Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Basil Jalapeno Chicken Salad

Chicken salad restaurants seem to be all the rage right now and this is definitely a food trend I can get behind. I love that there is no right way to mix up a chicken salad and really, anything goes. I like my chicken salad light on mayo, heavy on veggies and full of savory flavor.

I had some leftover shredded chicken to use up and a batch of chicken salad seemed like a great way to repurpose my crock pot leftovers. A fresh bunch of basil was sitting alongside a giant jalapeno in my vegetable drawer and I had a little bit of pesto hanging out in there as well. This dinner came together quickly and was a perfect end to a busy Monday! It's a great dish to make on Sunday and enjoy for lunch all week!

Basil Jalapeno Chicken Salad

4-6 cups shredded chicken breast
1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
1/4 red onion, chopped
2 Tbsp. basil pesto 
Handful fresh basil, chopped
1/2 cup mayonnaise (I use Hellman's brand made with olive oil)
Salt + pepper, to taste
Olive oil for drizzling

In a large bowl, mix chicken, jalapeno, onion, pesto, basil and mayo. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with a drizzle of olive oil on top of kale, in lettuce cups, on cucumber slices- the options are endless!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trader Joe's Pumpkin Picks!

It's a pumpkin spice world out there and whether you like the seasonal flavor or not, it takes over this time of year. I made a trip to Trader Joe's last week specifically to pick up some of the pumpkin goodies that I have seen popping up in my blog reading and Instagram feed.

Canned Organic Pumpkin- Trader Joe's canned organic pumpkin is a great price ($1.99/can) and I always stock up at this time of year. There are no added ingredients either. Just pure pumpkin! 

Pumpkin Spice Salted Caramels- Oh my! One of these after dinner cures my sweet craving and is the perfect mix of salty sweet. The pumpkin spice is on the stronger side and somewhat of a strange combination when you taste it, but I love it.

Pumpkin Spice Chai- Easily my favorite of the pumpkin spice finds from TJ's! This tea mix is a nice, warm afternoon treat.

Pumpkin Spice Cranberry Crisps- The perfect little crackers to have on hand for Fall! These pair well with many cheeses, dips and the apple cinnamon goat cheese that I also picked up from my friend Joe. 

Pick a peck of pumpkins treats at TJ's before they run out! 

Sunday, October 19, 2014

#TeamLovie26: Weeks Six, Seven + Eight

Race day is officially TWO WEEKS away- I can't believe it! Every time I head out for a run, I am literally in awe of what our bodies can do. Thinking back to where I was just a few months ago to where I am now blows my mind. Each week, I am running more miles than ever before and breaking my own personal records, which is definitely something to be proud of. Mark said it perfect when he said that with each Saturday run, we are pushing ourselves more than we ever have. I will be happy when I can mix in some more variety into my workouts instead of only running, but for now, it's about getting my miles in and preparing for 13.1 on race day. 

Week six was AWESOME. My weekday runs felt solid and I ended the week with a nine mile run that felt wonderful. I was dreading the nine miles but once I was three miles in, I hit a true running high. My sister and I ran together, which always helps with longer distances. The weather was perfect and kept a steady pace. I'm finding that some of my cramping was due to starting out too fast. By keeping a slower pace at the beginning, it's easier to maintain for the remaining miles and just feels better. We finished in 1:43:33 and kept a 10:53 pace. This was the first run where I felt like I could keep going another 3-4 miles, which would have made it 13.1!

3 miles (3.22 miles, 9:54)Rest3 miles (3.28 miles, 9:38Rest3 miles (4.00 miles, 9:38)Rest4 miles (3.26 miles, 9:36)13.76
3 miles (3.23 miles, 9:57)Rest4 miles (4.17 miles, 9:49)Rest3 miles (3.11 miles, 9:08)5 miles (5.02 miles, 9:04)Rest15.53
3 miles (rest-sick day)3. 12 miles (9:34)4 miles (5.27 miles, 9:35)Rest3 miles (3.26 miles, 9:28)6 miles (6.26 miles, 9:48)Rest17.91
3 miles (3.29 miles, 9:32)Rest5 miles (5.15 miles, 9:41)3 miles (3.07 miles, 9:46)Rest7 miles (7.15 miles, 10:00)Rest18.66
3 miles (3.25 miles, 9:20)Rest5 miles (5.24 miles, 9:35)Rest3 miles (3.10 miles, 9:24)8 miles (8.18 miles, 9:53)19.77
4 miles (4.01 miles, 10:00)Rest5 miles (5.03 miles, 10:08)4 miles (4.07 miles, 10:29)Rest9 miles (9.24 miles, 10:53)Rest22.35
4 miles (4.14 miles, 9:59)Rest6 miles (6.08 miles, 9:47)4 miles (4.09 miles, 9:49)RestRest10 miles (10.91 miles, 10:18)25.22
RestRest5 miles (5 miles, 9:13)4 miles (4.16 miles, 9:31)Rest8 miles (8.39 miles, 10:14)Rest17.55

Week seven was good overall. I kept under a ten minute pace on all of my weekday runs, which I was happy with. During this week, I also completed my longest weekday run (six miles). I was SUPER nervous for my ten mile run that weekend- something about the double digits really had my stomach in knots. When I walked out the door on Sunday to run, I hit the pavement with the mindset of "five miles out and five miles back". Breaking it up into two smaller runs makes it less daunting. It started to sprinkle about three miles in and by the time I reached six miles, it was POURING. I got soaked, and the rain slowed me down a tad, but my run was so good. I ended up running 10.91 because I miscalculated my route but during the last .91 miles, I was flying! It was a definite reassurance for me and a great feeling once I finished. And I loved running in the rain!

Week eight, this past week, didn't feel as good, but my runs were solid. I ended up resting on Monday since I ran ten on Sunday, making it the only run I have missed in my entire training schedule up to this point. The long runs started to taper off this week, which is a nice change of pace. My eight mile run yesterday was rough, but I made it. I was happy with my 10:14 pace and was happy to have that run behind me. 

This week is my last full week of running before the race! Next week is only a few short runs, a two mile walk and an airport pickup somewhere in between to scoop up our California family!!! 

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

{What Will Ate} Little Green Pouch

If you have a little one/little ones, you know that food pouches overtake much of the "baby needs" aisles. The handy little snack pouches are really a brilliant little method for snacking both at home and on the go. I'm not a fan of all of the additives in many of the store bought pouches- even some of the applesauce pouches contain added sugar or citric acid and other preservatives. 

My friend Julie introduced me to these refillable pouches and Will and I are in LOVE! This takes a little bit of extra prep time, but its worth it to me. I've filled these little guys with everything from homemade strawberry applesauce to sweet potato, carrot, mango and parsnip puree. Lately, Will has been loving green smoothies after his afternoon nap and the little green pouches are perfect. I also blend up Greek yogurt and fresh fruit in the Beaba Babycook for fruit and yogurt pouches. For an easy filler, Trader Joe's organic applesauce (no added sugar or other ingredients- just apples!) is another favorite filler. To fill, I just use a spoon!

The zip top makes these easy to clean out. I run hot water through the pouch to rinse them and soak them in soapy water for a few minutes before scrubbing out. Bonus- they are also dishwasher safe! I purchased my pouches on Amazon