Tex-Mex Salad with Cilantro-Lime Quinoa (Gluten Free-Dairy Free!)

If I was ever stranded on a deserted island, I hope that it would be an island off of central or south america. Because I could subsist off of some combination of quinoa, beans, and cilantro indefinitely. This dish is tex-mexy, quick, easy, delicious, and the perfect way to break a salad rut. I strongly believe that cumin is the cure all to end salad ruts in general.

Tex-mex salad with cilantro lime quinoa1

 

Enjoy!

Ingredients:

2 chicken breasts-cut into small pieces

1 can black beans

1/2 cup cilantro chopped

1 cup quinoa

1/2 lime

1/2 tsp garlic salt

1/2 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp chili powder

1 sprinkle red pepper flakes

1.5 cups romaine lettuce, chopped

1/2 cup olives, chopped

1/4 cup green onions, chopped

2 tbs. coconut oil

Directions:

Heat coconut oil over medium heat in a medium sized pan. Once dissolved, add chicken and cook thoroughly. Once chicken is cooked, add garlic salt, chili powder, cumin, and red pepper flakes.

Cook quinoa in a medium sized pot by boiling it in 2 cups water, or according to package instructions. Once cooked, remove from heat and squeeze lime into quinoa, then add chopped cilantro.

Serve quinoa and chicken over a bed of romaine, and top with green onions, olives, and black beans.

Tex-Med salad with cilantro lime quinoa2

Serves 2-4

Enjoy!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Health and Active Lifestyle Magazine Sale Alert!

Happy Wednesday friends!

After a 9.6 mile run this morning with a 1500 ft. elevation gain, I came home to find a lovely email in my inbox announcing a huge 5$ magazine sale on amazon.com. When I’m not running, or cooking, or hanging out outside with my family, I sure love to read about running, cooking, and  fun things to do hanging out outside with the family. The magazine sale features yearly subscriptions to Sports Illustrated, Outdoor Life, Health, Cooking Light, and dozens of other titles for the health conscious individual.

Sports Illustrated KIDS (1-year auto-renewal)Health (1-year auto-renewal)Outdoor LifeGolf Magazine (1-year auto-renewal)ESPN The Magazine (5-month introductory offer)SELF All Access + Free Gym Bag & Five Digital Fitness GuidesCooking Light (1-year auto-renewal)Veranda Print Edition

I tend to be a market maven, and wanted to take a quick moment and alert you all to this sale because you don’t see prices like this often. And so my friends, here is the link, enjoy!

Amazon Exclusive – $5 Magazine Sales:Sports Illustrated, Cooking Light, Health, All You, Essence and many more

And don’t forget to enter the TWO MOMS IN THE RAW gluten free giveaway! Details are available here: https://runningyourbody.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/two-moms-in-the-raw-gluten-free-vegan-giveaway/

Make your day great!

Amanda

Posted in Pilates, Recipes, Running, Women's Health | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

5 Marathon Training Mistakes, and how to fix them

We have officially crossed over to spring, and with that begins the marathon training and racing season. Anyone who has trained for 26.2 can tell you that best laid plans  do not always pan out. Sometimes we experience a really great training cycle, and sometimes we struggle. The learning curve is always the steep the first time around and hopefully we learn from our mistakes. Here are 5 of the most common marathon training mistakes and suggestion for correcting them for optimal training and racing performance.

photo1 (9)

 

1. Eating a poor diet. This one is first for a reason. What we put into our bodies is the fuel we burn during our daily tasks and on a run. Many people fall into the marathon thinking trap that since they are running high mileage, they are burning calories and thus they can eat and drink whatever they want. A 20 mile training run can indeed easily torch 1500-2000 calories. That is most people’s daily caloric intake burned off in the first 3 hours of one day. It is extremely important to replace those calories with whole food proteins and carbohydrates. Eating an entire box of Kraft macaroni and cheese by yourself does not count. Nor does the carton of ice cream (sorry to be such a Debbie Downer here, I have a sweet tooth too). Many folks feel ravenous throughout marathon training cycles and are baffled to find that they gain weight and feel rotten when they expected to slender down. Much of this is due to giving yourself permission to eat garbage. Beverage calories are equally as bad. A glass of wine with dinner or a beer with your friends is not going to kill you, but drinking several sugary or alcoholic beverages each week requires excess action in the liver. This same liver is responsible for assisting in the management of glucose during a long run. Suffice it to say, you do not want to burn the candle at both ends when it comes to your liver.

Some ideas for healthy food options for the ravenous stages of training are:

2. Only Running, No Cross training. Running is a forward moving, cyclic motion. If we do not strengthen our bodies in various motions, and specifically target muscles that do not fire as readily during running, our bodies will become unbalanced and leave us susceptible for injury. Runners tend to think they they have a strong core simply from running. This is a myth. You simple have to engage in core exercises in order to strengthen the core muscles-this includes all four layers of abdominals, the gluteal muscles, and the hip rotator muscles. Weight training, Pilates, Yoga, and plyometric exercises are all incredible helpful methods of exercising to strengthen the body. If you are unfamiliar with using Yoga as a method of building strength, then I highly recommend that you check out a Vinyasa Flow class. This is an incredibly athletic form of yoga, and requires control and stability.

Pilates workouts for runners can be found here:

3. Not getting enough sleep. This may seem obvious, but often times even though we  feel tired, we do nothing about it. Often marathon training requires waking up earlier than usual in order to cram in the weekly required mileage. Sleep time slowly but surely gets chipped away at in the morning, but often bed time remains the same. We live busy lives, we have things to do and some folks have late night television to watch. Week by week one slowly turns into a zombie and the people in our lives start counting down the days until this god-forsaken marathon is over so that we return to normal again. Not a good system of operation considering the amount of strain that the actual running places on our bodies! Be weary of chipping away too much at your sleep hours. 6-8 hours is the recommended dose, and every person has different requirements. Daily life is not going to roll out a red carpet and give way for a training cycle so it requires mindfulness about finding rest, and maintaining proper sleep hours.

4. Under training. There is a sinking feeling (nausea too) when pinning on a race bib and approaching the starting line of a race that you know you didn’t prepare well for. Whether it was an injury, a busy schedule, or lack of desire, things can get in the way and result in under training for a race. Day to day interference such a sick kid, a meeting ran late, etc. may be difficult to make up later. Some ideas are to engage in some form of aerobic activity that day so that it’s not a complete loss. Skier jumps, running in place, star jumps, burpees, jumping jacks, whatever you can do to ensure that your body gets something out of the day.

5. Over training. Many sports physiologists feel that true over training is generally only present in elite athletes who push their bodies to maximum levels on a daily basis. It can pop up in the amateur crowd, but often times the symptoms are due to the above mentioned poor nutrition resulting in a sense of fatigue, malaise, and loss  of focus. There are many different training philosophies and plans out there, some requiring running 6 days per week, some only 3. The 3 day training program argues that less is more because it focuses on quality and form, and allows for full rest of the body. I personally have followed this plan for the past 2 years and have found it to be a perfect match for my body and my schedule. I feel much better on runs and it allows me the time to cross train which inevitable has lead to healthier and injury free racing seasons. More information about this plan can be found at Runner’s World here : http://www.runnersworld.com/race-training/less-more-marathon-plan?page=single.

There you have it, common mistakes made and easy fixes for a fantastic racing season. Cheers to marathon time! Is anyone running Boston this year?

Don’t forget to enter to win the TWO MOMS IN THE RAW gluten free giveaway! Check out their new cookbook and details to enter here: https://runningyourbody.wordpress.com/2015/03/18/two-moms-in-the-raw-gluten-free-vegan-giveaway/

Make your day great,

Amanda

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Two Moms in the Raw Gluten Free Giveaway!

I am extremely pleased to partner with Two Moms in the Raw for a gluten free snack giveaway and to announce the release of Two Moms founder Shari Koolik Leidich’s new gluten free cookbook! Shari’s book, titled: TWO MOMS IN THE RAW: Simple, Clean, Irresistible Recipes for Your Family’s Health, will be released the first week of May, and is a treasury of fabulous gluten free-dairy free recipes. The cookbook highlights both raw and cooked recipes that are focused on helping all people (good cooks and not-so-good cooks) incorporate healthy foods into their diet in a simple and beautiful way.

Two moms in the raw cookbook

TWO MOMS IN THE RAW cookbook is selling for $22.00, and is available now for pre-order and ships out on May 5, 2015. Click on  http://www.twomomsintheraw.com/pages/cook-book/
to order now. I have mentioned before that I am an adorer and collector of beautiful cookbooks, and this gem proudly takes it’s place on my shelf.

I have been a huge fan of the Two Moms in the Raw gluten free vegan bars for several years now. In fact, they have been my saving grace on a few trips out of town when I forgot to pack snacks, and was able to find their bars in every Starbuck’s that I came in contact with. I have also written before here:  https://runningyourbody.wordpress.com/2015/01/19/gluten-free-running-fuel/ about how wonderful these bars are as an energy source before or during long runs. They are great for a mid afternoon snack, traveling, or for kids.

TWO MOMS IN THE RAW offers 130-plus dishes, broken down into chapters based on meal type: juices and smoothies; breakfast; dips; soups; salads; veggie mains; fish, poultry, and beef; and sweet treats and snacks. Dishes such as Poached Eggs on Spinach and Cress with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce and the Garden Jewel Salad bring a new twist to your table. The Single-Skillet Chicken Puttanesca or Chard-Wrapped Mahi Mahi come powered with plenty of raw produce and grains. Desserts omit processed sugar in favor of natural sweeteners and power nutrients. The best part is that most dishes can be made
quickly, a must for busy folks.

In addition to these inspiring recipes, Shari offers insight on her preferred ingredients, kitchen equipment, and “household healers,”. She also offers easy, healthy kitchen swaps such as replacing butter with coconut oil, using fruit, coconut or date sugar instead of refined sugars, and many more useful tips.

After being diagnosed with mulstiple sclerosis, Shari began to focus on her health through healthy nutrition. Shari thinks of food as medicine and knows what you eat can truly change your life. The TWO MOMS IN THE RAW cookbook is a wonderful guide to eating well for anyone who wants to get back on track, enjoy greater vitality, reduce stress, and achieve their best health.When Shari began making this food for herself, her snacks quickly became a crowd pleaser in her family and community. She and her food have been guests on the Today Show, and featured in Outside Magazine, a testament to the versatility of her food.

Tried and true recipes include:

No stress meatballs    No Stress Meatballs

noodle salad Peanut Free Thia Noodle Salad

beet shakshuka and Beet Shakshuka.

The wonderful folks at Two Moms in the Raw have put together a prize package for a lucky runningyourbody reader of one week of Two Moms in the Raw Gluten Free snacks! To be eligible for the giveaway, simply pre-order the book, and post your order number in the comments section down below. I will notify the lucky reader that they have won at the end of April.

Make your day great!

Amanda

Posted in Recipes, Running | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why your balance may be indicative of your risk for stroke

Recently a group of researchers in Japan found that seemingly healthy middle-aged adults who could not stand on one foot for more that 20 seconds could be experiencing underlying cerebral small vessel disease (cSMD). The group studied showed higher rates in cognitive decline over time. This is a condition that can lead to both stroke and cognitive impairment.

The researchers tested their subjects by measuring their single leg stance time, conducting brain MRI scans, and using a posturograph to measure their center of gravity. These results were analyzed and showed that the individuals that demonstrated brain vascular disease were likely to be unable to stand on one limb greater than 20 seconds. They report that “individuals showing postural inability should subsequently receive increased attention because instability may signal potential brain abnormalities and cognitive decline”.  This means that individuals with poor balance should check in with their physicians to rule out brain issues.

You can test yourself by standing on leg and measuring your ability to maintain this position. Balance is a skill that can be trained simply by practicing this position at your kitchen counter. If after 3-4 weeks of practicing you do not notice improvement in your balance, it is worth mentioning to your physician. Knowing your family history of cardiovascular and stroke history is also very important. If you have immediate family members who have experienced stroke and your balance is poor despite maintaining a healthy and active lifestyle, mention this to your doctor.

Make your day great!

Amanda

 

Reference:

Tabara, Y, Okada Y, Ohara M. et al. Association of postural instability with asymptomatic cerebrovascular damage and cognitive decline. Stroke. Published online before print December 18, 2014.

Posted in Running, Women's Health | Leave a comment

Why muscles cramp and what to do about it

There is nothing worse than finding yourself mid-run on the side of the road with a calf muscle cramp that wrenches through your leg causing intense pain. Or perhaps you have rolled over in bed mid-sleep only to find yourself wrenched from slumber by the cramping of your calf. There are several causes of muscle cramps, and luckily there are natural ways to treat them.

Dehydration is a highly common cause for muscle cramping while exercising. Ensuring that you consume enough water each day and more during high exertion exercise is highly important. The American Medical Association (AMA) recommends 48-68 ounces of water be consumed each day. Additionally, it is recommended that you drink 8 ounces of water every 15 minutes during exercise exertion.

Electrolyte imbalance is another root cause for muscle cramping. Pregnant women in particular may experience inadequate calcium intake leading to muscle cramping. Magnesium and calcium deficiency may also lead to muscle cramping in non-pregnant females and males. Speak with your physician before supplementing these entities. You may consume them naturally by eating almonds and dark leafy greens such as kale and spinach. Electrolyte supplementation through sports drinks can be beneficial during actual exercise, though coconut water is a more nutritious choice. Coconut water contains fewer calories, less sodium, and more potassium than sports drinks.

In the heat of the moment, stretching the muscle that is actively in a spasm is the best measure. For a calf cramp or spasm, keep the knee straight, and flex the ankle bringing the toes toward your shin bone. Ease into the stretch slowly and try to hold for greater than 60 seconds. Repeat as needed.

IMG_0984

Enjoy and make your day great,

Amanda

Posted in Running | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Gluten Free flat bread with basil, heirloom tomatoes, and egg

I have come to the conclusion that eggs are welcome to join my meal at any point during the day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner… it’s an open invitation. This little number follows a less is more paradigm. It is quick and easy with a pre-made  gluten free pizza crust by Udi’s.

Gluten free flat bread with basil heirloom tomatoes and eggs

Ingredients:

1 Udi’s Gluten Free Pizza Crust

4-6 small heirloom tomatoes, sliced

4-6 basil leaves

2 tbs. olive oil

2 eggs, fried in 1 tbs. coconut oil

2 cloves garlic minced

Directions: Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit. Distribute 2 tbs. olive oil over the gluten free flat bread, then place basil minced garlic on top evenly distributed, and bake in oven for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, fry eggs in a medium pan on medium heat until yoke is cooked through. Remove flat bread from oven, add eggs and non-cooked heirloom tomatoes. Enjoy!

Gluten free flat bread with basil heirloom tomatoes and egg

Serves 1-2

Make your day great!

Posted in Recipes | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment