Feeds:
Posts
Comments

five facts for Friday.

I’ve been a little MIA this week for a couple of reasons. First, we don’t have the Internet at the apartment anymore (for now). Story of our lives, right? This may be a dumb question, but who do you get your service through? The beau and I might bite the bullet and finally pay for it ourselves but we REFUSE to use Time Warner. Is there any one else out there that doesn’t require a land line? Secondly, I’ve had a different kind of writer’s block happening: I feel like I have so much to share/start but I miss sharing photographs. Poo. Positive to that plop: I’m finally working on changing this little space on the internet. New host. New address. New look. And possibly a new name. Can you handle it?!

To jam in as much information into one post, I’ll make short and sweet.

  1. I haven’t been sharing any running streak photographs on Instagram because, well, it’s been a boring week. I’ve ran every day on lunch, on the treadmill. 9.8 miles ran total with 9 more scheduled for this weekend. Slowest mile: 9:37. Fastest mile: 8:37. Can you handle THAT?! Now to learn to hold it for miles on end!
  2. I’ve officially found the best french fries in Troy, NY! They are found at Broadway Cafe (on Broadway); they are crispy, they are fresh and they are delicious! Can you tell I had them for lunch this afternoon?
  3. I got a sewing machine for Christmas! I’ve been wanting to learn for quite some time now and am excited to learn the basics. My plan is to have my own line of sewn items at the store (napkins, tea towels, pillows, etc). Tutorials may be on the horizon as I learn!
  4. Speaking of learning, I’m on the fourth level of French in Duolingo! And it’s the level I’ve been looking forward to: FOOD! There are seven lessons in this level and I’m on lesson two; I’m still having a little bit of trouble with the word: to eat. My Spanish background comes out a lot and confuses me, but I’ll get it. Practice practice practice! Oh, and I like the phrase “Merci, beaucoup!” It’s got the word beau in it. And egg (oeuf)… it sounds like woof! when pronounced.  Makes me giggle each morning in bed when I practice.
  5. Today I picked out my birthday dinner: tempeh meatball subs! I have no idea where that craving came from but I’m looking forward to a good homemade sauce and Italian salad. I suggested a shortcake for dessert but am not concerned because I could skip the sweets. Excited that my parents will be joining in on the big birthday celebration with the beau’s entire family.

Lastly, I’d like to mention Kitty kitty cocoa puff. He’s sick and we are heading to the vet. tomorrow morning for blood work. He’s lost a lot of weight over the last two weeks and hasn’t been himself. Please send him some positive vibes if you remember. And because I’m prepared for bills totaling over $500 this month, I will unfortunately not be running a race in January. No worries! I am definitely running the Polar Cap 4-Miler on February 1st. I plan on doubling up one month to make up for a missed race. Hope you all have a happy, healthy and warmer weekend! Give those you love an extra squeeze. But not too tightly.

snow day scramble.

It’s not all that often that the beau and I get more than ten hours together; eight of those hours spent sleeping. But with New Year’s Day being yesterday and the blizzard blowing into town today, we’ve been side by side for hours. And I kind of like love it.

No set plans. Records playing in the background. Little birds on the back porch feeding, chirping and hopping away. Good reads. Even better food ready to be prepared. Plenty of vodka and orange juice and winter ale on hand. 

We will have to venture out to pick up our Field Goods delivery but I’m happy to strap on my snowshoes and frolic in the snow.

For those of you that will have to shovel at some point over the next three days, I’ve got a dish that will fuel you for hours. Or if you’re crazy like myself and will attempt to *run* in this nonsense, this dish will fill your belly after you thaw out. Either way, it’s tasty, hearty and packed with nutrition.

Snow Day Scramble feeds two very hungry people or four with less of an appetite (thanks to the mimosas)

  • 1/2 red pepper
  • two big handfuls of swiss chard, thinly sliced
  • 1 medium carrot, shredded
  • 1/2 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 block extra firm tofu
  • nutritional yeast
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • turmeric (gives it that yellow egg-like color)

Saute your veggies in either EVOO, stock or water. Once the onions are translucent, crumble in the tofu and add your spices to taste. Sometimes we also add: curry, cumin, paprika and mustard. Also throw in a big handful of nutritional yeast and about a quarter cup of water/stock. We learned this trick from Sarah over at X’s to O’s Bakery (recognize anyone in their cover photograph?!) at the Albany Veg Fest this fall. If you add the water/stock, then the tofu will stay moist like eggs instead of drying out. Turn up the heat to let the liquid absorb/burn off, and then stir in another big handful of nutritional yeast. I’m telling you, don’t hold back!

Serve with homefries, Ezekiel toast, “sausage” and/or hot sauce and you’ve got yourself one kick-ass breakfy.

Next up in our kitchen: buffalo chickpea dip! Oh, it’s gonna be a good day!

 

Hey! Merry Christmas! And can you believe that tomorrow is the 31st of December?!

Last week was a whirlwind of events despite not working a single day. I spent the holiday with my family and then celebrated the day after with the beau’s family. I drove back home on Friday to spend some quality time with my mom (aka manicures and pedicures and shopping in a health food store) before celebrating a special birthday with the beau’s entire family for dinner. I did squeeze in a hike up Sawteeth Mountain, my 6th winter peak, and day four of my 21 day streak is now complete. Dinner and drinks was had with my partner in crime and I am officially done with my second basic lesson in French! I now get to start phrases!

And because last week blew by far too quickly, today was spent in bed. I mean, I got up probably three times to visit the bathroom and bake a grapefruit for lunch. I didn’t lounge all day because I’m sick; because I felt like it. But the day wasn’t a complete waste. I made plans with friends for the rest of the week. I made a few phone calls. I watched an entire season of Say Yes to the Dress. I finished switching over my new 2014 planner and wrote down my goals for the new calendar year.

I use the term goal because there isn’t a problem in my life that needs solution (the definition of resolution is the action of solving a problem). My goals are an ambition or desire within myself to achieve results that I’ve never seen or accomplished before. Emily & Tim over at Today’s Letters (button to the right) continue to be inspirational to me and have influenced the way that I’ve set up my personal goals. Four basic categories: spiritual, physical, relational, and professional.

Spiritually I am grounded by being outdoors. I’ve mentioned this before but hiking has become my outlet for connecting with not only nature and the world in which I live, but myself. I’d like to continue hiking and learn to trust my experiences enough to start hiking alone more; once the dangers of the winter months come to an end.

Physically I have set numerous goals, all feeding into each other.

  1. I hardly ever race, usually only once or twice a year. In 2014, I’d like to race once a month. I’ve already scouted, planned, and/or registered for nine races. Repeats include the CDPHP Workforce Challenge, the Saratoga Palio and the Troy Turkey Trot. I’m anxious about attempting the Runnin’ of the Green (Island), the Boilermaker, and the Hairy Gorilla.
  2. I would like to complete the Winter Miles Challenge. I added the button, also to the right, and have fixed the link so that you can all learn more. This goal will keep me moving throughout the toughest running months of the year (at least for me), is free to join with the potential of winning great prizes and will also prepare me for many of my upcoming races.
  3. Ultimately I’d love to run 1,000 miles in the calendar year. I’ve never reached this number and it shouldn’t be too difficult with the number of races I’m prepared to run.

As I solidify each race, I’ll post it up so that you can easily see what’s next on my agenda/what I’m training for. I’m super excited to be meeting with a local gal on New Year’s Day who shares many of my running goals. I’d love to form some sort of a running club and this is my first step.

My relational goal is personal as is my professional goal. I can tell you that change is on the horizon and when the time comes, you will know. Which leads me to saying that I will be continuing to write. Change will also be coming on this front as well, but not for another month or two. What swayed my decision was really looking back at all that I’ve written and thoroughly enjoying the posts. I of course don’t share everything that happens in my personal life but it is fun to look back at certain events and photographs.

Phew! That was a long post! If you made it this far, thanks for sticking it out! If you’ve followed me over the past 12 months and finished this post, thank you with all my heart! I can promise you, the best has yet to come!

Have any short or long term goals for the new calendar year? Willing to share?

health(ier) habits.

Here are three small changes that I’ve decided to make/have already begun to implement and love. ‘Tis the season for setting new goals and health(ier) habits!

  1. Duolingo Did you know that this app was named app of the year? Either did I until the beau brought it to my attention. I only use a handful of apps each day and now Duolingo is part of the mix. Bet you didn’t expect me to recommend an app for a new goal, did you? Well, I’m obsessed. See, this app will teach you a new language. It’s fun, easy and best of all, free. I spoke Spanish in high school and decided to try learning French this time around. Verdict: hooked. Each morning I get up and before I can check any other app, I sit in the living room and complete two French lessons. The first lesson is a repeat of the previous day’s and then I move on to the next new one. You don’t have to repeat lessons, it’s just easier for me to retain information that way. These two lessons take less than ten minutes a day and honestly, I could keep going. You speak the language, translate, and write it. Check the app out and let me know if you decided to give it a try.
  2. Planning our weekly dinners. The beau and I are very good at throwing a meal together last minute but sometimes these meals take longer than we’d prefer. Combine that with getting home after seven or eight o’clock at night and I come down with a case of being hangry. Solution: meal and/or prepare our meals ahead of time. This concept of planning meals is new to me and I love it because it let’s the inner organizer in me out! I use what we already have on hand and take into account what will be delivered via Field Goods on Thursday. I’ve been physically writing down the meals in my planner and making a list of what needs to be purchased per each meal (if anything) and what evening I plan on serving them. It’s been making dinner a breeze! And even if dinner will take 45 minutes to cook when we arrive home late, we’ve both had something to look forward to and know what to do when we walk in the door. Another perk: we’ve been trying new recipes. This upcoming holiday week will have us thrown off a little but I’m going to try and work in meals that the beau loves to cook (i.e. his homemade sauce).
  3. Since the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day, I haven’t ran a single mile. I haven’t set a new goal and now because of scheduling, I won’t have access to my regular treadmill situation until mid-January. (p.s… I woke up this morning at seven a.m. and it was still dark out! THAT is what is causing this funk!) So, because I’ve used the excuses of it being too cold, too dark, or too lonely outside in the morning, I’ve decided to give at-home workouts a try. Confession: I don’t like at-home workouts. I find that it’s hard to stay motivated and give it your 100% when there isn’t a room full of people to hold you accountable. I also feel funny about jumping around and potentially disturbing the downstairs neighbor. But I’m going to throw those excuses out the third floor window and give T25 a try. Don’t know what T25 is? Google it. I’ve had this program for a while now and have worked out to the cardio disk a couple of times and it is intense. The program is typically 10 weeks long, however, I’m going to aim for 21 days. They say it takes 21 days to form a habit, right? Follow along on Instagram (my only form of photographs these days) and I’ll post a photograph after each day to hold myself accountable to you all.

Have you started making any changes this holiday season? Thought about getting a head start before the new calendar year?

this weekend I…

… attended my first cookie swap. And have successfully eaten more cookies in the past two days than I have over the past two years.

… played my first game of Cards Against Humanity. It was vulgar and I liked it.

… successfully dodged the bullet of having to dig my car out of twelve inches of snow. Apparently the garage down the street is free nights and weekends soooooo into the garage it went.

… made the most epic “cheesy” broccoli soup.

… cooked a “meaty” chili in the Crockpot, baked up a bunch of veggies with wild rice for lunches this week, devoured a hearty dish of homemade mushroom stroganoff, annnnnd finished a pan of buffalo chickpea dip with a spoon. Hey, we ran out of chips/pretzels/chex mix.

… watched the entire 15th season of The Biggest Loser. Can I just say these two things? Number one: where did the nutrition aspect of the show disappear to? It’s now just sponsor after sponsor of processed, unhealthy junk. Number two: the season finale is Tuesday and there are like ten people left- how is this going to happen in an hour?! And when by the way did it switch to 43 minutes? They spend so much time on the scale, I wish it was spent in the kitchen instead. End rant.

… also had the pleasure of watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles with the beau. I didn’t love it very much because it was a Thanksgiving film and I’m in the Christmas kind of mood. Sooooo the beau will now have to sit through Prancer; a favorite of mine.

… drank out of my new Santa mugs that my sister gave me. She’s the best. And speaking of her, she ran a half-marathon on Saturday (yes, in the snow and freezing cold) and PR’d by six minutes! Holy smokes! The crazy must be in our blood.

… got the sh*t scared out of me Saturday night. Story time: this is our first winter in the new apartment. Apparently we have a guy that shovels for us. Apparently he shovels your porch off at 1:30am (p.s… I’m on the third floor). Imagine waking up to the sound of someone on your back porch (that’s off your bedroom btw) that late. Thankfully it was pretty bright out because of the snowfall so I could easily figure it out fast enough and watch him climb back down the fire escape.

time to empty the fridge.

Tonight was one of those nights that I realized many things:

  • that our pantry, cupboards and fridge are pretty empty
  • I need to get back into the habit of running again in the early mornings, and
  • the dishes must be washed every single night.

I quickly washed two sinks worth of dishes after work and decided that I needed a healthy meal to ease my unexercised mind. Because of the craziness from this past weekend at the shop, we still had all of our veggies from last week’s delivery still on hand. I wasn’t in the mood for rice (again) and didn’t think quinoa would taste good paired with the veggies I thought about sautéing. I dug around and found some leftover lasagna noodles; and immediately put on a pot of water.

Random Veggie Roundup serves two hungry people

  • three or four  stalks of fresh curly kale (FG) [broccoli, brussels sprouts and zucchini would all work too]
  • EVOO
  • about three cups of sliced mushrooms (FG)
  • about two cups of sliced red cabbage (FG)
  • two cloves of garlic (FG)
  • about a cup of corn, fresh or frozen (FG)
  • veggie stock (my mom made this delicious batch!)
  • sriracha
  • Braggs liquid aminos
  • tiny splash of apple cider vinegar
  • optional: udon noodles, rice noodles, or any pasta on hand

Super easy: Cook choice of noodles as directed. I had four leftover lasagna noodles that I crumbled into bite-sized pieces.

Saute kale in a little EVOO until it is bright green, add a splash of stock if dry. Add mushrooms and cabbage and cook for just a few minutes until the cabbage becomes softer, but still snappy. Stir in corn and cook until warm.

Push the veggies to one side of the pan and cook the diced garlic in a little EVOO. It would also be delicious to add some fresh ginger (we didn’t have any on hand). Once it smells delicious, stir in with the veggies. Now add a generous splash of stock, about 2-3 tablespoons of Braggs, the tiniest splash of ACV and about two teaspoons of sriracha (less if you aren’t a fan of spice). Stir and let that start to simmer. Add in the noodles, stir and serve. Top with scallions if you have any- we didn’t, sadly.

Meals like this make me happy: they are simple and full of flavor. They also inspire me to make a shopping list!

(If you missed parts I and II.)  

I woke up Tuesday morning not completely rested; my knee had been uncomfortable throughout the night. When I stood up to take advantage of the bathroom right across the hall, I knew it wasn’t good. Every once in a while I’ll twist my knee while hiking and although it’s uncomfortable, it’s nothing worth mentioning because I usually rest the next day. This was different but being someone with a high tolerance for pain, thought I’d be okay after taking something.

With a warm belly full of soup and homefries, and with my pack emptied for the day trip ahead of us, Paula and I were at the trailhead by seven forty-five. The first couple of miles I didn’t really notice my knee because the rest of my body was screaming at me for trying to move so quickly. This was our fourth day hiking and a first for attempting as many miles as we did. By mile five it was impossible for me to hide from Paula that I was in pain. I was limping and my pace was not at my normal chipper rate. I took another Aleve and ate a snack at Slant Rock in hopes that this would do the trick… but it didn’t.

Lucky for me the pain was nonexistent while going uphill. We took the little “shortcut” over toward Basin instead of taking the route that we took toward Haystack for two reasons: a) it was steep and b) it cut off a small amount of distance. I personally enjoyed the steep little climb, although, I had to be very cautious of my knee when stepping so high. I couldn’t trust it 100% even though there wasn’t pain, it was still weak. Paula kept asking me if we should turn around but we were almost to the middle of the mileage for the day, so I figured why not continue upward? I should have done my research about this hike ahead of time.

The mile or so up Basin once we met the trail junction was steep! It had ladders. It had a cliff. It had sheer rock with barely anything to hold on to. It was a test for my fear of heights. One young man passed us who said he had done this hike a number of times and suggested that maybe we not go over to Saddleback because if it was wet, it could be dangerous (we were in the clouds). I had no idea what he was talking about and didn’t care; I was in pain and there was no way in hell I was going to re-climb Basin. We got to the top, took our photographs and immediately headed toward Saddleback.

The descent was just as steep as the climb. It was slow-moving and because we were in the clouds, we couldn’t really see where we were headed. All I remember thinking was I will never re-do that mountain in the winter in fear of falling off cliffs.

Before I knew it, we were heading upward and it wasn’t bad until we broke the treeline. I literally could not believe what was in front of me: boulders stacked upon boulders. There was no trail. There was a yellow painted dotted line giving us a suggested route but there was no definite route. You could see dirt and skid marks from crampons all over the boulders. It was do or turn around and re-climb Basin; which was not an option in my book because of the pain in my knee.

It took Paula and I a good five minutes to assess what was about to happen. The rocks weren’t wet, which was a plus, but they seemed impossible to climb. I could conceptualize how I was suppose to move forward (up really) but I couldn’t physically do it; the fear was in me 100%.

Paula decided to go first; this tactic of her proving that it could be done is what had gotten me up other similar situations. When it became my turn, I followed her direction (meanwhile, she was clinging to the boulders up above us) and then froze. I was shaking and the tears were a-flowin’! There was no budging. I had to close my eyes and say out loud that I HAD TO DO THIS. I had to. And I did. Slowly. And ever so tightly gripped to rocks that didn’t have spots to grip onto. It was by far the most difficult thing I had to do on my 46er journey.

We got to the summit with absolutely no views and no fingerprints left on the tips of my fingers. I was happy but very worried about the walk out. After a quick snack in the trees to avoid the wind, we headed down Saddleback; which wasn’t too bad at all. Before I knew it, we were at the junction to either head out of the woods or go to Gothics; we chose to walk out (our plan all along).

All I really remember from the walk out was the amount of pain I was in. Luckily Paula let me borrow one of her poles which helped me take off some pressure from my right knee. It was a long steep out, and this time we got to see the finished staircase going down the slide that was created from the hurricane. When Paula and I hiked Gothics last summer, they were just starting this project. I was very thankful for those stairs because although I moved slow, they helped in that very steep section.

We passed JBL and Paula picked it up this time to get me motivated to get out to the car. We knew we’d be in the dark for a little bit of the trip, but with no water crossings ahead of us, we were both in a better mood. On the trail we got to see a man from PA that we had met the previous Sunday on top of Redfield. He was camping out there for a couple more days before heading home to his wife. We also met a father and son from western NY who were planning on staying out in the woods, but decided to get a room in Keene instead. They were shocked to hear that we only had one more peak left. How dare them doubt us! 

We only walked a mile or so in the dark, and reached the car shortly after seven. We stripped off our boots (mine were still wet from the water crossing the previous night) and cranked the heat… and cracked the window because our gear stunk! Despite the knee pain, it was a wonderful four days in the Adirondacks and it was an even better feeling knowing that we accomplished what we set out to do. 

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 321 other followers