Saturday, February 22, 2014

The Spartan Race Hawaii- Coming Up, March 23rd

My Sister Anna, Swamp Romp 2012
Over the past couple of years I've had the pleasure to run several different obstacle course races on the island.  The Makahiki Challenge, the Warrior Dash and the Swamp Romp on the Marine Corps base were all amazing experiences.  I've never done the Spartan Race, but I've heard from many people that it is hard core!  This year it is located at the Aloha Stadium and by the looks of the pictures there's going to be more than just obstacles, there may also be challenges such as picking up weighted bags and running the stairs of the stadium.  The race challenges and obstacles are always a fun surprise.  It's going off on March 23rd, the last day to register is March 19. 

Makahiki Challenge 2013
Swamp Romp 2012
I happen to run across their affiliate program and was able to join.  If you buy your tickets through the link on my page, it cost you no extra, and I get a small fee.  Please, especially if you were thinking of running the race anyway, click here!!  You may or may not know that I have a lot of money to raise this year, I am trying to get home to visit the fam in July (feel free to donate here) and I am determined to make it to a 7 day seminar in September.  

Hawaii Spartan Sprint at Aloha Stadium March 23, 2014! Signup for this Reebok Spartan Race Now!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Olympics Have Begun!!

So, I guess the Olympics have started.  I was a little surprised that they have some events happening already, I thought I missed the Opening Ceremony.  It turns out, however, these are just some preliminary runs and the ceremony goes off tomorrow.
In the meantime, you can amuse yourself by checking out posts like this one about the various states of the hotel rooms that the athletes have been checking into.  There are reports of hotels not being completely built and having rooms being completed, like literally built, while the athletes wait.  There's great pictures from twitter showing the various states of the bathrooms as well, like this one from Russian Market on twitter.

Pee With an Audience
There's also reports like this one suggesting that there may be surveillance cameras in the bathrooms as well. Probably more bathroom controversy in this Olympics than in previous years.  

Less funny are the reports that they are poisoning the stray dogs that are all over Sochi.  There's animal rights activists doing their best to round up as many as they can, but the situation is pretty disturbing.  It's sad that there are so many stray dogs in the first place and now, because of the big event, they are being mass exterminated.  

I'm pretty torn about watching the games.  I am a huge fan of curling, but I'm not a big fan of mass exterminations.  So, I'm going to have to compartmentalize, I guess.  I do, very seriously, want to support the athletes who were brave enough to go out there.  I'm not sure there's anything the Russian government could tell me to convince me that it is a safe place to be.  With their ban on gay propaganda, rumors that Putin has siphoned off some of the 15 billion dollars that it cost to put the big show on, and the ever present fear of terrorist attacks, I'm not sure you could pay me enough to go.  So the fact that so many athletes have gone to represent our country makes me very proud.  I wish the best to the competitors, that they may be comfortable and safe, and that the best side of our country shows its face to combat the nonacceptance of our host.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Paleo Plantain Chips for Your Superbowl Party

Martha Stewart's Plantain Chips

The Superbowl is one of the hardest days of the year to stay 100% paleo.  Superbowl snacks are breaded and fried, cheesy, beany dips and chips and crunchies.  Well, have no fear!  I finally found a chip that would stand up to the crunch and saltiness of real potato chips!!  

I made plantain chips yesterday. I wish I had taken the time to look up how to make them a long time ago, since they ended up being so much easier than I thought they would be.  They also ended up being as crunchy as the ones I buy from the store.  The ones from the store are good in a pinch, I get mine from Whole Foods, but they are fried in canola oil.  I don't have any pictures of the chips I made to show you today, because I ate them as they were coming out of the oven to "test their doneness" and then I promptly ate the rest with regular old salsa because I was so excited about how crunchy and yummy they were.  The recipe I tweaked was Martha Stewart's Baked Plantain Chips.  I don't use vegetable oil anymore, so I substituted olive oil in.  My chips actually came out looking a lot like the picture except for the shape.  Some of mine came out in that nice long cut, but a lot of mine came out in a wonky circle-ish type of shape.  I probably just need more practice with the mandolin.

2-3 Tbs of Olive Oil or Coconut Oil
2 Green Plantains (one of mine was starting to ripen and it was much harder to slice and took longer to bake)  Apparently you can also use green bananas, but I cannot attest to this.  I have not tried it.
Optional seasonings- whatever flavors you love on chips.  Some ideas might include garlic powder, onion powder, pepper, cayenne powder.

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees.  (Optional- preheat to 350 and cook longer, I am going to try that next time)  Use a knife to peel your plantain.  Pour oil and seasonings into a bowl and stir a little.  Use a mandolin or a sharp knife to make very thin slices (the thinnest setting is maybe too thin.  It worked, but burnt around the edges easily.  Maybe go one setting up.)  of your plantain on an angle and toss them into the bowl with the oil.  I used my hands to toss then around and then spread them around on a cookie sheet.  I like to cover my sheet with aluminum foil first, but if you have parchment paper that is probably a healthier option.  They do crisp up and stick slightly to the bottom, so it's nice to be able to pull the sheet off the chip instead of trying to scrape the chip off of the pan.  My chips were very thin and only took 8 minutes to be crispy.  Some of the thicker ones and the ones in the very middle had to go back in for about 3 minutes.  At 400 degrees you need to keep checking on them, because you want to catch them when they are brown on the edges, but not turning black yet.  At 350 Martha says to cook them for 30-35 minutes, but I would check on your first batch often to see what the timing in your oven would be.  In my oven, at 350 my chips would be burnt at 30 minutes.  

And voila!  You now have an crunchy vehicle for your favorite Superbowl paleo dips, like this Mango Salsa, this Ranch Dressing or this Tuna Dip.  Enjoy the game!!