Tag Archives: nutrition

My First WIAW + A Recipe

This is my very first WIAW (What I Ate Wednesday) post and to be honest it’s only one meal.  I threw some things in my fridge together for dinner, making it up as I went along.  I’ve shared some recipes before but not since I’ve cleaned up my eating and started to really pay close attention to what I’m putting in my body.  So I guess this is really a recipe post that happens to be on a Wednesday.WIAW

Grabbing a few things in my kitchen, I put together a quinoa, flounder, pico de gallo meal that was clean, healthy and filling.  It was very simple and took about 20 minutes to prepare.  After starting one cup of quinoa with water on the stove, I seasoned the flounder with crushed red pepper and lime.  I let the quinoa boil and fish marinate while I chopped onion, tomato and home grown cilantro for pico de gallo.  This was my first time making pico de gallo and I was excited to use ingredients I had grown myself.  My dicing skills will definitely benefit from some practice!

WIAWI started to pan fry my flounder as the quinoa was finishing and it only took 4 minutes to be ready.  When I pan fry, I use a big wok or frying pan and extra virgin olive oil.  I prefer that over a cooking spray since it’s a healthier choice.  Once the fish was to temperature, I took it off heat and let it rest for a minute.  I served the fish over quinoa with a massive side of pico and two slices of lime.  It turned out hotter than I expected but was very tasty and filling.

I really enjoy the cleanness of simple recipes like this.  They’re easy to make with fresh, good for you ingredients and are practically impossible to mess up.

Meredith

What’s your favorite WIAW?  How often do you share recipes or meals?

Fit Friday: 4 Healthy Eating Tips

Healthy eating is a challenge.  There’s so much prepared food filled with sugar, fat and salt quickly and easily available that finding something  good for you can be tough.  Our busy schedules also make eating less nutritious food convenient and appealing.  Luckily there is tons of good quality, good-for-you food available on the edges of the grocery store if you stick to them.  There are also tons of benefits: less soreness, better sleep, longer life, lower risk of disease and more.healthy eating

Here are four of my favorite tips for eating healthy!

Plan:  Put together a meal plan for the week.  With a plan in place you’re less likely to just go ahead and eat whatever.  A plan increases your involvement in responsible choices and gives accountability.  Having a healthy eating meal plan also helps make grocery shopping easier since you’ll know exactly what you need.  Adios, impulse cookie purchases!

Prepare:  Meal prep can be a long process but it’s worth it.  Make big batches of meals and stick individual servings in the freezer or fridge.  It will make healthy eating simple and save time during the busy week.  I also chop up veggies and fruits to make good-for-me daytime snacks healthy eatingjust as quick and accessible as something processed.

Skip It:  With your meal plan ingredient grocery list in hand hit the store with a mission.  Follow the edges of the store, grabbing the fresh things on your list and skipping the middle isles packed with processed, sugary foods.  If you don’t buy it, it’s not in your house and you definitely can’t eat it!

Use 80/20:  Enjoy yourself.  We all need a treat now and then so go ahead and indulge a little bit.  Using the 80% good, 20% not-so-good rule, satisfy that sweet tooth daily.  If you hold out until you can’t take it anymore or are celebrating at the dessert buffet, you’re much more likely to overindulge.

Meredith

What are your tricks for healthy eating?

Freekeh Foods Fun + Giveaway!

Freekeh Fun + Giveaway!

I recently received two packages of Freekeh Foods thanks to my partnership with Sweat Pink and FitApproach.  I opted for original and rosemary sage flavors and couldn’t wait to give the whole grain a try.  Before my recipe, here’s a little bit of background on just exactly what freekeh is!

The Freekeh Foods website proclaims freekeh is “a process which means “to rub” in Arabic.  Freekeh was created by accident nearly 2,000 years ago when a Middle Eastern village was attacked and their crop of young green wheat was set ablaze.  Most folks would sulk over their misfortune, but the crafty villagers rubbed off the chaff, cooked it up and ‘Eureka!’ Freekeh was created.

freekeh foodsOne serving of freekeh contains three times the protein and fiber you’ll get from brown rice with fewer calories than both quinoa and white rice.  It has a home low on the glycemic index, making it a good choice for everyone, especially diabetics.

For those of you who are gluten free by choice or necessity freekeh may not be a good choice.  With its early harvest, the gluten is denatured and may result in fewer stomach problems than other wheat and grain products but if you have Celiac, steer clear.

The Freekeh Foods website is home to a library full of delicious recipes but I chose to mix my rosemary sage up with teriyaki grilled pork chops.  The flavors mixed nicely, I loved the texture, taste and how easy it was to make.  The rosemary really complemented the Asian flavors and it’s a combo I’ll use again in the future.  I’m also looking forward to giving some of the official Freekeh Foods Recipes a try!

freekeh foodsEnter for you chance to win a package of Freekeh Foods right here!
Open to US residents only.

Meredith

I received this product as part of my partnership with Sweat Pink and FitApproach but all opinions and work are my own.

Summer Hydration Issues

I’ve had more trouble these last few weeks with the hot, humid weather than I can remember ever having before.  My last few long runs have ended in disaster due to summer hydration issues.  I drink 60+ ounces of water and have stayed on track with my plan each day which makes it very frustrating when these long runs turn ugly and my preparation doesn’t seem to have mattered.  I’m trying to determine what’s making this year so different and am leaning towards one specific thing:  breakfast.  What does breakfast have to do with my summer hydration woes?

I eat chia seed with my breakfast.  Chia is a wonderful food full of fiber, antioxidants and omega-3s.  It makes you feel full and can help keep you hydrated by absorbing three times its weight in water.  I eat breakfast variably but the meal itself is 95% identical to the previous day: cereal, 2% milk, chia seed and a quick downing of 10-15 ounces of water.  Sometimes I’m starving when I wake up, sometimes it’s not until 10, sometimes it’s not at all.  While including at least one fasted workout in each week’s schedule has helped my summer hydrationbody learn to use fat as an energy source, I always eat before my long run.

During the fall, winter and spring I’m pretty flexible with when I’ll go out for my long run and when I eat my breakfast doesn’t much matter.  Morning, mid-morning or afternoon, I just go with the weather and what fits my schedule.  In cooler weather my sweat rate is pretty low and by the time I get out there, I’ve usually had plenty of time to suck down enough water to load that day’s chia seeds up.  No hydration issues.  Summer is different.  Those long runs have to get done early.  This means I eat my chia and drink my water only 10-15 minutes before heading out instead of hours and when I step outside, those chia seeds are probably still thirsty.

With my sweat rate skyrocketing on these hot days, I’m not only loosing what water I have in my body to the atmosphere but the chia is fighting my muscles for it, too.  The first step in fixing my summer hydration issues is to move my chia to the post-run afternoon.  Hopefully this will leave more water for my muscles and make this weekend’s long run better than the last.  If it does make a difference, I’ll stick with it.

Meredith

What’s your summer hydration plan for long runs?  Do you change your diet with the seasons?

Kitchen Shortcuts for Healthy Eating

It can be hard to eat healthy.  Especially when I’m in a busy training cycle, running a lot of weekly miles or just plain worn out, getting motivated to chop, slice, dice, stir, boil and mix is hard to do.  I love prepping meals in advance and tossing them in the freezer.  Here are five of my favorite kitchen shortcuts (originally posted here) to help you make healthy meals while spending less time in the kitchen and sticking with your nutrition plan.

Kitchen Shortcuts #1:  Use simple cooking methods.  Steaming, broiling and roasting are easy ways to prepare vegetables, plus you can usually walk away from them while they cook to take care of something else quickly.  They’re also healthier than frying and faster than baking but still make flavor-filled food fast.kitchen shortcuts

Kitchen Shortcuts #2:  Stock up.  I’m always sure to have a stock-pile of brown rice, quinoa, whole-grain pasta, frozen veggies, low fat nuts (peanuts), low-sodium canned beans, diced tomatoes and chicken and vegetable stocks on hand.  With so many ingredients close at hand, it’s pretty easy to throw something simple, healthy and delicious together without stressing.

Kitchen Shortcuts #3:  Cookbooks.  I do have a stack of cookbooks but probably get an equal number of dinner ideas from the interweb.  Cookbooks that contain simple, 30-minute or less recipes are the ones I’ll go to most often and that definitely saves me time in the kitchen and at the store.  Picking and planning my meals in advance allows me to put together a list and get through the grocery very quickly.

Kitchen Shortcuts #4:  Buy quality meats when they’re on sale.  Divide them into the size you typically use for cooking, wrap and freeze.  Not only will you be saving money, you won’t need to butcher or thaw excess meat because your portions are already set up for you.  This works for cooking large volumes of rice, quinoa and legumes, too.

Kitchen Shortcuts #5:  The ultimate weeknight time saver is to do all of your cooking on one day each week even though having a block of time large enough to do it can be a challenge to find.  By preparing freezable meals in advance, getting dinner on the table takes little more than opening the freezer, pulling out a pot and turning on the burner.  Another bonus to having ready-to-go meals?  Fewer dishes to wash each evening!

I hope these kitchen shortcuts can help you save time cooking and spend more time with the things and people you love.

Meredith

What’s your favorite kitchen shortcut?

Right Now: October Edition 2

It’s time for October Edition 2 of Right Now!  I missed posting a Right Now in September and am making up for lost time with this second post.  You can check out the first one here for some of the other things I’ve been up to lately, other than running, that is.

Here we go!

Eating:  Mashed potatoes.  I love potatoes.  Baked potatoes take a while, even baked sweet potatoes so I’ve taken to mashing them up and freezing single size servings.  This article not only made my day, it makes the good point that even though I love my pasta, I can benefit more from chowing down on a baked, mashed, boiled spud with a handful of cheddar cheese and some garlic than a bowlful of penne after a hard run.october edition 2

Using:  The Fitness Games.  I reviewed this app a few weeks ago and still use it every now and then.  I love the strength program on I’m on now, but sometimes after a hard run I know lifting heavy weights wouldn’t be a good idea.  The app’s bodyweight workouts are challenging and make good cross training sessions for those non-running days when you want to stay away from the gym.

october edition 2Registering:  I used the 2015 Rock n Roll TourPass 3-Pack I purchased earlier this month to get two of next year’s race locations on the calendar.  With 43 states to go, I’m aiming to check off five per year (as long as the budget permits) and will be getting started quickly with Rock n Roll Arizona the second week in January.  Next up is Rock n Roll DC in March.

I hoe you enjoyed October Edition 2 of Right Now.  Heading into the next few days, I’ll be en route to Myrtle Beach for the Myrtle Beach Mini Marathon where the last six months’ hard training will hopefully pay off with a new half marathon PR.  Stay tuned for lots of race weekend fun!

Meredith

Do you like potatoes?  What’s your favorite recipe?