Quinoa for Breakfast!

When I was sidelined from running with a mystery injury in the spring, I had the brilliant idea to sign up for the upcoming Steelman Triathlon. I resorted to cross training to maintain my endurance and figured I might as well put my efforts to good use. Since recovering and returning to running, I’ve not really put much work in on my swimming. It’s possible I’ve been in the pool just under 10 times in the past few months. I kind of take swimming for granted since I swam for about two minutes back in high school. I’m not a fast swimmer, but my form isn’t terrible so I survive without expending too much energy. We are currently on our annual vacation to Babcock Lake, and I’m spending the week practicing my open water swim skills. I don’t expect a week of swimming to prepare me to swim some extraordinary swim time at the triathlon, but my intention is just to be more comfortable in the water before August 11.

I’m training hard and putting in a lot of miles running, since that’s my favorite of the three sports. Though I’m excited to participate in the triathlon, my main focus is my fall marathons. I’ve been consistently logging 50+ miles per week since I began the Pfitzinger plan. This week, my mileage hits 62. I’ll max out at 70 at some point. I’m good for the run, I’ll survive on the swim…and I actually think I may survive the bike, too. I have this love/hate relationship with cycling. I usually tell people that I hate it. At one point, I didn’t get on my bike for about 2 years. But this summer, it’s been a different story. I haven’t put in crazy mileage on the bike that most cyclists put in, but I’ve done quite a bit for me. Once or twice per week, I join Emily for her general aerobic rides (she’s training for a half-Ironman), which are 90 minutes long. On those days, we cover about 25-28 miles. Once per week, I join her for her long ride – usually about 3 hours, or about 50 miles. This has been going on since before I left for Alaska, so by the time she went on vacation last week I was enjoying riding enough that I actually hit the roads on my own. I wouldn’t say it was a complete fail. I managed to find some 25-30 mile routes, except they were more like mountain climbing expeditions. I also did some “transition workouts” where I run off the bike, which I usually dread. I’m not going to go as far as to say that the workouts felt good, but they weren’t completely unfortunate.

Before our last long ride, I whipped up a bowl of “hot cereal” that I made with quinoa. I’d forgotten about the concoction, but it gave me a ton of energy and kept me full for the whole ride. You can swap the quinoa for any hot cereal. My other favorite hot cereal is any blend by Bob’s Red Mill, particularly the 8-Grain cereal.

Breakfast Quinoa

  • 1/4 quinoa (or a hot cereal of your choice)
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk (or milk product of your choice)
  • 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • 1/4 cup of blueberries
  • 2 tablespoons organic raisins
  • 1 tablespoon 100% maple syrup
  • 1 tablespoon chopped raw almonds
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds

Combine the first four ingredients in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Lower heat and simmer until the liquid evaporates and the quinoa is cooked, adding more liquid if necessary (about 10-15 minutes). Spoon into a bowl, and top with the remaining ingredients, and enjoy!

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