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Posts tagged ‘healthy eating’

My New Favorite Peanut Butter

I have a problem and unfortunately it comes in the form of peanut butter. 190 calories, 16 grams of fat, 8 grams of protein, and that’s just for one serving. But who can really stop at just one serving of peanut butter? I certainly can’t.

A few weeks ago my dear friend Emily brought us a sample of PB2, a peanut powder. To turn it into actual peanut butter, just add 2 tablespoons of powder and one tablespoon of water and voilà, you have peanut butter. The best part? It’s only 45 calories, 1 grams of fat, and 4 grams of protein. Now no, it doesn’t taste exactly like delicious fresh roasted peanut butter, but it’s quite similar. And there is even one with chocolate. Ingredients include peanuts, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt. Deliciousness.

Delicious peanut butter and chocolate

Delicious peanut butter and chocolate

Bell Plantation:

Peanut butter has always been a staple for the health conscious and physically active. But even peanut butter can be improved. PB2 reduces fat through a chemical-free process. Like all Bell Plantation products, PB2 and Chocolate PB2 are all natural, preservative free, and contain no artificial sweeteners. And that makes them a sweet alternative for active lifestyles, dieters, and moms who want healthy snacks for their kids.

You really can mix this stuff with any liquid you want. You can add it to smoothies, oatmeal, or even to your baking. It’s yummy, 85% less fat calories than regular peanut butter, and convenient. Thanks Emily for the sample! I now have a new problem, but at least it’s less fattening.

It comes in a powdered form

It comes in a powdered form

Happy Trails and happy Running,

Tracie

Recovery Update: I am actually feeling a lot better today. Hip is still sore but I feel like my back has opened up a lot and I’m doing a better job of engaging my lower abs when I walk. I’m crossing my fingers I can start some active recovery runs next week.

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Kefir

I feel like not enough people know about the awesomeness of kefir. I’ve only known about it for a year or so but it is now a staple in our household. Kefir is basically fermented milk that tastes a little on the sour side. It can be made from any type of milk and it is full of nutrients, probiotics, and awesomeness.

Chris Kresser:

Besides containing highly beneficial bacteria and yeasts, kefir is a rich source of many different vitamins, minerals and essential amino acids that promote healing and repair, as well as general health maintenance. Kefir contains high levels of thiamin, B12, calcium, folates and Vitamin K2. It is a good source of biotin, a B vitamin that HELPS the body assimilate other B vitamins. The complete proteins in kefir are already partially digested, and are therefore more easily utilized by the body. Like many other dairy products, kefir is a great source of minerals like calcium and magnesium, as well as phosphorus, which helps the body utilize carbohydrates, fats and proteins for cell growth, maintenance and energy.

Kefir is a source of vitamin K2, which apparently is lacking in most American diets. It can also help protect against gastrointestinal disease (it has a LOT of microflora) and can improve lactose digestion. A 2003 study of 15 adults who had difficult digesting lactose, found that drinking kefir reduced lactose maldigestion symtoms by 70%. That’s a big deal if you like your occasional piece of cheese. But perhaps the best reason I like Kefir is it makes an amazing  spinach smoothie, way better than almond milk, soy milk, water, or anything else.

If you’ve never tried it before, go for it. Just  be sure to get the plain kind. There is so much sugar in the fruity one. .

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Well I ran today. The thing that is killing me is aerobically, I feel awesome. A 7:12 mile feels very normal and easy for me. However, my leg is another story. I can definitely tell my left side is opening up. I am running like I should be. But it feels like my leg isn’t use to running this way (the right way). Therefore, there is a lot of stress on some of my leg muscles. Maybe if I take a lot of Advil before the race, I’ll be fine. Saturday is soooooo iffy. Stats from today are here.

The Smarter Science of Slim

As I’ve written before, I love podcasts. Lots of free information by some pretty smart people (well I guess that depends on the podcast). While trying to expand my knowledge on health and nutrition, I came across The Smarter Science of Slim. So far I’ve listened to 5 episodes and I’ve really enjoyed them all.

The hosts, Jonathan Bailor (@JonathanBailor) and Carrie Brown (@CarrieBrownBlog) make scientific information about food and exercise easy to understand and fun to listen to. The information varies from high fructose corn syrup to eccentric exercises, and Jonathan cites many studies to go along with the conversation. What do I like most about this podcast? It’s about clean eating, staying away from processed foods, and how to get your body back to a point of homeostasis. It’s simple information but since we like to make things more complicated than necessary, we tend to overlook the simple way of life. The Smarter Science of Slim promotes simple eating and exercising and uses science to prove the point.

Here is the website.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: This week I ran 46.91 miles. I desperately want to hit that 50 mile mark but next week is a heavy mileage week, so I’m sticking to strength training and yoga today.

Mileage for this past week

Mileage for this past week

Godiva

I’ll call this post semi running related. Perhaps because I run so I don’t feel so bad for eating my favorite chocolate.

I pride myself in eating few ingredient, natural foods. I’d rather eat two scoops of almond butter or avocado than eat a Special K breakfast bar. But that’s just me… I prefer natural over artificial. Every Christmas I get a delicious box of Godiva chocolate from my parents. It has become my favorite gift. I really do love chocolate. Tonight after dinner, Mario and I were enjoying some Godiva truffles for dessert. I, being the label reader I am, decided to check out what made Godiva so yummy. Imagine my disappointment when I learned red #40, blue #1, high fructose corn syrup, and sorbitol were just a few of the many ingredients in my chocolate truffle. Then I went to their website to see what they had posted about their ingredients. Oh how my disappointment grew…

Godiva:

Unlike brands that rely heavily on artificial flavors and preservatives, when you buy Godiva you’re buying chocolate made from only the highest quality ingredients.

Grade A dairy butter and heavy cream are used in large quantity in the formulation of our fillings – something that is rarely done by American candy manufacturers.

U.S. Grade #1 nutmeats earn our nut confections high distinction. Notably, many of our chocolates contain hazelnut praline, a favorite European nut filling that is in keeping with our Belgian heritage.

Real cherries that contain no food coloring are used to make our famous Cherry Cordials. For other fruit-filled confections, we use fruits that undergo a special drying process to capture the freshness that is lost during conventional freezing. Pure, additive-free cherry and raspberry juices give flavor to our Cherry and Raspberry Buttercreams that simply cannot be matched.

Well I’m pretty sure red #40 and blue #1 are additives. Therefore, I believe the above information to be false. I wonder what chocolatier would be a better replacement? But don’t worry mom, I’m pretty sure that box of Godiva will be eaten very soon. I’m just disappointed they aren’t what I originally thought. Their chocolate is still tasty though 🙂

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Today I did something I haven’t done in almost 2 months. I ran on a treadmill! It was cold and raining here so I took it inside today. I ran 8 miles in 1:05. It was quite boring but I guess it wasn’t that bad. Tomorrow I have a “hill run.”

Godiva

Chocolate Truffle Ingredients

And a few other random Christmas pics….

Breakfast Christmas morning with the family

Christmas morning with the family

Christmas Day Running, Warm up Mile

Christmas Day Running, Warm up Mile and waving at Dad

 

Christmas Day Intervals - doesn't look as fun :)

Christmas Day Intervals – Not as fun as the warm up 🙂

This was our dinner tonight. Mario loves his new fancy plate and wine glass…

Pork with sautéed apples and couscous

Pork with sautéed apples and couscous

 

 

Muesli

Many years ago, I read It’s Not About the Bike by Lance Armstrong. That was the first time I ever heard about muesli. While in Switzerland, Mario and I went to a yummy breakfast place that served muesli and that was the first time I actually ate it. Recently, I’ve been buying it from Trader Joe’s and since we were out of the normal pre-run food this morning, I had a bowl for breakfast. I mean if Lance Armstrong recommended it as his breakfast before a long training ride, I thought it would be suitable for a 12 mile run.

So what is muesli and why should you eat it? Read more

Eating Before an Afternoon Run

One thing that I really do not like about my work schedule is that I have to run in the afternoon. Morning is my favorite time of the day. Asking me to function past 4:00pm is asking a little too much. My best efforts start around 5:00am and I’ve always preferred to see the sun rising instead of the sun setting.

One reason that I do not like running in the afternoon is because I do not know what is best to eat beforehand. Sometimes I think I may overdo it with the healthy foods early in the day and my stomach let me know it today. Today’s hill repeats were somewhat of a disappointment. I think it was a combination of running too fast yesterday, not enough sleep, and too much spinach for lunch. My failure to hit my target times got me reevaluating my meal plan during the day. What is best to eat for a 4:00pm run? Read more

Sweet Potato Gratin

Sweet Potatoes are one of my favorite foods and there is no better time to eat them than Thanksgiving. I want to share a recipe that I came across that I  plan to try out soon (hopefully before Christmas).  Maybe I’ll find another way to consume my favorite potato other than as fries.

The Stone Soup:

Most people associate gratins with loads of cheese. As some French friends of mine pointed out recently, traditional French potato gratin is just made with potatoes and cream.

When I first mentioned this to my Irishman, he wasn’t very keen to try it. It’s definitely one of those more unusual dishes that tastes much much better than you can imagine. The salty peanut butter does a great job of contrasting the rich sweet potato.

Click here for the recipe.

Happy Trails and Happy Running,

Tracie

Running Update: Ran 10 miles this morning and it was cold and windy. I ran along the hilly part of the marathon course and it actually wasn’t too bad. However, I didn’t feel like I found my stride until about mile 7 and I was a little light headed because I had not eaten since 6 pm the night before. Run stats are here. And how do you like the pic of my delicious breakfast?

Maple Syrup

This morning at FitBloggin’, Canadian Maple Syrup sponsored a talk titled Nutrition for Maximum Performance. I thought it was interesting the talk was being sponsored by maple syrup but it turned out to be quite informative – other than their hydration recommendations but that’s for a different day (see pic below). Read more