|these people ROCK|
Last night we repeated a workout we did about a month ago – 8×800 with a few warm up and cool down miles on either end. 800s are tough – half a mile at 5k pace – with 3:00 of rest/recovery between each for a total of 8 sets (or 4 miles). It is a great test of speed and endurance as well as mental stamina. It is not easy.
On December 21st I nailed this workout with the following times:
3:30, 3:27, 3:32, 3:25, 3:25, 3:24: 3:25, 3:21
I remember thinking to myself that this seemed fast for me. Faster than a 7:00 mile. But I felt good and this was encouraging.
Last night I attempted this workout again, with the same level of effort. I am beyond excited to see that I am improving – gaining speed, strength and endurance as well as confidence. I’m learning to run faster and to control my speed so that I can stay consistent:
3:14, 3:13, 3:07, 3:11, 3:09, 3:11, 3:10, 3:10
In just one month’s time I have shaved what I think to be a considerable amount of time off of my 800s for this workout. My hard work is paying off.
Running in the evenings is hard for me on a lot of levels. I used to have a tough time figuring out what and when to eat before going to the track (I seem to have this figured out now – a Picky Bar around 4:30PM is proving to be the perfect pre-track snack for me – Amen to that!). It is logistically challenging for my family. My husband comes home from work earlier than usual so I can get to the track on time. I feed the kids dinner, pump a bottle for the baby and then head out the door right before they go upstairs for their bedtime routine, leaving my husband to fly solo with three kids while I’m gone. I usually don’t return home until around 8:00PM, so my husband and I eat dinner pretty late. Since he is busy getting all the kids ready for bed he really can’t also cook dinner while I’m gone – so we had to come up with a healthy, easy meal to have on track nights.
We found the **perfect** solution – Jamaican Bean Stew with brown coconut rice. For the past three or four weeks, we have had this meal every Wednesday night. I am not getting bored of it. My kids (all three – even the baby!) love it. It is a wonderful vegan recovery meal – loaded with healthy proteins, carbs and fats. And it could honestly not be easier to make.
On Tuesday night we chop up the vegetables and put all the ingredients into our slow cooker. On Wednesday morning we turn the slow cooker on low heat and leave it like that all day long. Around 5:00PM I make the coconut rice. It cooks for 45 minutes, so is usually ready by the time the kids are having dinner. My husband doesn’t have to do anything to prepare dinner while I’m gone and when I get home I have a hot, delicious and healthy meal waiting for me.
If you are looking for an easy, good-for-you and totally yummy meal to make for yourself and your family (whether or not you are a vegetarian or vegan) this is a great recipe! I’m not a food blogger (FAR from it!) but am just really excited about this meal and wanted to share it with you here. Brown coconut rice is pretty much a staple around my house – I eat it a few times a week with this stew, green veggies, stir fry … I even sprinkle it in my salads sometimes. I seriously love it.
|ingredients for coconut rice|
1 1/2 cups brown rice
1 14oz. can light coconut milk
1 1/4 cups water
1 tsp. honey (I usually don’t even measure this – just drizzle for a few seconds)
Salt (I just sprinkle a bit in there. I’m not one to usually add salt to my food, so I keep it light)
Combine all the ingredients in a pot. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 45 minutes.
Jamaican Red Bean Stew
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 cloves shallots (or garlic)
2 cups chopped baby carrots
3 scallions, chopped
1 sweet potato, diced
1 15oz. can diced tomatoes
2 tsp dried curry
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/4 tsp ground allspice
salt & freshly ground black pepper
2 16oz. cans dark kidney beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup vegetable broth
|chopped and ready to go|
Put all the ingredients in your crock pot. If you are prepping this the night before like we do, you can just put the whole crock pot in the fridge overnight and then turn it on the next morning.
|this will be ready whenever you are!|
When you’re ready, turn the heat on low and cook for 6-8 hours.
I like to put a little bit of vegan sour cream on top of mine, too. You can buy this at most grocery stores and I am telling you it is good!
|this stuff is good!|
That’s it. A totally yummy and extremely easy meal!
Wednesday nights are all about fast running and slow cooking for me these days! Nothing is better after a tough track workout in the cold than a warm healthy comforting meal like this.
What are your favorite recovery meals? Do you eat vegan or vegetarian? What about the slow cooker – are you a fan?