Giveaway! Giveaway! (Winner Announced!)

Its a big milestone here at What We Are Eating... its the first giveaway here on the blog!

Perhaps you've noticed, I've been doing a bit of running in the past year. Last summer was dedicated to training for my first 5K. This summer is dedicated to training for this half marathon. It doesn't feel like that big of a jump to go from 3 miles to 13.1 (I might be singing a different tune closer to race day...) but a big part of that is because I've had some great coaching for this endeavor from Mark at TeachtoRun.com and HowtoRun5K.com. (Pause here - take a minute to check out the websites... Okay, let's continue.)

Here's a bit of what I wrote in a testimonial earlier this summer...
My best racing time was a 10 minute mile. Two months into my training with Mark, I ran a 5K with a mile time of 8:33! He plans a variety in training with speed, hills, distance, and time, so that you don't get bored with workouts and you are ready for any conditions in a race. Thanks to Mark's coaching, I'm now a stronger runner, a smarter runner, and a faster runner.

And I really wanted to let other runners know how great this training has been, so I'm giving away one Ultimate 5K Training Plan from HowtoRun5K.com!

These are training plans that will help you run your best, regardless of whether you're a beginning runner or someone who's looking for better workouts and an improved time. 

(Its worth noting that Turkey Trot season is about 12 weeks away, and what do you know? These plans are 12 weeks long! You can do it!)

The giveaway will end at midnight Monday, August 19, at which time I will randomly select a winner, confirm their entry, and pass along the necessary information you'll need to get your plan and get running!

Here is how you can enter:
~ Subscribe to the What We Are Eating e-mail list (look on the right side of this here page)
~ Share this giveaway blog post on Facebook
~ Share any other What We Are Eating blog post on Facebook
~ Tweet about the giveaway
~ "Like" Teach to Run on Facebook
~ Follow Teach to Run on Google+

Please make sure to record your entry on the Rafflecopter widget below!

The giveaway is live, so get your entries in!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

This giveaway is sponsored by What We Are Eating.


Homemade Gatorade

My training runs are starting to get longer (I have to do nine miles tomorrow... yikes...), and I've started to determine the best ways to keep my energy consistent and stay hydrated during these longer runs.

At first I figured I would just drink water when I'm out running, but that gets a little boring and sometimes your body needs a little more than plain water. I figured this out pretty early on this summer. I was just back from a longer run on a pretty hot day. Our street is under construction and things have been pretty dusty and dirty for the last few months. When I got home, I figured that all of the grit on my face was from the construction. But no, it was dried sweat and saltiness. (Sorry, TMI?) I realized that I needed to replenish my vitamins and minerals a bit more during and after runs. But not wanting to drink lots of artificial flavors, colors, and something with rosin, I hunted for a homemade recipe which you'll see below!

Homemade Citrus Gatorade
Based on WellnessMama.com
Click here for Printable Recipe

1 Quart Liquid (warm water, brewed tea, coconut water)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon crushed calcium magnesium tablets
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 Tablespoon lime juice
2 Tablespoons orange juice
1-2 Tablespoons honey

Add salt and crushed tablets to base liquid and stir until dissolved.

Add juices and honey, stir until completely mixed together. 

Cool and store in the fridge until ready to use.

Note #1: A warm base liquid will help salt/tablets and honey to better dissolve. Just try stirring honey into cold iced tea sometime. Its a mess.
Note #2: You can use any juice to play around with the flavoring. Just make sure it adds up to 1/4 cup juice to replace the lemon, lime, and orange juices in this recipe. I don't think, however, that you will find a natural substitute for "Cool Blue"...


Taking a Break for Grocery Shopping

I love grocery shopping. Its relaxing, fun, and I like scoping out all of the products, doing some comparison shopping, and educating myself on the food my family eats. My usual round for a week is Aldi first, then either Meijer or Eurofresh to get whatever else we need. (In a pinch, I'll go somewhere else, but I don't think I ever leave that store happy that I went there in the first place.)

Around our house, for the most part, we eat fresh food, made from ingredients, not pre-packaged mixes or starters. I keep a few convenience foods on hand, but even those are pretty carefully vetted so that I know its good stuff that's going in (GIGO, right?).

And if you do most of your eating in this same way, did you know that you can do most of your shopping at Aldi? Many think that to get "real" food, you need to shop at specialty food stores. But even then, if you look at a lot of their pre-packaged foods, they're not always better for you than the food you'll find at a regular grocery store. And despite assumptions, not all of the products are organic (You know what happens when you assume...) so just be sure to look at the label if that's what you're going for. In fact, some of the vegetarian/vegan items have so many additives to pump up the flavor volume that you're not doing yourself much good. And here's the kicker - did you know that Aldi and one of those stores are owned by the same company?! I was pretty surprised when I found out about this myself, but it makes total sense. Here's a snippet from this article:

"It really comes down to the small formats, well-edited assortments and 
value pricing of unique private-brand products."

Describing Trader Joe's or Aldi? Hard to tell. Probably because they're both based on store-specific brands with limited but varied stock. Interesting business model, eh?

There is a lot of discussion to be had about organic foods vs. non-organic, GMO vs. non-GMO, but just not right now. If you're looking to use fresh, whole, healthy, real ingredients in your family's food, give Aldi some consideration! To get you started, here's a looong list of what we have in our house from Aldi* on a regular basis (and if you're interested in a nice litte "How To" for Aldi stores, check out this three-part series over on Gimme Some Oven).

Pantry Staples & Baking Supplies
Baking Soda
Baking Powder
White Sugar
Canola Oil
Olive Oil
White Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar
Balsamic Vinegar
Cooking Spray
Spices/Spice Mixes
100% Apple Juice
Dried Fruit (cranberries, cherries, apricots)
Canned Tomatoes (diced, crushed, paste, sauce)
Whole Wheat Spaghetti (organic)
Tuna in Water
Corn Tortillas
Instant Brown Rice
Pure Maple Syrup

Dairy & Deli
Almond Milk
Orange Juice (not from concentrate)
Greek Yogurt Cups
Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt
Sour Cream
Cottage Cheese
Cream Cheese
Queso Fresco
Laughing Cow-Type Cheese
Cheese Sticks (organic)
Shredded Cheese
Goat Cheese

Chicken Breasts
Pork Ribs
Ground Turkey
Ground Beef
Reduced Sodium Bacon (no artificial sweeteners)

Frozen Fruit (berries, mango, peaches)
Frozen Vegetables (beans, broccoli, blends)

Fresh Produce
Baby Spinach
Green Beans
Baby Carrots
Tomatoes on the Vine
Grape Tomatoes
Sweet  Corn
Bell Peppers
Green Onions
Butternut Squash

Here are a few foods we buy from Aldi that are regulars on our grocery, even if the product itself has more than one or two ingredients:

Whole Wheat Bread (no HFCS)
English Muffins

All Natural Gluten Free Chicken Nuggets

Jennie-O Italian Turkey Sausage

Marinara Sauce (regular and organic)
Multi-Grain O's Cereal

**BTW, Aldi does not know who I am, except for the cashier who sees me every Monday when I check out. And she's really friendly and so patient when I'm managing check-out and the kids at the same time; but even she doesn't know I'm writing about how great Aldi is.