If you don’t follow me on my @GetInspiralized Instagram account (aka sweaty post-workout selfie account), then you may not know that I’m currently training for a half marathon.
My running story definitely consists of a love/hate relationship, but there’s more love than hate.
I promise this all ties into today’s recipe. Stick with me.
I’m training for a Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon in Brooklyn, NY on October 8th. Last weekend, when the city of New York shuts down most of Park Avenue for pedestrians, I did my first “long” run for training: 6 miles.
It was a blast to run up Park Avenue without any cars – surreal, really. I really recommend it to anyone planning a visit to New York City or that lives there. Unfortunately, last Saturday was the last Summer Streets (that’s what it’s called), so you’ll have to wait until next summer!
So here’s my running story: I was never a “runner.” And by that, I mean that I never really ran for exercise. I’d force myself to do the odd 2 to 3 miles on the dreadmill (that’s not a typo – the treadmill was so dreadful), but I never ran much more than that.
Then, around March of 2012, I entered a random lottery to get into the Nike Women’s Marathon in San Francisco, CA. Basically, you sign up and if you make it in, your credit card gets charged the entrance fee (I think it was around $250!)
Let me tell you: I NEVER win anything. I’m not a very lucky person. But, I won this!
In an effort to get over an ex-boyfriend and start a new chapter in my life, I downloaded a Hal Higdon training schedule, stuck to it religiously, and then, in October of 2012, I ran a marathon, after never really running more than 4 miles at a time in my entire life.
Unfortunately, I overdid the training – I got so addicted to the runner’s high that I over-worked myself and never did much stretching, icing, or the necessary muscle-building exercises, like squats and lunges to strengthen the areas around my knees.
Thus, at about mile 19, I heard a snap and my knee gave out. It was awful, terrible – it felt like a serrated knife was in between my bones. I limped for about a mile and a half (which, obviously ruined my finishing time), but miraculously, the pain went away, and I finished the marathon, run-limping!
Since then, every time I’ve tried to train for another race, my knee pain has been so bad after 3 miles, that I’ve given up. However, this time, I’m in a different place. I’ve done a lot of HIIT training (thanks to ladies like the Tone It Up girls and Kayla Itsines) in the past two years and my muscles are strong. I’m taking the training slow and adhering to the rest days. So far, no major knee pain! I’ve been stretching, icing, and wearing my brace occasionally.
I have to say – for those who say they aren’t runners or hate running, there’s something magical that happens when you long distance run. Yes, it’s a runner’s high, I guess, but it’s more than that – it’s like this peaceful strength that you feel when you’re carrying your body for over an hour at a steady run. Unfortunately, it takes about 45 minutes to an hour to get to that feeling (in my experience, at least) but once you hit that stride, there’s no stopping you – you just want more and more mileage.
There’s also one thing different since I trained and ran that marathon: I’ve overhauled my diet. March 2012 was pre-Inspiralized (I started Inspiralized in late June 2013), so I hadn’t hit my healthy stride. I was still binge-eating frequently, eating apples for breakfast, and not nourishing myself properly, for the sake of trying to lose weight quickly.
Eating plant-based, high-protein meals like today’s recipe are what keep me fueled on these runs and my joints strong. Certain veggies, like carrots, help with joint pain. I’ve even added pistachios here, which supposedly help with joint stiffness and swelling. There’s an egg and lentils for protein and avocado, which is anti-inflammatory, perfect for runners!
So, expect to see a lot of fueling meals the next couple of months, as I train for this half marathon. And of course, feel free to follow along on my @GetInspiralized account. And if you’re running the Brooklyn Half, let me know!
Happy Birthday, Meaghan!
Also, it’s Meaghan, our Brand & Community Manager’s birthday today! Many of you may have heard from Meaghan on social media or with Customer Service related to the Inspiralizer! She’s an absolute dream, and I couldn’t run Inspiralized without her – she’s my Inspiralized wing woman and I’m so happy to have her as part of the team (a team of two, haha!) Please wish her a happy birthday with me! Happpppy Birthday, Meaghan!
I hope everyone has a great week and I hope you’re cooking from the new cookbook (Inspiralize Everything) alongside with me. Here’s the week’s schedule (I had to adapt, because we didn’t get home until late last night, so there was no time to cook!)
Here’s this week’s schedule if you want to follow along:
- Tuesday, Aug 23: Chicken Tagine with Apricot Golden Beet Rice
- Wednesday, Aug 24: Poached Salmon over Jicama Noodle Salad with Cilantro-Lime Yogurt Dressing
- Thursday, Aug 25: Ginger-Crab Fried Daikon Rice
Check out the latest post on my lifestyle blog, inspiralized ali:
Nutritional Information & Recipe
Weight Watchers SmartPoints*: 10 points
*These points were calculated using the official Weight Watchers SmartPoints calculator. We are in no way affiliated with Weight Watchers, we are providing this information based on popular demand.
Spiralized Carrot and Lentil Bowl with Avocado and Poached Egg
- 0.5 cups brown lentils
- 1.5 cups water
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 large carrots peeled, Blade C, noodles trimmed (if you are using a thin carrot, use Blade D)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper
- 1/4 teaspoon cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon paprika
- 2 large eggs
- 1/2 avocado sliced thinly
- 2 tablespoons chopped roasted and salted pistachios or raw, if preferred
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Place the lentils, water, and bay leaf into a small pot and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes or until lentils are cooked and softened, but not mushy. Add water as needed.
- Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with parchment paper and lay out the carrot noodles. Drizzle with the olive oil and then season with salt, pepper, cumin, and paprika. Toss well to combine and roast for 7-10 minutes or until wilted, but still al dente.
- Bring a medium saucepan filled halfway with water to a steady simmer and set a paper towel lined small plate nearby. Crack an egg into a cup or ramekin and once the water is simmering, gently create a whirpool (using a spoon) in the water and slowly tip the egg into the water. Let cook for 3 minutes and then remove carefully with a slotted spoon and set on the plate.
- Assemble the bowls. Place the lentils in a bowl (remove bay leaf first!), top with carrot noodles, avocado, and top with poached egg. Garnish with pistachios.