Fit Foodie 5K: The Perfect Balance

Fit Foodie 5K Austin Tweet Your Feet

I obviously love to cook and eat. I mean, I write about food, don’t I? At the same time, I care about fitness and don’t want my love of the culinary world to override my health. I wouldn’t necessarily say that I exercise just so I can eat more, or that I work out to cancel out what I eat, BUT. I mean. I would be lying if I said it wasn’t a factor. If I could genuinely stick to a 1,200 calorie diet of pure vegetables and grass-fed proteins every day, I probably wouldn’t work out an hour a day.

Lucky for me, I do genuinely enjoy running and lifting. I’ve started to appreciate exercise more the older I get – I find it to be a great mental as well as physical release. That’s why I was really excited when I heard about the Fit Foodie 5K – a race series geared around people who love eating and drinking!

The concept of the Fit Foodie was born out of the idea that a healthy lifestyle and delicious culinary experiences don’t have to be separate. Calories burned, calories earned, right?? Life is about balance and working hard so that you can indulge in those things that you are passionate about. When delicious food, working out, and good friends are all combined, it is a beautiful culmination of all that life has to offer.

This event started in San Diego in 2013 but it’s making three stops this year – Fairfax, Austin, and San Diego. Hosted by Cooking Light and Health, and featuring slogans like “Run. Eat. Drink.” and “Calories Burned, Calories Earned” I knew this was a run I could get behind. Plus, they have cool events surrounding the race itself, like a VIP cocktail party the night before and a rad-sounding finisher’s village complete with celebrity chef demos and beer & wine tastings. If you’re going to reward me with early morning wine, I will DEFINITELY run for you. I was planning on registering for the Austin run no matter what, but then Fit Foodie reached out and asked if I was interested in being an ambassador for the program – heck yes!

As an ambassador, I’m just spreading the word about this awesome race series annnd I also have a small bit of power – I have a discount code to share! If you use the code “ENDLESSSUMMER” (yes, summer, not simmer) when registering for the Austin 5K, you’ll get 10% off fees! And yes, there’s still time to register. For my fellow Austinites, the race is this Saturday, September 13. Or if you’re one of our Southern California ESers, you can register for the San Diego leg, which is happening in November.

ALSO! If you want to run this upcoming Saturday, I’m giving away two free registrations, good for the 5K itself (plus the finishers village etc.) and a Sunday morning yoga or bootcamp class! Keep your eyes on @endlesssimmer on Twitter to win. I’ll choose two people on Thursday morning. Cheers!

For more healthy recipes, cocktails, food travel, and restaurant reviews, check out ES Emily’s individual blog, A Time to Kale, or tweet her @emilyteachout.

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Ramen Noodle-Based Recipes: Officially Jumping the Shark

Why would I make such a pronouncement?

Well…

Ramen Noodle Recipe Magazine

One of those cheapy publishing houses took this idea and ran with it… right over a cliff. I saw this recipe “book” or “magazine” or… “leaflet” (?) in the impulse magazine holders right by the check-out at a small town grocery store in Texas. Move aside ramen taco and ramen burger, we now have 55 recipes featuring ramen noodles. From the looks of this publication, we can now learn how to make anything, even a cheesecake crust, out of packaged ramen noodles.

Sorry guys… at this point I don’t think any creative new ramen noodle recipe is going to go viral. The trend is over. Ramen noodles are totally normcore. Onto the next food blog craze!

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New Melon Alert: Mag-nificent Mag Melon

Mag Melon Sign

It wouldn’t be springtime at Endless Simmer without at least one weird melon post from yours truly! We all know they’re my specialty. Seriously. Anyway, I was shopping at my beloved Central Market last weekend when I stumbled upon samples of what I thought were cantaloupe. Nothing out of the ordinary there. But! Rob pointed out the sign next to the display. “It’s not cantaloupe, it’s mag melon,” he told me. Mag melon?! I thought he was misreading. Turns out I was underestimating his reading comprehension; this was indeed mag melon.

Here’s what that little orange sign up there has to tell us.

Mag melon has a relatively short growing cycle and is grown in temperate climates. Its small seed cavity provides more value per purchase. It contains higher fiber, protein, carotene, and Vitamin C than that of a traditional cantaloupe.

So what did the sample taste like? Well, a lot like cantaloupe. It was very dense and sweet, not mealy at all (I can’t stand mealy melon, ugh) and we brought one home with us! If you see one at your local market, you should do the same. Can’t hate on an extra dose of fiber, protein, and Vitamin C.

Mag Melon Samples

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Burns My Bacon: Dessert Gimmicks

Dominique-Ansel-Cronuts-SXSW-Coookie-Milk-Shots

So the food porn-obsessed Internet is going crazy this week with news that Dominique Ansel, he of the great cronut craze of 2013, is back with his latest trademark creation: a chocolate chip cookie shot “glass” with a shot of milk. It’s beautiful. It’s mouthwatering. It’s waste-free.

It’s also stupid.

Why? Because, um…who wants to drink a shot of milk and THEN eat a cookie? It’s cute, yes. But the order is just all wrong. Sorry to be a Debbie Downer here but there are some things I just have to take seriously and this concoction is NOT practical. I feel like I would end up with milk and crumbs drizzling down my face as I tried to get the perfect last bite.

This gimmick is just not an improvement on the traditional milk and cookie. Cookie first, then milk. It doesn’t work the other way.  Design me a shot glass made of milk with a cookie contained inside it, and then I might be impressed, Dominique.

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Burns My Bacon: Unnecessary Jarring

salad in a jar

 

From a recently received press release:

More and more consumers are getting creative when it comes to their food—and not just what they eat, but how they eat it! Mason jar salads are particularly a popular trend on Pinterest with healthy eaters easily able to transport their salad creations on-the-go. Not only is it aesthetically pleasing, but also a healthy solution to many commuters, travelers and busybodies on the move.

No. No. No. Fine, cocktails in a jar can be cute, but it’s overdone. (Keep my beer in a pint glass please.) We decried this trend when it moved on to desserts in a jar three years ago. Now SALADS have to be in a jar too? Apparently this “healthy trend” is not limited to Pinterest, but coming to a restaurant/store near you. Please tell me exactly how jars make salads easier to transport. Who has ever thought, “gee, that tupperware works great, but I wish it could more fragile and also five times heavier?” I’m sorry, people. Eat your goddamn salad on a goddamn plate. And if you start putting my entrees in a mason jar…just expect broken glass.

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Running for Cheese

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As some of you know, over the last two years I have made an attempt to balance out my outrageous amount of pork belly consumption by training for a marathon. For the most part, I’ve used this as an excuse to eat as much food as I want to, but with the New York City Marathon just around the corner this weekend, I’ve actually been taking it easy on the eating and drinking front, trying to do the right thing for at least the week leading up to the race. So when I went to pick up my bib and other materials at the marathon expo yesterday, I was pleased to receive an “Insiders Guide” tucked in the official marathon “Start Village Bag.” It includes a nutrition section with lots of helpful tips about what to eat before the race. This one caught my eye:

For breakfast, a “great option is bread or a bagel with two ounce of Grana Padano.”

Oooh, what is this Grana Padano? Is this a new superfood I haven’t heard of, rich in antioxidants and run-fueling protein? Better make sure I get some before the run! The guide goes on:

After the race, “Good choices include salty soups, tomato juice, pickles, Grana Padano, and fresh fruit.” There are also three recipes for Grana Padano meals, along with a primer on how you should eat it while training: “mid morning: 1.5 ounce of Grana Padano and 1 sliced apple or pear….pre-evening run: 1 to 1.5 ounces of Grana Padano on 2 slices of whole-grain bread with sliced tomato…” and on and on and on. The best way to succeed at marathon running, according to this guide, is to eat Grana Padano morning, noon and night.

As you may have realized, Grana Padano is not a superfood, but merely a salty Italian cheese. Yes, according to this “insiders guide” the secret to succeeding at distance running is to eat cheese all effing day. Now, my first reaction was “what the eff have I been doing eating gross, chewy power bars, when cheese is actually the best thing for me?” My second reaction was: this is a scam.

Yes, I get that this is an advertisement. We have those here on Endless Simmer too. But here’s the thing: The New York City Marathon costs $266 for each runner to enter ($358 for foreign runners). It is actually called the “ING New York City Marathon” due to a lucrative sponsorship with a financial institution, and every inch of the race is covered in advertisements for various brands. Do they really, really need to accept advertisements (posed as editorial content) that tell runners to eat as much cheese as possible??

If I’m missing the point here, just let me know and I will gladly spend the next 48 hours cheese-loading.

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“I’ve Got Shards in My Enchilada”

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After a long day of work, my girlfriend calls to ask if I’m okay with enchiladas tonight. “HELL YES” I’m okay with enchiladas for dinner tonight! Leaving late from work on a Friday, I got into the car for my 40=minute trek to the Philadelphia suburbs. I could taste the cheesey goodness of enchiladas, looking forward to smelling them as I walk up the stairs to the apartment. YUM.

Ten minutes away—now I’m really getting hungry. I’ve convinced my stomach that it’s in for a tasty treat tonight. He’s excited. I got a call from girlfriend, thinking it would be her asking how far away I was so she would know when to put it in the oven. Then, WHAMMY: “the pyrex dish exploded after about a minute and a half in the oven.” DAMNIT. Luckily, girlfriend was okay and THANK GOODNESS she didn’t open up the oven to peak at the enchiladas while it exploded.

I wasn’t sure of what to expect — was thinking maybe the “oven safe” glass just split into quarters. She seemed upset on the phone — but she did just spend an hour creating these tasty envelopes of cheesy goodness. But then I got home, and the glass had literally shattered into hundreds of tiny glass pieces, covered in cheese. To make it worse, of course cheese coated at least half of the oven. Since we have a gas oven, the glass (and cheese) also snuck into the cracks that go below the panel that covers the gas burners.

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