A date with myself

Taking myself out on dates is tricky. When I think about a self date, I think about loads of junk food and this sweet location called the couch.

#addict

#addict

While this is appealing, I decided to take myself “in” on a healthy date. There is something really gratifying about making yourself a healthy meal…especially when you’re cooking with a big glass of wine.

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Well, I hit the jackpot ladies and gents. I made the salad of all salads. Sometimes, it’s the simplest of ingredients that make a masterpiece. Basil, garlic and olive oil. There’s your dressing. Easy, right? Check it out.

Basil and Garlic Summer Squash Salad (Serves 2)

1 zucchini, 1 yellow squash, cut into half moons

1/2 red onion, diced

1 romaine head, sliced into strips

1-2 tomatoes, diced

1 small ball of fresh mozzarella, diced

7 large leaves of fresh basil, rolled up and sliced into thin strips

So fresh

So fresh

1 clove garlic, minced

1 can chickpeas, thoroughly rinsed

2 Tbs olive oil

Salt and pepper

Add oil to a medium sized pan and warm on medium heat. Add garlic and let simmer until you get a kitchen-full aroma of garlic and the garlic is beginning to golden. Add the squash and saute on medium to med-high until the squash is lightly golden.

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Flip the squash often in the pan like a master chef. Be sure that you have enough oil in the pan as this will become the salad dressing. Add a dollop more if necessary. Add the basil to the pan and flip a few times to coat the squash.

Can I just eat this?

Can I just eat this?

While waiting for the squash to cook, chop up all of the other ingredients and add to a large bowl. Once you’ve finished the squash, remove from heat and let cool for 5 minutes. Add to the salad bowl and gently mix to incorporate the basil-garlic oil.

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Of course the night is not complete without some Hershey’s Nuggets. A girl has got to live a little :)

#truth

#truth

COTR Envy 7/20/14

Hello and happy weekend! Lots of things rising our envy factor this week. What makes you envious?

1. Oats in a jar. I used to make oats in a jar a lot when we still lived in Cambridge. We were going through a lot more nut butter. Correction: I was going through a lot more nut butter. I would be envious, but it’s already in my belly. #satisfaction

roflbot

Or you could live on the wild side and go down this dangerous road called Nutella.

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2. Graze box. This is the coolest idea ever. Graze was started by a bunch of friends who were sick of eating junk as snack food.

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In each box, you get prepared snack options in sealed containers – great for bringing with you on the go.

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Our favorite was the Creamy  Peach Cobbler with honey glazed almonds and yogurt sunflower seeds. If we weren’t tight on pennies, we would be subscribing to receive Graze every month. Cue the big green envy monster.

3. Glimmerglass Festival presents Madame Butterfly. I have never been to the opera so you can imagine my excitement when Mr.D purchased tickets for Mrs. D and me to go see Madame Butterfly at the Glimmerglass Festival in Cooperstown, NY. While you’re sitting at your desk tomorrow, we’ll be sobbing our faces off and drinking some Ommegang while we’re there. If you’ve never been, GGF puts on 4 main production every summer that are gauranteed to be fabulous. If you still need convincing, you can also check out the baseball hall of fame while in town. Go Sox…I mean Yankees! :)

 

lessons on long distance

So, yesterday was a tough running day. Being worried about panic attacks on a run is a tough business. If you’ve never experienced a panic attack before, god bless you. You are one lucky peep. To give you a deep dive into my fear, I am terrified that I won’t be able to breathe and there will be no one there to help me. Hence why my miles and miles of running has turned into walk/runs listening to podcasts. So, Brett and I took off on a run and I was really down on myself about having to walk.

Me: “I’m sorry that I stink at this now…”

Brett: “You don’t stink at running. Do you see all of these houses around you? I guarantee that not a single person living on this street has run 2 miles today. WE did. That’s an accomplishment.”

Me: “So says the ultrarunner…”

Brett: “Baby steps. You’ll get back to longer miles. I know you will.”

Sometimes, all you need is a little reminder from someone you love. How lucky am I?

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When we got back, I decided to try out a variation on a recipe sent to me by Kath. Though these protein cookies have to remain in the freezer, they make for a great pre or post workout snack.

PB Raisin and Quinoa Protein Cookies (Makes 24)

1/2 cup natural peanut butter (I used Wild Friends Cinnamon Raisin PB – SO good)

New addiction

New addiction

Thank you Wild Friends for letting me know how I can store this butter :)

Thank you Wild Friends for letting me know how I can store this butter :)

2 Tbs applesauce

1/4 cup agave

1 Tbs pure vanilla extract

1/2 tsp sea salt

1/3 cup almond flour

1/2 cup soaked quinoa (Note: you can use 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa if you prefer. Uncooked, soaked quinoa gives the cookie a little crunch)

1 Tbs chia seeds

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and fold until combined thoroughly.

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Line two baking sheets with wax paper. Scoop spoon sized servings onto the sheet until you’ve used all the batter.

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Don’t be alarmed that the batter is a little more gooey than you thought- the cookies take on a fudge consistency once they’ve frozen. Put in freezer for 20 minutes. Remove from baking dish and store in an airtight container in the freezer. Make sure to line the container and separate the cookies by layer. Simply use the wax paper from the baking sheets – double use success! :)

Pre-gym cookie :)

Pre-gym cookie :)

 

Hi there hummus

You ever have one of those days where you feel like a bottomless pit? That happens to me a LOT. A lot meaning every day.

#nojoke

#nojoke

I suffer from an endless need to snack. What I like most about snacking is the crunching/chewing and jaw movement when I’m watching my favorite show or movie. Don’t give me that face – I’m sure you know exactly what I’m talking about. It’s the mindless eating that is the devil at fault for my bad habit. I’m just going to go ahead and blame the devil vs. taking responsibility for my actions…no judgment.

We’ve been rather blasé in the snack department of late so I decided to whip up a classic after a bout on the dreadmill.

A cup of edamame contains 17g of protein and is filled with a slew of vitamins and minerals. Using it as an ingredient in hummus is pretty genius. Combine a few scoops of fresh made hummus and some carrots or celery and what does that make? A very happy, snacking Dana monster. Brett thanks the hummus gods for my creativity (pat on back) and my good mood.

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Homemade Edamame Hummus (Serves 2-4)

Easy ingredients

Easy ingredients

1 cup shelled edamame (We used a bag if frozen edamame, thawed)

1 garlic clove, minced

2 Tbs tahini

2 Tbs lemon juice

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp sesame oil

Sesame seeds

Kosher salt and black pepper

Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender. Sometime getting out the food processor (and cleaning it) can be a hassle. The blender works great!

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While blending, add water to get the desired consistency. We used 1-2 Tbs to make a chunky hummus, but feel free to make it your own.

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Remove from blender and add salt and pepper to taste. Top with sesame seeds and serve with veggies and/or pita.

Snack heaven

Snack heaven

Run like you mean it

Sometimes running in a new place can give you motivation to keep moving. I ran today out in the middle of nowhere Warners, NY and it was BEAUTIFUL. Don’t get me wrong – I love exploring new cities – the architecture, the people, it’s all exciting. There’s just something about rolling hills and farms that is so peaceful.

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Listening to the Rich Roll podcast and admiring the scenery, I was running for just shy of an hour – good times!

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The person being interviewed was discussing how he transformed his fitness through a plant-based diet. He really learned how to listen to his body while logging heavier miles. So, that’s what I focused on doing. Am I tired/wheezing away my breath? Yes. Okay, walk for 2 minutes. Am I feeling good? Run like you mean it. Am I almost done? Run like your life depended on it.

#thisismylife

#thisismylife

Afterwards I read and had a snack while waiting for Mrs. D to finish her riding lesson.

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When we got home, I decided to use the leftover peppers we had in the fridge to make roasted peppers. This recipe is so simple and the peppers make for a great summer side dish. I tend to taste test the peppers while cutting them. Hey, you gotta make sure your recipes are edible and you don’t kill the people you’re feeding. Luckily, these peppers passed the “you will live” test. Unfortunately for the family, I didn’t share many ;) Original recipe can be found in the Dom Deluise cookbook.

Italian Roasted Peppers (Serves many, shared with no one)

6-8 peppers, using a variety of colors (red, orange, yellow)
2 Tbs olive oil
1 Tbs lemon juice
3 Tbs capers, including some of the juice from the jar
2 garlic cloves, peeled and smashed with the side of a knife

Set the oven to broil. Line 2 baking dishes with aluminum foil. Place the peppers spread evenly on the baking dishes.

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Put under the broiler. You have to monitor the peppers carefully so they don’t burn. When you start to see the pepper blackening, use a set of tongs to switch each pepper to a new side.

Come to mama

Come to mama

Once all sides are blackened, remove from oven. Roll up the foil to cover the peppers and let sit for 15 minutes.

While waiting, combine the rest of the ingredients in a deep dish for serving.

Unwrap the peppers and begin to remove the skin on each one. After sitting wrapped in the foil, they should be cooled and easy to peel. Slice open up the peppers over the dish, adding the pepper juices to the mixture. De-seed the peppers and cut into thin strips. Add the strips to the dish and wahlah! Welcome to roasted pepper heaven.

#yourewelcome

#yourewelcome

COTR Envy 7/6/14

A lot of amazing foods and products have come into our lives this week that we’re willing to do burpees for (seriously, I hate burpees…this is a big deal).

1. Ming Tsai almond oatmeal cookies. I can’t even begin to explain the amazingness that is Ming Tsai and his out of this world cookies. These are one of Brett’s favorites. Not so sweet, but chewy and almondy. Fun, COTR recipe version to come soon! ;)

Chewy goodness

Chewy goodness

2. Aloha Daily Good Chocolate Cacao with almond milk and agave. Holy sweet juice. I had this concoction on my return from the gym this morning. It’s the perfect post-gym recovery drink filled with some green goodness. I know you may think that drinking greens is gross. Honestly, I did, too. When I thought more about it, I realized that I was really only getting a serving of vegetables for dinner and maybe in lunch leftovers. Adding smoothies with spinach or kale and/or drinking Aloha as a post workout drink allow me to pack in more veggies without a whole lot of chopping and hassle. Tastes good, too ;)

3. The Rich Roll podcast. Running hasn’t been easy for me as of late. My mind often wanders to things that worry me, sometimes leading to panic. That makes it difficult for me to find the gumption (yes, I said gumption) to get out on the road. I’ve found that listening to the RRP gives me something to focus on outside of my own problems/worries. Rich Roll interviews some pretty inspiring people as well, which motivates me for the day.

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4. My Tea Forte tea mug. Hello perfection.

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Mr. And Mrs. D got me this for my birthday given my love for ocha (Japanese loose green tea). I steep the tea right in the mug.

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It’s easy to clean and keeps my ocha hot for quite a while. Stay away from my mug, Brett Lance!

Thanks Tea Forte!

Thanks Tea Forte!

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Holy, holy guacamole

We have been on a humongous avocado kick lately. In smoothies.

I. Can't. Stop.

I. Can’t. Stop.

Eggs. Salads. Buying Chipotle with guacamole…I mean, making it homemade. Yes, we had some burrito bowls this week, but we DID make homemade guacamole. I know what you’re thinking. Making your own seems like a lot of work…lots of chopping. Well, the way we do it here at COTR, delicious guacamole will be in your belly in 10 minutes.

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I. Know. The great thing about making your own guacamole is you can make it on Sunday and use it during the week. Mine doesn’t usually last that long, but you could give it a try! :) Use a dollop on a salad. Have guac with eggs and salsa for breakfast. Eat it as a snack with some blue corn tortilla chips. Or just stuff your face with plain old guac. It’s so versatile.

If you are able to control your inner guac-beast and have leftovers, simply pack the container with saran wrap tightly against the guacamole, pushing out any air bubbles and stick it in the fridge. This will prevent that green beauty from turning brown and grossing you out.

10 – Minute Homemade Guacamole

3 avocados, cored and scooped into a bowl
3/4 red onion, minced
1 garlic clove, pressed finely or minced
Juice of 3 limes
Kosher salt, to taste

Mash the avocado, onion and garlic in a bowl until well combined.

Mashing hazard. Note to self: aggressive excitement  does not make more guacamole.

Mashing hazard. Note to self: aggressive excitement does not make more guacamole.

Add the lime juice and continue mashing. Now, it’s time to taste test. If needed, add additional lime juice and/or salt to your taste preference. A bit of salt does bring out all the flavors. And that’s it! Bring to a party or selfishly hold that bowl with love and a mouthful of guac. Not that I know from experience or anything…

#drool

#drool

ALOHA to the scale

People have asked us about using a food scale. Brett and I actively use our Salter food scale with most meals. It’s actually kinda fun :)

I remember hearing some of the stigma around measuring out food a few years back:

“That’s a little excessive…”

“Aren’t you taking healthy eating a little too far?”

The truth is…you would be astounded at the difference between a “scoop” and the gram measurement in a serving of food. That’s why we did a weight test when making breakfast this morning. Check it out!

We put together some greek yogurt with chia seeds, fruit and our new dried green juice powder from Aloha. We started off by measuring out the greek yogurt. One serving is 1 cup or 227g. When using a 1 cup scoop, this is the measurement we saw on the Salter:

Crazy, right?

Crazy, right?

50 GRAMS DIFFERENCE! That’s a big deal. Now, you see why we measure out our food.

So, on to the actual eating. Aloha sent us some samples of their dried green juice. We were excited to test it out a few different ways. The beautiful thing about this product is there are only a few ingredients and you can pronounce them ALL. If you’re trying to clean up your eating habits, one of the first things to do is to check out the ingredients of the foods you are eating. If you can’t pronounce the ingredient names and/or you aren’t familiar with them, it’s probably a safe bet that it shouldn’t be going in your body, eh? Food is like our own personal medicine. Keep it clean. We were so impressed with Aloha as a company that we simply had to give their products a try:

#alohamoment

#alohamoment

We used our first sample with our greek yogurt:

Green Yogurt with Chia and Fresh Fruit

1 serving greek yogurt (don’t forget to weight it out!)

2 tsp chia seeds

1 packet Daily Good Aloha

Half a banana, sliced

A handful frozen or fresh blueberries

Thoroughly mix together the greek yogurt, chia and Aloha. Top with fruit and enjoy!

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We’re looking forward to trying Aloha Daily Good in our smoothies and maybe even a salad dressing? We’ll see what we can cook up next ;)

Aloha is offering free samples for new faces :) - you can claim yours here.

Happy Friday and aloha! #wheresmyicecream

Happy Friday and aloha! #wheresmyicecream

Birthday goals

It was Brett’s birthday yesterday.

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I’m a genius and found him these boxers.

Turtle power

Turtle power

Yes, that is a cape

Yes, that is in fact a cape

He swears that he will wear them (with cape) during his next race. I’m hoping it will be for his 100 miler in September. That would be hilarious.

I also got Brett Run or Die by Kilian Jornet. If you haven’t heard of K Jornet, you should jump in a lake. He is the biggest bad a** in the running world. This guy ran up Mount Kilimanjaro. Yes, I said ran. HE RAN UP KILIMANJARO. He RAN up Mount Kilimanjaro! Yes, I repeated myself 3 times. Fierceness like that is jaw dropping and worth the repetition. I’m looking forward to reading his book when Brett’s done. It will be an inspiration for both of us.

Given that my birthday is around the corner, I’m ready to set my running goals for the year. 27 is going to be big. Heck, Brett is running 100 mile races at 31. I only have a few years to catch up! God help me…

I will need massive amounts of water...

I will need massive amounts of water…

*Drum roll please*

This year, I plan to run my second marathon and *dun dun dun* a 30 mile ultra.

Peeing my pants is a definite possibility

Peeing my pants is a definite possibility

I will settle for a marathon and 2 half marathons, but I’d like to stick with the former. I’d like to finish this year and feel a little like Kilian Jornet or the ridiculously amazing and determined man in my life.

Uhhh

Uhhh

I meant this one :)

I meant this one :)

In order to start the process, I made a delicious smoothie this morning. Check it out.

Mango Avocado Smoothie (Serves 2)

Half an avocado

1 banana

1 cup pomegranate kefir (try Lifeway = delicious if you don’t feel like making your own)

1/2 cup water

1-2 cups spinach

1 cup mango

Added ice, optional

Combine kefir, water, spinach and avocado in a blender, blending until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and blend for a few minutes until incorporated thoroughly.

#yum

#yum

I made a separate smoothie for Brett. I’m nice like that. You’re welcome, sweetie.

Happy Birthday! Thanks to @lifeway

Happy Birthday! Thanks to @lifeway

 

 

COTR Envy

Heylow, friends. This week, we’re starting a series about envy. Not envy in a bad way, but envy in an “I would like to be you/own you/eat you every day of my life” kind of envy.

1. Dog life. Brett and I often discuss how great it would be to be a dog. Think about it. People feed you. You poo, people clean it up. Gross, but true. You get snuggles all the time. The lounging is ideal.

This is hard. Obviously.

This is hard. Obviously.

2. Yogi honey lavender tea. This tea has been a blessing in helping me sleep. If you have any sort of anxiety issues, I’m sure your mind rambles like mine does. Makes it hard to take a snooze. Brett often comments on my jittery feet in bed. “What are you doing? Are your toes tap dancing?” This honey lavender bliss is calming and I’ve found that I get to sleep fairly easily an hour or so after drinking it. Yogi, I would bathe in you if I could. Thanks for helping me get some zzzz.

Yogi = Sleep

Yogi = Sleep

3. Fabletics. Mrs. D found this one. Good find, Binz! Kate Hudson has a rock star body.

She's ridiculous.

She’s ridiculous.

So much so that she put together an athletic apparel line. Similar to Stitch fix, Fabletics uses your preferences to pair you with different products. The pricing is great compared to other athletic brands. From all of the reviews, the material is great quality AND you get 50% off your first order. Those leggings are looking better and better…

4. Chocolate covered PB pretzels. Whoever came up with these should be given a big hug, then punched in the stomach. I could eat a whole box myself.

In fact I did.

In fact I did.

Damn you, Wegmans.

5. My favorite water cup.

#sigh

#sigh

Unfortunately I can’t tell you where this came from- Maybe Target? It’s large and in charge, which I love. I drink more water at home if the glass is bigger than my face. Brett decided to steal it last night while he was eating popcorn topped with smoked paprika and now it smells like his smoked paprika mouth. In to the dishwasher it goes. Listen up, Brett. MINE.

Question: What products are you most envious of this week?