon training is going so well, to the point where I look forward to 12-mile runs on a Saturday morning. And right smack dab in the middle of all that goodness—a cold hits. Like, I woke up this morning and it was all stuffy nose, sore throat and cough, cough, cough. So now I’m trying to speed heal in order to be ready for our 14-mile training run this weekend. This weekend! So soon!

My go-to cold remedy is always a vegan diet, and the lack of dairy contributes to a lack of mucus, so, hopefully I’ll be feeling better tomorrow morning. We’ll see. (I’m not much for over-the-counter cold meds, they  make me spacey and a little nauseated.) For now, it’s lots of healthy foods and maybe—just maybe—some super helpful advice from my favorite bloggers? Any suggestions for feeling better soon are welcome!

Side note: Because we’re in Los Angeles, we have the chance to try Amazon Fresh grocery delivery. We had bunches of fresh produce delivered today at Trader Joe’s prices. Worth. Every (though not many). Penny.

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The Happy: My Weight Loss Journey on EverydayHealth.com!

Hi friends! I’m so excited to announce that I’ve written up my weight-loss journey and success story on EverydayHealth.com. Thank you so much to the wonderful team at Everyday Health—I’m thrilled to share this with all of you! Please check it out!

Screen Shot 2013-12-16 at 5.17.40 PM{Click through to read the rest of the article.}

Marathon Training Week #6

Today we ran hills, hills, hills, at Reseda. We ran 3.1 miles out to Nike Tower and back, and oh man, that was hard. Many, many times we wanted to stop and walk, but not for the reasons you should, such as an injury—we just needed to push through.

And we did! It wasn’t our fastest finish, but it was our best because we didn’t give up. Woo! I snapped a pic from the parking lot, but next time (oh yes, there are multiple hill training runs in our future), I’ll bring my phone to play some motivating music and take advantage of the view from the tower.

hills

Moroccan Couscous—My All-Time Favorite Vegan Recipe

So, you guys, this is the best. Whether you’re a meat eater or a plant-based-diet lover, you’re going to love this recipe, it’s so yummy and easy. It’s from Alicia Silverstone‘s “The Kind Diet” and so worth trying.

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Ingredients:

  • 2 cups peeled butternut squash, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 cubes
  • 2 cups yellow onion, large dice
  • 1.5 cups carrots, cut into 1/4 to 1/2 cubes
  • 1.5 cups zucchini, cut into 3/4 cubes
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • Fine sea salt
  • 1.5 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1.5  cups vegetable broth
  • 2 tablespoons Earth Balance butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads
  • 1.5  cups whole wheat couscous
  • 2 scallions, white and green parts, chopped

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Step 2: Place the squash, onion, carrots and zucchini on a baking sheet and toss with olive oil, 1 teaspoon salt and 1 teaspoon pepper.

Step 3: Roast for 25 to 30 minutes, turning once with a spatula about midway through.

Step 4: While the vegetables roast, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a saucepan.

Step 5: Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter, remaining 1/2 teaspoon pepper, cumin, saffron and salt to taste.

Step 6: Cover the pan and steep for 15 minutes.

Step 7: Scrape the roasted vegetables and their juices into a large bowl and add the couscous.

Step 8: Bring the vegetable broth back to a boil, and pour over the couscous mixture all at once.

Step 9: Cover tightly with a plate and allow to stand for 15 minutes.

Step 10: Add the scallions, toss the couscous and vegetables with a fork, and serve

Morning Run and an Amazing View

We are in week #6 of training for the 2014 L.A. Marathon, and I’ve been trying to squeeze in some runs before work. This morning, I finished up and decided I had enough energy to do stairs in my building. When I got to the top of the stairs, which end at the door to the roof, I realized I’d never taken advantage of our top-of-the-building view! I got there just as the sun came up. Beautiful—a great way to start the morning!

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