Archives for January 2013

Tofu to be Offered at Chipotle

Fast food restaurants or (Quick Service Restaurants as they are called in the industry), are beginning to hear the cry for more meat-less options.

Beginning February 12, Chipotle will begin serving tofu!  They will be testing a new product – Sofitas, in seven of their San Francisco stores.  Sofritas are described as “shredded tofu braised with chipotle chilies, roasted poblanos and a blend of aromatic spices”” And even better, they will be made with organic tofu.   from the local Hodo Soy Beanery

 Chipotle_Sofritas_Burrito_Vegan

 Photo from  chipotle.com

According to Chipotle founder, chairman and co-CEO Steve Ellis,

“Sofritas is a very different menu item not just for Chipotle, but for any fast food or fast causal restaurant. It was really conceived with vegetarians and vegans in mind, but it’s so delicious that we believe it will have a broad appeal on taste alone.”

There is even a Facebook Page,  Chipotle Give Us Tofu that was started in 2009.  I guess they listened to their consumers.

If this is a hit, Chipotle plans to offer Sofitas in their 1400+ stores nationwide.   I hope it makes to New Hampshire!

How long do you think  it will be before we have McVeggie Burgers?

My Running Goals for 2013

Now that winter is here and  it is cold and messy outside, I typically stop running.  Last year, I didn’t run from December until late March, and as you can imagine it was hard to start back up.  I felt like I was starting over (something you really don’t want to do!)  Luckily, after some initial difficulties, I was able to get back into running shape and ended up running strong all season.

However, this year, one of my goals is to improve my 5K and 10K times over the last two years.  In 1998, at my peak, my best 5K time was 21:41 (6:58 pace).    Since I’ve started running again (about 3 years ago), my best time has been 25:52 (8:19 pace).   This year, I am shooting for beating 24 minutes or 7:44 pace.

Also in 1998, my best 10K time was 46 minutes, (7:24 pace).  My most recent Market Square 10kbest has been 53:01 (8:32 pace)  For this year, I have set a 10K goal of under 50 minutes, or an 8 minute per mile pace.

I think these goals are reasonable…Tough, but doable.

Here is my plan:

I have done minimal speed work over the past few years (2-3 track workouts each year and the occasional race).  This year I plan on regularly going to the track.  Even if it is hot or rainy, or if I’d rather be doing something else!  And I plan on running at least a little during the winter.

Since I really find it hard to run on a treadmill due to boredom, I have decided to use my treadmill running to do some speed work.  So far this month, I have done three sessions of interval training.  The interval workouts keep my mind occupied and so they aren’t as tedious as simply running on the treadmill.  This is my most recent workout :

  • 5 minute warm up at a 9:30 pace (treadmill mph setting 6.3) 
  • 10 minutes of the following intervals (for a total of 7 speed intervals)
    • 30 sec at 7:30 pace (8 mph)
    • 60 sec at 9 minute pace (6.6)
  • 5 minutes cool down at 9:30 pace

I have all sorts of “fun” interval patterns to try, I’ll keep you posted

Also, if you are like me and prefer to use minutes per mile pace rather than mph, here is a handy conversion guide from HillRunner.com

I’m Official, I have a QR Code

Under the advise and direction of Geekalicious I have made a QR code for my blog using Kaywa QR Code.   Cool!

SGMS blog QR code

Some Facts about Cheese

Warning: this is Gross!  basket_of_cheese-876

I have heard many people tell me that they could give up milk, but they “could never give up cheese”’.  Maybe this will change their minds.

Did you know that cheese is made from rennet?  Rennet is obtained from the lining of the fourth stomach of newborn calves that have been slaughtered.  The enzyme’s purpose is to help the baby calf digest his mother’s milk.  Rennet can also be obtained from the stomach of piglets.  In either case, the stomachs are cut up or milled and put into a solution to extract the rennet which is then used to coagulate milk to make cheese.

You may say to yourself (as I did), but cheese has been around for centuries, surely the ancient cultures didn’t kill baby calves to make cheese!  So I did some research and found out that cheese making originated somewhere between 8,000 BC – 3,000 BC.  Most likely it originated in the Middle East or Central Asia.  In ancient times, animal skins and inflated animal organs were used as storage containers.  It is believed that cheese making was discovered accidentally when milk was stored in a container made from the stomach of an animal, exposing it to rennet and turning it into cheese! (source: wiki.answers.com/Q/Where_does_cheese_come_from)

There are vegetarian means to produce rennet.  Fig juice, dried caper leaves, mettle thistles, mallow and ground ivy have all been used throughout history.  Typically commercial vegetable rennet comes from fermented fungi or bacteria.  However in many cases the vegetable rennet comes from genetically altered rennet that came from DNA of the calves’ stomach.  And so, as with anything, it is important to check the labels and make sure the manufacturer discloses the source of their vegetarian rennet.

Good news — Trader Joe’s carries cheese made from vegetable and microbial rennet.  http://www.traderjoes.com/guides/rennet-test.asp

Additional Sources:

Yoga for a Cause

Yesterday I participated in the annual Seacoast Yoga Mala.  It was my second time participating, and again I found the experience very rewarding — physically and emotionally.

Yoga mala 2

Yoga instructors from different studios all over the area led the 170 participants in 108 sun salutations.  Each instructor led 9 salutations in their particular style.  It was interesting to experience other styles of yoga.  Some were slow and repetitive while others were more athletic and offered more diversity.  (Personally I liked these better). But all the styles were focused on breathing, listening to our bodies, and going at our own pace.  We were encouraged to modify the poses and/or rest as we needed to.

The Yoga Mala was more than a 3 hour yoga practice.  It was primarily a fund-raiser.  We raised over $18,000 for two local charities, (H)EAT and Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program.  

(H)EAT is a local charity that provides food and money for heat to local residents in need.  Sadly, many of our poorer neighbors have to choose between keeping fed and keeping warm in the winter.

Seacoast Eat Local’s SNAP program is dedicated to enabling needy families to have access to locally grown food.  SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) is what we refer to as food stamps.   This aid is now distributed entirely through electronic debit cards, rather than paper vouchers.   Unforgettably the local vendors at area farmer’s markets haven’t had the ability to accept this electronic form of payment.  Seacoast Eat Local’s program provides farmers the ability to accept these SNAP debit card payments, and therefore allowing needy families to buy farm fresh food.  As you know I am all for local, organic food and so I find this a very worthy cause.

Participating in the Yoga Mala enhanced my sense of belonging to the local yoga community as well as the Seacoast community at large.

All photos courtesy of 3 Bridges Yoga

Yoga mala