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Archive for the ‘Random Facts’ Category

Yes, I ended up with a single lunch time run session:

5.6 Miles – 3 Incline – 49.44 – 6.8 average pace

Not bad.  I wanted to do an 11-miler for my “longish” run but I got caught up at work for an extra 90 minutes and by then the slush/snow storm made me too lazy to stick around the office until 10pm (even if it is to use the gym).  I told myself there’s always tomorrow and that’s my plan for today.  5:30Pm 14 mile run single session. Me and evil treadmill have a date.

So yesterday instead of run part 2, I went home and decided to make the Spaghetti Squash that was slowly but surely going to die in my kitchen if it wasn’t cooked soon.

Spaghetti squash gets its name from the fact that when it is cooked, the inside flesh pulls out of the shell in long strands, resembling spaghetti pasta.  When I first tried it, I was a bit in shock when it didn’t taste exactly like pasta.

So Let’s talk about why aside from the taste (even if its not like pasta), why it’s so great

  • A 1-cup serving offers 5.4 mg of vitamin C, which is almost 10 percent of the recommended USDA daily intake
  • Other vitamins include A, B-6, thiamin, riboflavin, niacin, folate, pantothenic acid and vitamin K.
  • The dominant mineral is manganese, with 0.2 mg, which is 8 percent of the RDI. Manganese aids in the production of healthy bones, tissues and sex hormones. It also plays a part in metabolism, regulation of blood sugar, absorption of calcium and the functioning of the nervous system.
  • Other minerals found in smaller amounts in spaghetti squash include potassium, magnesium, calcium, copper, iron, phosphorus, sodium, zinc and selenium.
  • It contains 2.2 g, or 9 percent of the RDI of Fiber.  Your body will use this fiber much better then the kind found added to FiberOne bars.
  •  It also contains omega-3 essential fatty acids and omega-6 fatty acids. While the former is good for preventing heart disease, cancer and inflammation caused by arthritis, the latter promotes brain function.
  • There’s only 42 calories and 10 carbs in one cup!
Here’s a summary chart people who see too many words on a screen and tend to have their eyelids glaze over:
Nutrient Value
Vitamin A 170 IU
Vitamin B1 0.1 mg
Vitamin B3 1.3 mg
Vitamin B5 0.6 mg
Vitamin B6 0.2 mg
Vitamin C 5.4 mg
Vitamin E 0.3 mg
Vitamin K 1.2 mcg
Folate 12.4 mcg
Potassium 180 mg
Choline 11.6 mg
Calcium 32.6 mg
Sodium 28 mg
Phosphorus 21.7 mg
Magnesium 17 mg
Iron 0.5 mg
Zinc 0.3 mg
Manganese 0.2 mg

So how did I prepare this massive lump of goodness?

I washed it, I almost killed myself,  I cut it in half, took out the guts, seeds and all that icky stuff.  I Pam-ed it (I might get cancer but its more convenient then olive oil), went to town with the garlic salt, lemon pepper, and maybe a little too much cayenne pepper.

Upside down and in the oven it went.  400F degrees for 45 minutes or so until the skin felt bendable.

Once out of the oven, the fun part begins, grab a spoon, grab a fork, grab your hands and scrap/scoop out the insides.  Keep scooping I promise there is plenty left!

My one squash yielded me two giant snapware containers worth!

Look at what a mighty fine job I did!  The left side tried to misbehave so I showed him whose boss.

Now how do you serve this?  Normal people add something fancy like sliced up small veggies and marinara sauce.  Not I.  I was in a hurry and only had 10 minutes this morning.  So:

 Top half with spaghetti squash, other half with baby spinach (my addiction) and four Trader Joes fully Cooked meatballs and you’re ready to go.

That’s me running out the door!

Remember these from The other day.  They made a comeback in my squash.  I’m on a add hot sauce to everything kick.

Pop into the microwave for 2 minutes and now I’m off to work some more and eat my lunch!

Have you ever made spaghetti squash?  What recipe did you use?

Did you sign up for any races yesterday during Rock & Roll’s Leap Day Sale?

I signed up for the Montreal Marathon in September.  Now I need to figure out who I can convince to come with me.  Any takers?

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Happy Valentine’s Day – one (of the many) days where sugar calories don’t count!

I had a semi good run on the treadmill today at a 3 incline at 9:05 mile pace, 5.5 miles.  Hoping for a little outside low key 5K action today after work before my fancy dinner made by Tony.  I told him couples that 5K together, do other things together.  Hopefully that will get him to keep his word!

Instead of reading the depressing current events, I got sucked into reading random Valentine day facts.  I thought I’d share a few (okay more than a few):

Some knowledge and history!

  • There are several theories and Christian martyrs named valentine; however, the most popular dates back to the time of the Roman Empire during the reign of Claudius II, 270 AD. Claudius didn’t want men to marry during wartime because he believed single men made better soldiers. Bishop Valentine went against his wishes and performed secret wedding ceremonies. For this, Valentine was jailed and then executed by order of the Emperor on February 14. While in jail, he wrote a love note to the jailor’s daughter signing it, “From your Valentine.”
  • Valentine’s Day was first celebrated during the time of the Romans. It was a holiday to celebrate fertility and men would draw lots with women’s names written on them. The woman whose name the man randomly chose would become his bed buddy for the year.
  • Despite Saint Valentine’s existence (it is believed he could be one of three people) the Catholic Church removed Valentine’s Day from its religious calendar in 1969 (First no valentine’s day, now no condoms, always getting in the way of fun).
  • In 1537, England’s King Henry VII officially declared February 14th the holiday of St. Valentine’s Day (He knew what’s up).
  • The phrase “wearing your heart on your sleeve” comes from the Middle Ages custom of knights wearing a colored fabric from their love on the arm of the armor.
  • Speaking of the dark ages, many believe the ‘X’ symbol became synonymous with the kiss in medieval times. People who couldn’t write their names signed in front of a witness with an ‘X.’ The ‘X’ was then kissed to show their sincerity.
  • There is a Croatian island located in the Zadar Channel that is shaped perfectly like a heart. The island, which is called Galesnjak, is completely deserted and can only be accessed by small boat
  • The greatest structure built in the name of love: the Taj Mahal in India. The building was created by Emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his late wife.
  • California produces 60 percent of American roses, but the greater number sold on Valentine’s Day in the United States are imported, mostly from South America.

Some Numbers

  • One billion: The number of estimated Valentine’s Day cards sent every year according to the Greeting Card Association. This is second only to Christmas when 2.6 billion cards are sent.
  • 8 billion: The amount of Sweethearts Conversation Hearts manufactured each year for Valentine’s Day. That’s about 100,000 pounds a day.
  • $15.7 billion: Estimated amount that will be spent this year on Valentine’s Day merchandise.
  • $5.04: How much the average consumer will spend on their pets for Valentine’s Day.
  • $3.5 billion: The amount of money consumers will spend on bling and baubles for their loved ones. Another $1.7 billion will be spent on flowers and $1.5 billion on candy. \
  • 91: Percentage of men who give flowers to their significant other on Valentine’s Day to show their love.
  • 16: Percentage of men who give flowers on Valentine’s Day to “stay out of the doghouse.”
  • 64: Percentage of men who do not make plans in advance for Valentine’s Day.

Some Funnies

  •  According to Durex, sales of condoms are highest around Valentine’s Day each year.
  • Statistically speaking (and if you take into consideration the first fact), more home pregnancy tests are purchased in the month of March than any other month.
  • Pets will be on the receiving end of heart-shaped gifts this year with more then 9 million American pet owners splurging on their furry four-legged friend (too bad there’s no cute cat shirts, plus I’m pretty sure my cat will pee on my pillow if I dress him).
  • Men in Japan receive more Valentine’s Day chocolate than women, thanks in large part to effective ad campaigns (Who do they think they are?).
  • Casanova, well known as “The World’s Greatest Lover,” ate chocolate to make him virile (I don’t know who he is, but maybe you do).
  • 15% of U.S. women send themselves flowers on Valentine’s Day (So don’t feel bad if you can’t puppy eye your boyfriend into work flower delivery, cause that mean lady down the hall probably sent it to herself).
  • Women purchase approximately 85 percent of all Valentines (cards).
  • Teachers will receive the most Valentine’s Day cards, followed by children, mothers, wives, sweethearts and pets (Pets?  Come on buddy, get a hobby, knit instead).
So kids have fun, eat your weight in chocolate and love one another!  I bid you well with this photo of my two favorite boys:
Image

I’d like to claim I am all knowledgeable and spent hours researching this but I stole some of the many facts from: http://www.lfpress.com/life/2012/02/07/19350416.html, http://medfield.patch.com/articles/poll-patch-valentine-s-day-fun-facts, http://www.sheknows.com/holidays-and-seasons/articles/807655/fun-facts-about-valentine-s-day

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