Monthly Archives: July 2013

Triathlon Results & Pics!

We finished the SLO Sprint Triathlon last weekend! The race was so fun, and everyone did so well! Despite my crazy busy life and the fact that I only swam 3 times in the last 2 years, I still managed to shed 5 minutes from my past year’s time! I completed the 1/2 mile swim, 15 mile bike and 3 mile run in 1 hour 43 minutes! #pattingmyselfontheback However, more than anything, I am so incredibly proud of the rest of the gang. This was Steph, Robert and Rachel’s very first sprint triathlon and they KILLED IT! And our other BFF, Aggie, was a rockstar as well! Lastly, I do have to say congrats to one of my best friends, David, for not only smoking his dad, but for finishing the race in less than 1 hour 30 minutes. Awesome work, David! As friends, its our job to continually inspire each other, and my hat is off to these guys for doing such great work!

San Luis Obispo Triathlon 2013San Luis Obispo Triathlon 2013

San Luis Obispo Triathlon 2013 - Breakfast & Prep

San Luis Obispo Triathlon 2013 - Swimming san-luis-obispo-triathlon-biking

San Luis Obispo Triathlon 2013 - Biking

3 Bean Turkey Chili

3 Bean Turkey Chili RecipeChili is one my favorite dishes and I’ve prepared a super healthy version that won’t leave you feeling guilty. Lean ground turkey, garbanzo beans, cumin, oregano and chili powder are some of the key ingredients. It’s one of my fav go-to dishes because it also freezes well. I like to make a huge batch so that I have 10 meals ready to go when I need ’em.

Estimated Time: 45 minutes

Ingredients (serves 10):

  • 99% Lean Ground Turkey: 20 oz
  • Chopped Onion: 1 medium
  • Chopped Carrots: 4 medium
  • Chopped Garlic Cloves: 5 regular
  • Chopped Fresh Tomatoes: 2 medium
  • Canned Stewed Tomatoes: 2 cans (30 oz)
  • Canned Black Beans: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Canned Kidney Beans: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Canned Garbanzo Beans: 1 can (14.5 0z)
  • Salt: 1 tsp
  • Cumin: 2 tbsp
  • Chili Powder: 1 tbsp
  • Dried Oregano: 1 tbsp
  • Water: 2 cups
  • Cooking Spray: 1 cup

Start the recipe by chopping and prepping all ingredients: carrots, onions, garlic and tomatoes. Spray a large pot with cooking spray and begin cooking all the carrots, garlic and onions on medium/high heat. After about a minute, add a cup of water to the veggies so that they can sort of boil with the water. Once the veggies become tender (about 5 minutes), add in all of the spices as well as the ground turkey. Continue cooking the ground turkey until it is completely cooked. From there, add in the fresh tomatoes, stewed tomatoes, beans and remaining cup of water. Keep the heat on high until the chili stew begins to boil. Once it starts boiling, cover the pot, reduce to low heat, and let simmer for another 20 minutes. Remove from heat and serve immediately. Serving size is approximately 1.25 cups.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 6 points per serving

3 Bean Turkey Chili Freezer Packs

If you’re an 0n-the-go-type person like me, then you should portion out the correct serving size into individual zip-lock bags and freeze the individual meals. Sometimes in the morning before running out the door, I make a sprint past the freezer, grab a zip-lock meal and then microwave it for lunch. It works out perfectly because I feel like I’m always on the run.

 

Low-Carb Cauliflower Pizza Crust

Cauliflower Pizza Crust w/ Grilled Veggies
Look at that beauty! A few nights ago, I invited some friends over for wine and pizza cooking night. Three little cooks in the kitchen, working away to create a healthy masterpiece! So yes, the crust is made from cauliflower! I honestly could not taste the cauliflower and the colorful blend of veggies was a delightful distraction from the low-carb crust. My version of the crust is still not perfect; however, doesn’t mean we didn’t devour the whole thing in less than 20 minutes. I sort of packed a lot of veggies on mine, which might have been too heavy on the crust. So, we just ate ours with knives and forks and that seemed to work well for us.  Try my veggie version or mix and match your own toppings!

Estimated Time: 1 hour 30 minutes (includes socializing and drinking wine)

Pizza Crust Ingredients (serves 3):

  • Cauliflower: 1/2 head, about 2 cups “riced”
  • Fat-Free Cottage Cheese: 1/2 cup
  • Egg Whites: 1/4 cup
  • 2% Mozzarella Cheese: 1/2 cup, shredded
  • Oregano: 1 tbsp
  • Salt: 1 dash

Pizza Sauce Ingredients:

  • Canned Stewed Tomatoes: 1 can (14.5 oz)
  • Garlic: 2 cloves, minced
  • Rosemary: 1 tsp
  • Basil: 1 tsp
  • Oregano: 1 tsp

Veggie Toppings:

  • Zucchini: 1 small, sliced
  • Onion: 1/2 cup, chopped
  • Baby Bell Peppers (Yellow & Orange): 1 cup, sliced
  • Broccoli: 1 cup, chopped
  • 2% Mozzarella Cheese: 3/4 cup, shredded

First, start with the pizza sauce. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and blend until you’ve reached a smooth consistency. Place in a separate bowl and set aside; this allows the flavors to blend and marinate together while you work on the other parts of the pie.

Next, preheat the oven to 450. “Rice” the cauliflower by shredding it (raw) with a hand-held grater or by mincing it in a food processor. Then place the riced cauliflower into a microwavable bowl and microwave uncovered for 8 minutes. Do not add any water. While that’s cooking in the micro, drain your cottage cheese (very important!) and then place the cottage cheese and other ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add in the cooked cauliflower and mix well. Spray down a cookie sheet with cooking spray and then evenly lay out the cauliflower mixture onto the sheet. It should be fairly thin. Bake for about 25-35 minutes (depending on your oven) or until the crust is golden, with crispy edges and cooked through the middle. Remove from oven and set aside.

While your pizza crust is cooking in the oven, chop and prep all the veggie toppings. With a non-stick skillet, spray down a pan and cook all the veggies half way through on the stove. You’re not going to be cooking the pizza that long, so you want the veggies semi-tender before they hit the oven.

Finally, top your pizza with the sauce, veggies and remaining mozzarella cheese. Broil the pizza for about 5 minutes, until the cheese looks perfectly melted. #nomz Let cool for a couple of minutes and then dig in! Should yield about 3 servings.

Weight Watcher Points Plus: 5 points per serving (roughly)

PS – There’s a good chance you’ll have extra sauce left over, but you can always freeze it for your next pizza.

PSS – Stay tuned for another healthy pizza variation! Mmm think ricotta cheese, spinach, tomato and feta… coming soon!

 

Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge

Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge Biking Across The Golden Gate Bridge

It’s always been a dream of mine to bike across the Golden Gate Bridge, and I finally did it! My brother, sister in law and bff woke up early on Saturday morning and biked across the bridge to Sausalito. It was about 14 miles round trip and a great spin on the new set of wheels. There were a few small rolling hills, and one very large hill climb at the end. I climbed the whole thing and it felt SO GOOD to get my heart rate going. Once in Sausalito, we stopped for lunch at a place called Cibo. I would highly recommend this place; all their food options are fresh, healthy and delicious. I got the chicken salad and was pleasantly surprised to find that it was garnished with fresh heirloom tomatoes as well! Bonus! Steph got the gazpacho which was to die for and the lentil salad was also very filling and tasty. Nomz.

While the view on the bridge was spectacular, I’m not sure I would do it again to be honest. Unless you’re biking very early in the morning, the chaos of tourists was a bit frustrating. There’s lots of beginners on the bridge who are still getting the hang of being on a set of wheels. Nonetheless, it was the perfect start to a very fun weekend and all I can say is that if you have a bike – RIDE IT!

 

Salmon topped with Tomato Basil Bruschetta

Salmon topped with tomato basil bruschetta

Mmm what to make with fresh heirloom tomatoes? First thing that came to mind was bruschetta. Since I’m running low on bread at my house, I turned this appetizer dish into dinner by preparing my delicious heirloom tomato bruschetta over a hearty piece of salmon. SO GOOD. I didn’t have any fresh basil on hand, but if you’ve got it – I would def recommend it over dried basil. Nonetheless, whether fresh or dried – this main course dish is super nomz.

Estimated Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • Fresh salmon: 15 oz
  • Fresh heirloom tomato: 1 medium/large
  • Garlic: 3 cloves
  • Basil: 1 tbsp dried or 1 bunch fresh
  • Olive Oil: 1/2 tsp
  • Salt: 1/2 tsp
  • Pepper: 1/2 tsp
  • Balsamic Vinegar: 1 tsp
  • Water: 2 tbsp
  • Cooking spray: 1 spray

Slice the salmon into 4 equal pieces and place on a sprayed cooking sheet. Sprinkle the salmon with just a dash of salt and pepper and then bake [in a small conventional oven if you’ve got one] at 350 for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, chop the tomato, garlic and basil. Stir these three items together in a small bowl and then add in the olive oil, water, balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper. Stir together and set aside. Once the salmon is cooked all the way through (should flake apart easily), take it out of the oven and top with the bruschetta topping. Serving size is about 3.5 oz of salmon per serving. Serve with a side salad, broccoli and/or half cup of quinoa or rice. If you’re not ready to eat all the salmon right away, place each serving in a sealed zip-lock bag, freeze individually and pull ’em out to use as your protein in your next grab-and-go salad.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 4 points plus (for 3.5 oz salmon)

PS – don’t forget that this bruschetta recipe can be used as regular bruschetta too! If you’ve got sourdough bread on hand, cut ’em up, rub each side with garlic, toast ’em and top each slice with this amazing bruschetta recipe. You won’t regret this one, I promise. Well, maybe you’ll regret the garlic breathe…sorry dawgies.

Blessed To Be Hiking Muir Woods

Muir Woods National Park Hiking

Muir Woods National Park Hiking

Just 12 miles from my home in SF lies one of the most beautiful national parks I have ever seen: Muir Woods. Proclaimed as “the best tree-lovers monument that could possibly be found in all the forests of the world,” Muir Woods is known for its old-growth strand of incredibly tall coastal redwood trees and moments of inspirational, warming sunbeams. The park has tons of hidden wildlife (I once saw an owl!) and over six miles of hiking trails, varying in length and difficulty. For those interested in going – which, duh, you should def be interested – here is a Park Trail Map that outlines the park.

Some recommendations:

  • Avoid tourists and try the 4-mile Backdoor Hiking Route.
  • Bring friends! Hiking with friends is a great healthy activity for socializing & catching up.
  • Pack healthy snacks such as apples, carrots, bananas or fruit-nut bars.
  • Bring and drink lots of water.
  • Challenge yourself! Try walking a bit faster to get your heart rate up.
  • Bring a light jacket, as most of the forest is cool and shaded.
  • Try to avoid weekends if possible, as it is a tourist hotspot.
  • Get there early in the morning, as parking can be tough.
  • Keep your voices down in the “Cathedral” area and other areas with “shhh” signs.
  • Enjoy the beautiful scenery. And enjoy this moment of being healthy and happy. Seriously – this one is a MUST.

Every time my brother and I go hiking, he always makes fun of me because I always spend at least 15 minutes ranting and raving about how lucky and fortunate we are to experience the beautiful day. We’ve been on dozens of hikes together, and he jokes about one day, creating a book of all the “we are so fortunate” phrases I preach to him. But seriously – every time I go hiking, I feel so blessed that I get to experience such beauty and bliss. I’m overcome with appreciation for my functioning legs, muscles, heart, lungs and overall health. With this, I encourage you to take the time to really appreciate what’s going on around you. Good company, beautiful scenery, fresh air and a day focused on taking care of your body, mind and soul. What’s not to love?! #bexisgettingdeepagain

Road Bike Shoes.

Road Bike Shoes, Cleats & PedalsJust got myself a shiny new pair of road bike shoes, cleats and pedals to stick onto the new road bike! I am BEYOND excited, and thank you to Stephanie and Robert for the early birthday present!  You see, after taking so many spin classes at the gym, I started relying on the pedal cages. Meaning, I got into the habit of using both the push AND the pull when cycling (which is what you’re supposed to do). My new road bike came with regular pedals and my quads were getting so tired because they were doing all the work. After all, there are other muscles on my legs that can help me climb up those hills.  With these new shoes, I can both push and pull, pull, pull…meaning I get to use more muscles when I climb. Yay! Just wanted to share.

Breakfast of Champions: Healthy Scramble

Spinach Tomato Scramble with a side of peaches

Here’s a well-balanced breakfast option that’s sure to kick-start your day. I had been wanting to use Rachel’s cherry tomatoes in an egg scramble and I finally had the time this morning. Paired with a side of white peaches, this breakfast duo is packed with protein, fiber and has the perfect balance between sweet and salty. I could live off these scrambles. In fact, I sort of have egg whites almost every morning just because it’s a great lean protein that helps fuel my brain and body.

Estimated Time: 10 minutes

Ingredients (serves 1):

  • Egg Whites: 3 regular
  • Spinach/Kale: 1 large handful
  • Chopped Onion: 1/8 cup
  • Cherry Tomatoes: 4 small
  • Cooking Spray: 1 spray
  • Sea Salt: 1 dash (or preferred amount)
  • White Peach: 1/2 medium

Cut the cherry tomatoes in halves and slice the peaches in slivers;  set aside. On medium/high heat, spray the pan with cooking spray and begin to sauté the onions for a few minutes. After about 3 minutes, add in the spinach. As soon as the spinach begins to welt, add in the egg whites and continue to cook. Right before the egg whites are done, add in the cherry tomatoes. Stir the scramble together and serve with a side of sliced peaches. Add any seasonings or salt to the scramble (optional).

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 1 point

Lunch At The Desk! Bay Shrimp Salad

Bay Shrimp & Avocado Salad

Not only is food in the Financial District expensive, but the lines are usually ridiculously long. To avoid the downtown chaos, I like to pack my own lunches and bring them into work. This salad literally took me less than 10 minutes to prep and it was delicious at the desk. I found this super light Raspberry dressing at Safeway that is naturally low in fat, calories and carbs (yesss!). As an added bonus, its gluten-free!

Estimated Time: 10 Minutes

Ingredients (serves 1):

This can be made the night before or morning of work. Place all ingredients in a to-go container and keep stored in a fridge until lunch time. Once you’re ready to eat, pour the dressing and shake the container until the salad is tossed well.

Weight Watchers Points Plus: 5 points