Sunday, 15 April 2012 11:44

A Taste Of Puerto Rico

A Taste Of Puerto Rico is a cookbook that my Mom gave me years and years ago.  I think I cracked the spine on that book once.  I felt like I knew how to cook the dishes I wanted, and what I didn't know Mom knew how to make.  When Karen and I went to Puerto Rico at the end of March for the 70.3 San Juan race I was brought back to the kitchen of my mother. The flavors exploded in my mouth and I was determined to re-create everything I ate.  This included mofongo, tofu in criollo sauce, platanos maduros, and arroz con bichuela.  Those dishes would be a fried plantain dish.  Criollo sauce is a tomato based sauce with peppers and capers.  Platanos maduros are fried plantains that are squashed and fried twice.  Arroz con habichuelas is rice and beans, typically made with pinto beans but I love black beans. For a few weeks I kept playing over and over in my head how to make any or all of these dishes in one night.  Then while at the CPR/AED course yesterday I was inspired and when I got home I knew what I was having for dinner.  Part of the inspiration came from watching Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network where the highlighted restaurant boiled the plantains.  This idea made it easier to make the mofongo because I would not have to fry it.  Side note I have eliminated oil from diet thanks to Engine 2 Diet and consequently have lost 3 pounds in a week effortlessly. Here are the recipes for the various pieces to the dish I made last night.  All servings are for one person.

Arroz Con Habicuelas (Rice and Beans)

This is a take off on that since I used quinoa instead of rice, but if you were to use rice I would use long grain brown rice.

Ingredients: 1/2c Quinoa (cleaned), 1 1/2c Vegetable Stock, 1/4c Black Beans (rinsed and drained), 1/4c White Onion (chopped)

Nutritional Information: 259 calories, 2.5g Fat, 60g Carbs, 17.5g Fiber, 14.6g Protein


  • In medium pot on medium-high heat add quinoa and toast for 3-5 minutes.
  • In separate pot add beans, onions and enough water to cover.  Turn heat to medium-low and cover.
  • Add vegetable stock to quinoa, cover with lid and bring to boil.
  • Lower heat to simmer.
  • Allow quinoa to absorb all the liquid.
  • When all the liquid is gone turn off heat, remove pot and set aside.
Green and Mushroom Empanadas
Ingredients: 1/2c Whole Wheat Flour, 4-6 Tbsp Warm Water, 1-1 1/2c of Greens (I used Turnip Greens, Kale, Spinach, and Cilantro), 3 Baby Bella Mushroom (chopped)
Nutritional Information: 245calories, 1.2g Fat, 46.6g Carbs, 6.8g Fiber, 14.5g Protein Directions:
  • Preheat oven to 405*
  • In food processor add flour and turn on.
  • While blade is going drizzle water in until a dough is formed.
  • Take dough out of food processor and set aside on wax paper.
  • While dough is resting bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add all the greens.
  • Once greens have wilted remove from water and place on towel.
  • Squeeze all the excess water out, add mushrooms and combine well.
  • Roll out dough into 3" circles.  Add in green/mushroom mixture and fold dough over.
  • Pinch with work and set aside on silpat on baking tray.
Ingredients: 1 Plantain, 4 Garlic Cloves, 1/2c Vegetable Stock
Nutritional Information: 260 calories, 0.06g Fat, 68.5g Carbs, 5g Fiber, 2.8g Protein
  • Bring medium pot of water to boil.
  • Cut plantain into large pieces and add to water.
  • Allow to boil until softened.  Approximately 10-15 minutes.
  • In food processor add garlic and vegetable stock.  Once plantains have boiled add them to food processor as well.
  • Pulse the ingredients until they are well combined and somewhat sticky (that is the starch releasing from the plantain.)
  • Set ring molds on same baking sheet as the empanadas and fill to top with mixture.
  • Place in oven and cook for 10-15 minutes until tops begin to brown.
  • Once tops are browning extract mofongo from the ring mold and flip over.
  • Remove empanadas from the tray and set to broil.
  • Broil the mofongo for another 5-10 minutes until golden brown.
Serve all the pieces together on a plate and enjoy.
Nutritional Information (entire plate): 764 calories, 4g Fat, 175g Carbs, 29g Fiber, 31g Protein
Nutritional Breakdown (entire plate): 81.4% Carbs, 14.4% Protein, 4.2% Fat
Ideally you would like more fat and one way to do that would be to add a medium avocado to the plate.  The medium avocado would add 161 calories to the dish, but bring the nutritional breakdown to 71% Carbs, 13% Protein, 16% Fat.

[flagallery gid=13 name="Puerto Rican Cuisine"]

Published in Lunch Recipes
Wednesday, 07 December 2011 12:46

Las Vegas More Than A Marathon Race Report

Viva Las Vegas by Karen Bahamundi I decided to write a race recap about my events in Vegas, but then decided to share my life events leading up to Vegas instead - so reversing back to one year ago.... I had run my first marathon on 12/4/2010- not a great time, but it was done, and the WHOLE time my face hurt.  My awesome trainer (Claudia Spooner) was surprised this is what hurt but turns out I had a sinus infection and double ear infection. After this event.. I kept getting sick over and over during the new year but pushed through and kept running and running and running, until one day after a race, I couldn't walk. It appeared either an elephant stepped on my foot or I was injured. The next day - got X-rays and a brand new boot to wear for a minimum of 6 weeks. AWESOME.  Depression sets in. I deal with stress by running, and when this is taken away, I am angry, hungry, and depressed.  I joined boot camp - yes with a boot on, but also didn't get that feeling you get after running and was in a bad place. Seems my world was crashing around me.. I gained ALOT of weight, I couldn't look in the mirror without thinking - UGLY, I couldn't fit in my clothes,  I didn't want to leave the house and be social, and the worst part of it all - I am dealing with my mother losing her memory day by day, as she is slipping away from me with Alzheimer's.  Downward spiral. I kept going to boot camp, and trying to keep moving to survive, but nothing worked and I still continued to feel crappy.  I finally went to the ENT Dr and was told I had over 5 issues including a deviated septum and other various things that kept making me sick and this was the reason why I couldn't breath thru my left nostril and was constantly congested. I opted to go for the surgery over 4 meds daily, and see if I could stop the meds completely.  Surgery was scheduled a few days after I got my boot off, and the recovery was a b*tch, but when I started to feel better, I was shocked that I could smell grass, toothpaste, EVERYTHING! Now I had no more excuses since I was released to run and the surgery to fix my sinus issue was done.. I needed a HUGE goal  Mid-summer, Jason and I decided to sign up for the RNR - Vegas as a birthday get away for both of us, and the journey of me began. I took the first step at boot camp getting weighed and measured and was shocked not by my weight (because I had been weighing daily) but my body fat content was 35%. Holy SH*T!!!  I was beyond shocked and knew at that moment something had to change.  I HAD to lose weight. My goal to lose all the weight was Vegas 12/5. I would not be the wife of an endurance athlete in super-sized clothes. I was ashamed of myself, my look and my appearance, and I didn't want to be the overweight wife that was with Jason when we met up with all the other athletes in Vegas. I wanted to walk in the room with Jason as a couple that reflects good health. It was time, and I had a HARD goal. Rather than bore you with all the logistics of how I did this - I will give bullet points of some ways I achieved my goal:
  • Ramping up running as much as I can
  • Boot camp - 2-3 x a week - loving it
  • No more snacks that were bad - my new snack is ONLY veggies or popcorn - this was tough with a 5-year-old that loves to share his goodies!
  • Drinking meal replacement shakes to help cut calories back.
  • Water - lots of it
  • No sweets - OMG - this is hard since my office peeps love food
I was working out 6 days a week and finally the weight was coming off - first a few lbs here, and then before too long, my energy level was UP and I was working out harder, and running faster and felt good. Clothes were slipping off of me, and I saw a change and wanted to keep moving, and would not stop. I had a goal weight for Vegas and I wanted to achieve it. 12/5/2011  Race day. I am 2 lbs away from my goal weight and wondering if it was the  3 beers I had the nite before at the blogger meetup - (meeting Beal - WPS - awesome) or the 5 pumpkin pancakes I ate race morning (They were small and I was hungry!) but I was close enough to my goal weight and I knew I was ready.  I was not planning on a PR - just to finish and feel good about it. I grabbed Jason’s hand prior to the race and made him sit in silence while I prayed for a good race for him and threw a little something in for me as well. Overall the race itself was a cluster. (I could go into details - but just go to the Facebook page and read away, I am done talking about the chaos) When my corral was released I put on music and just told myself - “YES YOU CAN” I would not stop for anything and repeated this mantra over and over - and my body and mind cooperated. I fueled well - while running, grabbed small sips of water at only a few stations, and maneuvered thru the bottleneck keeping a good pace. My legs started aching near the end, but I refused to rest until it was done. I saw the Mandalay Bay and I was on the home stretch. I pushed hard and crossed the line at 1.57.00 and was thrilled, until I realized Jason was not in yet, so I waited in his chute, and met him at the end. It was a bittersweet ending for him as he did PR but didn't qualify for Boston, and I hugged him as hard as I could and told him how much I loved him, and kept my victory silent until he had time to process not qualifying, but instead pushing forward to be an Ironman full force. By the time you read this - I will be celebrating my 43rd birthday, wearing my favorite jeans I wore over six years ago prior to giving birth to my son, and feeling awesome. Was it easy? NO.  I pull out all my smaller clothes and try them on weekly to gauge my progress, and skip the bagels, and numerous birthday cakes at work, and stand far away so I can't smell the icing. I have trained myself to NOT look at the bad stuff.. I come home from work tired, and push myself to workout regardless. I plan my lunches and snacks during the day. I do eat pizza, but I also plan a long run to compensate for this. This is now a lifestyle change for me.  I still have my bad days, dealing with depression because of the Alzheimer's, and other life events, but I maintain my stress better, because I am healthier. Will I have cake today - maybe a little piece but nothing more. I am thankful we went to Vegas.  I got to finally meet Beth who makes me laugh all the time (breaking the barrier) and Beal (I will read your blog someday IF it is titled WPS) and missed EMZ, but we have BIG future plans for 4x times the fun. I met several other cool peeps too - you know who you are!  Jason and I had a getaway, which just is good for us to get away sometimes. My sister and her hubby raced for the first time ever in the half marathon. AND... I lost nearly 30 pounds prior to my 43rd birthday and ran the best race in my life (to date).  I no longer believe in excuses because I am living proof you can do it - and I will keep believing that I can.
Published in Train
Tuesday, 13 December 2011 18:36

Vega Sport Nutrition Review

[caption id="attachment_4861" align="alignright" width="230" caption="Vega Sport Sampler Pack"]vega-sport-vegan-vegetarian-sports-nutrition[/caption] Vega Sports Nutrition contacted me and asked if I would like to review their product.  As a vegetarian I was instantly interested in seeing these products first hand.  I had seen advertisements for them as well as had seen that Brendan Brazier had created the product.  Mr Brazier is a vegan professional triathlete who has an 8th place finish at Ironman Utah in 2002.  He is also the author of Thrive: A Guide to Optimal Health and Performance through a plant-based diet.  So as you can see it was not a stretch for me to not only want to know more but to try out these products. Vega was sent to me in this terrific box that opened up into 4 quadrants that showed the products broken down into its three components.  Those components consisted of Prepare, Sustain, Recover.   [caption id="attachment_4857" align="alignright" width="252" caption="Pre-Workout Energizer"]vega-sport-pre-workout-energizer[/caption] Prepare There were two flavors included in the sampler pack (lemon-lime and acai berry.)  The package states that you should mix the powder with 1 cup of cold water and consume 20 minutes prior to a workout.  Following the directions I started to shake the contents of my water bottle fully expecting to see a yellowish color and to my surprise I saw what could best be described as a murky color. Standing in front of my sink it took a few minutes to decide if I really wanted to consume this product.  As we all know we eat with our eyes first and my eyes were telling me to put it down and walk away as fast as possible.  My mind however told me to drink it and see what I thought.  As I put the water bottle to my lips I was wondering if the taste would match the color and pleasantly it did not. The flavor of lemon-lime came right through and made me forget about the color of the water I was drinking. Since I have switched to drinking my calories before a workout  this worked for me.  If you are a person who has trouble holding down food before working out I suggest you give this product a try.  If you are a vegetarian or a vegan who has been eating peanut butter on an english muffin before a race or workout I would suggest giving this a try to see how your energy is sustained.  I used the Prepare prior to a long swim set and felt strong throughout with no feeling or exhaustion.     [caption id="attachment_4858" align="alignright" width="272" caption="Vega Sport Endurance Bar"]vega-sport-endurance-bar[/caption] Sustain In the package came a Gel, a Hydrator and a Bar.  I would liken the hydrator to Nuun in that it has a subtle taste and fizz.  I did not use the Gel as none of my workouts recently have been long enough to incorporate a Gel into, but I did use the bar during a trainer ride.  This was going to be new for me because since mid-summer I have switched to all liquid nutrition while on the bike and it has suited me very well.  Since I was going to be on the trainer and not far from my house (trainer is in the garage) should I have needed to use the bathroom I would not have to worry about where to stop. I chose to use the Chocolate Mocha (it is also available in Acai Berry) about an hour into a 1.5 hour ride.  The texture of the bar was like most bars that are on the market.  It was chewy and had just enough sweetness to it to curb any cravings but not feel like it would send you into insulin shock.  The mocha flavor left a little to be desired in that I was expecting a strong coffee flavor than what I got.  As a person who loves his coffee it left me wanting that taste.  It settled well in my stomach and was not like other bars I had been using on the bike and not sit like a brick. If you are a person that eats during a bike ride I would recommend switching to these bars as they are not heavy.  As I enter into Ironman training I will experiment with consuming these bars during the first 3 hours of a ride and then switch to all liquid for the last 3 hours.  I have read other blogs and their recommendations have been to eat on the bike in the first half.  I had been eschewing this advice since none of the bars I was consuming was sitting well, but with 190 calories I can consume 2 bars in the first 3 hours along with a drink to get the necessary calories without that heavy feeling.   [caption id="attachment_4859" align="alignright" width="273" caption="Vega Sport Protein Bar"]vega-sport-protein-bar[/caption] Recover The Recover portion of Vega Sports comes with three products.  Recover Accelerator is recommended to be taken within 20 minutes of finishing exercise as it has  a 4:1 Carb:Protein ratio which will help maximize your recovery.  The Performance Protein is recommended to be consumed 30 to 90 minutes upon completion and even throughout the day.  I chose the Protein Bar after my 1.5 hour trainer ride and supplemented it with 2 egg whites on a slice of toasted Ezekiel Sprouted Bread. The bar is packed with 240 calories and comes in Chocolate Coconut and Chocolate SaviSeed.  I went with the chocolate coconut because those are two of my favorite flavors.  Unlike the Sustain bar the flavors of chocolate and coconut come through in this bar.  The bar is chewy and has a great texture.  My biggest fear is having a box of these in the house and just dipping into the box when I'm not working out it tasted that good. I typically pack a recovery smoothie with me on any training that is over two hours and supplement that with a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.  This bar would allow me to not have to make the sandwich if I'm running out of time during preparation.  Also, since it is only 240 calories it would be the perfect recovery tool for any training that is under two hours and the need for all the calories is not necessary. Overall I think the product line is an excellent option for vegetarians and vegans as well as those that are looking for something new to try.  There are multiple flavors of each to try which should satisfy most palettes and the nutritional needs are there as well.  All of the ingredients are pronounceable and are clean.  From a pricing stand-point they are very much inline with other sports nutrition products on the market. I would like to thank Vega Sport for allowing me the opportunity to review this product on my blog.     ** I did not receive compensation and had no expectations of a positive review in return for the sample pack of Vega Sport.
Published in Product Reviews
Monday, 28 November 2011 15:02

Las Vegas Strip At Night Marathon Tapering

las_vegas_marathon_strip_at_nightThe Rock and Roll Las Vegas Strip At Night Marathon is in less than one week from today.  This means that I have already started tapering.  My last long run was on Saturday which was 13.1 miles and that I ran in 1:41 and felt great despite the 20-30 mph winds.  Sunday was a short 3 mile run with paces of 8:20, 8:00 and 7:52 per mile.  Today I had 2000 yards of swimming and the rest of the week are short workouts. When I say short do not interpret that for lack of intensity.  I will be going hard but for a shorter duration of time.  Most of my workouts are anywhere from 30-45 minutes which means lots of rest and recovery for my legs and body. This tapering also means that my diet has to change because I will be training for a total of about 4-5 hours this week as opposed to the 15 hours during triathlon training or even 10-12 hours during marathon training.  I know that I want to board the airplane on Friday morning at 138 pounds with the full knowledge that I will gain a pound or two or three while in Vegas before the race on Sunday.  Today I am at 145 pounds and have given myself a goal of losing 1-2 pounds per day.  I have been very successful since Sunday in accomplishing this goal and it has not been that difficult even though I am not working out as hard or as long as I used to. I have eliminated snacking and have added more calories to my meals and thus allowing my body to carry that full feeling for more hours than I am accustomed to.  For example, this morning before my swim session I drank a cup of coffee and that was all.  I knew that the session would be less than one hour so I did not have a need to fuel before hand.  Afterwards I had two eggs on Ezekiel bread with vegan cheese.  My total calories consumed this morning was 370 calories.  My lunch will be a taco salad without the meat, sour cream, cheese or shell.  Then dinner will be a smoothie with two rice cakes topped with nut butter, honey and a banana. That is the key to me losing this weight and that knowing what my menu will consist of on a daily  basis.  Tomorrow I will be doing a 45 minute run in the morning so there will be nothing to eat before hand, then afterwards will be oatmeal with a piece of fruit.  Lunch will consist of a smoothie with two rice cakes topped with nut butter, honey and a banana.  Dinner will consist of a Naan pizza with a kale pesto, sautéed vegetables and vegan cheese. While considering what I needed to do for my nutrition this week I did some research and found a post that reinforced my thought process and it is a huge help in proving the structure for this week.  You can find the complete post [HERE] and it comes from Marathon Training: State Of The Art. Nutritional Issues Be sure to pack healthy snack foods you may wish to eat the weekend of the marathon.The Week Prior to Your Marathon
  • As you reduce your mileage during the last week, realize that you will not be burning as many calories. Thus, you may gain one or two pounds if you don't cut back a bit on the quantity of your servings early in the week.
  • Use care in selecting foods to eat during this time period, aiming for nutritious and healthy items rather than snack/high fat products.
  • Hydrate well the week before the marathon and in particular, during the carbohydrate loading period (three days prior to the marathon). Research indicates that carbohydrates convert to glycogen more effectively when accompanied with the consumption of water. This is the time when you may gain a couple of pounds, but don't worry about it. This will be your energy fuel during the marathon!
  • If you are traveling out town, be sure to pack healthy snack foods you may wish to eat the weekend of the marathon. Eliminate the need to search for a grocery store that stocks your favorite foods. See Packing List for more information.
  • If traveling by plane to your marathon destination, carry bottled water with you. Flying at high altitudes causes dehydration.
  • As mentioned above, carbohydrate loading begins three days before the marathon. Choose foods for lunch and dinner that are high in carbohydrates (e.g., pasta, potatoes, rice, etc.). Don't neglect fruits, vegetables, and some protein sources however. Try to really scale back on fats during this time.
The Evening Prior to Your Marathon
  • Be sure to eat carbohydrate products that have been "tried and proven" during your training period. Keep pasta sauces simple, avoiding high fat varieties (e.g., alfredo, pesto, etc.). Avoid eating lots of salad items and vegetables (roughage) as these may prove to be troublesome on race day and can cause digestive problems.
  • Stick to water during the evening meal. Because coffee and tea contains caffeine, these products may make it difficult for you to fall asleep easily. Keep in mind that caffeine (as well as alcoholic beverages) are diuretics, which contributes to dehydration.
  • Don't try anything new the week prior to, or during the marathon.
  • Also see Areas of Experimentation for more information.

What Do You Adjust During Your Taper Week?

Do You Layout A Menu For The Full Week Leading Up To Your Race?

Published in Train
Friday, 08 July 2011 14:27

My Athlete's Plate

Yesterday the Athlete's Plate went on hiatus but I had asked a question about what type of pizza I should make for my date night with Karen.  The winner was Kale and Mozzarella,which I discovered from this recipe on Marcus Samuelsson's site. After putting together the post from yesterday I had the idea that I should actually take pictures of what I ate during the day and create my own personal Athlete's Plate to share with you. Please keep in mind my training load when looking at what I am eating.  If you are training less or more than I am then adjustments to your diet will need to be made.  This menu may be too little or too much in terms of the carbs you need to keep your energy up. To help you understand a little bit more I will provide you with my training from yesterday and what I did leading up to yesterday's meals: Yesterday consisted of 3450y swimming in 1 hour and 16 minutes.  That was followed by 1 hour on the trainer with 35 minutes steady and then a 10k Time Trial with 2 miles of recovery.  A fast transition and off for a 20 minute run at 10K pace (7:40/mile.) Including yesterday's training this week I have logged 10 hours and 46 minutes of work.  This time includes 9200y swimming in 3 hours 22 min; 76.26 miles on the bike in 4 hours 18 minutes and 16.41 miles running in 2 hours 20 minutes.  Toss in 45 minutes of strength and core work and you have my week to date (Mon-Thurs.) I hope you enjoy my menu and should you have any questions do not hesitate to ask me. 

Pre-Workout Breakfast - Brown Rice Cakes and Coffee

Ingredients: 2 Lundberg Brown Rice Cakes, 1Tbs Nutella, 1 medium banana, 8 oz black coffee Servings: 1 Directions:

  1. Spread nutella on the rice cakes
  2. Slice banana thinly and place on top of nutella (eat the remaining banana since there will be more after slicing)

Post-Workout Breakfast - Chocolate Raspberry Filled Pancake Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1 cup bisquick, 1Tbs cocoa powder, 2Tbs crunchy peanut butter, 2Tbs walnuts (chopped), 1 medium banana, 1 egg, 1c almond milk, 3Tbs Raspberry preserve
Servings: 3 (makes 6 pancake cupcakes)
  1. Preheat oven to 350*
  2. Line muffin pan with cupcake foil or spray with cooking spray and set aside.
  3. In large bowl mash banana and then mix in peanut butter.
  4. In same bowl add bisquick, eggs and milk and combine well.
  5. Once combined add in walnuts and stir again.
  6. Fill up 6 spots about 1/4 of the way.
  7. Add in 1/2Tbs raspberry preserve to each.
  8. Top off the pancake cupcakes with remainder of batter.
  9. Bake in oven for 15-17 minutes.
  10. Serve with an orange and a little agave nectar on the pancake cupcakes.

Lunch - Mexican Egg Sandwich

Ingredients: 1 egg, 1 artisan flatbread, avocado/tomatillo spread (recipe at bottom), mozzarella cheese, 1 roma tomato, tempeh bacon (recipe at bottom)
Servings: 1
  1. Toast the flatbread and then spread the avocado/tomatillo mixture on both sides.
  2. Add cheese (will melt a bit from heat of bread) then top with tomatoes.
  3. In pan heat up 1Tbs olive oil and cook tempeh until slightly charred on both sides.
  4. In same pan cook egg to your desired consistency
  5. Top the tomatoes with tempeh bacon and fried egg.
  6. Fold in half and enjoy a great tasting sandwich.

PM Snack - Banana and Strawberry Chocolate Hazelnut Spread Sandwich

Ingredients: 2 slices Ezekiel bread, 1Tbs chocolate hazelnut spread, 1 medium banana, 4 strawbrerries
 Servings: 1
  1. Toast the Ezekiel bread until it is very crunchy.  I toast mine on the highest setting and then again at a lower setting for toast perfection.
  2. Spread the chocolate hazelnut on each piece of bread.
  3. Slice the fruit thinly and place on top of each piece of bread and then combine.
  4. Remaining fruit should be sliced on the plate and enjoyed as well.

Dinner - Homemade Pizza (Kale/Mozzarella and Fig/Gorgonzola/Walnut/Arugula)

Ingredients: 1 pkg of Bob's Red Mill Pizza Crust (follow directions), 1 bunch of Kale, 5 slices of Buffalo Mozzarella, 1 roma tomato, 1 bunch of arugula, 5 fresh figs, 1/4c Gorgonzola Cheese, 2Tbs crushed walnuts, 2Tbs honey)
Servings: 4 (makes 8 slices)
  1. Follow the instructions on the package for Bob's Red Mill pizza crust but here is my trick. (I used the entire package with 1/2 as the base of the pizza and the other 1/2 as the crust.)
  2. After you have made the dough and created the pizza bake for 10 minutes so that you see the dough rise and start to turn golden brown.
  3. Remove from oven and spray the dough with cooking spray including the crust.
  4. Add toppings and then put back in oven.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until cheese is completely melted and almost disappears.
  6. Remove from oven and with a pizza cutter slice into 8 pieces.
Avocado/Tomatillo Spread:
In blender add 2 ripe medium avocados 1/2c of salsa verde (or 6 tomatillos), 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (seeded.)  Blend until well combined and spoon into a glass container and refrigerate for an hour or two to allow flavors to meld.  Use this spread on everything.
Tempeh Bacon:
Slice one package of tempeh thinly and add to a medium bowl.  In same bowl add 1/2c liquid smoke (choose your favorite smoky flavor), 2Tbs soy sauce, 3Tbs Worcestershire sauce, 1tsp dried oregano, 1tsp dried sage, 1tsp dried thyme, 1tsp garlic powder.  Combine well then cover  and place in fridge to allow to marinate for at least 3 hours.
This is what I consumed yesterday and felt great all day long in terms of hunger.  I never had hunger pains and no desires for anything sweet as I covered that with the fruit throughout the day.
So What Did Your Eating Day Look Like?
What Do You Typically Eat On A Training Day?
Do You Adjust Your Food Intake Depending On Your Training Load?
Published in Athlete's Plate
Thursday, 30 June 2011 20:35

Athlete's Plate - June 30, 2011

I am really excited about showcasing this menu today because it is for a blogger who is a superb athlete who does not hide from sweating or eating.  In all honesty the blog could be called Sweat, Eat, Sweat More, Keep Eating and it would hit the nail on the head. The times that this blogger can put up will make you stare in awe.  Speed just seems to come out of every pore, followed by some carb loading (although I believe that is to be done before hand right?)  The posts that are written are funny and leave you with a question to answer.  You cannot go wrong with a daily visit to this bloggers site so that you can laugh and walk away entertained. The blogger I am speaking of is Emily of Sweat Once A Day.  Emily is racing Ironman Lake Placid in less than one month so please go to her blog and give her words of encouragement and if that is too much for you then find her on twitter (@emilysweats) and say good luck there, as I'm sure she will appreciate it.

Breakfast - Bagels and (Nut) Butter

Ingredients: 1 whole wheat bagel, 2tbs nut butter, 1 medium banana, 1tbs honey, 1tsp cinnamon spice Servings: 1 Directions:

  1. Toast bagel then spread nut butter on each half and top with sliced banana.
  2. Pour honey over banana and sprinkle the cinnamon spice over top.

AM Snack - Cranberry Walnut Cupcakes

Ingredients: 1/2c Soy Flour, 1/2c Garbanzo Bean Flour, 1/2c HoneyMilk (but any milk will do), 1/4c egg substitute (or 1 egg), 2 tbs peanut butter (or your favorite nut butter), 1 medium banana smashed, 2tbs cranberry [caption jam, 1/4c chopped walnuts, 2tbs agave nectar Servings: 4 Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 425*
  2. In one bowl mix all dry ingredients (flour, baking soda, baking powder)
  3. In a different bowl mix all wet ingredients (egg, peanut butter, banana, milk)
  4. Add dry to wet in increments and whisk to make sure all fully combined.
  5. After all dry is incorporated add in the nuts and mix to combine.
  6. Spray cupcake/muffin tin (this made 8 for me) with cooking spray.
  7. Fill in tin about 1/4 of the way then put in cranberry jam.
  8. Fill remainder of tin to about 1/2 to 3/4 of the way to the top.
  9. Put in oven for 12 minutes.
  10. Remove from oven and pull cupcakes out of tin with a knife and set to cool.

Lunch - Cornbeef & Cabbage Carbs Sandwich

(recipe adapted from Ingredients: 1 8oz. package of your favorite tempeh, 1/4c olive oil, 1Tbs toasted sesame oil, 1Tbs tamari , 1/4tsp paprika, 1 pinch chili flake, 1/4tsp thyme (fresh or dried), 1 medium garlic clove (minced), 1c raw cabbage (shredded), 4 slices Rye bread, Whole Grain Mustard Servings: 2 Directions:  

  1. Heat 1 T olive oil in a non-stick pan.
  2. Whisk together all ingredients except tempeh.
  3. Cut tempeh into pieces about 1/4 inch thick (be careful to not cut it too think or it will crumble.)
  4. Dip the slices into the marinade (just turning to coat them--don't let them sit)
  5. Place tempeh into hot oiled pan and cook on medium high heat for 3-4 minutes on each side.
  6. When tempeh slices are golden, whisk 1Tbs of water to your leftover marinade, and pour the mixture into your skillet.
  7. Lower the heat. Cover and cook for 1-2 minutes more, then remove the lid and allow the tempeh to crisp up for just another minute.
  8. Set it aside and begin to assemble the sandwich
  9. On toasted rye bread spread whole grain mustard
  10. Layer on tempeh and cabbage then top with remaining slice.

PM Snack - Sweaty Spinach Smoothie

Ingredients: 1 bunch spinach, 1c almond milk, 1Tbs Nut Butter, 1/2 banana, 1/2c strawberries, ice Servings: 1 Directions:

  1. In blender whip all ingredients until it reaches your desired consistency.

Dinner - Rocketship Rigatoni

Ingredients: 6oz Jovial Foods Whole Grain Einkorn Rigatoni, 15oz can fire roasted tomatoes, 15oz can cannelini beans, 2c spinach, 1Tbs olive oil, salt & pepper to taste Servings:Directions:

  1. Bring pot of water to a boil.  Once water is boiling add pasta and cook for 13 minutes.
  2. In non-stick skillet add 1Tbs olive oil and heat.
  3. Once oil is hot add in tomatoes and cook for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add in cannelini beans and stir to combine then let sit.
  5. After the pasta is done cooking remove and strain water and set aside.
  6. Turn off heat on bean and tomato mixture and add in spinach.
  7. Fold beans and tomatoes over top of spinach so it begins to wilt.
  8. Once wilted put some of the mixture on bottom of bowl then add pasta on top.
  9. Finish off with more sauce and serve.
Emily - Hopefully these meals will get you the carb-tastic euphoria you are seeking especially after triple brick workouts.  Good luck at IMLP but luck is for those that have not prepared and you are prepared.
Please provide with a nomination for a featured blogger for next week's TAP.  Thank you.
Published in Athlete's Plate
Thursday, 30 December 2010 17:08

Athlete’s Plate – December 30, 2010

Athlete's Plate - December 30, 2010
This is the last Athlete's Plate of 2010 and it is perfect to end the year with a menu dedicated to Lindsay from Chasing the Kenyans.  If you have not been to her blog, go but not until you are done reading all of my posts, then go as fast as you can.  Lindsay is an extremely funny person.  She is creative in an artsy way.  She can draw, she can rap, she makes videos, she can move boxes from cubicle to cubicle.  But most of all she can run.  That name (Chasing the Kenyans) is no joke.  Lindsay is fast and determined.  Don't believe me?  How about the fact that she grades herself every month based on her workouts.  That is really holding yourself accountable.
So, Lindsay, my fellow HoneyMilk drinker this menu is just for you.  I hope you enjoy it and I hope that J makes the dishes for you.  I also hope that your Dad can get through another season of rooting for the Mets and if he needs a shoulder to cry on he can have mine.
Breakfast - KENYAN Ugali Breakfast

Ugali is essentially a polenta cake made with cornmeal, water and milk.  Ugali is typically served as a side dish to meat and vegetables This is my version of Ugali. Ingredients: 1/6c of cornmeal for polenta, 1/2 cup of HoneyMilk, 1tbs Paremesan Cheese, 1 slice of whole wheat toast, spinach, 1 slice of tomato, 1 egg, balsamic vinegar, 1tbs olive oil, cooking spray Servings - 1 Directions: 1- To make the Ugali bring the HoneyMilk to a boil, slowly stir in the cornmeal and parmesan cheese.  Continue to stir until it all combines together.  It will be slightly grainy, but will be creamier than just water. 2- Remove Ugali from the heat, form into a cake and set aside. 3- Spray a pan with the cooking spray and cook your egg.  I made it over hard so that the yolk wouldn't dribble everywhere, but make it to your liking. 4- Toast the 1 slice of Whole Wheat Bread 5- Heat the olive oil in a pan and once hot add the polenta cake and cook so that the cake holds together. 6- I used a can but you can use a cookie cutter or some other device to cut the bread, cut the polenta cake and egg. 7- Now stack.  Bread, Polenta Cake, Spinach, Tomatoe, Egg 8- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar 9- Serve with coffee, tea or a glass of HoneyMilk.

AM Snack - Frugal Fitness Bars
(This comes from Lindsay's use of 50 cent sneakers and $12 sweatpants)

Picture courtesy of

Ingredients - 1 mashed banana, 1 1/2 cups dry oatmeal, 1 tbls ground sunflower seeds or flax seed, 1 tbls whole wheat flour, 4 scoops vanilla protein powder, 3/4 cup peanut butter, 1/4 cup olive oil, melted, 1/4 cup raisins, 1/4 cup Vanilla HoneyMilk, 1/2 cup chocolate chips

Servings - 12 Directions - 1- Mix all ingredients together in bowl. Pour into 9x12 Baking Pan 2-Place the pan in the freezer for at least 2 hours and store in baggie. 3-Thaw slightly before serving. Another alternative is to pour into a muffin pan and then you won't have to cut them.

Lunch - Creative Couscous and Veggies
(Samples of Lindsay's creativity can be found here and here)
Phote courtesy of
Ingredients - 1 zuchinni, 1 yellow squash, 1 eggplant, 1 green pepper, 1 red pepper, 1 onion, cooking spray, 1c water, 3/4c uncooked couscous, 1tsp hot pepper sauce, chopped fresh cilantro, 3/4c cherry tomatoes halved
Servings - 4
Directions -
1- Cut vegetables (not tomatoes) lengthwise and grill or roast or saute
2- Once cooked, cut vegetables into bit size pieces
3- Bring water to boil
4- Stir in couscous and then add hot pepper sauce, salt, pepper
5- Remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes then fluff with a fork
6- Add in cilantro and tomatoes and vegetables
7- Serve and enjoy
(Hopefully after today Lindsay's diet will include more than M&Ms)
Photo courtesy of
Ingredients - 2 1/2 cups old fashioned oats, 1 cup whole wheat flour, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 3/4 cup shredded coconut, 4 oz applesauce, 2 1/2 tbsp flaxseed, 1/4 cup honey, 1/3 cup packed brown sugar, 2 oz chopped pecans, 2 oz slivered almonds.
Servings - 24
Directions -
1- Preheat oven to 325 F. Lightly grease one 9x13 inch pan.

2- In a mixing bowl combine the oats, flour, baking soda, vanilla, applesauce, flaxseed, honey and brown sugar. Stir in nuts and coconut. 3- Lightly press mixture into the prepared pan. Bake at 325 F for about 20 minutes. 4- Let cool for 10 minutes, then cut into bars. 5- Let bars cool completely in pan before removing or serving.

Dinner - FIRETRUCK Roasted Tomato/Sweet Potato Fries with Polenta/Mushroom Burger

Ingredients - 1 portabella mushroom, 1 polenta cake (see recipe above), 1/2 sweet potato, 5 round slices of yellow squash, 1/4 onion sliced in length pices, 1 clove garlic, 1/2 can of fire roasted tomatos, spinach, 1 tomatoe slice, 1/2 avocado, handful of olives, 1tbs olive oil Servings - 1 Directions - 1- Mince garlic, cut onion into long slices, cut sweet potatoe into chuncky fries, slice yellow squash into 5 rounds 2- Heat olive oil in saute pan.  Once hot add onion and sweet potatoe 3- After 5 minutes add in yellow squash and garlic.  Cover and let cook for 5 more minutes 4- Add in 1/2 can of fireroasted tomatoes and cover and cook for 5-10 minutes until sweet potato is soft 5- Grill portabella mushroom until it is soft but firm. 6- Saute your polenta cake so that it browns on both sides. 7- Place mushroom on plate and top with polenta cake 8- Place sweet potato fries on side 9- Finish with a small spinach salad of spinach, tomato, avocado and olives Lindsay - I hope you enjoy the menu.  And don't forget you need to nominate somebody for the next edition.  Please email me on Monday with that name.  For those of you looking for a menu for me to create for you leave me the most glowing message of my blog and menu then go to Lindsay's and do the same.  Yes bribes work, but more than money (maybe not) we want to be buttered up. Thank you for reading. ----------------------------------------- Athlete's Plate announcement: I have decided to create a book of recipes from this past quarter of 2010.  It will include only my recipes and not those that I borrowed from other sites.  I will post once the book is ready for you to get, and I will do this each quarter with recipes so that you don't have to scroll through the blog to find your favorite recipes. One thing I ask is that if you make a recipe let me know how it came out for you.  What you liked, didn't like, etc?  And if you change it in anyway let me know.  I love experimenting with food and from your ideas I can get more creative.

Published in Athlete's Plate
Tuesday, 05 October 2010 14:19

Update - Protein in your Diet from 9/29 post

On Wednesday Sept 29 I wrote a post regarding the intake of protein after your workout and what it does for your body.  You can find the post here.

Since I wrote this post I have come across more and more articles regarding food, diet, and exercise. I think it is just like when you buy a new car and all of a sudden you see it everywhere on the road. Happened to me when I bought my Xterra. Also, probably why I only buy cars once a decade, as I like to feel special and after a year or two I see the newer models but I don't see my model.

One article I came across that hit me like a ton of bricks (not unlike my first marathon at mile 20) was on The piece that struck me the most was this excerpt:

To maximize athletic performance, the goal is to create an environment in your body between exercise sessions that minimizes the breakdown of protein and maximizes protein synthesis. This principle is also true for seniors embarking on a strength-training program.

Protein breakdown is the predominant process under stressful conditions like exercise--stress and fasting activates the release of cortisol, a catabolic hormone released to combat inflammation and break down proteins to amino acids that can be used for energy.

When cortisol is allowed to remain elevated after exercise, protein breakdown continues.
A common mistake among athletes is to refrain from eating after exercise either because they think that fat burning will continue at a higher rate or because their appetite is depressed.

It is better to eat and drink immediately after exercise, especially after prolonged or high-intensity workouts.

In addition to knowing to eat and drink right after exercise it is important to know what to eat and drink.  In my daily early morning reading I follow a blog Awake And Living and it is a treasure trove of information when it comes to living a healthy well balanced lifestyle.

There was a post on August 25 regarding the proper foods to eat together to help with your digestion.  From the post you can follow this chart (as pointed out at the bottom of the post print it and keep in your kitchen) when planning your meals. This way you will know what digests better with which food combination. For those of you who love your proteins with carbohydrates and you are over weight, this might be a great solution to melt away those extra pounds faster than you thought was possible.

Now that you know you need protein and you know what you should be combining in your meals, the next logical question is how much do I eat.  The simple calculation is to take your weight and multiply it by 10 and you will having your resting metabolic rate.  Don't eat fewer calories then that because it will make your body consume muscle for energy and not fat.

According to you should eat more often to lose weight.  Sounds counter productive doesn't it?  But if you think about it it makes total sense.  You eat smaller portions and your metabolism kicks in and your body doesn't have the time to store this food and convert it to fat.  You are moving around at work or chasing your kids around the soccer field and your body is burning energy.  Just makes too much sense.  Eat smaller portions more often.

Since the original post was in regards to protein intake I think it is appropriate to point out that this article states that you should start the day with a well-balanced breakfast that includes a lean protein-rich food along with whole grains and veggies or fruit. High-quality protein at breakfast will help control your appetite all day.

How do you control your weight and train?  Post your comments below.  Thank you.

Published in Uncategorized
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