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TrainerTiff: October 2011 >

Monday, October 17, 2011

Recipe: Black Bean and Corn Burritos

In my attempt to eat less meat, I've been making more vegetarian dishes lately. I like to look through cooking magazines for new meal inspiration. I came across a recipe for black bean and corn tacos and decided to put my own spin on it and make burritos. These are really easy to make and will give any regular meat based burrito a run for its money! Check it out.

4 whole grain tortilla shells
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 teaspoon chilli powder
1/2 teaspoon cumin
3-4 shakes sea salt
1 cup shredded monterey jack cheese
2 Roma tomatoes, diced
6 tablespoons white onion, diced
4 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
2 limes, juiced
2 cups chopped  lettuce
4 tablespoons sour cream (optional)

Makes approximately 4 servings.

In bowl, mix beans, corn, chilli powder, cumin and salt. Heat in microwave for about 2 minutes. In meantime, prepare salsa by combining tomatoes, onions, cilantro and lime juice in bowl and mixing. For tortillas, heat a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Heat tortillas on each side for 1-2 minutes, long enough to slightly brown and get firm.

To assemble: Place tortilla on plate, add bean and corn mixture. Add 1/4 cup cheese, a couple spoonfuls of the salsa mixture, 1/2 cup of lettuce and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Roll up burrito style and cut in half or eat whole as a taco.



Monday, October 3, 2011

Running Tips for Beginners

As someone who does not run, I love it when I see a jogger running down the street. You can always tell the more experienced from those who may be ... uh ... experiencing their first day. No matter the skill level, I admire them. I admire the gumption it takes to get up, get out there and do it.

I actually like running, it's my body that doesn't. My right knee has always given me problems and because of that, my cardio usually comes in the form of a StairMaster or elliptical trainer. Every now and then, I'll hear a friend talk about having had a good run and I'll get motivated to get out there and try it again. And every time, the next day my knee is screaming at me.

Now, I'm faced with a slight dilemma. I've entered the AZ Urbanathlon which is basically a 5k with a bunch of awesome obstacles thrown in. I know, you're probably thinking, "why did you do that if running causes you pain?" Yeah, seems silly. Well, I've decided to really challenge myself. I am going to improve my running technique and thereby, hopefully, prevent my usual knee pain.

And since I'm newbie to running, I've been doing some research*. I've listed some basic running tips that should come in handy for beginners like me. Check it out.
  • Each step should land lightly between heel and midfoot.
  • A short stride and slight knee lift is best for distance running.
  • Be careful not to hunch forward. Keep torso and back comfortably upright and straight. 
  • Arms should swing forward and back and not across your body. The motion should be in pace with your stride. 
  • Make sure shoulders don't creep up toward your ears. Keep them low and loose. 
  • Don't look at the ground. Keep head up and looking forward at the horizon. Make sure chin doesn't jut forward. 
  • To prevent stomach cramping, avoid short shallow breaths. Instead breath deeply from the lower lungs.
  • Breathing at a 2/2 ratio is common among runners. Take two steps as you inhale, take two steps as you exhale. 
  • Too much water or food in the stomach can lead to stomach cramps. You may need to eat anywhere from 1-3 hours before your run. Monitor your body and what works best for you.
  • Get in the habit of drinking more water in general. Dehydration can lead to muscle cramps. 
Tips listed here are from Runner's World and WebMD.