Tuesday, October 21, 2014

RUN 10 FEED 10 10k Race Recap.

On Sunday morning, I ran the RUN 10 FEED 10 10k race in the neighborhood Lincoln Park, hosted by Women's Health. It was a fantastic fall morning for a run, chilly but beautiful with sunny skies and no wind. As I mentioned last week, RUN 10 FEED 10 is a partnership with the FEED Foundation, a non-profit organization fighting hunger and malnutrition around the world. As part of each race registration, ten meals were donated to those going hungry in the local community. I loved this race! It was an intimate group compared to many large races in the city, with under 1,000 runners. Racing with people committed to the great cause of the FEED Foundation made the finish even sweeter.

Runners started the event with a group stretch, led by a trainer from exhale Chicago. The extra stretching time was very needed since the temperature hovered below 40 degrees that morning. Notice the expert stretching and twisting action to warm up those limbs...

The race started in Lincoln Park near Diversey Harbor, continuing along the lakefront path north for the first three miles. We looped back south to finish in the same spot, catching a nice view of the boats still left in the harbor that haven't yet moved to storage for the winter season.

I snapped a quick shot of the race on my phone {also used as a pacer and for race tunes - multi-tasking!} during the last mile. This 10k ended up as a PR for me, shedding a few seconds from my fastest race time this year.

Race Results:
Distance~ 10k {6.2 miles}
Time~ 1:00:37
Pace~ 9:46/mile
Place~ 352nd out of 766 runners

I'll definitely be running this race again in the future. If you are interested in this cause but were not able to participate this year, you can still race by registering for your own 10k. There is also a RUN10 FEED10 training app available, created by WalkJogRun, to help you plot the course and run a 10K anytime. You can also donate to a RUN 10 FEED 10 team or runner here.

{I was not compensated for this post and all opinions are my own. I received a free race registration from Women's Health for the RUN 10 FEED 10 10k race in Chicago.}

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Crunchy Chicken Salad Cups.

This weekend has been full of beautiful fall colors - trees with orange and red shades are finally starting to change in the city and there aren't too many leaves on the ground yet. I found cabbage bouquets at a local farmer's market yesterday and I wanted to take one home for every room. What a creative decor idea! The last day of the weekend started bright and early, as I was awake at 6:00am to run the RUN 10 FEED 10 10k race at Diversey Harbor. A full race re-cap is coming in my next post!

But first... let's talk food. After errands and a grocery store trip post-race, I was ready for something fast but delicious for lunch. Chicken salad is one of my favorite easy meals to throw together, especially when it's made with rotisserie chicken. I've been thinking about how to combine mini peppers with chicken salad for awhile now, and today's lunch was the perfect time to try it. We always have a bag of mini peppers on hand, as K loves to chop them for use in his daily salads. What better way to serve chicken salad than inside a few of these crunchy peppers?

There are many other fun ways to eat chicken salad, as seen on Pinterest - in lettuce wraps, on endive halves, inside wonton cups or tomatoes, and on slices of cucumber. I would also like to thank my sister-in-law of Make the Best of Everything for her inspiration to serve food in new ways - check out this fun post on 20 Edible Dish Ideas for more bright ideas.

This version of chicken salad is made healthier by substituting half of the mayo for greek yogurt. The mini peppers I used happened to be flat on the bottom, but you could also cut them length-wise and enjoy chicken salad boats instead. Please note I devoured whole wheat pita chips with hummus as a side with these tasty salad cups. Carb loading after the race, you see.

Make these cups for a quick lunch or a healthy party appetizer!

Crunchy Chicken Salad Cups
Serves 4, with leftovers.

Ingredients ~
8 mini peppers
1 rotisserie chicken {I only used the white meat, and removed the skin}
1/2 cup dried cherries 
1 celery stalk {chopped}
1/4 yellow onion {chopped}
2 Tablespoons mayo with olive oil
2 Tablespoons 0% plain Greek yogurt
1/2 teaspoon seasoning {I used Paula Deen's House Seasoning, a mix of black pepper, salt, garlic, and onion powder}

How to ~
*Chop celery and onion and shred the rotisserie chicken.
*Mix the shredded chicken, celery and onion. Add dried cherries, seasoning, mayo and yogurt and mix until combined.
*Wash the mini peppers, and slice off the top. Cut each mini pepper in half.
*Add chicken salad to each pepper cup until it's full!