Things I’ve Learned from Running & Panko-breaded Pork Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans

Hello, hello!

Happy Thursday!

hang on

I’m happy to report that Christine (my car. read yesterday’s post to learn more) is running fabulously! Although, one of her brake lights is out. :/ Must get that fixed. Fix-it tickets can be expensive. I don’t like expensive.

So, as you probably guessed, I’m a runner. If you didn’t know, well, yeah, I got nothing. (Um, please see blog title.) 🙂

Anywho, I’m a runner. I’ve been a runner since I was a kid but I didn’t “officially” become a runner until I joined the track team in high school. We didn’t have a middle school track team that I can remember, but I did try out for middle school softball! I ran track and cross country in high school and I loved/hated it. The workouts were hard, I got really sweaty and I sometimes felt like vomiting but I enjoyed it. I also ran a variety of road races with my dad – he was a runner, too!

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Washington Redskins, NFC East Champions, baby!

I ran because I had to while I was in the Navy. You know, group PT sessions and PT tests. I kinda drifted away throughout the years – started smoking, had kids, was unhealthy, worked A LOT, went to school at night and earned my degree while playing mom AND dad because my sailor was deploying but I would always return, even if it was briefly.

Then, in 2008, running came back into my life full force. I wanted to make a lifestyle change – I wasn’t feeling overly great about myself – and I had made some friends at work who were runners. They were happy to talk running with me and got me all excited about it! So, I started back up. Because I was no longer smoking (quit in 2004, thankyouverymuch!), it didn’t take too long to get back to comfortable. Oh, don’t get me wrong – it really sucked most of the time. But, I kept at it and my breathing improved and so did my fitness and endurance.

I signed up for a 10-mile race in April 2008.

My sailor thought I was bonkers and told me later that he worried about me the whole time. He said he was SO HAPPY to see me coming and cross the finish line.

And when I did cross that line, I fell deeply, madly, and passionately in love with running.

I felt invincible! I had just run 10 miles and I didn’t die! And, I felt GREAT and had FUN!

Okay, so maybe miles 6-8 weren’t that fun but there weren’t a whole lot of spectators in that area cheering us on.

I ran the Baltimore half-marathon in October 2008 and then Philadelphia Marathon in November 2008.

Did I mention I had just started back to running THAT YEAR?

Crazy? Maybe. Crazy in love with running? DEFINITELY!

Now, I’ve run 6 marathons, 3 half-marathons (one trail and one was in a snow storm!), 4 ten-milers, a 15k and a few 5ks. I’m not really into the 5ks. I’d rather run farther.

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Bling, bling!

Yep. Crazy.

Things I’ve Learned from/while Running

1. Running makes me feel really happy and really good about myself.
2. Running is bouncy – go to the bathroom before you leave the house/start the race.
3. Drinking wine the night before a run/race upsets my tummy.
4. Don’t eat anything new the night before or the morning of a run. Unless you know where all the port-a-potties are or have planned your route to include bathrooms.

    4 1/2. Plan your route to include bathrooms! Unless you live in the woods. Then, plan your route to include trees.

5. If you live in a sketchy area, definitely run without music so you can hear the creeper hiding in the bushes. You know they’re not stealthy.
6. Dachshunds are mean, little, spiteful dogs who will bite your ankles if they don’t want you to run by their house.
7. If you’re running on the road, run facing traffic and pay attention. Not all people are ACTUALLY paying attention while driving. And some think you’re playing Frogger.
8. Running in the rain is actually quite refreshing. Running in a thunderstorm or torrential downpour is not as much fun.
9. Wear reflective gear or tape, even in the day time, but ESPECIALLY at night. But, don’t expect this to help people to see you. Seriously, I’ve been lit up like a darn Christmas tree (headlamp, reflective vest, reflective straps around my arms AND ankles) and almost been hit!
10. Being alone in your thoughts for hours is actually really nice! You can write papers, solve problems, sing songs, sing cadence, figure out how to take over the world….
11. When it’s hot out, make every attempt to frolick through as many sprinklers as possible. No one is watching. Really.
12. Smile. Running is fun!

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Questions!

1. What have you learned from/while running?
2. What was your first significant running event/moment?

Bonus Recipe!

So, I whipped this up last night. I’m so proud of myself. 🙂 And, it was so easy and delicious that I just had to share! You lucky dog, you. Enjoy!

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Panko-breaded Pork Cutlets with Sauteed Tomatoes and Cannellini Beans
makes 4 servings

1 tablespoon coconut oil (or use olive oil)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
Salt & pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
2/3 cup grated parmegiano reggiano cheese
1 pound pork tenderloin, sliced into cutlets
4 campari tomatoes, rinsed, cored, and cut into quarters (use more if you have big tomato eaters)
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/2 – 1 teaspoon italian seasoning
1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Mix flour, salt, pepper and cayenne in shallow bowl; set aside. Crack egg and beat slightly in another shallow bowl; set aside. Mix panko and parmegiano in another shallow bowl; set aside.

2. Heat skillet over medium-high heat; add coconut oil. Once coconut oil is hot, dredge pork cutlets in flour, then egg, then panko/cheese mix and add to pan. If your pan is too small, you will have to work in batches. Do not bunch cutlets together.

3. Cook, turning occasionally, over medium-high heat, for about 15-20 minutes or until pork is cooked through and breading is brown and crusty.

4. In a medium skillet, heat extra virgin olive oil over medium heat. Add tomatoes, italian seasoning and garlic; saute for about 5 minutes. Add drained beans and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for another 3-5 minutes.

5. Pile it all on a plate and have at it! Om nom nom!

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– jennifer

TGIF!! Italian Flag Halibut

Hello! Happy Friday!

friday!

I am so ridiculously happy that it’s Friday. It has been a LOOOONG week and I am ready to relax this weekend. Anyone have any fun plans for the weekend? I plan to rearrange the bedroom. WOOT! Really, that’s relaxing. 🙂

not impressed

Fine. Don’t judge me. We also have a date planned and there will be wine. Oh yes, there will be wine.

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So, okay, I’m a lot less stressed about my injury than I was yesterday. Boy, some times I really need to stay off the internet. Of course, if I’d been on WebMD, they would have told me I was surely going to die from my injury. Oh, leg pain? Here are some possible causes:

    1. You bumped into something and just can’t remember
    2. You have a muscle strain
    3. You have a broken bone
    4. Your leg is falling off
    5. You are dying

(Yes, I just made those up.)

Nice, huh? Note to self: sometimes there really IS such a thing as TOO MUCH KNOWLEDGE. So, I’m just going to relax and keep doing what I’m doing – rowing, biking & Crossfitting. The running will come. 🙂

So, who’s hungry? Me! Oh, wait. I’m always hungry. Seriously. I’m like a bottomless pit sometimes.

black cat hungry

How about some Italian Flag Halibut? Om nom nom! Oh, and it only required 5 ingredients. Yep. Just 5. That’s easy! Basically, you buy some fish, open a can of beans, chop some garlic, broccolini, and tomatoes and then you cook. You can totally do that. I believe in you. And, you’ll be happy you tried it. 🙂 Oh, the “Italian Flag” part?

italian flag

It’s all the colors in the dish! Cool, huh?! And everyone knows your food should be colorful! 🙂

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Italian Flag Halibut
makes 4 servings

2 bunches broccolini
4 skinless halibut fillets (about 6 oz. each) (or cod, if you can’t find halibut)
Salt and pepper
5 tbsp. EVOO, plus more for drizzling (if you’re not versed in Rachael Ray speak, that’s extra virgin olive oil)
3 large cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
4 medium tomatoes, cut into ½-inch cubes
1 can (15 oz.) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1. Discard the leaves from the broccolini and cut the stalks (up to the florets) into ½-inch pieces. Rinse in a colander and set aside.

2. Heat a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Pat the fish dry and season with salt and pepper. Add 2 tbsp EVOO to the skillet and swirl to coat. Add the fish and cook until nicely golden on the bottom, about 3 minutes. Flip the fish and cook until firm to the touch, about 3 minutes longer. Transfer to a plate and cover loosely with foil to keep warm.

3. Pour off and discard the cooking oil. Return the skillet to medium-high heat, add the garlic and 1 tbsp. EVOO and cook, stirring and scraping up the browned bits, until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wet broccolini, season lightly with salt and pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, beans and 1 cup water and cook, stirring occasionally, until the broccolini is tender and the tomatoes are saucy, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tbsp EVOO and season with salt and pepper.

4. Spoon the tomato-broccolini mixture onto 4 plates or shallow bowl. Top each portion with a piece of fish and drizzle with a little more EVOO.

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Recipe from Rachael Ray
(unfortunately, she never gives nutritional information but this dish is pretty safe. all good stuff in there!)

QUESTIONS: How do you handle stress? Do you spend time on medical web sites researching injuries or illnesses? Do you like fish? Are you hungry? 🙂

– jennifer

Cool new gear, A lesson in patience & It Takes Stew, Baby

It’s finally Friday!

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Check out these cool car magnets I got!

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I found an awesome race medal hanger on Gone for a Run and, after perusing their site, spotted the cute magnets. (Picture of the medal hanger coming!) They have a lot of cool products! I even got one of the running hats with 2 zipper pockets to stash my keys, money, gels, etc. So handy especially since some running shorts are pocketless. Sure, cute is nice but functional is so much better for a long run. I have some cute AND functional running shorts/skorts so it’s clearly possible to do both. Not sure why some companies are lagging behind. Oh well, doesn’t matter to me because I have a cool new hat! And, it’s pink so it’s even cooler. Can’t wait to wear it!

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Which, honestly, isn’t going to happen anytime soon. My leg hurts when I walk these guys so running is definitely out of the question. 😦

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Still waiting to hear back from my doctor. :/ I know, I know, I shouldn’t have pushed it this week. I’m resting it. I promise.

Cooking for two

No, not THAT kind of two. Sheesh! One birdie just left – I am NOT trying to refill our nest. Thing 2 is gainfully employed and, with her work schedule, I have less mouths to feed. And, since I’m really the only one who eats the leftovers, I’m trying to cut down on the “feeds a football team” recipes. 🙂

Found this recipe in my Abs Diet Cookbook. Yes, the name is ridiculous. No, I didn’t make it up. But, the meal is delicious! I used a 15 ounce can of cannellini beans instead of 10 ounce but I don’t think it made it overly “bean-y.” It was a perfectly light, healthy and tasty dinner that came together in no time. Om nom nom!

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It Takes Stew, Baby
Makes 2 servings

2 cups roughly torn baby spinach
1/2 cup diced red bell pepper
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 can (10.5 ounces) cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup cubed precooked chicken
1/2 cup fat-free reduced sodium chicken broth
Salt and pepper

In a nonstick skillet over medium-low heat, saute the spinach, peppers, and garlic in oil for 2 minutes, turning often. Add the beans and chicken. Saute 1 minute more. Add the broth. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper.

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Nutritional info:
Calories 311; Protein 27g; Carbs 43g; Fat 4g (saturated 0.5g); Sodium 420.5mg; Fiber 11g

– jennifer