Lime-Chicken and Black Bean Fajitas: Serves 2 (3 fajitas each)
- 2 three oz chicken breast filets (cut in to strips)
- 2 cloves of garlic (chopped)
- 2 teaspoons of olive oil
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 bell pepper (cut in to thin strips)
- 1/4 of an onion (cut in to thin strips)
- 1 lime (cut into 4 wedges)
- 1/2 cup of canned black beans (rinsed)
- 6 corn tortillas
- 1/2 avocado (cut in to cubes)
- 2-3 tablespoons of chopped cilantro
- 6 tablespoons of salsa
Heat olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat and add garlic until it becomes fragrant. Increase heat to medium and add chicken. Squeeze lime juice from 2 of the wedges over chicken, sprinkle chicken with chili powder, cumin and coriander and flip with tongs while cooking.
Add bell peppers and onions when chicken is almost done cooking. Cook in skillet until vegetables begin to become soft. Add black beans, squeeze juice of 1 more lime wedge reduce the heat a bit and cover skillet for about 5-10 minutes until veggies are soft.
Brown tortillas on a griddle. Squeeze the juice of the last lime wedge over chicken and veggies then fill tortillas with chicken, peppers, onions, black beans and top with even amounts avocado, cilantro and salsa.
XOXO The Glam Runner
- I use corn tortillas because they are much lower in calories than flour tortillas
- Choose the amount of topping you would like to put on the fajitas
- I use culantro instead of cilantro. It’s the exact same flavor but the leaves are MUCH easier to wash and chop
- You can also use fat-free refried beans instead of black beans. I used black beans because they are better for you
Looking for some healthy snack options that will actually satisfy you? I’m always searching for snacks that will fill me up and have a healthy balance of nutrients. I am not one of those who can do the “no carb” low carb” or “paleo” diet – I am a runner, an endurance athlete and I need my healthy carbs and ALL nutrients. I have found my body reacts best when I combine protein, healthy carbs and healthy fats in everything I eat – something I learned and live by after reading the book “Skinny Chicks Don’t Eat Salads” by Christine Avanti.
We need protein to build muscle and aid in recovery from our work outs. Some also say protein keeps them full but this is not true for me. Carbs are the energy nutrient; they are the prefered source of nutrients for energy from our bodies. Make sure you only eat healthy carbs from whole grains, fruit and veggies though – sorry but candy and sugar doesn’t count. As long as you are eating healthy complex carbohydrates, you will be getting the fiber that your body needs as well. The benefits of fiber are endless. There are studies that say fiber might be a key in preventing certain diseases because fiber ensures that the waste is being flushed out of the body. Some studies are showing fiber actually helps block fat in our bodies too! I know I feel my lightest and best when I am eating plenty of complex carbohydrates and plenty of fruits and veggies. Believe it or not we also need healthy fats. Healthy fats from nuts, monounsaturated and polyunsaturated oils, avocados and even dark chocolate are all examples of healthy fats. Healthy fats help us feel full and are good for our heart. We also need fats for healthy hair, nails and skin. Just be sure to watch your portion sizes with these fats. I usually stick to 1 tablespoon of nut butter, 1/4 of an avocado, no more than a 1/4 cup of nuts and 2 teaspoons of oil per serving.
Here are a few of my favorite snack combinations:
- 5oz Dannon Light & Fit Greek Yogurt, 1/2 cup blueberries, 1 tablespoon sliced raw almonds, 6 pieces of celery and 1 tablespoon of almond butter. Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek yogurt is the lowest sugar Greek yogurt that I have found and it is a God send for me! I avoided Greek yogurt for so long because they all had 19-25 grams of sugar, not acceptable to me. Dannon’s Light & Fit Greek yogurt has 8 grams of sugar and 12 grams of protein. The sliced almonds and almond butter have healthy fat, the yogurt and berries have carbs and obviously the yogurt has the protein (the almond butter had a little protein too). You are also getting 2 full servings of fruits/veggies!
- 1 slice of Ezekiel 4:9 Cinnamon Raisin live sprouted grain bread (toasted), 1 tablespoon of almond butter and 1 banana. This is the PERFECT pre or post run snack! I eat this all the time before I go running in the morning. You get healthy carbs and protein in the Ezekiel bread and the banana then you get protein and healthy fat in the almond butter. What is Ezekiel bread? Well, this bread is probably the healthiest bread you can eat. It is made without flour, it is made with live sprouted organic grains like wheat, barley, millet, lentils, soybeans and spelt. Much better than traditional bread that has a little bit of wheat and flour.
- 1 Medium apple, 1 tablespoon of almond butter and a reduced fat mozzarella cheese stick. The apple provides carbs, the almond butter provides a bit of protein and healthy fat and the cheese provides protein.
- 1 bell pepper, 1/2 of a cucumber, 6-8 stalks of celery, 1oz humus and 1 tablespoon almond butter. This is a great one because you’re getting 3 full servings of veggies and it is loaded with fiber. There aren’t many carbs in this snack but the veggies do provide some carbs, the humus has a bit of healthy fat and protein. The almond butter has healthy fat and protein as well.
- 1 container of sugar free-fat free pudding, 1/2 cup of strawberries and 1 tablespoon of sliced almonds. This is perfect for when you get a bit of a sweet tooth and it makes a great dessert. You can enjoy the pudding without the guilt while getting some protein. The strawberries have carbs and the sliced almonds has healthy fat.
Everyone seems to have an eating style that works for them best. As a runner and the fact that I work out hard, I need a combination of all nutrients…protein, carbs and healthy fat. These snack ideas are healthy for anyone that eats for health and energy. Enjoy!
XOXO The Glam Runner
Have you ever thought taking spin classes could help your running performance? I have taken spin class for the past 9 years and have been a huge fan since my first class. I actually have been spinning longer than I’ve been running.
Of course spin class or biking outside can be a great cross training activity for those days that you don’t run but believe it or not spinning can actually help you with your running speed. Some cases have proved it to improve 5k times by 3% and 10K times up to 9%! That’s a pretty significant percentage in a shorter distance race. Spinning and running are different because obviously running is very high impact but spinning is virtually impact free. You get a killer cardio work out that almost duplicates running sprints and pushing high resistance builds strength in key areas of the legs used for running.
I attribute my ability to do as well as I do in races to my years of spinning. I only started running in 2009 yet I am a competitor in my division in pretty much every local Orlando race. I went in to training for my first race with my cardiovascular system in top shape because of my 5 years of spinning prior to running – I really only had to get my legs used to the soreness of long runs, the impact of running and figure out my pace when I first started running outside and training for my first race. I even got my cardio system back fairly easily after taking a full year off from running after having my son. I started out with spin classes to get my cardiovascular system strong then I trained for the 2011 Hot Chocolate 15K. I am now faster than before pregnancy.
Spinning is pure interval training. In a good class you are doing a variety of “drills”. You climb hills, you sprint (always with resistance), you do longer faster paces or short bursts of speed with various levels of resistance and there are times where you’re pushing it as hard as you possibly can followed by a bit of recovery. It mirrors running repeats and will increase your endurance as an athlete. If you’re taking a good class from a knowledgeable instructor they will remind you to always keep a level of resistance on your bike. Sprinting with too little or no resistance can take your safe no impact work out to a knee injuring work out and really you’re not doing anything if you don’t have resistance anyways. A sure test to see if you have enough resistance is to make sure your butt doesn’t bounce in the saddle when you are riding fast; if it is you need to turn the resistance knob to the right!
Spinning also helps strengthen the muscles used in running. Now, spinning is not meant to replace lifting weights but when you’re pushing resistance you are gaining strength without the impact. As runners, our bodies need time to recover from pounding the pavement every time we run but with spinning you can get some of the same benefits without needing that impact recovery time. I usually will take 2-3 spin classes or ride my spin bike at home during half or full marathon training.
Studies have also shown that there is a connection between pedal stroke cadence and foot cadence while running. The more times your feet strike the ground the harder it is on your body and the more likely you are to get injured. In a perfect world we would be working on trying to lengthen our stride so our feet strike the ground less but that is not always easy to do without a coach. The more times you are able to get that pedal around is supposed to help you have a higher foot strike cadence making you less prone to injury.
I hope all the runners out there who haven’t yet tried a spin class will try one and see how it affects your running performance. Personally, I think spinning has a lot to do with my speed and endurance as a runner.
XOXO The Glam Runner
Everyone has their own running essentials, mine have to do with making my runs as comfortable as possible in the hot Florida heat.
Here are 7 of my must haves:
1. Lululemon running clothing. I wear the Run Speed Shorts and Energy Sports Bra almost every time I run. The sports bra you choose will be your personal preference and they have many to choose from based on the level of support you need. I needed the TaTa Tamer right after I had my son but now I’m a huge fan of the Energy Sports Bra. The run speed shorts are super short and I need that running in central Florida. I am one of those people who cannot stand feeling clothing or any kind of gear touch me when I run. I feel like my body runs about 10-15 degrees warmer than the actual temperature outside so even when it’s cooler out I still wear shorts. Lululemon’s shorts are all very flattering and comfortable on both men and women. There are so many different styles to choose from like the Run Speed or even the Turbo Shorts, which are the same as the Run Speed but just a little longer. They also have a wide variety of very cute running skirts as well. Another great thing about all Lululemon athletic wear is the pockets. The Run Speed shorts have 2 pockets in the front that I put my iPod Nano in and the other is for my energy gel (if I’m doing a long run). The back zip pocket is perfect for my iPhone and key. They are always evolving too; so when phone styles change Lululemon adjusts that back pocket so the most popular phones fit snugly. Go to your local store and talk to the associates, they are always extremely knowledgable and helpful about their products and even fitness facilities in the area. I’ve been to Lululemon stores all over the country and the staff is helpful every single time.
2. Lululemon pony tail holders. I have long, thick hair and a regular pony tail holder doesn’t do the trick, not even 2 or 3. Going along with my I don’t like anything touching me when I run theme, I don’t like feeling my hair touching me either and I need it to stay in place when I’m pounding the pavement. The Lululemon pony tail holders are very strong and sturdy so just one holds my pony tail in place then I make a bun and secure it with another pony tail holder. They come 3 to a pack.
3. Lululemon headbands. I’m obviously partial to Lululemon but they have excellent products! Wearing a headband (a wrap style sweat band type headband) catches some of the sweat during my run that would otherwise drip in to my ear and make my headphones fall out of my ears. I bought one just to be cute for the Disney Princess Half Marathon this year and now I can’t go on a run without one!
4. Kiehl’s Cross Terrain SPF 50 Sunblock. I am all about protecting your skin from the sun and I get more sun during my runs than I do from going to the beach so I like to wear a sunblock with SPF 50. Normal sunblock or even normal mainstream sports sunblock does not stay on for me and get in my eyes but the thick texture of the Kiehl’s Cross Terrain stays on great. The texture is somewhat like Vaseline but it works and stays on. It is also meant for use for skiing, the beach or any other outdoor activity where you would sweat a lot.
5. GU Energy Gels. I only use energy gels on runs of 12 or more miles. I’m not sure if it really works or if it’s a mental thing but I take a GU brand Energy Gel at the first feeling of my legs slowing down and I’m always able to get another good 5 miles in before I start slowing down. They have a bit if sugar in them and amino acids to get life back in to those tired legs. I found that GU doesn’t upset my stomach either as long as I take them with water. I do suffer occasionally from “runner’s trots” during long runs but GU seems to be the best for my stomach as well. Always remember never to take an energy gel with a carb drink or electrolyte drink like Gatorade! The double influx of sugar will more than likely upset your stomach. Take your energy gel with water then if you need it, you can drink your Gatorade drink after a few more miles.
6. Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0. I generally do not drink Gatorade or Powerade after my long runs. There is way too much sugar and additives that the body doesn’t need. I take Poliquin’s electrolyte replacement. It comes in a powder form and you mix it with water. There is only Sodium, Potassium, Phosphorus and Magnesium in this electrolyte supplement. I usually mix it with a little bit of Crystal Lite powder to get rid of the sodium taste. I will say, since taking in Poliquin Electrolyte Px 2.0 directly after my long runs, my legs do not get as sore. I’m not sure if that’s what it’s supposed to do but it’s a huge plus for me. I forgot to take it after my long run on Monday and my legs still hurt pretty badly. You can purchase this electrolyte replacement as well as other great quality supplements by going to www.charlespoliquin.com
7. iPod Nano. Everyone has their favorite iPod they like to use when running and some even use their phone but as I said, I don’t like anything touching me while I run so I can’t do the iPod or phone on an armband. I love my tiny little pink iPod Nano that holds 1,500 songs and it fits perfectly in the front pocket in my Lululemon shorts.
I’m interested to hear about everyone else’s running essentials too, so leave me a comment if there’s something I’m missing and you think it’s a must try. I’m always up for discovering new products. One item that I haven’t found yet is a good pair of headphones that are good for running. I’ve found some that I like but they quit working a couple months after using them.
XOXO The Glam Runner
Turkey Chili: serves a lot! Make this huge pot and freeze batches for later.
This is my take on my Mom’s delicious chili. I reduced the amount of meat, added more veggies and more beans.
- 1 package of 99% lean ground turkey breast (I always use Jennie-O)
- 1 large red bell pepper
- 1 large green pepper
- 1 medium sized onion
- 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon chili seasoning (I use Brown Bag Chili Mix)
- cayenne pepper (according to you taste – be careful cayenne pepper is VERY spicy)
- (1) 28oz can tomato puree
- (1) 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 12oz tomato juice
- (3) 15oz cans chili beans in hot sauce
- (2) 15oz cans dark red kidney beans
Brown turkey over medium heat and drain any liquid. Chop red bell pepper, green bell pepper and onion.
Combine tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato juice, chili beans and kidney beans in to a very large pot or crockpot. Add peppers, onions and ground turkey then add chili seasoning and cayenne pepper (it’s best to add cayenne pepper in small doses and “test” it to be sure it’s not too hot).
Heat on a stove over low heat for an hour stirring frequently or in a crockpot for how ever long you would like. It’s best to let it sit overnight in the refrigerator after you’re done heating the chili and eat it the next day.
Top off with 1-2 tablespoons of reduced fat shredded colby jack or cheddar cheese if you’d like and Enjoy!
XOXO The Glam Runner
Have you ever signed up for a race and put forth the effort to train then the few weeks leading up to the big event life gets in the way and you’re not able to run? I can say that has happened to me numerous times this year.
It happened the first time leading up to the 2012 Disney Half Marathon in January. I went to Chicago for Christmas for a couple of weeks; I did not do my long runs and did not eat properly at all. What’s even worse is, I didn’t do ANY training runs the week before the half marathon either. I was not in to this one at all and ended up walking the last 5 miles. If that were to happen now, I’d be ok but that was only the second half marathon after a full year off from racing to have my baby. I still had an extra 15 pounds to lose at that point as well. I won’t post my time for that race but it was my worst time by far of all time. Then came the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February and I was back on track. My extra weight was gone and I had trained hard with a respectable time of 1:47:42.
Now let’s fast forward to my spring half marathons. I ran the First Midwest Bank Southwest Half Marathon in May of 2012 in Palos Hill, IL during a work trip to Chicago. I didn’t do any runs the week of and did not practice healthy pre race habits however somehow I finished with a PR of 1:39:41. I trained extremely hard for this one and was below pre pregnancy weight so I don’t think that week of bad habits and no running had any effect on me. I ran the North Shore Half Marathon in Highland Park, IL June 6, 2012. Unfortunately I was only able to squeeze in two 5 mile runs in a 3 week period and didn’t do a long run for 2 full weeks – long story as to why. It was a VERY hot day that day and the course was extremely hilly but I still ended up finishing in 1:49:40. It was definitely not my best time, but even if I ran as I was supposed in those 3 weeks I would not have had the best time due to the hills (which we are not used to in Florida) and extreme heat (which we are used to but I still can’t push it to my limits on that kind of weather).
I ran the Chicago Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon in July, 2012 with another bad running week, the week before the race due to being out-of-town for work again. It was another super hot and humid day in Chicago and I ended up finishing in 1:53:07. My lack of running the week before my race was catching up with me. It didn’t help that my IT band and knee started bothering me at mile 8 either and I was practically at a “fast walk” the last 3 miles. I regrouped and made sure I was at home the week of my next half marathon which was the Chicago Half Marathon on September 9, 2012 and flew in the Friday before the race instead of the week before. I did my long run the Sunday before, tapered properly and ate like a champion the week of and I finished in 1:41:35. Finally back to my comfortable time!
It happened again leading up to my 5 mile race I did today where I couldn’t run for a week because I was out-of-town for work then I ended up getting a painful blood blister on my foot. I ran once the week of but still finished with a respectable 35:51.
If you find yourself faced with a race that you slacked off for the week of or even couple of weeks leading up to it, if you trained properly for the months leading up to the race you will more than likely be fine. A week is not going to take away all the hard work you put forth, especially if you are running a full marathon and you’ve been training for 18 weeks or longer. The rest might actually do you more good than harm.
Here are some of my tips when you have slacked off a bit leading up to the event:
- Never try to cram in miles you weren’t able to run. If you were forced to take some time off and it’s only a week before your race just do your moderate taper runs. If you try to make up mileage and cram it in to that week or 2 before you will either exhaust yourself and not do well in the race or you’ll injure yourself.
- Eat like a champion and drink plenty of water. The increase of carbs leading up to the big race (I’m talking 10 milers, half marathons, 20 milers and full marathons. There is no need to card load for 5Ks or 10Ks) will store that much-needed glycogen to keep you going and if you’ve trained properly leading up to the race, your body is already ready for the mileage. Also, being completely hydrated a few days before the race will keep you going strong as well. In any situation, rather it be perfect where you were able to train 100% correctly or not, you need to be hydrated in the days leading up to the race. Not the morning of.
- If you only missed your longer run the week before the race, try to at least keep your legs going with short taper runs. This will keep the blood flowing and keep your legs in running condition. You’re going to taper anyways so just be sure to keep with the lower mileage and don’t do anything more (as I explained in the first tip).
- Stretch and keep your muscles loosened up. If you aren’t able to run the week or couple of weeks leading up to your race, make sure you stretch and keep your muscles from tightening or cramping up. Don’t over do it though and try not to stretch a completely cold muscle.
- Make sure to get in a warm up mile the morning of the race. Warming up will get your body familiar to what is about to happen. I know if I haven’t run in a couple of day then just go straight to race pace with out warming up, everything on my body will cramp up. This will be especially true if you haven’t run in a week or 2.
- Lastly, don’t dwell on it and trust in the training you did do leading up to your break. As I stated, if you’ve trained properly for months, a week or 2 isn’t going to totally kill your ability to run a successful race. If anything, learn from what happened and get it right for the next one! As my graphic says, just get out there and do it even if you think you’re going to do poorly. You can end up totally surprising yourself.
XOXO The Glam Runner
U Can Finish 5 Miler
October 14, 2012 7:30AM UCF Campus Orlando, FL
- Finish Time: 35:51
- Age Group Place: 4th/138
- Gender Place: 22nd/756
- Overall Place: 106th/1,385
I ran the U Can Finish 5 Miler (Presented by Florida Hospital) this morning. I only did a 6 mile run this week due to being out-of-town for work, a painful blood blister on my pinky toe and ankle pain after my 6 mile run on Thursday (I need new shoes). I went in to the race feeling very well – my body felt rested. I can run 5 miles with my eyes closed but my goal is to finish as fast as my abilities allow me to and to place in my division (Women 30-34) so I was nervous because I slacked on my speed work for the last 2 weeks. My initial goal was a finish time of 34:27 but that might have been a little aggressive because this was the first 5 mile race I have ever run plus the heat and humidity is still going strong in Orlando. I cannot push myself to my ultimate limit in humidity – my body just doesn’t allow it right now.
I still did end up finishing 4th out of 138 in my age group (I missed 3rd place by 35 seconds) and even though I ultimately wanted to place in my division, I am happy with finishing 4th. Today just wasn’t my morning. I am more and more confident that I will do very well in the Chicago Hot Chocolate 15K on November 4, 2012. The weather will be cool and the humidity will not be a factor that time of year in Chicago.
I need to learn to realize where my limits are and to push them safely in the heat and humidity. At the end of the day I am only in competition with myself so this is a great starting point for me to beat in the next 5 Mile race I will run…when ever that may be. Running races in Florida definitely helps me in those races that I run in the cooler months here and in Chicago. I end up feeling great almost like I was training on hills and am running a totally flat course!
Next Race: Run Nona 5K October 27, 2012 Orlando, FL