Yesterday was National Sibling Day and to celebrate my adorable brother, Gavin, came over after work to hang out. We actually had no idea it was National Sibling Day and just wanted to get in some quality brother-sister bonding time. He probably didn’t realize that I had a 6 mile run in store for him!
My brother is doing the Tough Mudder race next weekend in West Virginia and is not what I would call a long distance runner. I always get frustrated with him that he can lift a few weights, do some crunches, eat whatever he wants and have a 6-pack no matter what. I guess he just got the good genetics in the family because I try to maintain a healthy diet and work really hard to stay in good shape. One major difference between my brother and me is that I actually LOVE to run. It is a great way to get a good cardio workout and allows me to clear my mind. I was especially craving a good run yesterday since the weather has been so nice lately. So I decided to drag my brother with me to help him be prepared for his 13 mile race filled with mud and obstacles. For anyone that doesn’t know what the Tough Mudder is, google it because it is insane. I had the pleasure of cheering my husband on last September with some of his crazy friends and it was the craziest thing I have ever seen.
About a year ago I joined the Lululemon Bethesda Run Club because I was looking for a group of people to run with that loved running as much as I do. Plus it is always fun to run with a group rather than by yourself. I have to admit I haven’t been in the past few months with the cold weather and my busy schedule, but I was so glad to be back at it last night. I love Lululemon’s outlook on fitness, health and overall wellness. “Goal setting is a big part of the culture at Lululemon” and they inspire and challenge their employees and community to create goals for themselves . . . in their careers and health. I know it has challenged me to be more focused on what I want for my health, fitness routine and even inspired me to follow my passion for healthy living by creating this blog. Not to mention I have a serious obsession with their clothes! Lululemon provides fitness enthusiasts with comfortable/stylish workout gear, a community of like-minded health conscious people, goal setting, free community classes like yoga and Run Club, and much more. Sundays I go to their free yoga class when I can and it always leaves me feeling refreshed. I keep telling myself I am going to apply for a part-time job there so I can buy more of their amazing workout gear!
Last night I was so excited to learn that we would be running through the beautiful Kenwood neighborhood in Bethesda. What is so special about Kenwood, besides the beautiful homes and ideal location, is that it is filled with Cherry Blossoms! The Cherry Blossoms were in full bloom last night and it was probably one of the prettiest runs I have ever been on! These beautiful trees line every street and provide such a beautiful scene it make you feel like you are in a magical fairy tale land. I couldn’t believe the amount of people that were out and about driving and walking through the neighborhood. At one turn on our run there were so many people gathered in an open field it made me feel like I was in gorgeous San Francisco. I wish all of my runs could be like this!
My husband, brother and I decided to lengthen the predetermined 3 mile run by separating from the group as they turned back towards Bethesda and continued down to the crescent trail to add another 3 miles to our lovely run. My brother couldn’t remember the last time he ran for that long without stopping, but I bet he is glad he did with his big Tough Mudder race next weekend. If you live in the Bethesda area and are looking for a run club I highly recommend the Lululemon Run Club. It is a fun group of people who share a passion for running and a great place to go to for a good workout. They meet up every Wednesday, rain or shine, in front of the Lululemon store at 6:30pm. They run anywhere from 3-6 miles.
I promised my brother I would cook him a great meal for completing a 6 mile run so I made one of my husband’s favorite chicken dishes with Greek inspired quinoa. This was a perfect protein packed and gluten free dinner to enjoy post run. You have got to try this recipe for greek inspired chicken skewers. They are delicious easy to make and perfect to pair with this Greek Quinoa Dish from With Style & Grace.
Healthy Greek Quinoa Salad
- 1 1/2 cup organic quinoa
- 1 cup low sodium organic chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup organic cucumber, diced
- 1/2 cup organic cherry tomatoes, halved
- 1/4 cup Kalamata olives, sliced
- 1/4 cup red onion, chopped
- 1/2 red pepper
- 2 green onions, chopped
- 1/2 cup feta cheese
- 2 cups spinach (optional for added nutrients).
- 1 lemon juiced
- 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 Tbsp white wine vinegar ( or red wine vinegar … I used one of each)
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- salt & pepper
Rinse quinoa with cold water and set aside. Bring water and chicken broth to a boil. Add quinoa and let boil for 2 minutes. Reduce heat to a simmer and cover quinoa. Let simmer for 15 minutes until all liquid is absorbed. Set aside when done.
While cooking quinoa, combine cucumber, tomatoes, olives, red onions, green onions, red pepper and spinach, if you choose to use it, in a separate bowl . I added the spinach so I could sneak some extra veggies in the dish, but it is perfectly delicious without it … in fact you may prefer it that way.
Whisk together all ingredients for the dressing and add to quinoa.
Stir together and top with feta cheese.
Serve with your chicken skewers and tzatziki sauce.
My brother was so impressed and said “this is better than Cava!” This also makes for a wonderful buffet option at your next get-together.