11-28-2012

Strawberry Avocado Salad

This week I’m all about trying new recipes! Today for lunch I had some leftover veggie stew from last night (cooked in my crock pot!) and a strawberry avocado salad. I got the idea from Flourishing Foodie. I have wanted to add fruit to my salads for the longest time but never did because I usually have either tuna or chicken in them, and the thought of fruit with that creeped me out. I’m lame, I know.

So when I made my salads in jars this weekend, I made sure to include this one. Here’s the recipe, with my modifications in bold:

STRAWBERRY AVOCADO SALAD RECIPE
makes 4 salads

INGREDIENTS
4 cups baby spinach
1 avocado, diced
2 cups strawberries, halved
2 – 3 shallots, sliced (didn’t have these)
1/2 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lime juice (didn’t have this, but I used balsamic vinegar to mix with the olive oil)
1 tbsp sugar (didn’t add this)
2 tbsp Dijon mustard (I used honey dijon…yummm)
1/2 tsp salt
cracked pepper
1/4 cup sliced almonds

In a large serving bowl, add the spinach and top with avocado, strawberries, and shallots.
In a small jar with a lid, combine the olive oil, lime juice, sugar, mustard, salt, and pepper. Cover and shake.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad, and sprinkle on the almonds.

It was delicious! I’m not a huge avocado fan but I’m going to try adding it into my salads.

I know this week has been a lot of food and recipes, so I will try to film a new workout video this weekend!

For more healthy tips, recipes, workouts, etc., feel free to follow me on Pinterest =)

11-28-2012

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day

It’s Wednesday…half way done with the week! How is everyone’s week going? Mine’s a bit stressful as I have multiple papers due after the weekend, but oh well.

Here are some healthy links for you!

  • Kale Salad with Lemon Avocado Dressing (Modern Girl Nutrition) – This looks delicious! I am trying to get into just veggie salads as snacks (with no meat). Think I will have to try this one. Also, this blogger is 15! Good for her for leading a health lifestyle! I certainly wasn’t into salads when I was 15.
  • Motivation Tips (Sensual Appeal) – Sometimes we all lack a little motivation to keep striving towards our fitness goals. Here are some great tips!
  • Biggest Runner Mistake: Not Resting (Run To The Finish) – Are you a runner? Always trying to get your miles in? Maybe it’s time for a rest…
  • 7 Winter Essentials That You and Your Gymbag Need (Fit Sugar) – When I do runs in the morning, I’m all about that dry shampoo. And I love fleece headbands for outdoor runs. What are your essentials?
  • Easiest Healthiest Cookie Recipe in the World (Blogilates) – Only 2 ingredients! Need to try these out for my sweet tooth problems ;)

Do you have a healthy sweet treat you enjoy? I love 90% dark chocolate!

11-27-2012

Honey garlic chicken crockpot recipe

I made my first crock-pot dish…and it was awesome! It was great to come home from work, go to the gym, and know dinner would be ready once I got back. Usually my mom and I start cooking after the gym around 7.

For my first crock-pot dinner, I decided to try this honey garlic chicken recipe fromĀ Crockpot 365. It looked simple enough and I liked that you could also use it as freezer dinner. The recipe is below, and my modifications are in bold:

Ingredients

1 1/2 to 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken thighs (I used chicken breasts)
3 garlic cloves, smashed and chopped (I used 2 teaspoons of pre-minced garlic you can buy)
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 cupĀ  soy sauce (La Choy or Tamari wheat-free are gluten free)
1/2 cup ketchup (I didn’t want a ton of ketchup for nutritional reasons, so I just squirted a good amount in there)
1/3 cup honey (Again, I just squirted some in there)

The Directions

Use a 4-quart slow cooker (if using a 6-quart, this will cook faster. Check after 3 hours on high, 5 hours on low).
Put the chicken into your cooker. In a small bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients, then pour evenly over the top.
Cook on low for 6 hours or high for 3-4 (I’d go with low—).
Serve with basmati rice and steamed or roasted vegetables. I put all ingredients in a bag and let it marinate overnight, then poured it into the pot in the morning.

My opinion: it was delicious! I like how the chicken got really soft and shredded. It was perfect over rice because it had a little sauce to it. It would go well with roasted veggies as well. My mom is making a beef & vegetable stew in the crock-pot today, so I’ll keep you posted on that. Let me know if you decide to try this!

11-26-2012

This week’s grocery list + salad in a jar!

Food-wise, I am really excited for this upcoming week.

I got a crock pot, which I have wanted for a while. My mom and I found a few recipes and went grocery shopping Sunday to pick up a bunch of veggies and ingredients. Currently, we have “honey-garlic chicken” cooking in the pot. Can’t wait to get home later and see how it tastes!

Here’s what we picked up this week:

  • chicken breasts
  • celery, red peppers, carrots (for hummus dipping, and for cooking)
  • onions
  • soy sauce (for marinating chicken before using the crock pot)
  • apples
  • bananas (a must for me!)
  • strawberries (for salads and snacking)
  • mixed greens (again, I have a salad for lunch almost every day)
  • more tea
  • cherry tomatoes (snacking and for salads)
  • eggs
  • avocados
  • feta cheese (for salads)
  • almonds (for salads)
  • chickpeas, pinto beans (for cooking and I love beans in my salads)
  • organic crushed tomatoes (for cooking)

I can’t wait to try out the recipes I found, and I will definitely share them once I do!

My mom and I also decided to cut up everything we could in advance, so prep time for cooking is much less. I also decided to try to prepare my lunch salads in advance as well. I saw the idea for jarred salads on Pinterest, and I finally got around to trying it!

 

 

Top photo is my cut up fruits and veggies in the fridge, bottom is my salads!

You would think your salads would get soggy, but I had one today and it was perfect. You put the “wet” ingredients on the bottom, such as dressings (I use olive oil and balsamic), cucumbers, tomatoes, celery, etc. The middle layer is other ingredients, such as chickpeas, any fruits, etc. The top layer is the lettuce, which won’t get soggy since it’s not touching the dressing. I also put my almonds and cheese at the top. Today, I mixed it all up in the jar, poured it in my lunch container and was ready to go!

I’ll keep you posted on how the other salads end up…supposedly they can last a week.

Do you prepare your foods for the week in advance?

11-26-2012

Motivational Monday!

Here’s a little tough love for ya:

I know many of us have derailed from our healthy diets due to Thanksgiving…it’s ok to admit it…I did too! My healthy eating all went down hill from Thursday onwards. But don’t let that continue through the new year. Yes, it’s the holidays, but Thanksgiving is one day, and Christmas isn’t for another month, so what is your excuse for that time in between?

During this time, it is so easy to get derailed and eat and drink and be merry. That is okay. I will never say restrict yourself to anything…I’m all about splurges every once in a while, as long as you are healthy 80% of the time! That being said, if you do have a bad day of eating or no exercising, don’t let that ruin the rest of the week. Even I get trapped into this thinking…heck, it happened to me this week! After Thanksgiving, I was like well, I’m eating leftovers, which is a bunch of carbs…so I might as well eat those cookies then since I already ate like crap! Wrong. Let’s make a pact to not do that! The quote above sums it up perfectly. If you make one unhealthy choice, make the rest of your choices be awesome. Have a cookie or two, but eat a great, nutritious dinner.

Leave a comment or “like” if you are in this with me! Let’s not let the holiday season derail what we have worked for up until this point. Work hard, eat clean…at least until the next feast (Christmas, Hanukkah, etc.).

11-24-2012

My Fitness Gear Wishlist

‘Tis the holiday season…meaning time to make a wishlist! Here’s what I came up with:

  • Lululemon Run:Swiftly Turtleneck for cold running
  • Nike Capri Pants because I recently discovered how awesome capri pants are! I was always a shorts girl.
  • Yurbuds for the gym/running. Apparently they don’t fall out of your ears, so I need to try these out for myself!
  • Reebok Crossfit Board Shorts Blonde Ponytail posted about them and I have wanted them ever since! I am all about thick waistbands.
  • Nike sports bras because you can never have enough
  • Lululemon Star Runner Tights perfect for colder weather running and they have a bunch of zipper pockets which are great during long runs.

What’s on your wishlist this year?

11-22-2012

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am thankful for so many things: family, friends, my health, being blessed with the ability to exercise each day, being able to attend graduate school, my home, and so much more.

And I am thankful for the readers who make this blog possible! Thank you for reading what I post on here…I hope it helps you or motivates you in at least some way daily :)

I hope everyone has a great Thanksgiving with the people they love, and delicious food!

11-21-2012

New Workout Tunes!

Just downloaded some new music before my afternoon run. I am loving Ne-yo’s new song!

What songs are currently on your playlist?

11-21-2012

Health/Fitness Links To Get You Through The Day *Thanksgiving Edition*

It’s almost Thanksgiving!! What are your plans? Are you as excited to stuff your face as I am? Hey, I also plan on going to the gym today, tomorrow and on Black Friday (does shopping count as exercise too?).

Here are some Thanksgiving related tips and info for you!

I hope you were able to draw some ideas from these helpful links. Again, I think it’s perfectly fine to indulge, just try to workout the day before, of, or after. If you can’t, then just don’t go crazy with the mashed potatoes and stuffing. One day will not make or break you and your success thus far. Don’t be too hard on yourself this Thanksgiving!

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving dish? What do you plan on indulging in? Mine is mashed potatoes..yummmm

11-20-2012

Race Recap: NYRR Race to Deliver 4 Miler

Let me start this post by saying…my mom and I have completed 9 races out of the 9+1 NYRR program!!! Which means, we just have to volunteer, and then we are set for the 2013 ING New York City Marathon!!!! Words cannot explain how excited I am. I plan on conquering that course, and coming back with a vengeance after last year :)

Anyway, my mom and I were excited this was the last race we had to do. Don’t get me wrong, I have loved running in NYRR races, but it’s getting cold and driving back and forth to NYC every few weeks is $$$$$.

That morning was pretty cold when we got to the park (35 degrees I believe), but we started jogging and warming up, so once the race started it wasn’t that bad.

Photo credit: instagram.com/saenim

I told my mom we’d start off easy and feel it out. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to run this race faster to test myself out, or take it easy. My last race of the year is Dec. 8 (5K), and I kind of wanted to see what pace I could run 4 miles in. After a mile, I was feeling awesome, so we decided to run a bit faster. We weren’t going 5K pace by any means, or close to our max, but it definitely wasn’t an easy, comfortable pace!

I felt really strong, even going up those Central Park hills. As my RunKeeper app told me my splits, I knew I would get a PR or close to a PR in the 4 mile. I was just excited I was feeling awesome!

I ended up finishing in……

OH WAIT. I have no idea because my D-tag didn’t work for some reason so NYRR didn’t post my results. Sad. Luckily, I was using my RunKeeper. Actually, it’s pretty weird that happened at the ONLY race I was using my GPS tracking app. Good thing I did! The only downside is, that the final distance said 4.1 miles, not 4. It’s common for GPS watches and apps to be a little long during races, because most people don’t run the tangents of the course (which is how courses are measured out). Therefore, I have no clue if I officially PR-ed, but I’m guessing that since my 4.1 mile time is the same time as a previous 4 mile time, that I did get my best time. My guesstimate is 35:45.

Splits for 4.1 miles

Afterwards, we got our water and bagels and went to get our picture taken. We planned this pose in advance :-p

Holding up 9 fingers for 9 races DONE

It was a beautiful day in the park and the perfect temp. It was in the 40s but once we warmed up we were actually wishing we didn’t wear our cold gear tops.

I found this picture of the race on Instagram too…I thought it beautifully depicts fall/November in Central Park:

Photo credit: instagram.com/saenim

We couldn’t be happier than we completed our goal of 9 races in 2012 with NYRR! It’s been a great running year :)

What’s your next road race?