A caged kitty, do I need new shoes?, and the best meat sauce you’ll ever eat.

Hello, hello!

Another Tuesday, another caged kitty.

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This time it’s Molly’s turn. She’s going in for her annual exam and teeth cleaning! She’s really not that excited about it. She pretty much cussed me out the whole way. She’s a potty mouth.

Breakfast this morning was the apple cinnamon version of overnight refrigerator oatmeal.

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I add blueberries and some chopped walnuts to give it a little extra oomph. Oh, and fyi – frozen blueberries are still REALLY cold even after they’ve defrosted enough to eat. Just in case you didn’t already know.

So, last night, I noticed that the top of my right foot was a little swollen.  Yes, that’s the same foot with the plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and ankle tendonitis.

    I know.  I need a new foot.

You’ll be happy to know that my plantar fasciitis and heel spurs are no longer bothering my and I’m pretty certain my tendonitis flare-up is pretty much a flare-down at this point. But, what is up with the top of my foot?! I didn’t drop anything on it and I don’t remember banging it on anything.

Could it be my shoes?

Could ALL of the problems I’ve had of late be a result of my running shoes?

I used to wear the Saucony ProGrid Ride 5 and then I started to go to a more minimal shoe. There was nothing wrong with the Rides, btw. I just wanted to try to get away from a heel strike – seemingly for the benefit of my running! I first bought the Skechers GoRun to alternate with my Rides to slowly work my way into more of a mid-foot strike. That seemed to go well so I decided to get the Skechers Go Run 2 and I changed my Rides to the Saucony Kinvara 3.

I should say that I LOVE both pairs of those shoes. They are SO COMFORTABLE and I don’t have any toe box issues. I apparently spread my piggies a LOT when I run and if there isn’t enough room, I get toe cramps. Not. Fun. Both the Go Run 2s and the Kinvaras have PLENTY of room in the toe box. Plus, it doesn’t hurt that they both just look awesome, too.

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Hmmm…clearly I prefer to take pictures of the Skechers while they are on my feet

But, was I ready for a drop from 8mm to 4mm? It doesn’t seem like much. I mean, a 4 mm difference is about the width of a CD case. Really? It’s a little mind-boggling to think that something so small could cause problems so huge.

I had various issues before. I’m a marathon runner – I’m DESTINED to have issues. But, they’ve really cropped up since I made the switch. And honestly, I never would have even considered it if my running buddy wasn’t also having issues and she recently bought a pair of slightly minimal shoes and she actually wondered aloud if it was the shoes. Now, the question is, do I press on with the shoes that I have and hope that my body “falls into proper form” or do I go back to the Rides?

Oh, so I made the most AMAZING meat sauce last night. I found the recipe over at PaleOMG. Let me tell you something.

O. M. G.

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Stop licking the screen. This is mine. Make your own. (click the photo for the recipe)

This is now my go-to meat sauce. Thank you, Juli!

I put it over sweet potato waffle fries.

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Don’t hate me because I’m beautiful

I know. Strange. Don’t judge me.

So. Flippin. Good.

You can put it on what you want.

I didn’t change a single thing about the recipe.

Juli wins.

Questions

1. Does your cat like going to the vet?

2. Have you made the switch to a more minimal running shoe? Did you have any issues or injuries as a result?

3. Why are you not already shopping for the ingredients for that meat sauce?

– jennifer

A WOD, tips on recovering from injuries, and Chocolate Snickerdoodles

Happy Monday!

I went to CrossFit this morning and I DID THE WOD!!! I had looked at what was programmed the night before and thought that I might be able to because my ribs were feeling pretty good. But, I knew I still had to be cautious because I want to continue to be able to do the WODs. My BQ training plan starts next week (!) and an injury does not fit with the program. So, I took it easy, did some low-weight squats and cleans after my warm-up (where pushups didn’t break me, thankyouverymuch!) and did a couple of kettlebell snatches with 15# to see how it felt. All manageable! Game. On. 🙂

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I decided to go with the 400 meter run because, well, I AM a runner and I know I was going to go lower on the kettlebell weight. Kind of balanced it out in my mind. 🙂 I stuck with the 20# but I had a 15# standing by in case I needed to ease back. I broke the pushups into sets of 5 to give my upper body a little break. All in all, I feel great! And happy I got a good workout in. And, I’m hungry. 🙂

My favorite post-workout breakfast meal? 1 cup plain Greek Yogurt, 1 serving Cinnamon Puffins, and as much fruit as I can fit into the bowl. Tons of protein to help my muscles rebuild and get stronger. Doesn’t hurt that it’s delicious, too! Om nom nom!

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Important things to remember when recovering from an injury:

1. If it hurts, don’t do it. Seriously. This can be difficult for some people to remember.

2. Rest is good.

3. Practice active recovery – unless you’ve been advised by your doctor to do nothing … then, do nothing until you’re cleared to begin rehabilitation and active recovery. What’s active recovery? Low intensity exercise and stretching. Remember, you’re trying to come back from the injury, not revisit it all over again.

4. Don’t stress about it. Healing takes time and patience is key. No rushing!

COOKIES!

Snickerdoodles are my absolute favorite cookie, ever. You probably thought it was the peanut butter, didn’t you. I do love me some peanut butter. But, there’s just something about the snickerdoodle. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, all covered in a delicious cinnamon sugar coating – I can’t resist them! The only problem is finding a recipe that ISN’T made with vegetable shortening. Blech! I don’t want to feed that to anyone, not even my enemies! So, when I came across a recipe for chocolate snickerdoodles without a trace of shortening in them, it was love at first sight!

Olive Oyl

A chocolate snickerdoodle?! It’s like a gift from heaven!

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Chocolate Snickerdoodles

1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
Pinch of salt
1 stick unsalted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
1 large egg
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, sift the flour with the baking soda, baking powder, and salt. In another bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the butter with 1 cup of the sugar until creamy. Add the melted chocolate and the egg and beat until smooth. Beat in the dry ingredients until incorporated.

2. In a shallow bowl, mix the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar with the cinnamon. Roll the dough into 1-inch balls and roll in the cinnamon sugar. Transfer to 3 parchment paper-lined baking sheets and flatten to 2-inch rounds. (the bottom of a glass dipped into the cinnamon sugar mixture works wonders here!) Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cookies are puffed and cracked. Transfer to racks and let cool, if you’re patient enough. Om nom nom!

Some running, some rain, and some Moroccan-Style Chicken Thighs

So, in preparation for track Tuesdays and tempo Thursdays, Carla and I have already started meeting on those days to run. Our local running store does “6@6” on Tuesdays and Thursdays starting at the store. (For those who don’t speak that language, 6@6 means 6 miles at 6am.) Fun! We get to run together but we get to meet new people, too! And, many of these runners are fast – like “blink and you’ll miss them” fast! – and that is good for 2 girls who need to get faster. 🙂 Tuesday’s run was great! This morning’s run, however…

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Good times.

On to happier thoughts – food!

Dinner!

I love food. I do. I especially love food from the Mediterranean and Middle Eastern region. I love the spices. I love the fresh vegetables. I love the flavor. I just love it! So, when I discovered I had a recipe for Moroccan-style chicken thighs, I just knew I had to make it. The recipe suggests serving over couscous but I opted for roasting some baby yellow potatoes, instead. You could certainly serve with brown rice, quinoa, or pasta, if desired. Om nom nom!!

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Moroccan-Style Chicken Thighs
Makes 4 servings

2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
8 chicken thighs (about 2 pounds), skinned
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes, drained
2 cups (1/4-inch) sliced zucchini
1/2 cup low-sodium chicken broth
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Cilantro sprigs (optional)

Combine first 6 ingredients in a small bowl; rub chicken with cumin mixture.. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken, and saute 3 minutes on each side. Add chickpeas and tomatoes; cook 5 minutes. Add zucchini and broth; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes. Stir in lemon juice. Garnish with cilantro, if desired.

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Calories 338; Fat 10.8g (sat 2.1g, mono 4.7g, poly 2.5g); Protein 34.9g; Carb 25.9g; Fiber 3.1g; Sodium 625mg

Recipe from Cooking Light, October 2003

– jennifer