Taking a break from Food Week. The topic over at Runner’s Lounge today is “Only in Running.” I thought it’d be fun to jot down some of the quirky things that I do, or have contemplated doing, just because I love to run.

In no particular order:

Only in Running . . .

1.  Am I afraid of dogs (I love dogs, but not when they chase me down the road)

2.  Do I wear short shorts and tight tights

3.  Do I consider 40 degrees “shorts weather”

4.  Is the discovery of a product called “Body Glide” a momentous occasion

5.  Would I wonder if licking the salt off my own face is a good way to replenish electrolytes (I experimented with this on my first 20 mile run)

6.   Have I given considerable thought to the cause and effects of nipple chafing

7.  Do I look forward to getting a shirt with more advertisements than a stock car

8.  Does a trip to Boston become the dream of a lifetime

9.  Would I sample and critique various flavors of edible viscosity

10.  Has Daylight Savings become a celebratory holiday

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I started off this lovely Wednesday with Multigrain Hot Cereal. We usually have oatmeal for breakfast, but when I was at Trader Joe’s the other day, I was intrigued by the box of mixed grains, including Rye, Barley, Oats and Wheat. I made it the same way I make my oatmeal, and was happy with the way it turned out. Usually, I add some kind of fruit to my oatmeal (most often a chopped up apple or banana), but today, I had my cereal plain, with just a few sprinkles of cinnamon. It was delicious and held me over well.

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For lunch, we had left over Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo from last night. My mom was over and had lunch with us, which was great!

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On the menu today for dinner was Roasted Halibut with Mediterranean Lentils and Olives. The recipe is made in three parts:

  1. The halibut is roasted in the oven.
  2. The lentils are stewed on the stovetop.
  3. The red bell peppers are sauteed on the stovetop.

It will be helpful, for planning purposes, to know ahead of time that these three things are happening at the same time. 🙂

Without further ado, here is the recipe.

For Easier Printing
Microsoft Word Version: Roasted Halibut with Mediterranean Lentils and Olives Document
PDF Version: Roasted Halibut with Mediterranean Lentils and Olives PDF

Ingredients

Lentils

  • 1 ½ cups green lentils
  • 3 cups cool water
  • 1/2/ large onion, cut into 1/2 –inch pieces
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced (3 for lentils, 2 for peppers)
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (for tossing with the lentils after cooking)
  • 8 green olives, pitted and cut into quarters
  • 8 black olives, pitted and cut into quarters
  • Pepper and a little salt to taste (Note: The olives have salt.)

Halibut

  • 1 pound, 4 ounces halibut, skinned and cut into 4 equal portions
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (for sprinkling on top)
  • Pepper and a little salt (on fish prior to roasting)
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice (for sprinkling on top)
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme (to add aroma during cooking)

Red Peppers

  • 1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, and cut lengthwise into  1/8-inch-thick strips
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Pepper and a little salt to taste

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Instructions

Note: Numbers 3, 4 & 5 are all done at the same time.

1. Place the green lentils in a medium mixing bowl, cover with warm water, and let stand for 30 minutes. This can be done in the morning before work. Then strain and rinse before beginning cooking.

2. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F for the halibut.

3. Place a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add the lentils, 3 cups of water, onion, garlic, and thyme to the pan. Cook lentils for 30- to 40-minutes, until the lentils are slightly firm (not mushy and not grainy), stirring occasionally. Lentils should have a slight bite.

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4. In a roasting pan, place the halibut, rubbed with olive oil, seasoned with salt and pepper, and sprinkled with freshly squeezed lemon juice. Lay the thyme on the pan. Roast for 35-45 minutes (If the halibut is 1 inch thick or less, cook for less time, if the halibut is 1 ½ inches or more, cook for more time.). Remove from the oven and set aside.

5. Place the bell pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil, garlic, and lemon juice in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally, and do not let it burn. Season to taste with the salt and pepper.

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6. Strain the lentils, remove the sprigs of thyme, place in a sauté pan over low heat, and toss with the 2 tablespoons of olive oil and the olives. Season with pepper and salt and set aside.
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I hope you enjoy tonight’s recipe. Although I’m still working on the calorie count for this dish, I ought to mention that it is a little bit higher than our usual recipes, but if you cut out some of the oil, etc., it will be better. I’ll make some changes and update the recipe on the Recipes page.

Take care, everyone, and have a great evening!

It was a busy exercise day (30 minutes on elliptical, lifting weights and an hour and ten minute walk with Nick), as well as laundry and cooking, so I thought I’d just make it quick tonight and post the recipe for our dinner. I’m exhausted! Yet another recipe from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger (last one this week), this one is another tried and true recipe, and one that I crave now. Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo. It’s like an upscale version of chicken noodle soup, and last time I was sick, I suckered Nick into making this soup.

For Easier Printing
Microsoft Word Version: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo Document
PDF Version: Lemon Chicken Soup with Orzo PDF

Here’s the cast of characters:
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Ingredients

  • 4 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces skinless, boneless chicken breast halves, cut into small chunks
    *note* Tonight, I used pre-cooked chicken from Trader Joe’s (“Just Chicken”) just to speed things up, but I usually use regular ol’ chicken breasts.
  • Pinch of salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 medium onion, diced (about 1 ½ cups)
  • 2 stalks celery, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 1 medium carrot, diced (about ½ cup)
  • 2 teaspoons chopped fresh thyme or ½ teaspoon dried
  • 6 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 cup orzo, preferably whole-wheat
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Instructions
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a soup pot over medium-high heat. Season the chicken with the salt, add it to the pot, and cook, stirring, a few times, until just cooked through, about 5 minutes. Transfer the chicken to a dish and set aside.

Add the remaining 2 teaspoons oil to the pot. Add the onion, celery, carrot, and thyme and cook, stirring, over medium-high heat until the vegetables are tender, about 5 minutes. Add 5 cups of the broth and bring to a boil. Add the orzo and let simmer until tender, about 8 minutes. Turn the heat down to low to keep the soup hot but not boiling.

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Warm the remaining 1 cup broth in a small saucepan until it is hot but not boiling. In a medium bowl, beat the eggs. Gradually whisk the lemon juice into the eggs. Then gradually add the hot broth to the egg-lemon mixture, whisking all the while. Add the mixture to the soup, stirring well until the soup is thickened. Do not let the soup come to a boil. Add the cooked chicken to the soup. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

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And there you have it!

Try this soup, you will not regret it. There are only three alterations that I make to this recipe and they are:

  • If your bunch of celery has any leaves, use them! Wash them, give them a rough chop, and then throw them in the pot with the rest of the mirepoix. It lends a terrific flavor to the soup.
  • Each time I’ve made the recipe, I don’t seem to have any dried thyme. Instead, I just use Italian Seasoning. I figured that Italian Seasoning has thyme in it, and I think the soup tastes great with Italian Seasoning.
  • I sometimes like it to be a little more lemon-y, so if, after adding the lemon-egg-broth mixture to the soup, it’s not tangy enough, I will sometimes add more lemon juice. Tonight, I added at least a tablespoon more. Yum.

Now, I’m off to have a quick soak in the bathtub, and then have a good night’s sleep.
Tomorrow, we will hear from Nick!

‘Night, all!

It’s Food Week here on the BRS Blog, and we have started it off with a bang! My apologies for the late posting, but I’ve been busy today! First at the grocery store, and then in the kitchen, making food and taking photos!

I wanted to mention that I have added a new page to the blog, called Food Log, where you will be able to see our food logs for the day. You can click here, or you can access it by clicking on “Food Log” up to the right of “About Roux.” I have also added a section called “Recipes” in the same area, where you will be able to access the recipes that I feature on this blog.

Now, on with the food! 🙂

Breakfast today wasn’t a terribly great one. I was in a rush, so I had a piece of whole wheat bread with peanut butter and an apple (specific amounts available on the Food Log page. It tasted good but it wasn’t as filling and didn’t hold me quite as long as my normal breakfast.

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For lunch, we had a simple chicken breast sandwich, with mayo, grainy mustard, tomato, and arugula, on whole wheat bread. I have to admit that having a sandwich for lunch is really unusual for us… of course it would be on the day where I have pledged to report everything to our readers! I blame it on rushing around, poor planning and the simple fact that it’s Monday. 🙂 We also had some Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies alongside the sandwich.

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For snacks this afternoon, I had Babybel Cheddar Cheese (below), an orange, a few more cheddar bunnies (10 grams, to be exact), and half of a Larabar.

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Ok, now here’s the part that will interest you the most: Our first recipe!

For dinner we had one of our favorites, and because of it’s simplicity, it’s become one of those staple recipes that I can always count on. Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce. It is one of those recipes from “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger, and Nick and I both love this recipe.

For Easier Printing
Microsoft Word Version: Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce Document
PDF Version: Pork Medallions with Cherry Sauce PDF

Click on the above links for the recipe. Here are a few photos of our scrumptious dinner:

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Nutritional information for the recipe is available on the recipe page.

Oh, and for dessert? A small square (4 grams) of milk chocolate with cashews. Gotta have a little bit of sweet to end the day. 😉

Hope you all had a great start to the week. Keep sending in those recipes for the mini-challenge!

Happy Friday!

We wanted to announce that next week here on the BRS Blog (March 9-13) will be Food Week! What does this mean, exactly? Well, a few things…

First, we have had several people curious, inquiring, and wanting to know what we are eating. So, I thought I would invite you into our kitchen for a week. Yes, you will be having breakfast, snacks, lunch, dinner and… (gasp!) dessert with us! It should be pretty fun, as I will be sharing some of our favorite healthy recipes with you (complete with  nutritional information), as well as our tips and tricks for eating healthily, inexpensively, and WELL!

Second, we are starting our first mini-challenge. It will be a challenge within the challenge, so to speak, and you don’t have to be a part of the main challenge to join this one. Between today (March 6th), and next Friday (March 13th) send in your favorite healthy recipe for us to try! It can be anything, from a main dish to a side dish to a snack… whatever. We will make each recipe and announce a winner as soon as we’re able to make them all (we’re thinking the winner will be announced on Monday, March 16th). The main things we’re looking for are how yummy it is and the calorie content (but of course, we will be taking a glance at other nutritional information as well). If you don’t have the calorie count of the recipe, no worries, Nick and I will figure all of that out.

And the prize? Well, you guys are in for a real treat! The winner of this mini-challenge will receive a copy of my FAVORITE cookbook right now… “The Food You Crave” by Ellie Krieger.

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Next week on the blog, you will probably be seeing a recipe or two from this cookbook, as I am in l-u-v with this cookbook and make things from it often. I got it for Christmas (thanks, Tam!), and we’ve been consistently trying recipes from it. The thing I love about this cookbook is that it has amazing, tasteful recipes, simple, not a lot of ingredients, and it has all of the nutritional information for each recipe. You make these recipes and say, “Mmmm,” and not, “Wow, this must be healthy…” These are all things I look for in a cookbook, and to find all of them together in one book is amazingly hard!

So in summary, be looking forward to Food Week, and join our mini-challenge by sending in your favorite healthy recipe!

Numbers

Now for the moment we all wait for each week. Yes, today is that wonderful day where you all get a peek at our bathroom scale. Oh the things we do for our readers… 🙂

Nick’s Numbers
Weight starting challenge: 220.0
Weight last week (2/27): 217.4
Weight today (3/6): 215.0

Weight lost during the challenge: 5.0
Weight lost this week: 2.4

Food Journal: Kept every day

Exercise:

  • Monday: Elliptical Trainer 1 hour
  • Tuesday:  Ran 3.57 miles; Weights/strength training 50 minutes
  • Wednesday:  Elliptical 1 hour
  • Thursday:  Rest day
  • Friday: Running at lunch ~3.5 miles

Overall, this week I start very strong, but was worn out on Thursday so I moved my rest day (usually Friday).

Rebecca’s Numbers
Weight starting challenge: 193.8
Weight last week (2/27): 192.0
Weight today (3/6): 189.0

Weight lost during challenge: 4.8
Weight lost this week: 3.0

Food Journal:
Kept every day

Exercise: Went ok this week. I kept up the elliptical routine that I established last week and added in running, but have not added weights yet. My main goal was to make sure to do some exercise each day and to increase the intensity a little bit to increase the number of calories I was burning. I succeeded at that for the most part this week.

Happy weekend, everyone!

TIART: Common mistakes and cardinal sins of running

That is this week’s theme over at the Runners’ Lounge for Take it and Run Thursday. This month I have celebrated my one year anniversary of running; from Couch to 5k to a marathon. I have learned a lot in the past year, mostly things about myself that I have been trying to share piecemeal on this blog. I do have some general running wisdom, though, that I can share.

To be consistent with the theme I offer you a “sin” of running: running without variety.

I recognize that there are those among us who do this, and have for many years. So, we’ll call this is a venial sin, not a mortal one. But every time I hear someone say “I run [X # of miles] everyday,” my first reaction is “why?” or “how?” And I have often noticed that there is a “used to” in this sentence, usually followed by an explanation of how the person’s knees are now too bad to run or how they got burned out with their running regimen.

Running, to me, needs variety: different distances, different routes, different intensities. Running the same distance everyday at the same intensity level limits progression. And, running everyday can lead to overuse injuries or burnout. A running plan that varies the distances and intensity levels helps keep running interesting, helps us become better runners and avoid injury or burnout.

Part of that variety also includes not running everyday (or even most days) for many of us. I suggest supplementing running with cross-training. My personal workouts include running, weight lifting, plyometrics, swimming, elliptical trainer, hiking, and biking. Cross-training helps build overall fitness and strength, and importantly prevents common muscle imbalances that come from just running and that can lead to injury.

I hope this post is helpful. There are countless “do’s and don’ts” of running, but I have enjoyed running more and have run injury free thanks largely to the collective wisdom of the running-blogging community.

Update
Monday is here again, and I am happy to report that we had a great weekend! Busy, but great. We were able to sneak in some exercise, which was really awesome. We had most of the day Saturday free, so we got a few things done around the house that had been put off for awhile and needed to be taken care of. We planned ahead for most of our meals. We saw a great band on Friday night, had a fun dinner with friends on Saturday night, saw Nick’s cousin in a musical on Sunday afternoon, and celebrated her birthday with her that evening. A full, but fun weekend.

Now it is a new week, and with that comes new resolve. I had a pleasant surprise on the scale this morning (Nick and I both weigh, unofficially, almost every day), but I will wait until Friday, and the official weigh-in to reveal it. 😉 Can you stand the suspense?

I’m excited to add in a few new things this week to my exercise routine (namely reintroducing my running program and weights), and will let you know how that goes as the week progresses.

Challenge
In the last several days, we have had five more people join our challenge! How exciting is that? I’d like to welcome the newest challengers by introducing each one to you, and the goals they have set out to achieve.

Amy C.

  • Stay in a routine of exercising at least 4 times a week for at least 40 minutes
  • Eat healthy, mostly organic with lots of raw every 4 hours
  • Take all of my vitamins everyday
  • Do a run/walk with Becca sometime this spring

Paul S.

  • Lose 25 lbs.

RobFitness

  • Lose 40 pounds
  • Run my first sprint triathlon which I am really scared of doing.

Tigerlilly

  • Get to 170 lbs!!!

Aaron C.

  • Lose 10 lbs.
  • Be able to pass pushup component of Army PFT again. (42 pushups in 2 minutes)
  • Be able to pass situp component of Army PFT again. (42 situps in 2 minutes)
  • Be able to do at least 1 deadhang pullup
  • Get sodium consumption down into normal range (< 2400mg)
  • Increase Protein percentage to 25% of daily consumption consistently
  • Have completed 2-3 50 mile weeks

If anyone else is considering joining the challenge and hasn’t yet, please do so! Again, there is no cut-off date to join, but really, the sooner you join, the better. Why miss out on all the fun? 🙂

I hope you all had a wonderful weekend, and that your week has gotten off to a good start. Happy Monday!