French Women Don’t Get Fat

Hiya!

Though it’s been a while since I’ve shared anything, Cat Hair in my Coffee has definitely been on my mind. In fact, over the past several months, not posting on here has helped me realize something: my posts gave me something to work toward each week. If I wanted content, I had to do something. I had to try a new workout, a new recipe, a new TV series to binge preventing me from moving from the couch! So, over the past few weeks, I’ve been getting back into the habit of documenting my meals and trying to better plan my activities so I could make this, my beloved blog, a part of my routine again. Without further adieu…

A few years ago, while Alex and I were in Mason, Ohio, at the Cincinnati Tennis Tournament, we decided to take an afternoon and tour the town. While not an exceptionally large town, Mason certainly has no shortage of great shopping and dining! We poked our heads in a great little discount bookstore and proceeded to fill our arms to the brim with our selection. One of my great finds was a cookbook titled “French Women Don’t Get Fat” by Mireille Guiliano. I believe I paid $2.75 for it and maybe flipped through it twice over the years. After all, how many ways can one serve leeks?

Last week, I decided to bust out ol’ Mireille’s cookbook and give a few recipes a try. In her book, she puts a lot of emphasis on how French cuisine contains little sugar and few ingredients, cutting down on a lot of the unnecessary garbage that we put in American food. She begins each chapter with a little bit about herself and the French culture. The first recipe I wanted to tackle was very basic. A simple ratatouille would be a great replacement to our usual take-out lunch on Saturday, I thought! So, I got busy chopping and dicing, but took several liberties with my version. (I had some CSA veggies looking so sad in my fridge, so I had to throw some of them in!) A traditional ratatouille recipe contains eggplant, zucchini/squash and tomatoes. The nice thing about this recipe is that no stock is needed; the vegetables create their own broth when cooked down. Here is my version of the super traditional and Pixar-inspired Ratatouille.

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 3 Roma tomatoes, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 5 fingerling potatoes, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
  • 1/2 cup of Swiss chard, chopped (from Round Right Farm)
  • 5 garlic scapes, diced (from Round Right Farm)
  • Olive oil, for coating the pot
  • Salt and pepper

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  1. Prepare the vegetables and set aside. Add the olive oil and garlic scapes and turn on medium to high heat. Lower the heat to medium-low after about 2 minutes.
  2. Add vegetables to pot and stir to coat veggies in the garlic oil mixture. Add a hearty dose of salt and pepper and let cook, covered on low heat, for about 1 hour. Serve with crusty bread and a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese!

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I feel like this is one of those healthy and extremely easy recipes that you can have on hand that feels semi-fancy. I also like how versatile it is. Don’t have eggplant? Sub in whatever veggies you have on hand!

The next recipe I decided to try out was one for Madeleines. Mireille’s recipe is actually for a chocolate version of these classic French cookies and required minimal effort to bake. I didn’t have the adorable little shell molds that typically give Madeleine cookies their cute shape, so mine were simply round. Unfortunately, I ended up eating more dark chocolate while baking than I actually enjoyed the cookies fresh out of the oven. I digress.
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For more of Mireille’s recipes, check out her website, or pick up a copy of her book! I promise, it won’t disappoint.

PS: I’ll be sure to add my ratatouille recipe to the dinner section of my recipe tab.

My Healthy Choice of the Day: I brought my Brooks PureFlow shoes to work and actually put my orthopedic inserts in! BONUS: I actually walked in them for 20 minutes! I’m taking baby steps toward fixing my spinal alignment. Thanks Advantage Health and Wellness!

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The Shoes are Here!

Well I arrived home from a viciously painful run to find my Brooks shoes had arrived!

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Yesssss. Not only did I find my shoes, but the lovely Brooks company had thrown in a little leftover St. Patrick’s Day goody.

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It’s shaped like a little jersey! I love it. Anyway, it took me about 30 seconds to get the shoes out of the box and on my feet (which is where they stayed for 15 minutes).

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I can’t wait to try these bad boys out tomorrow at my group run. Ok, sadly that’s all I had to live for this week, so now I’ve got to find something else to be excited about.

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Try a minimum of two 20-minute sessions per week that include exercises for all the major muscle. Using compound moves such as lunges, squats, dumbbell presses and pull-ups, which work several muscle groups together, can make your gym time more productive and multiply your results.

I Just Want My New Shoes

A few days ago, I decided it was time for new running shoes. I’ve been experiencing major shin splints, which is usually a sign that it’s time to purchase a new pair. I cracked open my wallet, dusted away the cobwebs, and prepared to spend around $120 big ones for a pair of Ravenna 2 Brooks. Little did I know that their website has an AWESOME sales selection! I found these for $65, which is a steal for this brand, and walked away from my computer having only spent $70 total. Not too shabby.

Victory is sweet! In Runner’s World magazine’s Summer 2011 Running Shoe Guide, the Ravenna 2 was named Editor’s Choice. In the June 2011 issue, Runner’s World states, “Credit the shoe’s winning combination of a nimble, low-to-the-ground profile and ample cushioning for heel- and midfoot-strikers. Even more impressive is how Brooks now scales the flexibility of this shoe according to gender and size — making the smaller sizes less rigid in the forefoot than larger ones,” adding that the fast feel belies the amount of corrective support it provides. “If you’re looking for a single shoe for both marathon training and racing, this is it.”

The Ravenna 2 is perfectly tuned to the needs of mild overpronators, with just enough support and the addition of Brooks DNA to adapt to each step you take, for customized cushioning and energy return. The 3D adjustable arch saddle conforms to your foot for an ideal instep wrap and a caterpillar crash pad smoothes out the landing zone, moving your foot efficiently through the heel strike. Lace up and optimize your every stride.

A faithful Adrenaline GTS wearer in the office confessed that she has “been cheating with the Ravenna 2″… and she likes it.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m incredibly careful with my money. I went through a period after college where I was devastatingly broke and have been very mindful ever since. Usually every 6 months, I’ll spend money on myself (clothes, shoes, etc.), but I normally keep the expenses strictly to bills and food. I’m also being super tight for a while so I can manage the mounds of payments I’ll have rolling in when I move. I always forget how expensive it between the deposits, moving expenses, and cable hook ups!

Despite being a semi-cheap wad, I am glad that I broke down and got myself a new pair of running shoes. It’s something I do 3-4 times per week and need to treat it like an investment.

What brand of shoes do you find yourself navigating towards?

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by AARP ‘Miracle Diet’: Traditional Mediterranean herbs such as sage and oregano help battle insulin resistance, a blunting of the bodys ability to balance blood sugar that can raise risks of heart disease and stroke by 28 and 64 percent, respectively.