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Trilogy II

Last Sunday I participated in Trilogy II triathlon. The same Mack Cycle series that began last month. This was an interesting race for me. I was excited to race without being sick like last time. So I was looking forward to trying to better my time.

Race day began smoothly, I was feeling good… Not nervous but just a bit sleepy. The entire week I had been getting up between 4:20 am and 5:30 am to workout in the morning before work and do it all over in the afternoons as I usually do.

For the swim this time I was mentally preparing myself to jump in the water and immediately put my head down and begin swimming. This has been a challenge for me because I tend to wait around till everyone positions themselves to really start my swim. So when we were ready to take off I positioned myself in the middle of the pack off to the right. So I would not have anyone to the right of me just in case things got ugly. As I began to swim, I kept my self focused trying to find a rhythm. When passing one of the lifeguards on his surf board I could hear him yelling “let’s go, this is what you train for”. Immediately that gave me the push I need it. In my head I was telling myself all kinds of crazy talk to keep going. I was swimming behind two girls that were a bit further up. I said to myself, you have to catch up. I began pushing myself trying to keep form as much as possible (thinking of my coach yelling at me for not rotating). Just before it was time to stand up I noticed I had the girl next to me! I was so happy that I was able to push and keep focused to meet my goal. When racing its all about short-term goals for me. Pass this person and then sight another one and pass them and so forth… I’m happy to report I swam this race 2 minutes faster than last month’s race. I came in at 10:03 minutes. Yeah!!

The bike portions started a bit rocky. I had practiced so I was looking forward to also doing a little better this time. As I began to put my bike shoes on I realized that the inside strap had come loose. I thought not to mess with it and just wear the shoe as is. I get my bike and run out of transition area. When trying to mount on the bike I look down and my chain had come off. I tried to mess with it, but not knowing what the hell I’m doing I start to panic. Thank god some stranger that was cheering for us came to my rescue. He helped me and put the chain back on. I got on my bike and off I went. I tried not to let it get to me as I knew that had cost me a few minutes of my time. After all I came in 4 seconds faster than the previous race. So now I’m curious to know what my time would have been if I didn’t have the chain issue. Bike time 36:35 minutes. I need lots of improvement on the bike. It is my weakest point.

The run went smooth. Surprisingly enough it was not too hot and mostly shady. Didn’t go all out but a comfortable pace and finished at 28:19 minutes for 3.1 miles.

Now this time around my transition times were longer. I will be practicing for next event. Overall, I’m very happy with this race as I finished in 1:17:55 and that’s 2 minutes faster than last month’s Trilogy! Gotta keep working hard, but I am seeing improvements and that’s what keeps me going.

Veggie Virtuoso

Another veggie recipe! This is a great side or it can be served alone as an appetizer or alone buffet table. I really enjoyed this one and I know I will be making it often.

Ingredients:

1 red bell pepper, quartered
1 yellow pepper, quartered
1 small red onion, quartered
1 medium zucchini, sliced lengthwise
1 medium yellow squash, sliced lengthwise
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp dried oregano
1 tbsp dried minced garlic
1 tbsp minced fresh basil

Preheat oven to broil.

Combine vegetables in bowl. Toss

Eggplant and Basil Saute

I love eggplant but it’s tough to find a dish that it doesn’t include red sauce or breading. Here’s a recipe that is so easy and makes eggplant a great side to any protein.

Ingredients:

2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 large eggplant, cut into 1/2 inch slices
4 large fresh basil leaves
2 tbsp dried oregano

Heat oil and garlic in skillet over medium flame and stir for one minute. Add eggplant slices. Cover and turn every five minutes for twenty five minutes. Sprinkle with basil and oregano and continue cooking for five minutes. Remove from heat and let stand for five minutes.

New Challenges = New Beginnings

For the past several months I have been content with my fitness/physical appearance but I know there is always room for improvements. Lately it has been extremely difficult for me to shed a few pounds. I have been stuck in a plateau for a long time now and it seemed like I had to do something drastic in order to get over the bump. Crazy diets are out of the question for me, so I was trying to figure out if maybe by cutting some foods or reducing portions would help. By doing this I knew I had to be very careful because of the amount of exercise I do. I do not want to decrease my activity and/or intensity level due to my diet.

After much research, I decided to give Paleo a try. I must say that after only three weeks I already have started to notice changes. These changes have been physically and how I feel in general. I have already started to drop a bit of weight, even though it may just be water weight. But hey, I do feel a lot less bloated and leaner so that is always good. I also see a change on energy level, especially when working out. I feel like I can go a little longer, feeling less exhausted than I’m used to. In fact, I feel so great I’m thinking this is going to be a lifestyle for me and not just a diet.

The great thing about Paleo is that if at any time you feel like you want to eat something that is not in the diet, you just go ahead and have it. No guilty feelings. Then just get back on track and keep on with Paleo permitted foods. This has always worked out for me. By not having a “cheat day” or a “cheat meal” scheduled makes it easier to stay on track. I simply have what I’m craving when I want. Then my craving is over and I can go back to eating as planned. Before I know it it’s been a couple of weeks without cheating.

The next several recipe posts will be all Paleo dishes. This is new to me, so I am experimenting with recipes and learning this new way of cooking. Stay tune and give them a try. You will be surprised how good these are!

Bedtime Blueberries

If you are like me and have a sweet tooth, this is a dessert to try. I can’t stay away from sweets but what I can do is choose healthier options. Because it’s so hard to find natural, healthy store-bought desserts I just rather make my own. Here’s a recipe I found online and oh was it good. I served it warm right out of the oven….

Ingredients:

2 cups frozen organic blueberries

1/2 cup unsweetened finely shredded coconut

1/2 cup sliced almonds

4 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice

Preheat oven to 350. Layer the blueberries in a pie pan and sprinkle the shredded coconut evenly over the blueberries, followed by the sliced almonds. Drizzle the entire dish with the orange juice and bake for 15 minutes. Finish under the broiler on high for another minute or until the almonds start to brown.

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Caramelized Broccoli

Caramelized Broccoli with Orange Zest

Ingredients:

2-3 broccoli heads, cut into bite-sized pieces
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
1 tbsp orange zest

Preheat oven to broil. Place broccoli in large bowl and toss with oil and pepper. Drizzle with orange juice and orange zest and mix thoroughly. Arrange broccoli pieces evenly spaced on a rimmed baking sheet.

Broil for ten to twelve minutes, until bright green and slightly tender.

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Paleo Shrimp Delight

Paleo Shrimp Delight

Ingredients:

2 pounds jumbo shrimp
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
4 small plum tomatoes, seeded and sliced into very thin wedges
1/2 cup shredded fresh basil
1 lime, quartered

Heat oil in skillet over medium flame. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Layer with shrimp and cook for 2 minutes; turn once. Add tomatoes and cook for 2 minutes; stir at halfway point. Garnish with basil and lime quarts.

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Coconut water

If you enjoyed the long weekend like I did by staying active outdoors, than this coconut water would have been perfect. It is hot and humid here in Miami. So it’s very important to stay hydrated. This coconut water was the perfect refreshment after a long workout.

Happy Tuesday!

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