Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Baby Steps

I've eaten a lot of race fees this past year. I didn't want to, but sometimes your body says no. Emphatically. Not even taking account how hot it gets in Texas during the summer, there are days where even taking dogs for walks is too much. My hamstring issue is better. Not gone, but better. The lack of energy is still there, and going strong. One side effect of peri-menopause that I never expected was zero energy because you can become anemic. When I remember to, I take iron supplements, but I'm terrible at remembering to take any sorts of pills. So, anything I do has to be in baby steps.

Which leads me to my new "training plan." I was so totally psyched when my Fitbloggin Bella teammate finished her half-Ironman the other week. Way to go Stephanie!! I was swimming back and forth the other evening in the pool when I got an idea. I'll do my own half-Ironman. It will take weeks to complete, but with baby steps, I believe I can do this.  My pool is small, just 23 feet long, including the half round step areas. I calculated (based on how I swim in the pool) that I will have to swim 158.4 laps to equal 1.2 miles for the swim portion of my half-Ironman. (I'll round up). I swam 40 laps (down and back equals 1 lap) on Monday evening. I'm looking forward to finishing the swim portion!  For the bike and run/walk portions, I'll do laps around my neighborhood. The three block loop section that I live on in my development is roughly 1 mile (1.1 on the outside sidewalk). This will be easy to track. I see people out running in the afternoon. To me, that's nuts. It's 100 degrees out. Not my idea of fun, so I'll be getting my ass out of bed earlier and take the dogs for walks while I log my miles.

Not glamorous, no cheering crowds, but baby steps on my way back to moving. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Thank you, California Avocados

I had a rare treat at Fitbloggin last week; I had the opportunity to have lunch at Euclid Hall, one of the Denver restaurants run by Chef Jen Jasinski, a chef who appeared on Top Chef Masters. The lunch was sponsored by the California Avocado Commission, and it was a delightful afternoon.

I know, it's totally cliche, but I live in Texas, and avocados mean guacamole. Last year I made an avocado mango salad that I entered in to the recipe contest held by the CAC, but I don't do adventurous things with avocados. The food that Chef Jen presented to us at the lunch was so delicious, and I am inspired to experiment with avocados now.

The lunch was not only delicious, it was also very informative, and I learned a lot about avocados.  I learned that avocados provide nearly 20 essential nutrients, and they also act as a nutrient booster. Some vitamins, such as beta-carotene and lutein, are fat soluble, and in order to absorb them in to your body, you need fat. Avocado contains heart healthy fat that can be used to replace less healthy fats in recipes. And for something so creamy, it contains a lot of fiber. Take a look at the daily values in just 1 ounce serving! What a powerhouse.

Vitamin K: 6.30 mcg / 8% DV
Folate: 27.00 mcg / 6% DV
Vitamin B6: 0.086 mg / 4% DV
Vitamin C: 2.60 mg / 4% DV
Vitamin E: 0.590 IU / 4% DV
Potassium: 152.00 mg / 4% DV
Fiber: 2.00 g / 8% DV

(credit to California Avocado Commission:

Now I like dessert as much as the next person, but I think my favorite course was the salad. The grilled king trumpet mushrooms were so delicious, I think I could eat that salad every day.

Chef Jen was very gracious and took time to talk with people attending the lunch and take pictures.
First course - a salad of orange slices, avocado, radicchio, watercress, king trumpet mushrooms,
goat cheese with an orange dressing
Roast chicken with corn fritters, avocado mousse (under the fritters) and a bacon frisee salad
Dark chocolate mousse on a chocolate mille feuille with avocado coconut sorbet, cocoa  nibs and lime syrup

I also learned about the nick and peel method of preparing an avocado. As it turns out, nutrients like lutein, which helps maintain healthy eyesight, are concentrated in the dark green layer that is closest to the skin. When you cube the avocado by slicing in to the fruit still in the skin, you risk missing out on all of these good nutrients. I really like this way of preparing avocados. I need all of the eyesight help that I can get!
Bonnie Taub-Dix demonstrating the 'nick and peel' method to peeling an avocado

The results - my new favorite way to cut an avocado

Each Fitbloggin person attending the lunch received a gift bag containing everything from an avocado masher (I had fun using it this morning), nutritional information about avocados, to a bag of avocados.

Mashing my peeled avocados
Guacamole. Yes, for breakfast. 


2 ripe avocados, mashed
1/4 cup minced red onion
1/2 - 1 jalapeno, minced (depends on how hot you like your guacamole)
juice of two limes
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tomato, diced
2 tablespoons cilantro leaves, snipped in to little pieces

Mix the mashed avocado, onion, minced jalapeno, salt and lime juice until well mixed. Fold in the diced tomato and cilantro leaves.  Let chill for at least 1 hour. Serve with chips or veggies, as you prefer.