Are You Thankful for Twitter?

Cheesey, but true...
Cheesy, but true…

If you’re following me,
@kimberlyadaly, you might be. I’ve been posting #TDayTips to help you survive the big meal without gaining any big regrets! (Most Americans gain 1 to 2 lbs. over the holidays—and many aren’t able to drop them again in the New Year. Yikes!) Here’s a recap…

#TDayTips 1: Don’t “save room” for the big meal by skipping breakfast or lunch. You’ll be ravenous and eat way more than you should.

#TDayTips 2 Can you say Turkey Trot? Burn off calories before the big dinner to offset some of the extra goodies you’ll inevitably consume.

#TDayTips 3 If you’re heading to a potluck, offer to bring a skinny version of a classic dish (or a healthy new one!).

#TDayTips 4 Arrange smaller portions of your favorite foods on half your plate. Then fill the rest of it with salad and veggies.

#TDayTips 5 Up for seconds? Fill your water glass, start an “I’m thankful for” chat, and let the tummy register it’s full—it needs 20 mins!

#TDayTips 6 Go ahead, have pie! Pick your absolute fave from the dessert buffet, take a small slice & be mindful of every yummy bite.

[Sneak Peak] #TDayTips 7 Slow down & savor dinner (and the day!) by chewing more, talking often, and enjoying the good company.

Happy Thanksgiving to all! And to all a good meal!

Michael K. Farrell and I will be running the Silicon Valley Turkey Trot in San Jose, CA tomorrow morning—yippee! Stay tuned for a race recap next week!

Who’s got a Turkey Trot on tomorrow’s menu? Share in the comments below!

 

 

It’s National Kale Day & I’m Training for a Secret Marathon!

One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled with eggs and black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!
One of my favorite dishes: Sautéed kale and scrambled eggs with black beans, topped with ketchup. All organic—natch!

What does National Kale Day have to do with marathon training? Honestly, nothing. But if you keep reading, I’m sure I’ll be able to come up with some clever connection.

I’ve been a lazy runner lately. My butt started acting up again this summer, so I didn’t sign up for any fall races, and recently I’ve only been running when I feel like it, usually no more than 3 miles in any given stint. This year, running just hasn’t felt as important to me. Like any relationship, the one I have with running ebbs and flows; there are times of intense passion and moments when I take the love for granted.

When I lived in New York City running was my escape from the stress of work and living with a bazillion people. The 6-mile loop in Central Park served as a refuge, a place where I could feel alone (though I never had the park all to myself—I was living with a bazillion people!). Today, my life appears to be 180-degrees different. I’m often alone. I work from home and set my own schedule, and I’ve never had so much space in my life. There are wide-open parks everywhere in the Bay Area, and Californian’s are so much more relaxed than New Yorkers—no one ever seems to be in a hurry to get anywhere or do anything.

As if I need another marathon medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.
As if I need another race medal. OK, most of these belong to Michael K. Farrell… But still. I don’t run for the hardware, I run for the love.

I still want to get faster, that’s always been my back-of-mind running goal, and I still tend to push myself on those easy 3-milers. But my endurance has really tanked and I want to get that back—I miss the mind space of a long run, and the feeling of accomplishment, so I’ve put myself on a marathon training program. I have my sights set on a race that I haven’t registered for yet, and I’ve decided to “decide later” on whether or not I will actually line up for the start. If I do, it will simply be to complete. I just want to have fun and go long.

Now, back to kale. Part of the reason for the lull in my running relationship has to do with my focus on food lately. After graduating from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition earlier this year, I’ve attempted to gain traction as a health coach. I’ve set up a private practice, read a bazillion books on diets, and started consulting with a start-up (so very Silicon Valley of me!) that’s teaching people how to eat better. I’m so consumed with healthy eating, there are days I forget to make myself lunch. It’s not a surprise that I forget to run, too.

My brain has turned to kale. And while kale seems to be getting more than its 15 minutes of fame, I’m still a big fan of the green stuff and I’m so happy there’s a group of people who love it as much as I do (if not more!).  I hope you all have big plans to celebrate National Kale Day! Be sure to raise a fork to me and wish me well as I train for my secret marathon.

What’s your favorite kale recipe? And what are you training for now?

Healthy Living Summit 2013 Recap: New Blogger Friends!

Just a few of the business cards I collected at Healthy Living Summit 2013
Just a few of the business cards I collected at Healthy Living Summit 2013 #hls13

Last weekend I was in Minneapolis, MN for Healthy Living Summit 2013. It was three days jam-packed with firsts: My first time flying on Frontier airlines (very smooth!), my first time in Minneapolis (what a friendly city!), and my first time at a bloggers summit (so fun!). I learned so much from scheduled seminars and picked up some awesome lessons hanging with fellow healthy living pushers. A few key take-aways:

Healthy living is a come-as-you-are party. Just like runners, healthy living bloggers come in all shapes and sizes, and at HLS13 they covered the spectrum—beginners who’ve recently started to eat better, women who made changes years ago and have shed some serious pounds since, and fitness gurus looking to share their knowledge with the world. That’s good news for anyone hoping to get healthy or healthier—the healthy living train picks you up at YOUR station, wherever your starting point may be.

This photo (taken by a summit sponsor) is a perfect example of the healthy living come-as-you-are party. I’m sporting fitness apparel and Ari and Nicole are decked out in dresses.
This photo (taken by a summit sponsor) is a perfect example of the come-as-you-are party. I’m sporting fitness apparel and Ari and Nicole are decked out in dresses.

Good food doesn’t need to be complicated. In her presentation, “Grow Your Own Food,” Aundra shared her love of gardening and pointed out that anyone can have a green thumb if you start small and plant what you love. And keynote speaker Brenda Langton, an award-winning chef and restaurateur, stressed the importance of using simple recipes to bring out the best in whole foods.

Sunday morning post-run snapshot in the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden with Brittney. This woman is on her way to becoming the most-asked-for PA—she’s still in school and already has job offers!
Sunday morning post-run snapshot with Brittney. This woman is on her way to becoming the most-asked-for PA—she’s still in school and already has job offers!

Running builds relationships. This one is a no-brainer: Anytime you sweat it out with a friend, you’re bonding on a deeper level. The summit culminated with a 5K fun run/walk to the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden that gave us an opportunity to sightsee and chat about the weekend.

Everyone can contribute to the conversation. Healthy living is a broad category, filled with different strategies and tactics for looking and feeling your best. Here’s a sampling of the awesome bloggers who made it to the summit—check them out for recipes, fitness tips, motivation, and more.

Which healthy living blogs make your favorites list?

Back-to-School, Back-to-Work, Back-to-Health Smoothies

Healthy smoothies are so easy to make—a kid could do it!
Healthy smoothies are so easy to make—a kid could do it!

There’s no better way to celebrate the end of summer than barbecuing in the backyard with friends and family. But indulging in all those grilled burgers, scoops of potato salad, and cupcakes can leave you feeling a little sluggish. (Raise your hand if you pigged out over the weekend?) To get back on track with healthy eating during arguably the busiest week of the year, focus on filling your plate with veggies and snacking on whole fruits and nuts. You can also try one of these yummy smoothies. I created them for my clients who will be wrangling kids to the bus stop and juggling back-to-school nights, along with new deadlines at work. (Phew!)

Each of these delicious drinks take minutes to prep and make. Simply put all of the ingredients in a blender in the order listed (leafy greens on the bottom), and blend on the highest setting until everything is smooth. You can add a splash of water if you prefer a thinner smoothie, or throw in a few ice cubes if you’d like it to be thicker. Then, grab a friend (your kid works, too), a couple of straws, and enjoy!

 

Banana Berry Blaster Smoothie
This Banana Berry Blaster Smoothie is full of cold- and flu-busting antioxidants.

Banana Berry Blaster

This one’s full of immunity boosters—just what kiddos need when they’re heading back to the classroom with all their friends. Leafy greens are packed with iron, which supports healthy blood cells as they fend off pathogens. And a burst of vitamin C from the spinach and berries acts as an antioxidant to neutralize free radicals before they can do any damage. (This smoothie is on the sweet side. For those who don’t want a treat, substitute ½ cup of water for half of the juice.)

Ingredients: 

  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Orange Juice or Apple Juice (preferably fresh, unsweetened)
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 cup Strawberries
  • 1 cup Blueberries, frozen

Prep time: 5 minutes  Ready in: 5 minutes  Servings: 2

 

PB & J Swirl Smoothie
PB & J Swirl Smoothie—a twist on a classic.

PB & J Swirl

This twist on a classic packs in more vitamins, protein, and easy-to-digest fiber than the traditional sandwich. Spinach is loaded with iron and vitamin C, the banana brings in potassium and fiber, and red grapes offer up resveratrol—the same heart-healthy antioxidant found in red wine. You also get protein from the almond milk and peanut butter to help build strong muscles, as well as a balanced source of quick-burning carbohydrates to fuel your day. Plus, it tastes so great you’ll forget you’re eating vegetables.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 2 cups Red Grapes 
(frozen ones are great in this!)
  • 1 Banana
  • ¼ cup Peanut Butter (or Almond Butter)

Prep time: 5 minutes  Ready in: 5 minutes  Servings: 2

 

Carot Cake Cooler Smoothie
“Carrot Cake” Cooler Smoothie Vitamin A never tasted so good!

“Carrot Cake” Cooler

Again with the spinach! I push it on everyone because it’s a vitamin powerhouse. But unlike its leafy green cousins kale and chard, spinach has a milder taste that mixes well with other flavors. With this smoothie, you get all the benefits of spinach, plus a giant dose of vitamin A from the carrots. Our bodies use vitamin A to build and maintain healthy tissue for eyes and skin, making it an important nutrient for growing kids and adults alike.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Spinach
  • 1 cup Almond Milk, unsweetened
  • 2 cups Baby Carrots
  • 1 Banana
  • 1 tsp. Pure Organic Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp. Cinnamon
  • 1 tbs. Organic Raw Honey (optional)

Prep time: 5 minutes  Ready in: 5 minutes  Servings: 2

 

How do you slip more fruits and veggies into your day? What’s your favorite healthy, kid-friendly recipe?

This Isn’t Your Practice Life. (Stop Eating Like It Is!)

This meal took time to prepare (15 whole minutes), but investing in my life makes me smile.
This meal took time to prepare (15 whole minutes), but investing in my life makes me smile.

This isn’t your practice life. I stole that line from a friend’s Facebook status update. She heard an acquaintance say it. He picked it up from a former coworker. I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d seen it or heard it somewhere, too. Good advice, packaged nicely into a single-sentence sound-byte, travels fast. But how many of us are actually living this advice?

I spent my last trail run mulling this over. It’s so easy in our work-a-day world to get bogged down with the daily stress of life, to forget about being passionate, and to simply go through the motions. I see clients do it all the time—and I’ve noticed it’s being fed by their eating habits.

They are bypassing the produce department in the grocery store, filling their carts with 300-calorie boxed meals, and thinking they’re making the healthy choice, one that will make their lives easier (and, therefore, happier). But instead of filling up on bliss, they’re feeding into a dull, drab existence. That box—loaded with sodium, colorants, flavorings, and artificial preservatives—isn’t nourishing a bright, positive life, because the ingredients inside are merely pretending to be food.

Many of us sit around and think the world is happening to us. In reality, we are creating our own existence. If you want joy, if you want passion, you need to nourish your body with the most vibrant foods you can buy (I’m talking about vegetables, people!), and create a happy existence from the inside out.

Despite what all those clever marketers want you to believe, there aren’t nearly as many nutrients in packaged, processed items as there are in fresh, whole foods. And there certainly isn’t any joy in nuking your dinner. Just imagine how depressing Thanksgiving would be if the family simply waited 3 minutes for the turkey dinner and then scurried off to the next conference call.

Whole foods take time to prepare. But I believe what you spend in the kitchen will multiply in your soul. You are sending a message to your body that you deserve to be cared for; you deserve to be well fed. In order to go out and do great things, you need to feel great—and that feeling begins by fueling your body with the most nourishing foods possible. This isn’t a practice life, so why are you eating like it is.

How will you nourish your life today?

Let’s Talk About Snacks, Baby

Supermarkets are full of ready-to-eat snacks these days—some are pretty healthy, others not so much. While I’m a big proponent of putting fresh, made-at-home meals into your mouth, in our go-go-go world even I like a little packaged convenience now and then. (And, let’s face it, bananas get boring.) Here’s what typically lands in my shopping cart each week.

Here’s the beef! Every piece of Krave Jerky looks like fresh meat—‘cause that’s what they use to make it, natch.
Here’s the beef! Every piece of Krave Jerky looks like fresh meat—‘cause that’s what they use to make it, natch.

Krave Jerky Clean, healthy, natural is my mantra when it comes to packaged snacks, and Krave Jerky lives up to it! Not only are the ingredients quality (no nitrates!), the inventive flavors make this meat treat a million times better than anything you’d find at a gas station. I like the beef options best—Sweet  Chipotle tops the list for me, but the Black Cherry BBQ Pork is pretty darn tasty, too. In fact, Krave Jerky is so good that I convinced the suits that run the San Jose Sharks to stock their concession stands with it—you’re welcome!

 

Jelly is full of added sugar, so I top a slice of Eureka! Saaa-Wheat Organic Bread with all-natural peanut butter and fresh nectarine pieces instead.
Jelly is full of added sugar, so I top a slice of Eureka! Saaa-Wheat Organic Bread with all-natural peanut butter and fresh fruit instead.

Eureka! Organic Bread I’m not really big on bread—Michael K. Farrell is gluten sensitive, and I don’t usually buy food that he shouldn’t eat (since he eats EVERYTHING and complains about the tummy ache later…). But I love the loaves from Eureka! They use organic ingredients and slip a little something extra in every slice, specifically seeds and whole grains.

Sometimes I mix Garden of Life Raw Meal into organic whole milk, which defeats the whole vegan thing but tastes incredible!
Sometimes I mix Garden of Life Raw Meal into organic whole milk, which defeats the whole vegan thing but tastes incredible!

Garden of Life Raw Meal I’ve been adding this potent powder to my post-workout smoothies lately. It offers 34 grams of protein per serving, and it’s loaded with all kinds of good-for-you nutrients. Plus, it contains pro-biotics (live cultures also found in yogurt) to aid digestion. The Vanilla Spiced Chai flavor is my favorite—it has the power to transform ordinary water into a creamy, delicious snack.

What are your favorite healthy snacks? 

Disclaimer: All of these items can be purchased at Sprouts Market. I was not compensated by any of the brands featured for writing this post. The opinions presented are mine and unbiased.

Running Reader Q: Chocolate Milk Gives Me Gas. Should I Still Drink It For Recovery?

It's tasty, but chocolate milk doesn't do every body good.
It sure is tasty, but chocolate milk doesn’t do every body good.

There’s a lot of talk about the best way to rehydrate and support muscle recovery after a tough run, but just because an expert says a liquid is good for you, doesn’t always mean it’s good for YOU. Jennifer offers the perfect example. “I recently ran a tough 10K race and was handed a carton of chocolate milk at the finish line,” she says. “My tummy bloats when I eat dairy and—maybe this is TMI, I always get gassy when I have milk, but I took one anyway.”

Jennifer went ahead and downed the brown stuff, thinking the race directors knew better than she did—only to suffer the consequences of lactose sensitivity on the car ride home. “I nearly had to pull over on my drive home because my stomach was in so much pain,” she says. “I thought chocolate milk was what you’re supposed to have after a run, no?”

Chocolate milk is an OK option for those who can stomach it. In fact, studies have shown brown moo juice works just as well as (and in some cases, better than) big name carbohydrate replacement drinks—and it costs less, too. But just because it’s cheap (or free when it’s handed out at the post-race hydration station), doesn’t make chocolate milk the best thing to swallow.

You body needs readily available protein and carbohydrates after a tough run to restore glycogen levels in your muscles. But the empty carb sources in chocolate milk (namely, sugar or high fructose corn syrup) are just that. They don’t offer any other beneficial nutrients. Don’t get me wrong—I love a cold mini-carton every now and then, too. But I think of it as a treat, not a finish line must-have.

Jennifer plans to skip the freebies and rely on snacks stashed in her car next time. Her new recovery plan: Plain water, an apple or a banana, and a protein bar.

What do you think about chocolate milk? Is it a post-race yummer or bummer? 

This Healthy(ish) Treat is My New Guilt-Free Pleasure

It's not ice cream, but this bowl of banana, yogurt, and Madhava Organic Whipped Cinnamon Honey ($7) is still pretty sweet!
It’s not ice cream, but this bowl of banana, yogurt, and Madhava Organic Whipped Cinnamon Honey ($7) is pretty sweet!

I’ve got a sweet tooth when it comes to dairy—I can’t deny it, I love ice cream! Soft serve, sundaes, scoops loaded with chunky bits of goodness, I would gobble it every day if I didn’t know what all that sugar and saturated fat do to your body. (Darn nutrition training!) Luckily, I’ve discovered something that satisfies my cravings and my health goals: A sliced banana and a dollop of plain Greek yogurt drizzled with Madhava Organic Whipped Cinnamon Honey.

This cinnamon-spiked sweet stuff has been in Whole Foods and on other stores shelves for a few months now, but it took some gentle prodding from a friend for me to finally try Madhava Organic Whipped Cinnamon Honey. (Thanks for sending it to me, Megan!)

Honey’s got a health halo—it’s anti-microbial, which means it bolsters your immune system and can keep illness-causing bacteria in check. Still, your body processes it exactly the same way as regular old sugar (insulin spike and all!), so it’s a good idea to be mindful of portions. I’ve found that one-teaspoon is plenty to turn yogurt into a decadent dessert.

What’s your go-to, guilt-free treat? 

Celery Root & Apples. Who Knew!?

Here I go, comparing apples and celery root again.
Here I go, comparing apples and celery root again.

Signing up for produce delivery from Full Circle is really paying off! I’m being introduced to veggies I didn’t even realize existed. I mean seriously, who’s ever heard of celery root?

A quick Google search reveals that many of you out there have, in fact, come into contact with the weird, knobby root. (OK, so I’m the only one without a clue…)

Celery root, also known as celeriac, is rich in several vitamins and minerals, including riboflavin, calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamins A, C, B6, E, and K—making it a powerhouse food for runners. (We need all of those nutrients for endurance and muscle recovery!)

Slice away the outer layer of celery root to find a fleshy, white center that tastes like celery. (No surprise there.)
Slice away the outer layer of celery root to find a fleshy, white center that tastes like celery. (No surprise there.)

All you’ve got to do is eat it—raw or cooked, to reap the health benefits. One recipe idea: Create a slaw of matchstick-sliced celery root and apple, and toss it with mustard vinaigrette.

I whipped up a quick dressing (1/4 cup of olive oil, 2 tbs. white vinegar, and a good squirt of spicy brown mustard), and then got to work hacking off the outer layer (peel? rind?). The inner flesh turns brown almost immediately when it hits the air—a process known as oxidation, but throwing it in a bowl with the vinaigrette ASAP helps keep it looking fresh. Several minutes of chopping later (talk about an arm workout!), I had a tasty salad.

Celery root and apple slaw with mustard vinaigrette and walnuts—yum!
Celery root and apple slaw with mustard vinaigrette and walnuts—yum!

I added walnuts for a hit of protein, and the next day I dumped the leftovers in a blender with a splash of almond milk and made a smoothie. Who knew celery root was so versatile? (OK, you knew…)

 

Know any good celeriac recipes? What’s the strangest thing you’ve eaten this week?

What The Heck Do You Do With Baby Turnips? This.

Soft and tangy, baked baby turnips are perfect in a dinner salad.
Soft and tangy, baked baby turnips are perfect in a dinner salad.

In my first box of produce from Full Circle I found eight teeny, tiny turnips—the smallest ones I’d ever seen! There weren’t enough of them to star in their own main or side dish, so I decided to get a little creative.

I trimmed the stalks, tossed the roots in a marinade of fresh-squeezed blood orange juice, olive oil, cilantro, and pepper, and then popped them in the oven for about 40 minutes (covered, 375 degrees). After baking, I sliced up the baby turnips and added them (marinade and all) to a salad of green leaf lettuce, roasted chicken (remnants from dinner a couple nights earlier—yum!), apples, peas, avocado, almonds, and more cilantro. The result was muy delicioso, and I discovered that salads are great for stretching a small amount of veggies and using up leftovers.

Need some convincing to go to all this trouble for a couple of midget turnips? Consider this: Turnips are chock full of vitamin C, an antioxidant that fights free radical cell damage and aids in the absorption of iron. Many runners are deficient of this important mineral, and pairing turnips with protein (like chicken) can improve your body’s uptake of iron.

Have you ever tasted a baby turnip? Think you’ll try one now?