"Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up."

Friday, February 10, 2012

Day 26: Two Days to Go!

We've reached day 26 of our Engine 2 eating, which has consisted of no meat, dairy, eggs, oil, and of course gluten!  Days have looked similar to this:

Breakfast: GF rolled oats stuffed squash with cinnamon.  Very filling, warm, and energizing.

Lunch: Spinach salad topped with edammame, yellow bell peppers, onions, cucumbers, carrots, quinoa, pinto beans, with fresh lemon juice to taste. 

Dinner: Romain lettuce wraps filled with onions, peppers, green lentils, and salsa, with garlicy brussel sprouts on the side.

I'm by no means going hungry these days!  I'm learning to fuel my body with quinoa/brown rice and beans/lentils/legumes, and I'm loving it!

Another dinner consisted of Salsa and black bean soup, with home made corn tortilla chips topped with Mrs. Dash Spicy Chipotle Seasoning.  Warms this soul, especially during the cold nights we've had this week.  From start to finish, this recipe took a whopping 15 minutes!  I love it!!!

Another favorite I've discovered....

Yep, you've guessed it!  Mashed cauliflower!! I added nutritional yeast, rosemary, salt and pepper.  I'm not a huge fan of cauliflower to begin with, but I thought I'd give this recipe a try!  I'm so glad I did.  It has quickly become a favorite.  Simply steam the califlower until it falls apart, drain, puree in blender, add nutritional yeast, rosemary, salt and pepper, continue pureeing, and done!  If the blender gets stuck, simply add a little water.  If you want an extra flaky crust, you can pop it in the over for about 20 minutes-DELISH!!!
All of this good eating has been coupled with awesome training runs.  Here's the week rundown so far:
Monday: 9 miles
Tuesday: 13 miles
Wednesday: Rest
Thursday: 14 miles
Friday: We'll see...today is going to be a two-a-day kind of day.  I ran 9 miles this morning.  We'll see what lunch brings.  I'm hoping to have today count as my "long run" day, so I don't have to go long in the cold and fierce winds tomorrow.

All of this running, it is preparing my legs, my lungs, and my heart for my Run Free MN trip!  Some mornings are harder to roll out of bed than others.  I continue to remind myself that I'm running for reasons beyond myself.  As I put on the layers, and lace up my kicks, I pray for the women who are being trafficked.  As I drive to St. Paul to meet up with running buddies, I pray for a change of heart in the pimps organizing these trades.  And during many of my runs, I pray for the men who continue to fund this slavery.  And then I thank God that I am able to be a part of the solution.  The hope story.  Please consider supporting me here: https://ventureexpeditions.missionsconnex.com/BreeWilliamson  Thank you for believing that I can do this!!!

You too can be a part of the hope story!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Day 21: Many Days of Gratitude

We're nearing the end of our 28-day challenge!  I can't believe we've almost accomplished it!  Jeremy and I have been feeling healthy, strong, and encouraged.  This is definitely the longest challenge I've ever done.  I've been encouraged by how well I've been able to eat.  I've learned so many new recipes, and enjoyed the process.  I've also been impressed by how energized I've been for my runs.  I have been logging 60-70 miles a week, and this plant-strong diet has definitely been helping me on my way.  The protein from beans and legumes has been great.  As well as the healthy carbs coming from brown rice, quinoa, and oatmeal. 

Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Rolled Oats with blackberries, blue berries and banana slices, tossed with cinnamon and almond milk.  This has been a great breakfast, and easy to make at my desk.  It has left me full until lunch time-for which I am grateful!

Jeremy read a statistic that many people consume as many as 1,200 calories while watching the Superbowl!!!  We were not a part of that statistic.  Instead, we made healthy "pizzas" if you can call them that.  Regardless, they were yummy. 

Corn tortillas, with roasted red pepper hummus, spinach, onions, peppers, mushrooms, avacados, and nutritional yeast, all baked in the oven!  It tasted great!  For a snack during the game, we had airpopped popcorn with Mrs. Dash seasoning.  I chose to spray my popcorn with vegetable broth which helped the seasoning stick to the kernels.  That too was great.  Again, we were not a part of the statistic, but still ate well.

Nutrition is feeling wonderful.  For that I am grateful.  My training has been awesome as well!  I ran 21 miles on Saturday and it felt great!!!  A friend and I went out for 18 miles, and were able to maintain a 7:36 pace.  I then went home and did 3 more miles on the treadmill, so I could run with Jeremy, and those miles felt great too!  Sunday was followed by a 5 mile run at an average pace of 7:08, which surprised me given the miles I had logged the day before.  This morning, we went out for a hilly 9 mile run, and were able to maintain a 7:21 average pace!!!  I can feel myself getting stronger every week.  I really do believe this new eating plan has something to do with it!  I am not running all of these miles simply because I'm training for a marathon.  Yes, it's true, I'm running the Fargo Marathon in the middle of May, but there is a greater agenda on my heart.  I'm beating my body into submission for reasons beyond myself.  It's not simply navel-gazing and wanting to become a better runner (although that never hurts if it's a byproduct).  Instead, I look to the adventure that awaits me this summer.  Again, another reason to be grateful.

Sometimes I still get stuck in "Wow-Land" over the fact that this summer I will be running across the state of Minnesota!  From Watertown, SD, to Wisconsin.  Over 200 miles, in less than two weeks time!  To raise awareness and funds for human trafficking.  As I continue to educate myself with information on this sad reality, it only fuels the fire for which I will be running.  Two weeks ago, Jeremy and I were able to attend Banquet for the Broken, which was a banquet supporting a ministry that works with former trafficked women in Moldova.  Just hearing their stories makes everything so much more real.  It's really happening.  Women are really being forced/tricked into sex slavery.  It is not their choice.  What's more alarming to most people is that it is also happening in the US--we are not immune!  Last year I learned that the largest volume of women in the U.S. who are trafficked, come from Minneapolis, and are sent to Las Vegas, where prostitution is legal, and are forced into that lifestyle.  Yes, Minneapolis.  It's happening here.  But we can make a difference!  And so I go to bed at 8:30pm.  I get up at 4:15am.  I run a ton of miles.  And then I go to work.  And I dream about freedom for these women.  I dream about restoration.  I dream about running.  I dream about making a difference.  And in a few months, I will be taking part in this adventure.  I will be a part of the hope story.  I am grateful for the opportunity.  I am grateful for my health.  I am grateful for my encouraging support system.  If you're interested, you can support me here: https://ventureexpeditions.missionsconnex.com/BreeWilliamson