TV Catch-up time

Today I kept my workout short to just my usual lunch time run.B The results are still in a struggle disappointment.B 5.6 Miles 52 Min 10 Seconds Incline 3. This set me at an average of 6.4MPH.B I”m struggling to go back up to 6.9MPH I used to be able to.B You figured with my increased endurance I would be able to increase my speed for the short runs.B Maybe I’m just tired, or my legs prefer flat surfaces.

This morning I woke up with a craving for oatmeal… I know, that’s a bit weird for me… So that’s what I had some simple plain oatmeal with a ton of raisins and cinnamon.B After my run I munched on some extra salty peanut butter and fruit.

Which was followed by lunch 20 minutes later…

Looks familiar?B That’s my salad from last night with the leftover lunch chicken…. organic spring mix, organic baby arugula, organic celery, orange pepper, organic carrots, asparagus and cucumbers.B I last minute decided to nuke up the salad so I can pretend to have a warm meal instead with a side of sour cream and onion pirate booty.

The 3pm snack was some vegan carrot walnut cake and peppermint tea… Which ended being disappointing due to the frosting.B Not sure whats in vegan frosting but it did not make my mouth happy and after digging around for the cake part I gave up and threw it in the trash and reverted to my usual bag of M&Ms.

As for dinner, I’m actually quite excited to write about!B Although not as excited as I was about eating it.B That’s why midway through my munching I remember I should take a picture.B I actually do own a nice SLR and a nice point and shoot but I prefer iphone photo for speed.

Yup that’s my dinner half gone already. Tony’s mom kindly offered us some chickpea/veggie patties so I graciously accept (that’s the bitten up thing on the bottom left.) They’re quite yummy.B The rest I made myself!

I chopped and baked sweet potatoes, turnips for 20 minutes at 400 degrees.B I then added some asparagus to the baking bowl for another 15 minutes.B To which I ripped up some organic Kale bumped the over temp to 450 and kept it all baking for another 10 minutes.B Retrospectively I should have only did the Kale for 6 minutes or so, o well live and learn; don’t partially burn your food.

Tony made some hummus that I snacked on with pretzels as I continue to catch up on tv for the night.

What was your most recent day of TV bingeing?

Today I practically ran home so I can catch up on some of my weekly shows:B Once Upon A Time, Desperate Housewives, Pretty Little Liars, and Biggest Loser.B I’m a hulu addict.

Prepping for another 14-miler treadmill run

Today’s workout 14 miles, much too long at a too slow pace on a treadmill. To be fair, it was on an incline of 2-3 with a short phone call break not a good excuse but I can whimper.

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So how do I survive a long(ish) boring treadmill run after a long work day? Yes 14 miles is long for as before last two months my regular routine was just 5.5 miles on a treadmill at a time with a painful long run of 7 miles. It takes a full eating day, because if I don’t eat well, I don’t last beyond 7 miles maybe 8. I guess I can try to integrate Gu but just writing makes my insides curl up for now.

I carbo-load for breakfast. Giant sesame seed bagel smothered in peanut butter with extra salt from my amazing work cafe. This picture is stolen as I ate mine before I decided I’m going to blog about what I ingest into my belly. My bagel is bigger with a lot more peanut butter and 3 salt packets. I usually leave 1/4 of the massive bagel to nimble on later.

I skip my regular lunch break/workoutB to catch up on work so I can go up to the gym a little before 530. Most importantly I usually grab lunch from cafe as its all you can grab for 6 bucks and I found out that when I try to run post work on my regular from home lunch I burn out quicker. Although my work lunch is very fairly priced for the balanced options on the days I don’t run long(ish) I still make my own as the work cafe makes it way too easy to overindulge.

So here’s part one of what I grabbed. A gyro sandwich and coconut curry soup. I ate half the soup and put the gyro on the side because I had my eyes set on the next part of my meal.

My baby spinach salad. Did I mention I’m a baby spinach addict like Popeye! He had to get strong and so do I. I love the sweet taste of baby leaves compared to bitterness of a spring salad or plainness of romaine. Yes I might have went crazy with adding goat cheese and feta cheese. B Not sure where this lately crazy cheese craving came from.

Yup, I really load up those to go container, cafe staff and my bosses must think I’m feeding a third world country underneath my desk.

I did leave myself some surprisesB at theB bottomB in caseB i’m still hungry post-salad. B To the left, is some eggplantB potatoB dish that I ate without looking. B It was creamy, veryB pureeB eggplant and perfect potatoes I assumeB GreekB style as that was the theme of today’s menu. B I skipped the chicken kabob on the right as I tried a small piece and it tasted a bit too lemony. B Needless to stay the gyro sandwich got skipped as well. B The meat tasted a bit too processed for my evening plans. B I always grab a little bit ofB everythingB because I never know what I will like and I want to avoid being hungry. B I know wasteful, but I do try to reuse some of the things I don’t eat later in a way that I can stomach so its not too bad. B Right? =)

Around 3pm, one of my amazing coworkers got us some cupcakes from the South End Buttery. B This awesomeness is created with a “traditional Southern recipe, made with cocoa powder and aB hint of vinegar, topped with cream cheese frosting.” Did I mention this is the first time I liked frosting on a cupcake! I had half with a nice cup of mint tea. B I saved the other half for breakfast. B Can’t wait!

I’d like to sayB that’sB all I ate, but I did munch on some berries and a pack of peanut M&Ms (250 cals pack). B Yes my teeth will rot, but my coworkers will beB gratefulB because sugar keeps me perky and not the crazy cranky Liana monster that can appear when tried.

I concluded my 14 milers with someB FacebookB catch upB and foam rolling joying. B Best part of running 14 miles is taking those extra few minutes to roll out some kinks in the legs. B Anyone else want to scream when theyB foam-rollB their calves? B I guess mine are super tight. B

I fully wrapped up with someB GreekB yogurt and more berries for refuel as it was already 7:30 and I had an hour commute back to my palace aka apartment and I hear passing out on trains never leads to a good night.

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Dinner was another boring low key salad as I was slightly tired by the time I made it home. B I reheated the other half of my coconut curry soup and ate that gyro from lunch. B Process meat is fine by me as long as its at the end of my day and not the middle =).

There might have been some more pretzel sticks as I was making my salad and a few pieces of Trader Joes darkB chocolate with some organic ginger peach tea.

Overall, it was a good day through and through. B Hope yours was too!

Do you ever run after work? B How many miles? B Ever do long(ish) runs on weekday evenings? B Outside or inside? B

I try to do 1-2 long(ish) runs in this part of my training during the week with one long run on the weekend. B I’m terrified of running outside and I think lack of light leaves me a bit depressed so I stick to indoor post work workouts. B On the downsize I find the treadmill a lot more tiring than the pavement so I try to pay closer attention to what I eat on those days. B It’s my first marathon and I’m a bit on the rush to build up my base from regular 5 mile runs to 26.2.

Will you be mine? (or else..)

Happy Valentine’s Day – one (of the many) days where sugar calories don’t count!

I had a semi good run on the treadmill today at a 3 incline at 9:05 mile pace, 5.5 miles.B Hoping for a little outside low key 5K action today after work before my fancy dinner made by Tony.B I told him couples that 5K together, do other things together.B Hopefully that will get him to keep his word!

Instead of reading the depressing current events, I got sucked into reading random Valentine day facts. B I thought I’d share a few (okay more than a few):

Some knowledge and history!

  • There are several theories and ChristianB martyrsB named valentine; however, the most popular dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II, 270 AD. Claudius didn’t want men to marry during wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on February 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the jailor’s daughter signing it, “From your Valentine.”
  • Valentine’s Day was first celebrated during the time of the Romans. It was a holiday to celebrate fertility and men would draw lots with women’s names written on them. The woman whose name the man randomly chose would become his bed buddy for the year.
  • Despite Saint Valentine’s existence (it is believed he could be one of three people) the Catholic Church removed Valentine’s Day from its religious calendar in 1969 (First no valentinebs day, now no condoms, always getting in the way of fun).
  • In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day (He knew whatbs up).
  • The phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve” comes from the Middle Ages custom of knights wearing a colored fabric from their love on the arm of the armor.
  • Speaking of the dark ages, many believe the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X.’ The ‘X’ was then kissed to show their sincerity.
  • There is a Croatian island located in the Zadar Channel that is shaped perfectly like a heart. The island, which is called Galesnjak, is completely deserted and can only be accessed by small boat
  • The greatest structure built in the name of love: the Taj Mahal in India. The building was created by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife.
  • California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the greater number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.

Some Numbers

  • One billion: The number of estimated Valentinebs Day cardsB sentB every year according to the Greeting Card Association.B This is second only to Christmas when 2.6 billion cards are sent.
  • 8 billion:B The amount ofB Sweethearts Conversation HeartsB manufactured each year for Valentinebs Day. Thatbs about 100,000 pounds a day.
  • $15.7 billion:B Estimated amount that will be spent this year on Valentinebs DayB merchandise.
  • $5.04:B How much the average consumer will spend on theirB petsB for Valentinebs Day.
  • $3.5 billion:B The amount of money consumers will spend onB blingB and baubles for their loved ones. Another $1.7 billion will be spent on flowers and $1.5 billion on candy.B
  • 91:B Percentage of men who give flowers to their significant other onB Valentine’s DayB toB show their love.
  • 16:B Percentage of men who give flowers onB Valentine’s DayB to “stay out of theB doghouse.”
  • 64:B Percentage of men who do not make plans in advance for Valentine’s Day.

Some Funnies

  • B According to Durex, sales of condoms are highest around Valentine’s Day each year.
  • Statistically speaking (and if you take into consideration the first fact), more home pregnancy tests are purchased in the month of March than any other month.
  • Pets will be on the receiving end of heart-shaped gifts this year with more then 9 million American pet owners splurging on their furry four-legged friend (too bad therebs no cute cat shirts, plus Ibm pretty sure my cat will pee on my pillow if I dress him).
  • Men in Japan receive more Valentine’s Day chocolate than women, thanks in large part to effective ad campaigns (Who do they think they are?).
  • Casanova, well known as “The World’s Greatest Lover,” ate chocolate to make him virile (I donbt know who he is, but maybe you do).
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day (So donbt feel bad if you canbt puppy eye your boyfriend into work flower delivery, cause that mean lady down the hall probably sent it to herself).
  • Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all Valentines (cards).
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets (Pets?B Come on buddy, get a hobby, knit instead).
So kids have fun, eat your weight in chocolate and love one another! B I bid you well with this photo of my two favorite boys:
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Ibd like to claim I am all knowledgeable and spent hours researching this but I stole some of the many facts from: http://www.lfpress.com/life/2012/02/07/19350416.html, http://medfield.patch.com/articles/poll-patch-valentine-s-day-fun-facts, http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/807655/fun-facts-about-valentine-s-day

Lets get ready to rummmmmmmmmmbbbblee

The Challenger

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The Frenemy

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The winner?

Let’s call it a draw. B I made it 19 miles (I justified that since I had a mile to walk home from the train and 19 treadmill miles = at least 20 outside miles since there’s no way to make that thing go downhill, just work with me okay!) B But I will not be listing my time. B I think it was an average of over 10min miles because I would take a stretching break, or a crawl up in a ball and pray break. B I did try Gu Chumps. B It tasted good, but I don’t think my stomach approved, or maybe it was the running 19 miles on a treadmill that made me feel like vomit. B Either way, I’m counting this as a 20 miler and I have 3 left until the big day. B Hopefully next weekend’s weather will go above 15B Fahrenheit so my fingers won’t have the risk of frostbite.

Do you ever take your long runs onto a treadmill?

How do you fuel for those 20 milers?

Pretzel stealing meow meow

Friday workout – 55 min 7 miles outside

Saturday – 110 min 12 miles outside

I’m learning that blogging on a daily basis is slightly more difficult then reading blogs on a daily basis.

I got to start Friday of a smoked Salmon Omelet.B Prefect example of diet of a marathon trainer vs. a small cup of oatmeal of a diet of a non-runner.

ImageYes it ended up being a bit overcooked, but for $3 bucks and the convenience of a work cafeteria can’t be beat!B The problem with all you can eat cafe is that you add things like home fries and and a spinach cheese quiche all before making your way out.B I have no idea how I even did that but next thing I knew they were in my to go carton as well.B All is well I grazed on this through most of morning while working before noon time arrived for my lunch time run.

I recent converted from treadmill running (another perk of working in a big company vs. small) to running outside if it was sunny, over 45 and I had 65 minutes to take for lunch.B Plus, my knees have been bothered me from the treadmill so I decided some change might do me good.B You start to learn more about potential pains when you switch your treadmill runs from 7 miles to 14.B I’ll eventually sit down and write about all the things I did wrong for my first marathon training and all the pains I got.B Its amazing how running outside increases you speed.B I made it though 7 miles in 55 minutes, with an even faster time shower afterwards in record time.B

When I got back to work, there was leftover sandwiches, so I grabbed half of a turkey cranberry one that I think was ordered from Pizzeria Regina’s.B I’d show a picture, but I’m embarrassed of how unhealthy it looked (plus there’s only so many food pictures I can take in a day before my coworkers start to wonder whats wrong with me.)B

After work, I came outside to a surprise:ImageI know it hard to see in this blurry picture, but that’s natural small amount of daylight left at 5:30pm.B I can almost see spring on the horizon!

The rest of the evening was low key.B I dug through Marshalls looking for a cut running skirt for my DC and more important Boston marathon.B I brought two I need to test out to see if they’re comfy.B Shopped for cat food, people food and enjoyed some homemade french Lentil soup made by Tony’s mom with this for dessert.B

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I hate to say it, but this tastes even better than the pumpkin one I treasured for so long.B And okay I lied, I also had some last remainder of my Cadbury chocolate from London for dessert as well.B B

B

Do you have a pet? If a cat, what do you feed it?B

My childhood cat passed away at 12 from kitty cancer so I’ve been doing a lot of research in confusion.B So far we are feeding him half a can of fancy feast kitten can food and Blue Buffalo Wilderness Grain free dry kitten food.B It’s a bit pricey but hopefully it’ll keep him healthy for many years.

Whats your favorite beer?

Mine rotates, but I think right now its this blueberry smash, if only it came in 12oz instead of only pints!

Entry attempt #2

About four score or possibly four months ago I tried to make a blog entry…. What happened? B Its still sitting incomplete and unpublished since the only thing worse than fear is making an introduction post. B Instead I’ll write about my love for Walnuts.

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First the ugly…

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But what is an ounce? B An ounce seems plenty! B Until you realize 8 ounces is a cup of coffee and you’re pretty sure thatB sandwichB sizeB ZiplocB bag of walnuts might have a been a bit bigger than that..

Lets skip over the lack of portion size preception on my part and go the benefits! B The half full portion of this more than one ounce glass.

Some healthy facts

  • The nuts are rich source of energy and contain many health benefiting nutrients, minerals, antioxidants and vitamins that are essential for optimum health.
  • They are rich in monounsaturated fatty acids (about 72%) like oleic acid and an excellent source of all importantB omega-3B essential fatty acids likeB linoleic acid, alpha linolenic acid (ALA) and arachidonic acids.
    • Regular intake of walnuts in the diet help to lower total as well as LDL or bbad cholesterolb and increase HDL or bgood cholesterolb levels in the blood.
  • Eating just as much as 25 g each day provides about 90% of recommended daily intake of omega-3 fatty acids.
    • Research studies have suggested that Omega-3 fatty acids by their virtue of anti-inflammatory action helps to lower the risk of blood pressure, coronary artery disease, strokes and breast, colon and prostate cancers.B Plus being a runner, itbs always nice to find non advil methods of lowering any inflamation
  • They are rich source of many phyto-chemical substances that may contribute to their overall anti-oxidant activity, includingB melatonin, ellagic acid, vitamin E, carotenoids, and poly-phenolic compounds. These compounds have potential health effects against cancer, aging, inflammation, and neurological diseases.
  • The form of vitamin E found in walnuts is somewhat unusual, and particularly beneficial. Instead of having most of its vitamin E present in the alpha-tocopherol form, walnuts provide an unusually high level of vitamin E in the form of gamma-tocopherol. Particularly in studies on the cardiovascular health of men, this gamma-tocopherol form of vitamin E has been found to provide significant protection from heart problems.
  • Scientists at University of Scranton, Pennsylvania have recently discovered that walnuts have highest levels of popyphenolic antioxidants than any other common edible nuts. 100 g of walnuts contain13541 B5mol TEB (Trolex equivalents) ofB oxidant radical absorbance capacityB (ORAC). Eating as few as six to seven average sizedB nuts a day could help scavange disease causing free radicals from the body.
  • In addition, they are also excellent source ofB vitamin E, especially rich inB gamma-tocopherol; contain about 21 g per 100 g (about 140% of daily-required levels). Vitamin E is a powerful lipid soluble antioxidant, required for maintaining the integrity of cell membrane of mucus membranes and skin by protecting it from harmful oxygen free radicals.
  • These nuts are packed with many important B-complex groups of vitamins such as riboflavin, niacin, thiamin, pantothenic acid, vitamin B-6, and folates.
  • They also very are rich source of minerals likeB manganese, copper, potassium, calcium,B iron,magnesium, zinc, and selenium. Copper is a cofactor for many vital enzymes, including cytochrome c-oxidase and superoxide dismutase (other minerals function as co-factors for this enzyme are manganese and zinc). Zinc is a co-factor in many enzymes that regulate growth and development, sperm generation, digestion and nucleic acid synthesis. Selenium is an important micronutrient, which functions as co-factor for anti-oxidant enzymes such asB glutathione peroxidases.
  • Walnuts oil has flavorful nutty aroma and has an excellent astringent properties; helps to keep skin well protected from dryness. It has also been used in cooking, and as bcarrier or base oilb in traditional medicines in massage therapy, aromatherapy, in pharmaceutical and cosmetic industry.

Some interesting facts where I can spell and pronounce each word written below

  • Walnuts are the oldest known tree food b they date back to 10,000 BC
  • There are more than 30 varieties of commercially produced walnuts!
  • The three most popular verities grown for commercial purpose are theB EnglishB orB Persian walnutB (Juglans regia),B the Black walnut (Juglans nigra), and theB White or butternut walnutB (Juglans cinerea).
  • The Greeks called walnutsB karyon, meaning bhead,b because the shell resembles a human skull and the walnut kernel itself looks like a brain!
  • English walnuts (also known as Persian walnuts) originate in Central Asia and were introduced to California in the 1700s.
  • Commercially, the nuts are being cultivated in the United States of America, Romania, France, Turkey, and China.
  • Today China is the number 1 world supplier while US is number 2
  • 99% of the commercial U.S. supply and 3/4 of the world trade of walnuts now come from California.
  • After plantation, the plant takes approximately four years until it produces its first major crop.
  • Walnuts are only harvested once a year, between September and November.
  • Walnuts have always been considered important for their medicinal properties, including curing bad breath, reducing inflammation, and healing wounds.
  • Like today, a common culinary use of walnuts in the 17th-19th centuries was in salads

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So enjoy, possible over indulge, knowing full well that at least you’re overdosing on benefits (and possibly some fat)

And no, I’m not a nut expert, so all facts have been acquired through the powers of the interwebs.

How do you like your walnuts?

I like mine plain and already cracked open so I can enjoy the full creamy nut flavor withB minimumB amount of work!