After a very cold, snowy and windy training - I ran my first race of the year today. I'm kind of a wimp when it comes to cold weather running, but I scheduled this Half Marathon to motivate myself to get moving and to condition myself for Marathon training. This race was my I did it moment as I happily waved goodbye to winter. The weather this morning was beautiful, sunny and mild. The course was hilly. I felt strong and better prepared than I realized. I can't ask for much more.
This is what I ate yesterday and this morning, in preparation for my race today. I started yesterday with a smoothie very similar to my Spring Super Food Smoothie except I substituted orange juice for the plant milk and omitted the cacao.
My pre-race meal will sound familiar. One hour before race time, I ate one half of a brown rice tortilla with 1 Tbsp nut butter, 2 dates, a sprinkle of hemp seeds and about a teaspoon of maple syrup. I also had coffee with soy milk and drank about 32 oz of water before the race began. We had just over an hour of driving which gave me plenty of time to hydrate and eat my breakfast.
Here I am, post 13.1 - Mission Accomplished!
It's Friday also known as my long run day, but today is a drop back week (yay!) so only a 10k - which felt really good. It was my first run this year without needing to wear a jacket, the sun was out, it wasn't windy - it was beautiful! While I have been having smoothies most mornings, today I opted for my brown rice tortilla-nut butter-dates and hemp seed combo.
I seasoned the peppers similarly - chipotle and chili powder, cayenne, garlic and onion powder and cooked until they were softened, but still had a little bite to them. As you can see, they retained their bright color. To make the tostadas, I heated corn tortillas right on the rack in a 350˚oven until they became just crispy. I topped the tortillas with beans, veggies, avocado, salsa and nutritional yeast for a lunch rich in fiber, protein, healthy fat, antioxidants and vitamin C.
In the spirit of spring, I tried something new this morning with my pre-run breakfast - I had a smoothie. I know, real ground breaking stuff! However, I am a creature of habit and I do believe it's important to be consistent with pre-run meals especially as my mileage increases. Still, I had an idea to try a Super Food Smoothie and it was super yummy, filled with good stuff and was perfect before a run. Hey - it's nice to have options!
Dinner was this Quinoa Hummus bowl at a local restaurant. It is vegan when ordered without feta cheese and I don't miss cheese in this at all. The bowl is fresh, flavorful and satisfying, even though (as you can see in this photo) the quinoa was not cooked very well. Still, I appreciate a restaurant with a vegan friendly option.
I had a heaping portion and I know it was good because when I returned from class, it was mostly gone except a bunch of chickpeas left in the bottom of the pot. Does this ever happen to you - Too much sauce, not enough pasta? 🤔
I find it helpful to keep pantry staples on hand so that I can make something quick and easy when I'm short on time. Having a selection of dried herbs and spices, oils, beans, pasta (rice and wheat), rice, tortillas, salsa, garlic, onions, sun-dried tomatoes, olives, artichoke hearts, jarred tomatoes makes a quick, flavorful and healthy dish accessible and easy to prepare.
We are now in the midst of our first week of Kundalini Yoga Teacher Training at Urban Yoga Chicago where we have 9 radiant women taking the course. This year we are blessed with a team of teachers who come in daily to prepare the lunch for the group. It is such a treat to have meals prepared by such generous souls and to have others prepare recipes that I have created. So far, they are working out nicely!
I'm not doing great with the picture taking, but I want to share what we are eating this week. For breakfast each morning, we offer crock pot oatmeal, toast, dates, walnuts, almond butter, apples, bananas and clementines. I love having oatmeal with a big spoonful of almond butter, a couple of dates, some banana and maple syrup as well as a piece of toast with coconut oil. We start our day with yoga and meditation at 5:30am so by the time breakfast rolls around, I'm hungry!
Dinners this week have varied from a meal out at Chicago Diner to a bit of leftover kitchari. I'm not always hungry after eating a big lunch, but try to eat a little something so my stomach isn't grumbling during sadhana the next morning. 😳 Overall I'm feeling very excited about how this week is going. The food has been so tasty and being in training again is inspiring and energizing. It's truly an honor to witness and support these new teachers on their journey.
Sharing my food is prompting me to try new things. I'm one of those people who could eat the same thing every day and be content. But something I'm working on this year is to mix it up a bit.
With that said, when it comes to my pre-run eating that will remain the same & it's boring so I won't post a photo every time. I started my day with the brown rice tortilla, date, hemp seeds, almond butter delight that I shared in my previous What I Ate Today post and headed out for a run. I felt like I was running on the moon. It was freezing and the snow and ice crunched loudly with each step. But there is such a feeling of accomplishment to complete an activity in less than ideal circumstances - and we are about 50 degrees away from ideal circumstances. 🤷🏻♀️
Dinner was a date night at Urban Vegan. The awesome part of going to a vegan restaurant is - we can eat everything on the menu, no questions asked. The challenge is - we can eat everything on the menu and there are so many options! Which is why I usually order the same thing every time. In the spirit of doing something different, today I had miso soup followed by steamed dumplings in a green curry sauce which were creamy, slightly sweet and spicy, and Spicy Thai Basil Tofu with perfectly cooked green peppers and onions. I would definitely order this meal again and feel inspired to replicate this dish in my own kitchen.
I ran today and I always have the same thing before running, coffee with half of a brown rice tortilla (heated on the stove) with about 1 Tbsp almond butter, 2 dates and a sprinkle of hemp seeds. It's not pretty, but it is a light breakfast that is filling enough to send me out the door without feeling like I'm running with a brick in my belly. I also try to drink about 24-32 ounces of warm water during my morning sadhana so I'm well hydrated as my day begins.
Yep, it happens - we all get sick, even vegans, even yogis we are all human beings and whether we want to admit it or not, it happens. A few nights of poor sleep + increased stress left my immune system compromised. And here I am lying in bed headache, sneezing, eyes watering and crying because feeling awful makes me feel sad.
Our inclination may be to power through with over-the-counter meds and go on about our lives, but I choose to rest and use this as an opportunity to nurture myself. Extra sleep, saying no to appointments that aren't necessary, lying down and being silent, eating well, lots of fluids. This is what I crave.
After waking up this morning to a sneezing fit and watery eyes, it was Neti Pot to the rescue. I like to Neti in the shower since I can't seem to use the thing without water running down the side of my face. I followed this with Nasaya Oil which felt so soothing. Feels so good to breathe! When I'm under the weather I crave orange juice and fruit in the morning. I like a Smoothie Bowl because I eat slower with a spoon making it more satisfying. I topped this simple bowl with some chopped nuts for texture.
I kept my hot lemon water near by and sipped it throughout the day. For a snack, I had a banana and a small handful of nuts. For dinner, I had a glass of OJ and 2 slices of toast topped with coconut oil and Everything but the Bagel Seasoning from Trader Joes (love that stuff). It was just enough as I was ready for bed.
Be well, here's to health and happiness in 2019.
I am an animal loving-Vegan runner, I practice and teach Kundalini Yoga and I love to cook and eat flavorful plant-based food.