A Gem of a Pinot, Hot Buttered Coffee and Running

I think that when Goldilocks became of age and morphed into an oenophile (she did that, right?), she became enamored with Pinot Noir. The Pinot Noir grape is a difficult one to grow and the wines made from it are persnickety; some are too hot and sulfuric; some are too thin and acidic and lack backbone; and only a scant handful are Just Right.  Kokumi, a Japanese word describing a flavor concept with a sense of richness and balance, is the latest of my finds.  This small craft-wine producer out of Sonoma makes a perfect blend. In their words, the wine has a “bing cherry” and “plum” and “strawberry” and “orange zest” and, my favorite, “graphite” (which is wine-geek speak for “mineral”).This was a perfect match to a dinner showcasing some exceptional spring produce-thanks Kevin! On the training front, this past week I’ve finally felt that I’ve gotten the running groove back that’s been missing for so long.  It doesn’t hurt that I have a beautiful stretch of coastline on which to run up and down. I’m a triathlete first and foremost; but I love the run training the most.  Nothing makes me happier than opening up my weekly plan Continue Reading →

Whips, Hips and Paddles

Just to be clear, my blog hasn’t gone all crazy and wild on you;  I’ll save that for a later date, lol. This is just a little write up about a creamy dessert, movement and triathlon toys. Paddles for the last 3 months, I’ve done a fair amount of swimming with paddles.  Yes, they are fun toys, but like All Things Fun, it’s better not to overdo it because then they distract you from any serious tasks at hand :)  I am developing a slight dependency on these paddles and lately I’ve been reaching for them as soon the main set starts to feel a little taxing.  I’m like a little kid reaching for my baby blanket……my masters’ swimmer’s baby blanket……insert favorite swim toy HERE.  Although there are controversial schools of thought as to if the use of paddles will benefit the non-elite swimmer or triathlete, I have found them to be great tools for building my strength.   My goal over the next few weeks is to stay in the same lane I’ve been in, but not use my paddles as much. Hips today I only did about 20% of the main set with paddles and I focused on another part Continue Reading →

Adjusting Training and a Twist on Vegan GF Banana Bread

“The best laid plans of mice and men often go awry”-John Steinbeck I know that I use this phrase often.  I’ve been feeling really good regarding training and racing and at the start of this weekend, I was ready to string together a couple of key workouts.  Sadly; they were somewhat thwarted yesterday by the rock I hit at about an hour and a half into what was supposed to be a 4 hour ride.  Thankfully, I stayed on the bike and at worst I was just aggravated.  After close inspection of the tire, we deemed it “good” and proceeded to change the tube. Got back on the bike and it blew. Tried a third and had the same problem. At this point, I told Gina and Julie to continue (because good friends don’t let good friends only enemies wait around for long mechanicals). I radioed to the tower called Geoff, and he set out to pick me up an hour away.    My other bike is in pieces so riding that wasn’t an option.  I arrived home and was just done with trying to eek out a quality workout. Reworked the training to push the long(ish) ride to Sunday and long(ish) run to Continue Reading →

Just Because You Can Doesn’t Mean That You Should……

 Triathlon Training, Text with Dog and Vegan Smoked Salmon Last Sunday, I went a little overboard and ran about 25% more than I was supposed to run. Why? Dunno. Lotsa reasons, I guess.  It was a beautiful day in San Diego (but we have many); it was low tide and I could run the entire stretch from Del Mar to Torrey Pines on the beach; I have a new GPS watch; I was happy to be wearing a only sports bra and shorts; I had an new mix on my Ipod; I wanted to test the legs a week past completing a 70.3 race and gauge where I was….whatever the reasons were, I extended my run.  In hindsight, I knew that it wasn’t the smartest thing. I feel fine and there were no dramatic repercussions.  However, there’s a reason that a (good) coach writes a specific workout for his athlete.  In the process of training during a 7-8 month season, you should do everything you can to execute each workout spot-on, no matter how you feel or if the cool kids (AKA, your training partners) are doing something with more volume or intensity or both.  As KP explained to me, Continue Reading →

Almost Raw Vegan Strawberry Cheesecake and Beach Running

In the culinary world, and I think (finally!) in the upper right quadrant of the states, spring has sprung and bumper crops of asparagus, strawberries, and new potatoes are flooding the farmers’ markets and produce departments. Inspired by some really flavorful strawberries and a desire to create a dessert that would work for a Passover or Easter dinner, I created a strawberry cheesecake. It’s definitely vegan, almost “raw” and by some standards, “Paleo”.  Okay, so I took a little culinary leeway on the last eating-style category, as I’m not sure if the cave people were sugaring back in the day.  I’m also pretty sure that they were eating more slugs than wild salmon from Whole Foods, but I digress…….   I love making raw, vegan “cheese” cakes because they are a cinch:  If you can turn on a blender, you can make one in a snap.  The cleanup is minimal as well.

Eating (pretty) well and Oceanside 70.3 Race Report

I know that I’ve said this before, but when life deals you lemons, make lemonade. Which is what happened over the last year.  Last season, I was sidelined from most racing by a chronic Achilles injury (lemons).  It took me 9 months and almost every conceivable kind of therapy to get me to the start line at Oceanside. Because I wasn’t able to run, I worked on my biking. I was able to better my bike split by 14 minutes from 2 years ago (there’s the lemonade).  It’s a steep improvement curve and I don’t know how much more there is to gain.  I couldn’t default to training my strength (running), so I trained my weakness (biking). The other piece of my training is my approach to diet.  I am extremely mindful about what I eat on a day-to-day basis.  I say I’m mindful, because I’m not militant. I’m a chef and a foodie first and foremost. If I want to try the latest restaurant or recipe-test a decadent dessert or pop a cork out of an amazing bottle of wine or eat a bunch of nachos, donuts and beer (see post race notes), I will. However, as a older Continue Reading →

Tapering….what’s your price for flight? Coach?

I had every intention of writing a full blown plant-based main course recipe this post, but honestly I haven’t made any dish this week worthy of the time.  Instead, I’ve eaten huge salads, baked sweet potatoes, lean proteins and English muffins slathered with avocado.  I’m also huge dark chocolate convert and discovered a couple of new fixes. Tapering for a race is an interesting time.  In San Diego, most of my training partners and I are gearing up for Oceanside 70.3 next saturday.  Our workout lengths have dwindled; we are chattering non-stop; the smack talk (at least between me and Jim F.) is rampant; we are tweaking our equipment and discussing the finer points of race day nutrition.  We also discuss topics that would never find their way into normal social settings like “last year I s*%$ my pants the 2nd loop of the run” and “when I threw up at mile 80 on the bike….”.  Yep, triathletes and other endurance athletes need to be mindful of surrounding company before engaging in said conversations. I’m finding myself with a little more time, and thoughts such as “hey, I CAN add an extra swim to my Sunday because my run is Continue Reading →

Start of March, Palm Desert OLY and a Date Shake recipe

It’s been a great first half of March.  I was able to kick off the first weekend with an Olympic-ish distance race + post race quality time in Palm Desert with my parents and Geoff. For me, the race served two main purposes:  to shake out the proverbial cobwebs (I haven’t raced since June of last year) and to serve as a litmus test to gage my running progression over the last two months.   I shelved the racing flats and stocked the Hokas in transition. Result?  AG win and only 3 seconds off my run split the from two years–go marshmallow shoes–I’ll take it. Throwback:   My Tiguan came with a short subscription to Sirius.  Driving to Palm Desert, I heard this:  LOL We spent a couple of extra days in Palm Desert and did a day at the spa at the JW Marriott.  I convinced them that a date shake CAN be made VEGAN.  It was so good that I’ve been recreating it at home.  I have a “love-love” relationship with dates-especially the fat, soft, pillow-y Medjool type.   Like raisins (thank you Carl, learned about this last week), they have an alkalizing effect on your body.  I Continue Reading →

Weekly Recap February 17th-23rd

As I said in my last blog, my training is ramping up and so is my food consumption. As a plant based chef and healthy eating coach, the complaint that I hear often is “I don’t have time to eat healthy”.  Yes, you do. It is a matter of priorities. As I’m working at the desk, I’m cooking a pot of brown rice and roasting some vegetables to eat this week. Today I shopped (list in hand, always a list!) for most of what I need and planned my fuel and food for the week (of course, my home cooking plan could be derailed any time by the suggestion of a Native Foods kale salad or a combo plate of kale and Brussel sprouts at Union Tap and Kitchen.  My day-to-day food isn’t fussy or complicated: most days include a baked sweet potato, a huge plate of roasted or steamed vegetables, a huge salad, a couple servings of protein from sources such as tempeh or beans, fruit and some starches such as quinoa, brown rice and GF English muffins.  During training, I fuel accordingly based on the duration and intensity of workout with dates, Ignite Naturals gels (the best tasting Continue Reading →

Tri Biking and Coconut-Cilantro Brown Rice

It’s hard to believe that it’s 2014. Today I was out riding with my friends, Julie and Monica, and Julie mentioned that she had a Nytro women’s team kick-off meeting tonight (read: super fast girl team in San Diego).   I told her that, four years ago, I was at the Nytro tri shop during their meeting.  I remember being slightly intimidated by the number of strong female amateurs in North County in one room.  The story goes something like this: Four years ago around today’s date, I was on my trainer and going through the motions of a bike workout.  I hated to ride on the open roads, so I would camp out on my trainer; put on some bad TV on and play around on my phone.  I also counted trainer time as roughly double the amount of road time that my coach gave to me in each workout.  For example, I would translate a three-hour ride into 1:25 on the trainer (I’m not quite sure why I dropped an extra 5 minutes).  That typical workout pretty much explains my bike splits.  I flatted on the trainer and, because I didn’t know how to change a tire, I took Continue Reading →