Wednesday, February 29, 2012


We have some wonderful family friends who were going out of town for about a week and they thought I might like to try out their juicer while they were gone. They were right! I was very interested in trying this out especially after reading some recipes in The Feed Zone cookbook. The authors really push juicing because you can fill up on vitamins and minerals from many servings of fruits and veggies without having to attach yourself to a toilet or go in for a blockage removal due to fiber overload. Pretty picture...your welcome.

So to really take full advantage of the juicer I made 3 recipes from the book one night. First I made some granola sweetened with unfiltered apple juice, some brown sugar, a banana and agave. I mixed up this combo with some old fashioned oats, currants and raisins and threw it in the oven to bake and it was very very tasty. 

I have to admit I was full of apprehension  while buying more beets at the grocery. I just cannot get past the dirt taste of the darn vegetable. I would just give up on them altogether but the health benefits are so epic I really want a relationship with them. I guess we are destined for a love hate one. Anyways the recipe called for 3 beets, 4 carrots, a few apples and any greens you want. I threw in some kale and a sliver of ginger as recommended by the juicer owner. I also threw in some pineapple.

The juice was really good! It still smelled a little bit like dirt but the taste was really good. I was super pleased. The next recipe I made was for veggie burgers and one of the main ingredients was the pulp from the juice I just made.

So I mixed together some pulp, black beans, some red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and sticky rice. I then formed patties and sauteed them in a pan till brownish on each side. They also really looked like hamburgers because the beets in the pulp made the sticky rice turn this deep red color so it looked like bloody meat. Yum.

So I finally found a great way to eat beets! I kept the juice in the fridge and drank a serving after some of my harder workouts that week. It was like drinking recovery... I feel faster already!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

The FeedZone

After Christmas I was looking through the USAT newsletter and there was a recipe for a great snack you could cook to take on the bike with you to replace all of the bars and processed foods that are so simple to take on the bike or on the go. The recipe included ingredients like eggs, rice, bacon, parmesan....very nontraditional ingredients when it comes to foods used while working out. I got on Amazon to order the book and it was backordered till mid-February. I finally got it! 

Allen Lim and Biju Thomas have put together a wonderful cook book full of field tested recipes. A lot of these recipes were born in an RV while fueling riders for multiple stage bike rides, including the tour de France. The concepts of the cookbook include a step back from complicated ingredients and processed foods, quick and easy recipes for the "time crunched athlete" and ways to make foods versatile.

I learned a lot just reading the forward of the book and all of the pictures in the book made me very excited to try out all of the food. Allen Lim has also founded Skratch Labs which carries hydration products. I am very excited to try out some of their drink mixes that do not have artificial colors or flavorings. They have an everyday hydration mix as well as a mix for performance.

I have tried a few of the recipes and so far so good!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Hill Repeats

During 2 of my build weeks I have been lucky enough to do some hill repeats. My coaches lead me to a 1k hill near an elementary school. This hill is tricky, with a nice incline at the start, a leveling off, another gradual hill, slight downhill into one last gradual climb into the finish at this weird looking house. There are a few stop signs along the 1k so traffic can be an issue but I just make sure my senses are hightened. I first did this work out with one of my coaches and we did 4 repeats on 10 minutes in my ideal running weather (a breezy 55-60).

The next time I went to do this work out it was about 30 degrees, 6:30 PM, dark and I had been at work all day. It took every amount of convincing I could muster to drive over to that hill, warm up and run 5 repeats. When I first started running I did not feel good or let alone fast. I had 3 layers on my top that were constricting, a headband ear warmer and gloves. I felt like I was shuffling along the road and had a difficult time picking up my warm up pace. As I made my way to the bottom of the hill at the end of my 20 minute warm up I was dreading every 5 repeats I had to complete.

When I started my first repeat I was shocked that I felt alright! I was hitting my pace and my range of motion didn't feel as restricted as it had while I warmed up. I was running well! I don't know if it was the Nicki Minaj Pandora music I was playing or running in the dark but after that first repeat I knew I would be able to complete the work out.

The best part about this work out was finishing. I was so happy and satisfied with myself for completing that work out when I could have drawn up multiple excuses not to do it. I did 6 repeats on this hill last week in 60 degree weather and while happy with myself for completing this work out and finishing the repeats in good times, I was not nearly as proud of myself.

So next time I am dreading a work out or trying to come up with excuses not to do a work out (that don't include REASONS like over-fatigue, sickness, injury or sleep deprivation) I will try to remember the gratification that comes from completing something in conditions stacked against me.