Yes, I have now been counting down even HOURS as I begin to freak out about the biggest race of my life thus far.
As training is beginning to taper, (backing off to conserve our energy for the race), I have been slowly recovering from all the hard workouts. This is not to say that the workouts are over by any means... they are still hard... but instead of 4 hours, it is 3 hours on the bike... instead of a two hour run as hard as you can, it is 2 hours jogging...
Don't think Im sitting on the couch doing nothing- I'm still always tired and hungry and without a doubt cranky by the end of the week!!!!! ;)
It never ends. Ever.
MONDAY- I taught a spin class and swam 45 minutes, working on my stroke work and even pacing.
TUESDAY- I ran 45 minutes and was supposed to have strength training, but I felt my body weak and tired, so I opted out and took the rest of the day off...
WEDNESDAY- Today I am swimming for an hour, trying to nail down some nice intervals while conquering some distance in the lap pool at my gym. THEN, I am going to go for a light 30 minute run to keep my legs fresh.
THURSDAY- Strength training in the AM then on the bike for a spin class (6:15 at Focus Fitness!)
FRIDAY- Spin class in the AM- swim around lunch- then another spin class in the evening.
SAT- a LONG bike.. second to last long bike until we fully cut back... 4 hours- hopefully the boys will join me on this one!
Sunday- 2 hour light run... (whoever calls a 2 hour run light is out of their minds...)
Since this week is packed with spin classes (I am subbing for some people and have been asked to do more than usual).... I am doing a SPIN SPECIAL blog on Sunday.
For now.... FOOD.
As we approach getting closer to the race, I have been ironing out my nutrition, specifically race- day nutrition and the week of the race.
Now, I know that just because I follow a certain plan for one week, doesn't mean I see results... therefore, as I have been following Paleo for 6 out of 7 days of the week as much as possible, from here on out... ONLY PALEO.
In the midst of kicking my Paleo eating up a notch to full gear, I am officially sick of chicken and veggies... therefore, I have experimented and have found some AWESOME recipes I want to share with you guys:
- PALEO POWER SMOOTHIE!
This is awesome to start your day off. I am full after, energized, and it is a great shake full of healthy fats, proteins and amino acids. *** Remember, Paleo is DAIRY FREE!!!
- Coconut Milk as a base, or ice (I use ice and water, with just a little bit of coconut milk for some extra fat)
- Frozen Berries (I use frozen strawberries and blueberries then fresh blackberries)- good sugars and antioxidants!
- 1 Banana- needs to be a little softer than you would eat normally
- 1- 2 Raw eggs (do not worry about having them raw, USE FREE RANGE, NATURALLY FED, ORGANIC)... the taste wont bother you as you will only taste the other stuff, and it is full of amazing proteins and fats- For men, I put 3 in Jackson's shake when I make it for him... I would say 2-3 for men.
- One or two spoon fulls of Nut Butter (The taste will be subtle for a nice aftertaste, but also add even more healthy fats and fill your stomach) *** If you want to be ridiculous about it, get RAW organic almond butter- not as sweet because it has no sugar added, only natural sugar... :)
- Vanilla Extract (adds a great taste for flavor explosion!!!!- I put in a good dose, about a tablespoon)
- Lastly, I add 1 teaspoon- 2 teaspoons Flaxseed into it. Flaxseed is an awesome source of Fatty Acids and Omega-3... a necessity for muscle recovery for Endurance athletes.
*** All of these ingredients can be modified. For example, if you don't do much physical activity- no need for the Flaxseed, and only put in 1 egg and half of a banana... things like that can be altered to your personal lifestyle :)
Put it all in a blender:
It is delicious and packed with Paleo goodness!
- THE CAVEMAN STEAK!
Classic and simple. Full of protein. Just pay attention to ingredient details so you do it right!
- 5 oz- 6 oz, about 1 inch thick beef steaks (rib- eye, sirloin, strip, tenderloin)... these are the least fatty... MUST BE Grass Fed Beef to be fully Paleo and in my opinion, tastes even better and fresher!!!!!
- 1 tsp dried oregeno
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp garlic, minced (fresh is better, I used about 2 tsp... I love garlic!)
- 1/2 tsp of sea salt (optional- Paleo says no salt, but sometimes you just gotta have it!)
- 1/4 cup coconut oil or tallow, melted (I used coco oil)
- Preheat broiler to high
- In a small bowl, combine oregano, black pepper, garlic, sea salt and the melted oil or tallow.
- Place steaks on broiler pan and brush both sides with mixture
- Broil 2- 3 inches away from heat source (usually the top rack)....
- Broil for 7 minutes for medium- rare (watch carefully), 8 for medium
- Remove from oven, turn steaks over and broil other side for additional 5 minutes for medium rare (6 for medium)
- When desired internal temp is reached (I cut it to check), remove steak from oven and cover with foil and let it sit for 5 minutes. (I didn't let mine sit, it was perfect the way it was and my Father taught me steak continues to cook when it sits.. so you may want to take it out a few earlier than planned!)
Serve with your favorite veggie!
I served with Green beans, with coconut oil and pepper and garlic... and a sweet potato for some extra healthy carbs and fats for Jackson and a Salad for me.
3. KALE CHIPS!
My mother brought these home once from a local salad place and I fell in love. Although hers were not Paleo, due to the excessive salt they had on them... so I researched and found a Paleo- approved version! These are a great snack, side to a lunch or if your craving something crunchy but can't have grains, like me! I will say, it is an acquired taste, thought- but I love them and its super simple!!!
- 1 bunch Kale
- 1 tsp of melted coconut oil
- 1/4 tsp sea salt (optional)
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- Remove tough stems of Kale
- Cut Kale into 2-3 inch sections and place on baking sheet.
- Drizzle with coconut oil (olive oil if you don't care about Paleo)
- Sprinkle with Black pepper and a TINY bit of Salt, (more salt if you want more flavorings and aren't following Paleo to a tee)
- Bake in oven for 10-15 minutes, or until crispy--- serve hot (They are better warm, BUT I save mine in a container and eat them whenever and they ares till delicious!)
4. Last one for today, but NOT LEAST!
BANANA CHOCOLATE CHIP COCONUT FLOUR BREAD!
I love bread, need bread and miss it whenever I don't have it! Since I can't have it, and training is important to me and I am seeing results from Paleo, I try to find alternatives to grains by using wheat and grain free flours... like coconut flour or almond flour!
This one is the best "bread" I've found yet. Grain AND dairy free.
- 1/2 cup of coconut four
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda
- 6 eggs
- 1 banana (maybe 1 1/2 if you love that taste)
- 1/2 cup coconut milk
- 1/4 cup of coconut oil (or unsalted butter if you're not dairy- free)
- 4 tablespoons of organic, dairy- free dark chocolate chips (or regular organic chocolate chips for dairy people)
- Preheat oven to 350 F
- In bowl, mix flour, salt and baking soda
- In another bowl, beat eggs, add in melted coconut oil, smashed banana and coconut milk.
- Pour the wet ingredients over the dry and blend.
- Fold in the chocolate chips
- Pour into a greased loaf pan (I grease mine with coconut oil SPRAY)
- Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean!
YUM! *** Now, this WILL NOT taste like the best bakery bread you've ever had, BUT once you have a few pieces... it will melt in your mouth and you will learn to love it. I love it, and I am a big bread person!
Tip: Try eating it warm, with a bit of butter--- mmmm--- (I use non- dairy, soy free 'butter'- found at Whole Foods).
** Remember, all ingredients must be organic, grass- fed meats and no additives. ONLY NATURAL SUGARS AND FATS!!!!
It is a pain in the butt to always find these things, but your bodies will thank you later!
There will be more recipes coming up! I am having a great time in the kitchen and in my training.
So far, although I'm freaking out a bit... I know that I can complete this race.. and I'm getting very excited! The plans are into place for where we are staying, what we are doing and the details are coming together nicely.
Our bikes are getting tuned up as we speak in preparation for our last two long rides and race day! "Slice", my bike, is ready to go with a whole new 'makeover' that I will take a picture of as soon as I pick her up from the shop!
Thanks for reading and being patient with my lack of postings! It has been crazy busy! Enjoy the food, stay active and enjoy our lack of winter here in Philly. And for those West Coasters... SEE YOU SOON!
More to come!!
Never Give Up-
" I know I run like a girl. Try and keep up..."- Anonymous