Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Trick or Treat Trot 5K

I ran a 5K last weekend, but did not do it for time as I did not run at my pace. Instead, I ran it with a friend who recently finished the Couch to 5K program and came to Chicago to run her first 5K with me. What an honor! We had a great group of friends come to town for the event, and it was the best race that I have attended! The weather held for us, too. Despite a gloomy forecast there was no rain. It was a bit cooler and windy, but a beautiful day overall by the lakefront. There were many people in costume, and it was a blast to watch them go!

Running this race taught me a huge lesson about running slower than my normal pace. It seems that I always push myself to run as fast as I can, and I have problems backing off my pace for any significant amount of time. Thus my long run days are really never long runs. By running this race at a pace almost 5 minutes longer per mile than my normal pace I realized that I could have kept going and going and going even when we completed the race. It gave me incentive to do some longer runs at a slower pace and improve my distance base. Yes, I have read about it a million times... but only by actually trying it did I find out that it works for me, too (DUH).

This fall has been crazy, but in a good way. I have had every non-work day packed with activities, and my daughter and I have had so much fun apple picking, making scarecrows, carving pumpkins, decorating the house for Halloween, roller skating, and going to parties that I feel like I missed October altogether!

My weight loss has been pretty stalled because I have been indulging at all of these events, both food-wise and in terms of adult beverages (and then with more food!). But I am okay with the (relative) maintain that I experienced, and feel that I am getting back on track now. I see good things coming this holiday season!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Cooking Up a Storm

The spirit moved me, and I have been cooking up a produce storm these last two weeks! I found an inexpensive store with a wide variety of fresh produce, and I was inspired!

So far I have made:
  • Swiss chard with tamari, garlic, and olive oil
  • Roasted beets with balsamic vinegar and olive oil (complete with the beet greens tossed in)
  • Slow baked sweet potatoes
  • Greek style green beans
  • Sauteed zucchini with garlic
  • Steamed asparagus with lemon juice
  • Crustless spinach pie (recipe to follow)

And these new items are on deck for this week:
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Collard Greens

I am also making the beets, zucchini, and crustless spinach pie for a second week in a row.

I have to say that I am in love with The World's Healthiest Foods by George Mateljan, and have used it as a reference to find different ways to cook the produce. I want to work my way through the book! The recipes are very simple and very quick, and that is about my speed right now.

I also dug out some of my old Core recipes, and have found this one to be a current favorites:

Crustless Spinach Pie
Servings: 4
Pts. per Serving: 2

10 oz chopped frozen spinach
1/2 medium onion
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp olive oil
1 cup(s) fat-free cottage cheese
6 oz crumbled feta, fat free plain
3/4 cup egg substitute
Pepper to taste

Defrost and squeeze water from the spinach. Saute onion and garlic in the oil until soft, and let it cool. Then mix it all together, put the mixture in a pie plate sprayed with Pam (or equivalent), and bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Now that I am down to 23 points a day (I know, I know... that is probably A LOT compared to some of you!), I am on the hunt for low point meatless meals. If you have any ideas, I would love to hear them!

Back to the kitchen for another round of meal making!