When I was growing up, my mom used to bake her own bread and it would often be on the counter when I arrived home from school.  Still hot from the oven, the smells from the warm, yeasty loaves permeated the entire house. I used to devour three or four slices spread thickly with margarine *Gasp* because in the late 1970s margarine was thought to be a health food. I’d then head off to swim practice #carbedAF. To this day, my go-to comfort food, that food that I’m craving when I’m tired/anxious/happy/pensive/stressed, is warm bread with butter.   If you were truly my best friend, you would meet me at the finish line of a half ironman with a loaf of just-baked bread and a crock of butter in hand 🙂
Moving onto Foodie Finds
Against the Grain Vermont Country Rolls   I’ve been on to these for a year and a half or ever since I’ve weeded grain out of my day-to-day eating. These are made mainly from Tapioca Starch, Egg Whites and Coconut Milk. For several reasons, namely that it’s highly processed and usually genetically modified; I avoid canola oil. It’s an ingredient in these, but it’s such a small amount that I give them a pass. In my opinion, it’s better not to sacrifice good eating in a quest for perfect eating, so I’m not going to stress over a small amount of canola oil so that I can enjoy something with a grain-like quality.  You definitely need toast them, otherwise they are dry and tough. These days, my preferred toppings include scramble eggs with lots of sea salt and pepper, a generous smear of Kite Hill almond cream cheese, sliced avocados with a sprinkling (yup, avocado toast is still trending) or a nod to my childhood comfort food: spread with Miyoko’s Vegan Cultured Butter.

It’s 5:00 a.m. and I’m enjoying one of these Vermont Country Rolls pre swim

GT’s COCOYO I’ve been drinking GT’s Kombucha for over 10 years and it use to be the only Kombucha around. Now there are many producers and even our local mini marts stock it .  I have an allergy to cow’s milk and find that sheep and goat yogurts a little too barnyard-y, so I’m always searching for good non-dairy yogurt-type product. A couple of weeks ago, I stumbled across GT’s COCOYO.   Yes it’s a little pricy (for some reason it’s cheaper at Whole Foods), but I budget my food dollars and forgo lattes at Starbucks in lieu of food such as this yummy yogurt-type product.   The only ingredients are coconut and probiotics, so expect to get your pucker on. I’ve been eating a small bowl of this topped with berries and pomegranate seeds on a daily basis.

This is a just right-no sugar snack packed with probiotics

Trader Joe’s Manzanilla Olives Single Packs Woohoo olive single packs—this means no more toting around a deli container of olives (Not that I ever did that more than once. Or twice). You know when you’ve been out doing errands or in meetings longer than expected and hangry kicks in? Well that was me last week so I stopped at the Vista TJ’s and grabbed a tin of sardines, a bar of dark chocolate and then found these packs hanging up in the booze aisle (I really really wanted booze too, but I was driving AND it was only 3:30 in the afternoon). These pitted green babies are a perfect kiss of salt and satiety. Olive lovers rejoice!   Even weirder timing was when after a long swim set last Friday morning, I tore into a bag while driving home. Yup, salt rules!

This in only a picture of two of the 17 packs I bought yesterday. 50 calories a piece!

Toward the end of last season, I was bitching about how my swim times had really fallen off. I started surfing the internet for articles on technique; took a 1:1 two-hour swim analysis lesson and discussed technique a swim coach or two (typical triathlete, right????  Focus on the minutiae instead of the big picture) BUUUUUTTTTTTT it only when I reviewed my training for the last three years that I found the answer…..I wasn’t applying myself!!!! I had had a couple of injuries that had sidelined me from competing in 2015 and 2016, so in lieu of a pity party, I just stopped swimming consistently.  From December 2014 until September 2017, I was averaged two to thee swim sessions/week in a good week. There were also a fair amount of weeks when I swam 0-1 times.  WTF?  I mean, if I want to run better, I run 5-6 days a week. If I want to improve my cycling, I ride 3-4 times a week.  Why wasn’t I swimming?  Full disclosure I’m not blaming Kurt for the frequency of the swim sessions: he would schedule them and I just wouldn’t do them. I know that in order to get my times down to those I could swim 10-12 years ago, I needed to return to some frequent, hard swimming with a group. All the drills and podcasts on swimming and video-watching in the world wouldn’t make me swim any faster. After a break from specific triathlon training and the end of this past season, I started applying myself.   Aside from a 10 day hiccup around third week of December, I’ve been in the pool, about 85% of the time swimming with Encinitas Masters, 5 days a week. I’m finally starting to see my times drop. The takeaway here, triathletes: If your goal is to swim faster, you need to apply yourself. For me, that is challenging myself by swimming with a group and swimming often.
Olive and Yogurt and Vermont Country Rolls oh my! And in regards to swimming #dowork