I went to the gym this morning and did 40 minutes on the treadmill, 25 on the bike and finished off with my tricep/shoulder routine. Things are definitely going well with my new strength training routines and I can feel a difference!
Came home and immediately went to work on a fresh batch of granola. It's in the oven cooking now (maybe I'll have a pic before I finish this post) and smells fantastic! I've never had fresh granola for breakfast, so I'm super excited about this! In the mix: whole rolled oats, kamut flakes, flax, oat bran, almonds slices, pumpkin seeds (just a little), honey, cinnamon, dash of nutmeg, and white chocolate wonderful peanut butter. I just started making my own granola before the holidays and I love doing it because it's fresh and I know exactly what is in it! No unnecessary sweeteners, oils or 'stabilizers.'
Speaking of which, I've been doing a lot of label reading lately (if you haven't noticed). One ingredient that keeps jumping out at me in all sorts of food products has been soy lecithin. I've found it in crackers, almond milk, Arnold's sandwich thins, cookies, and all sorts of other products. Since I'm conflicted about the benefits/side effects of soy in general, I am typically cautious about eating soy or soy based products, so the inclusion of soy lecithin has concerned me. Well, I did a little googling and this is what I found out. First off, lecithins are oily substances that occur naturally in plants and animals (egg yolks) that can be extracted using mechanical or chemical processes. In the case of soy lecithin, this 'sludge' is extracted by crushing the beans, soaked in hexane (a colorless liquid chemical related to gasoline) and then separated in a still. Soy lecithin is used as an emulsifier in many baked goods and other products -ranking as one of the top 10 most used ingredients in processed foods. It is essentially a by product of soybean oil and contains a good amount of choline (a water-soluble essential nutrient) so some people actually purchase soy lecithin at health food stores as a supplement. From most of what I have read, it seems that this product is not harmful, but again, if you find it in an ingredient list, then you're eating something highly processed, so you may want to take a look at the other ingredients on the list as well.
Woody and I cooked dinner together last night and came up with a great dish! Whole wheat pasta with kale, eggplant, onion, and marinara sauce (he also added chicken to his). It was delicious and nutritious!
For New York City dwellers, I've heard reports of rabid raccoons around the city. Gracela, Special K, and I have had numerous encounters with raccoons throughout Central Park, but particularly around the reservoir, and they don't usually look very friendly. Seems that there are reports and videos on YouTube of racoons demonstrating behaviours associated with rabies, so stay clear of any you might come across on your runs!
One last note, the granola is delicious!
I hope your day is off to a great start!