So for those of you who may not know, I recently started running… I’ve only been running on the treadmill for a few months now but I’ve gotten to the point where I can do about 4.5-5 miles in an hour by doing a combination of walking & running, and at the end of that time I don’t feel exhausted or burned out. So I decided to register for a 10K race, the Crescent City Classic, which is on April 23rd here in New Orleans. I have walked many 5K’s before but I’ve never run a 5K and I’ve certainly never run a 10K. I have horrible and painful memories of being that pudgy kid in elementary school who could barely finish one mile, let alone 3.1 or 6.2 miles, so it feels great knowing that I am in better shape at the age of 25 than I was at the age of 10 or 12.
So the race is about 12 weeks from now and unfortunately it’s smack in the middle of Passover which means I can’t do the usual pasta dinner the night before the race to load up on carbs. I’ll have to find a passover-friendly meal to have the night before my big race.
Anyways… right after I signed up for the race, I started doing research to find a good training schedule to follow. I found all kinds of tips about how to get started, how many days to train each week, what kinds of foods to eat, how to make sure you stay hydrated, what music to listen to, etc. The resources I found to be the most helpful, I must say, were a friend’s blog, and the Couch-to-10K training program. I also have a personal trainer, Joe, at the gym I go to, who is going to bring me his own tips and advice about how to train. I’ve been very diligent about going to the gym 4-6 times a week, depending on the week, so my goal is going to be a minimum of 4 times a week. If I can go 6, that’s great, and I’ll use those extra times to work on weight training, stretching and cross training (i.e. cardio other than running–elliptical, bike, etc.) So today I started training–I did a grand total of 3.1 miles in 45 minutes on the treadmill. The first 34 minutes I did run one minute/walk 2 minutes, and then I walked the last 11 minutes at about 3.5/3.7 miles per hour, and at an incline. I felt good at the end, I just had to finish so that I could shower and go to work.
I’ll let you know how I progress, and please share with me any words of wisdom or advice you have.
For now I will share with you what I’m making for dinner on this lovely Monday evening, January 31st (can you BELIEVE it’s almost February?!):
This next recipe is from a cookbook that my brother-in-law, Adam, gave to us for Hanukkah, it’s called Healthy Helpings: 800 Fast & Fabulous Recipes for the Kosher (or Not) Cook:
- 2 lb. ground turkey
- 1 onion
- 1 cup of mushrooms
- 1/2 of a greenpepper
- 2 tomatoes
- 1 potato, peeled
- 1 large carrot
- 1-2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. pepper
- 1/2 tsp. dried basil
- 1/4 tsp. dried thyme
- 1/4-1/3 c. bread crumbs
- 1/2 c. sun-dried tomatoes, cut in strips
- 1/2-3/4 c. tomato or BBQ sauce
Preheat oven to 375 degrees, F. Place ground turkey in a large bowl. In the processor, chop onion, mushrooms and green pepper, using quick on/offs. Place in a microwave safe bowl and microwave covered on HIGH for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, chop tomatoes and add to turkey. Grate potato and carrot. Add to turkey along with garlic, chicken broth, seasonings and bread crumbs.
Add microwaved vegetables and mix lightly to blend.
Place meat mixture on a large sheet of plastic wrap (this part got VERY VERY VERY MESSY and I think I will not do this in the future) and pat it into a rectangle about 1/2-inch thick. Place sun-dried tomatoes in 3-4 rows crosswise on the rectangle. Roll up the meat like a jelly roll. Discard plastic wrap. Transfer it to a sprayed loaf pan and drizzle tomato or BBQ sauce across the top. Bake uncovered at 375 degrees F about 1 hour. Add a little extra sauce before the end of cooking if the top gets too dry. Drain off any excess fat, slice and serve.
This recipe was needlessly complicated and considering the amount of work it required, was really not as good as it should have been… I got home from school at 5 PM and we didn’t sit down to eat until almost 7 PM. To me, meatloaf is supposed to be one of those easy mid-week meals that doesn’t take a lot of time to put together and yet, is delicious and healthy (especially if you use lean ground turkey like we did!) So this recipe was very time-intensive, had too many ingredients, and was not much tastier than meatloaves I’ve made in the past that had far fewer ingredients. I do not really recommend this recipe. The next one, on the other hand was quite tasty.
Israeli Couscous with Asparagus, Peas, and Sugar Snap Peas (Pareve, vegetarian, side dish)(originally from Bon Appetit, June 2010 but adapted to make it Kosher)
- 4 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 2 large garlic cloves, minced, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon of finely grated lemon peel
- 1 1/3 cups Israeli couscous
- 1/3/4 cups vegetable broth
- 14 oz. of slender asparagus spears, trimmed, cut diagonally into 3/4 inch pieces
- 8 oz. of sugar snap peas, trimmed, cut diagonally into 1/2 inch pieces
- 1 cup shelled fresh green peas or frozen, thawed
- 1/3 cup of chopped fresh chives
Whisk 2 tablespoons oil, lemon juice, 1 garlic clove, and lemon peel in small bowl; set dressing aside.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add couscous, sprinkle with salt, and sauté until most of couscous is golden brown, about 5 minutes.
Add 1 3/4 cups broth, increase heat, and bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until liquid is absorbed and couscous is tender, about 10 minutes, adding more broth by tablespoonfuls if too dry.
Meanwhile, heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add asparagus, sugar snap peas, green peas, and remaining garlic clove. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; sauté until crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.
Transfer vegetables to large bowl. Add couscous to bowl with vegetables. Drizzle dressing over. Add chives and toss. Season with salt and pepper.
This recipe, on the other hand, was fairly easy to make and was quite tasty. The dressing had a little bit of punch from the lemon juice and the veggies were crispy. Next time I might use more couscous for the amount of veggies but other than that I wouldn’t change anything. This one’s a keeper!