Target Practice Friday #20

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Happy Black Friday my friends! I hope you are getting some awesome shopping done and had a wonderful time with your family and friends yesterday! I am once again writing this post away from home because I reunited with my friend Brittan for some late shopping in San Diego last night. I scored! But this is a blog about health so let’s talk Target Practice!

Triathlon - I have been focusing on swimming and biking, as you know. Again this week, I took my watch into the pool and thought I was Michael Phelps based on the time it said. Then my good friend informed me that I was using it wrong and that if I really was that fast, I should be training him for the next Half Ironman. He has swam his entire life and done several Half IMs. Hah! Obviously my watch wasn’t working correctly indoors even though it had signal from the satellite.
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Oh well! I’m still thinking of doing the 2015 Half Ironman because I just love swimming. It’s probably my favorite of the three sports!

Improve Pace - Somehow I feel like I am running slower and slower these days. I am still recovering from being sick but I really need to work on speed again… Next week!
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But I did get a Turkey Trot in yesterday!

Handstand – I attempted to do a handstand without a wall. That was fun!

Hah! I held it for maybe one second! I got a lot of great advice on IG which I will be trying next week.

Eating Clean - I ate very clean until the Thanksgiving feast. I was saving all of my cheats for this one meal, and boy, did I cheat! I may of had two slices of pumpkin pie! Worth. Every. Calorie!
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My Grandma is so fancy with her salt and pepper crystal! I will have you know she still cooks the entire meal… Amazing!

Now I am off to explore LA with Brittan. Have a great weekend!

Sweet Potato Tater Tots

The air is finally starting to feel crisp here in Southern California. While I love the colors of fall, I’m not quite ready for cooler weather.  I can’t believe we are almost in December. The other day I was telling my friend that summer is officially over once we hit December here in SoCal. I am not ready. This spring/summer/fall was too amazing.

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However, Thanksgiving is around the corner (literally) and I have a lot to be thankful for!

IMG_6510-pSince am trying to get into the fall/winter spirit, I decided to make sweet potato tots. Nothing says Thanksgiving to me quite like potatoes. While I love mashed potatoes, I decided to be a little adventurous with this tots recipe.

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Sriracha ketchup makes the perfect dipping sauce for these tots, and really, all things in life!

4.0 from 1 reviews

Sweet Potato Tots
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 2
 

Ingredients
  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 2 tablespoons almond flour
  • ½ tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ¼ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 egg

Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Grate the sweet potato with a cheese grater.
  3. Using multiple paper towels, squeeze excess juice out of the sweet potatoes.
  4. Add all ingredients in a large bowl and mix until combined.
  5. Use a tablespoon to form tater tot sized logs.
  6. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crispy.

 

The Bear left me about 4 tater tots, so you may want to double this recipe because it is seriously tasty. Typically the Bear turns his nose up to anything with sweet potatoes so that’s saying something! If you haven’t noticed, I use the Bear as my guide to healthy, yet delicious, recipes because he can be a wee bit picky.

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I hope you enjoy this recipe! Happy Thanksgiving!!!

It’s Tri Time!

Happy Monday my Friends! It’s official! I am about to be a triathlete! I signed up for my first triathlon this weekend and I could not be more excited. I decided to go with the Tinsel Triathlon in Hemet because a reverse sprint tri seemed less scary. This tri will start with a 5k run, 20k bike, and 150 meter pool swim. Totally doable considering the last sport is a pool swim.  I am not quite ready for open water swimming, so I am saving that for the next triathlon.
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It’s likely that most of you know I started to train if you follow me on Instagram or Twitter as I have been dropping a lot of hints there. It’s true… I started swim lessons to learn the proper way to swim.  I have swam my entire life but never learned the correct form. But a cool thing happened this weekend! I swam one entire mile! This has been a private goal of mine for about 6 months. I still need to work on form and speed but I am definitely less intimidated by swimming now.
imageAfter my last half marathon, I also started to ramp up the cycle training. Slowly but surely I am starting to feel ready for this race! That’s a good thing considering the race is in two weeks! Over the next few weeks leading up to the race, I will focus on biking and swimming. Although I am not a fast runner, I feel like it comes easiest to me out of the three sports.

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I am super excited for this next adventure. Hopefully this will be the first of many triathlons in my future. The ultimate goal would be a Half Ironman, but I am not going to get ahead of myself at the moment. :)

Questions: Have you ever done a triathlon? What is your best advice for a newbie?

Target Practice Friday #19

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Happy Friday my friends! Target practice is lacking this week. Ever since the Rock ‘n’ Roll half, I have been focusing on getting better.  Running a half marathon is not exactly conducive to recovering from a cold. However, I wouldn’t change a thing because it was an amazing trip! Even though this week is lacking in fitness activities, I should have some exciting news over the next few weeks!

Improve Pace - I was aiming for 2:15 in my half marathon before I got sick, but I am happy with the 2:31 I ended up running because it was under extreme circumstances.

Handstand – No improvement here.

Half Marathon – As you know I ran the Las Vegas Rock ‘n’ Roll half and it was exhilarating! A funny thing happened during this race. Normally I hit a wall around mile 11 or 12, but that didn’t happen at all! I actually felt like I could have sprinted the rest of the race around mile 10.  I think my body is finally getting used to this running business, which is a good thing for what is to come. :-)

RnRLV Half Marathon_smallEating Clean - Hah! I was in Vegas… there was no eating clean! Though I am definitely ready for a detox… maybe after Thanksgiving!

Have an awesome weekend!

Las Vegas Recap

I am so excited to be home again! Over the last 5 days I have been in Las Vegas.  Let me tell you, 5 days in Las Vegas is a lot! I think 3 or maybe 4 days will do in the future. Since I have nothing else planned to post for the week I thought I would give y’all a recap of my trip.
imageThis was Brittan’s and my third time in Vegas this year but it never seems to get old.  We arrived at the Cosmopolitan Casino and it was beautiful to say the least. I have to give the Cosmo credit for having excellent air circulation, which is great considering people smoke in the casinos.

imageAfter our arrival we ate, shopped, and then danced. Except for the night we ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon, all our days in Vegas looked alike, with the occasional show or two. image(Photo taken by the beautiful Brittan)

Some of my favorite meals were from Mon Amy Gabi and a Thai restaurant just off the strip. Lotus of Siam actually has the reputation of being the best Thai restaurant in the nation!
imageWe had more than one meal from a pizza joint inside of the Cosmopolitan on the third floor.  The entrance is un-marked as the restaurant doesn’t have a name. We call it “secret pizza” and it seriously has the most amazing New York style pizza.  Like I said, we went there on multiple occasions.
imageOn Saturday, we went to the Rock ‘n’ Roll Expo.  It was the biggest race expo I have been to so far.  Some of my favorite vendors were Flip Belt, Nuun, and Sparkly Soul Fitness Headbands.  I just discovered Sparkly Soul and I absolutely love the headbands! Brittan and I ran the entire half marathon without needing to adjust the headband at all!
imageOn our last night in Vegas, I met up with the lovely Sara from Fit.Fun.Femme, who happened to be in Vegas for work. She was even more bubbly and beautiful in person.  We had a blast getting to know each other over a drink. I always felt like I knew Sara just from reading her blog, but it was nice to see her personality come to life in person… such a sweetheart!
imageIt was a long Vegas weekend. I truly had the time of my life, but I am ready to be home with my pups and husband!

Question of the Day: What is your favorite restaurant in Vegas? 

Rock n Roll Las Vegas: Strip at Night

Hello from Las Vegas! I’m still here enjoying all the wonders Vegas has to offer, aka food, drinks, shopping, and shows! Last night I ran the Rock n Roll half marathon on the strip with my college friend Brittan and it was truly thrilling.
imageRunning the strip at night is so exhilarating. This is a crowded race so it was full of energy and excitement. Having over 40,000 people running a race creates a certain type of challenge for the organizers but this race was planned out well with multiple race corrals.
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The start line seemed so far away from our corral but once we got to the start the DJ had us pumped up with energy. We were ready for the run. Brittan and I planned to run/walk this race because I was still getting over a cold but we ended up running the entire thing! Having awesome bands play throughout the course doesn’t hurt matters either.
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I was so impressed with Brittan during this race. I’ll have you know that the longest distance she ran during training was 3 miles! Incredible! I don’t think I could have run a half marathon without running 10 miles before hand. She is my new hero!
imageI have to say there were a few lessons learned from this race. For intense, dancing until 3 am the night before is probably not the smartest idea. Also, bring your own fuel to the race. Even if the race offers fuel on the course, they may run out before you get there. Lastly, don’t be afraid to grab two cups of Gatorade because you are probably dehydrated from those cocktails the night before… Hah!
imageAll that matters is that we finished and with a pretty decent time of 2:31! I’m off to enjoy a little icing and then shopping… Catch ya later!

Target Practice Friday #18

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

About the time this will post, I will be boarding a plane for Vegas! In case you haven’t noticed I registered for the Las Vegas RnR half marathon, and I have been looking forward to this race for as long as I can remember (I may have a short term memory!). Anyways, It’s been a challenging week because I’m actually sick.  I came down with a nasty bug on Wednesday, but I am going to run/walk this thing to my hearts content! Plus, check out these cards the Bear got me for the RnR expo!
imageNow for Target Practice…

Improve Pace - I worked on speed with treadmill interval training Monday and Tuesday. I am so glad I got my workouts in early this week because there wasn’t any training after Tuesday.

Handstand – Still working on abs to strengthen my core because I am still dependent on a wall.

Half Marathon – I ran a nice 8 miles on Sunday. The first 4 miles were hilly and I didn’t even need to stop once!  No mid-week run this week.

Eating Clean - I have downed gallons of tea, chicken noodle soup, and water this week. I have tried just about every remedy in the book to make this cold go away.  The best thing I have tried is herbal tea with 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar. I think it did the trick because I feel much better today!

Now I’m off to Vegas!!! Eeeeee!!!! Have a glamtastic weekend!

The Truth Behind Nightshades

Nightshades

Is it just me or are more and more people removing nightshades from their diet?! Over the last month, two of my coworkers told me about how they have removed nightshade plants from their diet and suggested I do the same. If you are anything like me, you are probably wondering what the heck nightshades are!

Well, Nightshade fruits and vegetables belong to the family of Solanaceae plants.  This group of plants contains more than 2,500 species that are widely used as food and medicine, according to Encyclopaedia Britannica. The more famous fruits and vegetables that are considered a nightshade are tomatoes, potatoes, eggplants, peppers, and goji berries. I know… I just about cried when I heard the list! Then I asked, why should I avoid these delicious and thought to be nutritious foods?

When I searched the internet for answers, I found a lot of people on both sides of the fence about consuming nightshades. Basically some people, but not all, have a hard time digesting nightshades fully and run into issues with diarrhea, gas, bloating, nausea, painful joints, headaches and even depression. The reason for this sensitivity is due to the alkaloids found in nightshades. There are four types of alkaloids in nightshades, some of which are desirable and others that can be toxic. Read more about it here.

The amount of alkaloids is very low in the food (aka fruits) produced from nightshade plants as compared to the plant itself, so health problems that are stimulated from nightshades typically occur in individuals who are especially sensitive to alkaloid substances. Also, alkaloid content is lowered by up to 50% by cooking nightshade foods.

Nightshades are getting a bad rep as of late. It may be partially due to the fact that people are confusing nightshades with “deadly nightshade,” an inedible weed that’s also part of the Solanaceae family.

(Deadly Nightshade Belladonna)

The truth is most people don’t have any sensitivity to nightshade foods at all. Lucky for me, I fall into that category and will continue to eat my eggplant, tomatoes, and potatoes! :)

Question(s) of the day:

Have you heard of the no-nightshades diet?

Would you ever consider removing nightshades from your diet?

Sources: Science Daily, Live Strong, The World’s Healthiest Foods, 4 Myths about Nightshades

 

Salsa Fresca Egg White Salad

It is no secret that I have been struggling with this blog over the last few weeks. While I love blogging, I also love running, biking, hiking, cooking, and strength training. Plus I work full time (sometimes full and a half time!), and of course, I need to make time for the Bear, Thing 1 and Thing 2! Don’t get me wrong… I am not complaining. I actually have a good problem which is that I love ALL these things and I want to do them all! There just aren’t enough hours in the day. I am sure a lot of you can relate!

Over the last few weeks, I have been contemplating on how to maintain this blog while continuing all the activities that I love.  This has been a tough decision but I have come to the conclusion that I am only going to blog when I have something to say. I am not going to force a topic or stress over creating a recipe on the weekends.  However, my goal is to blog 2-3 times a week. Wooo… I feel like I can breath now!

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With that being said, I did have time to create one small, teeny, tiny recipe. I was definitely feeling more semi-homemade, Sandra Lee style than all-out, Martha Stewart style this weekend. Plus I can’t even say I thought up this recipe! Hah… it came straight from the masterminds over at Trader Joe’s, but they charge almost $4 for only 6 ounces of egg whites.

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Salsa Fresca Egg White Salad
Cook time: 
Total time: 

Serves: 1
 

Ingredients
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons salsa fresca

Instructions
  1. Place 3 eggs in a sauce pan. Add cold water to cover the eggs in the pan. Heat on high until the water just starts to boil. Remove from the heat and cover the pan. Let sit for 9 minutes.
  2. To cool the eggs, put them in ice water or refrigerate.
  3. Remove the eggshell and separate the egg whites from the cooked yolk.
  4. Chop the egg whites and mixed with salsa.

 

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I figured that I can make a trunk load of egg white salad for that price! So I boiled some eggs and stole some salsa from the Bear (he is the king of chips and salsa). If you are feeling more like Martha Stewart, you can make this Salsa Fresca recipe which is amazing. Salsa Fresca Egg White Salad is great on toast, wrapped in a tortilla, or eaten with a big spoon!

Question(s) of the day:

 How do you balance blogging, work, fitness, and life?

What’s your favorite way to eat an egg? Hard boiled, sunny-side up, or scrambled?

Target Practice Friday #17

borrowed stole the idea for the Target Practice Friday series from the ladies over at Fit.Fun.Femme.  I do things a little differently, but ultimately it’s where I share my progress on my short term goals, a.k.a targets.

Hello my blogging friends! I’ve missed you this week!  I am happy to say it was a good Target Practice week.  My fitness focus and stamina has returned, which is great considering I have my second half marathon in Vegas next Sunday!

Improve Pace - Surprisingly, and I mean very surprisingly, I enjoyed speed work this week. The treadmill is becoming my friend but only for 20 minutes at a time. Anything longer than that is mind numbing!  However, I did two workouts of interval training this week. Not too shabby!

Handstand – I worked on handstands, but I haven’t made much progress.  My trainer showed me a few ab workouts that are supposed to help with handstands, so there were a lot of scissor crunches this week.

Half Marathon – I ran 10 miles on Sunday, and I’m not going to lie, they were torturous! My body was not feeling the 10 miles but I kept pushing and pushing it to run because I just had to get in a long run.  Next time, I will be a little nicer to my body because it truly knows best.  In addition to speed work, I ran a 5k mid-week after work. Why oh why did the time have to change?! I am not cool with it being dark at 5 o’clock!

Eating Clean - The first part of the week was really clean! There were salads, fruits, and veggies. It went downhill on Thursday because my salad went bad (boo to wilted greens) so I bought lunch at work (which by the way, I dropped on the ground and had to buy again!).
imageThe Bear also bought cookies last night which I ate after the gym but before macaroni and cheese. I’m one classy lady! I would eat like a toddler if I could. :)

imageSnuggle time with Thing 2… how did that get in there!

This weekend is packed with fitness activities! I’m running 8 miles tomorrow and start swim lessons on Sunday. (Eeee!) I may even throw in a bike ride… we’ll see! :)

Have a active weekend!