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In this week’s bag:

  • peaches
  • baby bok choy
  • concord grapes
  • spaghetti squash
  • edamame
  • cauliflower
  • salad mix

The other night while I was working at the store, there was a print party going on with a bunch of gals celebrating a friend’s birthday. They brought beer, wine, chips and salsa, a bean dip, fresh fruit and a DUN DUN DUN buffalo chicken dip. It was seriously difficult to avoid the snack table. Ever since that night, I’ve had a hankering for something buffalo… and when I saw what was in this week’s bag, I knew I’d make buffalo cauliflower! Paired with a big green salad, so good!

I still have the concord grapes from last week, so tonight I’m going to make grape juice as I clean the apartment. If I’m remembering correctly, they do need to simmer for a long time = the apartment is going to smell sweet. The peaches are great pre-running fuel and afternoon snacks- they surely won’t go to waste. The edamame will be boiled and seasoned to perfection. I personally like this “island” seasoning mix my mom brought back from the Caribbean a couple of years ago; it’s sweet, salty and a little bit smokey.

This weekend I’m going to be heading downstate to check out my little sister’s new house! She and her boyfriend bought a condo last month and I finally have a free weekend to go see the place and the city that she now calls home. My mom and I are leaving super early tomorrow and I’m bringing the spaghetti squash with me so that I can teach her how to cook it. I know that she doesn’t like squash, but I think this will be an exception. I love to bake it, then scrape it out and fry it up with fresh garlic and black pepper. Oh, how I love autumn root vegetables!

The three of us are going to head to the beach (the same one we visited last year) AND we are going to IKEA! Wahoo! My mom has never been and I have a bookshelf to pick up for the apartment. Super excited to get a home for the boxes of records filling up the living room and to have the record player up off the floor.

Hope you all have a wonderful weekend! Stay active, stay happy and give someone a hug!

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Well, we did it! Most importantly, my little sister crossed the finish line of her first half marathon! This was a gorgeous route- I don’t know if it’s because I’ve been training on a bike path week after week or because this was the city I fell in love with running, but the miles seemed to tick by. I found myself repeatedly saying out loud that it was the most perfect day for this race; something I tend to do a lot in the mountains when hiking. I was thankful that there wasn’t a tiny percent of humidity in the air and that it was quite brisk when we started- my two favorite things about autumn running.

Here’s a little recap of the miles:

Miles 1-3: If you follow along with my training on DailyMile, you’d know that the past couple of weeks I have been running the biggest hills in Troy to prepare myself for the incline up North Broadway to Skidmore College. I remember running this route with Marla years ago and it would KILL me. I didn’t want to start this race dragging, or dragging my sister back, so hills have become part of my routine. This morning I could have flown up that incline. I could have flown up the two hills throughout the campus and breezed back down toward downtown. I could feel my body pulling myself faster but I stayed right along with Naomi, encouraging her the whole way. See, she hadn’t trained with hills. She did exactly what I told her to do: run comfortably up those hills and we’d gain our ground later in the race. Start slow and finish strong.

Halfway up North Broadway she gave me a look and asked me if there were people behind her. I said yes, but not many, and not to worry because if we were the last two people to cross the finish line, I’d let her go first. I knew we wouldn’t be the last two people and reassured her that she was doing great. I caught her looking at her Garmin far too much and she would ask why she was going so slow or how the pace felt to me- I just told her to STOP looking at that watch or I’d take it away from her. (Great words my friend once said to me last year during my marathon attempt.) I didn’t want her worrying about time; I wanted her to finish. We passed our family and were thumbs-up with smiles!

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Miles 4-6: The best part about this race was that I knew where all the hills would be and when to prepare her for them. She made it up the hill on Broadway heading toward the Saratoga State Park and I just followed her pace. She fell into a nice little groove and held that consistently until about mile 5.25. At this point in the course, we could see the runners that were MILES ahead of us and some were MUCH older than us. She had me laughing out loud when she made a comment about a “grandpa” who was beating us but I reminded her to run her own run and not to think about those people. To me, those people are inspiration. This was when I saw a No Meat Athlete and a friend named Gabe run by and had to give them a holler. This was also when I saw the competitive side of Naomi come out; she started to verbalize “targets” of whom she wanted to pass. I did this earlier in the race to her but backed off because I didn’t want to push her too soon. I reminded her that if she were to pass people now, she better hold it to the finish line; not a problem.

Miles 7-9: I refueled around mile 6.5 and started taking routine sips of water every two miles. Naomi also shared the water bottle I carried which was great because we didn’t stop at any water stations. We hit our last hill of the day and she passed people going up! These weren’t memorable miles for me until about mile 9.75 when we saw our family a second time… I’m still all smiles and thumbs-up! I think this was a huge relief for my mom because this was right around the time I was pulled from VCM.

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Miles 10-12: Once we hit ten miles and high-fived (we did that at every mile marker), I reminded her that we had just a 5k to go! She really started to pick up the pace and it was tricky for us to fall into a new groove because it was much more crowded and practically single file on Crescent Ave because of traffic. She let me know when it was safe to pass. She said mile 10-11 was her most difficult but I couldn’t tell. By this time, I had to pee but couldn’t imagine stopping. She told me all the better to pick up the speed and finish, so I did. Once mile 12 came, she kept asking, “where’s the Farmer’s Market?!”

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Miles 13-13.1: We booked it! As we were passing those who were walking, I couldn’t help but try and encourage them during the last mile. Once we rounded the corner near the police station and could see the finish, I really fell into stride; and she was right there with me. We passed her boyfriend, my dad who was on the phone looking for her boyfriend and then there at the finish line was the beau and my mom. I grabbed Naomi’s hand and crossed we did! My DailyMile friend John even announced the two of us and the fact that it was her first race! She looked like she was going to barf (sorry Naomi) and I couldn’t help but smile because I knew she gave it all she had in her. We found our family, including the beau’s! and relaxed for a while before heading home.

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It was a great day! Once the beau and I made it back to Troy, we sat down for a delicious meal at Carmen’s with a celebratory mimosa! That mix of spinach, seasonal veggies and rice were just what I needed to refuel. I got home and passed out to take a short nap and when I woke up, I was surprised to find out that the beau had made homemade tomato sauce (seriously impressed with the flavor), pasta and fried/baked eggplant… oh, and had a 12 pack of Saranac seasonal beers chilled! Isn’t he great?! I stuffed my face had a hearty serving of dinner while watching Sons of Anarchy- season five is getting better and better! It was a wonderful way to wrap up a busy weekend.

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Other highlights from this weekend: we finally got the record player up and running! I love looking through the box of records and dancing around the apartment. Now if only I was productive while dancing around, say, sweeping or picking up dirty laundry. Oh! And the beau ran his first (ever) 5k on Saturday! I loved to see him participate and I think it’s safe to say that he’s hooked: I’m pretty sure he’s going to run the Turkey Trot with me!

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In this week’s bag:

  • concord grapes
  • braising mix
  • broccoli
  • roma tomatoes
  • yummy snacking peppers
  • sweet corn
  • seckel pears

The beau and I were both super excited to see/smell the concord grapes in the bag because last year when we got them, I ended up making a big batch of fresh grape juice. It was delicious and lasted us a week or so; we diluted it a ton because neither of us is use to drinking juice on a daily basis. I may throw some into my morning shakes for an extra pop of flavor!

The sweet corn will be tasty in some sort of stir fry, possibly with the onions and peppers I plan on cooking up tonight with tempeh for “fajitas”.  The broccoli I’d love to steam up and enjoy with the eggplant parmesan I plan on making this weekend, layered with fresh tomatoes and basil. The beau tasted one of the peppers this morning and said it was good; paired with some homemade hummus and sriracha, they will become a perfect snack. Lastly, those pears. We were advised to let them ripen a few more days- after that, I’m poppin’ them in the oven for a sweet treat with cinnamon. Nature’s dessert.

This morning I ran my last run, five miles, before the race this Sunday. I ran alone and only spoke once to myself as I was nearing the top of Congress Street; no I’m not going to quit! My meals over the next 48 hours are going to be “strict”- as clean as possible with tons of vegetables, complex carbs (my favorite, short grain brown rice) and plenty of water. I am a no meat athlete and truly thrive on clean food!

I can’t wait to spend time with my sister and see her cross that finish line; this will be a tricky course for both of us (the hills!). Hope you all have a wonderful and rewarding weekend; send positive vibes!

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I’m realizing that I never posted my veggies photograph from Field Goods last week- oops! The last two weeks the beau’s parents were on vacation and I got to pick up their weekly share of vegetables at the Farmer’s Market, so we’ve had veggies galore!

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While the beau was away, I was very good about cooking every meal fresh and it really paid off over the weekend. Let me fill you in. If you remember from this post, I announced that I was going to run a half marathon with my little sister. Well, to be completely honest, I’ve been slacking over the past month. I’ve been so focused on my hiking each weekend, that I really haven’t been committing myself to the long runs. A big no-no for any distance race.

Two weeks ago I was scheduled to run 11 miles. (The furthest I ran prior to this was 9 miles three weeks ago) I got up early around 4am Saturday to fuel and was out the door promptly at five. And that’s when the wall of humidity hit me. I am not a summer runner and get discouraged by the humidity but told myself to suck it up. By mile two, I stopped to walk and started crying; right there on the side of the road. I knew this race wouldn’t be possible if I couldn’t run the eleven so I convinced myself to start running; only to stop one mile later. I walked the three miles home in the rain. I called my sister to tell her that I was out and that I would jump in and run a few miles with her to keep her company and finish strong.

I also told my sister that I’d try another long run this past Saturday just to confirm that I didn’t have it in me. I woke up late, ate only a peach and fewer Energy Bits than normal, and hit the streets. And then this happened:

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I have no clue where it came from! The weather was absolutely gorgeous; cool with zero humidity. I nailed refueling after mile six and I remained positive, especially during the last two miles when my legs began to tighten. That overall pace is faster than some of my three milers throughout the week. I was shocked and called my sister as soon as I got home- I’m running the race with her! (As long as it’s not humid- ha!) I think eating well the week leading up to this run really made a difference, so I’m making an effort to eat super good this week (the race is on Sunday).

As if the run wasn’t enough, Sunday I went hiking! A coworker and I drove up at 4am to get an early start up Street & Nye. As we got off the exit for Keene, it was pouring and I was worried it would be a wet, miserable day. But as we left the Loj, the clouds opened up and blue skies surrounded us all day. It was cool. It was a little breezy. The trail has a lot of blow-down but easy to follow. And despite not having views, this was a great hike. I found it to be a nice little “break” from what Paula and I have been hiking recently.

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I officially have TEN more peaks to go! So close to becoming a 46er; anyone out there thinking about joining me for Sawteeth and 12 miles of reflecting on the past year?

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I’m sticking with what my mother taught me; if I don’t have anything nice to say…

No, I’ll be honest: this was my least favorite hike to date.

IMG_3519Not because of the mud. Not because of the distance. Because it was difficult and mentally a tough trip. This was a thirteen hour day and close to 17 miles. My toes were numb during the last 1.8 miles out on the gravel road, as the sun was setting behind the mountains. I am beyond thankful for Mother Nature and the weather that we had; we went into this hike expecting rain with absolutely no views. Despite the humidity, there was not a drop of rain and plenty of blue sky. We even had gorgeous views on top of Panther!

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Favorite quote of the day: Can we go somewhere and hike on marshmallows or something?

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Favorite food of the day: Hummus sandwich on Ezekiel bread with sriracha, lettuce and tomatoes.

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New friend of the day: David Lord from Horseheads- you’ll be seeing us real soon in the magazine!

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Favorite sight of the day: the car.

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Favorite scare of the day: the giant rock I was hanging from, by a root, and all I could see below me was a cliff. At this point, we had a good 5-6 miles to go and I was ready to cry from mental exhaustion. Thank goodness for Paula who convinced me to just slide down on my butt; sounds simple enough but at that point, I needed someone to talk me off the ledge, literally.

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Favorite self-trait: I’m really good at balancing across mud swaps on tiny logs.

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I don’t know if I’ll ever become a Winter 46er because of this hike- I never want to think about re-doing this! On the other hand, there is a lot of potential for the ADK butt-slide…

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12 more peaks to go!

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In this week’s bag:

  • arugula
  • radishes
  • yellow and red tomatoes
  • shitake mushrooms
  • leeks
  • zestar apples
  • clapp pears

This week has been a crazy one! Not only am I working more hours, but it’s Troy Night Out tonight AND the beau is leaving for a mini vacation to Maine tomorrow. We’ve been scrambling to get the apartment cleaned, laundry washed and fresh meals prepared. I did double workouts twice this week and am thankful that today is a scheduled rest day because I needed the two extra hours of sleep… tomorrow’s long run should be interesting.

Last night amongst the craziness, I ran home to whip up a quick dish for dinner; hence why there are two photographs. I made a stir-fry using the tomatoes, leeks, shitake mushrooms, some leftover kale from a previous week and added some spices, balsamic vinegar and farro. Who said clean food can’t be fast, easy and cheap?!

Because I’ll be alone the next five days, I’ve already made some plans and lists of things that I need to get done. I don’t know what it is about being super busy, but it motivates me to be super organized and complete things that have been on the back burner. Makes me even more busier but… I feel accomplished. Until I burn out. But at least my closet will be organized and my desk will be clear. 

Sunday despite the prediction for rain, Paula and I will be heading back up to the mountains to reach three more summits! We’ve already experienced so much rain this summer that at this point, I could care less; especially because we aren’t staying overnight. Monday will be a laundry day- hand washing items, sorting, donating, and choosing the items that will carry me into autumn. Oh! And speaking of clothes, I’ve ordered a pair of jeans online and am anticipating the perfect fit. I’ll most definitely share if there’s success!

Being home means being in the kitchen to prepare more meals! Because I used up most of the veggies last night, I may check out Engelke Farm to see if they’re open- if so, I’m going to get me some cherry tomatoes and eggplants! I’d love to make an eggplant parmesan and a dish of roasted tomatoes and vegan cheddar biscuits! I found a dinosaur cookie cutter one day walking home from brunch and I’ve been dying to use it. Lastly, I’m not a pear person. But I’m a crisp kind of gal. I’ll search the internet for some recipes and combine what I think sounds delicious and try my hardest at baking.

newveggieart!Lastly, I’d like to share with you this new print that I have to hang in our tiny kitchen! The beau has actually been working on this print for the last couple of weeks and I’m so happy with the way that it turned out. It features some of our favorite seasonal fruits and veggies that we’ve received over the past year as a Field Goods member. Super cute, right?

Have an action-packed holiday weekend! Hope it’s filled with good food, good times and good vibes!

 

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In this week’s bag:

  • white eggplant
  • white lady peaches
  • swiss chard
  • heirloom tomato
  • field greens
  • walla walla onion
  • zucchini
  • honey dew donut peaches

Lately my schedule has been overwhelming: work until five at my day job and then work until seven at the store, five days a week. It’s tough getting out of work so late. I’m typically starving by then and Wednesday night was no exception. And because of this new schedule, the last thing I want to do when I get home is cook a fresh meal… but it’s the only thing I crave!

So, I dug through our Field Goods bag, took a look at what I had leftover from the previous week and got to work. I ended up chopping up the onion, the entire white eggplant, some leftover baby bella mushrooms and a whole FG tomato and just let it all cook down until the eggplant was nice and soft. I kept the seasonings simple with garlic, s&p, crushed red pepper and a splash of balsamic vinegar; tossed with mushroom and garlic orzo from the Farmer’s Market and topped with basil from the garden, it was a great, hearty dinner. Sorry no photograph, remember, I was starving!

No big plans with our bag this week, other than maybe finally trying to make zucchini fritters. I’d love to add some Indian spice to them to maybe mimic pakoras and find a good onion chutney to dunk them in; that is one food I do miss eating when dining out at Shalimar.

The peaches are already about half-way gone (they are so sweet and are the perfect snack throughout the day), the salad greens will become delicious salads, which leaves us with the swiss chard. It’ll honestly end up sliced in a stir fry which I don’t mind, adds plenty of color and texture.

I’ve got a busy day today and will then be heading to the mountains early tomorrow morning to hike my 31st peak. I’m getting so close to the end of this goal that I just wish I could take a week or two off from work and spend some time in the mountains. I didn’t take a summer vacation this year and may do just that in October.

Cheers to wishful thinking and active goals!

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