Friday, May 21, 2010

Tip of the Week - Work events

Ok. Here's a quickie. Never go into a work event hungry. So if you've got that fundraiser at 7:00 pm. Go to your stash of fruit and nuts and have some. Because going to a buffet of appetizers hungry is as bad news as going to the supermarket hungry.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Bay to Breakers 2010 - Kicking Ass

So Bay to Breakers. This year I couldn't get it together to do a costume. It would have been great if I did because it was COLD. Andi Never get cold. But being in a wet t-shirt for hours means you are a little more vulnerable to the elements. The funniest thing that happened was seeing a dead ringer for Sarah Palin - bouffant hair, lipstick, glasses - asking for her picture and her asking me why. She wasn't in costume.

I thought I did fine. Probably better than last year but not by much. I was way back from the start line because my shuttle bus was late so the time one the clock was 1 hour 12 minutes (a little under a 10-minute mile pace) but I know it took me four or five minutes to get to the starting line. Hayes street hill kicked my ass but the rest of the course was flat. My first three miles ended up averaging 10-minute mile pace (because I was walking the first half mile because of the crowds. I really cranked it up the last half. My mile five and six were something like an 8 minute mile. I slowed to about a 9 minute mile pace in mile 7.

And the verdict? I finished in 1 hour, 6 minutes, and 40 seconds. That's an 8 minute, 56 second/mile pace. Sub 9!!!!! I would have never guessed but then again. Last year, with significantly less training I did 9 minute, 11 second pace. ROCK ON! It's seems to be a theme this year that I can't really gauge my speed and races seem to be a tougher slog. It feels like I am running slower but clearly I am not.

The funny thing is that the world is running faster because I finished 2875 out of 24303 runners and 726 our of 3201 people in my age group. That's worse than last year but it's all about the finish.

It's such a badly organized race. I will do next year for the 100th Anniversary and that's it. The logistics blow. I did a park and ride shuttle from Emeryville to SF that would drop you off at the start and take you back at the finish. Sadly, it was a mile walk to get to the damn pick up from the finish line AND it didn't leave until noon. Which meant I was sitting there in a wet t-shirt for two and a half

The hidden costs of Bay to Breakers is insane:

Parking for Park and ride - $10
Shuttle - $22
Replacement t-shirt to not get hypothermia - $15
A runners' fanny pack (because there's no bag check in) - $20

The best costume by far were two guys dressed as homophobe and hypocrite George Rekkers and his "travel companion."

And Jersey Shore references were thick on the ground at Bay to Breakers. Case in point:

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wish me luck!

Bay to Breakers is tomorrow. I am gonna kick Hayes Hill's ass!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Tip of the Week - Pizza

When I was first diagnosed, I thought pizza was out. But pizza has come back to my life. The key is portion control. And as a diabetic, starch is never the center of my meal. I will have a SIDE of rice pilaf or a SIDE of mac 'n cheese (often in a tiny cast iron skillet) but no, there will not be a plate of pasta in front of me. I still eat things like polenta and grits but I make sure my plate is divided into quarters - one quarter protein, one quarter starch, two quarters veggies. No deprivation at all.

Here's the tip: Don't order delivery pizza. Go to a restaurant with friends. The more expensive the better. There's an awesome place that serves wood oven pizzas. I split one as an appetizer with three other people and I get one slice, two slices max. Pizza is never the center of my meal. And believe me, pizza with proscuitto, shaved Parmesan and asparagus -HEAVEN!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Light and Fresh

I've been on the hunt lately for some new recipes, and so every once in a while I do a Google search on some of my favorite ingredients. When I put in "zucchini" recently, I got this great recipe for Feta Chicken with Zucchini.

Yum! Chicken, lemon, feta, zucchini, parsley... can't go wrong with that! The recipe is very easy, and the result is very light and tasty. It would also be perfect as a fish dish, with tilapia or another light variety.

My only caution with the recipe is to be careful with the cooking time. I had some organic chicken breasts that were HUGE, so I ended up cooking it about 10 minutes more than what is stated. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

New Segment - Tip of the Week

You know, living the lifestyle, you can take a lot of the changes for granted. That's the point isn't it? What used to be a huge effort is now a natural part of your routine. So to capture some of the ongoing things that are becoming almost subconscious, I am instituting the Tip of the Week. We're all learning something, so if you have something you've incorporated into your routine, feel free to share in the comments.

Here's my tip of the week - Restaurant Eating

When you've eaten your portion of food, put a napkin on top of your plate. I am finding my meal is DONE. Like I would totally be embarrassed if I had to unearth my food from a napkin. It also indicates to a server you are done so that the food is outta there.

What are things you all do to keep on track in restaurants?

Monday, May 3, 2010

Now we're cooking - Mustard Roasted fish

Oh Ina Garten, while I hate your new show, your recipes continue to rock. This weekend I had a hankering for fish but my fish knowledge is somewhat limited. I was leafing through the Barefoot Contessa Back to Basics Cookbook and came across her Mustard Roasted Fish recipe and realized how easy it is to adapt to a low-salt/low-fat diet. The recipe requires no salt and you can easily replace the creme fraiche with low-fat sour cream. Easy.

Here's my version

1 8 oz white fish filet (like red snapper, mahi mahi, tilapia)
1/2 cup of lowfat sour cream
1 teaspoon drained capers
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon coarse grain mustard
pinch of pepper

Law the fish filet in a glass baking dish. Mix everything in a bowl. Spread on top of the fish so that hte fish is completely covered in the sour cream mixture. Bake at 350 degrees for 10 to 15 minutes depending on the fish and thickness. For a relatively thin, light fish like tilapia, it will be 10, for something thicker and "meatier" like mahi mahi, it will be 15.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Pretty Colors

I tried two, count 'em, two new recipes today, and they both turned out pretty well! These are both from the Weight Watchers in 20 Minutes cookbook. But, don't let the title fool you... even though it may be 20 minutes of cooking time, each of these took about an hour to make including all the prep. (Note, I'm not going to share the recipes here, but you can see the basic idea and probably find them online elsewhere.)

First up, a dish called "New Orleans-Style Chicken." This involved okra, corn, tomatoes, and cajun/creole seasoning. A nice combo that ultimately ended up with a little sweet taste to it.

You know how they say healthy dishes are the most colorful dishes? Pretty.

Here I've added some fat-free half & half and letting the chicken finish...

The recipe calls for 4 servings, but I made it into 3. I doubled the amount of corn and okra for added veggie goodness, and I put about 3/4 cup white rice into each dish. I had this as a very tasty lunch today, and will have it twice again this week. Overall, I give it 3 1/2 stars.

Tonight, I decided to make the "Easy Pepper Steak." Considering I've never really liked the taste of peppers, I really have come to appreciate them as a light way to add a lot of flavor. They do get better when they're cooked. Here's the starting point -- well, after a good 20 minutes of veggie prep:

The sauce is a combo of low-fat, low-sodium beef broth, low sodium soy sauce, and corn starch.

And here are my 4 servings - one for dinner, 3 for this week, also served over about 1 cup each of white rice. I know, I should use brown and I do most of the time, but I really wanted white rice today. This is really tasty - I give it 4 stars. Yay to cooking with veggies!