Reset

Greetings from New York City where the current time is 9:51pm. My body feels and thinks it is 3:51am however since I’m still very much on Europe time after spending 13 days on that time zone. You know what’s really fun though? Flying out to the Pacific Northwest tomorrow at 6am so my body can be really, really confused.

Yup, by the time I land in New York City Friday evening, I will have logged 21,000 miles in less than a week. That is insane and hard to fathom. What’s even harder to fathom is having a super, strong PR worthy 10k race on Saturday morning during the New York Road Runner’s Oakley 10K.

Instead of throwing in the towel on this race, I’m doing the opposite and revving up my system for a great race by focusing on myself this week even though I’ll be traveling. This means plenty of sleep, back on the vitamin and supplement wagon, strong but efficient workouts, stretching, and smart eating and drinking choices. It won’t always be easy but I know that a PR will feel sweeter than any late nights or 3rd glasses of wine. You see that? I’m not being silly and saying no wine, I’m saying moderation.

Here’s how I started the reset process today in between a long work day and an evening filled with both fun and tedious errands including another shellac manicure, long line at the post office, dry cleaning, and meeting with the movers (!!!?!).

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From top:

Peach Protein Oats including 1/2 c rolled oats, 1 tsp cinnamon, 1/2 tsp almond extract, 1 scoop Designer Whey vanilla protein powder, water, and 2/3 c peaches.

Salad #1 for lunch including mixed greens, beets, red onions, grilled chicken, egg whites, apples, tomatoes, salt & pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.

Speed workout on the treadmill is the perfect way to end a long day when torrential rains force me inside. Today I did 1/2 mile pick ups (6.2, 6.4, 6.2, 6.5, 6.2, 6.7) for a speedy 5k while jamming to Justin Timberlake, Usher, Ludacris, and Icona Pop.

Salad #2 for dinner including a large bowl of mixed greens, walnuts, tomatoes, grapes, strawberries, beets, red onions, egg, tomatoes, salt & pepper, 1/2 portion blue cheese, and light balsamic vinaigrette.

I also stuck guzzled over 64 ounces of water today and limited my caffeine to one cup of coffee around 3pm when my body and mind were both hitting a jet lag slump.

We’ll see if I can keep this up beginning tomorrow morning when I hope on a plane out west. Goal #1 is to drink at least 3 bottles of water during flight and baby my calf muscles with compression socks.

If you could fly anywhere tomorrow, free of charge, what would be your destination of choice? Mine would be New Zealand or Australia! Both countries have been top of our list for ages but are such a trek and quite expensive!

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March Intuitive Eating Challenge: Day 1 Food

March 1st is finally here! It’s time to kick off a new month where I’ll be able to spend the month focusing on my upcoming half marathon, spending time with friends and Bo in NYC since I’m not traveling and getting in touch with my eating. It’s hard to believe that we’re not traveling once during this five weekend month!

Over the past few months my eating has improved ten fold. I’ve learned to think before I begin stress eating and have pretty much stopped thinking about foods as not being allowed and instead having them in moderation. But, no one is perfect. This week I reached in the office candy jar more than one time and found myself having more processed foods than fruits and vegetables. But, today is March 1st and with Jamie’s coaching I look forward to focusing time on intuitive eating.

Our first challenge today was to give ourselves permission to eat what we want. While that can be scary, I was pleased with how I did and ended the day feeling great!

Breakfast was my take on bircher muesli which included 1 cup of Chobani 0% plain yogurt, 1/3 cup of museli, and a sliced banana. It’s definitely not as delicious as the version I ate in Geneva but I know having the greek yogurt provides me with less sugar and more protein than a creamier, less thick yogurt. On the side, I sipped a cappuccino. Choosing this instead of a coffee gives me far more pleasure and protein; its more of an experience.   It’s the little details that make me love a warm, frothy cup of cappuccino. Check out this morning’s pattern!

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Lunch was a salad from Toasties since I forgot my packed lunch in the refrigerator! Oops! This salad is one of my favorites, mixing many different textures and flavors. Baby spinach is topped with brussels sprouts, red onions, chopped tomatoes, celery, grapes, beets, grilled chicken, and a half serving of blue cheese. It was delicious and lasted over an hour!

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My craving for crunch forced my hand to grab a bag of Popchips Salt & Pepper on the side. Say what you want about these but I love there tiny size and the fact that they are portion controlled.

Later in the afternoon I enjoyed my fifth grapefruit of the week along with a handful of almonds. I’ve been craving this tart citrus everyday and find that it gives me a little afternoon pep!2013-03-01 15.53.27

After a day of healthy eating, when the choice came to detoxing a long week over a happy hour or yoga it was an easy decision! I’ve heard Theodora rave about Laughing Lotus for the past month and finally tried it for myself tonight. We actually experienced Laughing Lotus for the first time this summer when we took a class in Times Square led by Dana Trixie Flynn, one of the founders!

I made it downtown in record time and was on my mat by 5pm ready to melt the stress away. Tonight’s class was brand new for March and therefore there were only 6 people in class. A small yoga class is my favorite as it means lots of adjustments! The Level 1 Lotus Hour allowed me to stretch and relax without pushing my body to the point of sweat, exhaustion, or soreness for tomorrow’s run. I could definitely tell that my hips and quads are tighter than normal which is to be expected since I haven’t practiced yoga lately and I’ve been pushing my body in different ways through Barry’s Bootcamp and speed work.

Lotus Class Deals

Their first time special, 30 days for $39 was too good to refuse so I’m hoping to join Theodora for at least one class a week during March!

Intuitive eating, yoga, and a half marathon PR could make this a pretty amazing month. Here’s to hoping everything works out!

How about you? What is your focus this March?

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Diet to Go Review

Sometimes my busy schedule doesn’t allow for me or Bo to cook a full meal each night. We do our best to cook at least 3 times per week but the rest of the nights, what we have for dinner is anyone’s guess. Tonight, for example, I chose to push my legs through 4 fast miles next to Bo on the treadmill instead of cooking dinner. Instead of takeout or ordering in, we opted for filling smoothies.

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Since I’d just finished a pretty tough 4 mile run at higher than normal paces, I added some much needed protein via almonds to this smoothie. Having a smoothie for dinner is something I crave but it has to pack in significant calories in order to help my body recover after the workout.

The rest of the time, the ad-hoc dinners aren’t always the easiest. Therefore, when Diet to Go, a new to me meal delivery service, offered to send me some of their meals to review I jumped at the offer. Breakfast, lunch and dinner delivered to my door step just in time for a busy week before traveling to Geneva? It sounded like a dream come true! After studying their website, I got even more excited.

  • They have multiple types of meal plans including traditional, low fat, low carb and vegetarian.
  • They were just voted #1 in a national taste test by Epicurious
  • The meals can be frozen for up to a month or  they also last 5-6 days in the refrigerator.
  • Their site allows you to customize and make substitutions to your deliver meal plan based on needs

But, the real test would come when I was able to finally taste the meals. I’ve never been a huge fan of frozen meals due primarily to the high sodium, lack of flavor, small portions, and lack of protein or nutrients. I was a bit hesitant to give these meals a try as I figured I’d look like a bloated balloon due to the sodium.

But, I figured that I’d give it a try and enjoy the leisure of not having to think about breakfast, lunch or dinner during a busy week.

Diet to Go collage

 Here’s a glance of the meals I had the opportunity to try:

Breakfast

  • Cranapple muffin, cran-orange cream cheese, orange
  • Whole wheat monte cristo, raspberry maple syrup, citrus yogurt salad
  • Fajita omelet

Lunch

  • Waldorf chicken salad, V-8, snack mix
  • Pretzel and broccoli cheddar soup
  • Fish sandwich, apple

Dinner

  • Chicken stir-fry
  • Old fashioned meatloaf
  • Quesadilla

So, what’d I think when all was said and done? The meals definitely delivered on protein and flavor but I questioned the amount of sugar and sodium. Some of the breakfasts included syrups, cream cheese, and jams that I just felt unnecessary. In addition, a few of the sides such as an apple, V-8, or carrots would be difficult to freeze and enjoy later even though they advertise that the meals can be frozen or kept in the refrigerator. I don’t think I’d choose to use Diet to Go for all my meals but I can certainly see the benefit to having a few frozen dinners in the fridge for nights like tonight.

How about you? Have you ever relied on frozen meals as easy options or do you make your own frozen meals?

Interested in trying it out for yourself? They’re also offering 20% off through 1/31 and giving away 1,000 meals on Facebook.

 

FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.

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Healthier Shrimp Laksa Recipe

Happy Monday!

My goal this week is to post each day even though I’m in Geneva for business. My days are a bit crazy considering that meetings start around 7am with breakfast connects and then end with dinners after a long day of larger meetings. Many of my colleagues are based here in Geneva and therefore I’ve only met them via phone. It’s so lovely to finally meet them in person and connect!

Today’s post is a fun challenge for a Monday. Bo and I both enjoy cooking together but it’s rare that we actually create recipes. Back in November, as part of the Fitfluential Silk Campaign, we created three recipes. My favorite of the three is actually one that is more complicated than the average weeknight recipe but so much fun to make when you have some spare time, such as next Monday if you have the Martin Luther King Day holiday off from work or school!

There is nothing Bo and I rather do than crack open a bottle of wine and spend the evening in the kitchen cooking together. Cooking together soothes both our souls after a long week. During the week our recipes tend to be simple and quick, sometimes even relying on smoothies for a dinner option. But, when we’re cooking during the weekend putting a unique twist on a restaurant favorite or trying our hand at a new genre provides us with a welcome challenge.

This dish looks complicated based on the ingredient list but is actually a lot of fun and provides you with an opportunity to peruse your local Asian food store and try your hand at cooking with new flavors.  We put a healthier spin on this dish, without losing any of the important flavor components by using light coconut milk, Shirataki noodles, and Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened Original. Using  PureAlmond Unsweetened in recipes allows us to get the smooth and delicious texture of milk but saves at 30 calories per serving, is free of lactose and cholesterol!

So, without further ado, grab your apron and hop in the kitchen for some fun with this dish! As you can see from the picture below, it presents wonderfully too!

Ashley Diamond Healthier Shrimp Laksa

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs shrimp (peeled and deveined, shells saved)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, dash
  • Kosher salt, dash
  • 4 tbsp canola oil
  • 2 tbsp chopped celery
  • 2 tbsp chopped carrots
  • 2 tbsp chopped white onion
  • 2 tbsp chopped garlic cloves
  • 1 lemongrass stalk (hard outer layers removed and chopped)
  • 2 tbsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1 tsp black peppercorn
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 4 whole cloves
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • 3-8 dried Arbol chili peppers (seeded) (available at most grocery stores or any ethnic store)
  • 3 sliced shallots
  • 1 tbsp shrimp paste (available at a good Asian market)
  • 1 tbsp. minced ginger
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • ½ can (~7oz) of coconut cream
  • 1 cup of Silk PureAlmond Unsweetened Original
  • 3 cups of bean sprouts
  • 4 packages of wide tofu noodles (Shirataki is a good brand)
  • Freshly chopped mint & cilantro
  • Fresh limes
  • Sambal Oelek or Sriracha for seasoning broth

For the Shrimp Stock

Note: This step is optional and 4 cups of reduced sodium chicken stock can be substituted.

Sautee celery, carrots, white onion, garli in a medium stock pot in oil on medium.

Add 2tbps chopped lemongrass, ½ tsp of black pepper and ½ tsp of kosher  salt, sautéing for 2 minutes, until sweating.

Add shrimp shells, sauté briefly until shells are pink and aromatic.

Add cold water until entire mixture is barely covered.

Increase heat to high and bring mixture to a boil.

Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 1-2 hours.

For the Laksa Broth

Mix all spices and chilies together in a spice grinder or food processor and grind.

Transfer to small pan on medium heat, moving constantly, toasting until aromatic.

Heat 2 tbsp oil on medium-high heat in a large sauce pan.

Add shallots, shrimp paste, ginger, remainder of lemon grass, sugar, 3 tsp kosher salt and toasted spice mixture to pan and sauté’ until onions are slightly caramelized (about 3 min).

Add coconut cream and almond milk to pan, increase heat to high and bring to a boil.

Add prepared shrimp stock (or chicken stock) and simmer until fat separates from broth (~20 mins).

While broth is simmering, briefly boil sprouts to soften and divide into four large noodle bowls.

Transfer tofu noodles into a colander and risk well under cold water (if you don’t rinse, they will have a strong tofu flavor).

Press noodles in paper towel to remove moister (its often worth repeating several times as tofu noodles absorb many times their weight in water and can dilute the broth if not dried well).

Divide noodles and add to bowls with sprouts.

Right before serving, lightly salt and pepper the shrimp and add to broth and cook for 1 – 2 minutes until shrimp are almost opaque (they will continue cooking so they can still be a little translucent).

Ladle shrimp and broth into bowls with noodles and sprouts and serve with lime wedges, mint, cilantro and sambal.

For your reference, I’ve included the nutritional information below. Enjoy!

Nutritional Info

Servings per recipe: 6

Calories: 336

Total Fat: 15.6

Cholesterol: 294.7

Sodium: 781

Total Carbs: 16.8

Dietary Fiber: 5.2

Protein: 35.5

Enjoy!

This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Silk and Fitfluential, LLC. All opinions expressed are my own. Learn more about Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened on Facebook and Twitter.

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