Month: June 2016

Pantry staples and chicken satay

Now that I’m off the Standard American Diet, SAD (haha), I am cooking more. It’s hard finding food at every restaurant that fits the diet. Most places tend you serve you a large amount of starchy staples and very little protein and fat. I need to have more staples readily available–it’s been years since I cooked consistently–since February 2014. Back then, I cooked nearly every night except Fridays. But I got out of the habit with work, and never got back into it.

Last week I cooked chicken satay.  I found a recipe online that I modified. I marinated chicken tenders in coconut milk, ground coriander, curry, and chili oil.


Then I cooked them on the pan. I addd a little sesame oil to fry them up, but I don’t think it was necessary.


After a few minutes I flipped them.


I served them with some peanut sauce, sautéed broccoli and leftover pad se ew. This is a really easy weeknight meal, especially considering how often I pick up thai takeout! The rice noodles dishes like pad thai and pad se ew last for a few meals, but we usually eat the protein the first night.

If I had the other items in the pantry, I would have only purchased the chicken and broccoli. I want to get to a place in my life again where I have all the staples and pantry items so it’s easy to just run to the store for meat and veggies. I want everything besides meat and veggies to be stocked at all times.

Some staples I’m keeping around:

  • Low sodium chicken & beef broth
  • Coconut milk
  • Quinoa
  • Almond flour
  • Flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Baking necessities like cinnamon and baking soda
  • Spices–curry, coriander, cumin, etc
  • Salt & pepper
  • Dried herbs: Italian, oregano, thyme, parsley, basil. Dried herbs are great in salad dressings, marinades, and rubs.
  • Chili oil
  • Cayenne pepper
  • Sesame oil
  • Sriracha
  • Coconut water
  • Almond butter
  • Beef or chicken jerky

When eating primal most of your food comes from a plant or animal. Pantry staples shouldn’t make up the gist of my food pyramid but it will make it easier for me when making sauces, marinades, and dressing. I eat a LOT of Asian food, so my pantry list may look a little different.

Try this recipe and let me know how you like it!

Going off the wagon isn’t worth it

I don’t mean drinking. . . I mean eating primal. I have been religiously following the primal diet for about a month or so now. I have only veered off minimally for the occasional beer. Does beer count?

On Father’s day I made strawberry shortcake with Bisquick.  They were spectacular. I had some, even though they certainly contain grains. I love Bisquick. I absolutely love it.  I figure I am following the 90/10 rule, and I eat well nearly all the time.

Some of my biscuits stuck to the bottom of the pan and when I pulled them with a spatula, I helped myself to the crumbs. The second the flaky goodness touched my lips I was like an addict, inhaling them. If Bisquick tasted any better, it would be illegal.

Fast forward about 6 hours, and I made homemade whipped cream to serve with the biscuits. YUM. I just beat heavy cream on the highest setting of my hand-held mixer, with a spoonful of sugar, and a drip of vanilla. And topped them with strawberries. I love love the freshness of this dessert, even though I’m not even a fan of fruit.

I made myself a moderate portion. I never go crazy with portions, which is one of the reasons why I think it’s okay to eat most foods. Just watch your portion control. However, you may have read in a previous post, I have a real issue with carbs, crashing blood sugar, and hunger. I cannot eat pizza, pasta, bread, or anything with a high amount of carbs.

So what happened to me that night? At 3 AM I was awoken to the worst hunger ever, eating my stomach. I tried to sleep through it but I couldn’t, and I had to drink milk to go back to bed. What had I eaten for dinner? A protein-style burger wrapped in lettuce. I had a cup of 2% yogurt right before bed, but it didn’t matter. When I eat carbs, they catch up with me, wake me up, and make me hungry. Needless to say, being awoken during the day set me straight back to my primal eating plan.

Without grains I have been in a good mood, without hunger spikes, which was all the reminder I needed to avoid grain.

What have I been eating instead of grain?

There is so much you can eat that doesn’t contain grains. I haven’t missed them one bit! I have been eating oatless oats, almond butter, eggs, chicken sausage, avocado, chicken sandwiches wrapped in lettuce, cheese, almonds, sushi, salads with chicken, and small amounts of fruit. I have felt great, and haven’t been hungry!

Modified Oatless Oats

I modified my favorite oatless oats recipe. This is my go-to breakfast if I don’t eat eggs. The recipe in Grain Brain served two, but I only need to make enough for myself. Here is how I make it now:

In the magic bullet, combine 1/4 cup almonds, 1/4 walnuts, and 1/8 cup of flax seeds. Add 1 drop of vanilla, dash of cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. Crack an egg in, and add 3/4 cup of almond milk, and 2 T almond butter. I pulse it for about 5 seconds. You want it to be pretty gritty, not like soup.

Then I heat it in a saucepan on low heat, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. I highly recommend this recipe. Let me know how you like it!

Recovery after running barefoot

My calves are sore.. sore sore sore, and rock hard. I walked three miles today to loosen them up and stretch. When I got home I did my stretches and have been moving slowly. I can definitely feel the effects of running barefoot, but I will still do this again in a week.

How I stretch my calves

Before I head out the door I stretch my hip flexors, but I don’t stretch much cold. After about 2 miles of walking today I let my heel hang over the curb on the sidewalk, and held it for 30 seconds. I did this twice. After walking another mile, I did this again. This helps quite a bit.

When I got home I got into downward facing dog and “walked the dog,” trying to push one heel to the floor at a time. Down dog really helps me lengthen my legs.

This article was pretty helpful. I definitely think running barefoot was harder than the exercises suggested.

I haven’t foam rolled yet, but I might consider doing that too. Foam rolling can hurt so much I like to avoid it!

As long as I’m mobile tomorrow, and my calves have recovered, I will go for a walk to loosen up and then do my strength routine:

  • 3 planks for 1 min each
  • Squats, single-legged squats with 10 lbs,
  • Single-legged squats with a band
  • Sideways squats with a band
  • Lunges with 5 lbs
  • Warrior 3, 3 on each side

I hope I am limber enough to run Wednesday!


I’m getting a lot stronger. My muscles are absorbing shock. I know this because in the past my muscles were NEVER sore from running, but I would wake up with a sore knee. I always had joint pain, but never a sore muscle. Now, I have zero joint pain, and cramped up muscles. I’m glad I finally got my muscles working for me!

Barefoot running on the track

Sorry I have been so out of touch lately! I have been so busy reorganizing my life. My re-org is not complete, yet, but I’m working at it.

For months I have been working tirelessly to improve my running form. I have been working out a lot, and I’m getting much stronger, and I am ready to up my mileage now, too.

After my last session on Friday with my PT, only my glutes were tired the next day. That is a really good sign, which means that my glutes are working and I’m relying less on my quads. Being quad-dominant can lead to knee issues.

Today I was walking to the trail to meet my sister for a hike. We didn’t end up meeting so I went to the high school to run on the track. I was bummed because I wasn’t wearing the shoes I would wear running. I just got a new pair of Brooks Pure Flows, and love the lower drop (4mm) and neutral support. I used to wear Pure Cadence but I realized I don’t need pronation support, just some neutral cushioning. So I didn’t wear my Pure Flows thinking I was going to get filthy and didn’t plan to run. So I went to the track in my Brooks Ghosts, which have a much higher offset (12mm), and kicked them off and ran barefoot. It was a little hot, but with my socks on it felt fine.

barefoot running

One note on socks. These are my favorite! I like them better than thorlos, but those are good too. Wright socks are made of two thin layers, so you don’t get blisters. Any rubbing just rubs a layer of sock. They also feel nice and tight, like they won’t wiggle around at all.

My glutes are still a little sore from the workout Friday, so I only planned to run one mile. Perfect for a barefoot day on the track.

Observations running barefoot

  • Calves are tired. After the first lap, my calves were SCREAMING!!!! They were really tight, rock hard, and tired. I took a break to drink some water. It was 85 degrees after all. I tried a few different ways to land, and realized I need to let my heel lower right after the ball hits the ground. I have really high arches, so only the ball, toes, and heel touch the ground at any given time. Letting my heel lower more helped take the pressure off my calves.
  • Ground is a little hot
  • I felt like I was doing a bit of a dance learning how to land on the ball of the foot, let my heel lower, and push off. I was working on taking short steps and making my glutes push me off.
  • I was running… silently!!!! I didn’t hear any slams or thuds, which is nice. Sometimes I can sound like an elephant. 😉 The few times I didn’t land nicely, I felt it. I probably wouldn’t have felt that in shoes.
  • The flatness of the track was refreshing. The trail where I run has quite a few variations in incline.

I felt pretty awesome doing this workout. I have been enjoying training for my half a lot so far, fixing my injury and form, and becoming stronger. I will be back at the track for another barefoot run. I think I will start coming here once a week. I heard the University of Oregon track team runs barefoot once a week on the track. I could add this to my training plan.

What I was so grateful for

There was a little shade. About 5% was shaded, but gave me something to look forward to as I was running along. It was nice and cool on my feet. Hey, it’s the little things in life.

Have you ever run barefoot?

Running in Santa Cruz

I’m about ready to start upping my mileage in preparation for my half marathon! I have been running 3-5 miles for all my practice runs, and now I want to start running 6-7.

Yesterday we woke up to another hot day here. We roast alive next to this mountain, with very little wind. 75 in the sun feels 95 here. I just couldn’t bear another run here, even though I woke up early. I run the same running trail nearly every day, so I just had to mix things up and I really don’t like being home on weekends.

It was hard for me to decide what to do. I wanted to go to Rancho San Antonio, but the last time I went I was stuck in beach traffic just trying to get home. So instead, I drove over the hill (early to beat traffic) to run along the water.

Running to Capitola doesn’t get old!

capitola pier

There were a lot of surfers out.


Steph and I are not running Wharf to Wharf this year, but it’s nice that you can run the course whenever. I even saw the finish line landmark right as you make it to Capitola.

I finally had a faster run. I had not had good running paces since I was in Seattle in April. It’s just super hot here all the time. I finally saw my pace in the mid 7 min speeds. Finally! Yesterday it as 63 degrees when I was done running. It was nice, but I could take it a little cooler. I will be able to run farther and faster in a cooler environment.

I will need to do some research if I want to run in Santa Cruz/Capitola for my longer runs, because I’m just not familiar enough with the area to make a good route. Any suggestions? I need to check out Santa Cruz trails. I love running on dirt!


National Best Friend Day

Today is National Best Friend Day! If only my friend didn’t live an hour away in San Francisco, we would be hanging out today! Soon we will be relocating to the same city! We are so excited to try beers and running trails in a new city and take advantage of the area!

Ever since Valentine’s Day, we haven’t been able to go to the Capitola/Santa Cruz area. We have always loved going to Capitola. It took over two hours to drive home, which felt like another work day with a blood-curdling commute. So we have decided to throw in the towel for this area and try something new. No matter where we live, we will be best friends.

Presidio eml

(Winter in SF. Down jackets required.)

We have been best friends for 22 years! She is also a runner. Elle encouraged me to start racing last year. I’m so glad she did because I discovered, through racing, how much I love pushing myself. We always encourage each other to CRUSH our goals. I cannot wait to run my half! When I do my half marathon I know my friend will be there cheering me on.

When Elle ran her half I made this sign. I was so glad I saw her on the course. I was going to walk there from my place, but I’m thrilled I drove. I could have missed her.

camielle sing

Since we met in kindergarten, we have shared most of our lives together. Strangely, it’s sometime feels like we have the same life. Did you go on that trashy date or did I? It’s so hard to remember. We both have met so many zeros!

Research says if you have a friend for 8 years, you will have that friend for life. After 22 years, it really isn’t a question anymore.

Questions for you:

  • How long have you know your best friend?


Brooks Ghost 9 Review

Brooks sent me a pair of Ghost 9 to try out and review!

brooks ghost 9

This is a cushioned, neutral shoe. For the past six months I have been running in Nike Pegasus or Brooks Pure Cadence.

I have now run 5 times in the ghost 9, and I can tell you I am impressed. I don’t like running shoes feel like you have high heels on, and this shoe instead feels very padded all over, instead of just beneath the heel. These shoes are very comfortable, highly padded yet light and responsive, and provide good traction. I run all my runs on the trail near my home, and part of it is paved, but I often run in the dirt when it’s available. The shoes stuck nicely to both surfaces.

I don’t know the drop of these shoes, but the significant amount of cushion under the ball of the foot makes me feel very balanced while running. The extra padding did not interfere with my running gait and I felt like landing on my mid-foot was even easier.

Another cool thing about these shoes is that they have just the right amount of arch support. There are perfectly balanced–I don’t feel like there is a breeze beneath my arch, and my foot can still function normally. I usually put Superfeet greens in all my running shoes, but I wasn’t tempted to put them in these.

During my first two runs the part of the shoe near the laces felt stiff and rubbed a bit, but that went away after 2 runs and they broke in nicely.

Twice I found myself running a few miles longer than I planned. I am going to keep running in these all the time, and keep my pure cadences for sprinting and walking.

  • What shoes are you running in?
  • Do you prefer cushioned shoes or minimal shoes?

Global Running Day!!!

keep running boston

On my way to Fenway Park, I saw this bench out in front of the fire station. I love the skyline inside the running shoe!

Are you running today? It’s Global Running Day! You can download a bib  and go for a run! I brought all my running gear to Boston last week but I didn’t go running. Not even once. But, I did so much sight seeing and was very active. According to my Fitbit, I walked 8-10 miles a day. I walked around in running shoes. That counts, right?

When I did run 5 miles yesterday it was easy. I didn’t lose any of my cardio endurance fitness. I also didn’t wake up sore today, so I know I’m still in good shape.


I have been running here for 3 years now and it hasn’t gotten old. But it does get hot, and the heat gets old real fast. I got that green running tank at Target. It is full of little holes and does feel nice and airy. I want to get more of these in other colors. Loose tanks are the best!

Yesterday I ran untimed because I wanted to go off feel instead of time. Today I ran on the trails, up some serious hills, and I didn’t time this run either. I am enjoying running free, just having fun. I don’t know if I will go back to timing my runs. Maybe I’ll just let my races be the only timed runs I do. The pressure disappeared. As long as you are running and walking and not sitting on the couch you are doing good things for your health. Mile times don’t matter that much. I’m not an elite; I run for fun and health.

I am reading Primal Endurance, by Mark Sisson, the author of Primal Blueprint and Marksdailyapple. I’m reading about how we can lessen our dependency on carbs, and retrain our bodies to burn fat. Mark mentions using a heart rate monitor to keep yourself in the fat-burning zone. I may have to try one. So far I am really enjoying this book.

I had a beautiful run on the hills today.

global running day


After my run today I did 2 planks for a minute each. Strengthening your core helps your running a LOT. Tomorrow I will not run and will focus more on strength exercises that mimic running form.

  • Are you celebrating Global Running Day?
  • Do you run the same routes day after day?
  • How often do you try a new route?
  • Have you ever used a heart rate monitor?

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