MTR: Week 7

This week in running was mild on the miles compared to the last several weeks. I originally thought I would be conquering a PDR on Sunday, but since many of the undergrads still had finals, they made Sunday’s run an optional long run day and reduced the mileage to 10 miles (even though it was less than that realistically). I was kind of bummed that it would be my last run with the team until next year, but at least I achieved a new 5K and 10K PR by running at 8:45/mi during the run! Despite having to stop at so many stoplights, running through downtown was a blast—even the especially challenging Bunker Hill area! It felt like my lungs were on fire!

 I had a "rest day" on Friday...but only from running. A 5 mile walk that took up the majority of my morning still kept me active!

I had a “rest day” on Friday…but only from running. A 5 mile walk that took up the majority of my morning still kept me active!

Sunday – LSD 9.36 miler with the team at 8:45/mi [new 5k and 10k PRs!!]

Monday3.68 miler morning solo run at 9:07/mi 

Tuesday –   0.5 miler treadmill “run” [I. can’t. stand. treadmills.]  

Wednesday 3.6 miler morning solo run at 9:16/mi 

Thursday –  4 miler morning solo run at 9:32/mi

Friday –  Rest

Saturday – Rest


Total Mileage ->  ~ 21 miles

My legs felt super sore the next day (possibly the effects of still breaking in new shoes), but even so, I managed to get in some more runs early on in the week before I finally gave myself some rest days. Thursday’s 4 miler felt much more tortuous than it should have been, so I cancelled Friday’s run and made it an “active” rest day by walking from Marina Del Rey to Santa Monica. Saturday was a complete rest day (besides the walking needed to get some errands/eating out done), in order to save my energy—and stay on track—with maintaining my long runs on Sunday and my marathon training schedule!

What do you consider an active rest day? 

 

Honey Greek Yogurt Egg White Scramble with Veggies

You would think that it’s all fun-and-games after an intense study period, but I’m not sure if coming down with aches/chills/a warm forehead should be included in that. I had an amazing weekend, no doubt about that, but as this week has progressed I’d describe myself as feeling fatigued, exhausted, and sleepy-but-can’t-sleep.

I was recently contacted by Chobani to come up with a recipe using Chobani yogurt as a key ingredient, and had grand plans to mix it in some gluten-free brownies or other baked dessert surprise for my sister and friends’ arrival today, but since I’ve been feeling under the weather, I wanted to keep things simple, nutritious, and as warm (to distract me from the chills…) as possible!

An egg white scramble is simple enough, but adding some honey Chobani added that extra fluffiness and sweetness. It was the perfect pairing with my steamed veggies and flatout bread (topped with the leftover yogurt ;) ).

Honey Greek Yogurt Egg White Scramble with Veggies
Serves 1
A simple, weeknight scramble that adds a punch of protein to an otherwise "boring" dish!
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Cook Time
5 min
Cook Time
5 min
Ingredients
  1. 4 eggs (the whites)
  2. 2-4 tablespoons of honey-flavored Greek yogurt
  3. Non-stick pan spray
Instructions
  1. Separate the egg whites from the yolks in two bowls.
  2. Add 2-4 tablespoons of honey-flavored Greek yogurt.
  3. Mix well, until everything is as even distributed as possible.
  4. Heat an omlette pan, and coat with desired amount of non-stick spray (two sprays worked fine for me)
  5. Add mixture to pan.
  6. Wait until you start to hear sizzling sounds, then move the egg/yogurt mixture around to get everything cooked (this takes about five minutes).
  7. Add the scramble into a mix of steamed veggies, and bread on the side for a simple weeknight dinner!
Will Study for Food http://www.willstudyforfood.com/
Separating out the egg whites and mixing in a dollop of honey-flavored Greek yogurt is the key step:

eggwhiteyogurtmix

From there, let the pan do the work!

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Top it and mix it in with some veggies…

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Pair with a mind-numbing show on Netflix, and treat yourself to some lazy-time!

I’m hoping that with the Tylenol and extra rest, I will have some energy for the coming days’ plans, especially since I’ll be hosting four people in my apartment. And yes, we will all have to share one bathroom!!!

Do you get sick after experiencing a challenging (series of) event(s)?

Crash & Indulge

I made sure to spend the weekend after my last set of exams for the semester the way I wanted to, and I believe my expected plans meshed with how things really turned out most perfectly.

After running 5 miles in my new running shoes on Saturday, I took the bus to La Brea to drop off my old pair of Brooks before heading down Melrose towards the direction of the third Real Food Daily I had yet to visit. My first visit in Pasadena was so enjoyable that I literally forced my Dad and sis to try the Santa Monica location with me when they were here back in October. I fell in love with the almond “tuna” during that second visit, and immediately had a craving for it when I was studying for my final set of exams.

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Real Food Daily in West Hollywood.

The set-up was similar to that of Pasadena’s (they seriously need to make a bigger sign though—that small rectangle is easy to miss!), with an outdoor seating area and the cashwrap close to the entrance. I could tell it was a busy Saturday afternoon, and I was given a seat at a corner booth.

rfd - weho

It was at this time I had my first unintentional celebrity sighting! I recognized the face of Sara Gilbert, but it took me a while to match up the name to her face. I also do not get starstruck very easily, so I didn’t do anything awkward like ask for an autograph or “ask her to take a selfie with me” like my Dad suggested via text :P

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I went ahead and ordered The Great Cardini salad, and when the waiter asked if I wanted blackened seitan, I made my move and requested the almond “tuna” instead. The request was accepted, and I excitedly waited for my dream bowl to arrive.

The Great Cardini with almond "tuna" instead of seitan. Also:  tuscan kale, romaine, garbanzo beans, red quinoa, roasted yam croutons, creamy almond shallot dressing, spiced pumpkin seeds, macadamia parmesan, avocado.

The Great Cardini with almond “tuna” instead of seitan. Also: tuscan kale, romaine, garbanzo beans, red quinoa, roasted yam croutons, creamy almond shallot dressing, spiced pumpkin seeds, macadamia parmesan, avocado.

Perfection, no? And the almond “tuna”, just for kicks:

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Even though it was “just a salad”, I felt quite full, and wasn’t sure if I would have room for the dessert I planned to have that day. I decided that I would wait a couple hours and gauge my fullness then. In the meantime, I killed time by checking out the Beverly Connection a couple blocks down. I figured it would be a good time to also do some holiday gift shopping!

 Nothing appealing on the racks at Nordstrom Rack. Trying to figure out if my Dad would wear these sunglasses!

Nothing appealing on the racks at Nordstrom Rack. Trying to figure out if my Dad would wear these sunglasses!

I did get carried away with the shopping, but at least I was able to find something for one of my good friends before heading towards Beverly Hills. It was starting to get chillier around 4pm, and I wondered if I should keep on trekking. It was originally sunny enough for shorts, but I started to doubt my outfit choice for the day…

I did trek on though, and enjoyed the sights around me on my quiet walk to the Hills.

 LegLOGwarmers!! Haha...

LegLOGwarmers!! Haha…

Once the shops started getting fancier, I knew I was in the right location to try and spot…Ice Cream Lab!

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Again, it was in an easy-to-miss location, and I probably would have kept walking by it if I had not glanced up for a minute.

icecreamlabbevhills

The inside of the shop was small, with the left side designated for seating and conversation, and the right where the ice cream was ordered and made. The ice cream is made using liquid nitrogen, and so everything is frozen on the spot!

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For my ice cream flavor, I chose to go with one of their rotating flavors—the Beary Cinnful Horchata. I don’t think I’ve ever had a real horchata, but ice cream with cinnamon teddy bear graham crackers, cinnamon sugar, and cinnamon powder topping did sound warm and toasty—even though the resulting product would be freezing cold!

mixers

I had my ice cream in a medium cup (their medium is a small for some interesting reason), and I found it to be thick and flavorful, with chunks of cinnamon evenly mixed in. I snacked on this while walking over to the bus stop, and got frequent stares from people who were wondering why this girl in shorts was having ice cream when it was obviously getting colder outside? Or maybe they were thinking, “where can I get myself some liquid nitrogen ice cream?!”

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My Beary Cinnful Horchata.

Despite shivering at the bus stop as the sun was setting, I enjoyed my small cup of warmth (at least in flavor…)

Just as Saturday’s plans for fun rolled out with ease, Sunday stepped up to the “friendly challenge” as well. We had our last team long run for the semester, and had a run through downtown LA short of 10 miles. I then was able to make plans with one of my teammates to meet up for lunch in Culver City. Sage Vegan Bistro was our meeting point:

sage_culvercity

The entrance was confusing, since the only way to enter was through the gorgeous and green outdoor patio area:

sageorganic

I finally met up with my friend, and we were given a table inside. 

inside

Everything on the menu sounded delicious—I’m surprised we were both able to agree on an appetizer and entree to share. I definitely wanted our entree to be a pizza, since they are only available at the Culver City location. While waiting for our rolls and pizza, we chatted about running and other things…but mostly running :D

Soon, it was time to dig into the TexMex Chimichanga Egg Rolls and BLTA Pizza:

TexMex Chimichanga Egg Rolls and BLTA Pizza

Rolls –  mixed bell pepper, onion, black beans, cilantro, corn and daiya cheese served with mango chutney sauce // Pizza – pizza crust with tempeh bacon, follow your heart™ mozzarella, hemp seed pesto and piled with chopped romaine lettuce, heirloom tomatoes, avocado, and finished with housemade ranch

My favorite part of the rolls were their extra crispiness. But the mango chutney sauce? It was the perfect sauce to top on the pizza crust!

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Speaking of pizza—this was so good. It had a hint of sweetness that I’m going to guess is from the ranch sauce or pesto!

Between the two of us, the pizza and rolls were the right portions for a Sunday lunch. We agreed that we should meet up for lunch sometime again soon, and I added that it would be fun to do something like this especially after the long runs! 

So then we parted ways, and I went for a long walk up Sepulveda, so that I would eventually get to Sawtelle for dessert—another cold treat, this time at Blockheads:

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My hour plus walk (that was somewhat uphill) got me hungry again, and waiting in line for more crowds…ah, it’s something that I just had to get through!

waitingtoorder

The walls had some cute penguin-themed art:

blockheadz

And who would not want to take this little cube guy home? 

blockheads_sawtelle

When I finally got up to the counter and figured out the exact combination of shave ice + toppings I wanted, I was glad to be handed this after everything was pushed to completion:

 For my shave ice/froyo mix, I went with the peppermint mocha flavor. Mochi (of course!) and honey boba were my toppings---with coconut puree sauce glazed all over!

For my shave ice/froyo mix, I went with the peppermint mocha flavor. Mochi (of course!) and honey boba were my toppings—with coconut puree sauce glazed all over!

blockheads

It had an interesting texture—creamy like fro yo, but had the shredded appearance of shave ice. No wonder this place was so popular…

The rest of the day was spent finding (and purchasing!) a gift for my other friend, and then taking two buses and the rail to get home. I guess I underestimated how much walking (and running!) I did that day because by the time I got home, my legs felt like they had been on one demanding adventure…and not even a food-related one ;) !

How do you treat yourself after making it through a challenging week?

Real Food Daily on Urbanspoon Ice Cream Lab on Urbanspoon

Sage - a Plant Based Bistro on Urbanspoon Blockheads Shavery Co on Urbanspoon

Hoka One One Bondi B Running Shoes

Has it really been that long since I purchased my first pair of “real” running shoes? My Brooks PureFlows served me quite well, and helped me achieve some superb PRs. But with 700+ miles on them, and it being almost a year and a half later since their perkier days, it was time for a new investment. I donated the pair to a local running store that promises to donate them to needy communities, and set on a quest to find my next pair to tear wear. 

For my next pair of [serious] running shoes, I was debating between trying a pair of Newtons or Hoka One Ones. It’s kind of ironic that I ended up deciding on my Hoka Bondi B’s, since last year, I was really into the idea of minimalist/barefoot running. I never leaped at the opportunity—and I’m still not disregarding it—but for now, I’m attracted to the extra cushioning that this maximalist brand is well-known for—especially since I have many long distance miles to log on the horizon.

HokaOneOneBondiB

I found this pair under the clearance section of Running Warehouse (online), in the men’s section. Fortunately for me, a men’s size 6 is equivalent to a women’s size 7 in Hoka One Ones’. And when a $100+ retail running shoe is less than $50 even after taxes? You got to step on those deals when you have the chance :D

hoka

A cyan and lime color scheme with added height—I feel so tall in these ;)

I’m also not sure why these weren’t featured in the women’s section since the women’s sizing was prominently displayed on the front of the box…just comes to show that us ladies should never disregard the men’s clearance section!

I first wore them out on a Saturday 5 miler, and at first, the arches felt rigid and nothing like the “walking on pillows” feeling that people often relate to this brand, but mid-way through the run, I could feel the extra cushioning and padding. I felt stronger, faster, and surprisingly, my legs felt lighter?!

wearinghokabondib

The best part of these shoes was discovered after my run. Not only was I a fan of the thin, and tight laces (that do not come loose during a run), but the large hoops at the back of the shoe are so useful when it comes to taking off the pair with ease. No more almost tripping over my apartment floor just to get my running shoes off!!

laces&hoops

Alright then lil miss Bondi B—me and you have got many miles ahead of us, and a marathon to run. Let’s do this.

Are you a minimalist or maximalist runner?

Race Recap: Santa Monica-Venice Christmas Run

Christmas in July: that’s what it felt like on the morning of my first Christmas-themed race in Santa Monica!

 SaMo in December...yeah I'm not lying.

SaMo in December…yeah I’m not lying.

I signed up for this race around the time I decided on the turkey trot, and even though I knew it would be in the middle of what was supposed to be a weekend devoted to studying, I figured that a short & sweet race wouldn’t do any harm. A healthy study break is always a good idea :D

funinthesun

This race had such a great turnout. I arrived about an hour before the 5k start, just as the 10k runners were making their way back in.

I woke up around 6AM, and took the Metro Line down to Culver City to transfer over to the bus that stops at Venice and Santa Monica. The trip took about an hour, and I arrived at the start site (close to the beach), and had so. much. time. to. kill. after picking up my bib and race supplies.

pickupstuff

The way they had it set up was that everyone’s name was assigned a number that we (the runners) were responsible for looking up before heading over to the registration table. At the table, we got our bibs, pins, cute longsleeve t-shirts, and a commemorative santa hat. 

Since I did have quite a bit of time before the 5k start, I used that time to people dog watch ;)

 The race atmosphere is attracting to so many dogs!!

The race atmosphere is attracting to so many dogs!!

Along with the energetic emcee, Santa & the elves were situated atop a podium near the finish, cheering and taking pictures with the crowd.

santa!

Soon, it was finally time to line up at the start, and before I knew it, I was off with the crowds on my second official 5k race. The route immediately led us over the Venice borderline, and the roads were absolutely empty—even the amount of cars parked on the street were at a minimum. Since there was no gear check, I had to run with a drawstring bag and belt, so that meant I had my phone near me, but I didn’t feel like taking pictures as I was running. You just have to trust me on this one ;)

I felt annoyed with the feel of my belt as I was running, but in the end, finishing with a 8:45/mi pace made up for it.

After being handed my medal, I walked over to the post-race tents.

samplesafterrace

A lot of the vendors were more focused on selling their products, but there were some noteworthy freebies. I was able to get some free apples (crockpot time!), a fig bar packet, and some electrolyte samples. I also got a one-week trial pass for a gym in the area, had my ears/hips/shoulders measured at a chiropractor’s tent, and took some water bottles with me before finally leaving. 

I stopped to pick up some groceries, and then headed back home. The rest of the afternoon/evening was spent pouring over a paper that required all of my energy and concentration. Still, I don’t regret choosing to spend my morning at a sunny Christmas-themed run. 

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Have you ever participated in a Christmas-themed race?

Four Survey

When it’s raining outside, it’s definitely a sign to complete a survey! I have to thank Irina for making me aware of this one!

 The morning after a wicked storm.

The morning after a wicked storm.

Four jobs I’ve had:

  1. Cashier (my first summer job inbetween high school and undergrad)
  2. Peer Adviser (in my last year as an undergrad)
  3. Sales Associate (in two different stores during my “gap” year)
  4. Lab Intern/Research Assistant (in labs throughout undergrad—and now!)

Four movies I’ve watched more than once:

  1. Up (one of Pixar’s best!!)
  2. My Neighbor Totoro (Studio Ghibli ♥)
  3. Kal Ho Naa Ho (a Hindi movie that I would say one of my best friends loves 10x more than I do!!)
  4. The Princess Diaries (it’s one of those movies that always happens to be on TV when there is nothing else to watch :P )

Four books I’d recommend:

  1. One Amazing Thing by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni (I remember I really liked this book because it had interwoven stories)
  2. The Emperor of All Maladies: A Biography of Cancer  by Siddhartha Mukherjee (I read this over the summer, and as a student heading into the research field, found it to be a balanced example of storytelling and academic information)
  3. Complications: A Surgeon’s Notes on an Imperfect Science by Atul Gawande (I had to read this as an undergrad and found it such a fascinating read)
  4. Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe (This was actually a book my sister had to read in high school, but I ended up liking the book more than she did!)

Four places I’ve lived:

 Life in LA as a student includes boba breaks with your classmates :P

Life in LA as a student includes boba breaks with your classmates :P

  1. Oklahoma
  2. UK
  3. NorCal
  4. Los Angeles!!!

Four places I’ve been:

  1. NYC (but one weekend doesn’t count in my opinion ;) )
  2. India (visitng family)
  3. New Mexico (one of my most favorite family trips growing up!)
  4. Texas (more family visits)

Four places I’d rather be right now (or would like to eventually visit!):

 My friend recently got to go to Voodoo Donuts and teased me with this picture of one of their vegan donuts!!! Gahhh!!!

My friend recently got to go to Voodoo Donuts when she was in Portland, and teased me with this picture of one of their vegan donuts!!! Gahhh!!!

  1. Portland, Oregon (specifically for the Voodoo Donuts and great running/outdoor exploration weather!)
  2. Singapore or Malaysia (for the fish spas! I have an annoying callus on the ball of my left foot, and I wouldn’t mind having some tiny fish nibble it away for me)
  3. Japan (it’s the one place I always wanted to visit—I was such a big anime/manga fan back in middle/high school :) )
  4. Australia (it sounds like a cool enough country/continent—and isn’t it summer there right now ;) ? )

Four things I don’t eat/drink:

 My dinner from Friday put the veg in vegetarian!

My dinner from Friday put the veg in vegetarian!

  1. Meat (I’m vegetarian)
  2. Raw banana (if used as an ingredient, I’m okay. But the texture is just, ew. I can’t…)
  3. Raw zucchini (again, if used as an ingredient, I’m okay. But the texture is just, ew. I can’t…)
  4. Soda or alcohol (I stopped drinking soda years ago after hearing about how detrimental it can be to bone health. I don’t drink alcohol for personal reasons, as well as the fact I can’t stand the smell >< )

Four of my favorite foods (but not my only favorites!!):

 Quest Bar Love

Quest Bar Love

  1. Quest bars (Top 3 flavors = cookies & cream, white chocolate raspberry, and cookie dough—in no particular order of course ;) )
  2. Vegan Nachos (my favorite thing to order at vegan restaurants)
  3. (Vegetarian-friendly) Gummies (who can’t resist fun, chewy candies???)
  4. Chocolate Peanut Butter/Nut Butter (or flavored nut butters in general!)

Four TV shows that I watch:

  1. The Newsroom (the one from HBO, the final episode was on Sunday!!)
  2. Shark Tank (I especially love learning about the food-related products on the show!)
  3. The Good Wife (I’ve been watching it since I was a freshman in undergrad. It’s a pretty good show.)
  4. Saturday Night Live (I end up watching it on Sunday during the day, haha)

Four things I’m looking forward to this week/month/next year:

  1. Week [.1] – hosting my favorite girls + sister for a couple days in the city! (We have been daydreaming about this for years, and now, we really will get to have those ‘girls nights’ out on the town! )
  2. Week [.2] – checking out a chic gym for one week (I scored a free one-week pass at the last race I ran.)
  3. Month – going back up north for a week to visit the family for Christmas/New Years (can’t fight the opportunity for family time!)
  4. Next Year – kicking it up a notch for marathon training/my second lab rotation + new class schedule ;) (Bring on the new PDRs, and even though I have a love/hate relationship with change, I would say the ‘love part’ = having a new class schedule)

Four things I’m always saying/quoting:

(via Google Images)

  1. Lines from Spongebob (“What’s better than 24? 25…”)
  2. “He-eeeeey” (my greeting for whenever I talk to my friends)
  3. “Argh” (I don’t curse—I talk like a pirate :P )
  4. “That’s good to know” (my default response when someone gives me advice)

Four people I’m tagging in this survey:

Do this if you haven’t yet! :D

MTR: Week 6

So…on Sunday’s run, I ended up with this lovely mark, courtesy of the dirt, paved roads near Brentwood Country Club. 

 Scraped my hand around mile 9 on Sunday's long run...

Scraped my hand around mile 9 on Sunday’s long run…

Sunday – LSD 12.7 miler with the team at 9:11/mi 

Monday – Rest

Tuesday –  4 miler solo morning run at 9:11/mi 

Wednesday -  6 miler group run at 9:23/mi 

Thursday –  Rest

Friday –  Rest

Saturday5 miler solo morning run at 9:07/mi [breaking in my Hokas!!]


Total Mileage ->   27.7 miles

Good thing I was running with others near by. One of my teammates offered some of the water from her water bottle, which I was able to use to rinse out the wound until I got back to the start point. It was also a good lesson for me in regards to what I should be bringing with me (or any serious runner for that matter) for long runs going forward—band-aids, or a mini first aid kit. 

 At least the locale of our Sunday long run was nice. It was route that started on Ocean Ave. in SaMo, and then lined through a residential neighborhood that eventually ended up at the entrance of Brentwood, an adorable area of residences, shops, juice bars, and yoga studios (probably one on each street corner)! We reached the boundary of Westwood before turning around—when I stumbled and fell around mile 9. 

But continuing to look at the bright side of things, I at least had negative splits! I started out with a 9:32/mi pace but after my stumble at mile 9, my pace actually quickened to what was eventually a 8:26/mi pace! :D

After Sunday’s LSD, I made Monday a rest day (but not a rest day for my brain—studying was in overdrive). I was able to get some running workouts in on Tuesday and Wednesday, but didn’t even try on Thursday morning since that was my day of exams!! Friday was also a take-it-easy kind of day, but Saturday’s 5 miler was actually a lot of fun since I finally got around to breaking in my new pair of running shoes (Hokas!!). I still plan to post a review of them, but I will say I absolutely love them as of right now :) 

What has been your worst while-running injury? 

Surviving the Last Week of the First Semester

It’s hard to believe that Thanksgiving was only a mere two weeks ago—newsflash for those of you who are also climbing out of that finals/end-of-the-first-semester study cave that I have been occupying the past week and a half or so: it’s mid-December. Wowza…

This past week has been crazy stressful, and despite the stress, I was able to pound out some quality runs. My sleep did suffer though, since I woke up often as early as 3AM, which was the case the day of my exams. At least when I got home that night, I was able to crash into my bed and sleep soundly (for the most part—the storm did wake me up a few times!).

Despite the fluctuations in my sleeping patterns and the non-stop studying I’ve been doing, I did my best to fuel myself with some new-to-me products (to have at least something to look forward to on those dreaded I-can-only-study days!!).

So I was able to find and feast on some new…

Bars

simplesquaresgingerandcoconut

I found these Simple Squares bars at Whole Foods last weekend after running my Christmas 5k in Santa Monica. I had a coupon for $0.50 off two bars, and so I took that as an opportunity to try the Ginger and Coconut flavors. These bars are paleo-friendly, and are noted as “unfired fare”, meaning that they have not been baked or cooked to achieve the final product. I couldn’t really discern much between the Ginger and Coconut in regards to texture, but I did notice that in the Coconut flavor, the coconut shreds made the main contribution to its flavor. These bars were the perfect morning post-run treat, and were paired with an Americano (with almond milk creamer). The sad thing was having to leave for the library after consuming this :(

Bread

juliansbakerypaleobread

A while back, I found and fell in love with Julian’s Bakery Coconut Paleo Bread, and this Plain flavor was no exception. It wasn’t as sweet or quite as moist as the coconut flavor, but paired with some peanut butter, it didn’t make much of a difference. This loaf was literally gone in four days. 

Candy

I am currently mid-way through a jar of Justin’s peanut butter (that I got at a deep discount on because paying $9+ for peanut butter is insane…unless it’s really really worth it ;) ), so when I got an e-mail for a BOGO coupon for their PB cups, I knew I had to use it ASAP! 

I was able to try the dark and white chocolate flavors, which I picked up during my Saturday WF shopping trip as well. 

justinsdarkchocolatepeanutbutter justinswhitechocolatepeanutbuttercups

From the two flavors, I thoroughly enjoyed the dark chocolate one the best. I felt like the white chocolate layer was too thin in comparison, and for some reason, not as satisfying. The dark chocolate layer, however, had a crisp enough shell to keep it separated from the PB filling, and while not as thick as a Reese’s cup, it was a good enough alternative! 

Dairy

Over the summer, I gushed about finding Chobani Oats at highly discounted prices, and promised myself that even though I had one more flavor left to try in the Oats line, I would wait until I would find it at a discount as well. That time came when I was home for Thanksgiving, and the local Fresh & Easy was going on a price-slashing spree on all of their Greek yogurts—including the Chobani Oats blueberry flavor!  

chobani_blueberry_oats

Only $0.81? Yes please, and thankyouverymuch :)  

I lugged this cup (along with 13 other discounted cups) back with me to LA in a little cooler in my rollerboard, and had this cup mixed with peanut butter. I would still say cranberry is my favorite from all four flavors, but now I can say I finally tried all four flavors…even if it took me almost five months :P

Do final exams interrupt you from following your usual routine? 

Thanksgiving 2014, and a Dish to Pass

Thanksgiving with my family this year turned out to be quite successful. It was also even more special to me than in previous years, since it was the first time I returned for a visit from LA. And while we didn’t keep up with our older “traditions” like going out to a movie with our close friends or feasting on a Tofurky ball, I would say being able to run a Turkey Trot and digging into Trader Joe’s fake turkey roast were good “replacement” traditions ;) .

 Thanksgiving 2014

Thanksgiving 2014

We made the usual side dishes (deviled eggs, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, etc.), but instead of getting store-bought rolls, I took charge of the bread dish and provided some savory muffins to our feast. I added cauliflower puree and some stevia (instead of plain sugar) so that the dish could contribute more nutritionally to the feast as well :P .

Savory Cauliflower Muffins

Savory Cauliflower Muffins
Soft, moist savory muffins with cauliflower puree. Great with cranberry sauce!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 1/2 to 3 cups of all-purpose flour
  2. 1 cup of processed cauliflower
  3. 2 stevia packets (or 2 tsp. of sugar)
  4. 1-2 teaspoons of liquid aminos
  5. 1/4 cup buttermilk
  6. 3/4 to 1 cup water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 450F.
  2. Mix all-purpose flour with 2 stevia packets or sugar.
  3. For cauliflower puree, process 1 cup of cauliflower in a blender with enough water to get a pourable consistency.
  4. Add wet ingredients (cauliflower puree, liquid aminos, buttermilk, water) to dry ingredients and mix in a bowl.
  5. Line a muffin tin with non-stick parchment paper or spray with PAM.
  6. Pour batter into muffin cups.
  7. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until brown (oven times may vary, so check with a toothpick).
  8. Let them cool once out of the oven.
  9. After cooling, serve on a plating dish, and enjoy with family & friends!
Notes
  1. Tastes great with a tart cranberry sauce!
Will Study for Food http://www.willstudyforfood.com/

The muffins paired perfectly with our cranberry sauce, and they may have also paired well with our vegetarian gravy (didn’t try that, but in retrospect, I’m thinking I should have!). I also could not get enough of the other star dishes on our table:

 Trader Joe's Fake Turkey Roast, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, steamed veggies, wild rice stuffing.

Trader Joe’s Fake Turkey Roast, mashed potatoes, cranberry sauce, steamed veggies, wild rice stuffing.

If you are looking for some other great, healthy recipes for the holiday season, check out Aloha.com for their collection from contributions from other food bloggers as well!

I may be late in my Thanksgiving recap and recipe to share, but how was your Thanksgiving :D ?

MTR: Week 5

Week 5 in marathon training has been a long & busy one. I have not been exhausted from the runs, but more so from the last week of classes and looming exams this coming week! We also had some crazy weather shifts in LA (raining early in the week), so that sort of influenced my mood in regards to getting out the door to run. 

Despite all of these fluctuations and changes, I did manage to rack up some quality runs over the week, including a speedy 5k race. 

 A 5k over the weekend, and new shoes---posts to come :)

A 5k over the weekend, and new shoes (!!!) —detailed posts on each to come :)

Sunday – LSD 12 miler (in the rain!!!) at 9:27/mi 

Monday – Rest

Tuesday – Rest

Wednesday - 7 miles total [ 1 mi warm-up at 9:03/mi + 6 miler at 9:09/mi]

Thursday –  3 miler solo morning run at 9:36/mi

Friday – Rest

Saturday – 5k race at 8:45/mi


Total Mileage ->  25.1 miles

Since I was up in Nor Cali for the Thanksgiving weekend, I ran a 12 mile LSD on my own. The team scheduled an optional 11 miler for that weekend, as I learned later, so I’m sort of proud that I ran that additional mile (because every mile counts ;) ). Monday was a travel day, and Tuesday was heavy rain day in LA, so those events put a damper on my running plans.

On Wednesday, there were some light showers, but I did push myself to go out for a run with the team—more like one other individual—and ran a 6 miler that seemed longer than it was. Thursday was another solo run that I just wasn’t feeling. Friday’s rest day put things in order so that I could run a rock-solid 5k on Saturday. I chose to run the shorter distance because a) the later start time meant I could coordinate it with the bus schedule and b) a 13 mi LSD was on the schedule the following day!

Does the rain interfere with your running plans? 

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