The Best Salmon Chowder Ever

It is still full-on soup season here as we got another several inches of snow last night. (When will it stop!?!) To cope, I made a batch of this Salmon Chowder yesterday after an afternoon of playing outside with Cullen in the snow and building “Olaf.” (Have I mentioned that Cullen is OBSESSED with the movie Frozen?) Not only was this bowl of soup comforting after being outside, and it tastes phenomenal!

I received a Salmon Chowder recipe from a friend 9 years ago but morphed it into my own, and I realized I published a different variation of this recipe seven years ago! (Please don’t mind the horrible photos!) Well, it was time to update the recipe slightly and the pictures more than anything because this recipe is a winner.

It comes together very quickly in about 30 minutes, which is great for a weeknight after work. Craig loved the recipe and Cullen gobbled it right up as well. The salmon was caught by someone in my family (most likely Craig or my father-in-law). They can most of the salmon they catch, which makes it very easy to add to the soup.

Salmon Chowder

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 large onion, chopped

2 stalks of celery, chopped

1 teaspoon garlic powder

2 cups potatoes, diced

2 carrots, chopped

1 – 14 oz can low-sodium chicken broth

1 teaspoon dried dill

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon pepper

16 oz. canned salmon

1 – 12 oz. can fat-free evaporated milk

1 – 15 oz. can corn

3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded

Directions

  1. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, celery, and garlic powder to pot and saute until vegetables are tender.
  3. Add potatoes, carrots, broth, dill, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer for 20 minutes or until potatoes are tender.
  5. Stir in salmon, evaporated milk, corn, and cheese. Cook until heated through.

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Daily Vitamin Ritual

I thought I’d share what vitamins I take each day. I have an “old person” container I fill each week, so I know if I’ve taken my vitamins each day. It is kind of cheesy, but hey, it works.

I’ve been taking most of the same vitamins for several years now. I use vitamins only to fill in the nutritional gaps I may have missed with the food in my diet. I don’t depend upon them, but use them as a way to ensure I am getting the right amount of vitamins and minerals each day.

Women’s Multivitamin

I have been taking this Rainbow Light Women’s One Multivitamin for several years now. It has great reviews on Amazon, and I like that it is 100% natural. I’ve never had problems with it making my stomach upset. (I do remember having problems with the Wal-Mart Equate brand.). The only thing that didn’t work for my body was the lower value of iron in the supplement. I’ve struggled with anemia in the past, and the 6 mg of iron (33% of your daily value) in this multivitamin wasn’t enough for my needs and high running volume.

Prenatal Vitamin

Several years ago, at a general check-up, the nurse practitioner recommended I start taking a prenatal vitamin one year prior to getting pregnant, so about a year out from when Craig and I were ready to try for a baby, I started taking this Rainbow Light Prenatal One Vitamin. I chose this one because I liked the Rainbow Light Women’s multivitamin, so I decided to stick with this brand. I continue to take this prenatal because I will likely be getting pregnant sometime within the next year. Plus, it also has a much higher dosage of iron (30 mg), which my body needs when I’m running a lot.

Iron

Last winter I had a bout with anemia where I was really struggled during tempo/speed workouts. It took me a while, but I realized it was because my body didn’t have enough iron. After realizing how much iron my body needs, I made sure to take an iron supplement in addition to my multivitamin. I’ve chosen this brand because the amount of iron is higher than most other brands I’ve looked at. This Nature Made Iron has 65 mg, which is 361% of daily value. That’s a lot of iron (in addition to what’s in my multivitamin), but it’s what works for me!

Fish Oil

The third supplement I take consistently is fish oil. I really like this Pure Alaska Omega brand as the oil is from wild Alaskan salmon. Occasionally I’ll burp a fishy taste, but it isn’t often. I get it at Costco, and I’ve been using it for several years now.

Glucosamine

I’ve taken glucosamine on-and-off over the years. To be honest, I can’t tell if it has helped, but I figure it can’t hurt. Glucosamine is supposed to help with joint flexbility and cushioning. I think most people who take it are elderly/older and have chronic joint pain. I’ve heard other runners taking it for joint repair and trying to keep everything in top-working condition, so I figured it was worth a shot. I know the second summer my mileage peaked at 100 miles I was taking this, and I felt like I recovered from each run a lot better (but then again my body already had some conditioning from running the high mileage before).

Hair, Skiny, and Nail Supplement

I took this hair, skin, and nail supplement for a few weeks, but after taking it for a while, I started to smell a metallic-y smell coming from myself. After trying to figure out what it was, I’m 95% sure it was this supplement. I initially took the supplement to see if my hair would grow faster, but I wasn’t willing to smell a metallic-y smell all day long.

Question

What supplements do you take?

Getting Outside Your Comfort Zone

If you want to become a faster runner, the first thing you must do is be able to get outside your comfort zone.

I’ve worked with a lot of runners–individually through my online coaching services and in-person with several training groups at Skinny Raven. Sometimes the #1 thing that runners could do that would immediately improve their performance is pushing themselves to get outside of their comfort zone (when appropriate!).

We all have a pace we are very comfortable running: we can carry on a conversation with a running buddy, saying a few words at a time. And once we’ve established some base to our training, this comfortable pace should feel pretty easy most days. (There will be days where even the easy pace feels hard.)

 

However, some runners (definitely not all!) make the mistake of running this comfortable pace all the time–in their training runs as well as on race day. I see it occasionally the end of a race: a runner is coming down the homestretch of the race, they are running a comfortable pace but suddenly they see the finish line. They immediately crank it up several notches and have a seemingly unknown burst of energy. They sprint the last 50 meters of the race and pass a handful of other runners in the process. (Why do I always imagine a guy doing this?) Every time I see this, I think to myself, “How much faster could they have run had they been pushing themselves like that throughout the entire race?” (Not at that same speed but at least at that intensity level.)

Sometimes racing technique comes from inexperience, as we’ve all seen it with little kids: they start out racing at a full-out sprint, die after 200 meters, and then suddenly get motivated to kick it in when they see the finish line again. (Even us adults do it to a lesser degree!) Other times, it is just easier and more comfortable to stay at a pace that doesn’t hurt, doesn’t burn the lungs and legs, and doesn’t put us in a potential spot to fail.

It takes a lot of practice (and patience!) to run even splits throughout a race. However, that doesn’t mean we can’t learn to pace ourselves appropriately hard and become comfortable with the uncomfortable. The easy pace is comfortable, familiar, and not too exhausting, but those things don’t get us PRs or test the limits of our body. If you want to achieve new personal records and see what you are capable of, then you must learn to push your body and get out of your comfort zone.

Outside the comfort zone, we train our bodies to keep pushing when we want to give up mentally. We learn to test the limits of our body and see what we are capable of.

Here are a few ways to push past that comfortable pace:

  • wear a heart rate monitor to see if you are training at the appropriate intensity.
  • run with a buddy and see how your breathing compares.
  • use a running calculator to see what your average pace should be depending upon the workout.
  • at the end of the race, ask yourself, “Did I give it my all, or could I have pushed harder?”

BUT with all of this said, we need to make sure we aren’t “racing to train,” but are “training to race.” It would be harmful to your training if you ran every workout as if it were a race. There are times to push hard, but there are also times to take it easy because we can’t get faster without proper rest either.

Last Week’s Workouts + My New Favorite Running Socks

I’ve been at a standstill with my hip issue. (I don’t know what to call it since it doesn’t seem like a labral tear, even though that is the only thing I’ve been diagnosed as having.)

It  hurts nearly every time I run outside. The loose snow always aggravates it, but even on days where the sidewalks and roads have been plowed, it still doesn’t feel great. The “pain” is very minimal–a ‘1’ on a scale of pain level. Really it is more of an awareness it is there and working a little harder than the other side. The treadmill and indoor running have never bothered it, which makes me want the snow to go away even more! And fortunately speed has not bothered it either, so I’ve been having some successful tempo workouts on the treadmill with no problems.

I have made a lot of progress since this last summer and fall, but I wish it was 100% better. I have tried running really flat routes, different shoes, and inserts, but none of those things seem to matter. I’ve been doing my glute exercises and exercises from the physical therapist, but those don’t necessarily seem to be helping either. Hopefully just a little more time and patience will heal it completely.

I’ve been running right around 40 miles for the past month with one long run and one tempo workout each week. I’ve been doing the tempo workout on the treadmill because the snow-covered roads are not conducive to running fast. As much as I dislike the treadmill, the tempo workout goes by fairly fast because I am constantly changing up the speed. Here’s a look at my workouts from this past week.

Monday

5 miles | easy run | 9:37 average pace

30 minutes of weights at the gym

Easy run with a friend. Slow-going but that’s always the case in the winter. My hip was achy by the end of this run, but the achy-ness went away as soon as I was done running. I went to the gym after the run to do some weight lifting before I had to be back home.

Tuesday

40 minutes rock climbing

Off – I ran 5 days in a row, so it was time to take a day off. I did go rock climbing (bouldering) for 40 minutes in the morning, so I did get some good upper body strength work in again.

Wednesday

9 miles | tempo workout

5 x 5 minutes @ 6:35 pace

4 x 45 seconds @ 5:50, 5:45, 5:40, 5:30 pace –> progressively faster

This was such a good workout for me! I felt so good and stronger than I did last week, when I did a similar workout at 6:40 pace. This came a lot easier, and I wasn’t dying quite as much at the end. I still have a lot of work to do, but this definitely boosted my confidence.

Thursday

7 miles | easy run | 9:04 average pace

45 minutes of weights at the gym

This was an easy run with a friend. My hip was okay during the first half, but it started hurting during the second half of the run. We ran a really flat route because I’m pretty sure hills aggravate my hip even more.

Friday

6 miles | easy stroller run | 9:19 average pace

I ran with the stroller. Cullen still enjoys riding in the stroller, which makes me so happy. I did entice him with a run to the airport, and there were a lot of things to keep him distracted along the way: 2 moose, airplanes, school buses, snow plows, and an airplane landing on skis. I had to stop a lot, but I’m okay with that because it doesn’t happen during every run.

Saturday

Off – I was debating about doing my long run this morning, but it didn’t work out logistically, so I pushed it back to Sunday.

Sunday

11 miles | long run | 9:12 average pace

My hip was achy during the last 4 miles of this run. I took it easy, ran slow, and did my best not to be hyper-aware of the hip discomfort and alter my gait as well. It was 6 degrees during this run. Boo! I want summer back!

Total miles: 38 miles

Since working at the running store, I’ve been introduced to a lot of high-end things–socks included. Prior to this, I think I ran in C9 Target brand running socks, Adidas socks from Costco, and some Nikes. I didn’t necessarily hate them, but now that I’ve been introduced to even better socks, it is hard to go back to the cheap, 3-pack socks. I’ve shared my love for Feetures socks before (which I still really like), but I do love Stance running socks even more.

The quality is awesome, I love the left and right foot specific fit, they haven’t stretched out or faded like other brands, and you can’t beat the fun patterns and designs. I love the crew height in the winter to keep my ankles warm, the no-show tab socks for training runs, and the ‘lite’ no-show socks for race day.

I also absolutely love these Bliss Super Invisible socks. They have several ‘super invisible’ socks, which are perfect for booties or when you don’t want your socks to be seen. They DO NOT slip off my heel, and the colors and patterns are so much fun.

Cullen and I have a low-key day planned with a trip to the dog park, blog work during nap time, and some Greek bison burgers for dinner. And that will probably be our day because it is crazy how much time those things will take when you are also caring for and watching a toddler.

Friday Favorites

Happy Friday, everyone!

My week flew by, and I am finally getting a post up for the week. I was busy getting some quality workouts in, playing in the snow with Cullen, running a million errands, and trying new recipes in the kitchen. I’ve got some new favorites listed below, so I hope you enjoy!

Coffee-Vanilla Peanut Butter

If you follow me on Instagram or Snapchat (username: therunnersplate), you know how much I love this Coffee-Vanilla Peanut Butter from the cookbook Run Fast Eat Slow. I literally cannot stop eating this by the spoonful. This is the second time I’ve made the recipe, and I know I will be making it several times in the future. It has such a good flavor, and it is super easy to make (no roasting nuts!).

Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea

I love sipping on a cup of tea in the afternoon while plugging away at the computer during Cullen’s nap time/quiet time. This Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea is the perfect tea for when my sweet tooth hits after lunch. I know it is a little past the holiday season (hence why it was on sale), but that’s not going to stop me.

Tofu Tacos

Make these right away! These Tofu Tacos are so-so-so good, and I will definitely be making them again. Craig loved them as well, which says a lot. The fresh veggies, homemade sauce, and lime juice flavoring put these over the top.

 

SFH Recovery Protein Powder

It is hard to find a protein powder that tastes good when only added to almond milk, coconut water, or something along those lines. This SFH Recovery Protein Powder is the best-tasting “plain” protein powder I’ve found. I like that I can quickly add a scoop of it to almond milk before heading to the gym so I have something to eat right after I finish my workout. The ingredient list is also very minimal, which is a big plus in my book.

Beautycounter Charcoal Cleansing Bar

Teri from A Foodie Stays Fit got me hooked on Beautycounter products. So far I’ve tried the tinted moisturizer, the concealer, and this Charcoal Cleansing Bar. I keep this bar in the shower and use it 3-4 times per week. It does a really good job of removing any impurities and leaving my skin feeling really soft afterwards. I’d highly recommend it for use after a sweaty workout or whenever your skin feels like it needs a deeper cleanse.

 

Frye Gemma Short Shearling Boots

I didn’t have a good pair of boots that I could slip on quickly to run errands or wear to-and-from places. I was holding out for the right pair, and I am so glad I waited because I absolutely love these Frye Gemma Short Shearling Boots. They are super warm (too warm to wear inside!), comfortable to wear for longer periods of time, and not at all slippery on the bottom, which is essential for our winters here.

DL Florence Instasculpt Skinny

I bought these DL Florence Instasculpt Cropped Jeans at the Her Tern sale, and I was a little unsure of them because I didn’t know how much I would wear gray jeans, but admittedly I have worn them three times within the past week, so I think that says I like them.

 

Gap Sweater

I sadly have too few sweaters in my wardrobe for living in Alaska. I’ve purchased sweaters in the past, but I never end up liking them that much, so I’ve given most away. However, I now I have one that I love! This Honeycomb Cable Knit Sweater is super warm, comfy, and the sleeves are nice and long. I’ve already worn this several time and plan to wear it often in the months to come. (Yes, winter will be here for a few more months. Ugh!)

And this, here, is my favorite kid playing in the snow. It has been a cold winter, so with the warmer temperatures this week, Cullen and I have been able to get outside play in the backyard. I shoveled some paths through the thigh-deep snow, Cullen ate snow, and he also talked constantly about “reindeer kid movie” (a.k.a. Frozen).

I hope you have a fabulous weekend!