I hope you are all having a great Thursday. I just wanted to mention that those of you who have me on your Google Reader will need to add a new subscription in order to continue to get new post updates, since I've moved to: www.ChicagoMarathonVal.com
Oh, yes. This is what you have been waiting for... the NUTELLA POST!!!! But first, mi cena: Good stuff, involving a simple but delightful dressing comprised of flax oil, lemon juice, S & P. * Ok, back to the good stuff!! I have been a huge, unbelievably loyal, addicted and obsessed Nutella fan ever since I first tried the stuff. Growing up, my mom stopped buying it because I would literally demolish an entire container in one sitting... yes, ONE SITTING. I could easily do it again too, don't tempt me with the challenge ;) * Obviously, this stuff isn't super healthy. So, sadly I stopped buying Nutella for the most part and haven't had it in the house in years because I simply can't be trusted with it. Yes, I know it's ok to eat dessert in moderation, but for me, "Nutella" and "moderate" do not belong in the same sentence. My most recent amazing Nutella experience was on our honeymoon in the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, where they had Nutella as part of the buffet. I would smother a croissant with Nutella and PB, and it was heavenly beyond belief, as you can imagine. * Fast forward to today..... when I discovered something amazing. All-natural, raw, vegan Nutella! Oh yes! Here is the recipe: - 3 c. hazelnut meal (I ground up whole hazelnuts in my nut grinder) - 1/2 c. cocoa powder - 1/2 c. agave nectar - 1/2 tsp. vanilla - pinch of salt - 3 T. water Blend all ingredients together in a FP. You can use less (or no) water if you want it to be very thick, but I wanted mine to blend better so I used the water to thin it out. I would normally just eat it straight, but I'm sending it to someone else to eat (Mike's coworker) so I rolled it into balls and put them into the refrigerator to harden. Wow. Words cannot describe how good this is!! My mind is spinning at all of the fun possibilities to make with this Nutella..... baked goods, crepes, etc. * I had a lot of fun recreating this raw/vegan version of a typically SAD (standard american diet) junk food: What "junk" or unhealthy food do you wish there was a version of? * Gratitude Journal: 1) Loved spinning today 2) So excited that I got some work pants that fit, yay!! Now if I can just lay off the Nutella so they stay my size ;) 3) NUTELLA... need I say more? :)
Hola, bloggers! * This morning I woke up with a bit of a sore throat... but no fear, if I end up getting anything that means hopefully I'll have time to knock it out before work starts. I took an Airborne just to be safe , and of course a juice.... I'm running low and celery sadly so I savored this one ! (celery, spinach, 1/2 lemon, ginger root, apple)For whatever reason, I was really hungry this morning. I usually only have a juice before my workout which usually suffices, but today I had a huge appetite - I blame it on the fact that I was drooling over too many food blogs ;) * I tried this: coconut milk yogurt!! What a fun concept, right? Dairy-free and soy-free, I love that. I dumped in about a T. of flax seed and some coconut... and it was good. So good, that I wanted more. So, I threw what was left into a bigger bowl and added another yogurt cup, but one that was "chocolate" flavored. I thought THAT might not be enough, so I also grabbed this... Hmmm... the chocolate yogurt ended up being a bit too sweet. I still have a huge sweet tooth obvi - as you can tell from my obsession with baking vegan desserts on a daily basis - but I am totally turned off by anything artificial-tasting. I'll give them a "B" rating. So I didn't finish the yogurt, but I did finish the pumpkin/flax bar. I didn't love the taste too much, but it was surprisingly filling so I would give it a B, as well. * Today was more spinning... LOVE IT. During the class I kept thinking how amazing it is that literally a few weeks ago - less than 2 months ago, for sure - I actually loathed spinning. I remember sitting in class scheming up ways to leave class early, and counting down the seconds. I was in misery. But now, I love that "good pian" that comes from spinning, and I truly feel like I have to go at least twice a week to get my "spinning fix". * I felt pretty stuffed from a big lunch -I know it didn't look but, but the bar was almost 300 calories, plus 2 yogurts, flax, coconut, and juice - ended up being a lot for me so early in the morning. * So, to keep it light, lunch was something I haven't had in a while - some almond milk mixed with chocolate Amazing Grass. So good! I forgot how chocolately and refreshing this is... I definitely need to remind myself to have some more often. I went downtown today to look for some work pants. First stop: Marshall's! I ended up trying on 16 pairs of pants, but they didn't have anything that fit. I hate to say it, but it felt a tiny bit nice that everything I tried on was too big for me since the reason I was shopping in the first place was that my old pants had gotten EXTREMELY small on me and I had been feeling guilty about that :( * I did find these cute plates however! Aren't those adorable!?!? I didn't buy them, but I wanted to just because they made me smile :) I ended up spending many, many hours clothes shopping. Thankfully I found some work pants that fit without having to get hemmed - hooray! I also may have made a sneak trip to Trader Joe's ;) Oh man, it's so sad how much I look forward to my TJ and WF sprees lol... * I was starving when I got back - I had been gone much longer than I had planned on!!! I finished off the lentil salad that I had leftover from Saturday. This recipe was great after sitting in the fridge for a couple days! So good... Alright, I can't post it now because Mike needs the computer for work but I will leave you with this... early this evening I created something........ spectacular. Something.... marvelous. I created.... all-natural, raw, vegan, NUTELLA!!!! Yes my friends, I did the impossible. Check my next posting later tonight for the recipe!!! :)
When people find out I am training for my third marathon, often I get a positive response - "Wow, that's amazing, good for you!"
Sometimes, however, I am faced with disdain, incredous looks and bad attitudes. Many people have responded to my marathon journey by telling me how unhealthy it is, how I am going to ruin my knees, etc, etc, etc.
Here are some reasons why it is indeed VERY healthy to train for a marathon (aside from the obvious ones - it helps decrease stress, boosts self-confidence, etc.):
* There is a man (maybe in his 40s or 50s?) in my CARA running group who is training for his first marathon - after having a heart attack - BECAUSE his doctor specifically said that the cardiovascular benefits to his health would balance out any wear and tear on his joints. Crazy!
* Those who run 50+ miles per week have been found to have greater increases in HDL levels (good cholesterol) and lower levels of LDL levels (bad cholesterol)
* Long distance runners have lower levels of trigylcerides, body fat, and the risk of coronary heart disease than runners who run less than 10 miles a week
* Long distance runners have a 50% reduction in high blood pressure
* Long distance runners can be as much as 3 times more effective at consuming oxygen
* Dr. Bassler's famous "marathon theory" says that if you train for and complete a marathon, you will become immune to death by heart attack for at least a full year if not much longer
* When I ran my first Chicago Marathon, there were over 80 people who were over the age of 80 running the marathon that day!!! Amazing!!! So much for the theory that all runners will end up wheelchair bound when our knees give out lol....
I love this quote by Dr. Paul D. Thompson, director of preventative cardiology at Hartford Hospital in Connecticut:
" We're unquestionably more at risk the hour a day that we run, but the other 23 hours in a day, we are much less at risk. In balance, you're much safer exercising than not exercising".
In short, while there are always health risks involved with any form of exercise, overall most physicians agree that the benefits of being a long distance runner far outweight the negatives!
How do you respond to people who tell you that running isn't healthy?
* A forum for me to talk about my love of running, cooking, healthy and delicious food, and social justice *
Welcome to my site! Thanks for reading my thoughts, and helping me raise awareness of the importance of anti-violence programs in Chicago - I'm working to help our youth stay safe "one mile at a time"!
To help me raise money for "Ceasefire Chicago: Stop the Violence", my chosen charity that I am raising money for through my marathon training:
I'm a school social worker who is also a newlywed (and had a Big Fat Greek Wedding, no less!) living in Chicago. I am starting this blog to talk about the training process I will go through to prepare for the Chicago Marathon, while also raising awareness for Ceasefire, a Chicago anti-violence program.