I hope everyone had a wonderful weekend and got to celebrate America’s Birthday! I figured I’d share a glimpse in the life type post to share some of the adventures and eats I enjoyed over the long weekend. After my triathlon last week I decided to take a week off from workouts before I start training again for two more tri’s this summer and marathon training starting in August. I like to take at least 2 complete weeks off per year to let my body completely recover and rest. I did make sure I had active walking and other activities like wedding dancing to not become a complete sloth, haha.
Pat and I kicked off the long holiday weekend on Thursday night at the Phillies game. While the Phillies suck this year and they were playing the Brewers who equally suck we enjoyed watching lots of runs and hanging out with our friends Jim and Kat. Plus it was a fireworks game and baseball game fireworks are usually awesome. These were no exception.
Friday morning we slept in and I actually took the whole day off which is shocking. We had a wedding later so since I knew my day would be cut short anyways I decided to enjoy it and be productive. I made an appt for bridesmaid dress alterations and then went and got my hair trimmed and blown out.
We headed to the wedding of two of our good friends- it was a beautiful outdoor ceremony in which they wrote their own vowels which was such a sweet touch that made it even more personal and special. After a fun night of good eats, dancing, and being with friends we headed home laaaate night.
We slept in on Saturday morning (first Saturday in months I slept past 8am and didn’t get up for a long workout in foreverrrrr!) It was nice to catch up on more sleep. My husband and I had planned to go kayaking at a nearby lake in the morning… the morning was cloudy and didn’t look promising but we decided to venture there anyways. Sure enough as soon as we got there it was raining hard so we decided to skip it. By then it was 11:30ish so we decided to head to Victory brewery for lunch and beers.
We headed back home after lunch to finish some pre party preparations. Our friends down the street were hosting a party so we agreed to bring my homemade cucumbers mojitos and a quinoa veggie salad. Total Dietitian move to bring the healthy dishes but everyone loved the mojitos- so refreshing! The party included lots of delicious food, fun and catching up with friends!
Sunday we slept in yet again- no wonder I was so tired Monday morning when I woke up at 6am. We headed to Baltimore for the day for a belated 4th of July picnic with my husbands extended family. I always love visiting Baltimore since I had lived there for a year and had grown to love it. And of course a Maryland trip means crabs and Old Bay <3 You haven’t lived until you’ve had fresh crabs-definitely one of my favorite summer foods.
A long and wonderful weekend that ended with the USA Women’s Soccer win! Perfect ending to the Fourth! What did you do and eat!? Any fun trips or parties!?
Hope everything is enjoying a nice long weekend and fun 4th of July celebrations :)
I'm sharing some posts and articles I've read online recently- I'm too lazy to link all of them to titles so I just copied and pasted- enjoy! PS the pictures aren't all from the articles they are just random ones.
For people that self-diagnose intolerances to foods, read this:
This is hilarious- A guy eats food marketed to women!
These are so cool:
Having worked with school nutrition programs in the past, I know the reality of kids going hungry during the summer:
Learn about your core:
This is old but since it’s triathlon season its worth a read!
So per my prediction- the swim portion was canceled… I wasn’t super disappointed since I was pretty positive that it was going to happen and the weather was disgusting! It rained allllllll day long on Saturday and was still raining Sunday morning as we made our way into transition. Instead of the swim start each corral/wave started at their bikes. This worked smoother than I thought… we ended up going off about 30 minutes later than our swim start schedule but it all worked out okay. And eventually is stopped rain (thank goodness).
Well I was one of like 2 people in my age group not clipping in because I’m a big baby. I’m determined to learn asap and am open to any free lessons- leave comments below :) But oh well… so I wore my running shoes to save a step later. I’d like to note I wore different shoes to the start and in transition prior to the race which was a great decision- putting on clean and dry socks and shoes prior to the start was pleasant. Per usual my husband aka my #1 fan was there supporting me- good thing he brought an umbrella before we started. He also captured all these awesome pics- thanks love<3
Out on the first mile of the bike- I’m excited and pumped! I knew I would get passed a lot on the bike and thought oh well, I would catch those people on the run! I did a little passing myself… yay me! Since I was the second to last group to go the roads were starting to dry up… although it did mean it would be sunny and warm for the run.
Finishing up my 1st loop fasted than anticipated, about 40 minutes- hence the blurry shot, Pat wasn’t ready for me. I started my 2nd loop and the course started to get a little lonely since most people had finished up the bike from starting earlier. I actually think an more open course slowed me down… there wasn’t anyone to try to catch or to push me to bike harder, so it took me close to 45 minutes, oops.
25 mile bike: 1:25:52
Pace: 17.3 mph
Into transition and overall pleased with my bike time. Looking at my two Olympic races last year, doing the swim doesn’t really slow me down on the bike or run since you use different muscle groups. Plus last year I also had a swim cancelled and my bike mph went from 16.9 to 17.3! I thought that was good improvement and know I will be faster once I master clipping in!
Since I didn’t have to change shoes here I had a super quick transition, just grabbed my belt and a throw away water bottle and I was off. I wore my watch for the first time ever during a triathlon and I found it definitely helps me run faster. I’ll need to buy a waterproof watch soon for events where I’ll be swimming first. Anyways the run was 1.5 out and back west and then 1.5 out and back east… also a quarter of a mile took place in the middle on the mud, I mean grass outside transition.
The first mile is always tough try to get to a good pace and stop jelly in your legs from biking but I settled in just under 8:40 min/mi pace. I did a good job maintaining 8:20-8:45 mi pace most of the race… my goal would’ve been 8:30 but the mud and grass portion definitely slowed me down to almost 9:00 mile pace around mile 3. Pat saw that I was struggling a little coming out of the mud and ran on the side walk encouraging me as I ran on the course.
The second half of the run is completely in the run where the first part was shaded… it was near 11:00am around then so it was starting to warm up. I really need to buy a hat for running to keep the sun off my face. I should note I passed A LOT of girls in my age group on the run… I didn’t keep track but I’d guess close to 10 girls. It’s a lot easier to read age group numbers running than biking. Every time I passed someone I felt so pumped and promised I wouldn’t get passed by them later. Going up the finish chute I did my best to sprint and raised my arms in a successful finish!!
10k run: 53:09
Someone once told me your 10k off the bike should be your 10 miler time. I disagree but I guess I will make that my goal. However this is the fastest I’ve ever run a 10k off the bike. Really makes me want to race just a 10k and see what I could do! Last year’s times were2-3 minutes slower (one with the swim also being canceled).
Final time: 2:20:28
Division (25-29): 11th place!
Soooooo close to a top ten finish and I wasn’t even aiming for it! I missed 10th by like 20 seconds and 9th by less than a minute, ahhh! Top 25% of my age group though which was awesome because usually I strive to finish in the top 50%. The top 3 finished like 20 minutes ahead of me so clearly I’m not going to podium any time soon in that large of a race but I can definitely work for top ten.
Although even when I was passing people on the run, I reminded myself, this is my race, not my race with my competition. I had rough time goals that I accomplished and more though and that’s what matters! I love seeing how much I can improve and know that I can work harder than I have been so I should! I’m hoping to race two more Olympic tris this year before I get too deep into marathon training. If anyone has any tips for tri training and marathon training at the same time, share in the comments!
Also thanks for all the congrats and good lucks over the weekend! And a special thank you to my husband Pat for getting up early, standing in the rain, and cheering me on morning!
Linking up with Janelle from Run with No Regrets, Jessica at the Silvah Lining, and Dee at The Hesitant Runner with my #racerecap! Check out their recaps and more for some running and racing inspiration :)
Figured I should share some thoughts/goals before the race… so here we go…
I’ll start with thoughts…. The weather forecast as of Wednesday at noon is below. Not looking very good… in fact I’m pretty sure the swim will be canceled. Just guessing here but I know from past experiences (Nation’s Tri last year) that when it rains the night before the race the water is disgusting and often times not swimmable. The rivercast when I wrote this post (Wednesday) after a big storm Tuesday night supports this theory because the rivercast is red meaning: Water quality is not suitable for activities involving direct contact with the river.
I’m totally not afraid of open water (unless it’s the ocean maybe- sharks!) but I am a germaphobe and afraid of vomiting-Emetophobia. People think I’m crazy but it’s a real fear and why I pretty much have a panic attack when someone is puking or if I puke. Anyways… I have tri friends that have complained of stomach bugs and infections from swimming in gross water- I don’t want to be one of those people and thinking about it GROSSES me out so much. ICK. This paragraph made me sound like such a girl but at least I was honest!
Also… with the rain… swimming in the rain sounds like it could make sighting a bit more challenging, but you’re wet anyways so I’m guessing there isn’t a significant impact? Except for the water being disgusting from all the rain and not being able to even see your hand or someone else’s foot in front of your face. And I guess it could make the water choppier. But I digress.
Running in the rain is usually really fun, see below quote I posted on Insta last week- totally how I feel about running in the rain. Biking in the rain sounds pretty scary… as we all know I’ve had bike issues in the past during tri’s and my bike is probably my weakest event… and I think I’ve biked in the rain like twice. Sounds dangerous!
I did google doing a tri in the rain and already picked up a few tips like putting socks in shoes in Tupperware or something else to keep them dry, wearing a trash bag, watch out for hydroplaning, etc.
Moving on… my other thoughts are mostly happy, really only the weather is weighing me down! I’m super excited to race the Oly, I did the sprint as my first triathlon ever two years ago and fell in love with the sport. Note: weather that day was excellent. I’m fairly certain I’ll do another tri in august even though I’m supposed to be focusing on marathon training…. Speaking of marathon training I’m supposed to start in July- any recommendations for plans that include a 20 and 22 miler? I’m newbie so I’m nervous.
Okay time for goals!!!!
Perfect race day weather goals:
Swim- under 30 minutes
Bike- under 1 hr 30 minutes
Run- under 55 minutes
Transition- not take forever like I always do
Less than ideal weather race day goals:
Swim- not end up getting sick later
Bike- not wreck
Run- Have fun and try not to focus on wet socks
Transition- take my time and change my socks for the run so it’s not miserable
Okay so that was part sarcastic but mostly serious, haha.
If you are racing this weekend, good luck and stay dry! If you are local and looking for something to do, do this: Devil Takes the Hindmost
And then come cheer for me in the rain!
Tucked in a crust, nothing says love from the oven like pie. Whether it’s a twist on the all-American apple pie or a traditional recipe from your home country, give a healthy makeover to your favorite savory or sweet pie recipe.
So I wanted to push myself to be a little outside the box and creative here… last month’s Recipe Redux I made pie, not knowing it would be this month’s challenge. So I was encouraged to go a savory route since that pie was sweet. I had some greens I needed to use up, saw an onion on the counter, and then started thinking about the crust. I thought about using my quiche crust recipe but thought that was taking the easy way out- instead I found a tube of polenta and wondered how it would work as a crust. Turns out, pretty well! Plus who doesn’t love polenta!? This greens and cheesy pie actually turned out really well… I’ve been heating up the leftovers for lunch this past week. Try out this unique savory spin on pie!
1 tube polenta
5-6 oz spinach
2 garlic cloves
1 large onion
1 TBSP olive oil
4 oz blue cheese
½ cup plain greek yogurt
½ cup milk
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Spread polenta onto pie dish with (clean) hands, slightly moisten fingers if it gets too sticky
2. Chop onions, garlic, and greens
3. Heat olive oil on stovetop and add the onions and cook until softened
4. Add garlic for 1-2 minutes and then add greens and cook until wilted
5. While everything is being sautéed, combine the eggs, cheese, yogurt, and milk
6. Once the veggies are cooked add to dairy mixture and then pour into pie crust
7. Bake for 50-55 minutes until filling is congealed and starting to brown
8. Serve warm or reheat leftovers
Check out the other delicious creations by my fellow Reduxers!
It’s that time of year for outdoor picnics and grilling! While I did not personally grill my burgers you totally could and I’m certain they would be just as delicious! To be honest…. Usually I’m not in love with my meat based recipes, but this one is a huge winner…. never have I tasted such a delicious chicken burger! Usually chicken or turkey burgers are dry or crumbly but these babies are super moist (sorry had to use that word). My husband told me they were a top 5 thing I’ve ever made! This is high praise because I certainly cook a ton and my husband is always my taste tester… he even told me he didn’t want to share them with me. You could go the traditional route and serve on a bun but I really enjoyed eating mine on top of greens with my delicious non mayo coleslaw- check out both recipes! Seriously go make these, you won’t be disappointed!
Apple Cheddar Chicken Burgers
2 lbs ground chicken (or turkey)
8 oz cheddar cheese ( I used Cabot Sharp Cheddar)
1 medium yellow onion
½ tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp garlic powder
1 TBSP dried parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1. Grate cheese, apple, and onion
2. Combine with turkey and spices
3. Mix thoroughly with hands until just combined
4. Heat oil on stovetop, medium heat
5. Form mixture into small patties
6. Cook each patty for 5 minutes on each side or until cooked all the way through (use meat thermometer)
½ head green cabbage
½ red purple cabbage
3 TBSP white balsamic vinegar
2 TBSP olive oil
1 TBSP honey
1 TBSP Dijon mustard
1 TBSP lemon juice
¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional)
1. Chop cabbage
2. Measure remaining ingredients
3. Combine all ingredients in a bowl with a lid and shake until the cabbage is thoroughly coated
Do you like chicken/turkey burgers or prefer veggie or beef burgers? I like them all-depends on my mood! Mayo based slaw or mayo free? I'm team mayo free for sure!
I feel like every week is a big to do list. Well actually it usually is… between catching up from my 2 week vacation in May … and starting a new very part time job (more on this soon!) there has been a lot of work the past month. Plus I started training for my triathlon when I got back from vacation. And one thing kept going wrong after another (some more serious than others).
I wish there was time on the weekends to relax but here are my next several weekends: sister’s graduation in Pittsburgh, bachelorette weekend at the beach, wedding in Pittsburgh, triathlon in Philly, wedding in Philly, wedding in Philly, wedding in upstate NY, wedding in Annapolis, sister’s graduation party in Pittsburgh, triathlon in NJ, beach trip to DE. I think that’s all I know…. That brings me to mid-August… good bye summer. Although all these events are things I love and I’m super excited about that doesn’t mean it isn’t a little stressful having no free time and doing so much traveling. Not to mention the costs! Ahhhhh :/
So you probably won’t be seeing a ton of new recipes or posts… I like to do most of recipe picture taking on weekends so I have natural light, but when you’re not home on weekends that becomes a struggle. During the week after I get home from work dinner is all about quick and easy… I’m making sure I’m fueling my 3+ hour workouts for tri training but coming up with new and creative recipes isn’t really that high on the priority list.
Just wanted to let everyone know that there’s a lot going on right now and I’m not ignoring the blog but generating fresh content might not happen every week this summer. Especially recipes! Please feel free to visit my race or workout archives for fitness inspiration and check out my well organized recipe archives to find whatever you are craving. As always, follow me on Instagram to keep up with my daily life and activities.
Some reads that I’ve really been enjoying lately: motivational, informational, educational, and most importantly-interesting!
PS I was too lazy to take pictures from the articles and then cite where they were from so I just used some of my own random pictures, enjoy! (And yes I have a slightly obsession with my new bike).
We all know how much I love probiotics… I’ve been on a huge kombucha kick lately but before that I was all about the kefir!
More reason to never skip a meal (in case you ever needed one!):
Pretty much sums up how I would feel if I ever tried the paleo diet:
Dehydration is something I have had serious issues with in the past… which is why you never see me without a water bottle now. Even if you’re not as obsessed with water as I am make sure you check out these tips to stay safe this summer!
Baffled by the “use by” or “sell by” dates meanings? Here you go:
I hate when someone says they don’t eat any processed foods… they are likely lying. Obviously minimally processed foods are generally better but just watch how you are using the word” processed”!!
This lady is my hero:
And this guy is my other hero:
What have you been reading lately? Anything interesting for nutrition, fitness, or food? Share in the comments!
Less than 4 weeks until my first triathlon of the year! This will be my 5th so I’m no veteran but I’d consider myself above novice status (for the most part). After a great open water swim Saturday morning with ETA Coach and then a preview of the bike course on Sunday, I’m feeling pretty good. The main thing I need to work now is brick workouts- I haven’t done any yet, gasp! But with a month left to train I should be able to build up in time for race day!
Anyways… today’s post.. if you’re doing your first tri you may have Googled “first triathlon tips” or “triathlon tips.” I’m guessing the typical variety will come up- check out the course before the race, practice transitions, wear your race clothes for training, practice fueling, learn how to sight, etc. These are the more obvious things… here is a list of things that helped me that some people may not think of…. Some I thought of in advance, some I learned the hard way, and some are things I’ve picked up along the way.
1. Bring an extra pair of goggles (and hair tie!)- just imagine losing your goggles or breaking them before the start, the swim would be awful, just have an extra pair, they don’t even need to be new!
2. Take your wetsuit off inside out to save time- unzip, pull sleeves off inside out and push down, step on to get all the way off.
3. Practice swimming in open water before race day- ok this is a pretty obvious tip but I have an amendment to it- practice swimming in the pool with your eyes closed to simulate not being able to see anything in the open water (not the whole time, but try a few laps).
4. Know some very basic bike mechanics- putting your chain back on properly would’ve helped me in my first tri ever (Tri Rock Philly Sprint) and in the NJ State Tri the following year.
5. Double knot your shoes- seems obvious but when you’re rushing out of transition you sometimes forget
6. Wear your ankle timing chip on your left foot- this keeps it from tangling with the equipment on the right
7. Stay to the far side of the markers and towards the back if you’re anxious of crowds during the swim- aka avoid the crowds… people swimming over you and on top of you sucks bad and is super scary if you are not a strong swimmer, just take the time to go a little bit further uninterrupted.
8. Use electric tape to make fuel accessible on the bike- hopefully I don’t need explain the necessity of taking in fuel for a triathlon or remind you not to litter!
9. Train and complain with friends- I honestly don’t think I would’ve ever dared to enter the intimidating sport of triathlon if not for my friends, they served as awesome support systems and it was so much fun having that experience together (much love to LB and MG)!
10. Remind yourself that you’re not being paid to race- it’s okay to take your time and just enjoy the experience- it’s awesome!!!
If you have any tips for first timers (or in general) please share in the comments! Ever done a triathlon?! Any interest in trying one!?
Okay I know the past 3 weeks I haven’t been posting as much and that was mostly due to vacation and then getting back on track post vacation…. But I think I’m pretty settled now and should be back on track finally! Today I make it up to you with healthy "fudge"!
Fudge… who doesn’t love fudge!? When I think of fudge…. I think of going to a special candy shop or bakery, getting a huge block and eating too much of it and feeling sick. Traditional fudge has a ton of sugar…. Very rarely do I want all that sugar- enter making fudge at home and adding in healthy ingredients. Plus it’s completely sugar free- naturally sweetened with dates! This homemade fudge is sugar free, is vegan, gluten free, and paleo friendly. The perfect nutrient dense summer dessert or even snack!
1 cup dates
1 cup cashews
2 TBSP cocoa powder
¼ cup chia seeds
¼ cup cacao nibs
1. Soak the dates for about 1 hour in warm water to soften them, and then pit them
2. Combine all ingredients in high speed blender or food processor and evenly combine
3. Spread in pan and freeze, cut into fudge sized pieces and store back in fridge or freezer (I keep mine in the freezer because it lasts longer and is super cold)
What’s one of you favorite summer desserts!? I need to bust out some Popsicle recipes soon!
I'm Jess- a Philly based Registered Dietitian who loves to share healthy recipes, evidence based nutrition information, fun workouts, and race recaps! Click the social media icons at the top of the page to follow me on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter!