Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Yada Yada Yada....

In the world of blogging/social media (especially in the weight loss/maintenance realm) radio silence tends to be a bad sign. Sometimes it’s an indication that the person is going through some hard times and isn’t wanting (for numerous reasons) to share. I had some bouts of radio silence during the divorce but they probably weren’t noticeable because I am a self-proclaimed terrible (or at least terribly inconsistent) blogger. For the most part my blog really is my journal but most days I am just uninspired (or too over committed) to write. I have no sponsors to keep happy (which is a good thing) and no groups/challenges to keep up with. At this point in time, no one (myself included) is expecting regular posts from me. And honestly, that is how it needs to be. Remember a few weeks ago when I was on a blogging-spree and posted daily? I talked about goals and priorities here and one thing that is true about my life and my relationship to this blog is it is low on my list of priorities…because it can be. School and work and my relationships can’t. But this blog, it will still be here whether I write in daily, weekly, monthly or yearly. My readers (all 6 of you) might not be but the blog will still stand. It is a comforting? (not sure that is the best way to describe it) feeling that in turn allows me to push it to the back burner whenever I need to. 

Not because I am going through rough times.

But because I am just busy/lazy/uninspired/boring. Some days I have things to say but no time to write but mostly I don’t have much to say regardless of time. The upside of having an unstructured blog (re: I am not a food blogger that schedules recipe posts daily or a sponsored blogger required to write about product reviews or even- as I was in the past- a weight loss blogger using the space for accountability and check ins) is that it leaves me with a blank slate and no obligations or commitments. But that's not necessarily a good thing.

That being said, I should do better at checking and keeping you abreast of the happenings in my life. So, what have I been up to you ask….

I bought a wedding dress on Saturday and I am in love with it. I am super happy because it is a dress that is just ‘me’ and will be a perfect fit for the wedding. It is light and airy and easy to move in (perfect for dancing) and it also makes me feel like a bride. It’s absolutely beautiful.  And in case you are curious we are 199 days away from the big ‘I Do’!

Post dress shopping shenanigans with my MoH  

We did some major yard work on Sunday pulling up a bajillion vines and cutting down tons of overgrowth. It was a big undertaking. We worked from 930-545 with only a couple breaks. It was exhausting but the end result was amazing. We had lost at least a third of our backyard that was unusable because of that growth and now we will be able to plant a citrus tree, build a flower garden (to help attract bees) and hang a hammock. I am super excited to work on the next phase of that area in a few weeks. I also planted my first spring garden and in mid-April I will plant garden 2. I am really hoping for another successful growing season.

I ran my 8th half marathon on 3/21- I think I forgot to mention that. There were definitely things about the race course that I didn’t love and it is probably one I would skip next year. But it did have some high points. With a few miles left I made a friend along the course and that was pretty awesome. We helped each other get across the finish line with a smile on our face after a very hot and sunny race. I also got to see some of my friends (and E of course) as I came across the finish and that was really nice. No Gordie though, he had just had surgery a couple days before and was not able to spectate. Thankfully I will be seeing him for the next few races I have on the docket before we head to Boston in May. I love seeing E and Gordie when I am out on the course and at the finish. <3 My boys!

That was a rough week or so for all of us but Gordie definitely had it the worst...

March 21st and I already have a farmer's tan...yay Florida!  

There was a bacon station along the course which was clever and a bit dangerous (bacon is slippery yo!) 

Number 8 in the books!

Boot camp is going well. We are a little over a third of the way through. Each session I am challenged in new and fun (painfully fun) ways and I am not gonna lie. I feel like kind of a badass after each session. It’s great working with Chris (who was my personal trainer for a big portion of last year) again – he definitely knows how to kick your butt without crippling you which is pretty awesome. I am hoping he hosts another session during the summer because the cost compared to the cost of PT sessions just can’t be beat.

Other than that, I am just really excited for everything coming up in the next month or so. Holidays and time with family- both mine and E’s, half marathons (3 to be exact) plus a 10K with my friend A, RAGNAR in Cape Cod (check out our FB page), a trip to Atlanta, and graduation. En route to my doctorate I was able to earn (soon to earn) my Education Specialist degree (it’s somewhere between a master’s and a doctorate) and I will be graduating on May 2nd. My parents are flying in for the ceremony and after we are having family and friends over for a graduation/engagement party. It will be a big celebration and I am just so excited. And in case you were curious…I still have two more years of course work before I begin my dissertation so probably 4 years+ before I finish my doctorate and the rename this blog 'My Dr. Root's to Grow' or something funnier/more clever ;)

Until next time, stay classy my friends!

Love and hugs,


Friday, March 20, 2015

Five Favorites: Spring Things

Now that spring has officially arrived (HUZZAH!) I would like to take a quick minute and share with you five of my favorite spring time things.


I love all the spring seasonals. Heck, you know I am a sucker for any type of good beer year-round but there is something about the spring beers that just make me happy.

My favorite spring  beer I can find locally would definitely be Abita Strawberry. We tend to stock up so we don’t really go without it but once it hits the shelves at the stores its like a celebration for us.

Second place is 21st Amendment Hell or High Watermelon (yes, I love these fruity beers for spring/summer- they are perfect beach beers) but since we cannot get this CA craft beer here in FL we just have to drink it up on our travels. I am super looking forward to our Atlanta trip in April so I can get my fill.

Also super yummy- Bayou Teche Passionne and Covington Brewhouse Strawberry Ale. Sidenote: out of the close to/maybe more 50 breweries I have been to Bayou Teche is my favorite. If you are ever passing through Arnaudville, LA (we did on our drive from Austin to Pensacola) you should definitely check it out!


Yes! Baseball season has arrived and although we didn't get to make it to Phillies spring training this year (insert sad face here) I am super excited for some Pensacola Wahoos games (especially the ones we can bring Gordie to) and maybe even some MLB games on our travels this year. I just love, love, love baseball season.


I love warm weather. I especially love the warm weather on days when I can sneak in some quiet time outside on our swing or just lounge on the beach and curl up with a good book. I have four books I am hoping to read over the next few months;  ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’, ‘It Was Me All Along’, ‘What You Can When You Can’ (#wycwyc) out on April 28th and the next Jen Lancaster book, ‘I Regret Nothing', out on May 5th! Hmmmm, April 28th and May 5th…I think those books would make great graduation presents, wouldn't you agree?


It doesn't take more than a handful of days in the 70’s before E and I stop making meals indoors. It becomes salads or BBQ for dinner every night. No more stews, chili, soup. No more roasting or braising. It’s either cold foods (salads, ice cream) or it’s BBQ. That’s just how we roll. You would think I would probably be limited to what I can have for dinner from the BBQ since I am vegan but you would be wrong. I will BBQ pretty much anything. Yep, there is the standard BBQ fare like veggie burgers or veggie dogs but I will grill up just about anything else I can get my hands on. Some of my faves- grilled mushrooms, potatoes, corn on the cob, eggplant, zucchini, peaches, pineapple slices, onions, peppers….I think you see where I am going with this. I love my fruits and vegetables and I love them even more when they are hot off the grill.

Here are some tips and tricks for grilling vegetables : 5 Tips for How to Cook Grilled Vegetables Perfectly

Beach Days

It won’t be long until our weekends are spent at the beach.  Living on the gulf coast we are spoiled by easy access to some of the most beautiful beaches in the country. Spring time means Sundays lounging at the beach with my boys (we do have some dog friendly beaches too), drinking beers, reading books, and taking in as much Vitamin D as possible. I am definitely the happiest and the calmest Dacia when I can devote a day or two to the beach every week.  You would be hard pressed to convince me to ever move north again. I am definitely a beach bum at heart.

What are some of your spring favorites? Are you a beach person or not so much?

Love and hugs,

Thursday, March 19, 2015

50 Good Questions: Part 1

I randomly came across this blog post from 2011 when trying to come up with some ‘good questions to ask yourself’ (that was my Google search) as part of a blog post I wanted to write. This post has 50 questions and that is a bit much for me to do in one sitting so I decided to break it down ten questions at a time.

What are your nicknames? What do you prefer to be called?

I don’t really have nicknames although E calls me Boo and my friend Dre calls me Dae Dae. My name is pretty weird unusual and for the most part people have never met another Dacia (pronounced Day-sha, the –cia makes a –sha sound like in Marcia or Patricia) and so I am happy if people can just say my name correctly. For the most part, you call me something remotely close to Dacia and I will respond, and probably not correct you.

What books on your shelf are begging to be read?
Too many. At the top of my list is ‘Wild’, ‘It Was Me All Along’, ‘We’ll Always Have Paris’ and Handbook of Research on Multicultural Education – my current course textbook. It’s a behemoth.

It's huge and weighs a ton. I get a great upper body workout lugging this thing around ;)

How often do you doodle? What do your doodles look like?

I used to doodle often, this was a bad habit for me in school. I would go to review class notes and where there should have been useful and helpful info there was instead doodles. I am not very artistic so my doodles tended to be flower or random squiggly shapes.

What do you do if you can’t sleep at night? Do you count sheep? Toss and Turn? Try to get up and do something productive?
I am a pretty sound sleeper although I do randomly wake up and have mini freak-outs sometimes which are always entertaining (she says sarcastically) for anyone sharing a room with me. Falling asleep, however, usually isn’t a problem. But during those times when I cannot sleep and I have given up on all hope of falling back asleep I will grab my phone and type up blog posts. I write sporadically (as you probably already know) and compose most of my posts while lying in bed or as a passenger of a car.

How many days could you last in solitary confinement? How would you do it?
Solitary confinement means nothing but me in a room, right? No books or pens/paper? If this is the case I am not sure how long I would last. I would probably try to pass the time by meditating or by creating/telling myself stories. More than likely it wouldn’t take but a day or two for me to crack. I’m a wimp.

Do you save old greeting cards and letters? Throw them away?
I do. I try to be good about it and just save a few here and there but usually I end up saving them all. Then I shove them away somewhere – like a desk drawer or storage container- and then of course I forget where I put them until I find them like 5 years later and decide I should probably throw them away.

Who is the biggest pack rat you know?
Probably me. I like to think I am a girl that doesn’t need much to survive, and maybe that’s true, but since it is very hard for me to throw stuff away/donate I tend to have way more than I need.  That being said, I am getting better. I think having to live in a 300 square foot efficiency really helped me to become less of a hoarder.

When making an entrance in to a party, do you make your presence known? Do you slip in and look for someone you know? Do you sneak in quietly and find a safe spot to roost?
I am definitely a ‘slip in and look for someone I know’ type person. Not that I am shy, because I’m not, I am just awkward in social situations. I have anxiety issues- crowds don’t help. Which is weird as an extrovert to sometimes be so overwhelmed by people. It’s not an easy battle.

What is your strongest sense? If you had to give one up, which would it be?
I think my strongest sense is smell. I feel like I have a very sensitive nose. Smells bother me easily. For example, we have one of those room air fresheners that goes off on a timer. If that goes off, and it is in the living room, and I am eating, in the dining room, I can’t eat. Everything will taste like clean linen. It’s gross. That being said, I would not want to lose my sense of smell. There are too many positive memories triggered by smells that I wouldn’t want to lose. Plus, I love the way E smells. So, I would opt for losing my sense of taste. I just couldn’t imagine life without sight, smell, touch or sound. But I think I would be ok without taste.

How many times a day do you look at yourself in the mirror?
I would say 15. I honestly have no idea. I look at myself in the morning when I am getting ready and every time I am in the restroom washing my hands (which is like once an hour- I pee quite frequently) and then at night when I take my contacts out/get ready for bed. I am not sure if that is what this question means. If there wasn’t a mirror over every sink I use then this number would probably be less.
Ok, well that’s ten questions. Feel free to play along and answer one/some/all on your blog (be sure to link back if you do) or in the comments. Until next time….

And on a completely unrelated note tomorrow (March 20th) is MEATOUT Celebrate the first day of spring by eating vegan for the day. E already agreed to take part in this which makes me super happy. If you are interested in learning more check out their website: MEATOUT 
*Check out the slider on the home page to see the impact not eating meat has (even if just doing this one to two days a week) on animals and the environment. It's very cool! 

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

How to Feel Good Enough

I named this post ‘How to Feel Good Enough’ because honestly you/me/we are already good enough. We are. As is. Right now. We are good enough. But I know that I often struggle with how to FEEL good enough. Some days it is a battle against myself (my monkey mind) or a battle to not fall into the comparison trap (or dig myself out of it) that keeps me from feeling not good enough. Which sucks. Especially when I am such a huge advocate for acceptance and self-love and I know that both of those things are primary reasons that I have been able to change my life, get healthy, lose weight, find the real me, etc. So on the days when I am hating on myself it’s like doubly bad because a) that’s a shitty way to feel and b) it kind of goes against who I am.

That being said, I am a human. I get all the feels- even the not so great ones. And it is honestly not the easiest thing to be kind and loving to myself every day after spending many, many years treating myself like shit. There is still a part of me that is the voice of shame, doubt, insecurity, hate, and fear that shows its head every now and again. And I just have to do my best to quiet it.

What helps….

Knowing that I am taking care of myself. Every day I am making decisions that put my health and wellness (mental and physical) first. No, I am not perfect. I am far from it. But I know that rest days and self-care are important. Walking in the park or gardening or playing with the puppy are activities just the same as running or hitting the gym and I am ok with doing any/all of them. I treat myself better and have more respect for myself than I ever had. That helps to quiet the voice.

Understanding where I was then, where I am now, and the journey I have taken to get here. There is no finish line, end goal or final destination for me. There is just taking each day and trying to live it to the best of my ability knowing that the paths I have taken along the way have helped prepare me for this. You don’t have to be a weight loser or maintainer to understand growth through change. Every day that we wake up and take care of ourselves, help others, try to make a difference (no matter how small) and offer up a smile or a hug or some compassion or empathy is a day spent living the good life. A life only achieved through growth and change.  When I get frustrated with all the negative I have to really stop and think about the positive; how lucky I am, how great life is, and how much I can offer the world even if just a smile. That helps to quiet the voice.

Forgiving myself for past wrongdoings and letting go. Some days the reason behind my ‘not good enough’ feeling is because I am harboring guilt or resentment or shame from something in the past. I can’t fix it, it’s already done. I have to learn from it and move on. I know I can be a better person, I just have to forgive myself for the past and try harder in the future. That helps to quiet the voice.

Reflection on current goals and priorities helps offer up the perspective needed to help create a positive mind shift. Every time I let someone, or let myself, make me feel like I should be skinnier, faster, stronger, smarter, whatever, I am not giving them more self-worth I am only lessening mine. Which is dumb. Because I am awesome. And so are you. So, when this happens I think about my life and my current priorities. Would I like to be able to do an unassisted pull-up? Of course! Can I? Absolutely not. Does that make me less of a person because I can’t? No way. And I shouldn't feel that way. I don’t spend my time training to be able to do pull-ups so there is no reason why I should be able to do one. Mad props for anyone out there who can do them but I am not one of those people and that is ok! Would I like to be able to write a book? Of course. Do I spend any time or effort devoted to this endeavor? Not at all. Should I feel crappy because I have not written a book? NO! Why should I? Writing a book is not my priority. Nor is weight loss, qualifying for Boston, or bench pressing my body weight (to name a few) so I shouldn't wake up one day feeling terrible because I am neither thinner, faster or stronger. I have no expectations to do any of those things and in turn I should not feel bad about myself, or lessen my self-worth, because others can. I know what my priorities are (and they change pretty frequently) and I am ok with focusing on those solely because they are the key to the life I currently want to lead. I need reflection, to see the choices I am making and how they are bringing me closer to my goals and helping to build the life I want. That helps to quiet the voice. 

That little voice inside your head that says you aren't good enough is a liar

Love and hugs,

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

My Favorite March 17th Recipe

Although I won't be able to make this recipe until the weekend I still wanted to share with you my favorite St. Patrick's Day recipe- Colcannon.

According to Wikipedia Colcannon is "a traditional Irish dish mainly consisting of mashed potatoes with kale or cabbage" 

My friend V bought me the Happy Herbivore Abroad cookbook just over two years ago (I remember exactly when because she gave it to me on my last trip to Austin before I moved to Pensacola) and it has become one of my favorites. In it is a vegan recipe for Colcannon that is both super easy and super delicious. I have made it with cabbage and with kale and I am honestly not sure which I prefer...maybe the kale. Either way, this dish is fantastic. 

If you don't have anything on your St. Patrick's Day menu I suggest you try this one out!

Here is a link to an adaptation of the HHA recipe: LINK

Feel free to go the kale route or you can add in some browned cabbage and onions in lieu of the kale OR you can go really crazy and do a kale and cabbage mix. Why not?

P.S. - a quick Pinterest search will not only find you a billion traditional colcannon recipes you can also find an assortment of non-traditional ones like some using cauliflower instead of potatoes

P.P.S.- leftover colcannon makes great potato pancakes :)

Happy eatings!

Love and hugs,

Monday, March 16, 2015

McGuire's St. Patrick's Day 5K

I love St. Patrick's Day and yes, for the most obvious reason- the beer! 

This year E and I celebrated early with the McGuire's St. Patrick's Day 5K. A 5K may seem harmless to most but not this one. It is basically a huge party but in order to gain entrance you must run 3.1 miles first. The McGuire's run is a really big event here in Pensacola. This year ~ 14,000 ran it (or at least registered for it- that's what they said at the start line). They claim it is the largest prediction race (meaning the winner is the person that comes closest to the time they predicted at registration - also meaning no watches or timing devices allowed) in the country. It starts at 9am and when you cross the finish line the party is already underway. Heck, the party is already underway before you even begin running. The post race festivities include live music, beer, Irish wakes and Irish stew. There is also water, soda (including McGuire's own root beer), bananas and oranges for the people, like me, that want to attempt to rehydrate before they dehydrate. 

We had an amazing time running this 'race' together even though navigating the crowds and the groups of walkers that at times spanned the entirety of four lanes (nothing against walkers- I am pro walkers- but I do have something against those that don't follow race rues) during made it quite the cluster. If I had a GPS watch I guarantee I ran closer to 3.5 -3.75 than 3.1 miles. But it's all in fun. We weren't out there to race it- we were out there to enjoy ourselves and that is exactly what we did. 

We spent the after party hanging out with old friends and new and then as things wrapped up at the after party we headed out to grab some lunch and enjoy some more beers. Oh, and then we hit up the local running store that always has a big winter clearance sale the day of the McGuire's run where I scored me some new Newtons for 75.00 that were originally marked 155.00. Not gonna lie, that was one of the best parts of the day ;)

All in all we had an amazing time at the race and the after party. Next year we will prepare more in advance and try to be a bit more festive and come up with some fun costumes or at least a bit more St. Paddy's gear. Also next year we will be sure to bring the sunblock. E and I are both still red from the sunburn. Typically we know better but we are just out of the slathering ourselves in sunblock before we go anywhere habit. Lesson learned. And noted for this week's half marathon. 

Had to represent Fitbloggin'!!!

Did you do any St. Paddy's themed (or Pi Day themed) runs this weekend? Do you celebrate St. Patrick's Day?

Love and hugs,

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Wordless Wednesday: Daylight Saving Time

Yeah...I hate the week or so after daylight saving time begins. Here are a crap ton of memes to sum up my feelings about it. *Yes, I realized that most of these say savings not saving but whatevs...

Sorry parents...

Not just Monday, every day...

One day I hope I can adult again...

Love and hugs,

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Veggie Q&A

My friend Willie over at Fueled by Running reached out to me with some questions. He wanted to know how to incorporate more veggies into his diet and since I am a vegan he knew I was a good person to ask ;) Ironically, I was listening to one of the wycwyc (what you can, when you can) podcasts in which they were talking about getting their kids to eat vegetables and I was deep in thought thinking about E and how he has changed from a super picky eater (especially in the veggie family) to someone that eats pretty much anything I cook up. It was perfect timing to have this discussion with Willie and he let me share it with you in order to maybe help some other struggling with their veggie intake and show you that there is hope….

W: So, I know that you are vegan. I, myself, have a hard time eating vegetables but it's something that I am working on. Why did you choose to become vegan or have you always been vegan?

I have not always been a vegan. I actually adopted a plant-based diet (which is all it was at first since being a vegan encompasses more than just what I eat- but that is a whole other story) in October of 2011. I was 8 months into my WLJ. I had lost about 60 pounds and was still wondering why I still felt crappy all the time. I was always tired, it took forever to recovery from activity, I was still suffering from IBS- I had all the same problems I had from before I had started losing weight. I decided to start food journaling- like tracking but with more detail. I would write down what I ate and how I felt afterwards, how I felt a few hours later, how I slept at night, how I felt during workouts, etc. What I found was that I felt much better when I ate plant-based meals and so I decided to conduct a week long experiment to see how I would feel if I cut out all animal protein. It didn’t take but maybe 2 or 3 days to feel completely different. I thought it might have just been a fluke, because I was eating different foods so after the week I decided to treat myself to some yogurt and that was it. All my intestinal issues came back and I knew I needed to cut animal protein out. Now, truth be told- I am pretty sure I am/was lactose intolerant (most humans are to some degree) so that probably attributed to all my digestion issues. But I decided that day that I wanted to eat plant-based because I felt so good and if I ever decided to stop that was ok- I wasn’t trying to force myself into something permanently. I never thought it would be permanent. Now, here I am almost 3.5 years later and I doubt I would ever change. But that is because it has since become more than just what I eat. Now it is about the animals and the environment too so I think it would be hard to make the switch. But that’s just me. Being a vegan has allowed me to sleep a solid 8 hours every night, have tons of energy throughout the day, I have no digestion issues whatsoever. I recover quickly. My labwork is always phenomenal. I am healthier than I ever have been. And I really enjoy what I eat. It’s just what has worked best for me and so I have been able to easily stick with it.

W: What tips do you have for someone who is trying to eat more veggies?

If there are vegetables you already like try preparing them different ways for variety. Like for me, I was already a huge broccoli fan but I usually ate it just steamed or maybe mixed in stir fry but then I roasted it- mind blown. So good.

Try new veggies…duh…LOL! I know for me, even though I was never a picky eater when it came to veggies, there were so many new to me veggies still out there. I would try to pick out one or two a week and find recipes to incorporate them into. Also, the internet is a great way to learn about a veggie before trying it- like what plant family is it from, how is it best prepared. So is the produce person at the store- I would always ask them for advice J Also, if you have a local CSA that is a great way to get veggies (usually pretty cheap) that are local, in season and it will ‘force’ you to try new things.

Hide them. I love to bulk up dishes by adding in veggies. I am a volume eater. I can’t eat teeny tiny portions. I need bigger meals and if I want to do so and not gain a million pounds I need to bulk up my meals with veggies. Examples:

  • Fried rice/stir fry- these dishes for me are like 75-80% veg/protein and the rest is grain. With all the added veggies you really don’t feel like you are missing out on all the rice/noodles. Plus all the fiber from the vegetables really fill you up.

  1. Burgers- I make veggie burgers but say you are making turkey or chicken burgers (which tend to need more moisture because of the reduced fat) grate in some raw onion, zucchini or carrots or add in some chopped cooked greens. This adds moisture and bulk- and of course vitamins and minerals J  

  • Soups/stews/chili- I put any/every vegetable I have into a pot of stew or chili. I love to make these dishes heartier by adding veggies. My favorites are carrots, onion, celery, peppers, zucchini or yellow squash, peas, lima beans, tomatoes, sweet potatoes, any type of dark leafy green. Oh, I even like to add apple to my chili – not a veg but another good way to bulk it up. And obviously I eat a lot of beans and grains too so my soups/stews always feature at least one of each.

W: Cooking tips for preparing vegetables?

This could be a really long list but really any veg can be prepared any way; steamed, roasted, raw, sauteed, BBQ’d, etc. Although I love roasting, if you are trying to watch your fat intake be careful with the olive oil used for this process, same with sauteing. You actually can saute veggies pretty nicely in just some broth. I have a spiralizer that I use to make zoodles (the only way E will eat zucchini) which is a staple dish in our house. Zucchini really are a great vessel because their flavor is so mild and they have a high moisture content. Cabbage is one of the few vegetables that is better for you cooked than raw but I eat it both ways. Also- another veggie that seems to be all over the interwebs lately is cauliflower. I love cauliflower, especially roasted. But it is a great veggie to sub out all or some of potatoes in mashed potatoes. I see people now making rice out of it. I even have seen people make bread and noodles out of it- it’s really big with the low/lower carb people. For me, steamed or roasted is the way to go but there really are a million possibilities out there J

W: What are your favorite vegetables that you eat and how do you prepare them?

[Willie has been sharing some Asian inspired recipes on his blog so I shared with him some of my favorites] I love to make a cold dish with soba noodles that has chopped cucumbers, bell peppers, shredded carrots, cilantro, green onion, broccoli (I add the broccoli in with the noodles in the last few minutes of cooking-all other veggies are raw) and some steamed shelled edamame. I make a peanut sauce that coats it. It’s pretty tasty. It’s actually E’s (who is not a vegan) favorite thing to eat out of all the things, meat dishes included. We also make up a lot of different stir fry type meals. Yesterday I cooked up a half cup (dry) of jasmine rice. Then added it to a wok to ‘fry’ it. Added in broccoli, shredded carrots, snow peas, regular peas and shredded cabbage. It made a ton of food and it only had one serving or rice per person and it was super filling/satisfying because of the veggies. I served it as a side to teriyaki chicken (for Erick) and teriyaki tempeh (for me) which was just chicken/tempeh cooked in pineapple juice and some teriyaki sauce with green bell pepper and pineapple (canned) and for me I added mushrooms. It was really yummy.

I love lentils and so does Erick so we often make lentil taco meat or lentil sloppy joes- those are two vegan meals Erick also loves.

Honestly, I haven’t met a vegetable I didn’t like J

Additional comments I made to Willie in response to his questions: 

If you want to send me some of your favorite foods to eat I can tell you some suggestions as to what veggies to add to it or a good veggie alternative. (*you can do this too- message me or leave a comment)

I hope this helps. Honestly I could write forever about this stuff. (true story)

Oh, and smoothies- do you drink smoothies? That is a great way to sneak in some greens J

I can also recommend some blogs/websites if you would like. Let me know.

He did want some recommendations so I sent him this list:

No Meat Athlete has a whole recipe part to his blog. I love Oh She Glows (she has lot of tex-mex recipes I think you would like). Also, Texas native (in Austin) is Rip Esselstyn (have you watched Forks over Knives? He's in it) and his website Engine 2 diet has a ton or recipes- he does the no oil thing so they utilize a lot of cooking with broth. Happy Herbivore has a blog with recipes- her cookbook the HH Abroad is one of my favorites (that one and Oh She Glows cookbook). 

Also, when I started dating E he didn’t eat any vegetables except maybe corn and carrots and now he eats almost any veggie I make. It takes time trying new things and cooking different ways to find which he prefers but now he eats more veggies than most- so there is hope for you too :)

Then, like any good veggie crazed friend would do, I sent him a picture of my lunch...my interpretation (due to lack of proper sized jar) of the whole salad in a jar thing. Added to shredded cabbage. 

What about you- what is your favorite vegetable? What is your favorite veggie dish? Any advice or tips you'd like to share? 

Love and hugs, 

Monday, March 2, 2015

I Drank the Kool-Aid!

I drank the Kool-Aid…

but then I quickly spit it out.

After spending the other weekend in Disney (which was awesome, which was a bit surprising since I am not a Disney kinda gal, and I mean no offense to those that are) and watching the Princess half marathon I thought for a moment or two that maybe just MAYBE I too would want to run Disney. Yes, I have said on numerous occasions that I would never run a Disney race. Just like I have said that I will never run another Rock n’ Roll race (and I swear I am sticking to it). But for that brief moment I was caught up in the Disney hype/lore/craze/madness. I guess being at the happiest place on earth will do that to you. That plus seeing so many happy faces during and a bajillion race pics from Disney flooding social media. I got caught up. ESPECIALLY after I learned about Disney’s wine and dine race…what??? You run and then drink wine and eat food all night? Sign me up…

Ok, not so fast. I was getting ahead of myself there, all caught up in the madness.

I mean there are some great things about Disney races. Just from being a spectator I saw many of them first hand- they have a fantastic expo, the medals were pretty sweet, especially the coast to coast one (although I have gotten cooler medals at much smaller races but that’s just personal preference), you get to run through Disney parks and take photos with characters (that makes for a really interesting and memorable experience), everyone is happy and having fun. Great crowds (where there were crowds- it looks like pretty long stretches on roads with no spectators from what I viewed from the monorail) - my hats go off to the spectators, especially the ones that have no idea what they are getting themselves into at these races. No one around me lost their shit waiting around for hours for their runners to show.  Plus people genuinely love these races. They travel all over the country (and now Paris in 2016) for them. They must be doing something right…right?

And I guarantee they are. Disney has their races planned and choreographed to a T. They have insanely large crowds so there is no room for error. That being said, I just don’t think these races are for me. Here’s why…

Too many people…there are just too many people racing. This is why I swore off RnR. See, if I was a front of the pack runner it would be no big deal. Those people end up with tons of space and short lines for pictures- they get all the perks. But I am not that runner. I am, at best, a mid-pack runner. More like back of the pack most times. And you know what big races are like for a runner like me- torture. I hate races where even after a mile or two I still feel like there are people surrounding me. I saw the people that run my pace coming through at around 5.5 miles in and it was a clusterf***. It was bodies jam-packed next to more bodies. NOT FOR ME! I need space people!

The second big issue I have with Disney races (and these aren't the only ones that fall onto this list- I’m looking at you Warrior Dash) is the cost. I mean come on…really? It’s all private property. Why is it soooo expensive? At least if you are going to charge and arm and a leg give the people a park pass or a park discount or something but nope, you get nothing. Well at least nothing you wouldn't get at any other race (tech tee, medal). So boo to that.

Also, because the races go through the parks and the parks are closed and they don’t want to deal with people coming in for the race with park traffic and the traffic for the parks getting caught in road closures the races start ridiculously early. Which, eh, for me not the end of the world but still a pain in the butt. My big thing was thinking about Wine and Dine which does not start hours before sunrise, like other Disney races, but instead starts in the middle of the night. Or at least what I consider the middle of the night. 10P start for the first corral. I would probably be around an 11p start. I go to bed pretty consistently at 9p. So I would run, finish around 1a-2a and then I am supposed to eat and drink. What? That’s crazy talk. I would need someone to carry me to bed at 2a. I have no desire to run a night race (especially one where the big benefit comes after and I would only want to go to sleep) with the exception being Ragnar, but that’s a whole other batch of crazy on its own.

Which really is the point of this right? I mean I know people might read this and think Disney sounds awesome but running a Ragnar Relay sounds crazy, or driving different states for races sounds crazy, or it all sounds crazy period. But the beauty is in finding the crazy that works for you. Run Disney isn't it for me (but I loved the Disney experience enough I would go back and visit and maybe even watch some Disney movies – haven’t watched one since I was a kid) but I can see how it is for some people. And that is awesome. For me, the perfect race has a small number of runners, a smallish price tag, great crowd support and a great after party (I’m looking at you Louisiana Marathon with you vegan food tent, all Abita beer and a bonus for letting me cross the finish line with my dog) because that is what makes me feel comfortable and run happy.

And that is my end goal in this whole running thing- to just be happy.

Which I really need to keep in mind when I pick out which races I want to spend my hard earned money on.

And I will make a promise to myself to lay off the racing Kool-Aid from now on ;)

Some pics from yesterday's half marathon- Gulf Coast Half Marathon in Gulf Shores, AL

I found a mummer...definitely the highlight of the race!

I was really excited to spot Erick at the finish and for the fact that this was the first time any race finish had pronounced my name correctly

After party inside Lulu's 

The 'famous' race medal//bottle opener

Gordie even liked wearing it :)

Love and hugs,