I LOVE ALMONDS!

25 Mar

Ya’ll know how much I love my almond butter! I love making it at home with raw almonds, vanilla and salt. Mmm SO GOOD.

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Almonds pack a good nutritional punch and the good people over at Nuts.com sent me this fun info-graphic to show you just how awesome they are!
Almonds_Yeah_v04I haven’t done any baking with almond flour yet, but Almond milk is a staple in our house. Smoothies, cereal, in a glass, in baked goods, it’s multi-functional, low in calories and high in nutrition.

Almond butter. Ohhh AB. Occasionally I’ll put it on toast or in a AB&J, but you guys know my fave way to eat it is in a nut butter shot. Todd always says, “why do you take a picture every time you eat one of those? They all look they same.” Do they, Todd? Do they?

ABShotGlasses

The top two are all almond butter and the bottom two are layered with AB, then cashew butter then sunflower seed butter and (on the right) peanut butter. I just read Brittany’s new addiction of coconut oil mixed into nut butter and I need to give that a shot… see what I did there, haha.

How do you guys enjoy almonds?

Have you ever heard of Nuts.com?

Israel Part 3- The FOOD!

23 Mar

Last part… I promise :) Here are Israel Part 1 and Part 2.

We all know half the fun of traveling is trying local/regional food. We certainly did plenty of that, but first off, lets take a look at where we stayed. We rented an apartment for the week in Tel Aviv that was just over a quarter mile away from the beach. It had a full kitchen with pans and utensils, laundry, 2 bedrooms and bathrooms a nice little living room with a small balcony.
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It was really nice! I loved that there was a kitchen, as I was able to make breakfast a few mornings with eggs we got from the market. I even brought some Bisquick from home and made pancakes for Todd :) A few nights we sauteed some peppers and had them with eggs and bread on the side.

CookinginIsrael.jpgThe markets were full of spices, olives, bread, veggies, you name it they had it. There weren’t real grocery stores like we have here, so people buy everything at the market- so we did, too!

IsraelMarkets.jpg

We found a restaurant close to the apartment that we went to 3 nights. They had this large chicken salad, that I usually ordered, and then we’d get something new to try. It always involved minced meat and it was always delicious. Clockwise from upper left to right: Lamb meatballs with potato and sweet potato, veal stuffed onions with the best yellow rice and pumpkin, lamb and veal encased in polenta over rice and okra and a yummy tabouli salad with fresh pomegranate seeds.OurPlace.jpgWe went to this awesome place called The Old Man and the Sea. They serve you with 20 little “salads” and warm bread that’s almost like naan. The hummus was outta this world good! I ordered a whole grilled fish (very yummy!) and Todd got a lamb and chicken kabob. It’s funny, so many dishes come with fries in Israel. Everything was beyond delicious and I was SO FULL. We had this at 12 and I didn’t eat again until 7. SEVEN!!! That’s unheard of for me. OldManandtheSea.jpgInterestingly enough, gelato was also a big thing there. There were two gelato shops right outside our apartment, so we got it two evenings. Very yummy!
IsraelGelato.jpgIn the Old City in Jerusalem we got some shawarma. I got a platter that came with chicken shawarma, cucumber and tomato salad, hummus and a pita. Todd got a laffa which is pretty much everything on my platter, put into a huge wrap. Both ways were very tasty! Laffa.jpgAfter the Jerusalem Half, I ate a pb&j in the car but was starving by the time we got back to the apartment and showered. We found a cute little restaurant that had local dishes and headed that way. I got a vegetarian stuffed pepper (rice, cranberries, walnuts, red sauce) and lamb and rice stuffed zucchini and Todd got a roasted chicken leg with rice and potatoes. Everything was delicious.Kitchenette.jpgOf COURSE there was lots of bread eating. We’d go to the market every couple of days and get fresh bread. We ate the challah bread below in two days… They also had FRESH dates before they were dried. Pretty tasty! Less sweet, but still good. Todd got a bunch of dried dates from the hotel he stayed at in Be’er Sheeva for work. They had them in a dish for people to just take. Crazy seeing how expensive they are here.

Bread.jpgWe ate a lot of delicious, not so nutritious food in Israel, haha. Yaaaaa we both gained a few lbs, but hey, you only live once right? Plus, I’m sure that makes the doc happy ;)

Are you an adventurous eater?

Israel Part 2

20 Mar

Read Part 1 HERE.

TEMPLE MOUNT: *This is a good read-very interesting* The Temple Mount is the holiest site in Judaism, which regards it as the place where God’s divine presence is manifested more than any other place.

TempleMount.jpg

It was really hot that day so I wore shorts and obviously that was a stupid mistake, as you have to cover up when you go to most holy sites/churches. I ended up buying that stylish pink skirt from a little shop in the Old City.

Western Wall: Also known as the wailing wall. It is considered to be closest to the former Temple (which was replaced by the Temple Mount above), which makes it the most sacred site recognized by Judaism outside the Temple Mount itself.

WesternWAll.jpgThe wall has a male and female side. Look how small the female side it, haha. Can you find me?

Haifa: Largest city in Northern Israel. Home of the Baha’i Gardens.

Haifa.jpg

The gardens scale down the mountain and there was a beautiful overlook of the city.

Church of the Holy Sepulchre: The site is venerated as Calvary (the top right pic below), where Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, and also contains the place where Jesus is said to have been buried.

SpeculreChurch.jpgThe stone on the bottom right is said to be where Jesus was anointed before burial.

And just for fun… here’s a cool promo Nuun is doing:

 

 

 

My Israel Trip in Pictures (Part 1)

18 Mar

…with Wiki links for more info on the place if you’re interested…

MASADA: an ancient fortification in the Southern District of Israel situated on top of an isolated rock plateau on the eastern edge of the Judaean Desert, overlooking the Dead Sea.

Masada.jpg

We climbed to the top, and let me just say, our calves were sore for DAYS! I was worried it would affect my half, but we did this the first day and everything was fine come race time.

DEAD SEA: Earth’s lowest elevation on land. This salinity makes for a harsh environment in which animals cannot flourish, hence its name.

DeadSea.jpg

It was UNREAL! I’m in like 5 feet of water here and putting no effort into floating. Super cool.

CAESAREA: The town was built by Herod the Great about 25–13 BCE as the port city Caesarea Maritima.  In 1952, a Jewish town of Caesarea was established near the ruins of the old city.

Caesarea.jpg The sea in the picture with me is the Mediterranean Sea :) The bridge like thing is an aqueduct.

GARDEN TOMB: Considered by some Christians to be the site of the burial and resurrection of Jesus.

GardenTomb.jpg

Jesus possibly laid RIGHT THERE.

And just for fun… How Tampa celebrates St. Patty’s Day :)

Green Tampa BayHave you traveled to Israel?

 

Jerusalem Half Marathon or Should I Say 21.1K

16 Mar

So clearly from the post title, I was in Jerusalem. We got back Saturday and the race was Friday morning, but lets back up a bit… Todd left for work in Ber’Sheva, Israel January 15th. After his work was done, I met him in Tel Aviv for a little vacation. Since this is Heather RUNS Fast, I’ll start my Israel recap with running… OBV.

I got in two great runs on Tel Aviv beach. Both times I had cool temps in the beginning and most of the running path was shaded, but it got warm quick. They are 6 hours ahead of us and the sun rises around 5:45AM. So even sleeping in until only 7AM means you’re running in full sun. Good thing I received this Nuun swag package before I left to stock up on my hydration!

Nuun Swag

My first run was beautiful. The path I ran along beach path and soaked in the city. On my second run though, it was SUPER windy! So much sand was blowing around.

IMG_20150309_022431751_HDR IMG_20150311_032313280Like I said before, the race was Friday morning. Shabbat starts at sundown on Friday, so that’s why the race was on Friday and not Saturday or Sunday like it is here. After a night of NO SLEEP we got up at 4:15 to leave our apartment in Tel Aviv to drive to Jerusalem (about an hour away). I ate some oatmeal with peanut butter mixed in and bit on top on the drive and then two dates right before.

IMG_20150312_225330289 IMG_20150312_234647850

The race started at 6:45 and if you remember, the sun is fully up then. Luckily, the temps were cool. The course, however, was NOT cool. It was SO HILLY. Miles of up and down and up and down. There were points of going up hill that I just told myself not to walk. I had a slow trudge, but I knew I could make it up on the down hills. I opened my stride and let it fly.

JersualsemHalfNuun.jpgJerusalemRace.jpg

 

My “goal” was to run a 9/9:30 pace. I knew it was going to be hilly and I hadn’t trained for hills at.all. Nor had I run 13 consecutive miles in over a year. Needless to say, I was completely happy with my 1:53:46 time- a 8:35 pace. Woo Hoo! Now I’ve run two races internationally: Jerusalem and Taipei, Taiwan. We Americans are used to 5K and 1oK’s, but not 21.1K and 42.2K. It was cool seeing the stickers on back of all the cars using kilometers instead of miles.

21.1K

Another difference, was that they were handing out dates on the course for food and they call their electrolyte drink, isotonic drink, haha. And the water wasn’t in cups, they handed out small water bottles. It was easier to drink that way, but such a waste of water. Oh! I forgot to mention that my dad left me a note wishing me good luck before I left :)

Dads NoteThe only thing they had after the race was oranges and apples, so it’s a good thing I packed a PB&J (on Challah bread) to eat on the drive home! I scarfed that bad boy down so fast, it’s a amazing I remembered to take a pic!

Challah PB&JMy legs were pretty tight after so I had to improvise for a foam roller… a huge water bottle did the trick…

Water Bottle Foam Roller

We flew back that night at midnight, which made for a looooong day, especially with no sleep the night before. Not only did my parents watch the Ry girl while we were gone, my mom made us dinner when we got back…

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And yes, that’s a welcome home cake. Now that’s love.

PS Starting today, through 3/26/15 you can use the coupon code LuckyNuunFriends to use on shop.nuun.com for 20% off most items!

 

 

 

Boston Bound Stephanie

I'm a distance runner with BIG dreams.

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Determined to Become a Dad in the Valley of the Sun

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“MY AIM IS TO PUT DOWN ON PAPER WHAT I SEE AND WHAT I FEEL IN THE BEST AND SIMPLEST WAY.” ― ERNEST HEMINGWAY

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A life of running, triathlons, and desserts!

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