A Day to Set Goals

Whats up bloggies?

I am just very nervous, excited, anxious and all sorts of giddy about telling you about my new goal. Once it’s out on the blog, it is for real. No turning back. No backing out. No. Quitting. Whatsoever. And here it is: my friend Lindsey and I are embarking on a great journey together and setting a great, big goal to work towards: Our very first half marathon!!!

I know, it’s serious. I have had my fair share of 5k’s, a 7k called Bloomsday in Spokane, and my first 10k which I have been working towards will be the Dirty Dash in August. But this is the real guy. Not as big and tough as a full-fledged marathon, no, but a teeth-grinder nonetheless. A 13.1 mile run around beautiful Spokane! I’ve marked my calendar: October 9. So, now it’s official. I am ready to do it!

I’ve decided to do a training trek I found on Runner’s World magazine, and its a nine-week program. I will be starting training in 2 weeks. Get ready for lots of posts about running! Don’t you fret, I will try to post as many yummy food posts (try to haha) as I can, but something new to look for 🙂

Ok. Food time. Recent meals consisted of: Green Monsters, (Can’t get enough. Honestly, they are amazing.)

Next, some collard greens. It was really my first encounter with this leafy vegetable. I would have posted the recipe, but they didn’t turn out well. It takes some manpower to cook down the greens I guess, they were very gritty.I will retry and share with you, and modifications are VERY much in need. If they are delicious, I will surely post it!

And last a recipe I want to introduce to you if you haven’t heard of them already. Overnight Oats! An alternative to get your heart-healthy oats in, a cold and chewy delight to wake up to, and just plain yummy.

I originally read this from another blog, found it in a few others, and have been eating them for quite sometime. So I have come to adapt it to my own liking, so you can too. All you need are a few trial-and-error experiences, and you are very ready to go!

Overnight Oats

1/3 cup of rolled oats

1 cup of almond milk, or milk of your choice

1 tablespoon of chia seed

1/2 diced banana

1/2 tbsp cinnamon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

First, combine the dry ingredients first in your favorite bowl. Next, add the milk and bananas, stir, and then stir in some vanilla and if you like it sweet,  add 1/2 tablespoon of maple syrup. Now, stick it in the fridge. That’s it! Do this the night before your breakfast and overnight the oats soak up all the goodness so that in the morning, when you dive into your breakfast concoction, you will be eating refreshing, cold and chewy oats. It’s amazing, and it makes your morning so much easier! You can top it with fruit, chopped nuts, peanut butter, you name it.

And its a beautiful thing.

Well, ciao for now! -Mary

Gushing about the Green

I am gushing about green smoothies. Especially this morning. I swear, the colors may turn out ghastly (mine always seem to…) but the taste is heavenly. Even more great is how they make you feel: energized, full, and rearing to go for the day.

Let us dissect my smoothie I had this morning:

  • A handful frozen raspberries
  •  4 fresh strawberries
  • 1 frozen banana
  • tons of fresh spinach
  • 1 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tbs all natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbs ground flaxseed
  • 1 tbs wheat germ
Let us review the health stats. These will surely have you reaching for your blender at the end of this post!
Berries: Berries are some of Mother Nature’s greatest fruits she bears. They are always low in calories, so you can liberally snack on them and add them to green smoothies, for example! (though they aren’t very green after you sneak these babies in). Raspberries, for example, are brimming with antioxidants that protect you against a variety of human diseases. It also is one of nature’s most fibrous foods, with up to 20% of its weight being fiber! Now that’s tummy-sticking awesomeness. Not to forget the vitamin C, B vitamins, folic acid, and other minerals. This powerhouse of vitamins, antioxidants, and fiber makes this a great tool to combat cancer. Take that!
Bananas: Bananas are another great ingredient to green smoothies. When frozen they not only add thickness and creaminess, but they also naturally sweeten it. Bananas are more carbohydrate rich than other fruits, about 20 grams, so that makes them a smart choice for the morning or before a workout when you need fast, clean energy. Bananas got their good rep from their high amount of potassium. Potassium is important for heart and nervous health. I’ll take my banana everyday, thank you very much!
Spinach: Spinach is another one of nature’s miracle foods. A famous and most loved dark leafy veggie, the spinach in a green smoothie is sweet and vibrant green. Always choose green. Why? They are anti-inflammatory, full of antioxidants, vitamin K and calcium for bone health, and so low in calories. Chalk-full of essential vitamins, their nutritional punch per calorie can’t be beat. Pile as much as you can in your blender, bloggies, and witness the benefits of the green smoothie increase!
Flaxseed: I have already gushed on how much I love flax on a previous post, but let me repeat and expand. Flaxseed is wonderful! It is an excellent source of omega 3’s and fiber for those going veggie and everyone alike. They also have anti-inflammatory properties which help them combat other diseases like cancer, and also are great for cardiovascular health.
Wheat Germ: I add wheat germ to up the nutritional content. It has lots of vitamins and minerals that are essential for healthy functioning, because sometimes it is just hard to balance everything out! Check out these: fiber, B vitamins, iron, folic acid, zinc, protein and omega 3’s. Can I get a “hell yes!”
Peanut Butter: I use peanut butter for a protein boost in my smoothies. If you don’t have a powder on hand or can’t afford one (like me at the moment) then peanut butter offers a completely natural source of protein and healthy fats. It also, like the foods above, has antioxidant properties. Plus, eating nuts helps you control your weight, not gain it. And let’s be honest, it is simply delicious.
Almond Milk: It has no saturated fats compared to its dairy counterpart, yet is fortified with calcium and essential vitamin D. Low in calories, almond milk complements green smoothies beautifully with a nutty smooth texture. Plus it has plenty of Vitamin A, E, and protein. Pour yourself a glass… or two!
And that is what you are starting your day off with? All that packed into a delicious thick and creamy morning drink? That is why I love them. And you will too, trust me 🙂 Experiment to found out your favorite variations!
I got all this health information from The World’s Healthiest Foods, click here for any information about any healthy foods on your mind! It is VERY extensive!
Also, check out the Green Monster Movement, by Angela on Oh She Glows, for great Green Monster inspiration. Get blending!
Ciao for now! -Mary