Wednesday, June 16, 2010
Race News and Skyr ~
I'm very happy to report that my first half-marathon was a success and a wonderfully challenging experience! It's already been a week + since the race and I'm feeling the itch to sign up for more races...so next up, the Graeagle Triathlon on July 4th! I think I've got the "get stronger" bug and it's bittin' away.
I've been relearning through all this running and training just how valuable the right foods can truly be for our bodies, and how it is the fuel that keeps the fire burning. Not only have I not been eating enough protein for a long time now, but I've also discovered how beneficial the right foods are at just the right times, when it comes to sustaining my energy and stamina. It's such a learning curve and definitely a work in progress. The night before the race, we cooked a yummy pasta, chicken, veggie dish that was perfect and served as good racing fuel. The morning of, (after not sleeping well at all, darn it) I ate a delish cup of my new favorite food, Siggi's Icelandic Style Skyr Strained Non-fat yogurt that I discovered while in Seattle with my Aunt, along with berries and peanut butter! The Skyr-style yogurt is non-fat and loaded with protein - 16 grams in just 170 grams or a small cup. It's my favorite breakfast and also a real treat when you sprinkle raw nuts and cranberries on top - give it a try for your next breakfast.
The race is all a bit of a blur, but boy was I nervous at the starting line - as the starter's gun was fired I was surprised at how quickly everyone took off - setting a pretty fast pace from the get-go...oh, and I did I mention that the first mile was a long climb up a hill? Yes, it was. Lots of huffing and puffing at more that 1,000 feet higher than had I trained at. The course was gorgeous and in those moments when the pain set in or I was tired, I continually reminded myself to look around at the majestic beauty that was surrounding all of us runners, and to remember why I was doing this...for myself, for my spirit and for purely the gift of having two legs to take me on this journey. So at mile 12, another big hill (can you believe that?!), followed by more rolling hills...I kept saying to myself, "I did it - almost there!"...and let me tell you, I don't' even remember the last 1/4 mile - all I could hear was the announcer, the pounding of my heart and the joy of hearing people cheering us as I crossed the finish line. The last two minutes of the race I gave all I had and suddenly, nothing hurt, my legs were with me and there was a smile on my face to replace the grimace I was most likely carrying with me for the last 8 miles. The best part, aside from my running partner sticking with me, seriously...the super cool medals that every one of us racers received at the finish line. It's my little gold medal.
Now that I'm home and have backed off on the running for a week I've been focused on refueling my engine and that's where Sigg's Skyr comes in...you have to try this yogurt. Little background - so I did some research on their company recently and their story is great. Their packaging did not specifically list any mention of gluten-free, though the ingredients seemed safe to me (but we never know), so I emailed the company and asked them. I received an email back from their marketing gal letting me know that they are in the process of receiving their gluten free certification and soon it will be "reflected on our labels in these upcoming months, so keep an eye out!"...I will. Not only did they respond quickly, but the other day in my mail box I received a package from Siggi's with coupons for their delicious Skyr. I was duly impressed with their customer service and the thoughtful gift of sending me such a valuable little package - I'm an even bigger fan now! And they are so green - their packaging is so simple and easy to recycle. Siggi's Skyr yogurts come in eight delicious flavors and are loaded with probiotics - always a necessity for a Celiac stomach.
Speaking of, there's an interesting article that just came out this week about just that - Celiacs and probiotics, discussing new research that could eventually result in a probiotic treatment for celiacs. The article is focused around some of the work that Italian doctor Alessio Fasano, M.D. of the University of Maryland is researching on an ongoing basis. Though I can't give you the scientific specifics or research behind my probiotic experimenting, I can say without a doubt that they help my stomach tremendously and I swear by them. I take a great achidophilus capsule ever day of my life and am really hooked on Synergy Kombucha - they have settled my stomach many times and brought it back to life, on occasion.
Another fun food/news item I wanted to mention was a great article that Tia's Sweet Treats received in the Summer 2010 issue of Edible Reno-Tahoe. We so appreciate the great coverage and are baking away and taking orders.
For those of you in the Reno/Tahoe vicinity or perhaps coming to this area soon, BJ's Restaurant and Brewhouse in south Reno is now serving gluten-free thin crust pizza. I have not tried this pizza yet, but I've heard through our Celiac group that another member tried it and the BJ's manager came out to discuss the details with her. BJ's does note on their menu, "With the exception of our meatballs, all of BJs Classic ingredients listed on the pizza page in our menu are gluten-free."
If any of you do try it, please write in and let me know what you think, and I'll be sure to do the same.
It's great to see that mainstream restaurants are recognizing and trying new items on their menus, but as always, our job is to make sure their staff, chefs and managers really KNOW what it means to be cooking gluten-free...so ASK lots of questions and be your own best advocate.
If you give Siggi's Skyr a try, please let me know. Whomever submits the most tasty and creative way to eat Skyr yogurt will win a little prize that will sure to delight, and I'll post your delicious recipe here on Bowl of Soul.
Be creative and eat well~