I completed my second half marathon this weekend. I easily could have finished in the top ten if I had trained a little more but I settled for 14,144th place. It is the nation’s largest half marathon with 35,000 competitors each year. I finished with a time of 2:18:50 which is about 20 minutes less than my half marathon race last year. I am happy with my time and felt good during the race. I have just one complaint from the race and it is this: the blister on my foot is the largest I have ever seen. Oh, well. Hopefully it goes away. My toenail that fell off during last year’s race took about five months to grow back completely so let’s hope this blister-issue is over much faster than that! My race stats:
Temperature: 58 degrees
Distance walked to the race: 1.4 miles
Distance walked from the race: 1.4 miles
Number of blisters: 1 but it’s the size of 10 blisters
Overall place: 14,144 out of 30,063
Here’s last year’s injury and this year’s… So gross.
This time last year, I didn’t know yet that I would be running in a half marathon the next day. This time this year, different story. Time to run!
I’ll never be a big fan of fake meat but I like to buy different types on rare occasions. Today there was a special occasion: my first visit to our local co-op. Yes, I’ve lived here for almost three years as a vegan (and vegetarian for part of that time) and never made it to our co-op. Turns out the co-op is ridiculously close to where I live. It is about a 5 minute drive which is much better than driving 20 minutes to Whole Foods. It is more expensive than Whole Foods (yes, that is possible) but I’m oddly ok with that.
I had a frozen bag of mirepoix mix and some quinoa on hand for lunch. I cooked up one portobello mushroom cap and the fake sausage from the co-op. I’ve tried a few bites of Tofurkey Italian Sausage but never actually purchased it on my own before. It has a lot of flavor and browns easily in pan on the stove. I’ve been adding it to salads all week which has worked out pretty well. I used a little bit of marinara sauce, some curry seasoning and Asian seasoning. I couldn’t really decide which way to go but somehow the odd mix of flavor was delicious. It’s an easy and cheap meal to throw together so I will have to make this more often! And I am definitely returning to the co-op to find more vegan treats!
As part of the hunger challenge, I am heading to the grocery store with a list of ingredients that will hopefully add up to $28. I will be eating vegan on $4 a day for a week. I am trying to balance cheap food with healthy and filling meals. I like to leave coupons to the pros so I plan on getting everything without the use of coupons. Here is my list for the week:
- 1 box of instant oatmeal – 10 packets ($1.67)
- 2 boxes of spaghetti ($2.00)
- 1 can of pasta sauce – 24 ozs ($.89)
- 4 granny smith apples – 2 lbs ($3.41)
- 1 bag of frozen vegetables – 12 ozs ($1.00)
- 2 cans of black beans ($1.38)
- 2 cans of corn ($.78)
- 2 cans of green beans ($.78)
- 3 bags of lettuce ($7.50)
- 1 container of organic tofu – 14 ozs ($1.69)
- 1 bag of potatoes – 24 ozs ($2.99)
- 1 bag of clementines -3 lbs ($3.99)
- Total = $28.08
Whew – just eight cents over my goal! The biggest part of the challenge is done! I’m amazed at how much food I have. I can make a wide variety of entrees, sides and salads with the items I’ve purchased. I’m relying on as few pantry staples as possible (spices, cooking oils, sugar, etc) but will allow myself to include a small amount of these items as salad dressing for example. Pretty much everything I bought was non-processed, whole foods. I bought items that have nutrients and lots of fiber to keep my stomach full. To be honest, I’m a little surprised that I was able to get so much. Granted, I happened to walk in on some good deals at a low cost grocery store (thanks, Kroger). Regardless, this definitely gives me hope that other individuals and families can reduce their grocery bill and still eat healthy.
I’m always amused when people tell me a healthy diet is too expensive since the costs associated with eating poorly are much greater in terms of healthcare. However, now I have proof I’m not crazy! I’m just crossing my fingers that this food will last me for a week. Find out on April 8 if I’ve survived the challenge!
I deactivated my Facebook a couple months ago. I thought it would help me waste less time online. The time that I used to spend on Facebook, now goes toward Pinterest. Oh, well… but at least I’ve found some fun things on Pinterest. For example, I found this recipe for blueberry biscuits. I’ve had plain biscuits plenty of times but never tried them with fruit thrown in. I think I will have to put fruit in every time now. It almost makes the biscuits healthier or at least I can keep telling myself that.
- 5 Tbsp of Earth Balance butter or other vegan butter substitute
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup of white sugar
- 4 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup soy or almond milk, chilled
- 3 oz of fresh blueberries
1. Place the vegan butter in the freezer for one hour.
2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
3. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt.
4. Pour the milk into the flour mixture and stir together.
5. Add the blueberries and frozen butter. Spread the butter evenly through the dough.
6. Flour a surface and roll out the dough to 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick.
7. Cut out the biscuits using a biscuit cutter or cookie cutter.
8. Place biscuits on an ungreased pan.
9. Bake for 10-12 minutes.
Yields: 12 biscuits
Adapted from: KenKatschke.com
I’m gearing up for Valentine’s Day with a little red twist on my favorite blueberry muffin recipe. These muffins hold together well and still maintain a soft chewiness. I’m normally a big fan of blueberry muffins but I might start liking these more!
- ¼ cup Earth Balance
- ½ cup unsweetened applesauce
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 cup sugar
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- ½ cup soymilk
- 2 cups fresh strawberries
1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. Line muffin cups with paper liners or spray with nonstick spray.
3. Mix all ingredients together until moistened.
4. Divide batter evenly among the muffin cups. Each should be filled 3/4 full.
5. Bake 35 minutes or until the tops are firm.
6. Cool on a wire rack.
Yields: 12 muffins
Adapted from: http://low-cholesterol.food.com/recipe/vegan-blueberry-muffins-123809
That’s me in the pink! It’s February and I am continuing my goal of completing five races in five months. I will possibly attempt 12 races in 12 months if I keep this momentum up. I now have two races done and three more to go. I finished my first race of the year in January with a 5K. I completed another 5K for this month and finished 10 seconds faster. I blame a stomach cramp between mile 2 and 3 for slowing down my time. I wanted to finish much faster especially since there was no snow on the ground this time to slip me up. Here are my stats for this race:
Official time: 29:21
Temperature: 25 degrees
Number of walkers who should not have started towards the very front and blocked runners who needed to pass: a billion
Total amount of caffeine in my system during race: 40 mg
Total amount of caffeine normally in my system over the course of a year: 0 mg
Likelihood that I will be able to fall asleep after caffeine overload: 5%
Overall place: 613 out of 1,264
And bonus points for my 5K running playlist featuring a wide variety of music:
Remind me after I run a half marathon in May about all the snowy days I trained through. Remind me about the below freezing temperatures. The sidewalks that weren’t shoveled or salted. The windy conditions. The foggy and hazy skyline. Remind me that it was worth it.