Wednesday, November 19, 2014

CSA Season Challenges

With the first real snow fall (woo hoo.....) on Sunday, we received our last CSA box for the season. I'm really happy we chose to stick with our half share at JenEhr Family Farm this year. It is so fun to see what is coming each week and was great to pick our boxes up on Sunday's this year.

Any CSA box is not without its challenges. We were challenged by the humongous heads of cauliflower we got in box after box. There are only so many cauliflower salads you can make and it wasn't exactly soup weather. That lead us to finally making cauliflower buffalo "wings" which were awesome!

As the season has changed we've recently gotten a lot of root and fall vegetables- potatoes, beets, brussels sprouts, and the dreaded celeriac. I'm just not a huge fan of celeriac:

1. it is ugly
2. it tastes like really really intense celery (I like celery, but its a little much)
3. it is hard to peel

Supposedly it is good for you, but eh. It is white so it can't be that great.

We got a celeriac root in our box 2 weeks ago and I was traveling for work, so Aaron wasn't compelled to cook it up (big surprise). Lucky us it was still sitting in our fridge when we received our box this week which contained ANOTHER celeriac root, of course. I don't travel this week, so I'm determined to take on the challenge of using all of the CSA box up.

I found the best two recipes I could to try to cover the celery taste:

Garden Keeper's Pie with Beets, Lentils, and Creamy Celery Root Mash - mixing the celery root with potatoes so they can pretend to just be mashed potatoes on a pretty veggie pie.

Ginger and Celery Root Soup - a half cup of fresh ginger root is sure to cover up the strong celery taste, right?

Wish me luck!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Madison Half Marathon


A couple weeks ago I wrote about my 10k race, which was done as part of training for the Madison Half Marathon on November 9th. I finished up my training pretty successfully. I took some extra rest days and had a 2 day scare with a sore quad, but overall I followed the plan. My longest run was 12 miles, which was also the longest I have ever run at once. I'll admit it was a little rough to do and my pace wasn't promising anything special for 13.1 miles.

Photo Booth at the Expo/Packet Pick up
The day before the half marathon I was wondering why I ever signed up for something that started at 7 am on a Sunday morning. Why was I torturing myself??? Luckily I had my dad with me so I couldn't back out. He drove all the way to Madison for the race and we had a great time with him and my step-mom, Nancy.

Waiting at the starting line!
 The weather was a little chilly (around 34 degrees) and I wasn't happy about giving up my warmer jacket at the starting line. When it was finally time to line up I found the 2 hour finish pace group, since my goal was to finish in under 2 hours. I was nervous about starting out too fast and the pace group was awesome for ensuring a steady start. I stuck with them for around 4 miles and then felt comfortable enough to run ahead a little faster.


My slow start paid off and I had a much faster second half of the race. I was able to pass a lot of people, which felt great. Overall I thought it was a pretty easy run and finished in around 1:56 with an 8:53 minute per mile pace. The pace challenged me a little, but I didn't feel like I was in pain or struggling to keep it up at all. It was a fun run and I wasn't nearly as upset about getting up so early and running in the cold while I was actually moving. I was VERY happy to see the finish though and don't see any full marathons in my future.

Finisher's photo and beer!
 The race was extremely well organized and definitely one I'd consider doing again, although I'd also like to do a warmer half marathon! I might have to pay my Dad back by traveling to Michigan to run with him there. We now have snow on the ground in Madison, so I'm thanking the snow gods that the half marathon was last weekend instead of this one and enjoying no training requirements for the time being!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

10k

For fun and exercise this fall (and with a little coaxing from a friend) I signed up for the Madison half marathon on November 9th.

I have been running regularly for about a year now, with a little break last December when I pulled a muscle. However, my running was really really boring. I would run 3 miles 4 times a week at the same pace, and that was about it. Sometimes I creeped up to 4 for a "long run."



Training for the half marathon has given me a lot of goals to meet and a reason to push myself to actually do long runs. I'm having a lot of fun with it, but honestly running over 6 miles/over an hour is a little tedious, so not sure I would do it again (especially when those hour + runs are now part of the week day training). My dad is coming to Madison to run the half as well, which means we get to share our training stories and also encourage each other.

Part of the training schedule was to run a 10k race this weekend or run 8 miles. A 10k is only 6.2 miles so obviously I picked that one! I found the Ghoulish Gallup in Fitchburg, WI and thought it would be nice not to run in Madison for once.



For my first 10k, the race went pretty well. I looked at the times from last year and my goal was to finish in the top ten/under 55 minutes, which I was able to do with a 53:43 finish. I really liked the distance, although around that 5k mark I was wondering why I had to run another 5k.

My friend Becky was able to win, although she had to run a little harder than she wanted to because there was some competition in the form of a woman wearing a tank top. You know it is serious when someone is wearing a tank top in 40 degree weather.  I was 2nd in my age group, so no award for me.

The real reason for doing the 10k is to predict how you'll finish in the half marathon. My goal is to finish in under 2 hours and its going to be close! Let's all just hope it doesn't snow.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

I only eat fruit.

This past week I've been reading about the Fruitarian diet. I'm surprised that many people have never heard of it. I've known about it for a while and thought it was absolutely crazy (sorta like when people just juice).

A vegetarian running blog I read (No Meat Athlete) has been posting about it recently and said the diet of almost all raw fruits and vegetables made him feel amazing and need less sleep. That's pretty cool, right? Except when you realize you have to eat 8 bananas in one serving. He also lost a ton of weight and decided it wasn't for him, but it got me doing some research.

I honestly had a really good laugh at this video where the guy says "I had 15 oranges for breakfast." SERIOUSLY? How long does it take to peel and eat 15 oranges? It would take me all morning. I also had fun telling Aaron I'm going to eat nothing but fruit from now on. Including fruit flavored ice-cream. He wasn't as amused as me.

However, all of the reading did bring me back to the year or so when I tried to eat mostly/almost all raw food during the day with a cooked dinner. I felt great! Then I spent the summer in Mexico and couldn't eat raw vegetables without disinfecting them, so I got off track. With all of the business travel I do now my diet definitely leaves something to be desired. Although my friends and coworkers think I'm healthy, there is just way too much cheese, dairy, and white flour involved with eating on the road. (Also, is beer a raw fruit?)

While I won't be going all Fruitarian, I'm going to make an effort to get back to more raw fruits and vegetables during the day. It is pretty easy: smoothies for breakfast, huge salads for lunch (thank you salad bar!), fruit and raw veggie snacks. Before you know it you've gone the whole day with zero grains, refined sugar, or cooked food.

In the meantime... if anyone gives fruitarianism a try, let me know how that goes for you. And also let me know how long it takes to eat 15 oranges.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Soup weather

The only good things about fall are boots and soup. I was really dreading the change to fall weather, but then I remembered I have about 1,000 soup recipes I haven't been able to use for the last 4 months. So many dinner options! Soup is easy to make, easy to freeze, and great for using up our CSA vegetables. I also had a growing supply of frozen veggies in the freezer to make veggie broth with (so much cheaper and better than buying it- you should make it at home).

Here are some of my favorite soup recipes to keep you warm/stock up your freezer:

Soothing Red Lentil Soup - It is soothing! I like it with extra lemon.

Carrot Ginger Soup - A favorite for a couple of years. We made it this week and it is still amazing! (requires an immersion blender unless you are brave enough to put hot liquids in your stand up blender... I'm not)

Stale Bread Soup - just make it.

Coconut Red Lentil Soup - something about the golden raisins in this soup make it the best.

Crock Pot Vegetarian Split Pea Soup - one of Aaron's favorites.



Sunday, September 21, 2014

Micah.

Surprise! (not a surprise) We have a wonderful second puppy named Micah who hasn't had the honor of being featured on my blog (because I haven't posted in a long long time). Here are some adorable photos from the first few months we had him at home. He is now almost as big as Moses and has improved in temperament and behavior immensely (he was a little bit of a shit when we got him).

We now know what its like to keep a house clean with two dirty dogs and are looking for a bigger house so they can spread out a little. Enjoy the adorableness!








Saturday, March 8, 2014

Tennessee


At the end of January, Aaron and I finally got down to Tennessee to visit my sister and brother in law. Aaron took the week off and drove so Moses could join. I flew in on Friday and we drove back together on Sunday.

Moses enjoyed playing in the stream near the dog park and we had probably the best biscuit in the world at Tupelo Honey Cafe. We also conquered a puzzle that had been sitting out since August and Lou and I got pedicures.

Lou and Tyler have such a beautiful house- it definitely gave me the itch to buy a big home. Except I want one with a basement!



Puzzle finished selfie!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

February.

I didn't post anything for the full month of February. I wish I could say I've been hibernating. I've been in California a lot enjoying the warm weather and freak outs over a little sprinkle of rain. The sun is shining today, which is a terrible trick because its actually 3 degrees. It is the type of cold where my whole body tenses up to try to get smaller and keep warm and there is no relief in site (at least not in the 7 day forecast).

I strongly question why we are living in Madison when even places like New York are getting 20 and 30 degree range days while were stuck in the teens. Yuck. 

Enjoy some pictures of what we've been up to for the last four weeks- playing with Moses, a chocolate and wine tasting at the botanical gardens in our neighborhood, basketball, and a box of bourbon courtesy of Harvest.





Saturday, January 18, 2014

a bug

Earlier this week I got a real treat- a chance to re-live some of my childhood memories. Unfortunately those memories involve vomiting non-stop and trying to drink gatorade (so you understand why there aren't pictures with this post). Very special. I was in New York visiting my sister last weekend and started feeling sick while I was at the airport for my flight home and my plane was delayed. Luckily it was only delayed for an hour because by the time we landed I thought I had an intense case of motion sickness that turned into staying up all night with my head in the toilet.

Where I noticed that Aaron hadn't bothered to clean the bathroom while I was gone.

Since I was too sick to sleep, I had a lot of time to remember all of the times I got the stomach flu when I was a kid. One time it was Christmas Day, another time at a friends house… pretty frequently, but I haven't had one since I lived in the dorms in college. And I always had a parent to take care of me- Aaron had to go to work, but he did get me a huge supply of gatorade and saltines (I only drank one bottle and had two crackers). I was so nauseous I couldn't scroll on my phone without losing it.

My immune system was weak from a respiratory infection and a hectic business trip, so I figure that is why I got sick. But I'd like to say these stomach bugs should really be reserved for children only and I wouldn't wish it on anyone!

And my appetite for NYC bagels is pretty much ruined.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

new year goals

Moses taking a nap on my running shoes.

1. Save money to potentially buy a house- Moses needs more room to play and mortgage payments aren't much more than our current rent.

2. Run a road race- I was up to 5 mile runs this fall, but then I injured my leg about six weeks ago. I was having a hard time walking and had to take a lot of pain killers. Luckily it seems to be healing and I'm now able to use the elliptical and bike at the gym, but I'm ready to start running again!

3. Go to another country- direct contradiction to goal #1, but I'm really itching for an international trip and want to get Aaron somewhere other than Mexico.


That is about it… don't want to get too ambitious over here! Happy new year everyone!