Wednesday, January 26, 2011

White Chili: Go Fix It

Below is an email I wrote to Brett and Morgan because they like to cook foods that are for tough guys. I wasn't going to post it but then someone asked me to... so I was all... "sure thing!". Please excuse my language here. This wasn't originally supposed to go public. I was speaking "man" language. That's "manguage".

Listen up!

Drop what you're doing and go to the store and buy:

1 onion
2 garlic cloves
2 cans cannelini beans
Baby spinach
Chipotle chili powder (or reg chili powder but chipotle rules)
14-16 oz of broth (veg or chicken)
Sour cream (optional)
Shredded cheddar (optional)

Now go home.

Walk in the door and drop your things (not the groceries) one at a time to form a trail to the kitchen (bc that's what you menfolk do).

1. In a soup pot, chop then saute the onion in olive oil.
2. Chop and add the garlic.
3. Add 1/2 tsp oregano, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp black pepper, 1/2 tsp chili powder. Mix it about. Just for a minute.
4. Drain your beans and add them to the pot, also add your broth.
5. Rip about 1 cup of the baby spinach into even smaller pieces. Be fierce. Drop that in there.
6. Stir. Bring to a boil, then simmer.
7. Go kiss your wife.
8. After 30 minutes, with occasional stirring, it is ready.

Serve with a scoop of sour cream and a sprinkle of cheese if you're not vegan today.

Thank me later. Fo rizzzzzle.

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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

More Soup

Baby its cold outside. My big, strong man was coming home from San Diego and I needed to have his dinner ready for him (because a way to a man's heart is through his stomach). He loves soups and I love how easy it is to dump the contents of the refrigerator into a pot and simmer it to make the "best soup ever", every time.

This time I boiled 8 cups of water, then added the following:

4 vegetable bouillion (Rapunzel brand, my favorite)

1 cup red lentils
1 cup yellow lentils
2 cups cooked brown rice

The following are chopped into various shapes and sizes:

1 purple turnip
1 parsnip
1 onion
1 leek
3 stalks celery
3 carrots
1 small bunch of kale (I was running out of room)
Fresh parsley

I knocked that down to a simmer for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, I did a TRX workout, went for a long run in the snow, cleaned the apartment, played with my dog, got loads of work done... (Only one of these is true).

Anyway, this really worked. My man was SO happy to see me when I got home. After I massaged his feet, I packed up all of the leftover soup into lunch-sized containers, so that he would have lunch made the next day ;)

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Tuesday, January 18, 2011

ZenTri Base and Nutrition Camp 2011 (fo' real)

(Photo: Jessi teaching John, Rich and the rest of the campers about proper body alignment and body awareness)

This year I'm only writing a post-camp blog because I was too busy with AWESOME to blog every day. This camp was a major success! The campers were motivated and excited and they all brought something special to contribute to the camp (personality-wise). As with most camps I've been to, it was fun training, lots of laughing, and even more learning. This camp was extra special, and here's why:

The staff of the camp are all experts at what they do. They were completely accessible to the campers to pick their brains, ask for advice, observe their techniques, and simply hang out and soak in their energy. Not only did they teach, they also learned and participated in all of the activities. It was neat to watch them teach and learn from each other. Everyone at the camp was a camper. That kicked ass.

We had Rich Roll talking about being vegan, healthy eating, and serious endurance. The man is a top ultraman and created this sick event called Epic 5. The challenge was five ironmans in five days! He was also wicked cool to hang out with. He had me laughing constantly, which made my abs stronger.

Brett was being Brett. If you listen to the Zen and the Art of Triathlon podcast, you know what I'm talking about and you want some of him. He taught about everything from zen, to healthy eating, to using your mindset to improve your racing and training. Even just standing or sitting near him, you walk away with something different that feels like you ate a strength and peace and motivation sandwich.

We were honored to have Jessi Stensland join us and school us on MovementU. She never stopped teaching the entire time she was at camp! Everyone left with a better sense of the importance of their body awareness for everything that they do. She's super motivating and has an awesome presence as a speaker and educator. I loved learning how to use the TRX with her and she taught me some swim drills that are gonna have me flying gracefully, like a rocket, through the water. I can't wait to get back in the pool.

Emily, the ZenTriNurse, deserves a huge thank you for working so hard on the "work" part of the camp. She was always doing something to make the camp run smoothly, whether it was helping me cook, driving a support van, or cleaning up. She's the bomb. She also looks adorable in an apron.

(Photo: My assistant chef, Emily. She rocks)

Morgan Christian hosted the camp in his beautiful home. He mapped out rides and took us to trails for running. He did EVERYTHING. And a special thank you to his wife for allowing us (20 people) to move in for a weekend!

And, of course, we had John Hirsch, pro triathlete and human alarm clock. He's dreamy and he taught about pro training vs age-grouper training. He was dreamy as he coached the campers through swims, bikes and runs, then organized a few extra morning workouts for anyone interested. He's even dreamy in the morning when he finds creative ways to make sure that everyone is awake by 5am to start their day. He's so smart in the brain with information and experience in the sport, which makes him even dreamier.

(Photo: John with Cathy and her guide dog, they're about to ride the tandem)

Coach Adam surprised us for a day and shared his expert running knowledge with us. He taught us about plyos, form, and spent time with everyone offering tips to make us run faster. I always tell people that he is my "tri-dad" because he introduced me to the sport, taught me how to run, and he introduced me to Brett! He also makes fun of me a lot, which is funny and I love it.

(Photo: Coach Adam giving Emily a private session)

Here I am, a day later, still waiting for it all to sink in. I have a smile on my face that won't go away, which is exhausting... try it. I learned so much and had such a blast that I'm sad to see it end but I CANNOT WAIT until next year.

PS San Diego doesn't suck.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A list of all the things I'm excited about for ZenTri Base Camp (written to make you jealous)

1. I get to cook for people who are excited to learn how to eat healthier as part of their daily diet and also for better triathlon performance.

2. I get to talk about nutrition and triathlon constantly, and maybe I'm a bit full of myself, but I already know I'm gonna answer some questions that will change people's lives.

3. I get to hang out with Emily (@ZenTriNurse) and we might get a tattoo or a piercing.

4. I get to hang out with Brett and laugh until my belly hurts because he and John are so funny together.

5. I get to hang with Rich Roll again and share nutrition knowledge. I have so much to learn from him AND he's just super awesome.

6. I get to meet Jessi Stensland finally! And she's gonna teach MovementU.

7. I get to meet my buddy Morgan. He and I email solely in gibberish or gangsta dialect. I'm wondering if we're going to talk like that in person too.

8. I'm going to teach yoga! I designed a special routine for triathlon muscles that involves lots of gentle hip opening and belly dancing.

9. I'm gonna have one eye open when we do group meditation so I can watch John try to meditate and be still. It has to be the funniest thing I've ever seen.

10. I'm going to ride a tandem bike again with my good friend and client, Cathy: ( This will be practice for the upcoming season when I'll be guiding her in some races. I had so much fun doing it last year. Cathy is such an inspiration to me and everyone at the camp is going to want a turn on that bike!

11. I'm going to soak up some zen habits from Brett. I got some last year but lost them by now. I need to recharge and get all zen and shit.

12. I'm gonna get tips on swimming from some pretty outstanding swimmers.

13. I'm gonna meet all of the new campers and I feel like I know a few of them already.

14. I get to hang out with Emily again.

15. I can't wait!!! Now my flight better not get delayed because of this storm.

(Photo: Cathy and I with the "green monster", a Cannondale obviously, at our sprint tri last summer)
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Monday, January 3, 2011

Guest Post: I stole this post from a blog by a woman named Lisa

One Month On...Closure

I said I'd update after a month of trying my new diet; the diet that isn't a diet, but a lifestyle change. So here it is!

I'm truly astounded at just how much my attitude to food has changed. Before, I really didn't think I ate too much. I suppose I didn't, because I wasn't gaining any weight. But I wasn't losing any, and that's what I wanted to do. What I did do was eat the wrong types of food. All of my meals were based around carbs from grains, a typical Northern Irish diet - cereal for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch and pasta or rice for dinner. I also had the problem that I constantly craved sweet things and if someone put something nice in front of me, I ate it. I ate it whether I was hungry or not.

The change has been much easier than I thought it would be. I've just taken the grainy carbs out of two meals a day. When I can manage it, I take them out of all three meals. I'm now getting most of my carbs from fruit and vegetables, lots of fruit and vegetables!

At the beginning I thought I needed things like pasta for energy. How wrong I was. I have so much energy now. I don't get that 3pm post lunch slump that I got before. I feel amazing. I had no idea that my diet could affect how I feel so much. It was my birthday a few days before Christmas. I ate cake, crisps and Indian takeaway and I felt like crap. On Christmas day I ate some chocolate but in moderation. I really didn't want to feel like I did after the birthday blow out. Now, I can happily turn down offers of chocolate or cake and I'm only really eating when I'm hungry.

It seems weird that I'm only mentioning weight now, as it was the primary reason for starting this change. I feel now that it is very much a secondary reason. The primary reason is to eat healthy food - to put good quality gas in the tank! The weight loss has been an added bonus. One month on, I've lost around 8 lbs and 4.5 inches and finally, after a year of trying, I've dropped a dress size to a 12!

I want to finish by saying that my consultation with Christine (@HolisticGuru) was the single most valuable investment I've made since my training began. I can train until the cows come home but that isn't going to mean much if I'm eating a load of over processed junk. Some people have said, "what, you PAID someone to tell you what to eat?". Yes, I did, and I would recommend that anyone who is struggling with weight loss or low energy does it too.

Thanks, Christine.

Finally, I've done lots of blog posts about my weight, from not knowing why I couldn't lose weight to having it suggested by medical professionals that something was medically wrong with me. At last, I can put this issue to bed. I have all the tools I need and I know how to use them. Closure!

By: Lisa (

And the photo... Yes, I know it has nothing to do with my post. But isn't she too cute?!

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