An Artichoke a Day

Last night my husband and I made a healthy, delicious meal of fresh lemon and dill salmon and steamed artichokes. Artichokes have been my favorite vegetable since I was a kid and I don’t think I will ever get sick of them. We even grew them ourselves last year!

When I was little I would refuse to eat the heart of the artichoke. I remember my mom saying, “Why don’t you eat the heart? It’s the best part!”  My response would usually be something like “Eww, gross!” It took years until I finally told my parents that I wasn’t eating the best part of the artichoke because I thought it was a real heart. I was little and didn’t understand the difference between a real heart and the idea that something could be called a heart because it was at the “heart” of the vegetable.  When I finally learned the difference I was amazed by what I had been missing. The heart really is the best part! I guess mom’s always know best!

The problem with eating an artichoke a day is that most artichoke dipping sauces are loaded with fat and extra calories. Most people eat them with mayonnaise, or garlic butter, which clearly are not the healthiest choices. When my mom used to make them, we would dip them in Italian dressing mixed with Parmesan cheese. I know, it sounds weird, but it was really tasty and much healthier. Randomly one day I added cottage cheese to that mixture and ate my artichokes dipped in cottage cheese and Italian dressing for years after that. Of course I’ve had the mayo and the garlic butter as well, but now I am always trying to come up new healthy versions that still tastes delicious. This one is my favorite so far:

Lemon and Dill Yogurt Aioli 

  • 1/2 cup non-fat greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • pinch salt

Mix all ingredients together and chill until ready to serve! Double recipe as needed for more artichokes (amounts don’t need to be exact. Add ingredients to taste)

Baked Lemon and Dill Salmon

  • 2 salmon filets
  • 2 tbsp room temp butter
  • 1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
  • Juice of half a lemon

Mix together butter, lemon and dill. Spread over top of salmon filets in a baking dish lined with foil. Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for about 20-25 minutes (depending on size of salmon). Then broil for 5 minutes to crisp the top of the salmon. Squeeze lemon on top before serving and garnish with fresh dill. Enjoy!

Ouch

So my foot is hurt again. :( I did my 11 mile run  (it ended up being about 11.8 ) on Sunday and I felt great. The run was easy and comfortable and I couldn’t help but think “I’ve got this half marathon in the bag.” That was until around mile 8 when my foot started to ache. At that point I was so far out on the trail, there wasn’t much I could do. So I stuck with it and made it to the end of the run. That is when the real pain started to kick in and I could barely get through my stretches or walk the remainder of the day. Each time I step down on my left side an excruciating pain shoots up the middle of my foot. It’s not fun.

Now here I am back at work with a bandage on my foot, limping around the office. This Saturday is supposed to be an 8 mile run and then a few short runs leading up to the race on the 11th. To be honest, I’m feeling a little discouraged today. Maybe I’m not meant to be a runner. I always felt that way my entire life, maybe I was right?  I WANT to be a runner, but my body seems to feel otherwise. My plan is to rest and ice my foot for the remainder of the week and hope it gets better. If it feels 100% on Friday, I’ll run the 8 miles on Saturday. Otherwise, I’ll rest until it does feel better and try to make it through my race on the 11th.

Despite the frustrating feelings I’m having about my injury, I am trying to stay as positive as possible and not give up. I was really hoping to beat my time from October, but I need to remind myself that just finishing the race is a pretty big accomplishment for me.

Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.”
~ Henry Ford

my best friend right now..

Tulips

I love when tulips open :)

No-Bake Oat and Nut Butter Bites

I’ve been looking for a quick snack to eat before work or the gym in the mornings and I thought these would be perfect. I found a few recipes online, combined them and added a few ingredients to make my own. They turned out to be great! And they were super easy to make.

What you’ll need:

  • 1/2 cup almond butter (any nut butter will work)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp flax seeds
  • 1/2 cup shredded coconut
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • I also added about an 1/8 cup of an organic fruit and nut granola I needed to use up in the cupboard. You can really add whatever seeds, dried fruit or nuts you’d like to this recipe and I’m sure it would turn out just as yummy!

Combine all the wet ingredients until smooth and then add in the dry ingredients. Mix everything together and place in the fridge for about 20 minutes. Take out of the fridge, form into balls and place back in the fridge until you are ready to eat them. Enjoy!

Three Weeks?!?

THREE WEEKS? Is that REALLY all I have left before I have to run 13.1 miles…in a row? That sounds like a sick joke if I ever heard one.

I started training for the Shamrock’n half marathon back in January with a running group through fleet feet. The training time seemed extremely short in my mind but I figured, if a whole group of people can do it and the experts claim it’s enough time, then I can definitely do it. I trained for my last half in about 12 weeks and according to this schedule I only have about 9. My training was coming along pretty well until the giant trampoline incident… Yes, you read that right. My niece and nephew have a big trampoline in their backyard and when they asked me to play with them I jumped right in and forgot that I’m not 12 years old anymore. So I jumped and jumped until my legs were so tired that I landed sideways on my left ankle. It hurt, so I took a few minutes off from jumping and then got right back up again, still forgetting I am not 12 years old.

The next day I met with my training group for a 7 mile run. This was the longest run since my last half in October and it felt great. I hadn’t felt that good on my feet in a long time. I had energy and felt like I could continue for miles. During the run I felt a little pain each time I stepped down on my left foot, but I told myself, “Mind over matter. It’s just a little foot pain, you’re fine.”

Well, I wasn’t fine. When I got home and took off my shoes I almost fell over in pain when I tried to step down on my left foot and then the pain continued to get worse and worse. The following week I was limping at work and trying to ice it and stay off of it as much as possible, which meant I was going to be a week behind in my training schedule. I used the RICE method as much I could and hoped for the best. Over the weekend I was in San Diego working at a major event, which I attempted to wear heels to. The heels lasted about 20 minutes until I switched into my flat boots because I could barely move my foot. Running around for the night made for even worse foot/ankle pain on Monday. I then had to take another week off of training which put me even further behind the group.

I was starting to feel depressed, angry, disappointed. I was so looking forward to this race and my body was getting stronger and stronger and all of a sudden, it was all gone. I started to understand (on a very very small scale of course) what professional athletes must feel when they get injured. All I wanted to do was run, and that is the one thing I absolutely couldn’t do. I was getting so stressed about the race. I spent a lot of money on the training and the race and I was even working on getting special shirts made for our team. I’d told all of my friends and family about this race and was not looking forward to telling them I had to back out. But most important, I wanted to do the race for myself. I was going to be disappointed that I worked so hard and then had to just give up.

So, I told myself that as soon as my foot started to feel a little better, I’d get back out there no matter how behind I was. Last Sunday was my first attempt at working out since the “deadly trampoline” (exaggeration? Nah…). I put on a foot brace and went out for a jog. It was awful. The foot brace was so tight that it hurt even more than before and I could only make it 3 miles. I was supposed to run 9 that weekend. Discouraged, I went home and iced my foot. The next morning I woke up and it felt much better, so I decided…I’m going to run this 9 miles if it kills me. Of course if my foot hurt as bad as it did the day before I would stop, but it helped to tell myself that I was going to complete it no matter what. So, I left the brace at home and went out for the run with my friend Lindsey. We ran slow and steady and took a break after every 3 miles for a little water, stretching, Cliff Bloks, and an evaluation of my ankle pain. Each time I felt okay so we kept going until eventually we finished 9 miles. That may have been the hardest run I’ve ever done…but we did it. This weekend our group will be running 11 miles and after completing 9, as hard as it was, I feel much more confident that I can do it. After this weekend we taper off with shorter runs until the big day. IN. 3. WEEKS. That time frame still scares the crap out of me but I try to tell myself, if I did it once before, I can do it again. Right?

Right. I CAN do it and I WILL do it. See you at the finish line.

Have you ever had an injury that derailed your training? Or have you been behind in your training and still made it through on race day?

Broiled Grapefruit with Brown Sugar

I recently was given some delicious grapefruit straight from my co-worker’s backyard and I have been enjoying them for breakfast for the last week. Another friend at work suggested this delicious idea of broiling the grapefruit with a little brown sugar. After I made these I googled the recipe to see how other people made them and I found so many different ways! Some use ginger and brown sugar, some use butter and brown sugar…I think next time I’ll add butter. Everything tastes better with butter, right? But this time I just did it plain and simple. Fruit, brown sugar, and fire. Mmmmm. They turned out delish. A great low-calorie winter dessert that I will definitely be making again soon.

Ingredients:


Brown sugar (about 1-2 tbsp per grapefruit half)

2 grapefruits (one for me, one for my hubby)

That’s it!

What to do:

Cut the grapefruits in half and cut out the seeds. Sprinkle brown sugar on the top of each half and broil for 7-10 minutes until top is golden brown and bubbly. I like to cut through the wedges to make them easier to eat, but you can eat them however you usually prefer to eat grapefruits.

Enjoy!

Happy Valentines Day!

I had fun last night taking these photos with my flashlight and slow shutter speeds :)

Happy Valentines Day WordPress friends and family! I hope you have a wonderful day.