Archives for December 2012

Teed Up for 2013

There is a ton of anticipation for 2013. Ok, so there was a lot of anticipation for 2012 that didn’t quite bust the bubble it was supposed to.

But there is a difference…and I am feeling totally teed up.

Personally, Professionally…Privately, Publicly…Awesomesauce!

Trying to make this idea flow, inspiration comes from a very typical source ~ my smart as hell friends. Madeline wrote this amazing post. Then I had the opportunity to spend some quality time with her (aka we went on a run together). It took me more time to get my heart rate up than it did to realize she is a wonderful person. I love it when that happens with my blogger buddies.

So, because I like her so much, I am stealing it 🙂 The answers to these questions form my tee box…and I am super ready to swing away 🙂

1. Best Race Experience 

My blog – I am picking 2. CrimeStoppers Azalea Run 10k and the Color Vibe 5k.

I picked up 2 notable running buddies this year. My beautiful sister in law and my amazing 6 year old.

Melissa and I started working out together early this year. By some manner of deception, I convinced her to start running with me. By May, she was hooked and agreed to her first race, CrimeStoppers Azalea Run 10k – no baby steps for her 🙂 Now Melissa routinely leaves me in the fetal position crying in the gym. On the open road however, she struggles with temperature regulation and hydration balance. What she doesn’t struggle with is heart.

That 6.2 miles was not the easiest thing she had ever done. It was a cake walk for me. She ran the better race. She accomplished the bigger thing. She was the better runner.

Mel and April and EmilyWatching her do what she did inspired me to not be a wuss. There is no improvement, no heart, no accomplishment in doing that which is easy.

2013 has been given the inspiration and the example to go big.

Being with her reminded me that go fast, go hard, go best does not always equal winning. Sometimes being that team player is the best thing you can do. How appreciative I am of Taryn, Madeline, Tony, Dan, and my other runner family members who turn off their bionic abilities and pretend to be mortal for me so that I can get better.

2013 is the year of community of helping hands.

My last race of the year was one for the books. My Turtle (her nickname bestowed far before we realized she was a runner) ran her first 5k! She ran that race with an average pace of 12:57/mile. And it was fun!

PorgieI have loved being a mommy at every single stage of the journey. And I really love babies. But I don’t have any babies any more. That milestone was crossed when I sat on the kitchen floor and cried when the baby lost her first tooth (which caused Porgie to cry because she had made mommy sad – it was not my finest moment).

But my children are becoming (far too quickly) people. They have interests and abilities and talents. They can be involved in very real ways.

2013 is the year that I commit to seeing my children with better vision and involve myself more fully into thriving – not just surviving.

2. Best Run

Marathon2012 was the year of my first marathon. I was supremely nervous. The training was going great until I fractured my right heel. Then I got nervous…really nervous. Then the demons started lurking in my head. Could I really even do it? Am I really a runner? What was I thinking getting into this running business anyway? Well meaning folks didn’t help very much. There was a lot of “consolation” and interestingly worded “I told you so”s. I don’t count it against anyone’s character. Most folks really were trying to be helpful and concerned. They didn’t realize that they were feeding the witch that was already in my head.

As race day got closer, I couldn’t help but remember what it looked like the year before. I resolved to run the race. I figured I could to it in under 5 hours. After my first run back, I settled on a goal time of 4:30. After my last long training run, my mind dared to toy with a sub 4 hour time.

I finished 3:59:43. 7th overall from Richmond Hill. The 1st 31324 woman across the finish line.

2013 is the year of confidence and self esteem.

3. Best new piece of gear

On Valentine’s Day my husband bought me the Breville Juice Fountain. What? That doesn’t sound like running gear to you? I assert that it absolutely is. This piece of kitchen equipment is the symbol of my commitment to take better care of this body God has given me. There have been some monumental changes in my approach to health. Those changes have positively enhanced every single area of my life, not the least of which is being a better runner.

2013 is the year of follow through. Great changes are only effective if they become habit, not fad.

4. Best running advice you received

“Honey, you seem a little irritable. Maybe you should go for a run.” ~ Love, The Husband

2013 is the year of remembering my spirit and nurturing my heart.

5. Most inspirational runner

I am going to admit, there is a laundry list I could put here. The running community that I have had the privilege of being involved with includes some of the most amazing people I have ever met. Along with those already mentioned here, I also have come into the amazing presence of

  • Tim Waz, the ultimate cool kid who takes the time to make everyone else feel like the cool kid too
  • Victoria Hickling, who I am convinced doesn’t even know the meaning of the phrase “negative thought”
  • Dawn Baker, embodies the word “tenacity” and single-handedly made me the coolest big sister. Ever.
  • Gary Davis who has the keenest ability to place encouragement in the perfect way, at the perfect time

And I could continue…for quite some time.

And as long as I went, I would come back to Sandra. An unexpected blessing in my life, Sandra opened a natural running store, Georgia Game Changers, right here in my little town. The store would be freaking awesome just because of its inventory. But its owner makes it exceptional. If ever an individual could be described as coming from contribution, it would be Sandra. A lot of folks will say it’s not about the money. Sandra is one of the few times I believe it.

2013 is the year of professional focus. Good business changes lives.

6.  If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be?

Teed Up

🙂

Getting Grip on Goals with Gratitude

gratitudeYou like what I did up there with that title I know.

This list was supposed to be done in response to Thursday’s Elf 4 Health Challenge. There were a lot of neat little “Thankful Thursday” posts.

So now it is Friday, I am late and missed the Thursday catchy title day. And by being late, I feel the need to amp up the idea to justify why I couldn’t just bang out 20 things yesterday.

And so I have.

December 26 – December 31 are six of my most favorite days of the year. Christmas (music) is over and we can all relax. New Years Eve is coming up and that is fun. And a whole, new, blank, exciting calendar is waiting to be unwrapped.

Awesome.

These six days are simply perfect for reflection and projection. Until you hit a brain block and freeze up.

Fortunately for me, I have super smart friends. Myers Barnes posted a great video on goal setting yesterday. There is a ton of cool in this video. This quote broke open the freeze ~

Success is driving ambition with a written goal…I can’t actually give you driving ambition but what I can do is give you the plan. So I will give you the plan if you supply the driving ambition.

It clicked.

Reflection and projection work so well together because gratitude writes its own goals.

Let me put it another way ~ the things I am thankful for create my driving ambition. If I can articulate those things that I am appreciative of in 2012, I can channel ambition into a written goal set with a plan for 2013.

I now worked the process ~

  • I sat down and identified 10 aspects of my person (professional and personal) that makes the main of who I am (yes, I did 10 on purpose because it made 20 easy)
  • I wrote down two things I am thankful for in each category
  • I correlated those two 2012 gratitude with two 2013 goals

Faith

Gratitude ~ for a grace and a love from a God who knew me before conception
Goal ~ spend quality and intentional time in study and prayer

Gratitude ~ for the women in my church who consistently encourage, motivate, and make me smile
Goal ~ to be a productive member in my parish to pass on what they have done for me to others

Mark and April Wife

Gratitude ~ for a husband who loves me totally, flaws and all
Goal ~ to return that love not because he does, but because I do

Gratitude ~ a husband to strives everyday to be the man God has called him to be
Goal ~ to be the kind of wife that God has called me to be

Mother

Gratitude ~ the gift of motherhood
Goal ~ to grow in patience, wisdom, and time management to give them the best in me

Gratitude ~ for daughters who are different, strong, smart, gifted, talented, interesting and amazing
Goal ~ to strive to create an environment that nurtures, promotes, and allows for their ability to grow and expand

Sister, Friend, Family

Gratitude ~ for those family and like family folks who continue to be such a blessing to me
Goal ~ to be more available as an ear, a shoulder, a companion and to be more mindful of the needs of others

Gratitude ~ for those friends and families who sacrifice so much to keep us safe
Goal ~ to be more prayerful and attentive to the needs of those who stand the watch at home while loved ones stand the watch elsewhere

Home

Gratitude ~ a house rich with love and history
Goal ~ to be a better steward of that home

Gratitude ~ to have a home at all
Goal ~ look for ways to help others who are struggling with the basic needs in life

Citizen

Gratitude ~ to live in a country where I am free to pursue life, liberty, and happiness
Goal ~ to be a better steward of my God given talents in a way that allows for the life improvement of many

Gratitude ~ to live in country where freedoms and rights are embedded in our founding
Goal ~ to respect those rights by watching that my words are respectful, my thoughts truthful, and my actions honorable

AprilHealth

Gratitude ~ for a body that is mine
Goal ~ to treat my cells as the prized possession they are with better choices in fuel, function, and fun

Gratitude ~ for my runner family
Goal ~ to strive for my personal greatness on the tracks, roads, and trails while encouraging others to do the same

Writer

Gratitude ~ to be able to put nouns and verbs together in such a way that touches people
Goal ~ to be mindful that words heal or hurt depending on the deliverer and the responsibility to be genuine is a great one

Gratitude ~ to be able to convey thoughts that allow me to keep my own mind clear
Goal ~ to respect that writing is more than a hobby and to keep it as priority for a number of reasons

Real Estate Professional

Gratitude ~ to belong to a community of people who strive to conduct business in an honorable and community enhancing way
Goal ~ to contribute to this organization to my fullest capacity with character and quality as mission one

Gratitude ~ my expanded network of professionals who epitomize coming from contribution
Goal ~ to remember that a rising ship carries all higher and that my responsible contribution to the curation is important

Now that step 1 is complete…I leave you to work on step 2…curious what that is? It’s up there in the video 🙂

So maybe I am a Little Stuck Up (and a Pasta Vegan Tapenade Thingy for Kicks)

If you have not read this, (I will tell you about my diet and fitness choices…but we have to talk about this first) please do that first. Seriously. Thanks 🙂

Yeah, that will be at the beginning of all these posts. I am kinda serious about it. I realize I can be kinda snarky, this topic is kinda sensitive, and we all beat ourselves up enough. It is important to me that you know that is NOT happening here.

If you missed my First Steps
…or Some Excuses

And it you need an explanation on the today’s title, you can find that here.

And in all honesty, I don’t think I am stuck up at all…in fact, I think I am the epitome of what a pain in the ass does NOT look like. And I am humble too! 😉

In all seriousness (okay, mostly seriousness), I know I have addressed this shift already. Recently, in fact. However, in my journey to continue to actually EAT on a regular basis, I have found (although a bit unexpected) a giddy excitement over my new culinary endeavors. So I am posting about them. A lot. And (very unexpectedly) I am getting asked about them. A lot.

So, I am going to start sharing them here. And I want you to know. I am a militant about it.

  • I have turned down Egg Nog
  • I did not partake in the traditional Krystals carnage
  • I am not excited about enchiladas
  • I know it is just a little milk
  • I know it is bacon

But I honestly am not interested. Seriously. I have discovered rather quickly that if this is a path I continue to choose (such an important point) that I do not have to make exceptions if I don’t want to. And, I don’t want to. At least not right now.

UntitledSo know that yes, I decline it all. Please do not be offended. I seriously don’t mean it to be. I am not judging (and I don’t find that phrase to be inappropriate in this context). In fact

  • I can still eat out with you
  • I will still do the grocery shopping
  • I can fend for myself
  • I will still cook your favorite omni dishes
  • I will share a table with you while you eat them
Excerpt from "Crazy, Sexy, Diet" by Kris Carr

Excerpt from “Crazy, Sexy, Diet” by Kris Carr

However, I also think Kris Carr is on to something. And I am identifying more and more with thoughts like this everyday:

“Ethical veganism results in a profound revolution within the individual; a complete rejection of the paradigm of oppression and violence that she has been taught from childhood to accept as the natural order. It changes her life and the lives of those with whom she shares this vision of nonviolence. Ethical veganism is anything but passive; on the contrary, it is the active refusal to cooperate with injustice.” – Gary L. Francione (via Kiss Me, I’m Vegan)

And I still can’t run…so I have to find something to write about 🙂

So you will see, at least for now, some vegan food posts. Most are inspired from others (to which I will give credit). Others are just “hey, what’s in the pantry?” type dishes. Some will NOT be healthy. They will be shameless ploys to get my children to not turn up their noses every time the word “vegan” is whispered.

*Note – in the same way that organic, all natural, low fat, fat free, low calorie, etc. does not always equal “healthy” – neither does “vegan.” You can eat nothing but Mint Oreos your entire life – they are green, they are vegan, and you will die (sorry Gary) 🙂 

In the interest of time, I will leave you with one of the simplest (and to date my favorite) meal. This was born out of a “hey-I-am-hungry-right-now” pantry raid. It was amazing (and has no name).

Pasta Veggie TapenadeThat Pasta Mixed Veggie Thing

Ingredients

1 cup dried pasta
1 cup frozen mixed veggies
2tbs Olive Tapenade
2tbs Annie’s Roasted Red Pepper Dressing some kind of vegan dressing (see notes)
1tbs capers

Directions

  1. Boil pasta per directions. Thrown in the mixed veggies with about 6 or 7 minutes left on the cook time. Strain water.
  2. Combine all ingredients.
  3. Eat and be happy.

Notes

  • Season water for pasta to taste. I used a  Peach Gnocchetti Sardi with salt, pepper, garlic, and cumin
  • Use whatever veggies you like. I used green bean/peas/corn/carrot mix. Different varieties would work. Fresh or canned would work. You will find that while I appreciate and attempt to use fresh, local, organic, I am also a firm believer that frozen, canned, shipped is better than a Big Mac. But that’s just me.
  • There are different versions of tapenade. My pre-vegan favorite had anchovies in it. I used a Vegan variety and it is still so good.
  • Use whatever dressing you like. Annie’s Roasted Red Pepper happens to be my favorite right now (which in writing this post and linking to the site, I realized is NOT vegan…DAMN…as it contains honey which I obviously missed when I first read the ingredients ..work in progress baby) 
  • Don’t like capers? Ok, so that’s weird, but feel free to leave them out.

 

Newtown – My Thoughts (for whatever that is worth)

When a person first decides to blog, they think that they are setting out on a journey just to document activities, stories, great tips, maybe even interesting products that they try. However, we often don’t realize, sometimes even until you are years into it, that there is a pretty big responsibility that comes with tapping out keys on a keyboard and pushing “publish.” However, in the life of every blogger, (at least the ones I know) events will happen that remind us just what kind of undertaking it is to commit thoughts on paper.

Friday was one of those events.

There has been a great deal written on the events in Newtown. I hesitate to add to them. In all honesty, what is there really to say? The horribleness is unimaginable. The grief, overwhelming. Any offers of condolences, so far from adequate.

It is understandable that we turn into ourselves in an attempt in some way to explain why this unspeakable happened. We have seen a great deal of this turn into intense arguments. From God to guns, healthcare to parenting, people try to make sense of the why and to create safeguards for the future.

There is a lot I could say at this point. I do have my opinions, but none of that will bring those babies back. I do have my ideas on what a better world looks like. However, none of those will return those teachers to their families.

So while there is a lot that could be said, allow me to focus simply on this one point.

It is my honest belief that we argue fight, debate, and even get angry with one another not because we harbor animosity to our fellow man, but because we all wish to protect life.

When I step back and look over many issues of contention, at the root is not general disdain for another human being. It is not a total disregard for the opinions of others. In fact, I believe, outside of politics, many of these ideas are put forth with an honest and genuine desire of people to leave our world better than we found it.

The travesty that was Friday is tragic on many levels. The startling realization that the most innocent are not safe is among them. This deficiency cuts to the primal instinct in most of our hearts to protect our young. Issues like gun control, the war on drugs, healthcare, religion and philosophy, moral fortitude, parental responsibility, food sourcing, vaccination, media consumption, and a host of other controversial topics, have, at their center, a common goal of innocence protection. Regardless of which side of the topics one finds themselves on, the end game for the masses is protection.

In my summation, this is the idea that I will choose in my personal life to focus on. This decision came about for a few reasons.

One, the gravity of the situation as a whole is just too much to process at one time. God bless the families. I don’t know how they do it. They are in my prayers constantly.

Two, it is soul sucking to assume that people who believe differently than I do have despicable intentions. Moreover, who in their right mind contributes to things that they know to be soul sucking? Call it optimism, Pollyanna, rose-colored glasses. I choose today what I chose yesterday; that people, in general, as a whole, are a good and decent species. I find no reason to behave as if the reverse is true, even if it is.

Lastly, it is the only change I can actually make right now. I will continue to listen to the differing opinions of all people. Well that’s not true. I will listen to the differing opinions of good people. I reference back to point number two. Soul suckers, regardless of their information, are of no use to me. Despite what some people claim, I believe the messenger is often just as important as the message.

Nevertheless, I will continue to listen to the messages – even if they don’t sound like mine. And I will continually make the choices that I feel protects the innocents in my direct control. It is the only thing I can do.

I choose to protect my house with God and guns. Until and unless I am convinced that there is a better way, this is the best I can do. If another house has determined a better way for them, I respect that.

I choose to protect my house with healthier choices. We all know that I am not perfect. We all know that I am an imperfect parent. Quite frankly, you are too. However, I do believe that media consumption, electronic interaction, food engineering, and physical activity all contribute to physical and mental health. I will continue to attempt to make better choices in those areas today than I did yesterday. Should other homes research things on their own and make different decisions, I respect that.

In all, I encourage that we continue to share ideas. Express pain and comfort one another, and in all things remember that both sides of any given issue probably have the best of intentions. Quite frankly, if you believe that they don’t, why have the conversation anyway?

The travesty of Newtown contains in it the shock of seeing respect for life totally disregarded. Let us not repeat that same travesty over and over again in our dealings with each other.

God bless you all.

Merrell Christmas to All and to All a Good Trail Run

Christmas came a little early this year to this runner. Not that couldn’t have waited until Christmas. I totally could have. Unfortunately, my training couldn’t.

Thanksgiving morning I had the opportunity to meet up with some run buddies at Rails to Trails for a pre-turkey binge run. This was my first time running the trail in my beloved Vibram Bikilas. The small gravel and dirt portions were fine. The rocky sections – not so much. I had to start considering whether or not these were, in fact, the only shoe I would ever need.

Understand that barefoot and minimalist running changed a lot about who I am as a runner and a person. It was the catalyst into a more natural approach to life in general. It solved my knee and hip issues and shaved my time. Actual barefoot running is one of the most fun things I have done in a long time. Talk about feeling 8 years old again! Couple that with the fact that the last time I ran in “regular” shoes, I got shin splints (a condition I am still dealing with).

2012-07-23 06.52.57I am not interested in “real” shoes.

However, I am not unreasonable. I am not interested in rock bruises either.

Then came the run out at Savage Island. This is a beautiful run…but it is rocky in sections. The choice was clear. If I was going to run a 50k in January on rough terrain, I needed new shoes now.

So where in Richmond Hill does a runner go for new shoes? Georgia Game Changers of course! Sandra and I went through a couple of options and I narrowed it down to two. Awesomely enough, Sandra has a BOX OF ROCKS in the store so that I could get a real idea of the differences. The best method I found of choosing between the two was to wear each of them at the same time time.

Merrell Mix MastersI preferred the other shoe as it was thinner and closer in feel to my Bikilas. However, the whole reason I needed new shoes was protection from rough terrain. And the Merrell Mix Masters in that Island Green was an awesome looking shoe!

After logging a few runs in them I can tell you this – I bought a great shoe.

In all honesty, I do not like then as much as my Vibrams. However, I never expected to. While they only outweigh the Bikilas by less than 5 ounces, they feel heavy and clunky on my feet. This feeling has decreased a bit over time. InjinjiI have also found that wearing the Injinji socks gives a little normalcy to my feet even when I am not in the Vibrams.

However, the benefits clearly overcome this as they perform beautifully for the purpose for which I bought them.

They have a slight 4mm drop from heel to toe. This is small enough so that I don’t feel my stride or strike affected a whole lot by the change. The first mile or so takes a bit more concentration, but it settles in quickly.

I can feel the ground without feeling the ground. The sole is thick enough to protect the balls of my feet from the rougher surfaces. However, it is still thin enough that I can feel the ground and make stride corrections naturally.

My time still tracks with my Bikilas. I don’t have to slow down or get nervous while crossing the tougher terrain.

Look out Ledesma Rails to Trails 50k. I am geared up now 🙂

Other notes

  • shoe costs around $100 and comes in a variety of colors (none as awesome as the Island Green though)
  • I usually wear a size 9. I bought a 10. It feels big for about the first mile and then settles in fine. My foot feels able to spread, stretch, and expand. And…I haven’t lost a toenail yet!
  • I have tried different varieties of Injinji socks. Midweight has been my go to in the Bikilas but the thinner ones work fine in the Merrells
  • When in doubt, ask Sandra
  • The Ledesma Rails to Trails run offers 5k and 25k options as well so click on over and sign up. You can do a 5k. If you just ran the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half, you can do a 25k. If you did the full, the 50k is only a few more miles. Let’s go!
  • I have received no compensation for any of the products listed in this article (but I am totally open to the idea 😉 )

Meatless Monday…and Every Vegan Day After That

If you travel around the interwebs at all, you may have some across the regular posts from various bloggers participating in something called “Meatless Monday.” I am not sure of the origins and I am going to declare that it be not important for today’s discussion (read: I don’t feel like researching it, but would love to know, so if you know, do tell!)

The Meatless Monday website is pretty cool. It has a lot of neat resources. One of my favorite is the Kids Cook Monday (but that is a topic all by itself). You can also find some other neat bloggers that participate. A few to get you started

In our home, a meatless day is not odd. As Catholics, “Fish Stick Fridays” have been pretty common during Lent. *As an aside, it looks like there is a push to bring that observance back to encompass the entire year – also a topic for another day.

In my personal life, plant heavy has not been odd over the past year due to recent health changes. As you may be aware, plant heavy went to vegan (at least as far as eats) a week ago, almost to the hour, today.

The idea, as you can imagine, prompted a bit of interest and concern, particularly over the time of the year. And my “simply don’t want it” response was true. It was also only early day 3.

However, in all honesty, it is still true.

Don’t get me wrong, there have been some challenges. However desire has not been one of them. Images keep coming to my mind of those factory animals…instead of appetite, it now produces nausea. But I want to focus on the forward movement today as it has been an interesting (and exciting!) week.

Coming Out – Discussions with family and friends have been the most interesting part of this week. Because I live in such a meat and potatoes family, I kinda had to determine pretty quick how to not be a pain in the ass about the whole thing. Do I think this is important and right? Yes. Do I think my family as a whole would benefit from this shift? Yes. Do I think that making my kids watch baby chickens get chopped up alive and refusing to cook my husband’s favorite meals achieves that goal? Yeah, no.

So I made a conscience effort to watch my obnoxious level. What I found were people are generally curious and supportive – right up to the point where realize your meatless extends past Monday and includes all forms of animal products. Then you get “the look.”

In the end, in depth conversations that included me strenuously defending veganism were born not out of my desire to convert, but others desire to convince me that my choice for myself was irrational. However, a concentration on self choice and non judgement usually resulted in great and supportive conversation.

Eating In – This was not so hard. The most interesting thing was timing. Prep is a bit more time consuming. And I have also noticed that I once I realize I am hungry, the urgency to eat grows more quickly than pre-vegan. I have had to learn to

  • always have quick, small snacks on hand (nuts, fruits, pre-prepped veggies)
  • drink lots of water – great hydration works out quite a few ills
  • moderate portions so I am not over cooking

Eating Out – This was WAY easier than expected. Of course, I expected it to be difficult. The truth is, I do not live in the vegan capital of the world…or North America…or the US…or even one of it’s subsidiaries. Add to that, the husband is not a real fan of new places. He is steadfast and true, even in his restaurant choices. I am also full aware that most servers in most eateries here are not going to know what menu items are vegan friendly and which aren’t (in fact I encountered one who didn’t know what vegan was). Go back to the idea that I seriously do not want to be a pain in ass or obnoxious and this eating out business can appear daunting.

However, one small idea changed a good bit of that – calling ahead. Two items of note:

Fiddler’s Seafood– Here the nice girl that answered the phone had no idea what I was talking about. No worries. She was super nice and was concerned enough to go find someone who did.This menu has very few options for the vegan. But the person I talked to was very helpful in suggesting options and variations. In fact, she even noticed my order in the kitchen (I am certain non meat orders in that place are fairly rare and readily noticeable). She saw that cheese had still been put on it, asked the server to verify and all was wonderful!

Per Menu…Looks fabulous, yes? Mine was BETTER!

Mellow Mushroom– It was my understanding that the crust at Mellow was vegan friendly. To be sure, I called ahead. The young lady on the phone said no, it was not. I asked again to make sure she understood what was I asking as the tone of her voice suggested she did not. She put me on hold, came back and verified – not vegan.

No worries, I knew Mellow had a great variety and I could figure it out when I got there – just no pizza. I ordered the Stuffed Portabella Mushroom, substituted (at NO additional charge) the two cheeses for a vegan cheese (SCORE) and sprouts. I am fairly convinced that what they brought me is better than their proposed menu item. It was so good that the Hubs thought it divine as well.

I commented my thoughts to the waitress, Sandy (who was such a delight that I can’t even begin to tel you how thrilled we were to have her). She agreed. We discussed my conversation earlier  and she seemed to think that young lady who answered the phone was wrong. Quick trip back to the kitchen confirmed – sans parmesan cheese and butter baste, crust is VEGAN (score again!)

Staying Strong – I have noticed no decrease in energy. In fact, I would suggest the opposite. I have had some pretty high activity days, both mental and physically, this week. I feel strong, focused, capable, and energized. And I am also down 5 pounds…in a week…without starving…without artificial stimulants.

My mission this week is to find a new Vegan main dish that the children will eat and enjoy. Keep your fingers crossed for me and if you have something that has worked for your family, please let me know! I have started a Vegan pinboard. Your ideas and other pinners of interest are welcome as well!

I said I would run WHAT?!?!

I’m still not sure how I came across the post originally. It could have been the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge Group. It could have been my feed-reader. Maybe a random stumble on. I don’t know. But I found it…

And it is true, I am a sucker for great marketing and coolio little badge thingys. I adore social groupy stuff. Little bit of friendly challenge/competition  Heehee I love it. And it’s running too? And I was already a bit revved up on wild changes. So, when these things combined for a 2013 challenge to run 13 races in 2013, I was obviously interested. And they didn’t all have to be super long distances. I could shoot for the halves with a few fulls and ultras sprinkled for variety and still be in…so what did this all create??

Perfect storm for this post >>>>

And so what do you do when

  1. You really like to run (and a half marathon distance wants to be your favorite)
  2. A chick who rocks hard enough to SHAVE HER HEAD for charity says you can do it
  3. The female with the physique you use as motivation says go for it
  4. A run buddy uses the pronoun “we”

You sign up…

Seriously…

What the hell was I thinking 🙂

Actually, I think it will be a lot of fun.

How does this involve you? Well, a few ways

  1. Join in with us (See Jennifer, I am so comfortable with that idea – “Inadvertent” or otherwise!). Check out Jill’s blog and pick the challenge that works best for you.
  2. Root me on! Subscribe to TTSW and watch for my updates. The comment section here, my facebook page, and my twitter are great places for tidbits of encouragement. *Side note – I promise to return the favor!
  3. Help me out. Finding different races and paying for it all can be a bit tough. If you know of a neat race (at least a half marathon in distance), have ways to find discounts and reduced rates on entry, travel, and lodging, or know of a business that would love to be bragged on for their awesomeness in exchange for not having to run the race themselves 🙂 let me know.

I do have a few planned already ~~~~

  1. 01/12/2013 ~ Ledesma Rails to Trails Ultra Marathon (50k)
  2. 02/02/2013 ~ Critz Tybee Run Fest Half Marathon (13.1) 
  3. 06/22/2013 ~ Bad Marsh Night Ultra (50k)

Last year I would have thought the above list was pretty impressive…now it’s less than 25% of what I have committed to… perhaps I need to BE committed…

…LOVE MY RUN FAMILY 🙂

Vegucated – The Dangers of Watching Netflix Documentaries

It was a Sunday morning like many other mornings. Because I am a pitiful night person, I was up before the sun. Coffee was going, house quiet. It was one of those rare times when I could watch whatever I wanted on TV. Sounds good, yeah?

Being it was four in the morning, Netflix was the best option. Scrolled through some options. I love little documentaries. What I found was Vegucated. The little scroll over pop up thing said

This documentary follows three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers who agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks in an effort to get healthier.

That sounds fun, right? I thought so too! So, I pop it to the top of the “Watch Instantly” queue, fire up the PS3, and settle in.

What I didn’t know is that if you click through to more detailed information page, it says

In this documentary, three meat- and cheese-loving New Yorkers agree to adopt a vegan diet for six weeks. Lured with true tales of weight lost and health regained, they begin to uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture. ~ emphasis mine

Not that I wouldn’t have watched it. I just would have been prepared.

I wasn’t.

Now don’t misunderstand. Plant based is not new to me. I gave it a great go at the beginning of the year when I completed my first Daniel Fast. It was the most amazing I have ever felt! Since then I have made a conscience effort to pay more attention to the food I put in my mouth. My diet (a word I have no problem using properly), is plant heavy. For health reasons. Because I can run faster, longer. Because I can lift more. Because my jeans fit better.

On Saturday, if you had asked me I would have explained that my diet is plant heavy but not restrictive. I am not stuck up about it. I allow for moderation and cheats. Why? Because for my health, that works.

That was Saturday.

This was Sunday.

Marisa Miller Wolfson, the Writer/Director/Editor of Vegucated, has created a snazzy little intro. It’s lighthearted and she is funny. I love funny. She has selected three folks who are also lighthearted, funny, and come across as genuinely nice people. I like that too.

They are interested in exploring this “vegan” thing and Marisa is happy to oblige. She is sensitive and non judgmental (score!) while moving the participants through this new process.

I am digging it.

Then she takes them, me, to see what I now affectionately refer to as, “The Film.” This is the aforementioned “uncover the hidden sides of animal agriculture” portion that I mentioned earlier.

Maybe I was still reeling from a devastating Dawg loss. Maybe my coffee was funky. Maybe the first Sunday of Advent had me feeling overly sentimental. Maybe the planets were aligned in such a way that throws off my equilibrium. I don’t know.

I was heart broken.

I won’t go into all the details here. It has only been 24 hours and I have not had time to vet out how much of it is unbiased and how much of it is hyperbole to illicit the intended response. Intellectually, that is important to me. However, personally, if a quarter of it is true, and I believe that it is as at least that, it is enough for me.

I say all that to say a few things. First, and most importantly to me, I am still not stuck up about it. While I love to share with you my journey, my discoveries, my epiphanies, I do not for one second think that my way is the only way. Hell, sometimes it isn’t even MY only way. I live with a husband and four children. I do not hold out any hope that they will, in the near future, choose this for themselves. I will still cook for them. The Blackburns are one of the coolest families I know. They are doing wonderful things. But for me, this is where I am.

When you start seeing more posts on the subject, I just wanted you to know why. Yesterday was kind of a game changer for me. If the blog is going to have continuity and not confuse, big moments are important to document. But know, there is no judgement.

And if you are a vegan, this is a solicitation for resources. I have started with Dreena Burton, Kris Carr, The Lean Green Bean, and Vega products. I am looking to make this exciting and appealing to at least those within my four walls. And maybe even exciting to others.

If you are local to the Savannah area, your input is amazingly helpful! Vegucated was shot in New York. The very true statement was made that veganism was made supremely easy there. Here it is doable, it is just going to take a bit more effort.

So, day 2. Here we go…