Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Random Bits of Information

Did you know that today is the 32nd Annual Empire State Building Run Up? Yep, it's today! I'm fairly certain that in past years it has been on a weekend, not mid-week, and that this year is a bit different because the race page here, says that it's an invite only event. Still, that doesn't diminish the awesomeness of those people who actually run up the 86 flights to the observation deck! I'm saying it here and now, this is one of my lifetime goals. I think it would be amazing!! The record was set back in 2003 when Paul Cracke reached the top in just 9:33! Seriously, I'd just be happy to finish!

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!


Jen Cole said...

I started making granola a few months ago...we don't even buy cereal anymore. My typical recipe is old fashioned oats, wheat germ, flax seeds, some sort of nuts, and some sort of dried fruit (usually raisins). The really bad part is that I mix it with brown sugar and butter, though I try to go light on those two ingredients. Also, cinnamon and vanilla.

I need to research flax seeds - I'm not sure they're effective unless they're ground up. Maybe a blog post idea for you? :)

Have a great day!

Barbara said...

You can have the chicken , too. It's good protein. I used to cut myself short on protein because of the calories. When I upped my protein intake , I dropped 5 - 6 pounds.
I lived on soy burgers for lunch for 7 + years. I haven't had one for over a year.

Morgan said...

Ok that Empire Run sounds awesome! They have a similar run here in Orlando at the Bank of America building but I just missed it.

Jocelyn said...

I know a couple people doing the ESB run up today! Sounds fantastic and fun!
Interesting about the soy lecithin. I know I have some high processed food and I after reading your blogs I've been motivated to try to get away from that. Its just so hard because sometimes all i want is something quick and that happens to be a protein bar or something.
Stay away from those raccoons! When I volunteered for the Manhattan 1/2 thats all the supervisor kept saying! Rabies! Ahhh

jackie fo said...

Thanks for stopping by my blog! You are my fitness idol ;) ... I bet there are ways to make that spin/artichoke dip more healthy, right? Or there has GOT to be a healthy recipe out there somewhere.

Katie @ Health for the Whole Self said...

Thanks for the information on soy lecithin! I've seen it on ingredients lists before and have always been a little wary.

ajh said...

I have always been intrigued by the ESB climb. I wonder why it is midweek AND why invite only.

Allie said...

Thanks for the comment today. I think climbing the Empire State Building would be pretty awesome too, exhausting but awesome. Hopefully you get to fulfill that goal some day.

Alisa said...

"sludge" that sounds appetizing--not.

I don't even like climbing the 3 flights of stairs to my office some mornings, I couldn't imagine doing the empire state building. When I lived in DC I would often walk (not run) the stairs in the Washington Monument and that was tough.

Good job with the strength routine. I definitely think I'm stronger now that I've been consistent with strength training.

Toni said...

Thanks for the info on soy lecithin, I have seen it on labels and didn't know what it was.
The granola looks very good, I'll have to try making some.

Jenn said...

Your Granola looks SOO good! Rabid Raccoons-EEK!

sara said...

i actually complete the climb to the top of rockefeller center last year for the ms society, i think it was like 70 floors. and it only took me like 16 minutes, it's much easier than you think it is. i think that climb is coming up next month or something and is totally fun, on a sunday, and definitely worth doing. i also heard that once you complete this, you are eligible for the empire state climb.

Filcek Family said...

I've been making my own granola for a couple years now. It's so easy, so much more healthy and a TON cheaper!!

Hannah.KamutInternational said...

Greetings from Montana!

My name is Hannah and I represent Kamut International. It's great to see someone like yourself taking initiative and leading a healthy lifestyle. Kamut® Brand Khorasan is a great source of protein and it is a great food for athletes like yourself. We also recommend boiling down the Kamut®Khorasan wheat into a hot cereal. It is delicious. Granola looks delicious and its GREAT for you. Thanks for the shoutout!

Good luck in all your endeavors, I am sure you will make that marathon sooner than you think~


PS. Find us on Twitter at www.twitter.com/kamutwheat