Cait's Plates

Happy National Running Day

By Jessica Green

Since 2009, the first Wednesday in June has been declared National Running Day. With the purpose behind the national call out being an opportunity for runners everywhere to "declare their passion for running." As a "passionate" runner myself, you can guarantee I'll be out there today declaring my passion and celebrating my relationship with the sport and love for hill running by participating in a trail race that's part of the Portland Trail Series.  

As a coach, it's our clients who continue to inspire me day in and day out and remind me that there a million and one ways to be passionate about running. As a result, I'd like to take this day to celebrate each and every one of our clients' accomplishments, however big and small. For some it's just getting out there and putting one foot in front of the other while others have PR'd marathons and overcome major injuries.  Whatever it is, each success is driven by some type of passion for running and we are so honored to be a part of it! 

So, today (and every day), remember that running can be a social outlet or a solitary, restorative activity. It can be the hardest thing you'll ever do or a nice casual break from the daily grind. Running encourages weight loss, a healthy mind, and personal accomplishments at any age. Running connects you with nature or the city you live within or are visiting. A run sweats out the toxins you consumed the day before and it's an excuse to walk around in workout clothes for half the day. Running makes us stronger and gives us that sore feeling we've learned to love. Running is whatever you decide you want it to be. Now is the time to define exactly what that is  . . . or is it? You decide! Either way, get out and run today . . . and don't forget your strength work!

Healthy Holiday Celebrations

by Caitlin Grams

Valentine's Day, like so many other holidays, can quickly get out of hand with sweets and indulgent treats. This year, try something different. No matter if you're celebrating with someone special (a spouse or partner) or with family or friends, here are a few ideas on how to make this Valentine's day a bit healthier:
  • Take your valentine for a run or organize a group run with friends. Better yet, find a themed race and dress up! 
  • Try a new fitness class together - do something different. 
  • Plan an active outing - go hiking, rock climbing, skiing or snowshoeing. 
  • Cook a healthy, hands-on meal at home. Not only will you save time, money and avoid crowded restaurants, but you'll have a blast trying your hand at a new meal together and can control everything that goes into it, making sure it's full of fresh ingredients. 
  • Instead of traditional chocolates and candy, melt dark chocolate and make your own fondue by cutting up pieces of fresh fruit to dip in it. 
Happy Valentine's Day!

On-the-Go Snack Ideas

Caitlin shares her favorite snack ideas to keep you satisfied and on track with your health goals!

I've always been a big snacker, so I've learned to keep healthy options around so that when I do snack, I have lots of filling, nutrient-dense choices to tide me over until my next meal. When picking a snack, I try to always include either a fruit or vegetable, a protein and a healthy fat. Here are a few of my favorite combinations:
Before a Workout:
*A handful of nuts or trail mix - Almonds, cashews, and pistachios are my favorite nuts to keep around. I also like to make my own trail mix with a combination of nuts and dried fruit - just be sure to watch the serving size here because nuts are high in (good) fats.
*Fruit and nut butter - Apples or bananas and almond butter are my favorite combinations, especially before a workout. If I'm craving something sweet. I'll slice and apple and sprinkle it with cinnamon, and serve with a tablespoon or two of almond butter and chocolate chips! 
After a Workout:
*Greek yogurt is always a quick and healthy snack that's high in protein. My favorite is Trader Joe's Vanilla Bean Greek Yogurt with fresh berries. 
*A few slices of turkey and avocado are the perfect ratio of protein and healthy fats and very satisfying after a workout. 
*Chocolate Milk - one of my favorite after workout snacks. I drink Soy Chocolate Milk with added protein from Trader Joes. 
*Veggies and hummus - carrots, snap peas, celery, jicama - anything crunchy is my veggie of choice, and there are SO many hummus options out there. Anything spicy or the edamame hummus from Trader Joe's are my favorite store bought varieties, but as I discovered,  It's also incredibly easy to make your own
*Smoothie - Smoothies are one of my favorite snacks, and I add or subtract ingredients based on the time of day, pre or post workout, my mood...but generally there's almost always banana, frozen berries, almond milk and some kind of protein (either powder, almond butter, etc).


Nutrition Nugget: How to Survive the Holidays Hot Bird Style

Written by Caitlin Grams, a certified holistic Nutrition Coach, and the newest member of the Hot Bird Running team. A runner herself, Caitlin's focus is on nutrition for endurance athletes and nutrition for weight loss.  Read more about Caitlin's background and coaching philosphy and check out our new program called New Year, New You that combine nutrition and running to help you reach all of your health goals in 2013.

It's that time of year again, and I feel like everywhere I go the sugar and holiday treats have beat me. Cookies at work. Festive candy in cute little bowls on friend's coffee tables. Invitations for hot cocoa. Peppermint mochas and chex mix. 

You've already got the sweat part down, but I'm sure I'm not the first person to tell you that no matter how many calories you are burning on the pavement, indulging in every sweet opportunity this holiday season can add up quickly and send your daily calorie intake sky high. Here are a few tips and tricks to keep your eats clean this month:

*Keep sugar out of the kitchen. That's right - if it's not there, you won't eat it. Make sure you are sticking to healthy, filling meals and snacks and home - this will give you wiggle room to have a treat when you are out celebrating the holidays.

*Before you head to a holiday party, have a snack or small meal that is full of protein and fiber so you won't be at the mercy of whatever treats await you. My favorites are a small kale salad, an apple and almond butter or a small serving of almonds or cashews. 

*Drink water all day long. Bring a bottle with you and refill it often. Make a goal to drink 8-10 glasses a day and check them off as you go. We often mistake thirst for hunger, so staying hydrated will ensure you eat when you are truly hungry. 

*When you do choose to indulge, make it truly indulgent. Don't waste time on a piece of candy you can have any time of the year. Decide what is really worth it to you  - maybe it's a special holiday drink or a homemade cookie - and savor it. Choose one treat, take your time eating it and stop when you are done. 

Happy Holidays!! 

Cait's Plate: Pineapple Fried Quinoa

Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, brings us delicious recipes inspired by her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week, Caitlin takes on makes her favorite Thai dish a healthy dish! We are huge fans of quinoa and can't wait to try out this recipe.

My favorite Thai dish is Pineapple Fried Rice, but there's a reason why I rarely order it - huge portions, white rice, fried tofu...nothing about it is healthy. So I decided to try to make my own healthy version, using my favorite grain, and it turned out surprisingly well! This dish is light yet hearty and full of protein, carbs and healthy fats. 
Pineapple Fried Quinoa with Tofu - adapted from this recipe
1 cup quinoa, prepared according to package directions
1 head broccoli, roasted 
1 block extra firm tofu
2 tablespoons soy sauce
3 eggs
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 shallots, chopped 
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup pineapple, diced
1 tablespoon sesame seed oil 
1/4 cup cashews

While quinoa is cooking and broccoli is roasting, heat oil in pan and add shallots and garlic until heated through. Add eggs, cook and stir until scrambled. Remove  from heat. 
Press tofu to remove excess water and cut once crosswise, then into 1 inch squares lengthwise. Dip each piece into soy sauce to evenly coat and spread onto baking sheet. Bake at 350 degrees for 15 minutes or until edges begin to brown.
Toast cashews in small saucepan over high heat for 2-3 minutes until shiny. 
In a large serving bowl, toss quinoa, tofu, broccoli, pineapple and sesame seed oil. Top with cashews and enjoy! 


Cait's Plate: Kale Salad

Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, brings us delicious recipes inspired by her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week, Caitlin takes on Kale! We highly recommend kale for a great, nutrious recovery food. It will help your immune system rebound after a long run, half-marathon or marathon!

Kick-A** Kale Salad


If you take one lesson from Cait's Plates - please don't be afraid of kale. Kale used to really intimidate me. It was so dark and leafy and much more bitter than regular lettuce or spinach. I didn't think anything could make it taste better. This all changed the day I combined kale and goddess dressing. A match made in heaven I tell you.

There is a secret I've discovered to kale - it needs a little something to soften the texture and take away from the bitterness. Goddess dressing works perfectly, as does olive oil. As soon as I started to use kale in my salads it became hard for me to use any other kind of lettuce - the hearty texture of the kale is addicting. 

Here is one of my favorite kale salad recipes. Kale itself has so many nutritional benefits - it is high in fiber and anti-oxidants, packed with vitamins and minerals, detoxifying, lowers your risk of multiple cancers - what's not to love? Avocado and nuts add healthy fats. beans and tuna/chicken/turkey add protein - this salad packs nutrition like no one's business and will keep you full for hours after a tough workout.

Kick*** Kale Salad:
serves 1 hungry runner 

2 cups kale, washed and roughly chopped
1/4 cup garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 avocado, chopped
1 handful alfalfa sprouts
1 carrot, chopped
1 persian cucumber, chopped
1/2 red pepper, chopped
2 tablespoons sunflower seeds or chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons dried cranberries
Optional: 1/2 apple, chopped, 4 oz tuna or grilled chicken or sliced turkey
2 tablespoons dressing of your choice - often I will make my own:

1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp mustard
1/2 lemon, juiced
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Toss with dressing and dig in! 


Cait's Plate: Turkey Burgers

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, brings us delicious recipes inspired by her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week, Caitlin ventures into the land of meat with some savory sounding turkey burgers!

Turkey Burgers.  I don't eat meat very often - mostly I just don't love the taste or texture, and plant based meals are often much healthier. I've really been trying to be conscious of my protein intake lately, and every once in a while I will decide meat sounds good. Let's be honest, sometimes all you want after an especially hard workout is a burger. Lean ground turkey is SO much healthier for you than ground beef - for about the same amount of protein and B vitamins turkey has so much less fat and cholesterol. These burgers are easy to prepare, pack a great protein punch and taste as good as a beef burger, if not better. 

1 pound lean ground turkey

1/2 small onion, diced

1 egg

2 tbsp barbecue sauce

2 tbsp breadcrumbs

2 tbsp oats

2 tsp sweet & hot mustard

1 tsp Chipotle Tabasco

1 tsp garlic powder

Pinch of salt

Prep:  Combine ingredients in a large mixing bowl and mix until blended (using your hands is kind of gross, but works best - it also works best if you have someone else to do it for you). Separate into 4 medium sized patties - I laid them on top of a sheet of Saran wrap to prevent them from sticking to a plate. 

Cooking Instructions: Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a nonstick skillet and cook each patty for about 3 minutes on each side until lightly browned. Finish patties in oven heated to 350 degrees for an additional 10 minutes. 
Serve with veggies of your choice! I recommend lettuce, tomato, and avocado, with barbecue sauce. 

Cait's Plate: Tofu and Quinoa Stir Fry

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week we learn about how to make a protein packed stir fry!

Tofu and Quinoa Stir Fry

So it's probably pretty clear by now that I love quinoa. It's super versatile and is so quick to make. In this dish I use it as a substitute for brown rice - it cooks faster than brown rice, plus the higher protein and fiber content and amino acids aren't too shabby. I'm a big fan of meals I can just throw together, and stir fry veggies are so easy. To up the veggie content of this dish I add roasted broccoli. 
1 block tofu, extra firm, chopped into small squares
1 package stir fry vegetables
1 head broccoli, chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
1-2 tbsp vegetable oil
Salt and pepper to taste
1 cup quinoa
For the tofu dredge:
1/2 cup peanut flour
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp chilli powder
1 tsp salt
For the vegetables:
2 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp garlic
1 tbsp Sriracha
Coat the broccoli in the olive oil, salt and pepper and roast at 425 degrees for 10-15 minutes until it starts to brown. Remove from oven.
While the broccoli is roasting, prepare quinoa according to package directions. 
While quinoa is cooking, combine ingredients for tofu dredge in a ziplock bag. Toss tofu squares in dredge until coated. Heat 1/2 inch of vegetable oil over medium high heat (test how hot the oil is by sprinkling a pinch of the flour mixture into it to see if it sizzles). Add tofu to oil, being careful not to overcrowd the pan, and cook for 1-2 minutes per side, flipping halfway through. When browned remove from pan and set on a paper towel lined plate. 
Add a tablespoon of vegetable oil to a wo k or large pan over high heat. Add the stir fry vegetables and cook for about 4 minutes. When the veggies are almost done add the broccoli, soy sauce, garlic and sriracha and ginger powder. Toss and cook for an additional minute, then remove from heat.
Combine the quinoa, veggies and tofu and boom - deliciousness, in a bowl.


Cait's Plate: Spotlight on Smoothies

Every other week, Caitlin Grams 0f  Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year’s Resolution “to make one new recipe a week”.  This week we learn about the deliciousness and nutritional value of smoothies! Enjoy!

Spotlight on smoothies

I'm on vacation this week, and while the hotel kitchen is not much smaller than the one in my New York apartment, it is really limited in that there is no oven or stove, so my meals this week have been a bit creative. One thing that has been consistent with my regular routine is my smoothies.

Smoothies are something I eat year round, for breakfast, a pre/post workout snack - sometimes even dinner or dessert. It is a quick, easy way to get in a ton of fruits and veggies, and I always make sure to up the protein content with chia seeds and/or nut butters. The ingredients change based on what I have in my kitchen, and lately I've taken to using a food processor instead of a blender - it makes the smoothies thicker so they have almost a sorbet like consistency.

1 banana (I usually use frozen ones that have gotten old and I've stuck in the freezer - a great way to not waste old bananas)
1 cup frozen mixed berries (or fresh when they are in season)
1 cup frozen mango or pineapple
1/2 cup almond milk (or yogurt, or milk of your choice)

2 tablespoons flax and/or chia seeds (for additional protein, fiber, calcium, iron, potassium, omegas, amino acids)
1 tablespoon peanut or almond butter (additional protein, healthy fats)
1 cup kale or spinach (I usually do this when I haven't had a ton of veggies and need an extra boost - you really can't taste it!) 

With the food processor I  throw everything in and pulse until smooth - about 1-2 minutes. Then I pour it in a bowl and if I'm eating as a meal, I'll sometimes add 1/2 cup raw oats or cereal on top for a little extra staying power.

The best part about smoothies is that you can change it up and add whatever you've got in your kitchen. Go crazy!

Cait's Plate: Protein Packed Salads

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of  Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year's Resolution "to make one new recipe a week".  This week she inspires us to make our favorite restaurant dish in our kitchen. Enjoy!

Wheatberry Salad

There are few things in life that make me happier than the Whole Foods salad bar. Tons of different fresh, healthy dishes chock full of veggies - it's heaven. One of my favorite salads that I get every time I treat myself to the Whole Foods salad bar is what they call the Berkley Wheatberry Salad, and last time I was there I realized how simple it must be to make with such few ingredients - I knew I needed to recreate it.

Wheatberries are a whole grain and are packed with fiber, protein and iron. It was my first time preparing them and they are as easy to prepare as rice. They have a chewy, nutty texture, and are great in salads, as a side dish or as a base for breakfast in place of oats.

Wheatberry Salad Recipe:
2 cups cooked wheatberries
1 red pepper
3 stalks of celery
1 apple
3 scallions
1/4 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup chopped pecans



1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Cook 1 cup of dry wheatberries according to package instructions. They take about an hour. While they are cooking, chop the pepper, apple, scallions and celery. Combine ingredients for dressing and set aside. Drain and rinse the wheatberries. Once they have cooled, add chopped vegetables and fruit, dried cranberries and pecans. Toss salad in dressing and enjoy!

Cait's Plate: Tacos with a Twist

Every other week, Caitlin Grams of  Caitlin Lives Well, is bringing us delicious recipes inspired from her New Year's Resolution "to make one new recipe a week".  Our mouth is watering just reading this week's recipe. Enjoy!


Fish Tacos

A 60 degree day in the middle of winter calls for a lighter meal, especially after a tough workout. Often when I'm in training I'm looking for dinners that are going to provide as much nutritional value as possible while still being quick,easy and having few ingredients.  Tilapia is a good choice because it is a great source of protein but low in calories and fat (not to mention it has low levels of mercury). This meal comes together super fast and the flavor is awesome.

Fish Tacos (serves 2)

Main Ingredients:
3 filets of tilapia
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 corn tortillas
1 package coleslaw mix or shredded cabbage

For the Marinade:

2 limes, juiced
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon Chipotle Tabasco 
3 cloves garlic, pressed
1 tablespoon honey
salt and pepper to taste

Lime Sour Cream:
1/2 cup sour cream (I use light sour cream)
1 lime, juiced plus zest

Optional toppings:
Salsa verde
Pepperjack cheese, shredded

Combine the ingredients for the marinade and marinate the tilapia for at least 30 minutes. Heat olive oil in pan over medium high heat and add tilapia with marinade. Cook covered for 5-10 minutes, removing the lid for the last few minutes to reduce the sauce until the fish is firm and flaky - no need to flip. Mix ingredients for lime sour cream. Warm corn tortillas in pan for 1 minute on each side. Add half a filet to each tortilla and cover with a handful of cabbage. Add toppings of your choice and enjoy!


Cait's Plate: Mexican Quinoa Salad

While discussing running goals for 2012 with a friend and fellow runner, Caitlin Grams, Caitlin shared a wonderful 2012 resolution of her own, "To make one new recipe a week."   We loved this resolution so much that we asked if she was interested in choosing a recipe related to running & fitness every other week and share her experiences with us.   Fortunately for all of us, Caitlin loved the idea too and "Cait's Plate" was born.  Please enjoy the first story from Caitlin's cooking adventures this year and if you want to find out more about our dear, miss Caitlin (we highly recommend you do!), check out more of her stories at Caitlin Lives Well

Cait's Plate: Mexican Quinoa Salad

By Caitlin Grams 

Cooking is something that doesn't come naturally to me. When I'm following a recipe it generally goes pretty well, but when I'm trying to come up with something on my own I'm completely out of my comfort zone. This year I'm challenging myself to stretch my cooking muscles. I decided to set a goal of making one meal a week that is new to me - salads, veggie burgers and cereal for dinner don't count! Yikes.

As a runner and mostly vegetarian, I'm always looking for meals that are nutritious and have a good mix of non-animal protein and whole grains to get in some quality carbs. Quinoa is my go-to grain - it is not only high in protein, but is a complete protein, meaning that it has all 9 essential amino acids, including lysine (essential for tissue growth and repair) and riboflavin (necessary for energy production) - aka an athlete's best friend.  Black beans are a great source of protein and fiber, and the olive oil and avocado in this dish add healthy fats. I have almost zero patience, especially in the kitchen, so while I'm still learning I wanted to start with something simple and this salad could not be easier.

Mexican Quinoa Salad


1 cup quinoa, rinsed and prepared according to package directions

1 can black beans, rinsed

1 can corn

1 red pepper, chopped

1 shallot, chopped

2-3 tablespoons fresh cilantro, chopped

1 avocado, chopped


1 lemon, juiced

1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp apple cider vinegar

1 tsp sriracha or hot sauce of your choice

salt and pepper to taste

Directions:  Cook quinoa according to package directions - I always toast it first for a few minutes until it starts turning brown. This gives it a nuttier flavor. After cooking the quinoa, let cool for a few minutes. Add black beans, corn, red pepper, shallot and cilantro. Mix ingredients together for the dressing and add to quinoa. That's it!

I made a huge batch of this and then had it for meals all week - it keeps really well. Plus you can mix it up, add in more peppers, serve it over greens as a salad, wrap it in a whole wheat tortilla as a burrito - go crazy!

Caitlin is a runner, yogi and SoulCycle addict from Seattle who, thanks to Hot Bird, has come to love crushing Harlem Hill repeats. She is an educator at lululemon Soho, a nutrition student, and blogs at Caitlin Lives Well.