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Thursday, January 30, 2014

Fishy 5k Wednesday

Almost Friday....

While we wait for the best day of the week, I thought I would fill you in on my pretty fantastic Wednesday.



First off, I finally solved the no microwave-how-do-I-eat-soup dilemma.  
The mini crockpot.  
Plug it in and in an hour I have hot soup for lunch.  
I plugged it in at 11:30, and at noon went out for my run. 
Motivation to run faster was there knowing 
I had yummy hot soup waiting for me back at the office.







The roads were completely un-plowed and running in the snow kind of felt like beach running.  Fun and different, but a different type of running workout that definitely slowed me down.

Its pretty funny all the weird things you see when you are running.  Lots of nips and plastic liquor bottles, banana peels, road kill, but today, I saw something very new and very different.

A (big) dead fish sitting in the middle of the snowy road.  
I scratched my head for a second and decided  there is a pond and the beach near by
--a hawk must have dropped it en route.  
Either that or I am losing my mind. 

After my run, I sat down at my desk with my baby crock of hot soup. 
 Lunch was leftover white bean sausage soup with spinach beets and carrots, with a half of a bagel thin.





Hit the spot after a cold fishy run in the 20s.

Olive got a lunch time treat of her super stinky lamb treats.  
Everyone was happy. 




After work, Stacie and I had a  quick dinner and theater date.  
Before the play, I whipped up a dinner I have been dying to make for a while.  I keep hearing about how great the Cheesecake Factory Thai lettuce wraps are.  I figured this would be a great healthy meal and would work really well for lunches the following day.  I found a copycat recipe online and will share the details in a later post.

Boston bib lettuce
Rice noodles cooked in cconut milk and red cury
Sprouts cooked in soy sauce
Chicken marinated in a ginger/lime/soy sauce
Carrots
Cucumbers

and premade peanut sauce



It was also easy and delicious today for lunch!!
Cold, packed easily, and nothing needed to be reheated.
I will be making this one all the time. 




After dinner we headed to Hartford. 
 I was super excited when Stacie invited me to go see a play with her in some amazing seats front and center.  We were going to see War Horse with the really cool horse puppets at the Bushnell Theatre in Hartford.  

The play was  really really great, but pretty dark and dramatic.  
I love me a feel good comedy sing a long 
but it was nice to experience something different, and with horses. 

      



Only downfall of going to the play was leaving Olive alone for 5 hours resulting and coming home to four less muffins than when I left.....
She was nice enough to save me one for today's snack....

Time to finish off the work day and then a 6 o clock Hot Yoga session.
Could use a good sweat with this nasty cold weather. 
The best part?  It is a free class tonight because the Yoga teacher trainees are teaching their first class!  Double win. 



Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Five Mile (PR) Monday


Monday's are usually the pits. 

BUT

This Monday was pretty fantastic.  

After a resting casual weekend, I woke up Monday ready to take on the world.  
Before I take on the world, I need to share the awesomeness that is a cat beard.  

Yes this is a real thing.
And yes that is me in the upper left hand corner.



I really felt the need to share this with you all.
Okay, back to normal things. 

Within the last hour or so of work, I complained to Stacie I was tired wanted to nap, and I did not want to run.  But the marathon training schedule said so.   I decided I was going to drive home walk in my apartment and IMMEDIATELY get changed grab the dog and go before I decided a nap was the better choice.  

I really enjoyed this little piece of motivation to help kick me out the door.  
Sorry for the sailor talk, 
but I am pretty sure youths don't read running blogs any way.  




Temperature was in the 40's before I left for work, which was basically a heat wave.  By the time I got home, it was 30 and dropping.  Mother Nature you are mean.   Then the wind... oh that wind.  Please note the feels like 24 degrees and I think that was being QUITE generous.




I headed out with my  Underarmour coldgear fitted tights (very warm and my legs are less purple and deformed looking when I get home), a long sleeve running top, my Lulu Lemon 360 Reflective Get Up and Glow Jacket (with a few chewed pockets), my Newton Gravity Sneakers (2012 version baby), my LuLu headband, and pulled on my hood (love the ponytail hole!) 


Olive wore her reflective vest, gentle leader harness, and extendable leash that I buckle around my waist for hands free running.  
If you run with your dog you NEED these three items!



The first five minutes of my run were brutal.  My legs felt great, my brain was right, it was my lungs that were on fire with the bitter cold dry air.  After a few minutes I adjusted to the weather and my body fell in sync.  It is pretty rare that I go on a run and its feels good.  It felt just right, comfortable, and happy.  I don't know if it was the cold that pushed me to run fast, or the sheer joy of being off the treadmill and enjoying the outdoor with my dog.  Whatever it was, it was amazing. 
Oh, this is when people say they love running...




I stopped to take a few pictures of the sun setting
 over Cedar Lake and Pattaconk Lake in Chester. 
Man did I miss running outside. 




Five mile run with some hills, 
with an average pace of 8:36 min/mile.
New PR for me!!!!!!


I was getting doom and gloom about marathon training 
so this run with a good time that felt SO RIGHT --it was exactly what I needed. 
I needed the confidence boost and a feel good run. 


To continue my awesome day, I met my dive buddies at the Brushmill in Chester for some Prime Rib  For 20$ you get a soup or salad, a GIGANTIC prime rib with two sides, and dessert.
Such a deal and with good company.

AND THEN I came home to these beautiful shoes.  I got suckered into a Shoe Fab membership and needed to use some credits.  Stacie sent me some recommendations and I followed her advice. 

Say Hello to my Little Friends

Zip up tan booties<3  Swoon 



Monday, January 27, 2014

Lightened Banana Bread Muffins


Desire to eat healthy has been wearing thin lately.  For lunch today, I had half a sandwich and a side salad.  I devoured the sandwich in a moments notice, but then I stared at this salad for 10 minutes before finally admitting defeat and picking out the good stuff (i.e. croutons and egg) before tossing the lettuce.  

Please tell me you all have done this?

Last night, I baked sliced chicken breasts in panko bread crumbs for use with salads, sandwiches, and for that nights dinner --chicken parm over pasta because it is basically all I can think about- and I am all into giving in every once - or twice - in a while.   

After dinner while cleaning up, two sad looking bananas sat among the mess.   These bananas have been staring at me for a while.  I should have taken a picture but they were beyond their prime.  Smooshy and bruised and not something I wanted to eat.   I hate to waste food, so I decided banana bread it was.   

I wanted a banana bread (CARBS CARBS CARBS), something that was tasty, but a little lighter I found this recipe from the Tastebook.   I lightened it a little bit and baked the batter in muffin tins for pre-portioned on the go convenience.   They are a little dense but are quite delicious.  Especially with a little bit of nutella spread on top for good measure... or something like that. 


INGREDIENTS

  • 1 C all-purpose flour
  • 1 C whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 c Sugar- ( I used 1/4 C sugar  1/4 C splenda)
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 medium (1 cup) ripe bananas, mashed
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 C canola oil  (I only did 1/4 C of oil - the oil grossed me out) 
  • 1/4 C Milk- ( I used Sweetened Vanilla Almond Milk)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 C mini chocolate chips  (and I added walnuts and sweetened coconut flakes on top!) 
*If you want to lighten it further you can substitute the oil for applesauce, use all wheat flour, and leave out the chocolate chips walnuts and coconut!

DIRECTIONS

  • 1
    Preheat oven to 350 F. Spray a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan with cooking spray, line the bottom with parchment paper and spray the paper with cooking spray.
  • I used a large muffin tin and instead of traditional liners, I cut parchment paper into squares and used that as a liner.  

  • 2
    Combine the flours, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt in a medium bowl. In a large bowl whisk bananas, eggs oil, milk and vanilla. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and stir with a rubber spatula just until moistened. Fold in the chocolate chips.
  • And fold in the walnuts!

  • 3
    Pour the batter into the loaf pan and bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool bread in the pan for 10 minutes before removing from the pan and cooling completely on a wire rack.
  • I poured the batter directly into the un greased parchment liners, topped with shredded coconut, and baked about 25 minutes or until a toothpick was inserted and came out dry!





















My 10 mile weekend


Good morning!  

Hoping everyone is starting off the weekend on the right side of the bed.  If there is such a thing.   Here in New England the forecast was Snow Cold Snow Cold.  Friday was my scheduled 10 mile long run, and of course the roads were icey, snowy, and the temperatures in the teens. Single digits and below with the wind chill.  



Committed to staying on track, I grabbed my sneakers, turned on netflix, and  headed to my parent's basement to put in my 10 miles on the hampster wheel.  




Pre Long Run Breakfast:  
Bagel thin with light cream cheese, fresh scallions, 
and a side of honeydew melon.




To break up the monotony a little, I ran my first five miles, took a one minute break to grab a cliff bar and water, and ran the other 5 miles.  I ran it nice and slow and played around with the incline a little big, trying to break up this boring treadmill run.  I even had breaking bad playing on Netflix, but this long of a run on a treadmill is just torture for me! 



Saturday morning I woke up craving a big weekend breakfast.  I used a yam to make a "hash", pulled two sausage links from the freezer, grabbed a bagel thin, and scrambled two eggs with leftover veggies in the fridge.  I topped the concoction with half an avocado and my big Saturday breakfast was complete. 



After breakfast I grabbed Peterson, my brother's dog, and Lily, my sister's dog, and met Olives best friend Thule the golden retreiver at the preserve in Essex for a long Saturday snowy hike. 



Long hilly 3+ hour hike, about 4+ miles -- a nice little cross training and stretch after the dreadmill run.  And it is always nice to have a tired pup (or four). 



The rest of Saturday involved, tv naps and books.  
Sunday was a low key day, just how we like it.  
Slept in, cleaned up, painted some furniture, and took a complete rest day.   
I forgot how good doing nothing feels!  





Clean apartment + tired dogs + lots of cooking = happy Katie.




Will be posting a yummy lightened banana bread/muffin recipe later today! 
 Stay tuned!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Katie's 80's Workout Playlist

Finally, the cold is gone and I can resume my normal schedule 
Working out and kicking butt!
On the Wednesday Agenda was a 3 mile dreadmill run
(thanks for nothing snow and artic vortex...)  and Body Pump


Displaying photo.JPG

After missing my weekend class, I walked into Wednesday night Body Pump 
feeling awesome and excited to rock out to my 80's jams.

I grab my weights and set up my bench in my normal spot, 
behind this super fit MILF who I use as my baseline.  
I am not sure if she knows, but we are secretly having a competition.  
I make sure my weight matches hers in every routine.  
In my head I see who's ahead and who took more breaks.
That's right.  I am half insane.

I get geared up, and the music starts.  
And it is not from the 80's.
It is horrible poppy rocky techno music gone wrong.


RAY, HOW COULD YOU DO THIS TO ME.  
I was so upset, I wanted to throw something, 
Preferably this 30 pound bar on my back  while I am doing 7 million squats to some rock techno version of Black Betty.  

I was so mad.  I get so excited to workout to 80s jams with Ray cracking jokes...... I love the squat session jamming out to Robert Palmer's Simply Irresistible (of which I purchased on Itunes IMMEDIATELY after leaving class).   I was so mad that I actually stopped the class to ask Ray if we could have the 80s mix back.   What did we do to deserve this.  

He said no, there was a "launch"  (new music and routine coming out) that was really hard so he was giving us some of the harder routines for the next two weeks to prepare us.

I was so sad.  Good Bye 80's

I decided to put together my own 80s play list with some of my favorites from Body Pump.  Enjoy this awesomeness while I have to go endure another ab session of Party Rock -  







Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Liz’s Loaded Tuscan White Bean Soup (in mason jars!)

Oh do I have a treat for you soup lovers out there. 
A healthy grab-and-go lunch option.

When Liz told me about her soup she froze in mason jars 
and pulled out for lunch every day I was in awe.  
Already portioned, will last in the freezer, 
and in a no spill easy to bring to work container. 

That is genius.  

Why didn't I think of portioning and storing my soup like that?

Enough about my lack of creativity and onto the soup mastermind.  



____________________________________________________________

Liz's Loaded Tuscan White Bean Soup
A Guest Post By:



As one of Katie’s close friends, most of our conversations include some sort of discussion around eating. What are you making for dinner tonight? Can I get that recipe? Is it socially acceptable to eat my lunch yet? Well during one of our standard daily conversations about food, Katie suggested I write a guest blog post on the soup I was planning to make this week. Obviously I jumped at the opportunity!

I’m a big “soup for lunch” kind of gal but often run into the issue that I’m starving just 2 hours after I eat. I loved soups with a chicken broth base, beans and some sort of green. After trying combination after combination, I finally found one soup that is healthy for me and keeps me full until dinner (score!).  I give you Liz’s Loaded Tuscan White Bean Soup.



Ingredients
·         6 ounces lean bacon or pancetta (chopped)
·         2 yellow onions (chopped)
·         5 cloves garlic
·         1 bunch of Kale (cleaned, chopped)
·         48 ounces (6 cups) low sodium chicken broth
·         16 ounces (2 cups) water
·         2 cans of cannellini beans (rinsed, drained)
·         1 can of red kidney beans (rinsed, drained)
·         Bay Leaf
·         Fresh Rosemary
·         Fresh Thyme
·         Grated Parmesan cheese
·         S & P

If you’re like me and your grocery store doesn’t always carry everything under the sun you might not be able to find everything you need. Rather than panicking and putting more miles on your car to go to another grocery store, simply substitute. My grocery store ran out of cans of cannellini beans, so I purchased a bag of dried beans that I just needed to soak first: cover the beans with water, boil for 4 minutes, and let sit for an hour. Easy enough! Also, I couldn’t find pancetta but Center-Cut lean bacon was on sale so I jumped for that. Also, our grocery store sells little “roasting” packages of fresh herbs that include Bay, Thyme and Rosemary. I was able to get this for $1.99 rather than buy 3 individual packs and spending $6. Ok, enough of my rambling – let’s cook!

In your soup pot over medium heat, 
add your chopped pancetta or bacon and cook until crispy.



Remove your pot from the heat and spoon out your bacon onto a folded paper towel, and remove almost all the bacon grease from your pot (your stomach and hips will thank you for this step).



Put your pot back over the medium heat and add your onions. Cook those down for 5-6 minutes stirring constantly. Then you’re going to add your garlic and cook for a minute. Next you’ll add your stock, water, beans and fresh herbs. I tied mine together with twine so I wouldn’t have to fish out each piece individually later.




Turn your heat down to simmer and let that sit for an hour to soak up the herby goodness. During this time I watched 2 episodes of Weeds (thank you Netflix). Next you’ll want to fish out your herbs, and add your kale.




Put the lid on your pot, and let that simmer for another 30-45 minutes (just long enough to get through another episode). When you’re ready to eat, ladle a hearty serving, add a spoonful of your pancetta/bacon on top and sprinkle with some grated parmesan!




If you’re preparing this ahead of time for your work-week, go ahead and fill up 3-4 Mason Jars. They are easy to transport, easy to defrost and super durable! Be sure to leave some extra room if you plan on freezing them though, you don’t want to your jar to crack in the freezer (speaking from experience).



Monday, January 20, 2014

Sick Quick Sunday Hike

  Whatever is going around...
I got it. 

Started with a sore throat,  headache, lots of sneezing, 
one side of my nose a faucet, then the other side goes, 
exhausted, can't sleep, lathering vaseline on my nose, 
resembling Rudolph.

Saturday morning I dragged myself to yoga 
(with the delusional mindset that I would stay for Body Pump), 
and realized I was being a little ambitious.  
After yoga I rolled up my mat, and spent the rest of the day in bed 
with the critters, a box of tissues, and Breaking Bad.

By the time Sunday rolled around, the dog and I had not done a single thing (except suffer).  I experience what being sick as/with a dog was like while living alone.  It is not fun.  Well, not completely alone, I had both the dog and cat in my bed for most of the day.

  Olive was an angel the whole day, so good, so snuggly,
 and I was really glad she decided to be a calm normal dog Saturday 
instead of her usual crazy self.  
Dogs can reallllly sense when we are sick 
and need some extra TLC.  Truth.

Sunday I wanted to reward Olive for her patience with sick Katie

 (and the bed of  sick depressing doom). 
  I decided we would do a quick hike in Essex,
 give us both a chance to stretch our legs and get some fresh air.  
We grabbed a packet of tissues and headed to Canfield Meadow Woods 
in Essex for a 2.5 mile hike.