Has your week been treating you well so far? I’ve got my 2nd ride with the cycling group that I joined tonight, and I’m really looking forward to it! I managed to get out on my bike once on Sunday, and think that if I can get at least 2 rides in per week between now and my duathlon mid-June, I should be in pretty good shape. But enough about that – let’s talk about food!
1. Recipe of the Week. One of the things that never ceases to amaze me is how food preferences change over time. When I was little, the most common vegetable-based sides I remember eating with my family were caesar salads, mashed potatoes, or boiled veggies. You know that mix of finely diced peas, carrots, corn and beans? That’s the one. I’d douse them in ketchup because back then I was of the mind that ketchup made the world go round. Looking back, my exposure to other veggies was pretty limited.
Fast forward to my mid-teens. We moved to the Middle East, I stopped exercising as much, ate my feelings, and ballooned up until the point that none of my pants fit and I wasn’t a very happy girl. (More about this on my about page.) Then I decided to do something about it, and part of this meant exploring the produce section of the grocery store.
Knowing I could eat mountains of fruits and veggies as part of my quest to lose the unwanted pounds, I got adventurous and made fast friends with things like zucchini, butternut squash, pomelos, okra, peppers, leeks, mangoes, spinach, and various other green leafy specimens. It’s not that I didn’t like these things before – I’d just never been exposed to them.
While my fruit and veggie repertoire had expanded drastically, there were still a few things I wasn’t a fan of. Ironically, they’re all included in today’s recipe because my 25-year old self now adores them.
This Spicy Lime Chicken Salad was dinner last week, and my post-race lunch on Sunday. It’s got it all – the crunch, the creaminess, a little spiciness here, a little sweetness there, and a zesty freshness about it thanks to the fresh lime juice.
Do it. You know you want to.
2. The SPIBelt. I am very, very late to the SpiBelt party but I have officially become a huge fan. What is this contraption, you ask?
It’sa belt (duh) made primarily for runners, but also works for cycling and other sweaty endavours too. While SPIbelts don’t hold water bottles, they do have small yet very spacious pouches that can expand to fit all of your training essentials – keys, Kleenex, gels or on-the-run fuel, and iPhones (for emergencies, gorgeous scenery, and obligatory selfies). But before you go thinking this thing looks like a fanny pack (no thanks), check it out:
Not only is it small, fairly discrete, and available in all sorts of colours (to match your outfits, of course), but it DOES NOT BOUNCE. Or at least that’s they say on their website. I’ve heard wonderful things about the SPIbelt in the past from others in the running community, so I was intrigued by the no-bounce claim and wanted to give it a go for myself. The other thing that triggered my curiosity was heading out for a long run earlier in April in my compression gear, realizing I had no zippered pockets for my key. (I’m a worry wart and like to keep my keys in something a little more secure than a fold-over pocket.)
The amazing ladies at SPIbelt graciously offered to send me one to review, and I chose the Specialty SPIbelt with the water-resistant pocket and gel loops. One of the things that really grinds my gears about fueling on the run is trying to open up a zippered pocket, grab what you’re looking for, and avoid having everything else spill out. I love the gel loops around the outside of the belt because gels are messy, and the last thing I want during a long race is to have them squirting all over other items.
What about that no-bounce thing? My skepticism quickly turned into surprise and excitement when I strapped it on yesterday with my phone, key, Kleenex, and extra hair elastic inside. I wasn’t out for a long run – just a few tester miles – but it was fab. I found the straps really easy to adjust, and didn’t have any issues with it riding up or falling down.
The strap is durable yet stretchy (if you wear a heart rate monitor strap, it’s pretty much the same, but thicker), which is different to all of hydration belts I’ve tried in the past. Obviously, this isn’t a hydration belt but for the purposes of races where water is available on the course, that’s not a problem. Having said that, if anyone knows of a hydration belt that does have a stretchy strap like a SPIbelt, I would love to hear about it!
I’m planning to do one more long run this weekend before I start to ease back on mileage for the Niagara Women’s Half Marathon on June 1st, and the SPIbelt will most definitely be coming too!
So tell me…
- Did you try anything new yesterday?
- Have you tried the SPIbelt before? Are you a fan?