Vegetable Quiche = Fantastic Brunch

Sunday’s are meant for sleeping in and brunch. I have a fantastic recipe for you. This vegetable quiche with an almond flour crust goes along nicely with that a nice spring salad. The best part is, not only is this meal super healthy, it tastes fantastic too! We also had some cinnamon raisin bagels for toasting (carbs = life when you’re a runner).

Quiche

Vegetable Quiche (gluten free)

Ingredients

Crust:

  • 2 1/4 cups Almond Flour
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2-3 Tablespoons water
  • Fresh Rosemary and Thyme, chopped up (about 2-3 Tablespoons)
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Filling:

  • 7 eggs
  • 1/3 cup plain almond milk
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • broccoli, cut up into very small pieces (1/2 – 3/4 cup)
  • 2-3 large handfuls of spinach
  • Salt and Pepper to Taste
  • 1/2 cup cheddar and/or fontina cheese

Directions

1.) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2.) Mix together all crust ingredients and then press into a greased pie pan to form the crust.

3.) Bake for 15-17 minutes. Make sure the crust doesn’t become burnt!

4.)Saute the onion, garlic, broccoli, and spinach in a pan for about 8 minutes. Set aside to let cool.

4.) Whisk together the eggs, almond milk, salt, and pepper. Add the cheese and the cooled down vegetables and mix together well. Pour the mixture into the baked pie crust.

5.) Bake in the oven for about 30 – 35 minutes. Check to make sure the center is firm and a toothpick comes out clean. Set aside to let cool for 10 minutes then serve immediately.

6.) This makes a great easy breakfast the next morning too! 🙂

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Middlebury Maple Run

Well, hello.

It has been awhile since I’ve written. Between work becoming even busier than I ever thought possible, school finals, and training for races all while trying to stay sane, I needed to drop some things from my life to power through the days.

What’s been happening since we last talked, aside from what was mentioned above? I had a birthday, went to Acadia to relax in nature, training like crazy for upcoming races, and conquered another half marathon. Phew. That’s a lot.

I’ll be talking about all of that on the blog in the upcoming posts, but today I want to talk about my half marathon I ran yesterday. Was it hilly and windy or what! I signed up for this race thinking there were a few rolling hills, but then a flat last half. Well, I soon discovered that it was crazy hills the entire race (along with an intense headwind) so once I accepted that fact, I moved on to powering through it. I started out fast – sub 7 minute pace per mile fast and that definitely wore me down (note to self: starting out at 6:20 is not smart). I leveled out at 7:20-7:35 for the next several miles until the hills drained my energy. Then I was going anywhere from sub 7 on the downhills to a 9 minute pace on some of the uphill. I really had to dig deep throughout this entire race to stay focused and on pace.

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The things that helped me the most – my wonderful partner stationed himself at the start, halfway point, and the end. When I was struggling at mile 5, I knew he would be right up head soon. When I was struggling at mile 10, I knew it was just 3 miles and he’d be cheering me on.

Another thing that helped was not letting myself turn thoughts negative. I used to mentally shut down in races and my pace would suffer. Instead, I told myself you can do this. You ARE doing this. You ARE perfectly capable of running this pace. The hills and wind from mile 10-13 got me good though and physically and mentally my body just wanted to quit so I kept repeating something I learned from my partner’s tae kwon do class. One of the tenets of tae kwon do is perseverance. I just kept repeating “persevere” over and over and over again. It helped significantly.

I didn’t have stomach issues this time! I cut out the peanut butter on my toast before the race and added a banana about 90 minutes before the start. I had gummies with me and they never have given me a stomach ache on long runs, but I didn’t want to chance it. Instead I took in gatoraid at every aid station – mostly just a couple of sips, but it was enough to get me through.

I was 5th in my age group. The top 10 percent of female runners and top 20 percent of all runners. I finished in 1:43:34 just a few seconds shy of my PR, but given the difficulty of this course with nonstop hills and headwind, I think this was an incredibly successful race. Next one is 3 weeks out!!!

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A New PR! Race Recap!

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Wow! What a race. I had a lot of firsts with this race even though I’ve done countless half marathons, this one was full of surprises with the pace I was able to hold and also with how my body reacted and felt. I finished in 1:43 a new PR that I’m so happy about! With the way I was racing before some stomach issues at mile 9, I think I could have had a 1:40 finish, which gives me a lot of hope and excitement for this year’s racing season.

The race had a later start (9am) due to the chilly weather lingering here in Vermont. I took a bus to the start and arrived about 20 minutes before the start time. That gave me just enough time to get myself sorted, say hi to some friends, and mentally prep for the task ahead without too much time to overthink things.

I honestly didn’t know what to expect or what I was capable of at this point as far as time since my training really hasn’t been steady over the winter months due to snow and ice, a knee injury, and I had only done a few runs at race pace. I decided that morning though that I was going to push it as hard as I could and see what happened.

I, of course, started out too fast like I always do and was doing 7 minute miles which I gradually increased to 7:15-7:30. Since the first few miles were in neighborhoods, there was a lot of crowd support and my race excitement fueled a faster pace. By mile 4 though I knew I needed to be careful with the energy I was expending in the first miles and slowed it down between 7:30-7:40.

My biggest struggles were with miles 4.5-6.5 and then 9-11. Generally mile 9 or 10 is my rough point in races, but this time it wasn’t because I was running on empty. It was because my stomach started hurting. It was bothering me starting around mile 7, but I could work through it. Right past the mile 9 marker I couldn’t push through it anymore – I thought I was going to be sick my stomach hurt so bad. So I had to stop on the side of the bike path and lost a couple of minutes of time. I was crushed because I was on pace to hit a 1:40 until that point. I practiced deep breathing and soon felt okay enough to push through. Mentally I refused to let it get me down. Sure, a 1:40 would have been awesome, but I wanted to get under 1:45 which was still a very real possibility. My next mile was slower, but then I picked up the pace again around mile 10.5-11. I knew that it was all or nothing at this point and decided to go for it.

Mile 12 had a couple of hills that are a struggle at the end of a race! Once I saw the mile 12 marker though I just pushed it as hard as I possibly could knowing that I can handle anything for one mile no matter how much it hurts. As soon as I turned the corner and saw the finish I bolted as fast as I could. When I saw the race clock was almost at 1:43, pure happiness and excitement filled me. I think I had the biggest goofiest smile on my face and just felt all this hard work I’ve been doing for over a year to break 1:45 had finally paid off. It’s a pretty incredible feeling. There’s nothing  like the feeling of accomplishing something you’ve been putting so much work in for. That’s probably one of the reasons I love running races – it let’s me push myself to extremes and gives me so much confidence.

I will say though that even though it was well worth it, every mile of this race hurt. I didn’t have one moment where I thought I had extra energy to spare and it makes the finish that much more worth it. I tried to distract myself with the “well…what doesn’t currently hurt” game, but all I could think of was my fingers so that quickly ended that game. Instead, my method to mentally get through was just accepting that it was uncomfortable and that’s okay!

Sunday left me feeling less than stellar as my body was just feeling a little worse for the wear between sore muscles and my stomach not feeling great. I’ve actually never had a race where I’ve encountered so many stomach issues the day of and after so I’m trying to pinpoint what’s going on with that so there’s not a repeat of that in the future.

I am so excited though and ready to dive back into training with sunshine and warmer temps predicted as spring makes an appearance here. The next half marathon is in a month! I have my eyes set on a certain time, but I’m going to keep that to myself for now and see how training goes for the next month!

And with all this being said, here’s my training plan for the week!

Weekly Fitness Plan

Meal Planning: Step 1

It’s Friday! I hope everyone here has a fun weekend! Things around here will be pretty low-key with running, schoolwork, certification work, and of course Sunday Funday. It’s supposed to be gloomy and rainy so I’m not sure hiking will be the adventure of the week, but I sure hope it is. I need to soak in some a good dose of nature.

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Among my health coaching clients, one of the most popular goals I hear is that they want to get better about meal planning and having healthy meals throughout the week. They also tell me it’s one of the most intimidating goals, but one that could make the most impact on leading a healthy lifestyle.

What a difference having a meal plan can make! When I don’t have a meal plan, my already chaotic week feels nearly impossible to manage. Being a long distance runner and ridiculously hungry when I finally get home at 7:30 pm, the last thing I want is to look in the fridge and have no idea what to eat. There may have been some “I’m hangry” melt downs in my past before I discovered the importance of meal planning.

Because meal planning can seem overwhelming. It’s best to break it down into steps instead of just diving in all at once. So I’ll do a series of blog posts with some steps you can take to incorporate healthy meal planning into your own life.

Step 1 is to look at your week ahead. Be realistic with what kind of meals you can tackle. How much time do you really have to spend on preparing food? Another 1st step is to look in your cabinets and fridge to see what you already have on hand. Maybe you’ll even get a few meal ideas based off of ingredients you already have at home. The last part to this is to think about what meals sound good to you! If a meal doesn’t sound good to you when you’re planning it, it probably won’t sound good the night you’re supposed to eat it either.

This brings me to a step 1 tip. Start building a recipe book of go-to recipes. These are your recipes that are healthy, taste great, and you don’t feel overwhelmed by the thought of making them. If you don’t have these recipes now, don’t worry – you eventually will! The more you try new recipes and cook, the easier it is to realize what these go-to meals are. Read health and food blogs, check out recipe websites, and go through some of those cookbooks you have on hand. This will help you start compiling some easy go-to recipes for those weeks that are just too crazy to even think about cooking and elaborate new meal.

And that’s the first step. Not too overwhelming, right? I’ll be talking about the next steps next week. For now, just work on step one!

Healthy Maple Granola

This granola makes for a great snack or breakfast. Sprinkle some on top of yogurt for an added crunch, replace your cereal for a serving of this and some almond milk, or sprinkle some on top of an apple slice with peanut butter (yum!).

granola

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 3/4 cup raw nuts (I used pecans and walnuts)
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened dried fruit (I used cranberries, raisins, and chopped dates)
  • 1/4 cup melted coconut oil
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup or raw honey (or a combination of both)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Add everything together in a bowl and mix until well combined.
  3. Spread out the mixture on the baking sheet and bake in the oven for about 20-24 minutes or until golden brown. Make sure to stir about halfway through.
  4. Let the granola cool completely and store in an airtight container.
  5. For an added treat you can add a few dark chocolate chips to this!

Enjoy!

 

Healthy Meal: Veggie Pasta

When my wellness coaching clients tell me they struggle with finding the time to make a healthy meal and also trying to figure out what to make, I tell them to start off just finding one easy healthy meal that they can make. Then in another week, find another. Then another. Suddenly you have several go-to meals you can rely on when time is limited after work in the evenings.

Healthy meals don’t have to be complicated. This meal is one of my go-to meals and it’s so easy to mix it up. Again apologies for the iPhone photo. My runner’s appetite usually takes priority over a food photo shoot. 🙂

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Ingredients:

  • Brown rice noodles, quinoa noodles, veggie noodles (carrots, zucchini, or sweet potato), or a combination of all three!
  • Kale or Spinach
  • Onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Fresh Basil
  • Cherry tomatoes, halved
  • Optional: Pasta Sauce or Pesto
  • Optional: Chicken and/or tofu sausage or another lean protein
  • Optional: Parmesan Cheese

Directions:

  1. If using, prepare your protein of choice.
  2. Boil pasta if using rice or quinoa noodles and set aside. If you’re using veggie noodles saute them in a pan and set aside.
  3. In a large pan, saute  onions and garlic until the onions are almost translucent. Add the halved cherry tomatoes and kale or spinach. Once the tomatoes have started to juice a little bit, add the pasta and basil into the mix and cook for about 2 more minutes.
  4. Take off the stove and serve immediately with your protein, sauce, and Parmesan cheese if using.

This is a super quick and easy meal, but healthy and long distance runner/tae kwon do master and also vegetarian/carnivore approved!

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Weekly Fitness Plan: January 29

You probably (or maybe you didn’t and that’s cool too) notice that I’ve started running my hill running group again. It’s such a difficult running group, but keeps me in shape and helps improve my speed. For some reason it never gets easier. Ever. I can’t quite figure out how that works. If someone figures this one out, please let me know!

In case you’re wondering how the hill running group works (and also the majority of the hill runs I do on my own) – we pick a very steep 1 mile hill. The first loop we run 1/3 of the way up, the second loop we run 2/3 of the way up, the third loop we run all the way up. After this, we run to another steep hill that’s about 1/4 mile and run a few repeats. I always total about 7.5ish miles for this run (I run to and from my car as well) and it always takes it out of me. This group has been incredible with helping me improve my speed though! My hope that is by incorporating this group every week and pushing myself to be comfortable with uncomfortable, I’ll be able to crush my half marathon PR this year.

Here’s the fitness plan for the week!

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Happy Monday!

 

Food Budgeting

One of my major goals this year is stick more to a food budget. With two athletes in the house (and you know, that long distance runner when training lives by the “eat ALL the food” mindset) it can be difficult. The last several months we’ve let that slide a little… a lot.

With some financial goals this year and further education happening, now more than ever it’s really important for us to stick to a budget. That generally means meal planning/prepping, healthy budget meals, and making sure not to let food go to waste. My time was limited this week for meal planning and grocery shopping ended up being grabbing random vegetables/ingredients. So this morning I decided to check the cupboards and figure out a plan for the rest of the week.

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When you actually pull things out of the fridge and cupboards and pair them together, it’s crazy how quickly healthy meals can form!

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Here’s the plan for the rest of the week.

Dinners:

  • Pumpkin ravioli with sautĂ©ed spinach and homemade tomato sauce (I always say I’m going to freeze half, but we end up eating all the leftovers pretty quickly – so good!)
  • Veggie stir-fry with brown rice and likely some tofu “chicken”
  • Butternut squash soup with whole wheat cheddar biscuits and a spinach, pear, walnut salad. (I will likely freeze half the soup for quick meals on busy days)
  • Tomato soup and grilled cheese

Lunches:

  • Leftovers
  • Tuna avocado salad

Breakfasts:

  • Eggs
  • Oatmeal
  • Protein smoothie

Snacks:

  • Almonds
  • Fruit (Apples, blueberries, pears) with peanut butter
  • Healthy banana muffins

This weekend, I’ll be back to meal planning, prepping, and all that fun stuff. We’re debating a CSA and also how much per week seems like a reasonable food goal for us. Stay tuned on that front!