I had and have full intentions of being a much more devoted blogger, but this week it just hasn't shaped up that way. While I would love to run, eat, blog, repeat, unfortunately my life is currently not so. That said, a few things worth noting that are swirling around in my head.
Tuesday vs. Friday, my new fav city loop
I have a new favorite city loop from my house. Having already become bored with endless Greenlake loops, I have set out to find more loops and courses around the area. Now that I am more settled in to my life in Seattle, I feel better about exploring with just my watch, running shoes (and various layers of clothing)... I am from here after all, its not like I can get that lost. My new favorite loop incorporates the path to Fremont then a nasty climb up Wallingford Ave (which I absolutely never allow myself to stop on), round the zoo, down around the lake and home. I have been suffering all week from all manner of "took an off season" ills such as plantar fasicitis pain and blisters, including a real bugger on my heal. Not to mention some calf pain where Allison tried to work out some deep seeded issue (that never bothers me unless deeply massaged haha) through massage. Needlesstosay, my runs haven't felt great this week. But today I set out and did my new fav loop (9 total miles) again and finally (yes!) feel like my legs are coming back and my speed/endurance is finally waking up from its winter nap. I felt light and fit on my run and even knocked more than a minute and a half from my tuesday time of the same course.
I had my cousin over for dinner on Wednesday and she and I got talking about protein. She is a former raw foodist/vegan/etc at one time or another. I haven't seen her much this side of the millennium and it was very exciting to me to finally reconnect. She is an amazing woman and it it is great to reconnect with family especially one who seems to share alot of the same nutritional struggles, views, practices etc. We got to talking about being vegan, gluten intolerant and she urged me to really stay on top of my protein. Now, what vegan has not heard the "but where are you going to get your protein" argument but talking to her and discussing her own experience with malnutrition because of not enough protein, I took a harder look at my protein consumption. Most vegans get the majority of their protein from tofu and from grains. Well, unfermented tofu (regular tofu, edamame, soy milk, soy products, etc) and gluten are things that I am intolerant to. Meaning, I get the majority of my calories from veggies, fruit and healthy fats. Protein comes in smaller doses through nuts, seeds, and alternative grains. But when I am honest with myself, I don't really eat that many grains. I am not a big grain person. Having this discussion made me realize that I really really need to be more conscious about incorporating protein into my diet. I don't have to super dose myself because most americans get way too much, but I need to be getting more than I am. Especially now that I am back to running, I have to be more careful. She made some suggestions and I thought about some of my own. The main thing she suggested was tempeh, even though its soy, it is fermented and doesn't cause either of us problems. Yesterday I went out and bought a bunch and have been including it in a modified version of the lunch she makes. Thanks for the tips cousin!
Dinner, Lunch and Protein related ideas
The fact is that I love veggies and don't have intention of decreasing my consumption of them. However, I need a way to get my protein in. Simple solutions include adding a 1/2 cup of a bean or legume, and 1/2 cup of a grain; rice, quinoa (complete amino acid profile), millet or amaranth (highest protein grain). Adding a scoop of hemp, rice or pea protein to smoothies. Add 1/2 package of tempeh to a veggie stir-fry or salad. Hummus, need I say more. And actually one of my favorite realizations is that my favorite "treats" aka anything from Flying Apron is actually a protein powerhouse. The muffins I adore in the mornings or the occasional cookies should actually be incorporated more since 1) they are made with a combination of brown rice flour and garbanzo bean flour 2) they don't use any refined ingredients 3) I don't even know if they can be considered "junk food" because they have so many health benefits....even when I am bad, I am good....
For dinner for my cousin, I broke out the indoor grill and made some veggie (mushroom, pepper, red onion, zucchini) kabobs sprinkled with chili powder, salt and pepper and roasted on the grill with a bit of olive oil. I made a chimchurri sauce with poblano & serrano peppers, garlic, basil, parsley, limes for topping the veggies. I also made a side of mashed sweet potatoes and another of black beans. Decent protein, but pretty well rounded, easy to make meal.
My cousin said that she too is obsessed with brussel sprouts and eats them daily with tempeh for lunch. So for the last two days for lunch I have made a green-packed stir fry with tempeh. I parcook the brussel sprouts and steam the tempeh. Then cook the brussel sprouts like I like them (golden crusty!) in some olive oil. When they are getting close, I add broccoli, onion, garlic, sugar snap peas and the tempeh which I chopped into pieces. Add chili powder (my current spice of obsession), salt, pepper and Italian herbs. Cook over medium heat until the veggies are cooked. Serve! Delicious. I make a huge bowls worth and it really hits the spot. The tempeh not only helps with the protein but it makes me fuller, longer.
I am hoping that this will help me stay on top of my protein, which will in turn help all of my hard work in the gym (lifting) and on the roads and trails, pay off even bigger dividends!