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Hints of Insanity + Alternative Food Reading

September 30th, 2014 · Fitness, Lists, Random

There’s been about three hours of Ironman triathlon coverage on television tonight, and I’ve been developing delusions of joining the big kids in a 70.3 next year. This year I competed in two sprint triathlons, and the fire inside is growing. Here’s the rub: I’m a slow runner. Frankly, I’m really slow at all sports. I know that I’ll never win a 5k, but somehow, I’ve had it in my head that I’m built for long endurance. I can go, go, go, albeit slowly, for hours at a time, and I don’t like quitting. This feels like a story that is just beginning for me.

keep running

It feels good to have things that you are completely terrified of, and in a tiny part of your heart know that it just MIGHT be achievable.

And because, despite how it may look outside, I’m still holding onto summer in my kitchen, I’ve been reading through the latest issue of Jamie magazine. I have yet to get a subscription, but Whole Foods has it in the adult candy aisle, for a cringe-worthy $10.99, and I’m a sucker for the alternative food magazines.

jamie oliver magazine

I love almost all publications from the UK, and Jamie Oliver has long since been one of my culinary heroes. This magazine just delights me on a regular basis. Here are some of the other food magazines I love that you may not have read yet:

Alternative Food Magazines of Note

On my list, that I haven’t read yet, but know I should be: Cherry Bombe

Do you subscribe to any of these? Any others I should be reading? 

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Colors of Fall

September 29th, 2014 · Photography

fall esplanade

cookbooks

apple pie

balsam fir

bears

charles river esplanade

coffee at frontside grind

cranberry beans

night corgis

north conway echo lake

north conway fire pits

north conway

rosh hashana carrot cake

walden local meat share

white mountains vista

Pretty much all I want to do today is run around throwing leaves everywhere, drinking hot chocolate, and frolicking. It’s here! FALL IS HERE! 

Other things of note:

:: 29 miles until I get to 300 miles cycled in September with RunKeeper. Only 1.5 days left to go!
:: 40 days until I run a marathon. Probably should start running again
:: Reading: Nick Harkaway’s Angelmaker, Shroom, Dinner – The Playbook
:: Eating: fresh shell beans, meat from my Walden Local Meat share
:: Drinking: iced coffee. (I’m from New England. I’ll drink it all year long.)
:: Back in rotation for stew, stocks, and other warming dishes: my Instant Pot!

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{Pretend That It Is} Summer Corn + Tomato Salad

September 27th, 2014 · Salads

Summer corn and tomato salad

Okay, I know that technically summer was over a week ago. But I’m refusing to let the season go. Here’s one last recipe that you can make year round to remind you of the glory of the summer season. It’s a dish that I’ll affectionately refer to here as the “whoops, I have to bring something to a party and I’m already 20 minutes late salad”. The great thing about this dish is that you can make it a few hours in advance, and it only tastes better as it sits. You can use fresh corn or frozen, gorgeous bursting summer tomatoes or those  year round grape tomatoes – just make sure they are ripe!

This recipe also makes great use of my favorite kitchen tool: kitchen shears. You don’t have to be all fancy and get a real pair of kitchen shears, you can also just buy a great pair of scissors, and re-purpose them as “kitchen-only”. They work through cherry tomatoes and fresh herbs in no time.

{Pretend That It Is} Summer Corn + Tomato Salad

16 ounces sweet corn kernels (frozen or about 4 cobs worth of corn)
3 tablespoons salted butter
salt and pepper
16 ounces of cherry tomatoes
a dozen or so basil leaves
a container of mini-mozzarella balls (marinated are good!)
drizzle of good balsamic (optional)

In a skillet over medium high heat, melt butter and heat corn kernels until warmed through. Take off heat, transfer to a large bowl. With a pair of kitchen shears, chop cherry tomatoes in half directly into the bowl. Tear a handful of basil into the bowl, and toss in a container of mini mozzarella balls. (Choose the size of your choice – they make these in a range of tiny to medium size. All will work! Toss everything together, taste, season with salt and pepper, toss again – you likely won’t need much salt if you used salted butter – and drizzle, if you’d like, with a bit of good balsamic vinegar. Let sit for an hour at room temperature for flavors to meld, or stick in the fridge for several hours, take out, and let settle to room temperature before serving.

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Summer Dinners + Training Updates

August 22nd, 2014 · Challenge, Fitness, Meal Planning

After my first triathlon this summer, I decided to try giving up music while running outdoors. During the triathlon, where headsets are prohibited by the USATF, I managed to get through nearly two hours of swimming, biking, and running, without it, and found myself really enjoying the quiet time. Without music you can listen keenly to your body and your surroundings. I find that I’m slower, but I think that really it’ll help me continue to build up my fitness, and more importantly, my mental fortitude. When you have nothing to listen to other than your thoughts, you have to make a conscious effort to fill your head with positivity in order to keep going strong. Last weekend I went for my longest run of marathon training so far, 13.1 miles on the coast, with nary a song nor podcast to keep me company. I did, however, have this view:

ryebeach.JPG

Now, about that positivity. I wouldn’t exactly say that marathon training is going smoothly, but it hasn’t been abject failure. My long runs have all been *excellent* learning opportunities – specifically what NOT to do when running. 10 miles without food? Bad idea. You will be tired and crabby. Forget your water bottle? Good thing you brought some cash. Thank you kind people of Starbucks. Chafing under your left arm? Next time, there’s body glide. Yeah, I don’t quite know how that happened either. Fortunately, I’ve been tweaking as I go along, and each part of this adventure has me itching to continue. That’s really my ultimate goal with this marathon training: work hard toward something new, and have fun doing it.

I’ve also been doing it my own way: plenty of cross training in the mix, and as many new ways to challenge my body and mind as possible. Last Wednesday I woke up before dawn to head out to Harvard Stadium for a full tour with November Project. Stadiums are a challenging mental exercise. You head up the big steps, down the little ones, and work your way up and down, again and again, until you’ve worked your way around 37 sections. It has that hamster wheel feel to it, although working out with hundreds of other people at once makes it a spectacularly fun form of torture. My “carrot” was a 6 month old piglet named Phoebe, who was waiting to play at the last section of the day if you got your best time. My kind of motivation, and you bet I got to play with her!

beachrocks.JPG

Another major piece of this marathon adventure has been fueling my body with delicious (and nutritious) foods. Here’s some brutal truth about endurance training: many people gain weight while training for a marathon. I did not want to do this! A large part of training is learning how to effectively feed yourself on long activities, as well as during your every day life. It’s easy to get into the habit of rewarding yourself with food post workout, but I’ve long tried to avoid this, because usually it’s a hard habit to kick when you reduce your milage and energy expenditure. Instead, I’ve been rewarding myself with home cooked dinners and packed lunches.  Yep, very wholesome of me. Here are a few of the best last week, re-shared from over on my Instagram.

Breakfast for Dinner. Cooked up some ground beef and onions with salt, garlic powder, and cumin. Added chopped potatoes, browned for a few minutes then added some chicken stock and covered the pan so the potatoes would cook through. Added a few extra eggs, and dinner is served!

beefpotatohash.JPG

Seafood Mixed Grill.  King salmon, monkfish, and sea scallops, and beautiful dry farmed tomatoes I picked up at Formaggio Kitchen.

seafoodmixedgrill.JPG

Zucchini Noodles with Meat Sauce.  I shred, and then salt zucchini generously in a colander for 20-30 minutes. Give them a good rinse, and I usually try to wring out all the excess liquid. Usually I’ll pat with paper towels. If you have time, you can put them in the fridge for an hour to further the drying. And then just cook for 1-2 minutes in a good hot pan, and I’ll season and coat with a little olive oil. Topped with meat sauce made with Rao’s marinara.

zoodlesandmeatsauce.JPG

Dinner, Island Style. Pork chops, seasoned with salt, allspice, and garlic powder. Cooked in a little coconut oil on medium high, about 7 minutes on each side. Salad: cabbage, mango, and mint, with a dressing of lime, fish sauce, a little coconut oil for sweetness, and water.

porkchopsslaw.JPG

Crispy salted chicken leg with a carrot, tomato, cucumber and avocado salad with cumin dressing. Quick tip: to cut lots of cherry tomatoes, put away the knife, and take out your kitchen scissors!

roastedchicken.JPG

What’s on your table this week?

Are you training for any particular events this fall?

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Week in Fitness

August 4th, 2014 · Fitness

MizunoWaveSayonara

Hello! I’m not quite sure how the weekend is over, but I thought I’d check in here for a fitness update, and use my little corner of the internet as an added source of accountability. I have a habit of signing up for things and then worrying about them later, which is terrible for my wallet, but great for unlocking fitness achievements that my normal brain would be wary of. Somewhere along the line I looked at my fall racing schedule which had become a tad crowded, and I thought that I’d better start actually *training* for these races.

Some of the highlights of my upcoming season include: Sharon Sprint Tri, the 200 mile Reach the Beach relay, the B.A.A. Half Marathon, Tufts 10k, and the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon. Yep, that makes me tired even thinking about it! Knowing me, I’ll stuff in a few 5k’s in there as well, and another triathlon if I can manage it. As a self described reluctant runner, for the past few years I’ve been using racing as my race training, but I decided this year I’d at least make a go of running during the week, and I’ve taken advantage of our office track workouts to get some speed in.

Knowing that I have a good amount of miles to get in in the next few months, I finally found a new pair of sneakers to add to my rotation – these bright and happy Mizuno Wave Sayonaras from Heartbreak Hill Running Company. I knew I wanted a neutral-ish shoe with a little bit more padding than my usual minimal options, and so I tried on about 20 different pairs of shoes, and ended up with these. (For those curious, these are actually mens – I wear a mens 10 on my ski feet, which limits my color options, but the turquoise and orange are right up my alley!)

Here are my workouts from last week. I’m on a three month streak walking 10,000 steps a day, so none of my rest days are fully rest days, but I have a good base of walking to make that doable:

Monday: 10k steps (rest)

Tuesday: Track workout! 8 x 400 (1:30 rests). Mile and a half warm up and cool down at faster than normal pace. (Running with officemates at their leisurely pace is simply additional speed work for me!)

Wednesday: OLY class! Worked on cleans, hovering around 95.

Thursday: 10k steps (skipped a short run) (a.k.a. team potluck)

Friday: 10k steps (rest)

Saturday: 7.2 miles long and slow + 3 mile walk (overshot route, had to get home)

Sunday: 10k steps (rest)

Definitely some swimming and biking missing, but I’m back on the wagon this week, and hoping to get in a slightly more varied set of workouts!

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