Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Day 66: Quinoa

Workouts. . .
30 min. walk with the dog; 15 minutes of yoga/stretching, 20 minute slow run outside — those damn neighborhood hills! Approx. 377 calories, according to my counter.

I felt pretty empowered today when I got off work and it was 65 degrees out. I decided to go for a run, which didn’t take too long since I’ve been working out (when I work out at all) indoors all winter and prone to the wheezing/dying look I find remarkably embarrassing. At least I didn’t wear short shorts and pretend I’m any good. So I jogged along through neighborhoods, avoiding the common road where people I know might see me. I hit several hills, and the first one kills but the second was a prolonged slow climb that went okay. As I was running along thinking to myself “I’m doing pretty good!,” I started thinking about whether I’d like to have a goal for my running this summer. I’ve torn out several worksheets for triathlon training or even 10k training. I’ve never raced a 5k, mostly because people go so fast and I’m more of a plodder-alonger. I keep thinking that in a longer race there’ll be more turtles like me. But I really just want to finish something, and I’m going to look over those training regimens to see what looks like I could do it without killing myself.

So for my personal palate stretching exercise today, I decided to try fennel. I’ve heard a ton about it, seen Martha use it many times in salads and whatever else. I roasted it and was excited to taste it. Unfortunately, nothing I’ve read ever mentioned it tasting like licorice, which it totally does. I think that anise seed must come from this sucker, and as soon as I cut into it this licorice smell was released. Ew. There’s very little I dislike as much as the flavor of licorice — I have to plug my nose when taking NyQuil. Anywhoo, I basically hate fennel. Good effort.

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I also tried quinoa this evening, making a salad with asparagus and zucchini, parmesan and a garlic vinaigrette, salt and pepper. Quinoa has a nice bite like couscous, with all of those tiny little bits rolling around on your tongue, but a slightly nutty crunch. It tasted good alone, and also with the salad ingredients. Next time, I’d probably like it with mushrooms, or a corn and black bean and tomato salad. I looked up the grain on to find it’s the most “complete foodstuff” and, according to Brigham Young University, is the “most nutritious food in existence.” It contains 7 grams of protein and 11 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup. It was only about 99 cents/pound at Whole Foods. I’m going to need to eat more of this stuff!

What I ate today. . .
5 a.m. – finger banana & slice of Starbucks classic coffee cake (couldn’t resist)
9 a.m. – grande chai w/ pump of pumpkin spice
1 p.m. – seven leftover butternut squash tortellini with brown butter sauce & pecans, huge salad with 2 T dressing
3 p.m. – finger banana
3:30 p.m. – iced double tall 2p white mocha w/ 2p raspberry syrup
6:30 p.m. – probably 1-1/4 potatoes Anna, 1T RF sour cream, 1 cup asparagus-quinoa salad, 1/3 c. roasted carrots, bite of fennel
8 p.m. – mint tea

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