On the run in Naples, Florida

I have always told Mal that I’m glad she’s from South Florida and not from somewhere with a frigid climate. That sentiment rings especially true when it’s cold in the Washington, DC area; and it has indeed been freezing here. So we were happy to be able to take advantage of our long MLK/Inauguration Day weekend and fly down to South Florida to run the Naples Half Marathon on Sunday January 20.

We ran this race in 2011 and enjoyed the flat course and scenery. We knew what we were in for and even though we weren’t anywhere near where we should have been, training-wise, but we felt good about giving it a shot. Plus, the fact that there was a good chance it was going to be a brisk 65 degrees at race start helped in the decision-making process…!

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I was wearing my awesome Christmas present from Mal – yes socks can be an awesome gift when they are RG3 “No Pressure No Diamonds” socks!

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We were ready to run!

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Making our way past mile 10 and on the way to the finish:

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No, it wasn’t our best time, but we didn’t fly down there to break any of our records. It felt so great running in warm weather, on a flat course lined with palm trees and scenic waterfront views. We had fun going to the beach after the race and soaking up the warm weather before flying back to DC on Monday.

Our flight landed in DC in the afternoon and we were welcomed home with temperatures in the mid-30s. Back to reality…

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What’s for Dinner Tonight: Turkey Enchiladas

This is one of my favorites. A healthy version of a typically unhealthy Mexican dish: enchiladas. This version uses ground turkey breast instead of beef, which cuts out a whopping total of over 400 calories and almost 50 grams of fat, as well as reduced fat cheddar cheese. I also used corn tortillas instead of flour, but only because I prefer the flavor of corn tortillas. With that, here we go:

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This recipe is brought to you by Fitness Magazine (with a few personal tweaks):

Here’s what you need:

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil (divided into 1 tablespoon and 2 tablespoons)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 pound ground turkey breast
  • 1 zucchini, chopped
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, seeded and chopped
  • 1 8-oz can of no-salt-added tomato sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon of dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 1 handful of reduced-fat cheddar cheese

Here’s how you make them:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 and coat a baking dish with cooking spray
  2. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large pan; once oil is hot add onion and cook until softened (about 5 mins)
  3. Add turkey, zucchini, 2 tablespoons olive oil, jalapenos, 1/2 cup tomato sauce, cumin, oregano and cinnamon; cook for about 8 mins and set aside
  4. Wrap corn tortillas in damp paper towels and heat in a microwave for 30 seconds (to make them a bit softer; don’t worry if they rip when you try and roll them – they always do); spoon some of the turkey mixture into each tortilla, roll them up and place them seam-down in the baking dish
  5. Drizzle the rest of the tomato sauce on top of the enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese; bake for 30 minutes
  6. Remove from oven and let the dish sit for about 5 minutes before serving (I cut up an avocado as a side dish and added some low-fat sour cream as well).

Like I said this is one of our favorite dishes. It’s guilt-free Mexican food and it’s delicious. It is a bit more time-consuming than some easier dinners, but if you have a bit of time it’s absolutely worth it.

Next up on the blog: Naples Half Marathon Race Recap. Stay Tuned!

Running this weekend

I always tend to be excited for weekends, especially three-day weekends. This weekend, however, is going to be special. We are heading to south Florida, where Mal is from, and running a half marathon in Naples, Florida!

We ran this race 2 years ago and it was a great experience: perfect running weather, flat, scenic course with some combination of beaches, water and palm trees the whole way. Here we are with our finisher’s medals:
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I’m bringing back the “Race Recap” series so be sure to check back here next week for the 2013 edition of the Naples Half Marathon Race Recap.

Also, Mal and I are making one of our favorite dinners tomorrow so I’ll be posting “What’s for Dinner: Healthy Turkey Enchiladas” tomorrow night.

What’s for Dinner Tonight? Lemon Basil Shrimp

Ok I’m going to try something new. I’ll post a few pictures of what we eat for dinner each night, along with the recipe and some commentary about the nutritional benefits of the food. So to kick things off we have Lemon Basil Shrimp served on a bed of spinach:

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Luckily I had some “help” in the kitchen…

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This recipe is so easy and it takes no more than 20 minutes to make. Here’s what you need to make it for two people, though you can easily cut it in half if you’re cooking for one:

  • 2 servings of pasta (I used gluten free; Mal used normal whole wheat)
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 20 shrimp (or so)
  • 2 tablespoons of capers (drained)
  • 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about half a lemon’s worth)
  • 1/4 cup of chopped fresh basil
  • 2 handfuls of fresh baby spinach

Here’s how you make it:

  1. Cook pasta and drain
  2. While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a pan and sauté shrimp until they are done (about 3-5 mins depending on their size)
  3. Put one handful of spinach on each plate and sprinkle with any leftover lemon juice and some cracked black pepper
  4. Combine the cooked pasta, shrimp, capers, lemon juice and basil in a large bowl and top each serving of spinach with half of the mixture
  5. Top with a pinch of Parmesan cheese

So easy, so delicious and so good for you! You’re getting great, healthy protein from the shrimp, whole grains from the pasta, vitamin c from the lemon and a ton of folate – an important vitamin – from the spinach. What a nutritional powerhouse of a meal!

What’s on your plate tonight?