Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Am I crazy?

How many of you out there are runners?

I certainly like to pretend I am a runner, but really, it takes a lot to motivate me to run. I've done that Couch to 5K program a million and a half times, and have gotten to the point where I was running 3 miles a day, but then life takes over and I give it up. And with my knee problems...its a hassle. Icing my knee every night, dealing with time management, exhaustion from work. It can be quite the commitment.

With all of that, why did I just sign up for the 2012 Warrior Dash? Not only is it a 5k race, it also has an obstacle course.
Here is a glimpse of what I will be facing...this is from last year's race

My first race...this should be interesting...

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Squash and Spinach Baked Ziti

For the past few months, I've gotten into a rhythm of cooking up a storm on Sundays so that my husband and I have plenty of leftovers for the week. It's helped us cut back on those budget-eating workweek takeout lunches (or in our cases dinners, since we both work evenings) and, since most of the meals have been vegetarian or meat-lite, it's helped us incorporate more veggies into our diets.

Last week, I made a fantastic chickpea-eggplant-papaya curry from one of my favorite cookbooks. This week, I was thinking lasagna, but then I remembered the boxes of rigatoni in our cupboard from our last trip to Costco. So I started thinking baked ziti, but a meat-free version chock full of vegetables. Using one of our favorite homemade pizza variations as inspiration, I came up with a butternut squash and spinach version that turned out well, if a bit dry. I've written what I did, although if I were to make it again, I'd consider this as just a template and try to figure out how to make it a bit more moist. There's always the tomato sauce option I guess. Or maybe more bechamel? Any other suggestions?

And while this does have lots of veggies in it, there's also a fair amount of fat from all of the dairy. Feel free to make this even healthier with whole wheat pasta and, if you must, low-fat cheese.

Squash and Spinach Baked Ziti
(Or quality time with my box grater)

1 small-to-medium butternut squash, peeled and grated
1 lb. frozen spinach
1 box rigatoni
8 oz mozzarella, grated
1/2 cup grated parmeggiano reggiano or grana padano
1 1/4 cup ricotta
10 oz. milk
5 tbsp butter
5 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 large shallots, finely chopped
freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper

First, boil the pasta until al dente. Drain and set aside. Then pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees.

Next, make the bechamel sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the shallots. Saute for about 4 minutes on medium-high heat.

Add the flour and whisk until you've created a paste. Then, while whisking with one hand, slowly pour the milk into the saucepan. Keep whisking until the mixture becomes a thick sauce. Add the nutmeg, salt and pepper.

Mix the sauce, squash, spinach, ricotta and pasta together in a casserole dish or lasagna pan. Sprinkle the parmeggiano on top.

Bake for about one hour, until the top is lightly browned.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Recipe Friday: Chili

I don't know what the weather is like where you are, but in DC, it is cold and rainy. 
A perfect day to stay in bed with a book, hot chocolate, and some chili on the stove.

Here is a recipe from the Food Network that promises to combine delicious flavor and some much needed comfort food.

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Advice from Dara

Do you know who Dara Torres is?

You know, the 40-something Olympic swimmer...who will be swimming in the 2012 Olympics (her sixth Olympic Games!)...

Who better to give advice on fitness and nutrition??

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

A question of motivation

How are your resolutions coming along?
Did you make it to the gym at least 5 times last week?
Cook fabulous, but low fat/calorie meals every night?
Did you get 8 hours of sleep on work days?

Me either.

I saw an awesome quote the other day that said, "You are the only thing that is stopping you". I don't know you said it (full disclosure, I saw it on Pinterest). But isn't that the truth? Everyone morning, I tell myself that it is going to be an awesome day. I pack my breakfast and lunch, make plans to workout when I get home...and then reality hits, and I am exhausted, and its easier to sit on the couch to watch a movie than go outside in the bitter cold (right now it is 37F). 

So. What can we do to change ourselves? How can we remain motivated throughout the day, so that when the moment comes, the motivation is just as fresh as it was in the morning?

No, really, I am asking you
How do you motivate yourself everyday?

And as a funny little side note, I saw this and could not agree more...its just getting to that point that I need to work on.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Resolution 2012

I've been thinking a lot about what I'd like to accomplish in 2012. Last year was a bit of a disappointment in the health and fitness department. I had two main goals in mind for 2011: to complete an Olympic-distance triathlon and to run a sub-2-hour half-marathon.

I managed to do neither of those. My bike training was derailed by a cranky illiotibial band in my left leg, and that half-marathon didn't happen thanks to some really painful tendinitis in my right knee. And now I'm dealing with a sprained ankle. Throw in some flare-ups of the bursitis/tendinitis in my left shoulder that I've been battling for a few years, and 2011 just was not fun in the training department.

So, goal #1 for 2012: Get healthy and avoid injuries.

My ankle is healing quite well, but I've put myself on a self-imposed running hiatus until March, no matter how quickly it heals. Prior to doing any running, I'll get back in the gym and do all of those leg strengthening exercises that my physical therapist showed me.

I had briefly entertained the thought of doing something like running a marathon for my 30th birthday -- which is, unfortunately, rapidly approaching -- but training for that in the next few months is just asking for yet another injury. Which is the last thing I want.

So instead, I'm going to take it very, very slowly.

Goal #2: Commit to strength training.

This is super important to achieve goal #1. Also, I really like the results I see in the mirror when I strength train. I just need to do it more consistently.

Goal #3: Run a sub-50:00 10K by the end of the year.

I think a 10K will be a good distance to shoot for this year, since I'll be starting off to a slow start. It's a long-ish race, but it doesn't require the mileage that a half-marathon does. I ran a 52:17 in October and wasn't all that well trained for it, so I think this is doable. But I will absolutely drop this goal if training for it gets in the way of goal #1. Avoiding injuries is the priority.

Goal #4: Race a 200 butterfly

I've been thinking about this one for a while, as my butterfly stroke has felt pretty good in the water. I can certainly swim a 200 fly, but I'd like to train properly and actually race it well. At my last swim meet, I swam a 100 fly, and on that last lap, all I kept thinking was thank goodness I didn't sign up for the 200. So we'll see if this happens. But it's a good goal to shoot for, I think.

Goal #5: Eat less ice cream.

I say this as I sit here polishing off a pint of Haagen-Dazs. I am constantly complaining that I can't lose those last 5-10 pounds, but then I also often end my night with a bit of ice cream. The two are probably closely related.

These are just a few of several goals I've got in mind for this year. What are you hoping to accomplish in 2012?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Recipe Friday!

Here at So Maybe Your Mom Was Right, we are all about healthy fulfilling meals full of big time flavor. 

As I was perusing the New York Times Health Section today, I came across this recipe that I thought I would share.

Happy eating!

And Happy Friday!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Back on the wagon

Hey there!

You know, during this break that I had from writing on here, I found myself wondering if it did me any good. Writing on a healthy living blog can be a challenge, especially when you aren't doing the "healthy living" you are supposed to be preaching about. 

I have a confession to make. 

I fell off the wagon.

Here is a picture

But then, I went to Spain for the summer with my study abroad kids.  And something weird happened. I was walking 6-7 miles a day (I had a million and a half errands to take care of everyday). I was eating smaller portions because I didn't have time to eat big meals. And I made sure to include a ton of fruit in my diet.

And guess what?

I came back 27 lbs lighter.

Me and The Man
Now here is the thing. I came back to real life, and a full time job where I can't just pick up and walk 6-7 miles. I was searching for a place to live, I start seeing someone and life took over again.
Right now I am in the awkward phase where I keep losing and gaining the same five pounds over and over again (Oh, and let's not forget the Holidays. They get me every time!) And Le Boyfriend doesn't help because he is a major chocoholic and candy guy. 

What is a girl to do??

Instead of crawling in my bed and covering myself in blankets, I have decided to be a mature adult and attack. 

I am going to cook healthier meals.
Go to yoga once or twice a week
Play volleyball once a week.
Go to Zumba twice a week. 
Swim once or twice a week. 

And I am going to walk more. 
And when the weather gets warmer I am going to ride my bike to the store.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that I am absolutely thrilled to be back here, writing and having some accountability of my health goals.

I didn't write any New Years Resolutions, because I always feel like a failure when I don't do them. 
Instead, I am making a goal for healthier living.

Glad to be back.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


A few health tips from Jillian Michaels 

Monday, January 16, 2012

Put me on the disabled list


We realize it has been 6+ months that we have posted on here. We all went through some major life changes and at the time we all felt that we needed a break from blogging.

But now it is 2012 and we are ready to get back to business. We have new bloggers, new topics, and we are ready to share our thoughts and information about healthy living with you. Enjoy!

Allow us to introduce on of our new bloggers, Carolina

I'm a Miami native currently living in New York City with my husband. A former food writer turned legal journalist, I love to cook and later burn off those calories with a mix of swimming and running, with an occasional triathlon thrown in.

This is a healthy living blog, yet I'll start my time here by telling you about something I did last weekend that was decidedly unhealthy: I ran 9.5 miles on a newly-injured ankle, causing a very painful sprain that currently has me in crutches.

Why would I do something so colossally stupid? It had something to do with my 11 other teammates depending on me. Had this been a solo race, I would've dropped out immediately, but my teammates were counting on me to do my part of the Ragnar Florida Keys Relay, a 200-mile running relay from Miami to Key West, and I couldn't let them down or ask them to take on more miles when they were already exhausted. I was going to get across that Seven Mile Bridge if I had to walk the whole way.

But I'm getting ahead of myself. I'll start at the beginning.

A few years ago, my friends and I read about running relays, and we decided it might be fun to try one out. The four of us — all close friends from college who now live in different cities — asked a few more friends to join us, and we put together a seven-woman team for the 2008 River to Sea Relay, a 90-mile race across New Jersey.

We were hooked. We began looking around for other races and discovered the Ragnar Relays, a series of 12-person relays held all over the country. The Florida Keys race, begun in 2011, seemed perfect — it's a nice warm vacation for those coming from northern climes, the scenery is pretty spectacular, we have lots of local connections, and it's flat as a pancake.

So our little group expanded to include husbands and other friends and cousins, until we had put together a great 12-person team that included some more seasoned runners and a few people just getting off the couch for the relay.

Each person runs three legs in the same order. So, for example, since I was Runner 2, I ran legs 2, 14, and 26 (which were 4.4 miles, 4.7 miles, and 9.5 miles). Each of the legs was a different distance, and runners ended up doing anywhere from nine miles total over the whole race to almost 22 miles. Runners 1 through 6 are in one van, while Runners 7 through 12 go in another van. The two vans trade off throughout the race, allowing the "off" van to have a few hours to eat and nap.

The whole race can take anywhere from 24 to 40 hours. Teams run nonstop through the night, catching shut-eye whenever they can.

It is physically challenging and exhausting in a way no other race is (barring, perhaps, some of those crazy 100-mile ultramarathons), but it's also incredibly fun. And there's nothing like the thought of letting your teammates down to motivate you to get off the couch and make sure you do the training.

So, back to race day(s). My first leg was a lovely jaunt through Coconut Grove and Coral Gables. I was worried about my knee (I'd been dealing with some tendinitis for the past couple of months), but it held up just fine, and I felt great.

My second leg was a bit more interesting. It involved running in the dark (with a headlamp of course) on a gravel, uneven trail in the Everglades that featured some larger-than-usual rocks. About halfway through that run, I began to feel like I'd strained something in my ankle. But I hoped it would go away by the next morning, when I'd have to run my longest leg.

It didn't go away. As soon as I started running, I began to feel a sharp pain shooting from about the inside arch of my right foot up through about my mid-calf. I literally limped across the Seven Mile Bridge (which made up most of the run), averaging 12-minute miles, about 2 to 3 minutes slower per mile than I should've been running.

We eventually made it to Key West 34 hours after we'd started, exhausted, happy to be done, and ready to party. My ankle limited my mobility quite a bit, so I spent my time hobbling from the pool to the beach across the street. Not too shabby, but a bit frustrating.

X-rays showed no broken bones, but the doctor told me it should take about six weeks, or possibly a bit longer, to heal. In the meantime, I can barely walk (did I mention I live in a fifth-floor walk-up apartment in New York City about a half-mile from the closest subway stop?), let alone run, which is pretty much out of the question until at least March.

Which begs the question: was it worth it? Right now, I'm going with yes, definitely. If I'm still on a six-Advil-a-day diet come February, however, I might re-think that.

Still, the pain isn't nearly bad enough to prevent me from doing it all over again. We're already planning our next relay.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Changes are coming....

...for more information...