Sunday, September 29, 2013

My 5k at the Bellingham Bay Marathon

Bellingham Bay Marathon 5k race was a fun and beautiful course to run. It was relatively easy although the terrain was not flat throughout. For me that made the race fun and slightly challenging. 

Race day was drizzly but not frigid. A long sleeve shirt, my neon blue race t-shirt and capri running tights were more than enough to kept me warm after I started running. 

As for the run itself, I did smashingly. I ran the 5k in 30:54, which is much faster than my goal of running 12 minute miles. My lovely friend who lives in Bellingham watched my kiddos for me during the race. Because I had no stroller to push, my pace was naturally faster so much so that my average minutes per mile were 9:57. A very excited whoop of laughter escaped me when I read that final race results online. 

Before the race, my friend and I snapped a couple pictures with my iPhone. Here they are: 

And one with me and my boys :-)

That is it for now. Next time my post should be about current training plans or November goals. 

Friday, September 27, 2013

First Race of the Fall!

September 29, 2013 will mark the beginning of my race season! I am very excited because I really enjoy the thrill of running in races. My goal is to run this up coming  5k, a trail 5k on October 20th, and a 10k on November 13th. The ultimate goal of my upcoming races is that I continue running and increasing my mileage  throughout the fall and into winter so I can run the half-marathon in the spring. I am not exactly sure what to expect as far as how cold and rainy it gets her in Tacoma, but since most of my runs will be with my boys in the double jogger, I will be running as frequently as I can.

The race is called the Bellingham Bay Marathon. As the name suggest that day there will be a marathon; also there will be a half-marathon and a 5k. It is just recently that I have been able to run a 5k while pushing a double jogger. My goal is to run the whole race while pushing my two boys in our jogger.

Currently I can complete a 5k run in about 37 minutes. This impresses me because my former slow running pace without a stroller was 12 minutes per mile; which means that without a jogger I should be running closer to a 10:45-11 minute mile split. The more I run faster I will become so that in a year's time I should be back to running a 5k in 25 minutes or less. This is really exciting. 

Also in Bellingham, WA I will be visiting a dear friend of mine who is also the boys godmother so that is an added excitement! 

That is it for now, until my post-race blog update. 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Coconut Almond Cocoa No-Bake Bar and Smoothie Combinations

Now that fall is officially here, I think I may have been trying to drink as many summer fruit and vegetable smoothies these past two weeks. Frosty smoothies are usually not the first thing I want when I wake up in the chilly morning.

Some of the smoothies I make I add protein powder. Right now my favorite brands are Vega One Vanilla Chai and Plant Fusion protein powder both Chocolate and Vanilla. Typically I only use half a scoop which is about 10-12 grams. Soy milk is my current non-dairy milk that I drinking lately. Most soy milk brands have 8-10 grams of protein per cup, therefore between the cup of soy milk and the 1/2 scoop of protein powder gives me 20 grams total, not including the protein from the vegetables and fruits added to the smoothie. 

The smoothies I make, usually have 2-3 servings of vegetables, and 1.5-2 servings of fruit. Three fruits may be listed but I use half servings of each fruit. In contrast, I use a 2 servings of leafy greens and one serving of cucumber or celery. 

This smoothie was made with kale, cherries, mango, cucumber, soy milk, 1/2 scoop of Plant Fusion chocolate protein powder

This smoothie was made from a beet, apple, celery, cucumber, coconut water, maca powder, and sesame seeds

                                                                                    This smoothie was made with frozen broccoli, banana, peaches, strawberries, cucumber, coconut butter, 1/2 scoop of Plant Fusion vanilla protein powder, and soy milk

Now for the no-bake Coconut Almond Cocoa Bar! 

This bar came about because I WANTED candy, specifically a candy bar. We do not typically keep candy in the house because we eat it, quickly, very quickly. 

My initial intention for this bar was to whirl some cashews, almond butter, maple syrup (no dates in the house right now), perhaps some oats in the food processor to make a sweet, nutty base which I could add chocolate chips by hand. I would then, roll into balls and eat them all over the next 3-5 hours. Homemade candy bars, all the indulgence but without the HFCS, or dairy products. 

What happen instead was 5 bars that I ate over 3 days before or after my workout. These bars besides the sweet, nutty base had maca powder, cocoa powder, shredded coconut, almond extract, and a scoop of Plant Fusion vanilla protein powder.  

I have a deep love affair with almond joy bars and this satisfies those flavors in addition to being  full of healthy fats, protein, and vitamins and minerals. 

Coconut Almond Cocoa Bar

makes 5


1/3 cup of almond butter
1/3 cup of cashews
2 tbsp of cocoa
1 tbsp of coconut shredded--plus addition tbsp for covering outside of bars
1/2-1 scoop of vegan protein powder -vanilla or chocolate
1/2 tsp of almond extract
1/4-1/3 cup of maple syrup or 6 dates soaked and a couple tbsp of water
1 tbsp of maca powder

Combine in food processor: cashews first and process until crumbly, add remaining ingredients except maple syrup. processed until well combined.  Add maple syrup slowly and when the dough starts form together, that is enough and you can stop the food processor. 

I placed my dough, which was not overly sticky at all, into a loft pan, froze it for an hour and then took it out and cut 5 bars.  Sprinkled my remaining shredded coconut and Voile all done. Keep remaining bars in air tight container in either fridge or freezer. .  


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Simple and Delicious Meals

Quinoa, carrot, avocado on romaine lettuce with cilantro, lime dressing

Spicy mixed greens
Brown rice
Pumpkin chocolate chip muffins
Whole wheat pizza with almond-tofu cheez, roasted eggplant, mushrooms, kale

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Weight Loss Update with Pictures!

First an Update on My Two Boys: 

Time has flown this past 7 months since Lex's birth. Lex is thriving and still so baby-lovely. Babbling and creeping: exciting baby accomplishments. Rocket is an incredible toddler who is using his words to proclaim his needs and desires.   This time last year I was worried about his speech development but now that is a thing of the past. 

Post-Partum Weight-loss:  

Not that I am proud that I gained an extraordinary amount of weight while I was pregnant with Lex: I will say that I am proud that I am losing the weight. 

Some woman struggle to lose the extra weight gained during their pregnancy, especially after having their second child. I constantly re-adjust my expectations for weight loss and adhereing to my exercising plan because having little ones is not so predictable. even the best laid plans can be foiled because of baby and toddler woos. Despite having two little ones, I still prioritize my workouts and roughly plan the my meals to give me the maximun energy. If something comes up and I have to cancel my workout plans, it is not a big deal because I get right back on schedule as soon as I can. 

Weightloss Pictures: 

This picture was taken 7 weeks post-partum. I am about 200lbs.

This picture is 7 months post-partum and I currently weigh 165lbs. 

Lets just say I am very happy where I am at the point in my weight loss journey. I am back in my size 10 jeans (size I was in high school) which means I am wearing more of MY clothes as opposed to clothes I had to buy to have something to wear. I still have 20lbs to go until I am at my end of the year goal weight. 

If anyone feels that I am too obsession of my weight and losing weight, please remember the main purpose of this blog is to chronicle my fitness and nutrition journey. Therefore, that is what the bulk of what I am blogging about. 

Day to day on average I spend 15 minutes planning my workouts; 45 minutes total executing my workouts, and 2 hours planning, prepping, and cooking my food each day. I prepare each meal from stratch. Whether it been a smoothie, casserole, salad, wrap, or soup, I use 90% whole, unprocessed ingredients. The other 10% account for non-dairy milks, tofu, tortillas, and  chocolate chips. 

This was a fun post to write up, hope to do another progress picture blog post in 3-4 months. 

Next post will be 4 smoothie recipes. 

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Foods I am Loving Lately and an Excellent Smoothie Recipe

Vegan chocolate cake with peanut butter vegan icing

Creamy roasted tomato soup
Quesadillas with cashew cheez, black beans, zucchini, baby spinach and kale

              Green Power Smoothie: 

1.5 cups of frozen broccoli
1/2 large cucumber 
2 celery stalks with leaves
small peach 
small red pear

Blended in my Vitamix blender with 1/2 cup of coconut water and 1/2 cup of water.
(Optional add ins- vegan protein powder, 1 tbsp chia seeds, 1 tbsp of coconut butter or oil, 1 tsp of maca powder)

Collard leaves burritos with quinoa, avocado, and black bean salad with cilantro, lime, and sweet potato

I have not been eating as many leafy green salads as I have been in the past, so that is something I am working on. Yet again I am also juicing and blending more leafy greens, so all in all I am getting a lot of macro and micro-nutrients. I usually have a post-workout juice that I juice in my Breville, today though I just had lunch, which was the quesadillas and soup. 

This is not everything that I eat in a day, just some of want I have eaten today :) I forgot to mention the bowl of frosted shredded wheat with soy milk. 

I also have drank 7 glasses of water, two cups of green and peppermint tea, and an hour before bed I will have a cup of chamomile tea. 

I have made a quinoa/bean salad that will tomorrows lunch with more of the roasted tomato soup.  

Finding Balance

Recently I completed a 21-day meditation challenge that was sponsored by Deepak Chopra and Oprah. I recommend anyone to try the next challenge, especially if you are interested in meditating and are not sure how to do it without losing focus. I especially loved repeating the mantras during the prescribed meditation period. That allowed me to focus on one thing, which in turns allows all the other dozens of things running through my head to not be prominent. 

It is rather easy for me to get caught up planing and then completely the little tasks that need to get done each day.  Exercising and especially practicing yoga  has helped correct my imbalances and also helps link my breath to the flow of my body. What I have been missing from my practice was meditating, which I now know helps me silence my mind from all the planning that I do. 

This picture was taken at Whatcom Falls in Bellingham, WA. During my meditation, I picture this and the ocean. Water flowing relaxes me. 

Now that I am no longer doing the challenge I have created my own meditation rituals. I find a mantra that resonates with me, I play music by Peter Davidison, from his cd titled Adiago: Music for Meditating. Once the music begins I lay in corpse pose in my bed, take several slow and deep breaths and then I begin to repeat my mantra in my head. After completed this I turn off the music and go to bed, falling into a deep sleep effortless. This is heavenly because I frequently find it difficult to fall asleep even when I am tired. The cause is that my mind is still busy, busy;from planning the next day. Meditating at night as helped that tremendously. I don't need to plan as much, just as long as I have a general idea of what needs to get done or made than I am good to go. 

Me in tree pose. Namaste!