Archive for July 2010

My Big Fat Greek Yogurt

July 24, 2010

Happy weekend everyone!

I took some pictures last night to demonstrate how I strain regular yogurt to make it “greek”.  This makes it thick, delicious, and higher in protein!

I start with one of my “favorite things”, Stonyfield yogurt!  I typically use two quarts, one fat free plain and the other low fat plain, but it really depends on what the store has.

First, you’ll need to set up a strainer in a big bowl, deep enough so that the bottom of the strainer doesn’t touch the bottom of the bowl.  Then, line it with some cheesecloth, I found a great reusable brand at Whole Foods.

Then it’s time to scoop the yogurt into the contraption…

Wait, save that lid!  Stonyfield has a great rewards program, so save the lid and enter the code! (tip: the quarts’ lids are worth 4 points, the singles are only worth 1!)

(don’t bother using this code, I already did 😉  )

after one quart…

all full!  I recommend you fold up the edges of the cheesecloth before placing it in the fridge so there’s no mess made in the fridge

After several hours, you’ll find:

Whey!  No way!  I usually just dump it out…I don’t know of other uses?
I usually let it “greekify” overnight and part of the day, but you may strain it as long or as little as you like.  It’ll end up like this:

Yes, it’s that thick!

Then I divide it into 4 8-ounce portions, usually one is more or less, depending on how long I strained.

(I don’t mind that some of the containers are for the wrong season 🙂 )

Then I break out my trusty food processor to start adding the fruit!

First up is apple…

Two small organic gala apples…bye bye!

I’m not surprised it ended up being too big for the container…easy fix!

Next up is another attempt to use up the remaining blueberries from our 5-pound box!

Next up is a juicy peach and some defrosted cherries!

And finally an orange!

Frothy!

Well there you have it, folks!  I always make an apple yogurt and an orange yogurt, but the other flavors just come with whatever fruit we have fresh.  Please feel free to ask questions and soon I’ll feature my yogurt’s best friend, GRANOLA!

There’s a Monster in the Kitchen!

July 22, 2010

I had good ‘ol hill repeats on the plan for my run this morning.  I did about a 4.3 mile warmup and then 8 x 150m hill repeats.  There was a street cleaner going down the streets, I think I got in his way…oops.  Well, maybe I gave him a nice show 🙂

The splits are kind of weird to divide up so I’ll just forgo those today.  I actually ended up running exactly 6.2 miles – a 10k!

After stretching and hip strengthening, it was time for my recovery food and to feature one of my “favorite things”.

Chocolate Graham Cracker Monster Recovery Smoothie

I have already posted a similar smoothie recipe, but this a slight variation

I’ll start off by saying that I have just a normal-joe blender, no fancy Vita-mix (which I do want to get someday…)

Into the blender goes 1 cup milk, 1 scoop Chocolate Amazing Grass, 2tsp Almond Butter, and 1-2 cups of spinach.

Bing bing!  Is that Chocolate Amazing Grass I hear?

So as you can see, this stuff is pretty amazing (no pun intended).  It is a bit on the pricey side, but totally worth it.   Throw some of that healthfulness into your blender now!

(It’s a one tablespoon scoop).  I get a lot of questions about taste.  It’s a little too grassy on it’s own with just milk, but I think it’s perfect when added to a smoothie!

So blend up those ingredients!

The spinach may not all blend in right away…

But after a bit of encouragement (and patience) it will!

After that’s well blended, I added 3 ‘chunks’ of banana that I pre-froze.  It probably equals about 1/2 a banana’s worth.

Blend blend blend blend!!

Ahh!  Look at that monster!!

It really tastes like a chocolate graham cracker.  Back in the day, my favorite snack was 3-4 graham crackers crumbled up in a bowl with milk!  This smoothie is a delicious and nutritious blend of protein, carbs, and fat along with  plenty of nutrients, making it a perfect recovery snack or anytime snack!  Enjoy 🙂  but watch out for green mustaches!  And stay tuned for more “favorite things” to be featured!

These Are a Few of My Favorite Things

July 21, 2010

Hey everyone, hope your week is going well so far. For today, I’m excited to announce a new series I’ll be posting over the next several days! I selected my favorite food products and I plan to review (both nutritionally and taste-wise) and show you fun ways to use them. Here’s a preview:
What we have here are:

  • Natural whole-wheat sandwich thins
  • Vitamin water
  • Larabar and Lunabar (see reviews here!)
  • Cinnamon Raisin Ezekiel Bread
  • Archer Farms Granola
  • Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
  • Plain Stonyfield Organic Yogurt
  • Zevia Natural Diet Soda
  • Chocolate Amazing Grass Superfood

side note:  I tried to pick products that I use at least 2-3 times a week, if not daily.  I also tried to pick ‘unique’ products that maybe you’ve never heard about or may have hear about and have an interest to see a review of.

That’s our line-up!  Stay tuned for details, and please comment on which foods you’d like to see reviewed first!

Let’s turn to running.  I’ve been increasing my mileage and start doing more speed work.  So far I’ve done 2 10-mile long runs, both went really well.  My easy days are becoming less frequent and my weight lifting is getting better.  I’m still not running as fast as I’d like, I’ve just been slow and sluggish, but it really depends on the weather too.  So far my soreness has been minimal and my injuries non-existent (*knock on wood*).  I’m going for a 50-mile week! Yikes!

As far as news that’s neither food nor running related, I received my Macbook Pro in the mail yesterday!  It’s really cool, but I’m still using my PC at least for the rest of the summer.  It came with a free iTouch, woohoo!

I have three questions for you all:

1.  What are some of your favorite food products?  Which products should I review first?

2.  How’s your summer running been going lately?

3.  Are you a Mac or PC?

Nothing to do=Food Reviews

July 14, 2010

Just another lazy summer day. I did my usual 6 mile route this morning, but it was so hot and humid, plus I was a bit sore, so in other words, it went a lot slower than my speedier run yesterday, which is fine. I did 8 x 100m strides at the end, as per my college training plan. I rehydrated, made a smoothie, and went off to the gym for a little weight lifting, hip strengthening, and ab work. I felt sort of dizzy on the way home, like my eyes couldn’t focus. So I whipped up some lunch to see if that would help.

I had a can of tuna in the fridge that I knew I need to start finishing, along with some peppers we grilled last night. So I thought, why not a tuna and pepper wrap? It sounds weird, but it turned out pretty good. I mixed some tuna with a dollop of plain yogurt and spread that on a tortilla, along with splotches of Amy’s salsa, and finally the grilled peppers.

I had two of those, along with Spinach salad, a vitamin water, and coffee.

I still didn’t feel too good, so I napped for about 45 minutes. I woke up with an unpleasant taste in my mouth, but felt a little better. I decided to do my Larabar reviews, so head on over the right there to check them out! Writing the reviews made me hungry, so I grabbed a snack. I had two small slices of great harvest bread (because two small slices are better than one big one!) with peanut butter and simply fruit strawberry preserves.
Also some Advil, to help that headache.  Have a great day, and check out the reviews!

Picking It Up

July 13, 2010

I had a fabulous run this morning!  I did my typical 6-mile route, but felt speedier today.  Even though I worked until 10pm last night, I didn’t feel exhausted and maybe the 70 degree weather with a light drizzle helped.  Or could it be the awesome shorts I wore?

nikestore.com

I confess, I have a nike short obsession.  I even took a picture of them, but I warn you, it’s pretty ridiculous…

I thought the middle was missing something, so I placed my Garmin in there 🙂   Yep, that’s 22 pairs of shorts, if I counted correctly, plus 1 more pair because I’ve bought another since taking this picture, of course.

Here are my splits:

Mile 1-8:08

Mile 2-8:09

Mile 3-8:18

Mile 4-7:57

Mile 5-7:59

Mile 6-7:54

Now I’ve got a whole day of NOTHING ahead…must find something to do!  How about I start some Larabar and Lunabar reviews?  Being that I’ve tried almost every flavor and have eaten 100s, I figure it’d be a great post to make!

Check back later for those, and hope your runs go as well as mine did 🙂

10 miles, Infinite Smiles

July 10, 2010

Happy Saturday!  I woke up at 7am and knew that I had to set out on my run early to beat the heat, so I climbed out of bed.  My plan was to hit 10 miles and I decided that I would do my typical 6 mile route plus a 4 mile route that I know.  It overall went really well, I took it nice and easy, and stopped at my house  mid routes to grab a sip of smartwater and a clif shot that I stuck in my mailbox.  Here’s my splits!

Mile 1 8:39

Mile 2 8:59

Mile 3 9:07

Mile 4 9:13

Mile 5 9:19

Mile 6 9:08

Mile 7 8:59

Mile 8 8:59 (I’m strangely good at always getting a twin split…)

Mile 9 8:15

Mile 10 7:58 (felt good to type a 7!)

Total 1:28:59

My goal was to have around a 9-minute pace, and I felt good too, so that’s really all that mattered.  It also brought my weekly mileage to 45!  And only 5 miles of that is elliptical, all the rest is running, woohoo!  Overall I feel pretty good, sore in a few spots, but nothing serious.  My appetite is very powerful today too, and I’ve been treating it well!  I don’t have any fun food pics for ya’ll today, but I’ve been having a fooderific weekend so far.  My mom and I went to our city’s farmer’s market earlier today and bought a lot of delicious vegetables.  Then, I got to go to my favorite health food store (kind of like a mini Whole Foods) and bought a bunch of Luna Bars and Kashi bars for .99 and some more root beer Zevia.  I also bought some stuff for college at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  I have to work from 4-10 tonight, I’m sure I’ll be dead by the time I get home, at least I know I’m working with a few of the fun people 🙂

I hope you’re all having a great weekend so far!

Baking in the Oven and Baking Outside

July 7, 2010

Whew!  We’ve had several 90 degree days this week, I’m tempted to fry an egg on the sidewalk!

I had a few friends over to my lake cottage for the 4th of July and of course I had to bake some goodies for them.  First, I made Skinny Mini Glo-Buns.  Something about cinnamon rolls just sounded so good, and this recipe was quite a healthy re-make.  I know you want pictures…

(ignore the two odd looking ones, they’re the end pieces and I didn’t have the heart to not bake them as well!)

I was very pleased with how they came out and they were really fun to make.  I glazed them with a milk+powdered sugar frosting before I served them.

Next up to bat are the Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip Muffins!

I followed the Sunspire recipe, but used canola oil instead of butter, whole-wheat pastry flour, and reduced the sugar a bit.  Here they come…

(yes, those are Christmas muffin liners, but they’re both holidays, right?)

They came out a bit…bumpy, but smelled delicious!  They tasted great, courtesy of the chocolate chips, but the peanut flavor wasn’t as pronounce as I had hoped.  When I commented about the peanut butter, one of my friend said “There’s peanut butter in here?”.  I just had to laugh!

Another thing I really liked about these recipes is that it did not make a ton, which was perfect for our 8-person party.  We still had leftovers though, which was fine with me 🙂

I hope to update more frequently, post more runs and eats.  Right now, I’m having issues with my Garmin.  I plugged it into my computer 2 days ago and my Training Center was cleared and it didn’t recognize the user on my Garmin.  So if anyone out there knows about this problem, please help!