Mainely Running
Join me as I train in Maine and race all over the world in pursuit of my goal to run a marathon on all 7 continents

Friday, August 31, 2012

Foodie Pen Pals Reveal: August

Getting my foodie pen pal box is always one of the highlights of my month, and this month was no exception. Not familiar with foodie pen pals? It's a great idea, thought up by Lindsay over at the Lean Green Bean, where you are matched with a fellow foodie every month and exchange a box of goodies.

This month I got my box from Sarah of Mom Running on Empty. Check out her blog it's great! I found my box waiting for me when I got home late at night. I was starving so I dug right in!

Sarah really nailed my likes, she had some familiar favorites, like walnut butter, fruit twists,dark chocolate with cranberries, and organic dark chocolate peanut butter cups. She also included PUFFS, a fun puffed treat. I had 3 right away. They have a great crunch and flavor. I noticed they had them at my grocery store, so I will be getting them from now on.

 There was also an awesome pouch of honey garlic BBQ sauce that I can't wait to try. I might end up just drinking it because it looks so darn good.

Finally there was some Athlete Fuel Muesli that is chock full of yummy stuff- flax seedsm almonds, cashews, pumpkin seeds, raisins, and whole grains. I had some hot with almond milk the next morning before my long bike ride. It was wonderful. I want to try using it for my cold overnight oats and hot banana oatmeal too.

Thanks Sarah!

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Exercise for Weight Loss: Is Less More??

It's Wednesday, Wednesday is a good day for some science right? I thought so. The other day I read a really interesting article on Runner's World.- Exercise for Weight Loss: Is Less More?

The article summarized some recent studies that found that more exercise isn't always better. I was expecting it to find that extreme levels of exercise, like marathons, isn't always better. I have certainly found that I tend to gain weight when I am marathon training.

I just ran 13 miles, shouldn't I be thinner?  

But the study found this true even at much lower levels. They found that 30 minutes of exercise is better than 60 minutes for weight loss.  WHAT??? I always try to get a minimum workout of 60 minutes a day.

Another surprising study was one that found that the super skinny Hadza hunter-gatherer tribe of Tanzania doesn't actually move around more than big-bellied Westerners.I totally feel like my sedentary work life is a huge factor to my increased pounds, since they all piled on after college.

What do you think? Do these findings surprise you? Is 30 minutes of exercise a day enough?

Monday, August 27, 2012

Hummus Cookie Dough and Silly's Restaurant

This is a post about some healthy food and some completely unhealthy food. Healthy first.

I was totally intrigued when I saw recipes for dessert hummus over on Lindsay's Blog @ The Lean Green Bean. I like hummus and I certainly like dessert, but would I really like them together?

I roughly followed her recipe, with a few minor tweaks.

  • 1 can chickpeas, drained & rinsed
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp peanut butter (or desired nut butter)
  • 3 – 4 Tbsp agave nectar (or honey)
  • 1/3 c chocolate chips
  • 1-3 Tbsp water (or milk)
  • 1/4 cup cocoa powder

Combine the chickpeas, peanut butter, agave, and cocoa powder in a food processor and process until smooth. Add water (or milk) as necessary until desired consistency is reached. (I had to process for a LONG time to get all the chickpea lumps out). Stir in chocolate chips.

While the cookie dough was pretty good just like this, it still had a slightly weird taste that I didn't love. So I divided the dough up into balls and froze them. They are GREAT frozen!

And now on to the totally unhealthy. I have a new obsession with Silly's. I have been there 3 times in the last week. I just love everything about it. First the decor. From the street it doesn't look like much, but then you walk back to the patio and it is like entering a secret, super fun, garden. There is so much color and fun whimsical decorations. The menus are inside lunch boxes on the table along with fun little card games to play while you wait.

And then the drinks. They have all kinds of vegan milkshakes and the most fun cocktails ever. Friday night I got a vegan white Russian in a glass rimmed with nutella and pretzels. Ummm best thing ever. Last night we ordered a 1/2 pitcher sangria. There was NOTHING half about it. I had 3 giant mugs and we didn't even come close to drinking 1/2 of it. 

And then the food. They have so many options, I can never make up my mind. Again, they cater to every dietary option out there- vegan, vegetarian, gluten free, they got it all! I have never had anything bad there.  Friday I got the Love Goat pizza, with goat cheese, caramelized onions, almonds, and honey. It is sweet and salty and delicious. Last night we decided to go for gold and split the chicken in a boat. Ready for this? It is chicken, mushroom, and rice noodles covered in a peanut sauce and then rolled inside a burrito with cheese and scallions. They they fry the whole thing. 

I didn't even finish my half and felt like I was going to explode for hours after. But it was totally worth it. If you are in Portland, you must go to Silly's. 

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Hop Picking

One of my favorite local breweries, Sebago Brewery, held a hop picking party today. They asked for volunteers to help pick this year's hop harvest in exchange for free beer and lunch. Free food and beer? Naturally I was in!

I had never actually seen a hop, and in my mind they looked like little mexican jumping beans. I mean they are called hops right? Actually they look like little fuzzy green pinecones and grow on long vines. They grow up on the vines on tree trunks or old telephone poles that are stuck in the ground. I didn't know hops were grown in Maine, but all the hops we picked were grown in the state, and harvested within the last couple days.

After arriving at the brewery we posed for a few pictures and then set to work.

 At our table were 2 brothers who actually own one of the hop farms, Rock Island Hop Farm. That was pretty neat because they explained a lot about the hop growing process. Their hop farm is only a couple years old and they do it as a hobby right now, but they hop to make it a full time job in the future.

The actual picking was pretty easy. The hops pop right off. They also have a great smell- like beer, but really fresh and almost piney. We did find all kinds of interesting bugs and catapillors as we picked. We took advantage of the free beer as we picked too- we tried the hop swap, a summer ale, and the Frye's Leap IPA.

Lunch was pretty awesome too. I had one of their awesome pretzel rolls and a delicious assortment of anti-pasto veggies- eggplant, sweet potato, mushrooms, and zucchini.

We shared our table with various people as the day progressed. The time just flew by between the beer and the great conversation. Many hands really do make light work, by 2pm we had emptied several trucks full of hops! It was an awesome way to learn more about the beer making process, I definately can't wait til the local hop beer is released this fall and I can drink the fruit of my labors.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

My essential self

I went up my Mom's midweek this week to teach an early morning yoga class. I got there late Tuesday afternoon and it was just spectacular. I couldn't resist going out in the kayak. It was just too perfect- no seas, no wind, sunny and warm. I went way out around the backside of the Cuckold's light. My Mom and I ate a dinner of portobello BLT's while sipping red wine out on the deck before sleeping down in the boathouse. I just love tucking into my bunk and falling asleep to the sound of the ocean.
Wednesday morning I was up at 5 to teach yoga. I was so energized after that I just had to go for a bike ride. I went all the way around the island, venturing down all the small side roads to get as many ocean views as possible. When I got back I rowed out to the motor boat to attach the new mooring line. I think I even mastered the new know my Mom's boyfriend taught me to attach it so if one side releases, the other will hold.

As I rowed back to the dock in our dingy it occurred to me that I was happy. Not just happy, but really happy, blissful even. This is the place in the world where I feel the most alive, where I feel the most like the true me. The road warrior, world weary, fancy, IT consultant, that I have become in the past few years is just a character I play sometimes. The girl with the wild wind-blown curls, barefoot, in an old t-shirt and cut-off, sun kissed, and in a boat. This is the real me.

When do you feel the most like yourself? Where are you the happiest?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

My first yoga teaching experience

As I have gotten more regular with my yoga practice, I've also gotten more interested in possibly getting certified to teach. I went to a yoga seminar early in the summer where there were several women who had just gone through the teacher training process and they all said it was wonderful. So when my Mom's neighbor asked if I'd be interested in teaching a yoga class at the conference she was organizing at Newagen Inn, I jumped at the chance. I figured it would be a good idea to try teaching to see if I like it before making the significant investment in getting certified. In college I learned that while I love to ski, I do not enjoy teaching people to ski (at least I didn't enjoy teaching large groups of 3-4 year olds to ski).

My alarm went off bright and early at 5 this morning. I'd had a nightmare during the night that I got to the Inn and there were people waiting for me to teach a Zumba class. Of all the various forms of exercise I do, Zumba is not one of them! Luckily, when I actually got to the Inn the women waiting were waiting for yoga! I had been hoping to hold class outside, right down by the water, but we'd had a really heavy dew and the grass was soaked. So we were on the screened porch instead. There was still nice fresh air and a great view.

How could you not like the view of this harbor?

I'd spent quite a bit of time designing the flow of my class. I took a lot of notes at the yoga classes I've been to this summer and did some on-line research. I tried to design a class that started slow and easy with childs pose, cat/cow, and thread the needle to ease everyone into the day, then got hearts and muscles pumping a little with sun salutations and warrior series, before slowing down again at the end with boat, wheel, and bridges to leave everyone feeling refreshed.

I felt a little awkward at first. All those inspirational sayings I love hearing during a class sounded cheesy when I said them. I was sweating like crazy even though we had barely started. It was hard to demonstrate a pose and talk at the same time. But just as my body always loosens up while taking a class, I started loosening up into teaching. I laughed and made jokes when I messed up. I liked observing the participants of the class and trying to take them right to the edge where they were challenged but not push too much.

In the end I loved the experience. What could be better than sharing something you love and making people feel great? I wish I could commit to teacher training this fall, but I just know with my travel schedule for work that there is no way I can be at training all day every Saturday and 2 nights a week. But soon.

Namaste friends.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

I am going to Madagascar

OMG I am so incredibly excited. I just got my confirmation for the Madagascar Marathon.

Not only will it bring me one step closer to my 7 continent goal, not only is it in an incredibly cool place, but I am also going with an old friend, Quincy, that I always have an absolute blast with! We rode in the Trek Across Maine together for years and made up silly songs while we peddled the miles away, rowed in the Southport Rowgatta while wearing showercaps and singing an improvised kayak opera, and threw some awesome parties while we were still young and crazy. She will kick my butt because she's fast as a gazelle, but that doesn't matter.

The trip is organized by Marathon Tours, who organized my trip to Antarctica. I was so impressed with everything about that trip, that I can't wait to travel with them again. Read more about the trip and race here.

The race isn't for another 10 months, but I was so excited that I felt like I needed to start training right away, so I did an impromptu 12 miler this morning.

Lemurs, and sapphires, and dinosaur bones, and beaches, and rainforests, here we come!!