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February 2013

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Recipe: Sweet Carrot Soup with Silk Almond Milk
February 7, 2013 at 10:08 pm 0
Ashley Stephens_Carrot Sweet Potato Soup.jpg Florida missed the message that it’s winter. Sure, we’ve had a few days that make us bring a light jacket “just in case,” but for the most part it’s still breezy beaches and toasty sunsets down here. Despite the sunny state, I still crave my warm comfort foods in the winter months. And tried and true this recipe is my go-to. It’s easy, healthy and ultra satisfying. With fiber and nutrients from carrots and sweet potatoes and healthy fats from coconut oil, it offers a nutritional punch, too. Plus, by using Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Original (30 calories per cup) instead of skim milk (90 calories per cup), you save almost 100 calories. Also, using almond milk makes this vegan and pretty-much-paleo. I’m telling you- a crowd pleaser. Sautee. Boil. Blend. Enjoy! sweetcarrotsoup1.jpg Recipe yields 8 servings Ingredients: 2 tablespoon coconut oil 1 medium onion, diced 4 cloves garlic, minced 4 cups vegetable broth 8 large carrots, cut into large chunks (I leave the skin on) 2-3 sweet potatoes, cut into large chunks (I leave the skin on) 1.5 cup Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened Original 2 teaspoons cinnamon 1 teaspoon curry powder 1 teaspoon paprika salt and pepper to taste soup.jpg Directions: 1. In a large pot, sauté oil, garlic and onion until onion is translucent. 2. Add vegetable broth, seasonings, carrots and sweet potatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. 3. Turn off heat and let soup cool for 10 minutes. Add Silk PureAlmond. 4. Puree shoup in batches with a food processor, blender or immersion blender. 201301301602.jpg This post is part of a sponsored campaign with Silk and FitFluential, LLC. All opinions are my own. Learn more about Silk Pure Almond Unsweetened on Facebook and Twitter. Be sure to check out the Silk Pure Almond website and Facebook page to see more delicious, creative recipes!
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Training Smarter with Polar
February 5, 2013 at 10:08 pm 0
I admit: I never used to be a fan of heart rate monitors. What I realize now is that I’ve simply never understood heart rate monitors and how much they can impact my training. Thanks to Fitfluential, Polar sent me their FT40 Heart Rate Monitor to review. polar1.jpg To start off I did my research. The HRM tells me how hard I’m working- more accurately than I “feel.” It can tell me when to slow down and when I should work harder. I fell in love with my watch upon first touch. It’s so light and soft.. you really have to feel it yourself to know what I’m talking about. You can wear the watch alone and you wear the monitor and strap when you’re ready to do some tracking. The strap is comfortable and has become less noticeable the more that I’ve worn it. It’s really easy to put on and sits right around the base of my sports bra. polar2.jpg HRM = Marathon PR? I really like how Runners World lays out how to use a HRM to determine what bracket to train and race in. (Full article here.) Runner’s World recommends determining your max heart rate as such: MHR = 205 – (.5 x your age) Workout Percent of Maximum Heart Rate (MHR) Easy run and long run 65-75% Tempo run 87-92% Interval repeats 95-100% Race Distance 5-K 95-97% 10-K 92-94% Half-marathon 85-88% Marathon 80-85% Especially in longer races, I struggle with pacing myself. I either go out too fast or too slow and rob myself from energy in the end miles and, even worse, I rob myself from a PR. More accurate than tracking pace, tracking heart rate can keep your heart working exactly where it should to meet your goals. Screen shot 2013-02-05 at 3.37.36 PM.png Features Galore The Polar FT40 has an Energy Pointer feature that displays if you are in a fat burning or fitness improvement zone so you can target the intensity that matches your goals. It also has lots of progress and feedback features to help you reach your goals, whatever they are. Aside from the snazzy features, it also gives you an accurate count of calories burned and the duration of your workouts. The watch has features available to you, but it’s still really easy to use, even in the middle of a hard workout or long run. Here is an article from FBG on using a heart rate monitor when you’re at rest. Is it HRM Love? I love this watch, though it’s not yet a part of every workout. I’m currently using it a few times a week to manage my heart rate during a workout but plan on using it more, especially for long runs and shorter speed training. Do you use a heart rate monitor? How has it affected your fitness?
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The Good Run
February 1, 2013 at 10:08 pm 0
goodrun1.jpg The past few weeks have been stressful with some health and personal things. I’ve missed a lot of workouts and was so happy to finally get out of the house Wednesday night for a beautiful run downtown. I stopped to take the above photo and to jot down my thoughts on what a good run is to me. Because it was a very, very good run.
I wish I could capture the good run in a photo or a word. A run where everything you’re mad about, confused about, sad about and worried about turns to fuel. You fly. You’re invincible. You run too fast. You run without a map. You run in new areas. You don’t worry that anything bad will happen; in the moment you have enough energy and power to go against anything. Your brain, your heart and your body unite. You can go forever. The burn only makes you go faster until you’re running with every ounce of passion and desire that the only thing from keeping you from flying is your shoes. It’s the good run.
And then I tripped and this happened. badgoodrun.jpg Bloody shoulder, knee and hand. Ruined favorite crops. My good run turned the other direction fast, but the 7.4 miles of heaven still happened. What is your good run? Do you feel invincible? What fuels you?
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