A Very Special 3.1 Miles

This past weekend, I participated in the South Florida Brain Tumor Association’s 10th Annual Sprint for a Cure 5k.  This cause holds a very heavy and dedicated place in my heart, and it felt beyond wonderful to run for this purpose.

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Honestly, this was the first time I ever ran a race for a cause that meant so much to me.  Of course, I support all of the great causes I have run for in the past, but there is something about running for something so personal that leaves you feeling inspired, accomplished, and selfless.

An interesting and unimportant note- I ran my fastest 5k ever.  I think this is because I was so unconcerned about myself and my time and simply so focused on running with meaning.

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The weather was humid and wet, the course was nothing scenic, the competition was nothing fierce, and the distance was short- but this was beyond a doubt the best run of my life.

Goal: Run the 2014 1/2 marathon in Chicago for this same cause.

What sporting events have you participated in that were extra special to you?

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Dijon Crusted Baked Halibut

Hello blog peeps- I am officially back to a semi-normal routine and finally had the time to cook up a healthy, tasty meal tonight.

Because it has been a while since I tried a new recipe, I figured I would come back in full force and try something a bit out of my comfort zone.  Fish is one of those things that I am gradually developing quite a taste for, but am still reluctant at trying new types.  My taste buds have mastered salmon (especially my yummy blackened salmon) and tried grouper and chilean sea bass while dining out, but I am not quick to try new fish recipes at home.  I mean, is anything less satisfying after a long day than a bland, fishy, expensive piece of fish?  Well, tonight was time to execute one of my foodie resolutions in trying new things.

I made a dijon crusted baked halibut that I am happy to report turned out quite tasty!  I adapted the recipe from this Taste of Home Recipe by tweaking it just a little.  I decided to use halibut instead of tilapia because 1) fresh, wild halibut is on sale this week at Whole Foods (score!), and 2) I had never tried halibut before.

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I know I mention on here rather frequently whether or not my boyfriend liked a dish, but that is because he is a picky eater when it comes to healthy food.  So, I feel a recipe is uber-legitimate and totally worth sharing with you guys when he likes it.  And such was the case tonight :)

Dijon Crusted Baked Halibut

Adapted from this Taste of Home Recipe

Serves: 2

Ingredients:

  • 2/3 lb halibut (or fish of your choice)
  • 2 tablespoons reduced fat mayo (can sub with all or some greek yogurt)
  • 1.5 TBS parmesan cheese, divided
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 tsp horseradish
  • 1 tsp butter, melted
  • 2 TBS breadcrumbs
  • 1.5 tsp dijon mustard

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. In a smal bowl, combine the mayo (or greek yogurt), 1 TBS parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and dijon mustard.
  3. Place fish on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray, skin side down.  Spread mayo mixture liberally on top of fish, saving any extra to use as a dipping sauce.
  4. In another small bowel, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 1/2 TBS parmesan cheese, and the melted butter.  Mix well.
  5. Top of the fish with the breadcrumb/cheese/butter topping.
  6. Bake in the oven for about 13-17 minutes, checking at 13 minutes, until fish is flaky in the center.

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We were pleasantly surprised at how good and EASY this recipe was.  I served it with frozen steamed broccoli (yawn), but tons of side dishes would accompany this perfectly.

The only thing I noticed was that because halibut (or perhaps just this piece) is such a thick piece of fish, we didn’t get a yummy dijon flavor in every bite, especially towards the center.  Luckily halibut is a very taste neutral fish, so it was more not flavorful as opposed to bad.  My solution to this for next time: reserve the extra mayo mixture to use as a dipping sauce.  If I had known this, I definitely would have saved my extra instead of tossing it down the drain in an attempt to be ahead of the clean up game.  Topping that reserved mixture with fresh herbs, such as dill or parsley, could be beyond delicious.

The next time you are looking for a healthy, delicious, out-of-the-box seafood recipe, definitely give this a try!

What is your favorite type of fish to cook?  What fish have you always wanted to try to make at home?

6.2 check.

Yes, I am alive.  And I promise to be blogging (and cooking) more in the upcoming weeks.

This post, however, is to document the 10k that I ran this morning.  I know for some serious runners this may not be a huge deal, but it was my first time running this distance in a more competitive atmosphere, so yay me!

Before the race!

Before the race!

As I had previously mentioned, participation in this race came to be when I decided 1) I was slacking on my running 2) I was flabbing up a bit and 3) I needed some form of motivation.  So, I literally registered for the first 10k that was coming up and took place on a Sunday (since I work on Saturdays).  Hence my participation in the “Gumbo Limbo Green Turtle Gallop” in Boca Raton for sea turtle conservation.

Now, don’t let the name fool you.  When I showed up this morning, the event was crawling with serious runners.  I’m talking fit, toned people with multiple 13.1 and 26.2 stickers on their cars.  The types of people who run these 10ks as warm-ups or tapers for their marathons.   I ran this race with a friend of mine who used to be in the Israeli army and even he was a bit shocked at the uber-competitive turn out.  We overheard a group talking about how they “knocked out 10 miles yesterday like it was nothing”.

Before the race! Macy came to support :-)

Before the race! Macy came to support :-)

Don’t get me wrong.  I run (kind of) frequently, and a few summers ago I actually logged serious milage.  But lately, my runs have been more of the 3-4 mile variety squeezed in whenever I find a spare milisecond in my week.  Needless to say, I was nervous.  I seriously thought to myself “what if I actually finish last?”

I did NOT finish last.  Or even close to it. Completed the whole thing in 62 minutes which was exactly my goal.  Although the 6.2 miles were challenging, I was able to run most of this at a very comfortable pace and could have even kept going.  Finishing this race made me feel great inside and motivated me to sign up for more.

After the race- #bestfeeling #donezo

After the race- #bestfeeling #donezo

One item on my bucket list is to run a half marathon one day, and I had been seriously considering flying to Chicago this May for the one benefitting Northwestern University’s Brain Tumor Research Center, as this cause is extremely near and dear to my heart.  Unfortunately, the race is the day of my graduation from pharmacy school. I did manage to stumble upon the Florida Brain Tumor Association’s 10th annual 5k happening in two weeks right in my area.  I was ecstatic to discover this race and immediately signed up, along with my boyfriend.

I am so happy that I am back in the running groove.  The sense of accomplishment, motivation, and happiness it brings never ceases to amaze me.  I read a running quote somewhere that read “man, I really regret that run. -said nobody ever”.  Totally true.

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To celebrate my newly recharged running spirit, I updated my playlist and bought a brand new pair of Asics.

What motivates you guys to run?  What are your favorite running tunes?  And what is your favorite race you have run?