20 miles this week (woo hoo!)
I’m almost afraid to talk about it for fear of jinxing it, but this week was my 2nd back to training for the marathon and it’s been going well. Anthony, my fabulous trainer, has me easing back into my runs with 2-3 short and 1 long one per week. I did 13 total last week (two 3 milers and a 7 miler) and 20 this week (two 3 milers, a 5 miler and a 9 miler today). While the build up of mileage 2 months out is still a bit steeper than ideal, we’re hoping that my overall conditioning keeps me healthy and gets me to the finish line. That, plus I’m keeping up with acupuncture, stretching, foam rolling and cross training. The muscles in my body are big fans of knotting up, so I really have to keep on top of them. I think I’m even going to treat myself to a massage or two (or three) before the race hits.
Now that I can (sadly) feel the imminent departure of summer, I’ve started getting back into nesting and cooking mode. Friends and I are already plotting winter dinner parties and movie nights. Personally, I’m kind of excited to start getting back to soups and stews – they are easy to make healthy and they last for a couple meals, which it always nice for helping to save time.
If you follow me on Instagram @anunprocessedlife you can see it all happen in real time, but here’s a snapshot of some of what I’ve been whipping up. I’m a fan of keeping things simple, especially on nights that I don’t get home until late, so there’s been quite a bit of veggie sautéing and roasted going on.
Recipe posts will come for more of these guys but for now, I’ll leave you with this gem. In fact, after I finish writing this post, I’m going to use the last of the pesto from this batch to make my dinner tonight.
A Couple Pesto Power Highlights
Kale: As we have all heard – the new beef. One cup of chopped kale contains 33 calories and 9% of the daily value of calcium, 206% of vitamin A, 134% of vitamin C and 684% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus. Carotenoids and flavonoids in kale are associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Lutein and zeaxanthin compounds rich in kale are powerful eye health protectors. Not to mention the protein and the fiber, which binds bile acids and helps to lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease.
Parsley: Parsley has been used medicinally for centuries – as a diuretic to flush excess water from the body, to flush the urinary system, to treat stomach and intestinal disorders, as well as jaundice and insect bites. Parsley contains a flavenoid called apigenin (also found in celery, apples, oranges, nuts and other plant products) that has shown potential benefit in animal studies with delaying tumor formation. As with kale, parsley is rich in vitamin K (necessary for a wide variety of bodily functions, including normal blood clotting, antioxidant activity and bone health). A cup of parsley contains only 22 calories but provides 101 percent of the daily value of vitamin A (most of it from beta carotene), 133 percent of the daily value of vitamin C and 1,230 percent of the daily value of vitamin K.
Walnuts: These gems resemble brains for a reason – the omega-3s in them help to reduce depression, ADHD and risk of Alzheimer’s disease. Omega-3s are also powerful inflammation fighters, so nosh on them to help with arthritis and Crohn’s disease, among others. The antioxidants in walnuts have also been shown to be more powerful than those in Vitamin E or that of a diet high in fatty fish. Note: you should eat the skins – it’s where 90% of the tannins and flavenoids (good stuff) are found.
Pumpkin Seeds: Contain healthy fats as well as protein, fiber, potassium, iron and zinc. Sprouting helps make them easier to digest, but you can also use unsprouted ones if you can’t find the sprouted ones in the store – and aren’t up for sprouting them yourself.
Nutritional Yeast: A cheesy tasting alternative with a powerful vitamin punch – it is a complete protein and source of B-complex vitamins. Nutritional yeast is deactivated yeast, often a strain of Saccharomyces cerevisiae, is sold in the form of flakes or as a yellow powder. Vegans and vegetarians pull it from the aisles of natural food stores to use in recipes or as a condiment in place of cheese (when I still ate corn, nutritional yeast was my go to popcorn topper).
ZUCCHINI NOODLES WITH KALE, PUMPKIN SEED AND WALNUT PESTO