Half Marathon Training: July 2014

I officially made it about 3 weeks into my half marathon training before I had to stop. Something in my hip was obviously pulled/strained which made it difficult to walk (and I do a lot of walking at work!) Rather than push through and hope it got better with time I decided to stop, no running and no walking (besides the usual amount) until things were feeling better. My PT-in-training bestie agreed with me and sent me a ton hip strengthening suggestions in the mean time.

Two weeks later and I may not feel 100% but I’m going to try and ease back into it. If it hurts I’ll stop and maybe go see a doctor, but I’m hoping for the best and I’m optimistic about getting back on track with training this month.

half marathon training month 2

I did a slow and easy 2 miles with a mile walk for a cool down yesterday and no problems, so maybe the time off was just what I needed. Since July is a long month I’m starting this calendar this weekend. I kept the number of runs per week down so that I have plenty of time to stretch/crosstrain/recover between each one and I’m hoping these extra precautions will keep me injury free!

How do you let your body recover from overuse? 

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

My mom almost always makes bruschetta on the 4th of July. I know it’s not traditional American food but it’s usually about the time the basil is taking off in her garden and everyone in her family loves it! Speaking of basil I have a lot of it hanging around this week. My little pot is growing on the back deck and my CSA share gave me a giant produce bag full. Thankfully I’ve never been one to back down from a challenge, and if the challenge involves eating large quantities of basil well then I guess I’ll have to suffer through😉

Since I also had a large quantity of tomatoes due to an impulse buy at the Farmers Market my first thought was bruschetta. I wanted something with a little more umph if I was going to be eating it for lunches all week and I figure I’ll be getting enough bruschetta on Friday!

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

The chickpeas are loaded with fiber and protein to add a little staying power to all the fresh veggies and herbs, and who doesn’t like a little bit of cheese with the veg? Plus the whole meal comes together fast (minus cooking the chickpeas, but at least that’s hands off!).

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

The BF dove right into a bowl of this and said I was officially in charge of making his lunches for the week😉 If he’s extra nice I might share… If I don’t eat it all myself first!

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad

Serves: 4

Time: 15 minutes (plus 8 hours soaking and 30 minutes cooking chickpeas)

Ingredients

1 cup dried chickpeas, soaked and cooked (or 2 15oz cans rinsed and drained)

2 medium tomatoes, diced (about 2 cups)

2 stalks fennel, thinly sliced

2 cloves garlic OR 3-4 garlic scapes, minced

2 cups loosely packed basil leaves, torn or roughly chopped

1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

2 TBSP apple cider vinegar

3 TBSP olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

If you’re cooking your own chickpeas make sure they are ready to go before you start! If you’re using canned put them in a strainer to give them a good rinse and let them drain.

Combine chickpeas, tomato, garlic/scapes, and fennel in a large mixing bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and apple cider vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Stir in the basil and feta right before serving to preserve the fresh flavor and keep the cheese from getting soupy. Serve chilled.

Chickpea Bruschetta Salad 1

What’ something non-traditional you serve at your family parties? What do you do when you’re overrun by basil? 

Bringing this party food to Fiesta Friday over at the Novice Gardener.

Slices of Life #6

Good morning! It’s the start of a new week which calls for another Slice of Life, so let’s get on with the linking and listing, shall we?

Slices of Life

 

The Life

Slices of Life The Life

I finished my second week at my real job and finally finished all the training at my part time job. I’m definitely loving that my schedule will be a little more balanced this week almost as much as I’m loving the fact that I got my first “big girl” paycheck! I may have spent most of it on student loans but still... I got one!! I’m also finally starting to step out a bit and hopefully meet some new people. I went to an (awesome!) free meditation at a local yoga studio yesterday and I found a trivia team on MeetUp to join up with later in the week. Branching out on my own has never really been my thing and neither has having lots of plans with large groups of people… but I figure I should find something to do besides work!

great post I’d love to forward to some of my classmates who are already complaining about the interest rates on our student loans now that we have to pay the money back.

Why you shouldn’t take Facebook posts seriously  or maybe even think about leaving it for good.

Signs that you’re working at a job you love , my current jobs check quite a few of these even if the training schedule was a little crazy.

The Eats

Slices of Life The Eats

I’m still loving on my CSA. Share #2 included greens, zucchini, broccoli, garlic scapes, and a ton of basil. That didn’t stop me from swinging by the farmers market on my way to work one day and picking up a few green peppers and a bunch of tomatoes… at least I remembered the honey I went there for in the first place? BF and I also decided to sign up for a membership at Sam’s Club. I may not need it now while I’m swimming in produce but I can definitely see myself loving it once farm season is through. The recipes and foodie reads this week include:

The start to what looks like an exciting series of posts on eating clean. The BF may find it annoying everytime I point out the some of his “healthier” choices are low fat/low sugar/ low calorie due to additives that are best left out. Maybe if I throw the science at him from someone else it’ll stick😉

Asiago Cheddar Zucchini Gratin (coincidence that I got zucchini in my CSA this week? I think not!)

A Farmers Omelette that the BF asked for ASAP

The perfect Mojito recipe which BF and I sampled on Saturday (good thing my mint plant is growing like … well like mint!) 

The Exercise

Slices of Life The Exercise

I’ve been taking it easy on my hip this week to make sure that when I start running again I’m able to do so without further incident. There’s been lots of hip strengthening exercises and general full  body workouts and a lot of yoga. There’s just enough room for my mat on the deck at our new place and I’ve been loving heading outside on weekend mornings (so I don’t wake the BF🙂 ) All these gentle strengthening and stretching based exercises haven’t done much in terms of getting my sweat on, but they definitely make my body feel great.

Heart Opening Yoga, Dancing Warrior sequence, and Plank-a-thon have been by Youtube workouts of choice.

The whole workout looks a little much right now, but I love the stretches and the plyometric set!

What’s the best thing you read/ate/did this week? 

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

My family loves Mexican food. This might seem strange considering we’re a mixture of Polish/Dutch/German/other european countries heritage but when I was living with my parents we ate Mexican food at least once a week. It may have driven my brother nuts, but I absolutely loved it.

I’ve been trying to eat more vegetarian meals for ethical and health reasons, but sometimes beans can get a little boring. I had a bag of lentils that have been sitting in my bin of “Sarah Food” forever and I figured why not try to cook and season them up similar to ground beef. Side note “why not” seems to be my new thing in the kitchen, as long as it works for me I’m going to go with it.  

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos- Slices of Sarah Pie 2

The result was a nice change up from beans, with a good level of spice and a meaty enough texture that even the BF said they were good. I may not be able to convince my little brother to try them, but a girl’s got to pick her battles😉

Vegetarian Lentil Tacos

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 30-40 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup lentils, rinsed and cleaned

1 medium yellow onion diced

2 cloves of garlic minced

1 TBSP Olive oil (or other cooking oil)

1 TBSP Chili powder

1 TSP Cumin

1/2 TSP Red pepper flakes

1/2 TSP Cayenne pepper

salt to taste

2 -2 1/2 cups water

For Serving

12 corn tortillas (or flour if not GF)

Toppings: Sliced radish, crumbled queso fresco, shredded lettuce, whatever other veggies your heart desires. 

In a large skillet heat oil over medium heat. Add onions and saute until tender. Add in garlic and cook one minute (stirring constantly) until fragrant stir in spices and stir one minute longer. Stir in lentils and water and bring to a boil. Once boiling reduce heat and simmer uncovered for 25 minutes. If lentils are still a little tough at this time add in an additional 1/2 cup of water and simmer 5-10 minutes longer. At this point feel free to smush some of the lentils or leave them all whole, the texture is personal preference. Serve warm in corn tortillas with desired toppings.

Lentil Tacos- Slices of Sarah Pie

What’s your favorite taco topping?  Have you ever had vegetarian tacos?

This post is linked with  Gluten Free and DIY Tuesday from Allergy Free Alaska, The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday, and Vegetarian Mamma’s Gluten Free Fridays.

WIAW: The Budget Bites Edition

So I’ve talked a bit on here recently on how I’ve been setting a budget for the year but there is a big difference between talking a good game and actually being able to stick to it. Which is why I decided to share one of the more delicious parts of my budget a little more visually.

Budget Bites

I’ve allotted myself $100 per month for food/drinks (not including going out) with the goal of eating mostly vegetarian and possibly visiting farmers markets to supplement my CSA share. I eased into it for the month of June, inheriting food from my aunt and my parents while I was housesitting, but I managed to stay just under budget ($98.73 to be exact) which is pretty good considering I had to start my spice collection from scratch! That figure includes everything I ate this month, including the cost of my first 2 CSA shares. Not included are foods I already had on hand or foods that were given to me by well meaning family members🙂

Budget Bites

This month featured lots of salads courtesy of my CSA greens, quick and easy stir-fry, plenty of variations on flatbread pizza, and just a few waffles. It also marked my foray into vegetarian eating with my own veggie burger recipe and a surprisingly good dairy free ice cream. There was also plenty of wine, kombucha, cheese, and of course granola. All my meals were made with fresh whole foods (nothing processed or packaged aside from my almond milk and peanut butter), came together quickly, and made enough for me to eat for days. I’d say it’s a pretty good start and I’m looking forward to continuing the challenge next month.

Slices of Life- sharing a room

I’m hoping to cut the spending down even more in July now that my “pantry” is established… any extra money in the budget heads straight towards student loan payments!

What’s your favorite budget friendly meal? Any good resources for re-using leftovers?

This post is linked with Jenn’s What I Ate Wednesday at Peas and Crayons and Ruth’s Thrifty Thursday at Living Well Spending Less.

Slices of Life #5

Welcome back for another week of my particular brand of crazy. It’s Monday which means it’s time for another Slice of Life. Basically I share what I’ve been up to for the past week and link you to related posts from some all over the internet🙂

Slices of Life

 

The Life

Slices of Life- the life

I officially survived starting both of my jobs last week (despite my neighbor “choking” me during my CPI training). I’ve got a great caseload of upper elementary students for the next 4 weeks of summer school and a pair of clients at my part-time ABA gig. I had to generate my own therapy schedule for the first time ever which took a lot longer than it probably should have but it’ll get easier with time. I also took advantage of having a weekend to finally plant some herbs (just mint and basil in pots for this year) and catch up on some recipe photographing. For reading this week I found:

Inspiration to take it easy and enjoy the little moments from Lindsay at Cotter Crunch.

The Naked Face Project from Healthy Tipping Point. I’ve been working to streamline my personal routine and move into “greener” more natural beauty products and this project definitely takes care of that!

An interesting read from Greatist on the rising prevalence of autoimmune disease in 20 somethings (too bad Celiac didn’t make the list… guess I’m not as trendy as I used to be😉 )

A defense of oil pulling from Wellness Mamma, who introduced me to the idea in the first place. It’s still a part of my weekly routine and I really do feel as though I’ve seen improvements.

A seemingly fair review of my old favorite grocery store Trade Joe’s from Savvy Sugar that looks at their discounts from both sides of the aisle. Either way the closest TJ’s is now almost 40 minutes away so I won’t be shopping there any time soon😦

The Eats

Slices of Life- The Eats I am still swimming in salads from my first round of CSA produce (though I’m not gonna lie I’m excited for round 2 this week!) I had salad for lunch almost every day and I’ve still got enough for a few more this week. I finally cut into my kohlrabi and decided it’s one of my new favorite veggies, I sliced it super thin and used it to make a variation on my Kale Slaw.  Aside from salad it’s been lots of beans and rice, eggs, lentil tacos, and lots of pesto. Other great eats I found include:

Drool worthy Seafood dip from Peas and Crayons that BF is trying to bribe me into making ASAP.

Some great tips on loving you leftovers from Meghan at Clean Eats Fast Feets.

A Buzzfeed Sangria roundup that could keep me and my friends buzzed all summer long. *side note find local friends ASAP so I have an excuse to make sangria* 

A fun new contest with a hefty prize from Bobs Red Mill (the maker of my beloved GF oats).

The Exercise

Slices of Life- The Workouts

Exercise this week has dwindled significantly in terms of running. I think the change up in surfaces by my new place (gravel, mulch and grass) and the increases in mileage I’d been trying to build all added up and left me with one very sore hip. Despite all the stretching and foam rolling my PT bestie suggested I still can’t go more than a mile without things feeling funky. Since both of my jobs are active I’m officially on a running rest until everything feels 100%. That doesn’t mean I’ll be taking it easy though! I’m looking at plenty of yoga, HIIT workouts with minimal jumping, and slow hikes on the trails until I’m back to normal. I’m not sure yet how this will impact my plans to run a half-marathon with the BF this fall, but I’ll be sure to keep you all posted. No fitness links this week, just a reminder to listen to your body🙂

Who’s got a recommendation for low impact at home workouts? Anyone want to come over for a sangria party?

Dairy Free Berry “Ice Cream”

The last few days have been CrAzY! I’m already loving both of my new jobs, I have great co-workers, awesome kiddos,  a super relaxed dress code… but even with that there is no denying that it has been hot, hot, HOT. There is no doubt about it summer has officially arrived in Chicago.

Which is the perfect excuse to cool off with some ice cream, right?

Non-Dairy Berry Ice Cream

I was messing around with some leftover fruits, making a smoothie as usual, when I thought about what might happen if I put the whole mess in the freezer. Apparently if you give it a few hours and a little attention, the answer is ice cream… Can I call it ice cream if there isn’t any milk? Whatever I’m calling it ice cream🙂

Dairy Free Berry Ice Cream

 

Dairy Free Berry “Ice Cream” 

Makes: 4 servings

Time: 5 minutes hands on, 2-3 hours in the freezer

Ingredients 

1 cup strawberries (fresh or frozen), washed and chopped

1 cup blueberries (fresh or frozen), washed

8 oz (one can) regular coconut milk

Combine strawberries, blueberries, and coconut milk in a blender. Blend on high 1-2 minutes until fully incorporated. Transfer mixture to a flat container and place in the freezer. Give it a stir every 30(ish) minutes until desired consistency is reached. *Mine was ice cream solid in 2 1/2 hours*

Quick, easy, and perfectly refreshing on a hot summer day! You could easily customize this to any fruits you have on hand or any other flavor combinations you like (I’m already thinking tropical for my next batch.)   

Berry Ice Cream

I’m sharing this quick and easy treat with The Novice Gardener’s Fiesta Friday and Hun What’s for Dinner’s Simple Supper Tuesday.

What’s your favorite ice cream flavor? Does it feel like summer by you yet?