Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Power Scones

A few weeks ago, I attended the MKE Foodie Fitness Fete and was introduced to Power Scones. It was love at first bite. These scones are the perfect combination of nutty and sweet as well as super satisfying - there's no sugar crash after eating one of these treats!

I knew I had to try making the scones myself, but the recipe looked intimidating. But . . . turns out, it's really pretty easy - just a matter of getting all the ingredients, which is as simple as making a stop at Whole Foods and hitting the bulk bins. 

I highly recommend making these scones - they're the perfect pre- and post-workout fuel or breakfast!

Even more delicious topped with a dollop of peanut butter!

Power Scones
from Lace & Race

1/2 cup rolled oats (not quick oats)
2 cups whole wheat flour
1/4 cup wheat bran
1/4 cup almonds, chopped 
1/4 cup pecans, chopped
2 Tbsp millet
2 Tbsp ground flax seed
2 Tbsp whole flax seed
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced and chilled
3/4 cup low-fat plain Greek yogurt
1/8 tsp lemon zest
1/8 tsp orange zest
2 tsp lemon juice
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract (I substituted almond extract)
1 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, mix together all dry ingredients on the list through salt. Cut in butter using a pastry cutter (or just use your hands) until the dough resembles fine bread crumbs. 

In a separate bowl, whisk together yogurt, egg, lemon zest, orange zest and lemon juice, then add to the dry ingredients with the dried cranberries. Mix all ingredients until combined.

Form scones into your desired shape and size and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Allow scones to cool completely before storing in an airtight container. 

Let's talk scones: Have you ever made scones? What is your favorite variety? 

- ST

Monday, April 29, 2013

The Deer Run Race Recap

After my recent tumble, I was a bit worried about a training setback. But after Saturday's Deer Run, I'm feeling more confident that I'm where I should be at this point.

I started the week going back and forth about whether I should sign up for the race. Currently, I don't have the fitness to race a 5k so I knew the race would feel hard and I wouldn't get a good time. But . . . I decided to sign up at the last minute and use the race as a quality workout, running around 7:50 min/mile pace. 

Waiting for the race to start (Thx for the race pics, Sheila!)

As expected, these miles felt hard, even going at a slower pace. I didn't wear my Garmin because I wanted to run by effort, but there weren't any mile markers so I only had a rough idea of where I was on the course. I spent the first two miles counting to 100 again and again in my head to distract myself and make the distance go by faster. 

Toward the end of the race (about a half mile out?), I passed a few girls and heard one of them yell my name. Turns out it was my friend Tracey!  Now at this point, I knew I had to start pushing to avoid getting outkicked right before the finish line. Tracey is fast and her PRs are similar to mine so I knew she was right behind me. 

I could hear the crowd cheering and as I turned the final corner the finish line came into view. I could see a woman in front of me and wondered if I could catch her. She was pretty far away so it was a long shot, but I kicked up the pace anyways, knowing that you never know what might happen during a race! She ended up crossing first, but maybe if the race had been a few meters longer . . . ;)

Here are my race results:

Time: 22:37
Average Pace: 7:17
Gender Place: 4/148
Age Group Place: 2/27

My friend Sheila was spectating and she says I was the 3rd woman to cross the finish line. But with chip timing, I was actually 4th - and was beat by just one second! This was a tad frustrating but it just shows that every second counts during a race. 

It was a decent race and I'm happy I did better than expected. Although it was not close to my 5k PR, I think it was a good time considering I haven't done speedwork in quite some time and wasn't trying to race the distance. 

My mom also did the race and ended up getting a new 5k PR and won 2nd in her age group. My coworker, Lisa, did the 10k distance and won 3rd in her age group. As for Tracey, she won her age group - I told you she is fast!

Mom and I wearing matching Oiselle tanks and armwarmers!

Overall, a fun morning and after the race, Mom and I went to Cedarburg for lunch and shopping. It was my first time visiting the historic area and I ended up getting these macarons as a little treat for a good race :) 

I heart macarons!

Your turn: Have you ever ran a race as a workout? Also, what do you tend to think about during a race? Or, if you're not into running, how did you enjoy the fantastic weather over the weekend?

- ST

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Try This: Diet-to-Go

If you're a busy young professional, you know exactly how challenging it can be to eat healthy and also get enough variety in your diet. Chowing down on fast food or takeout is a surefire way to pack on extra pounds yet eating the same boring salad every night is pretty much a recipe for a weekend binge.

A meal delivery service, like Diet-to-Go, is a great solution. The company features chef-crafted meals that are made with fresh, healthy ingredients and was recently ranked the #1 diet delivery plan by Epicurious. I can definitely see why - I tested five days worth of meals last week and was quite impressed!

There are three plan options to pick from: Traditional, Vegetarian and Low Carb. Within these three options, you can select breakfast, lunch and dinner or just lunch and dinner. You can then further customize your plan by substituting and selecting the exact meals you would like in your meal plan. For example, I'm not a fan of mushrooms, so my meals were all mushroom free! As an added bonus, all sides and condiments are included so the food that is delivered is truly all you need for the week. 

The meals arrived in two large boxes - one with frozen meals and another with fresh items, such as fruit. I stored my meals in the freezer until I was ready to eat them, but you can also keep them in your refrigerator so they are thawed and ready to heat and eat!

Diet-to-Go sent me the 1,600 calorie meal plan (there's also a 1,200 calorie plan) and the food was very satisfying! Here are a few pics of my meals:

Blueberry muffin + applesauce + OJ (Greek yogurt not pictured)

Vegetarian Chili + Roll (String Cheese & Pudding Cup not pictured)

Herb Crusted Whitefish + Polenta + Broccoli
Huevos Rancheros + Tortilla + Chicken Sausage

Seafood Medley + String Cheese + Roll (Pudding Cup not pictured)

Here are a few additional favorites that I did not get pictures of because I ate them up too quickly:

Waffles - These tasted a bit like angel food cake and were so delicious that I would eat them every day!

Salmon Burger - I was a bit skeptical when I saw this on the menu but it made for a tasty lunch. I quite enjoyed the pairing of salmon with a mango salsa. Yum!

Italian Chicken - This was by far the most filling meal of the bunch. I almost couldn't clean my plate - but somehow managed in the end ;)

My overall conclusion is a lot of people could benefit from Diet-to-Go. I found that the variety of meals made eating a lot more exciting. Most of the time when I cook something, I end up having to eat the leftovers for the next few days which gets old fast. With this type of meal delivery service, you get something new different every day!

Because I'm sure you'll want to try Diet-to-Go yourself, the company is offering readers 25 percent off their first order. Just use the code "spring25" when you're ready to checkout!

I'm curious: Have you ever tried a meal delivery service? If so, what was your experience? If you haven't tried one, what do you see as the pros and cons of using one?

- ST

Monday, April 22, 2013

Move Along

Hey Friends! In light of last week's Boston Marathon bombing, I decided to take a week of silence. It didn't seem appropriate to write about my training, workouts, diet, etc. when there was such important breaking news unfolding every day. I thought about writing about my own thoughts regarding the situation but there were so many others out there telling similar stories and many of them telling it better than I could!

Anyhow . . . The one positive thing to come out of last week for me was continuing to move forward with my training.  One thing I've been a bit concerned about is being able to run fast again. I've been focused on rebuilding my base and haven't done any speedwork to avoid re-injuring my hamstrings. Most runs have been in the 8:50-9:10 mpm pace range.

But Monday afternoon was a different story. I was feeling such sadness, disappointment and anger about the Boston Marathon situation that I needed a run where I could let my legs, head and heart go free. I ended up logging 8 miles, with 6 of those miles between 7:50-8:00 mpm pace. It felt great - but as a precaution, I went back to my easy pace for my other runs during the week.

However, these miles got me excited about my new goal race this spring, the Madison Twilight 10k. I'm on a bit of an abbreviated training schedule since I've had to devote April to base building, but hopefully a few solid speed workouts during the first three weeks of May will be enough for a good race. I have a goal time in mind, but I'm going to wait and see how training goes these next few weeks before putting it out into the universe. On the plus side, this will be my first time racing a 10k, so I suppose no matter what my time ends up being, it will be a PR :)

On that note, training this week looks like this:

Monday: Rest Day
Tuesday: 6-8 miles easy pace; core training
Wednesday: 6 miles hillwork
Thursday: 6 miles @easy pace; strength training; 4-6 miles cycling
Friday: 4 miles @easy pace
Saturday: 12 miles @easy pace
Sunday: Rest Day

The only thing that might change is if I decide to jump in the Deer Run 5k on Saturday morning. In that case, I'll take Friday as my rest day and shift my 12 miler to Sunday morning.

As much as I'd love to race on Saturday - I hear the course is super fast - I'm playing it by ear and probably won't decide til later this week. I'm definitely not in 5k shape right now - or in any type of race shape - and there's a high potential for running myself into the ground trying to keep up and get a good time. 

I'm also recovering from another minor injury from my long run over the weekend. I managed to trip on a patch of uneven sidewalk and tore up my thighs and knees. My right knee is still inflamed and the wound hasn't yet closed so I'm taking today off from training. Hopefully by tomorrow everything will be back to normal or at least good enough for a few easy miles!

Let's catch up: How did you deal with last week's events? Or, have you ever taken a nasty fall during a run? Also, anyone else planning to run the Madison Twilight 10k or any of the other Madison Marathon events?

Even though I can't run, I'm looking forward to tonight's Runners for Boston event. I love how the running community has really come together to provide support during this tough time. It reminds me why I love running :)

- ST

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The First MKE Foodie Fitness Fete

A few months ago, my good friend Sheila had the wonderful idea of bringing together Milwaukee area run/fitness/food bloggers and enthusiasts. Her idea eventually evolved into the MKE Foodie Fitness Fete. 

Ready for guests to arrive!

The first event was last week at the Gaslight & Corcoran Lofts in space donated to us by the Mandel Group. It was the perfect spot for the meet-up - plenty of room for everyone, lots of counter space to display food and a great kitchen area for cooking demonstrations.

Catching up with my good friend, Alysha

The evening started with introductions and soon moved into four quick cooking demonstrations. 

 Sheila shows us how to make a delicious pasta salad

James demonstrates an easy dinner recipe

After the demonstrations, it was time to eat! All participants brought a dish or two to share and the food was divided into categories, including Main Course, Pre-Race Food, Post-Race Food, Healthy Dessert, Indulgence and more. I decided to bring Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls and Peanut Butter Mounds Bars - both items that I've made before and have always turned out well.

My Southwestern Egg Rolls/Wontons

Here's a list of food from the event and the person who made each dish:

Sheila: Blue Cheese Walnut Spinach Pasta Salad with Avocado, Mint Cantaloupe Granita & Orange Blossom Lemonade   
Maressa: Pizza Casserole
Sara: Indian Carrot Soup
James: Chicken & Slaw Salad
Nicole: Southwestern Veggie Soup
Laurie: Flourless Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
Sun: Peanut Butter Mounds Bar &
Baked Southwestern Egg Rolls 
Kaylie: Profiteroles filled with Mousse
Kat: Red Quinoa Avocado Salad.
Alysha: Cowboy Cookies
Oatmeal Peanut Butter Cookies
Melissa: Stove Top Salmon Patties
Michelle: Power Scones

As you can probably tell from the list, there were many delicious foods to try. I took a few bites of everything and it was all good! A few of my favorites were the Pizza Casserole, Red Quinoa Avocado Salad, Stove Top Salmon Patties and Profiteroles filled with Mousse. 

Kat's quinoa was extra tasty!

My absolute favorite item from the evening though were the Power Scones. Michelle packaged them up in the cutest little boxes (she's a stationary designer on the side!) and I ate them for breakfast in the following days. These just might have been the best scones I've ever eaten!

How adorable are these??

It was a great evening and wonderful to meet so many like-minded people. As everyone left, Sheila made sure to send us away with flowers and some incredible homemade macaroons!

There's already another MKE Foodie Fitness Fete in the works - this one will focus around the theme of Indulgent Makeovers. We'd love to have more people join us, so if you're interested in attending, send me a message or connect on Twitter and I'll send you the details!

Many thanks to Mandel Group for donating such a great space and to Ly and Capture Life Moments for taking great pics at the event!  

I'm looking for suggestions: What would you bring to an Indulgent Makeovers event? 
- ST

Monday, April 8, 2013

I Made the Mistake of Playing it Safe

So . . . you know how I've been dealing with hamstring injuries the past few weeks? How I've been taking care to avoid slippery outdoor conditions and run on a softer treadmill surface? And how I've stuck with the treadmill so I could quickly stop my run if pain surfaced? 

It turns out, all this playing it safe with treadmill running business was quite possibly a key contributing factor to my injuries. 

 My tm and I are taking a break - hopefully we can be friends again soon!

A niggle of pain appeared. I decided to play it safe by running on the treadmill. The pain got worse. I stuck with running on the treadmill because I feared slipping on a patch of ice and further injury. I couldn't run a single mile at a much-slower-than-usual pace without my hamstrings tightening up and major pain. I feared my spring racing season was over. 

Last week Monday I ran on the treadmill and ended up with hamstring pain so severe that I could barely tolerate sitting at my desk at work. My hamstrings felt a bit better by Thursday and the weather was too nice to stay inside so I ventured out for a few miles. I told myself four slow miles, nothing crazy. And if any pain appeared, I would stop and walk home. 

I ended up running more than six miles at my pre-injury easy pace. Nothing hurt. I could have kept going and I wanted to keep going. The only thing that stopped me was thinking about how I should be conservative since this was more or less my first run back.

I took Friday off but tried running again on Saturday morning. This time I did 10 miles and once again, had zero pain and was able to run at a normal pace. 

 My favorite Brooks Defyance shoes are back to pounding the pavement!

Although it's still a bit too early to tell, my initial thought is that the moving belt on the treadmill somehow threw off my stride and over time, this led to injury. I have an appointment at the Froedtert Running Clinic this week so I will learn more then. What I can tell you now is that even though rain, snow and wind are in the forecast for this week, I will run all of my miles outside!

At this point, I'm cautiously optimistic that I can turn things around and still get in at least one quality spring race. I'm no longer thinking about the Wisconsin Half Marathon, but instead have set my sights on a few races later in May to give me more time to train.

Speaking of, here's this week's plan:

Monday: 4 miles @easy pace, 45 minutes strength training, 4-6 miles cycling
Tuesday: 6 miles (including hill repeats), 30 minutes core work, 4-6 miles cycling
Wednesday: Rest Day
Thursday: 6 miles @easy pace, 30 minutes core work, 4-6 miles cycling
Friday: 4 miles @easy pace
Saturday: 10 miles @easy pace
Sunday: Rest Day

My focus now is on re-building a solid base before adding speedwork. To build strength, I will run hills, which are much more forgiving than hard track repeats. Also, this training will come in handy for the May race I have my eye on. It has a reputation for being hilly so this way I'll be prepared!

Two questions: Have you ever been injured from running on a treadmill? On a lighter note, if you could run with anyone for an hour, who would you pick?

During last night's #RunChat, I answered Kara Goucher, my Oiselle teammate Lauren Fleshman, my friend and professional runner Ariana Hilborn and Sage Canaday because I enjoyed reading his book!

- ST

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Kona Kase Review

On Monday, I found the most wonderful surprise on my desk. 

I found out about Kona Kase through Fit Approach a few weeks ago and after learning more about the company, agreed to do a product review. Kona Kase is a monthly box subscription service geared toward those with an active lifestyle. Each box is filled with eight nutritional samples perfect for endurance athletes - or those who just like enjoying healthy treats :)

The boxes are $15 per month and  are available on a month-to-month basis all the way up to a 12-month subscription. 

I received my box on April Fool's Day, but Kona Kase is no joke. This box is seriously the best I have ever received from a monthly subscription service! 

Here's what was in the box:
  • Clif Bar Crunch Granola Bar
  • Earnest Eats Bar
  • Perfect Foods Bar
  • Brubar
  • Wild Friends Nut Butter
  • TCHO chocolates
  • Suncups
  • Clif Shot Bloks

Within an hour of opening the box, the Perfect Foods Bar was gone. I've been wanting to try one for ages but have had trouble finding them in Milwaukee stores. The TCHO chocolates are perfect to savor, one day at a time, as an afternoon treat. And the Suncups? Divine! I can't wait to try the rest of the items as I'm sure they'll be equally delicious!

It's always such fun to try new products and a great way to keep from getting bored. I definitely recommend this product to anyone looking for new training nutrition or even someone just looking for new snack ideas. 

A past month's Kona Kase

Because all of you should experience how awesome this product is, Kona Kase has generously offered 50 percent off the first month's box for Eat.Host.Run.Style. readers. Use the code "EatHostRunStyle" when checking out to take advantage of this excellent deal!

Fill in the blank: My current favorite or latest find is ___________.

Let's start sharing ideas so we can all discover something new :)

- ST

Monday, April 1, 2013

Training Lately

My relationship is on the rocks. 

Running and I are going through a rough patch. It used to be that we couldn't get enough of each other. But lately, hamstring issues have come between us. I've had to reconnect with old friends, such as the elliptical and stationary bike. But there's no substitute. I miss running. 

I miss long runs around the Lakefront

We still share a few miles every week, but the time is usually pretty tense. Although we've compromised, and I run at a slower pace to extend our time together, I still end up worrying how long it will last before I'm forced to stop.

I know the only way we'll make it back to our previous relationship is by consistently working on it. Things won't go back to the way they were overnight, but they will get better as long as I focus on strengthening areas that have become weak. 

Here's this week's plan:

Monday: 4 miles @easy pace; 4-6 miles cycling; 1 hour Body Pump class
Tuesday: Rest Day
Wednesday: 4 miles @easy pace; 6-8 miles cycling; 45 minutes strength training
Thursday: 4 miles @easy pace; 6-8 miles cycling; 30 minute core class
Friday: 4 miles @easy pace
Saturday: 8 miles @easy pace
Sunday: Rest Day

These past few weeks have tested my belief in doing whatever it takes. But, spring is finally here in Wisconsin and with the new season, I have renewed hope that my relationship with running will make it through this time and come out of it stronger than ever.

Your turn: Have you ever dealt with a running-related injury? What did you do to recover?

- ST