Spicy Peanut Slaw with Brown Rice

So remember that time I stopped running for a few weeks because I was fine until all of a sudden my hip started hurting, a lot?  Well, I went and got those xrays that I had put off, and as it turns out I don’t have an injury per se, but I do have a significant congenital deformity of the hip and pelvis that is probably the cause of my problems and that I never knew about for my entire life until right now.  SURPRISE!!!!!!

This probably means that I can’t run marathons again, ever, because the stress will just cause more and more progressive damage and I don’t really want to have a hip replacement when I’m 35.

I feel old.

Also, I might need to change the name of this blog to something like hungrygirlsits.

But since I don’t really feel like dealing with this right now, let me distract us all with an easy, healthy weeknight recipe.  I sort of invented this one evening when I had all of these things in my fridge and not a lot of time, and to my surprise it actually ended up tasting pretty delicious.

Spicy Peanut Slaw with Brown Rice

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Ingredients

The slaw15469645567_da998fff53_z

  • 2 cups shredded green cabbage
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 package marinated tofu (I use this marinated baked tofu from trader joes), cut into small cubes
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped or slivered
  • 1 small or 1/2 large avocado, cubed
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup basil, chiffonaded

The dressing

  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tsp sriracha
  • 2 tsp water
  • Dash of ground ginger
  • Dash of chili powder15034856924_bf80358a8e_z

For serving

  • 2 cups cooked brown rice

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine the cabbage, carrots, tofu, almonds, avocado, cilantro and basil.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk together the peanut butter, soy sauce, sriracha, water, ginger and chili powder until smooth.
  3. Toss the slaw with the dressing and serve over the warm brown rice.

That Time I Took a Week off of Running

I took a whole week off of running.

I went to the doctor about the pain in my left hip, and she referred me to a sports medicine specialist, gave me prescription strength naproxen, recommended some stretches and suggested I take a week off and then start back slow to see how it went. She also wanted me to get an X-ray, which I admit I have not done yet because I’m waiting for my new insurance so that it will be free. This is not generally a good idea but since I’m 98% sure nothing is broken I thought a week wouldn’t make too much difference.

So a whole week went by, and I walked, I biked to work, I did pilates and yoga DVDs, and I did not run one step. I didn’t even put on my running shoes.

The good:

  1. Because I didn’t have to get up to run, I got a LOT of sleep.  It was seriously awesome.  Especially spending a lazy Saturday morning in my warm bed listening to the rain, instead of outside running my miserable ass off in the rain.
  2. I got to wear actual pajamas instead of sleeping in my running clothes like I usually do because it makes it mentally easier to roll out of bed and go for a 5 am run.
  3. I had enough time every morning to actually style my hair and pick out a decent outfit instead of throwing clothes on my body and running out the door.
  4. I wasn’t a ravenous hangry monster hunting desperately for snacks all day long.

The bad:

  1. I am finding out just how much of my self-esteem is tied to physical activity, and it’s unfortunately a lot.  Learning how to feel good about myself without having to run every day is clearly something I need to work on.
  2. I’m very sad to say that the number of carbs I can/should eat each day has been reduced, which is especially a tragedy during the season of Halloween candy.
  3. I just like running, and it’s a bummer not to be able to do it.  I know I can do other things, but it’s not the same.

So after seven days of not running , I decided I could probably run two miles. Just two. That shouldn’t be a problem for a person who can normally run 12 or 13 miles pretty easily, right?

Wrong, as I found out 1.5 miles in when my hip started hurting so bad that I had to limp home. That’s right, I ran less than two miles and then I couldn’t even walk like a normal person. I am well and truly effed, especially as far as the CIM is concerned, which is six weeks away.

I will rest some more and try again, but there’s really no way I’m going to be able to magically pull off 26 miles injured and without having properly trained.  So it’s time for some more sleep, more yoga and pilates DVDs, more walking and biking, and maybe branching out to other forms of exercise while I dream of future races.  I have been wanting to take ballet classes again (I did ballet for nine years as a kid, but that was ten years ago), so maybe this is my chance.

My Best Worst Race Ever

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Conditions were perfect.  It was gorgeous clear, October day.  The course was beautiful, winding around Lake Natoma and past the Folsom Dam.  There were enough runners for it to be fun, but not so many that it was annoyingly crowded.  Miles 1-4 felt awesome, and we were all on track to break our half marathon record and make it under 2 hours once and for all.

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And then that pain in my left hip came back, this time with a vengeance.  By mile 5 it was hurting all the way down into my knee.  By mile 6 it was raging with every step I took, and by mile 7 I knew I was not going to make it.  I wasn’t going to ruin anyone else’s race, so I told the boys I would meet them at the finish at the entrance to the beer garden.

I would like to say that I am an adult and I did not burst into tears as I limped along the edge of the trail for another mile until the next aid station, but I did.  This was 20% because it hurt, and 80% because I was disappointed that for the first time I started a race that I couldn’t finish, because I was angry at myself for letting it get this bad, and because I had a terrible sinking feeling that this meant I was not going to be able to run the CIM after all.

At the aid station, an extremely kind and wonderful volunteer named Sandy insisted on driving me the last 5 miles to the finish line in her own car.  Sandy, if you are out there, know that you did a good deed and that I am forever grateful to you.  I got there just as the fastest runners were finishing, which meant that there were still plenty of Luna bars left and that the massage tent was virtually empty.  I met the guys at the beer tent, and we all enjoyed a free post race brew.  Special congrats to Alex for kicking ass in his first half!

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So right now, I am resting, icing, making a doctor’s appointment and hoping against hope that I can keep training after a little while and maybe still run the CIM.  It’s not looking great but I’m not giving up yet.  If not, I will have to seriously consider what else to do with my life for a while, since at least 25% of my time is spent running, preparing for running, recovering from running, and thinking and blogging about running.  I probably should have diversified my hobby portfolio before this happened, but since I’ve been running pretty constantly for the last five years without any injuries I really wasn’t expecting to need to.

But don’t worry, I will continue to provide you with more melodramatic updates on my condition as things play out.

Getting Ready for the Folsom Blues Breakout Half

Happy Friday!  I just finished my first week at my new job, and tomorrow is RACE DAY!  Not marathon day, but half marathon day, which is more than half as good.  I’m running the Folsom Blues Breakout Half with my husband and our friend Alex.  I’ve never done this race before, but I’m excited about it for several reasons:

  1. It’s almost like a preview of the first part of the CIM course, which starts in Folsom
  2. It’s October and the weather is finally awesome for running
  3. The race is Johnny Cash and prison themed
  4. There is free beer at the finish
  5. The medal doubles as a bottle opener.  For real.

However–there is this thing that started as a soreness in my left hip, didn’t go away for two weeks and then turned into an intense pain shooting down my left leg.  I confess that I was bad, I ignored it, and I’m sorry, but when it didn’t get better I decided to take my own advice and give it a rest.  My worst fear is that it doesn’t heal and I can’t keep training, so I skipped my runs on Wednesday and Thursday and twice a day I’ve been rolling it out with a foam roller and stretching a lot.  It feels way better, but I won’t find out how much better until I actually run tomorrow.

I haven’t been totally lazy though, because I started commuting to my new job…via BIKE!  This is a big deal for me because a) I have been driving a very long way to my job for the last 2 1/2 years and b) historically I am NOT good at riding a bike.  As in, I didn’t really know how to ride one at all until my husband taught me when I was seventeen years old, and after that things were kind of shaky, and may have included a somewhat devastating bike accident when I was in college in Washington DC that was witnessed by about 1,000,000 tourists.

That said, I think I will be okay because I only have a one mile ride to work on residential streets, and because (since I am very aware of my limitations as a cyclist) I am super extra careful.  But if you see me on my bike, give me a wide berth just in case.

Now, its time to carb load with some Hungry Girl Pizza and go to bed early so I can be ready for BEAST MODE tomorrow!

All The Food Groups Lunch Time Salad

I have not been posting a ton lately, mostly because I’ve been busy starting a new job and finishing an old one.  Marathon training has also gotten real.  The kind of real where you’re at the 15 mile mark of a 17 mile run wondering “hmm, what is this intense pain shooting down the side of my left leg, and for that matter please remind me why the F I am doing this to myself again?” but then you hit the 17 mile mark and feel totally invincible, and then you wake up the next day and feel very sore, very hungry, and very un-invincible again.  It’s like a roller coaster that goes on for months and that most people would not want to stand in line for.

Anyways, this post isn’t really about training, it’s about lunch.  I had been bringing the same salad to work for about a year, and it got to the point where I was so sick of it I could barely bring myself to look at it, let alone actually eat it.  So I did about 5 minutes of Googling and found this recipe on the Trader Joe’s website.  I am not a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s, although maybe I should be because all of my recipes feature their items.  It just happens to my closest and most favorite grocery store, so I buy everything there.  This recipe is a version of their Edamame Energy Bowls, with some adjustments and a better name.

This makes five servings, so I just spend some time making a big batch of it on Sunday and divide it up into five containers and I’m set for the week.  It’s tasty, it’s filling, and it incorporates pretty much all the food groups you could want in one bowl of deliciousness.  Okay it doesn’t have dairy, but just pack some Greek yogurt for a morning snack and there you go.  You’re welcome.

All The Food Groups Lunch Time Salad

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Ingredients

The salad

  • 1 cup quinoa, dry
  • 1 1/2 cups shelled edamame (I buy the frozen kind and defrost it)
  • 1 cup shredded carrots
  • 2 ribs celery, chopped into small pieces
  • 1 apple, cored and chopped into small pieces
  • 1/2 a large avocado or 1 small avocado, chopped into small pieces
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp yellow or white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup almonds, chopped

The dressing

  • Juice of 1 medium/large lemon
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • Sea salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions

  1. Place the quinoa and 2 cups water in a small pot.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer until all the water is absorbed.  Spread out on a plate and place in the fridge to cool.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the edamame, carrots, celery, apple, avocado, cilantro, onion and almonds.  Add the cooled quinoa.
  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients.
  4. Toss the salad with the dressing and divide into five containers.  Enjoy your week!

“Pain is weakness leaving the body,” and other dumb things not to believe

A lot of people who are into fitness and being thin, and who want to inspire themselves and other people to be into fitness and being thin, like to post “fitspiration” pictures on the internet.  These pictures are usually of people with six pack abs and/or perfect butts, and they have captions like “pain is weakness leaving the body” or “no pain, no gain, just train.”  I have problems with fitspiration from a body image standpoint, but that is another story for another blog post.  The other reason I think it’s dangerous is that it encourages overtraining.

As someone who runs a lot, I know that exercise doesn’t always feel great.  But there is a fine balance between challenging your body and injuring your body, and you don’t have to be running marathons to risk going overboard.  You build strength and endurance over time, but slowly, progressively.  And more isn’t always better if you don’t listen to your body.  Rest when you need it, even if that means skipping your 5 am workout because you need to sleep in.  Eat healthy, and make sure you eat enough.  Don’t ignore nagging pain or soreness that doesn’t go away.

This is a really good article from Greatist about what overtraining looks like and how to avoid it.  Fitness is about balance, not about six pack abs, starvation, sleep deprivation and injury. So be balanced, and take care of yourself!

Gluten Free Autumn Apple Crisp

Tomorrow, it will officially be fall, which according to Pinterest is everyone’s favorite season because of things like chunky sweaters, rustic-cute orchard photo shoots, and making everything in the world pumpkin spice flavored for no real reason.  Fall is my favorite season because of leaf piles, Halloween, decent running weather, Halloween, boots, Halloween, and apples.

I made this apple crisp for a friend’s housewarming party because I had a bunch of apples lying around and crisps are the easiest to make.  You just cut up whatever fruit is in your fridge, throw some sugar, butter, cinnamon and oats on it, pop it in the oven, enjoy the delicious smells wafting through your house, and impress your family and friends.  I also made a miniature ramekin-sized one for my husband because I am the best ever.

Gluten Free Autumn Apple Crisp

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Ingredients

For the filling

  • 5 apples, peeled, cored, and cut into slices.  I used Gala but really who cares.
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
  • Zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • Zest and juice of 1 tangerine/clementine/mandarin

For the topping

  • 1 cup gluten free flour blend (I used Trader Joe’s brand, but you can use Cup4Cup or whatever you prefer including regular all purpose flour if you’re normal)
  • 1/2 cup oatmeal
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 lb (1 stick) cold, unsalted butter, cut into chunks

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In an 8 in x 8 in baking dish, toss the apples with the brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, zest and juice until evenly coated.
  3. Place the flour, oatmeal, sugars, salt and butter in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment and beat on medium speed until the mixture forms crumbs about the size of peas.  You can also do this in a food processor or the old fashioned way with a pastry blender.
  4. Sprinkle the topping evenly over the apples.  Bake for 20-30 minutes, or until the top is golden brown and the apples are bubbling.  Enjoy!

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