Mile Marker 4: Vegas, Baby!

I haven't taken much time to talk about food yet. I know there are people out there who have some tough issues to work through regarding food, but honestly, I just like food. I like cooking it, eating it, sharing it, and giving it away. I like the way food tastes, and I'm not about to sacrifice good food for the rest of my life.

And after all, food is something we need. It is essential to the everyday workings of our bodies. It fuels us whether we are recovering from illness and injury or training for a half marathon. Its like air - we need it, you can't deny that.

Earlier this year, when we went to Vegas to cheer on Steve and Mike in the Rock 'n' Roll Half Marathon, two things happened. First, the whole time we were there, I didn't track my food. This was the first time I wasn't fastidious about tracking. Even now, a few months after achieving "Lifetime" status at Weight Watchers, I still track every day, for better or for worse. And you know what? I was fine. We walked our feet off in Las Vegas, and since Steve and Mike were gearing up for a race, we were pretty responsible in what we ate and drank on that trip. I didn't gain or lose after that weekend, and it made me realize that its all about balance. I could be more flexible about eating because we were walking all. day. long. So I could have a really phenomenal meal at Olives at the Bellagio, because after the steak tartare appetizer, I had a pretty light seafood entree.

And when we were at Todd English P.U.B., I didn't order fries, but when you're eating prime rib sliders, fries are non-essential.

And when I had to walk 30 minutes to 'wichcraft and 30 minutes back, I treated myself to a cookie. And the walk was worth it because the tuna with fennel, olives, aioli  and lemon confit was maybe the best sandwich I've ever had.
Photo from Food & Wine

And the second thing that happened? I decided to register for the Shamrock Shuffle, and from there it wasn't long before I registered for the Park2Park Half Marathon. More on that soon.

But until then, here's something we had for dinner tonight, and it was a hit for all four of us (if you don't count the fact that H picked off the best part, the avocado). Check out that nutrition information - low in calories, high in the good fats, moderate carbs, loads of protein, and hardly any sugar. How's that for a post-run meal, especially if you add a little chocolate milk for dessert?! And if you take out the bread, there are only five carbs and zero sugar. Lots of good stuff to fuel you in a healthy way, and lots of flavor too.

Grown-Up Tuna Melts*
From Cooking Light
Click for Printable Recipe

4 slices reduced sodium bacon
10 ounces tuna in water, drained
3 Tablespoons light mayonnaise
black pepper to taste
4 slices bread, toasted (whatever suits your fancy, we used marble rye)
1 avocado
1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Line a small, rimmed baking sheet with foil and place bacon on the sheet. Place in the oven and preheat oven to 425. Let the bacon cook until its crispy how you like it. I let ours go for about 20 minutes. Once the bacon is cooked, remove from oven and set aside, but leave the oven on. Once bacon is cooled, break each piece in half.

While the bacon cooks, flake the tuna into a small bowl; add mayonnaise and pepper. Stir to combine and set aside.

Halve the avocado, spoon out the flesh, and cut into thin slices. Allot for two slices of avocado per sandwich. (Serve the rest on the side. Or to the cook.)

To assemble sandwiches: spread each slice of toast with tuna mixture. Next comes two halves of bacon, two slices of avocado, and two tablespoons of the shredded cheese. Put each open-faced sandwich on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 4-5 minutes, just until cheese is melted. Sprinkle a little salt on top and serve!

Serves four

WW Points Plus: 7 per slice/open-faced sandwich
Nutritional Information (using My Fitness Pal): 378 calories, 22g fat, 21 carbs, 30g protein, 1g sugar

* But not exclusively so