Paleo Stir Fry and an outside workout

Finals have finally started with my first one this morning. I walked out feeling pretty ansy, so I texted my boyfriend that I was gonna go do hill sprints and he decided to join. We each did 15 hill sprints, mixed in with a total of 10 minutes of planking, 100 mountain climbers and 30 Rocky sit ups (well I did the ab work, he chose to do push ups instead). It was a much better stress reliever than grabbing a beer.

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This evening I was still a bit of a stressball, so I went for an easy 4 miler too to enjoy the warm night air. I’m beginning to fall back in love with running and it makes me so happy. I love when running feels easy (even if you’re going slow) and just care free. No better feeling.

Tonight for dinner I was asked to make a stir fry. I’m not a huge fan of stir fry, but it was still pretty good. If you like stir fry, I recommend it!

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Pale Stir Fry

Stir Fry:

1.5lbs chicken breasts, cut up

1.5 crowns broccoli

1 yellow onion

2 cups snap peas

1 bell pepper, cup up

3 carrots, sliced

Sauce:

1 cup coconut aminos (if you don’t have a soy allergy like me, go with the soy based aminos if you can’t find coconut, although that’s technically not pale)

2 tbsp grated ginger

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 tbsp crushed chilli paste (asian food aisle)

2tbsp coconut oil

1. Cook broccoli and carrots in pan for about 3-4 minutes until just starting to soften, then remove from heat.

2 Heat coconut oil over medium heat in another pan.

2. add chicken, cooke for about 5 minutes

3.  Add cut up onion, broccoli and carrots and sauce. Cook about 2 minutes

4. Add snap peas and peppers. Cook about 4-5 minutes or until done

Something to Train For

On Thursdays I have two hours between my morning and afternoon classes. Typically I’ve had to work during those two hours for a Bar Prep Course company that I do sales for, but since this week was the last week of classes I had those two glorious hours free. Since the weather is finally above freezing, I decided to do some hill sprints. The sun was shining and a herd of deer (a herd? is that what they are called?) came out to join me.

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The reason behind my decision to take to the hills was because I decided to do another TOUGH MUDDER. I’m going to be doing the Colorado one with a team from my boyfriend’s gym. I’ve heard there are ALOT more hills than the one I did in Utah last year, which makes me super nervous because hills are not my friend. Also, it will be at higher elevation so my lungs will be challenged quite a bit. EVEN SO, I’m really excited for it 🙂

Anyone else doing a Tough Mudder this year?

Cold Run, Warm Paleo Chili

Sorry it’s been forever, guys, but I have exciting news! I’ve moved to Siberia for the indefinite future!

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Okay, not really, but considering that in the past week we have had about 20 inches of snow it certainly feels that way. I keep reminding myself that this means we won’t have as many forest fires this summer, but when your eyelashes literally collect snow and then freeze during your run, it’s hard to look on the bright side.

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I know, I know. I could have just run inside. But it’s been 6 long months of snow and treadmills and I’m pretty over it. At least I had a nice warm bowl of chili waiting to warm my belly at home.
This chili is DELICIOUS and if you are living someplace where winter may be overstaying its welcome I highly recommend making it.

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PALEO POBLANO CHILI
1 yellow onion, diced
2 green bell peppers, chopped
1 fist of garlic, choppe
1 Poblano Pepper, roasted and chopped
3-4 lbs of rump roast, cubed
2 tsp coconut oil
1 tbsp paprika
2tsp cumin
2tsp chipotle
2 tbsp chili powder (I like it spicy…)
6 oz can of tomato paste
30 oz can of fire roasted tomatoes, diced

1) in a large pot heat coconut oil over medium heat and add onions and peppers. Cook for about 3 minutes or until onions become translucent
2) Mix spices and rub on meat
3) Add meat and Garlic and poblano pepper to pan with onions and peppers.
4) brown meat, about 2-3 minutes
5) add remaining ingredients. It will be a bit watery at first, but let simmer on medium-low heat for about 2 hours and it will thicken up

Stay warm out there, or for those who are actually experiencing spring – go enjoy it!

A Quick Reflection on the Boston Bombings

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For four years Copley Square and Boylston Street were my home, the place I felt most comfortable in the world. I went to high school 4 blocks from the Boston Marathon finish line, at a school that let us come and go as we pleased during free periods and lunch. My best friend and I would wonder around, complaining about the small problems that seemed overpowering in our teenage minds, trying to seem older as we sipped lattes in the Starbucks that 10 years later would be destroyed by yesterday’s bomb.

Yesterday shook me up in ways I’m still trying to come to terms with. When I first saw the news headline that two bombs went off, my train of thought was immediately “Are my parents, sister, and brother-in-law watching at the finish line? Or somewhere else? What if I just lost my whole family?” I frantically tried calling their cell phones as the lines repeatedly went straight to voicemail, tears filling my eyelids. When I finally reached my Dad he confirmed they were all fine. Even so, I still couldn’t shake that feeling of panic that I could have just lost the people I loved most in the world. Lucky for me it was only a feeling, nothing permanent, although I did call my mom multiple times yesterday just to hear her voice.

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I’ve read a lot of people’s mixed reactions to this event. Some people point out that this sort of thing is common place in some parts of the world and that we are lucky these are so rare. This is true and we, as Americans, are incredibly fortunate to go about our day-to-day lives with very little threat to our well-being. The fact that more people die through self harm or obesity related illnesses than are murdered makes us very fortunate. The fact that these events are rare makes them no less tragic and heart breaking, but it should encourage people not to hide and not to fear going out in public. You are still far more likely to be harmed driving to work every day than in a mass attack.

On a smaller scale, it is also a shame that 4,000+ people who trained day in and day out for years to compete in this prestigious race did not get a chance to finish. For those who did, who may have been dreaming of this day their whole life, it will forever be tarnished by this horrible event.

Similar to 9/11, the Aurora Shootings,  and smaller scale events that happen every day, I find the most important thing to do is look to those who risked their own safety to protect and help strangers in need. Those qualities are inspiring, and if there is any message to be taken from this horrific event it is the reminder that the number of good people in the world far outnumbers the bad.

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On (Not) Conquering Trail Running

A couple friends of mine recently signed up to attempt a 50 mile trail run in Fort Collins in May. I randomly ran into them this past saturday on the trail as they stormed past me and my dog and my roommate, jumping over rocks with ease.

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They inspired me with their wildman ways,  so for todays 6 miler I decided to hit the trails for at least part of it. Luckily, I live 2 miles from trails leading up into the Rocky Mountains, so I ran over there and was off!

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I was cruising for the first 1/4 mile or so, and then we started the steep ascent into the mountain and I died. My pace slowed, my lungs began to burn and I was hurting.

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This does not even begin to convey the steepness. Or maybe it does, and I’m just a pansy. Either way, I texted my trail running friend when I got back and told him he was even more crazy (and inspiring) for signing up for 50 miles of that. He reminded me that you have to approach trail running with a different mentality. You are going to go slower, especially when avoiding rocks and running up steep hills and just to stay calm, enjoy the scenery and the challenge

Hope you all had nice Wednesdays!

“Obesity isn’t the problem, it’s the solution to the problem”

Over the weekend I watched the documentary Hungry For Change. I’ve watched a TON of “food” documentaries in my day, but I’d definitely still recommend this one. One of the reasons is because it discussed the mental struggle behind obesity (hence the quote from a psychologist from the movie as my title) and the fact that many people use the high fat/high sugar foods that send happy signals to the brain as therapy, instead of addressing the issues in other ways.The food industry capitalizes on this psychological problem, as well as designing their products to make us addicted.  It also gave a more simple “how to” for eating healthy (aka what I like to call “J.E.R.F – Just Eat Real Food”).

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Some of the best take-a-ways from the movie I found were:

~ On average, we (Americans) consume 150lbs of sugar a year. The level of sugar in our everyday foods is ridiculous. The other day I was trying to buy chicken stock only to find it had cane sugar added to it. A recent Princeton Study showed that sugar is in fact addictive and had a similar addictive effect on lab mice as drugs.

~ 90-95% of “dieters” end up gaining the weight back. It discusses the various reasons behind this, but the one I found most interesting was the problem with Diet Sodas. The artificial sweeteners in Diet Sodas actually cause you to crave sweeter things more, as you become desensitized to naturally sweet things like fruit. In mice, artificial sweeteners increased food consumption in meals that occurred after consuming the sweetener. This, besides the negative effects of artificial sweeteners in general, make it something to definitely have in moderation, if at all.

~ MSG, which is present in 80% of flavored food, is used in mice studies to fatten mice, as it excites the part of the brain used in fat production (as well as making us happy). Look to see if some of your favorite foods contain monosodium glutamate (MSG)

~ We are the first generation who might not have a longer life expectancy than our parents due to the increase in obesity related diseases/health problems.

Part of the film talked about using juicing as an important way to get in vegetables. I personally don’t like juicing, since it leaves a lot of the fibrous parts of the veggies/fruits behind. It did, however, inspire me to start making green smoothies every morning/another around 3 when I start to fade in the afternoon.

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A lot of people have asked me if it actually tastes good. Surprisingly, yes! The cinnamon and ginger help make it not only tolerable, but enjoyable. Especially if you add a banana for some natural sweetness.

It seems to be working as it helped me get through a tough workout last night, including 25 reps of 180lb dead lifts. Getting closer to my 200lb goal!

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With all that said, I hope you all enjoyed the Holiday weekend and ate plenty of foods you enjoyed, even if they weren’t they healthiest. We all gotta indulge now and then! Moderation is key 😉