Thoughts on Running & Coconut-Avocado Mousse

Life could be worse.

 

My view as I draft this post:

Arizona view

 

I am not going to insert a ton of commentary before handing it over to Kat for her bi-weekly guest spot.  I’m enjoying my time in AZ, and the food I brought along is actually quite good.  Not feeling deprived at all!

If you want to check out what/how I’m eating, follow me on Instagram!

Protein to go

And now, here’s Kat… who somehow is always on my wave-length even when we haven’t hung out in a while.

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As a Runner…

I really got my groove back in terms of mileage… must be that time of year where I can run any time of day and it’s gorgeous.  I have to admit, I love the heat.  I keep having this thought in my head, “just run.”  And then I do.  I run when I’m lonely, bored, inspired, because I think it’s pretty out, because it’s raining out, because I don’t feel like driving, because people at Boston didn’t get to finish their race.  Just run.

I’m back up to my 60-70 miles per week range.  I know.  It’s crazy, but it’s hours each week where I feel free, explore my city, explore myself, and can just be (Editor’s note: that’s exactly why I like to run… just take your mileage and divide by 3).  I don’t think about how my body looks, how my hair looks, and I don’t feel judged or lonely.  I just run…in the sun, in the rain, if it’s cloudy, if it’s windy.

I wish that every moment of every day could feel like running.

Rain Run – all the pollen looks like sidewalk chalk being washed away!

Rain Run – all the pollen looks like sidewalk chalk being washed away!

 

For those who run like that, and were denied the opportunity to finish the Boston Marathon, I feel incredibly sad, and more inspired to run.  If someone thought that runners were a good target, they got it wrong.  Everyone I know ran the day after the Boston Marathon.

We runners are not to be messed with.

The Federal Courthouse Flag on Wednesday, 4/17

The Federal Courthouse Flag on Wednesday, 4/17

 

Anyway, moving past that, as I increase my mileage for the season, I have been tweaking a few things.  First, I’m considering changing up my shoes.  I found ones that worked all year last year, and I loved them, but I’m in search of something new to fit my new needs: mega trail running.  Moving on past my addiction to the Brooks I’ve been wearing will be hard!  But I know my body needs something different to boost my performance, and to help get me more ready for my first 100 miler!

 

Oh wow!  I think I just officially broke the news!  I’ll be running my first 100 miler in October!  The Oil Creek 100.  This means my health is of the utmost importance, and staying injury free is more important than ever.  Time to make some changes!

Brooks – Obsessed much?

Brooks – Obsessed much?

 

See, between July and now I have had three pairs of the same road shoes.  What am I so afraid of?!?!

 

I’m also trying out my first compression gear.  So far, I like it better for recovery than to actually run in.

My New Hot Pink Compression Sleeves!

My New Hot Pink Compression Sleeves!

 

Lastly, I’m trying something new with my nutrition.  Why?  Because I want to try different things to see what works (Editor’s note: I tell people ALL the time not to be afraid to do this!  Changing it up for a week or so won’t kill you or make you obese).  Lately, I’ve been adding more good fats.

7 reasons this is good for you:

  1. Increased heart health
  2. Increased bone strength
  3. Stronger immune system
  4. Liver health
  5. Healthy bones
  6. Healthy nerves
  7. Improved brain function

 

How could you go wrong??? (Note: this is all in connection with a balanced diet.  I do not eat saturated fats at every meal!)

 

One of my new favorite good-fat recipes is so easy, you will be shocked, and it is good as a side dish, dessert, or breakfast.  Let’s just call it Coconut-Avocado Mousse!

Mousse

It’s sweet, creamy, easy, and delicious.  I topped it with berries for breakfast, or for a before-bed snack (Editor’s note: this is a midnight snack WAITING to happen)!  I tell you what!  You should definitely try this.  It would also go well with ice cream (Editor’s note: or what about frozen and made into ice cream?!), topped with granola, or even topped with dark chocolate shavings (I know this first hand).  It also makes a great spread on toast!

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Mousse with Berries

Coconut-Avocado Mousse

  • ½ avocado
  • 2 T coconut milk (not the light stuff – the real stuff)

 

Mix it all up!

 

Also, in honor of the near future when Laura will be eating only asparagus, I will also be consuming copious amounts, in sympathy (Editor’s note: you are such a kinf a thoughtful friend ;) ).

You should know that this would also be delicious with asparagus! ;)

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I have an insane amout of running shoes, but they’re all different.  I’m really interested to hear everyone else’s shoe habits!

What steps have you taken to change when upping mileage?

How many pairs of the same running shoes do you have?

How do you know when your routine is ready for changing?  Intuition or something else?

 

High Fat Fail + 5-Spice Roasted Veggies

Ever think something sounds fun… only to learn it is just the opposite?

 

I wish I didn’t make this mistake so often…

Last week I decided to experiment with a high-fat/low-carb diet.  Nut butter, oils, avocados, nuts, egg yolks, red meat… it sounded like a brilliant idea!  Notsomuch.

Nut butter needs toast or oats.  ‘Nough said.  It turns out that all of those thing are delicious… but much better with a carb.  Runny eggs need a piece of bread to soak up the goop.

Red meat is better on a bun… but this was still good:

Bison burger topped with a runny egg

 

But it wasn’t just the carbs that had me regretting the high fat thing.  Regret is the wrong word.  I learned a lot, and I do not regret that.  Here are the side effects:

  • Constipation – this was the worst; I am grumpy without a good morning poop (TMI?)
  • Gas/Bloating – I could clear a room in 5 seconds
  • Lower energy – I felt like I was in slow motion
  • Slower muscle recovery time – leg day soreness lasted FIVE days
  • Hunger – fat digests faster than carbs, so I would eat and be hungry an hour later
  • Lower veggie intake – veggies have carbs and I found myself cutting them in order to keep my carbs low
  • Flat muscles – even after a hard bicep day I didn’t have the same “pump” I usually do

 

Polar FT4 Chest and Bicep Burn

Hard workout, yet pretty flat-looking

 

PLEASE do not take this as a deterrent if you are on/want to try a higher fat diet yourself.  Like I said in the ab/nutrition post, diet is personal.  This was just my experience.  Don’t be afraid to experiment!  You will learn a lot about your body.

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One of my favorite things about Heather’s Meatless Monday challenge is that it forces me to try new things.  Like this week – Turnips.

BWV-January

 

I know I’ve had turnips before… but I can’t remember when!  After a little research I learned that turnips are a lot like rutabagas, and have a potato-like taste (but better…. I hate potatoes).  Long ago I made Rutabaga Fries, complete with a vegan cheese sauce.  I liked it, but for some reason I don’t often buy veggies in that family.

Sunday while on my weekly grocery trip I picked up a turnip.  When I got home I realized I had no idea what to do with it… but with potato on the brain, I decided to make a roasted veggie dish using another fun find: a purple sweet potato!  It tastes a lot like a sweet potato, but slightly less sweet.

 

 

I diced my new finds and tossed them with the usual suspects: oil, apple cider vinegar, garlic, onion, and rosemary.  Then I decided that such cool veggies couldn’t be treated in such a pedestrian manner.  And that’s how I ended up with Roasted Turnips & Purple Sweet Potatoes with Five-Spice.  And brussels, but that’s too long of a title. ;)

A little sweet from the ‘taters, heat from Chinese 5-Spice, and a whole lot of staying-power from the starchy.  I’ll be enjoying this in my packed lunches at work all week.  If it lasts that long.

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Five-Spice Roasted Turnips & Purple Sweet Potatoes

Five-Spice Roasted Turnips & Purple Sweet Potatoes

  • 1 turnip
  • 1 purple sweet potato (can use regular sweet potato)
  • 1/4 C red onion
  • 1 T fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 tsp olive oil extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder*

 

Preheat to 450°F.

Slice turnips and potato into 1/2-inch-thick cubes.  Toss with onion, rosemary, oil, garlic, and 5-spice in a roasting pan until well coated.

Roast  for 20-25 mins, stirring once halfway through.

*Note: Chinese 5-spice can be found at most major grocery stores and Asian markets.  It’s a blend of Szechuan pepper, cinnamon, fennel seed, cloves and star anise.

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I told some of you today would be it, but the 6 hour endurance training cram session recap is coming tomorrow… sorry!

Have you experimented with your diet?  What did you learn?

Have you ever seen a purple sweet potato?