Category Archives: food

Travel Running: After all the Mediterranean Meals!

My trip to Israel for the 2015 Jerusalem Marathon was sponsored by the Israel Ministry of Tourism. All options listed below are my own.

If you have any hesitations about traveling to any part of Israel, or probably anywhere on the Mediterranean Sea, let the following words and pictures reassure you it’s worth the trek if only to spoil your appetite for good. Our 6-day agenda was packed with historic sites, running and various other experiences, but at the end of the day we probably spent about half of our time eating.

Israel Museum Lunch

The majority of our trip was spent in the city of Jerusalem, but we ended on a high note in Tel Aviv. Our days often looked like this:

Breakfast

Prima Kings Hotel Buffet – this was no continental breakfast. The buffet had entire sections dedicated to salads, fruit, various egg options (hard-boiled, scrambled, salad, mini-quiche, etc), granola + mixed nut station, fresh breads and pastries, and all the beverages. You could also order cappuccino or lattes if preferred.

One morning we headed over to the Mamilla Hotel for breakfast, and their buffet options also included fresh juices, such as apple celery and mint + a beet variation. No skimping on the fruits or vegetables here!

On our last day in the country, we enjoyed a night and morning in Tel Aviv via the 5-star Carlton Hotel. This breakfast spread trumped the others – maybe because the restaurant sat beautifully on the water or maybe because most of us had run that morning (or were recovering from 26.2 hilly miles) and were ready to put it down – and this was just the first round:

Carlton Hotel Tel Aviv Breakfast

We were never under-fueled to start the day.

Lunch

The midday meal is often the largest here, and that took a little stomach-adjusting for most of us. The first picture above is an example of what most tables were already armed with when we sat down – just a little starter next to a basket of fresh pita bread and usually dipping oil. What would follow: anywhere from 3 – 10 more courses! I wasn’t counting, but I’m not sure we could’ve kept up anyway. Sometimes we would order our preference for the “main course”, which usually caught us off-guard because we would have already indulged in the 8 courses before that. Everything was served tapas-style and would just keep coming.

On Thursday I opted to have the “grilled fish” as my “entree” and I learned a very important lesson: ask questions first. An example may be: has the fish been beheaded? Just wondering…

Adom Jerusalem Lunch

I had to put a napkin over the head to have any chance of keeping this down.

The shock of my week: I didn’t have falafel until Sunday afternoon! During our last day, we toured and explored the city of Jaffa, which is on the edge of Tel Aviv. Our guide finally let us indulge in the Americans’ must-have and took us to a famous Jaffa bakery’s sister restaurant. We couldn’t have been happier to stuff our stomachs with more carbs:

Jaffa Mediterranean coast Jaffa falafel lunch

These hearty lunches were always followed by small desserts – just enough to stuff you and keep the stomach happy until…

Dinner

We dined at top-rated restaurants such as Eucalyptus and J’oy Meat In while in Jerusalem; we were seated at one of the only eateries open after sun-down on Friday evening, with a delicious Lebanese spread; we enjoyed tapas and paella at Vicky Cristina’s in Tel Aviv, complimented with sparkling Rose and Champagne for the table.

J'oy Meat In Dinner Jerusalem

We did not go to bed hungry or thirsty, I assure you.

Tel Aviv Dinner

Every meal was full of variety and catered to any type of dietary preference; a few times we had to mention that that were a few vegetarian + Kosher diners in the group, and everyone was gracious and generous with accommodations.

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We were all sure we’d leave the country 5lbs heavier, but I don’t feel any different than when I arrived. The only thing I know now is that with three full and balanced meals, you don’t need snacks in between. And when you spend the day touring and exploring vs. sitting and working, you burn right through that energy! I also know that Israel knows how to eat well, and I’d go back for the food and drink alone.

I can’t speak for everyone, but all the fuel seemed to translate to hill-power during the run, and sufficiently spoiled me. By the time I was served breakfast on the airplane I wondered where my soy latte, fresh omelet and fruit bar had disappeared to.

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Eggplant Apple & Kale Salad Recipe

While I spent hours on end being a yogi last weekend, he went to town in the kitchen. We had grabbed groceries together on Sunday morning, and by 6pm half of the veggies had been chopped and/or roasted to perfection. And in a new twist, so had one of the fruits.

Aside from the occasional banana-soft-serve treat, or summer-grilled peach, we rarely consume fruit any way but raw. If you’re more adventurous, you’ll already know this: heat the sugars out of any fruit and you’ll never again question that its nature’s candy. Apples included.

All of that to say, that to get this salad party started you do this:

Heat the oven to 350*.
– Chop 2 medium apples (of your choice) and 1/2 purple onion
– Toss with cinnamon on a baking sheet.
-Bake for 20-30 minutes (depending on how tiny those chopped pieces are – less if they’re smaller, more if they’re big)

– Slice 1 eggplant into discs (about 1” thick)
– Drizzle with oil, sea salt & cumin (and/or cayenne pepper)
– Roast for 20-30 minutes, until softened

Both of these could be used for a lot of things, but my first thought was my lunch salad the next day. And sautéed kale, which seems to pair well with pretty much anything.

eggplant apple salad

Eggplant Apple & Kale Salad

~2/3 cup Chilled roasted apple-onion mix (see above)
2 roasted eggplant discs (reheated)
2 cups kale, sautéed in EVOO
1 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
(….if you’re like me: salt to taste.)

Because the veggies were roasted with seasonings, and the kale was shining in all of its oil-sauté glory, this needed no dressing or extras. And since everything was already roasted and ready, this came together in approximately 5 minutes.

Bon appetit!

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Spicy Coconut Seafood Soup

Welcome to 2015! We’re settling back in after a 2-week holiday hiatus that started with a southwest venture for some family time, followed by a week on Hawaiian island time. Ringing in the new year without a hangover was a refreshing first (in at least 7 years); starting the first day of the year on top of O’ahu has got to stand for something, and I’m pretty pumped to find out whatever it may be.

One thing’s for sure: two weeks of vacation & holiday eats, treats and libations makes the comeback-to-reality a little startling on all systems.

This soup, however, did us a solid.

For our first meal back at home I scoured some simple recipes for something new. This Whole30 list popped up with some great ideas, but we had a few different things to work with – namely some Hatch Green Chile salsa that won’t last more than a week in my fridge. {THANKYOUTRADERJOSE!}

Spicy Coconut Seafood Soup
Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup heavy coconut cream
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
1 tbsp fresh garlic, minced
1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, divided
1 bag Trader Joe’s frozen seafood mix
1 red pepper, chopped
1/2 cup green chile salsa*
4 cups water
salt to taste

Heat the coconut oil over medium in a deep soup pan; add onions, garlic and 1/8 cup cilantro. Sauté until onions become translucent.

Add coconut cream, water, red pepper, seasonings and green chile. Mix well and bring to boil. Add seafood (thawed). Cook for 8-10 minutes, or until seafood is heated through (don’t go too long, or they’ll get all rubbery on you). Optional: mix in kale (I almost always do this with soup) and top with remaining fresh cilantro.

*any chunky salsa or even canned tomatoes works here – chef’s choice!

Coconut seafood soup 
If you want a creamier texture, alter the coconut cream: water ratio to your liking. If you want more spice, by all means, dump it in! Enjoy.

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Cardio & Kitchen Abs: November Challenge

Well this post is about seven days late, but not a dose-of-ab-inducing-awesomeness short. Don’t you worry.

My colleague and fit-buddy, Melissa, brought me onboard for her November “Abs Challenge”, and you know I can’t turn down a monthly goal. The first week’s focus: the kitchen & the cardio workout.

It’s a pretty common misconception to think that you’re 1,000 crunches away from a six-pack. Rather, those abs may never been seen if you don’t tackle nutrition and cardio, too. Core strength can be achieved in a variety of ways, but if you want visible results you have to take it a few steps further.

Exhibit A: the interval workout.

Track Interval GRP workout_Dietitian on the Run

I’ve spent more time with the 6-lane oval in the past 6 months than I have in the past six years. (But it’s worth noting that you certainly don’t have to run in ovals to get in a quality interval workout!) With any interval/speed workout, make sure you give your muscles a proper warm-up with some walking, jogging, strides and/or plyometrics (depending on how much/fast you intend to whomp yourself). Then, hop to it!

If you’re training for a race, have your goal-pace in mind (goal race pace = GRP). If you’re just out working on your fitness, go by feel and your level. Ex: recently raced a 10K for the first time? Go for that 10K pace by feel. Turn the hurt up a notch for the 800s (GRP – 30 seconds). Something comfortably hard. Don’t be all chatty during that 1 mile or any of the 800s, but don’t reach that finish-line-puke-threshold level.

Cool-down. Recover. Refuel!

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Now that we’re in the kitchen, we have Exhibit B: Quality Carbs.

natures carbohydrates_Dietitian on the run

Newsflash: most people eat plenty of carbohydrates! Rather, most people eat them in excess. And the body is so used to this that is has plenty of mechanisms in place to put the extras away for later. In case we, you know, randomly go into starvation mode or suddenly find ourselves with NO FOOD ANYWHERE or maybe decide to hibernate. All of which are such unlikely circumstances today that what actually happens is we store layer upon layer upon layer of extra carbs. Some of it can be found in the liver and muscles for quick use, but because those stores are pretty full, too, guess what’s next? Your belly! 

And your abs don’t take precedence here. They hide in the shadows.

So, rather than pile on the extras, let’s hop on nature’s carb party! If your goal is to build lean body mass (muscle), shift your focus to natural sources of carbs and leave it at that. They happen to also be full of fiber and water, so you fill up pretty quickly! We’re looking at things like squash, potatoes, fruit, beans and legumes. And did you know some nuts have carbs, too? YEP. See, plenty of nutrient-dense options!

These are just a few of my personal favorites:

Natural Carbs_Dietitian on the Run

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Ready to join? It’s okay if you’re late, too. Check out Melissa’s posts for some more food & workout ideas, and let us know if you’re in!

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Filed under challenges, food, Goals, health, Nutrition

In Case You’re Wandering: Health Reads & Eats Edition

Guys. It is RAINING here. I don’t even know what to say about this. My rainboots are dusty. My rain-jacket hasn’t been used in months. I’m so used to eating lunch outside in the sunshine that I really had to think about where to put my plate today. (All, 100% #firstworldproblems. I know.)

Meanwhile, the farms all around the central coast of California are rejoicing and you can hear the Hallelujahs from miles away! So, good for that.

Since I can’t sit here and watch a movie with you on this rainy day, I’ll keep you busy with something else – pretty damn good reads and quotes I’ve found by wandering around the internets recently. I’ve taken the 15+ browser tabs open on my Chrome right now and passed the highlights right along to you!

No problemo, amigos.

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Coach heather sign

The Truth About Cholesterol
– Whole9Life.com

Do you know your numbers? We test them for our clients and I spend a lot of time discussing TG, HDL, LDL and other acronyms related to health risks. As per usual, the Whole9 team gives a great, easy to comprehend recap.

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trailhoghalf_H3

Is your Hydration drink making you Dehydrated?
Interview with Osmo’s Dr. Stacy Sims – OutsideMagazine.com

I’ve received a little tough-love from the coach lately about hydration and endurance training. That little 12-oz water bottle I’ve finally learned to carry around on runs and during races isn’t doing me quite as many favors as I once thought. I’ve gone from Nuun to Skratch Labs mix (because of the sugar alcohol in Nuun), and now to Osmo Nutrition drinks. It’s a long story. Let’s let Dr. Sims do the talking.

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image

California International Marathon (CIM)
Running Tips 

Speaking of running, a big race in a little city of California is coming up and a certain someone in this house is running it! He’s got a lofty goal in mind, and I’m pretty pumped to see him crush it after months of dealing with me giving him MAF runs. We’re about 5 weeks out from his race-day and the plans are coming together (lodging, shuttle-catching, race-day strategizing, etc.).

Any other hands-raised for this one?

Alternative read: Josh Cox’s CIM race report

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2014-05-31 13.26.51

What you eat affects your productivity – HBR

In other words, the above-pictured lunch may not be your best workday option. A goal set with a lot of my clients is to revamp the midday meal, because it can drastically affect how the rest of your day plays out.

“Unhealthy lunch options also tend to be cheaper and faster than healthy alternatives, making them all the more alluring in the middle of a busy workday. They feel efficient. Which is where our lunchtime decisions lead us astray. We save 10 minutes now and pay for it with weaker performance the rest of the day.” Read more by clicking above.

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pumpkin-soup-dietitian on the run

What kind of Halloween post would this be
without some PUMPKIN love?

33 Pumpkin Recipes a la Anne @ fANNEtastic food

My favorite (spiced) pumpkin soup                 &

How to make your own pumpkin puree (skip the can!)

(And while I may not be dressing up this elaborately this year, I give you this 2006 flashback. Mmhm. Purple-people-eater was the exact color, in case you’re wondering.)

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And last but not least, this thought has consumed my post-MCM mind. Let it sit and let it change a decision you’re having trouble making.

never give up

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