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Wrap it Up Wednesday

  (edited with photos)
What a Run
Today was a gorgeous day, especially after the dreary day we had yesterday. What does this mean? Um a run at lunch of course. I am absolutely loving being able to run mid-day again. It was just a bit over 70 degrees when I got started with only a slight breeze.

Today was one of those days when I had to force myself to stop running and get back to work. I was sort of pounding out some frustrations while enjoying the gorgeous day. I really felt like I could have done another 2 miles at least even at the pace I was holding. I ended up doing 4.9 miles in 40:40 for an average 8.18 pace. I am pretty proud of that actually. It definitely makes me feel strong. I guess what I am most proud of is that I wasn't really trying to run for speed today, just trying to enjoy the run. I supposed that sometimes when you just relax and go with it, you end up surprising yourself (and yes, I am surprised with myself).

I did a lot of reflecting, thinking, looking around during my run today. It really sort of helped me refocus for the day. So, here's what I did during my run today (besides run of course):
  • I came up with some fun facts for Friday.
  • I noticed a stained glass window in a church that I've yet to pay attention to.
  • I noticed quite a bit of construction going on (great news for our neighborhood, means more revitalization).
  • I also noticed lots of dog poop - owners, please carry a baggy with you.
  • I realized that 4 miles no longer seems daunting at all. It wasn't too long ago when I finally felt that way about 2 miles.
I did have to wrap it up and head back to work sooner that I would have liked. That's the only downfall of running at lunch rather than after work. Speaking of after work, I ended up going for back today. I wasn't sure if I was going to tackle that on or not, but I went for it. I used the same method I talked about yesterday.

Pullovers - 3x6

Underhand rows - 3x8

Double-arm rows - 3x10

Single-arm horizontal rows - 3x12

I felt like it was a pretty good workout. I still wish I had a pull up bar option.

Wrap It Wednesday
Ok, so there is the mock blackened "chicken" we started picking up from Whole Foods occasionally (ok like twice now). It's really good, and I knew I could do something similar. The last time I picked it up, I studied the ingredient list carefully. I knew I needed seitan, a vegan mayo (or regular if you prefer), blackened spices, and red onions. Not hard right?

I was out of homemade seitan, but my sis had picked up some for me she spotted on clearance. Love backup plans. I searched around online to find a recipe for blackened seasonings and also for a vegan mayo as I didn't have a store brand. I ended up making a Cashew Mayo, my own Blackened Seasoning Blend, to make my version of a Blackened Seitan Salad. I will say that there were tons of recipes for both the mayo and the seasoning blend. But here are my versions.


Cashew Mayo
Ingredients:
2/3 cup raw cashews*
Almond milk, just enough to cover cashews (can use soy milk or water)
1 tsp onion powder
Juice from 1/2 lemon
Sea salt to taste


Directions:
Place all ingredients in food processor and puree until smooth.

*Either soak cashews for about an hour or grind them in a coffee grinder to blend easier.

Blackened Seasoning Blend
Ingredients:
3 1/2 tbsp paprika
1 tbsp of the following: sea salt, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne powder, black pepper, white pepper, thyme, oregano, chili powder

Directions:
Mix all spices together. Makes approximately 1/2 cup.

Blackened Seitan Salad
Ingredients:
1 package seitan (or homemade)
1-2 tbsp blackened seasoning blend
2 tbsp red onion, minced
1 recipe cashew mayo

Directions:
Combine all ingredients in bowl and refrigerate approximately 1 hour.

I decided to serve this in a wrap with my Carrot & Cabbage Slaw along with baked sweet potato "fries."
 

The verdict? Wow - this turned out exactly as I'd hoped, if not better. It was very similar to the one made at Whole Foods, but I know exactly what ingredients were used. I was also very impressed with the cashew mayo and will be making this again without a doubt.

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