That time I crashed the Tokyo Marathon…

Here is a little video recap I did from the Tokyo marathon in February of this year, at the 1 minute mark is where I actually jump in and run. Not nearly as exciting watching it as it felt running it. It was exhilarating at the top level. Probably the craziest thing I’ve ever done in my life. There were security guards lining the fence every 15ft but I just slipped in like water and ran like hell. I didn’t match my pace very well, I ended up crashing the 7min/ mile group which is much faster than I train.

6cc135a1-5024-41b2-88b6-a2ee77ed48d2.pngUnfortunately the only audio I picked up was the creaking of the Gopro case, wish you guys could have heard the crowd- it was like 50 football stadiums.

Advertisements

Cajun Cauliflower Caserole

Ok so I’ll admit this one is a little more complex than I usually opt for but the photo looked so good I had to try it. Plus I’m loving this cauliflower into everything deal. P.S. Taste better the next day.

Truth is the prep does take quite a while and some good hand skills in the kitchen between transferring the large pot to the food processor- specially if said food processor is a blender in you case.

Pretty Picture I found off the internets- my actual photo is below.

Ingredients

  • 2 Tbsp Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/2 Cups Onion, roughly chopped (about half a large onion)
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp + 1 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • 1 Large Cauliflower, cut into bite-sized florets
  • 2 Cans Whole tomatoes (14.5 oz each)
  • 1/4 Cup Reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Tbsp Tomato paste (I didn’t use this and it still turned out delish)
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2 Chicken Sausage links, thinly sliced
  • 1 Red Pepper chopped, chopped
  • 1 Cup (4oz) Shredded chicken, firmly packed (I found a left over frozen breast and cooked it up real quick then “shredded” with my hands)
  • 4 Oz Raw fresh shrimp (or thawed, if frozen) If thats what your into
  • 1/2 Cup Celery, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 tsp Sea salt
  • Generous pinch of pepper
  • 1 Whole egg
  • 1 Egg white
  • Minced parsley, for garnish
  • Sliced green onion, for garnish

Instructions

  1. Heat the olive oil up in a LARGE pan on medium/high heat.
  2. Add in the onion, garlic and Cajun seasoning and cook until lightly golden brown, about 1 minute.
  3. Add the cauliflower florets into the pan and stir until the cauliflower is evenly coated in the spices.
  4. Add in the cans of tomatoes, chicken broth, tomato paste and bay leaves and stir until well mixed. Bring the mixture to a rapid boil and then reduce the heat to medium, cover, and simmer until the cauliflower is fork-tender, about 15-18 minutes. During this time -Heat your oven to 400 degrees and rub an 8×8 or 9×9 inch baking pan with olive oil. (I made the mistake of doing this first like the original recipe said and my oven sat unused for 20+ minutes)
  5. Once tender, uncover the pan, turn the heat to high and boil until the liquid is evaporated, about 8-9 minutes. Stir frequently so that the bottom doesn’t burn. Evaporate all the liquid!
  6. Transfer the mixture into a large food processor and process until smooth and creamy. Scrape into a large bowl and place into the freezer to quickly chill while you cook the sausage. (If you don’t do this, it’ll be to hot and you might cook the eggs once you add them!)
  7. While the cauliflower chills, hit a large non-stick pan on medium/high heat. Add in the sliced sausage and cook until golden brown, flipping once. This takes 1-2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper-towel lined plate and blot off the excess grease.
  8. Take the cauliflower mixture from the freezer and stir in the cooked sausage, red pepper, shredded chicken, shrimp, celery and salt and pepper until well mixed.
  9. Lightly beat the egg and egg white in a separate, small bowl and add into the cauliflower mixture. Stir until evenly incorporated.
  10. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and spread out evenly. Cover and bake for 20 minutes. Then, uncover and bake an additional 25-30 minutes until the top is lighly brown.
  11. Let stand for 10 minutes and then garnish with parsley and green onion and DEVOUR.

 IMG_1674.jpg
This is the chicken sausage I used.

Paleo Very Vanilla Cupcakes {using coconut flour}

*I recommend parchment cupcake liners or silicone muffin liners for all cupcakes made with coconut flour and I know some people also grease the liners.

Ingredients (makes 8 cupcakes):

  • 1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/3 cup Vanilla-Cupcakes-1-of-2-2.jpgoil (olive oil or other oil, or melted unsalted butter, ghee, coconut oil)
  • 1/2 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons coconut milk or other milk
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • seeds from one vanilla bean (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C)
  2. Combine all the dry in ingredients, except for the vanilla seeds, and blend well.
  3. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and use a mixer to blend well. You can use a food processor, hand or standing mixer to get it well-blended. Let the batter sit for a few minutes and mix once more. Optionally, add the vanilla beans and blend well.
  4. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 of the way with batter.
  5. Bake for about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a cupcake comes out clean.
  6. Cool and then frost.
  7. Store covered for a few days at room temperature, or the refrigerator for a few weeks, or freeze for a few months.

Buttercream Ingredients

The best part about buttercream frosting is you can add anything to it for fun flavors- chocolate, fruit puree, fruit peel zest, peanut butter, really anything goes.

  • 4 tablespoons of butter (at room temperature)
  • 4 tablespoons of shortening
  • 5 tablespoons of maple syrup or honey
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla

Mix or whisk the ingredients together until creamy and well-blended. Store in the refrigerator and use at room temperature. I use a mixer.

Killer Bells

I think I bought my 15lb kettlebell at target, but i’ve seen them at Marshall’s for super cheap. If you only want to buy one piece of “equipment” Id go with a kettlebell, they are super versatile and along with their own set of exercises (seen here) you can add them to almost any body weight movement for extra umph.

Make sure you keep you abs engaged- think pull in and push down and always keep your knees aligned with your ankles. I find it helpful to practice the movement first before adding the weight to make sure you have the correct mechanics down.

3fd29a095fa0c1bdbd60f75f75727aa7.jpg

File this under: Things I wish I knew before becoming a runner

This is a great article with pictures showing some glute firing warm up exercises. I do these before my long runs to make sure the right muscles are activated. She explains why all this is super important to prevent injury down the road. All things my physical therapist talks about… had I done these early on, when first starting to run I probably could have prevented many of the issues im paying someone to fix.

http://breakingmuscle.com/strength-conditioning/4-simple-exercises-to-get-your-glutes-fired-up

Intro to 5k Training Plan

YAY! Welcome to the best free workout around; seriously, you can do it ANYWHERE and     only need your running shoes… and maybe a sports bra. (My guilty pleasure is when i’m in a new city for work making sure I take my run during rush hour foot traffic, its a great way to see the city and show off your new run kit.)

Running can be addictive and equally rewarding if started correctly. When I started really running a year ago I sprinted head first into it and am unfortunately still working through my mistake.

Even the fittest of athletes need to be careful when first jumping into running because that virgin high (SOO Addictive) soon turns into IT band issues, knee problems, and hips. Make sure you are slowly working your self towards the goals otherwise you will encounter major injury set backs. Take it from someone who knows. Im in PT every week and I run 10 miles a week+ and thought I worked gradually towards it. My roommate had the same issue and he’s super fit but wanted to start running and jumped head first, within a week was hobbling up the stairs with a pulled IT. Also, PLEASE take rest days. The runners high is amazing and should be ridden as long as possible but if you want to truly keep going make sure you take rest days- again only speaking from experience and regret.

That being said, I did some research and found this training program for mid-beginner runners. I liked this one particularly it because it also adds in strength work outs which are really important to maintain a healthy strong body that will continue pushing miles:

Untitled-1.jpg

Magnesium- Interesting and insightful read 

Should You Be Taking Magnesium Supplements?

Would be really nice over some zucchini noodles (as is everything else in the world)!landscape-1462901418-caprese-chicken-001.jpg

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 c. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 pint grape tomatoes, halved
  • 2 tbsp. shredded basil
  • 4 slices mozzarella

DIRECTIONS

  1. In a large skillet over medium-high heat, heat oil.
  2. Season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until golden and cooked through, 6 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate.
  3. Add balsamic vinegar to skillet to deglaze, then add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute. Add tomatoes and season with salt. Let simmer until soft, 5 to 7 minutes.
  4. Stir in basil.
  5. Return chicken to skillet and nestle in tomatoes. Top with a slice of mozzarella and cover with lid to melt cheese.
  6. Spoon tomatoes over chicken and serve.

PALEO PUMPKIN PANCAKES

Aint no shame in my pumpkin lovin game.
paleo-pumpkin-pancakes.pngIngredients
wet
  • 4 eggs, large
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
dry
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup almond meal (I used the Trader Joe’s brand)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon

Instructions

  1. In a medium size bowl, whisk 4 eggs. Then add in pumpkin puree and maple syrup and mix.
  2. Next, add in dry ingredients and mix again until everything is combined.
  3. Heat a large skillet to medium heat, making sure not to heat it any hotter! Spray with coconut oil cooking spray. Once the skillet is hot, spoon ¼ of the batter onto the skillet and use your spoon to spread the batter so that everything is even.
  4. Cook the first side for about 3 minutes (you may need to cook the first pancake longer, so that the pan can heat up all the way), or until cooked enough to flip. Use a spatula to carefully flip the pancake. Let the other side cook for 2-3 minutes or until cooked all the way through.