Tuesday Tidbits

A few tidbits about my life lately...

1.  Last Friday was the Winter Brew Fest in Santa Fe.  This is one of my favorite events of the winter!  It's an indoor beer-tasting event featuring a wide variety of beers from 16 New Mexico breweries.  It's obviously no comparison to the Great American Beer Festival in Denver, but it's still a great time and I always see just about everyone I know in Santa Fe.  (Sometimes I socialize too much and forget to sample the beers... but it's a great time regardless.)

2.  I've been reading more and more about the magical powers of turmeric.  Some call it the "powerhouse of health."  Turmeric, a yellowish-orange colored seasoning from South India, has anti-inflammatory properties, aids in healing, and is good for the skin.  It is a strong antioxidant and has been linked to the prevention of everything from cancer and heart disease to Alzheimer's and other brain diseases.  I have started to get my daily dose of turmeric by sprinkling it in tea and soup, and I can't wait to try some new recipes that incorporate this spice.  I found this great blog about Incorporating Turmeric Into Your Diet.

3.  Speaking of magical health foods... avocados!  I realize I'm more than a little late on jumping aboard the avocado train, as we have known about the amazing health benefits of this fruit (yes, avocados are fruit, specifically a type of berry) for some time.  Avocados have dozens of vitamins and minerals including calcium, lots of Vitamin B, more potassium than a banana, and folate, which is important not only for prenatal development but also for reducing stroke risk.  Avocados are high in protein compared to other fruits and have tons of the good types of fat, which is important for heart health.  Avocados are also a strong antioxidant.  I could eat them alone, but they're also excellent on salads, and of course as guacamole! 

4.  I started getting bored on my really long and cold morning runs, so I decided to start listening to audiobooks.  My life is changed!  I'm already on my fourth audiobook of the month and I'm hooked.  I find myself continuing to listen even when I get home from a run, while I cook dinner and get ready.  Multitasking at its finest!

5.  I'm only 12 days away from my half marathon in Phoenix.  I haven't been cross training as much since it's not triathlon season, but I feel pretty good on my long runs and am loving my new shoes.  I am trying Hokas, which have increased volume in the midfoot compared to other shoes, and a "low heel-toe differential" (as explained to me by the sales rep) that encourages toe off and a more springy step.  This is the first time in at least five years that I've tried something besides Asics.  My primary goal for the race is to enjoy myself and not get sick, but I would also love to finish in under 2:10.

6.  I have a new favorite party appetizer... mini mac and cheese bites!  These little bite-size cups of joy are the perfect comfort food for winter days and drinking events.  From birthday celebrations to Superbowl parties and Academy Awards watching, these delicious morsels will be a hit!  (I brought them to a birthday party this past weekend and they were gone in four minutes.)
I used this recipe, but added garlic, plus some breadcrumbs on top:  Mini Mac and Cheese Bites

7.  And finally... We are the last house on the block with our Christmas lights still up.  Ooops!

Happy Tuesday!


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