August 24, 2010

Running and Strawberry Snackies

When I’m not making complicated curries or painstakingly trying to complete the latest Daring Kitchen challenge, you can usually find me preparing slightly humbler fare, such as Strawberry Peanut Butter Snackies. Ever since seeing the idea in a snippet side bar in Real Simple magazine, this little treat has been my go-to munchie when I need a substantial snack or, more than once, a quick lunch. Comprised of strawberries, peanut butter, cream cheese, and honey, this sandwich is perhaps not the most healthy thing I could be eating. However, I must argue that there is protein in the peanut butter, honey cuts out any refined sugars, and strawberries are very good for you. When that argument begins to sound a little flimsy, I just remind myself that I’ve been getting back into running lately, so I must be extra hungry from all those calories I’m burning.

Did I mention that I’m running now? It’s not like I ever particularly stopped—I’ve been running at various intensities for years—but I had been slacking off a bit. Hopping on the treadmill is just so unappealing when the much easier, much nicer Wii Fit is calling my name (you can actually get a good workout with EA Active). The point is, I’d been slacking. And slacking, combined with writing a food blog—which requires cooking a lot of really yummy food—really isn’t a good combination. So, to balance out the extra cooking that’s been going on, I’ve gotten back into running—real running.

At this point, I’m going to pepper my saga of exercise and all its wonders with images of this snackie sandwich. It may cause things to get a bit confusing, what with talking about exercise yet drooling over photos of cream cheese and peanut butter, but I feel that that’s an accurate depiction of what goes through my mind on a daily basis. Seriously, I watch Food Network while I’m on the treadmill.

bread

In the past—namely during the P.E. class that I took last spring—running and I were not good friends. I’d try to get a good time on our 1.5 mile run for the final, and he’d give me a sudden stitch in my side. I’d get in a great workout, and he’d cause my pale, Irish cheeks to turn a decidedly un-flattering shade of red. You might say that running and I were frenemies.

cream cheese

After sufficiently recovering from that lovely experience, I retreated to the welcoming arms of my Wii and EA Active, which provided me with a pretty good workout and a much-needed balm for my wounded psyche. Unfortunately, you just can’t get the same intense workout on a video game that you can with running. So, I slowly began implementing medieval torture running again.

peanut butter

For any of you readers who run or are starting to run, I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that the beginning is the worst part. At the end of that P.E. class—and for many years before that—I could run about a mile before I started feeling a little bit miserable and wanting to slow down. For a while, that’s what I’d do, warm up for 0.5 miles, run 1 mile, walk 0.25 miles, run 0.5 miles, and then cool down for 0.5 miles, bringing the total mileage up to 2.25.

strawberries

The odd thing was, even though I’d been sticking to this running pattern for a few weeks, I still found that lengthy mile pretty rough. I hadn’t gotten my second wind—that moment when you’ve pushed past the tough beginning of the run and get into a groove. Thankfully, it wasn’t long after that that my second wind found me.

honey

While surfing around the blogosphere, I happened upon a truly fabulous blog, The Runner’s Kitchen, where I found a lot of great advice and tidbits about running. Inadvertently, reading about someone who runs 60 miles a week and trains for marathons really inspired me to bump up my mileage. That day, I got on the treadmill, warmed up, and pushed past that 1-mile mark and ran non-stop for 1.75 miles. I had found my second wind. It was amazing how running just a little bit past that initial mile made me feel so much better. After a quarter-mile walk, I ran another 0.75 miles and then cooled down, bringing my total mileage to 3.75. Since that day, I’ve made it up to 4 miles for my run, with hopefully more to come.

real done

My goals are simple. I’d like to keep my workout to about an hour in length, while bringing up my mileage as much as possible. Right now, I haven’t placed much focus on speed, which is something I want to work on once my body gets more comfortable with all this extra running, which I must confess, I’m beginning to enjoy.

Now that I’ve obviously teetered over into utter madness, go get yourself one of these sandwiches. You deserve it!

Strawberry Peanut Butter Snackie

Recipe inspired by Real Simple magazine, created by Koci

If you actually want a printable recipe for this, here it is.

1 slice whole wheat bread, toasted

1 tablespoon cream cheese

1 1/2 tablespoons peanut butter

2 strawberries, sliced

1 teaspoon honey

Spread cream cheese, then peanut butter over the toasted bread. Arrange sliced strawberries on half of the bread, drizzling with honey. Cut the bread in half, topping the strawberry side with the non-strawberry side.

Thoughtfully munch away, wondering why you’re so bad at writing recipe methods.

12 comments:

  1. But suppose R-Kizzle was running in front of you?

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  2. Anonymous, that would very dangerous. I would most likely faceplant on the sidewalk. Swooning and sprinting don't mix well. :D

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  3. cream cheese and peanut butter, I'm loving this already!! the strawberries are a great touch!

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  4. This would be dangerous in my house! I think I could addicted real quick. And I thought I was the only crazy one who liked to run while watching Food Network... :)

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  5. @Chef Dennis: Thanks! I never knew that those two ingredients went so well together!

    @baking.serendipity: Yay! Another Food Network runner! I don't know what it is about exercise and cooking shows--they just go perfectly together!

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  6. This is such a great treat. I need to make them as soon as I have strawberries in the house. I love how you're running. I feel so out of shape. I wish I can just wake up one morning and say that from now on I am going to work out all the time. If you are really worried about the calories you're consuming, you can use high fiber wheat bread or instead of regular cream cheese, use a lighter version... or even consider labne(thick yogurt)or just keep on exercising :) Happy running and eating!!!

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  7. Great ideas Adelina! I think I'll give the lowfat cream cheese a try--in fact, they don't really seem to taste that different either.

    Oh, and believe me, exercising for me is much easier said than done. There's been plenty of times that I've had to skip a workout because I procrastinated too late and got caught in the kitchen. But, then again, it's all about the journey, right? :D

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  8. Koci, your determination amazes me. Running evades me. Your food looks yummy.

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  9. Yay for running! Once you incorporate the workout into your schedule, it shouldn't be too hard to stick to. Especially after you start seeing results! Good luck.

    We love healthy snacks like this! The peanut butter and cream cheese combo sounds sooo good. We've done peanut butter and thinly-sliced apples with honey and cinnamon before. Maybe almond or cashew butter would work well with this recipe too?

    Oh, and good luck on your first day of school!

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  10. hahahaha...this is cute and smart!! I love your blog here and will surely have to back for a slice of your bread..so tospeak :)

    BTW I am Jhonny walker..from food-thought-for!

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  11. @Becky: haha Trust me, running evades me many a time as well!

    @Val and Mani: Oooh I like the idea of the apples! Now I definitely want to experiment some more with this recipe.

    @Jhonny: Thank you! Nice to meet ya!

    @A Spicy Perspective: haha Thanks!

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Thanks for commenting! By leaving a comment, you officially become one of my favorite people. Mwah! :D

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