Did I set January Goals?

I really have NO idea!

Which means that I have to go back looking through my blog in search of January goals.  I mean it’s mid February already, I probably should have figured this out.  I know that I did set my 2014 intentions with an exciting new bucket list.  But can’t remember any January, or February for that matter goals.

 

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Search complete…Hope you enjoyed the view.

It seems that I never set January and February goals, which is why I can’t remember what they are : )  I’m thinking that I do want to keep going with the monthly goals this year, which means that I need to get thinking. 

 

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Meanwhile, I will just share a recipe with you.  You all know how much I LOVED eating Flax and Chia Bowls last winter!

 

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Which got me thinking…what if I subbed in sweet potato instead of banana?

 

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The result was today’s breakfast, and it was really flavorful, filling, and satisfying!  Sadly, I have no finished pictures to share (the ones above are from the night before), because they don’t really do this breakfast any justice.  Like last winter, I’ve been running intervals around the indoor track for cardio during the cold and dark mornings.  Tuesday it was descending ladders and this morning, I threw some intervals into the end of my run.

This breakfast always hits the spot after a tough morning workout!

 

 

Sweet Potato, Chia, and Flax Bowl

 

Ingredients

1/2 cooked sweet potato, mashed

12 g chia seeds

1 heaping spoonful of ground flax

1 tsp or more pumpkin pie spice

1/2 cup almond milk

Optional: honey, agave, or sweetener of your choice

 

Directions

-Combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir well.

-Place in fridge over night.

-Serve the next morning topped with berries or granola.

 

 

And…Let’s just call these my Mid February and March Goals

1. Decrease Sugar Intake

2. Build Strength

3. Play Tennis

4. Sign up for Races

 

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Yup, that’s the gym parking lot this morning.  Yuck!

Under the Grey Clouds

We’ve hit the ultimate low with lack of food in our house.  I’m not exactly sure how this happened because I did go to the grocery store (two I think) this past weekend but we are basically out of veggies and protein.  We do have plenty of fresh fruit though.  As I took a quick break from the Hawk’s game last night to prepare today’s food, trying to keep my eyes open from exhaustion, this was blatantly clear!

 

I typically use the the week night’s to prep for the day ahead.  This means picking out my clothes and making breakfast (if needed) in order to be as quick as possible getting out the door in the morning.  Last night as I thought about what to eat for my pre run breakfast, running through my typical list, I realized that I didn’t have many options.  No oatmeal, oats, bread, cooked quinoa etc.  I do have eggs, but Thursday mornings are early up and out the door so no time for eggs.  What I did have was a cooked sweet potato and a love of this Chia and Flax Bowl.  Well…I figured I’d give it a try.  And then packed up a LaraBar as a back up!

 

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First step, I mashed up my sweet potato and added in some banana.

 

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Then measured out the rest of my ingredients.  For Overnight Oats and Chia Bowls, I tend to use the scale for easy clean up.

 

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Breakfast went into the fridge and I went back to the couch to watch the Hawk’s overtime.  Thank you Hawks for scoring (again) because I was definitely ready for bed!  Bright and early (ok, maybe just early because it’s not really bright at 5:45am), I was downstairs curious about my breakfast.

 

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I was meeting a friend for an indoor interval run at the track.  We both ran the Soldier Field 10 Miler this weekend but were eager to get back to our weekly workouts.

 

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I ate half of my surprisingly tasty breakfast in the car on the way to the track.  No LaraBar needed!!!  I’m a huge fan of the texture common in chia seed bowls and anything with sweet potatoes makes me happy.  I got to the gym late and found my friend running along the track.  We started a 90 second push/90 second recovery interval workout which lasted about 15 minutes before my coworker needed to head off to work.  I had an extra 15 minutes before I needed to shower, so I ran at an easy pace.  Although 30 minutes was a little shorter of a workout than I had planned, after my busy weekend and Tuesday swim, it was enough.

 

I worked my second 11-12 hour work day in a row.  At one point today, we had a quick and crazy rain shower, but the skies cleared by the time I left work at  7:45pm.

 

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The clouds were incredible (they looked like fireworks) when I walked out of my office.  As I was sitting in intense construction traffic, there was another dense cloud off to the side.  I was feeling silly for taking pictures at the stop light until I realized that the person behind me was also taking pictures and the people to my left were pointing at the cloud.

 

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I don’t think the picture does the depth and size justice!  There were blue skies ahead and unique clouds at every stop light.

 

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I drove home with the windows down listening to the Lumineers CD trying to unwind after a LONG day.  About 3 miles before my exit on the highway, the skies ahead were jet black and you could see the line where the clouds changed from light to dark.

 

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We had a huge grey cloud hanging over our city!

 

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I walked in the door just as the first drops began to fall.

 

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The sky this evening was astonishing!  And I just added this last picture because I thought it turned out pretty cool.  The symbolism of the grey cloud was not lost on me.  Despite seeing the darkness under tonight’s cloud, I knew that the clouds would soon move on over another city and when I wake up tomorrow there will be blue skies ahead…followed by an amazing weekend.  Hooray for my girls only slumber party!  And maybe a trip to the grocery store for more food : )  Luckily, I have another half of sweet potato to remake this breakfast again for tomorrow!

 

 

Sweet Potato Chia Bowl

 

Ingredients

1/2 sweet potato, baked and mashed

1/2-1 banana, mashed

2 tbsp ground flax

2 tbsp chia seeds

1-2 tsp cinnamon

dash of vanilla

1/2 cup almond milk

 

Directions

Combine all ingredients and stir well.  Place in refrigerator overnight.

In the morning, stir, top with your favorite flavors, fruits, and nuts, and enjoy!

 

 

Do you run out of food by the end of the week?

Do you ever contemplate the clouds?

Banana + Chocolate + Chia

Even though morning comes quickly, my days are full, work is busy, and my commute sucks, I try real hard to make time during the work week for things I enjoy.  This isn’t always easy and takes planning.  Sometimes it’s big things, like dinner with the girls and sometimes, it’s the little things like watching a TV show with the BOY.  Exercise is also a big priority!  Although recently I’ve only been getting in 4x week.  My Thursdays used to be an easy day to get in an AM workout, but since I made some schedule changes, this has become harder.  I was venting about this to some friends at work when one of them said that it’s tough but sometimes you just have to get up before 6am.

 

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What?  Yea Right!  Okay, actually she was right!  And when she mentioned Wednesday night that she would be hitting the indoor track EARLY on Thursday, I said I’d be there.  I began pulling out my workout clothes and packing my gym bag shortly after walking in the door.  And then moved on to the next day’s EATS.

 

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My recent favorite has been this Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl.  It is seriously the best and leaves tons of room for creativity!  Megan made this amazing Chocolate Chia Protein Bowl, and I loved the idea of adding some chocolate, so I did!  I stirred in some cacao powder (who doesn’t love chocolate and banana?) Wednesday night and added a light sprinkle of granola Thursday morning before hitting the road.

 

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The track is near our office, so I snacked on a few bites of breakfast before my run, saving the rest for afterwards.  It was a gorgeous morning that would have been perfect for an outdoor winter run!  But I was happy to find my friend and motivator already running laps around the indoor track.

 

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We kept a nice pace and it was fun to have company for my early morning run!  It was exactly what my sore legs needed after Tuesday’s speed intervals.  I was only sad that we had to cut it short to get ready for work.  I would have much preferred an hour at Starbucks first!  But then again, who wouldn’t?!

 

 

Banana Chocolate Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

 

Ingredients

1 banana

1-2 tbsp flax

2 tbsp chia

2 tbsp cacao powder

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1 cup almond milk

Toppings

 

Directions

Mash your banana well.  Stir in the flax, chia, cacao, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with berries, granola, nut butters, etc.

Ch Ch Chia-What’s the Hype?

As I was creating, devouring, and sharing this incredible breakfast bowl, I was surprised to see how many people weren’t familiar with chia seeds.

 

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What are Chia Seeds?

 

Chia is a member of the mint family that grows abundantly in southern Mexico.  These seeds are rich in Omega-3 Fatty Acids and antioxidants, and they also provide calcium, fiber, iron, and magnesium.  Chia seeds were an important energy source for Mayans, Incas and other ancient cultures, and remain a dietary staple in  many South and Central American countries.

 

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Why Eat Chia Seeds?

 

The benefits of chia seeds, also known as salvia hispanica, are plentiful!  Chia seeds can be eaten raw or in a variety of recipes.  Many people even drink them in their favorite juices and smoothies.  Chia seeds are important in hydration.  They can hold 9x their weight in water, which is why they have caught the attention of distance runners.

 

Chia also…

* Provides energy
* Boosts strength
* Bolsters endurance
* Levels blood sugar
* Induces weight loss
* Aids intestinal regularity

 

 

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What Should You Do with Chia?

 

My favorite way to eat chia seeds is for breakfast before a long run.  I love Overnight Oats and of course the Dough Boy Smoothie.  My newest discovery is this Breakfast Chia Bowl.  Chia is a wonderful addition to smoothies and shakes and it’s texture, when mixed with water, lends itself to gels and puddings.

 

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Here are some new recipes to try…

 

Chia Pomegranate Pudding

From Dr. Oz

 

1 oz ground chia seeds

3/4 cup pomegranate juice

 

Directions

Mix ingredients together in small bowl. Let sit for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 

 

Chia Tea

10 oz of your favorite iced tea
1 tablespoon chia seeds
Sweeten to taste

 

Directions
Stir chia seeds into tea for about 10 minutes, and enjoy.

 

 

Chia Ice Pops (this is great for hot summer runs)

1 c frozen strawberries
1 c frozen mango chunks
.5 c orange juice
1/3 c chia seeds
1/4 c water

 

Directions

Processes all ingredients in a high powered blender and liquefy. Pour into ice-cube or popsicle molds, and freeze.

 

 

Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding

From Shape Magazine

 

1/4 cup of chia seeds
3/4 cup of almond milk
1 tbsp. cocoa powder
Small spoonful of sugar (1 – 2 tsp.)

 

Directions
Combine chia seeds and almond milk. Stir in cocoa powder and sugar. Let sit for 30 minutes or overnight until mixture has thickened. Stir and enjoy!

 

 

Raw Spring Power Applesauce

From Raw Vegan Chef

 

2 cups baby spinach, gently packed

3 apples, cored and chopped

1/4 cup chia seeds

juice from 2 oranges

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

dash ground nutmeg

 

Directions

Put all of the ingredients in a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade.

Briefly process until the ingredients resemble chunky applesauce.

Enjoy! (Note: if you wait 10-15 minutes before serving, the chia seeds will gel with the orange juice for a brilliant texture.)

 

 

More Recipes…

Chia Chipotle Bean Burgers

Chia Fresca From Oh She Glows!

Crockpot Apple Crumble Breakfast Pudding

Whipped Banana Scottish Oats

Honey Whole Wheat Chia Seed Pancakes from PB Fingers

Chia Energy Bars from No Meat Athlete

Chia Margarita

 

Do you eat chia seeds?

What is your favorite chia recipe?

 

 

For more information about Chia Seeds, here are the Top 10 Benefits of Chia Seeds and 10 Unique Uses for Chia Seeds from Wellness Mama.

 

Resources

Dr. Weil

EatRight.org

MyChiaSeeds.com

Natural News

OneGreenPlanet.org

Chia and Flax Breakfast Bowl

Thursday morning used to be an easy morning to get up and out the door for a run or a gym circuit before arriving at work.  Recently, my work schedule has changed and it is totally rocking my workout schedule, which I hate!

 

I knew I wouldn’t have a lot of time Thursday morning for a workout and didn’t want to waste time with transit.  As I was contemplating what to do (outside running was out with a windchill below zero), I remembered doing an awesome and quick home workout at the end of last year.  I looked it up the night before so when I woke up, I could get right to work, no time for excuses.  The workout was much harder than I remembered and by the 3rd round (7 reps each), I was sweaty and out of breath.  I wish I had my HRM because I was curious to see how fast my heart was beating.

 

After the workout, I concluded with a 2:00 minute plank before hopping in the shower and devouring my breakfast.  Best home workout EVER!  I’m still sore today!

 

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For breakfast this week, I have been living on this Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl.  I totally could have made the double batch because I ate it again this morning.  I changed up the recipe a bit and topped it with blueberries and almond butter.

 

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And let me tell you…

 

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This is one incredible tasting breakfast.  The best part is that after eating this at 7am, I was able to make it all the way to lunch at noon without a snack.  That never happens!

 

 

Has anyone tried the chia bowl?  What do you think?

What is your most filling breakfast?

 

 

Banana Chia Breakfast Bowl with Flax

Adapted from Oh She Glows!

 

Ingredients

1 banana

1-2 tbsp flax

2 tbsp chia

1 tsp vanilla

Dash of cinnamon

1/2-3/4 cup almond milk

Toppings

 

Directions

Mash your banana well.  Stir in the flax, chia, vanilla, cinnamon, and milk until well combined.

Cover and refrigerate overnight.

In the morning, top with berries, granola, nut butters, etc.

Not the Only One

I was so happy to learn that I was not the only one who was excited to register for the Chicago Marathon today, wasted 2 hours of my life trying to register for said race, and proceeded to stress out to no end at work for most of the day.  After numerous failed attempts, I did end up getting in (on my cell phone so who knows how accurate it is).  I was thrilled that my perseverance paid off, but shocked to find out that I was registered not once, but twice!  Yikes!  I just checked on the Chicago Marathon site, and it seems that I wasn’t the only person double charged.  I have never heard of such a registration debacle, and I was grateful to be registered (twice) before they postponed registration!

 

Does anyone else have Chicago Marathon registration stories?

 

I spared you the majority of the details about how I ran out of a meeting early, lost internet at work, stalked the St. Jude representative, and almost had a coworker register for me, but I’m sure you get the gist!

 

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Yea, it was pretty dramatic, so let’s rewind a few hours to breakfast…

 

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I tried something NEW!

 

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This Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl is courtesy of Oh She Glows!  It is very similar to Overnight Oats without the oats!

 

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Angela has some great suggestions on toppings, but I added ground flax seed and granola.

 

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I was a big fan of the contrasting textures, and this breakfast was filling.  It was a great pre-run meal (this is saying a lot because I am picky about what I eat pre-run) and kept me energized throughout my 40 minute tempo run at the track.  I must admit that I thought about running outdoors today, for like a split second.  And then I saw the tornadoes of snow swirling around my neighborhood and went to the track instead.

 

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Oatmeal and breakfast bowls are my favorite way to start the day, and I even had this Sweet Potato Dough Boy Smoothie the morning before the Chicago Marathon

I am positive that I am not the only one who will love this breakfast!  I might just have it again tomorrow : )

 

 

Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

From Oh She Glows!

 

Ingredients

2 tbsp chia seeds

3/4 cups almond milk

1 small bananas, chopped small

1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract

two pinches of cinnamon

 

Directions

Mash bananas in a medium-sized bowl. Stir in chia seeds.

Whisk in the almond milk, vanilla, and cinnamon until combined.

Place in fridge overnight to thicken.

In the morning, serve with toppings such as oats, berries, nuts, grains, or nut butters

 

Note: The original recipe is written for two, but here is the half recipe for one!

Loving My Morning Oats

I have been loving the Overnight Oats this week.  I picked up some chia seeds and made the original version and a pumpkin flavored version.  They are easy to eat on my way to work and definitely keep me full until lunch.

This morning, I passed on the run club. I know, I was so excited to get back, but the idea of running an hour in the rain just doesn’t do it for me.  I love to run and will run in a lot of conditions, but the feeling of wet socks and shoes and your clothes sticking to your body.  Yuck!  The sad thing is that I will have to go to the gym and workout indoors (boo rainy April weather).  The interesting thing is that the BOY has expressed interest in coming with me…hmmm…we shall see.  He usually skips breakfast, but he did have 2 Quaker granola bars for ‘energy’.

Since I had the time, I was excited to start my morning with another batch of Scottish Oats.  I used the recipe I made last Saturday, but with some modifications.  For starters, I didn’t have a soft banana.  I did have an apple  though and instead of Cinnamon, I used a fabulous Apple Pie Spice.  I decided nix the first step of grinding my Irish oats into Scottish oats because I wasn’t sure if it made a difference.  This was a mistake. It definitely makes a difference!  This morning’s oats were tasty, but I think the added banana makes a huge difference in texture.  Also, the oats took longer to cook and I had a few chewy ones (because I didn’t process them beforehand).  Next time, I will definitely pull out the mini food processor.

I am hoping for a little more sunshine tomorrow so that I can take my NEW bike out with the cycle club!  I’m off to the gym…alone or with a workout buddy???  I still don’t know!