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150 calorie Ginger Chicken Kelp Noodle Soup

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I’m proud to introduce you to my new best friend, The kelp noodle.

Just like the package says – healthful, delicious, easy to prepare, and fun to eat!

You just can’t go wrong with this noodle!

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For those of you who have no clue what kelp is, let me break it down for you.

Kelp is a sea vegetable and belongs to the brown algae family.

It’s is rich in more than 70 minerals, including potassium, magnesium, iron, calcium and iodine. It also contains enzymes, vitamins, trace elements, and more than 21 amino acids. It’s fantastic for:

  • glandular health
  • bone strength
  • circulatory health
  • digestive issues
  • weight worries

[source]

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Oh, have I mentioned that 1 serving = 6 calories? There are 4 servings in the bag, so it goes a long way.

I ordered the noodles from Upaya Naturals, but have seen them at many health food stores across the city.

When I first opened the package I’d thought they would be squishy, like a regular noodle. But they’re not. They’re crunchy… like cabbage. This threw me off.

Until I realized you just have to soak them in hot water and they soften right up.

Perfect.

Then I asked myself, “self, what’s your favorite way to enjoy noodles?”

To which I replied with, ‘chicken noodle soup, silly!’

Yes, I talk to myself frequently. I’d like to think that’s how my good ideas are born.

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Ginger Chicken Kelp Noodle Soup

Gluten free, Dairy free, Sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

A 15 minute chicken noodle soup with kelp noodles, ginger and lemon. It’s tangy, low in calories, and packed with protein!

Yield: 10 cups soup

Servings: 4

Directions

  • 1 package of kelp noodles
  • 8 cups boiling water
  • 4-4(0z) breasts, chopped – yield: 2 cups
  • 4 cups baby bok choy, chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 8 green onions, chopped
  • 3 tbsp gluten-free chicken bouillon powder
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbsp fresh ginger, grated
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp lemon zest, grated
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil (optional *see note)

Directions

  1. Place all ingredients but kelp noodles in a large saucepan. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. 1 minute before completion, add the kelp noodles.
  3. Serve hot with a sprinkle of fresh cilantro on top.

note: adding coconut oil to the recipe is absolutely fantastic, but not necessary.

calories: 150 | fat: 3g | carbohydrate: 7g | fiber: 3g | protein: 24g

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If you’re like me and eat many of your dinners alone, feel free to cut the recipe down by 75% and make soup for one!

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Have you tried kelp noodles? If so, what’s your favorite way to enjoy them?

If not, would you be open to giving them a try?

Green Godessphere Dressing

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Kevin and I had quite the jam-packed day yesterday.

We headed to fabric land,

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the local antique store,

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home depot,

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and the mall. All in the name of finding some new things for my food photos.

I think the antique store was my favorite, it was like an interactive museum!

We got home, took the puppies for a walk, and filled our bellies with this amazing salad. My gosh, I could live off this dressing. It light, tangy, and combines with so many different flavors.

It’s like ranch dressing hit by a tall, garden goddess… if that makes any sense.

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Green Godessphere Dressing

Vegan (option), Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Something about having a big green salad daily makes me feel strong, confident, and goddess-like. This green filled dressing is light, tangy, and full of flavor. With just 50 calories a serving and 5 grams of fat, you’ll be pumping up your greens intake in no time. 

Yield: 2 cups salad dressing, 32 servings.

Ingredients

  • 1 cup canola mayonnaise, or bean mayo to make vegan
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup fresh curly parsley
  • 3 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp freeze-dried chives
  • 1 tsp dill weed
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder or 1 clove fresh garlic
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp herbamare
  • 1/8 tsp fresh ground pepper

Directions

  1. Place sunflower seeds and water in your blender and process until sunflower seeds have been pulverized (I know, not very goddess of me).
  2. Add remaining ingredients and process until smooth.
  3. Place dressing in an air tight container. Keeps in the fridge for 2 weeks.

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We combined the dressing with a salad of mixed greens, shredded beets, cucumbers, sunflower seeds, and fresh homemade sprouts.

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After our amazing dinner; and before we began staining endless pieces of wood, we decided to take some headshots for the blog…

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I decided on this one for my introduction picture. We were done the shoot and I had rushed to put a ponytail in my hair when Kevin yelled “Wait! Hold that pose!”

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And of course… Leanne in front of a camera wouldn’t be complete without loads of goofy faces.

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What fun things did you do yesterday?

Raw Sweet Almond Spread

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Among all the food we enjoyed at Yasodhara ashram, the almond spread was everyone’s favorite and quickly became a popular topic of conversation during my stay.

When I got home and tried to recreate it I found it quite challenging to replicate.

I knew there was:

  • almonds
  • basil
  • honey
  • lemon juice?

Along with it’s characteristics:

  • sweet
  • slight zing at the end
  • earthy

After 4 tries over a two week period and a life filled with dull tasting almond spread in every meal I had, I finally nailed the recipe.

(the secret’s in the apple cider vinegar)

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Soaked almonds are also a must for this recipe. Soaking the almonds increases the enzyme content, and makes them easier to work with. I didn’t want to end up with a nut butter and soaking prevented that from happening.

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Just look at how BIG that garlic bulb is. Holy moly.

Had to share.

PS: I used a regular sized clove for the recipe.

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Raw Sweet Almond Spread

Vegan (option), Gluten free, Dairy free, Refined sugar free, Yeast free, Corn free

Easily my favorite recipe on the blog. Eat it with a spoon, stir it around with pasta, or use as a cracker or vegetable dip. Any way you enjoy it will change the way you look at almonds.

Yield: 1.5 cups

Ingredients

  • 2 cups fresh basil – worked out to be about 3 (40g) packs of basil
  • 3/4 cup raw almonds, soaked over night, drained and rinsed
  • 3/4 cup fresh parsley
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp raw apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp raw honey or agave nectar
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in the bowl of your processor and pulse with the “S” blade just until chunky. You can either continue processing for a smoother spread; similar to pesto, or stop while there’s still chunks of almonds. I like it a bit chunky.

The spread is thick, still relatively chunky, and served best with crackers, a slice of fresh bread, or combined with a simple warm bowl of quinoa and fresh herbs.

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This recipe makes quite a bit of spread, so I kept 1/2 of it in a mason jar in the fridge and the other half in a plastic bag for 2 days from then when I’d realize I polished off the fridge batch safe keeping.

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So delicious and simple. Juust the right recipe to welcome what is bound to be a hectic week!

Fall Training Plan

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Oh my gosh half marathon.

I created a training plan for my first half marathon, came in under my goal time, and shared how I prepared for it. Now it’s time to get a new goal and come up with a new plan!

Are you sick of me talking about running yet?

Just one more post and I’ll stop the running chatter and share a chocolate cake, bread, or cookie recipe with you. Deal?

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The new plan comes with a fairly large goal which many have told me is impossible. Although I’ve been discouraged and not as motivated to get this going as I was with my last race, I’m positive that sharing this plan with all of you will give me the accountability I need to get my butt in gear!

The details

Race: Last Chance Half Marathon

Date: November 13, 2011

Goal time: 1:59:00 (cut 15 minutes from my previous race time)

Weather conditions: cold with a chance of snow

The training plan

I’ve built up my base and am hopefully past all the knee issues I dealt with during my last year of training. As a result, I’ve kicked up the intensity a notch.

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Interval training

I’ll be doing Tempo, Fartiek, and Hills combinations twice a week. These runs help to teach my body to use oxygen for metabolism more efficiently and in turn, will increase my lactate threshold [the point when my body fatigues at a certain pace].

During any exercise, lactate and hydrogen ion are released into the muscles. The ions make the muscles acidic, eventually leading to fatigue. The better trained you are, the more you’re able to push yourself and the better your muscles become at using the acid. The result is less acidic muscles that can keep on contracting, letting you run farther and faster.

These tempo runs help me push to that threshold and teach my muscles how to manage at higher speeds. This is going to be key if I want to cut off 15 minutes from my race time.

Tempo runs

Using the pace in the table above, I’ll begin each tempo run with a 1km warm up and end with a 1km cool-down.

  • Week 1: 3 minutes tempo pace 1 minute jog in between
  • Week 2: 4 minutes tempo pace 1 minute jog in between
  • Week 3: 5 minutes tempo pace 90 second jog in between
  • Week 4: 20 minutes tempo pace
  • Week 5-10: 1 km warm up tempo pace to half complete total distance, jog for 5 minutes, repeat

Fartiek/Intervals

Coming in at week 7, I’ll be doing 2 km warm-up, 1 km cool-down. 500m hard using pace listed above, 500m walking. Repeat until 1km left on the clock, then cool down.

Hills

Using the pace in the table above,

  • On the treadmill #1: Warm up for 10 minutes. Peak at 4% for 1 km with build up and down to 1%. Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute.
  • On the treadmill #2: Warm up for 10 minutes. Alternate between large hill and interval hill – 4% for 100m then 1% for 100m etc.
  • Outside: Warm up for 1 km. Find a hill and run up and down for the required distance. Run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute.
Steady and LSD training

Steady runs are the middle men between tempo and LSD runs (below). They help to strengthen and challenge your aerobic system, but shouldn’t tire you out. For marathon training, steady runs help to increase the total amount of quality miles an athlete can run before they become fatigued.

The LSD run should be done slowly to minimize fatigue and risk of injury. Generally speaking, it should be ~20% slower than race pace.

LSD runs:

  • Help your joints and muscles adapt and build your endurance
  • Teach the body to run efficiently
  • Allow your body to burn fat as a source of energy.
  • Enhance the body’s capacity to deliver oxygen to your muscles
  • Teaches your body to store more energy as glycogen in your muscles

Steady runs

The plan is to follow the required pace and km in the table above and use a run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute interval to avoid injury.

LSD (long slow distance)

Keep up to the required pace and km in the table above using a run 10 minutes, walk 1 minute (walking should be pace = 7:23min/km) interval to avoid injury.

Strength training

My trainer has put together an amazing program for me! We went through it yesterday and I nearly died… in a good way. The main focus is:

  • Massively strengthen core
  • Focus on glutes
  • Build stability muscles
  • Exercises I can do at home if need be

It’s absolutely perfect. You can checkout the pdf version here.

Nutrition

Uh-oh this may have to be it’s own post. Maybe I lied about limiting my running chatter.

In a nut shell, here are some areas I’m going to improve on:

  • Increasing complex carbohydrates
  • Moving fat consumption to about 25% of total intake (right now it’s at about 35% if I had to guess. I love my coconut oil, what can I say?)
  • Taking a calcium-magnesium supplement to support muscle contraction and relaxation (supplement to be 600mg calcium:400mg magnesium after exercise and before bed)

Okay… time to jump in the pool.