Tag Archives: fall

Don’t Snack Before Dinner: Go For a Run!

24 Oct

Yesterday when I got home from work, I was pretty hungry. I had a whole organic chicken in my refrigerator that I was planning on roasting, and pairing with mashed red-skin potatoes, roasted veggies and gravy (I’m practicing in case I have to cook Thanksgiving dinner this year). As soon as I got home, I prepped everything and threw it in the oven. All the yummy smells made my tummy rumble even more, which made me think about snacking.

I wanted to save my appetite for dinner, so I thought to myself, “Hey — Running suppresses my appetite, and this chicken has to cook for about 50 minutes….”

So, I strapped up my laces and hit the road.

So glad I did.

I don’t know what the weather has been like where you live, but we have had a perfect fall. I’m glad, because it’s my favorite season and last year we didn’t get much of a fall at all.

I was going to do my usual 3 mile up and back, but I got bored about 1 mile in and made a right hand turn. I ended up running through town instead of the park, and it was a much needed change of scenery.

Oh, and dinner was incredible:

Roast chicken (don’t worry, I didn’t eat that skin), mashed potatoes and roasted butternut squash, carrots, broccoli and few Brussels sprouts.

I’m absolutely obsessed with Thyme lately. I’m putting it in everything.

Question of the Day:
What’d you have for dinner last night? 

Wild Wednesday

17 Oct

I can’t believe I haven’t posted since Friday! I’m a huge slacker!

Wild Wednesday: Where I dump all the little details I’ve not posted in the past few weeks.

Well, I went to the chiropractor, and I’m pleased to report that everything in my back, leg, buttocks and foot is feeling a little better. My doctor wants me to come back on Wednesday AND Friday, she says I’m extra tight and need a lot of massages. Who am I to argue? There was definitely a little pain during the appointment, but it was all that good, getting the knots out pain.

I’m also pleased to report that I’ve already done yoga twice already this week, and I have plans for at least two more classes!

I’ve been feeling a little ‘off’ since Friday. I went home from work early due to just not feeling well and a massive headache. I ended up in bed for most of the day with a pillow over my head, and wasn’t feeling up to much of anything until Sunday. I did get my long run in though! 8ish miles. The half-marathon is in 3.5 weeks, so I really need to get the long runs in every week until the week before. I will only get up to 10, though. SIGH.

Are you a competitive runner? If you’re outside and there are other runners around, do you try to pass them? I don’t, and I’m fine with it if others want to, but on the last couple of miles of my long run on Sunday, this girl decided she wanted to pass me:

Which is fine, but every time she passed me, she seemed to slow down. I’m pretty sure I was keeping the same pace, because she would pass me and then I would almost be right on her heels again. So, I passed her back. After two more times of this cat and mouse game, I stopped (that’s when I took this photo) and let her go ahead of me. She obviously wanted to be faster and after almost 8 miles I wasn’t in the mood to challenge her. Has this ever happened to you?

Penny always claims my running shoes after I get home from a run.

When the cooler weather hits, the sun spot becomes the most coveted napping place in my house:

Shortly after this picture was taken, another cat came along, beat her up and took over the sun spot. It’s big enough for three, but they all fight over it. Also, my future sister-in-law (and neighbor)’s Doberman is sporting a sweatshirt:

..and I’m wearing my favorite tights/socks/boots combo:

I got out my one and only Halloween decoration (I have more, but I’ve been too busy this year), and Zach got a new pair of shoes so we had this box in our living room for days until we had the heart to toss it:

And finally, although this is probably from 2 weeks ago, I had to share this yummy breakfast I made:

It’s a play on my typical weekend breakfast. I chopped up two sweet potatoes (usually I use regular in this dish) and cooked them in my cast iron skillet with some olive oil, onions and green peppers (along with salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder) until they were soft. Then I popped the skillet into the oven (about 375) and cracked two eggs on top  and let it cook until the eggs were cooked through. I served it (in case you can’t tell) with some avocado and a whole wheat tortilla. Ho.ly. Cow. was this delicious. Quick and easy too! I highly suggest you try it!

One last thing:

 

Cookie Crisp is on the “Eat This” side of Eat This, Not That Supermarket Edition. How exciting is that?

Question of the Day:
Does your competitive streak ever come out when you’re exercising? If so, when? 

I’ve Gone Pumpkin Crazy

3 Oct

Well, it finally happened. I’ve gone pumpkin crazy. I went grocery shopping yesterday, and despite forgetting some pretty essential items (oh, just bread, a new filter for the Brita pitcher and hot sauce!)  I did manage to get the essential pumpkin items:

Plus 12 cans of pumpkin puree. I’m obsessed.

Aldi has all the pumpkin things. The reason I forgot so many items is because I was literally mesmerized. Zach is lucky that I didn’t spend all of our money there! They had pumpkin spice milk, pumpkin bagels, pumpkin cream cheese, pumpkin spice pancakes….the list goes on. I could barely focus.

I had a great day yesterday! After posting my October Goals, I was motivated to get up super early and get a strength workout in. It was rainy, so I decided to do the workout from home. I did a full-body superset workout that I found in the Oxygen Fat Loss issue. Then, I did this Gangnam Style dance from Cassey at Blogilates twice. It was SO FUN, and definitely got me sweating and my heart rate up. I highly suggest you try it if you’re as obsessed with the song as I am.

Then, after work, I texted my friend Ashley (who just got a membership at the Y! Yay gym friends!) to see if she wanted to either run outside or on the treadmill with me. She chose the treadmill, so I did a 4-mile speed workout (8 400 repeats at 5k pace alternating with slow jog or walk 400s). It took me about 42 minutes. I went straight from the gym to the grocery store, so that’s probably why I ended up with a bunch of pumpkin flavored treats and no bread.

The sky was GORGEOUS yesterday!

After all of that, I didn’t get home until almost 8, so Zach and I had some frozen pizza (healthy, I know), a glass of Malbec and watched a movie called Bernie:

I definitely recommend this movie! It was based on a true story, and a LOT different than I expected from the trailer. It was quite good.

After a nice day of healthy eating and good fitness, I failed once again to make it to the gym this morning. 😦 I really don’t know what my problem is with getting up lately. I actually got out of bed, put on my gym clothes and then, just took them back off and went back to bed. I was just so tired. But then thing is, I didn’t actually go back to sleep. I read for a while and then got up to do some dishes and cleaning up. Maybe I just need to get up a little earlier, to allow myself to wake up before I head to the gym? I used to have my alarm set for 5:25 and then be out the door without fail by 6 AM. Or maybe it’s just that it’s dark in the mornings again and I’m not quite used it yet. I’ll try setting my alarm a little earlier tomorrow because I absolutely have to go to the gym in the morning tomorrow. Today, I can go for a run after work, but tomorrow after work, Zach and I have big plans!

Tomorrow, Macy’s is having an event where if you go and create your bridal registry, you can win one of hundreds of gift cards, ranging in value from $100 – $1,000! I figured, what better time to get started on our wedding registry? Zach seemed interested in the idea, so we registered for the event and we’ll head over tomorrow after work. I also have a coupon for Ruby Tuesday (I am in love with their salad bar), so we’re making a date night of it. I think I’ll like registering. It’s like shopping without actually spending money — perfect for me.

One more thing I wanted to mention before this  post gets ridulously long is a little bit about that pumpkin cider up there. I had some with lunch today, and while I was drinking it, I checked out the nutrition facts:

First of all, love the flip-top bottle. I’ve had this twice (had about half the bottle at this point) and it stays nice and fizzy in that bottle. Secondly, I was quite impressed with the nutrition facts. The one thing I’ve noticed about the products at Aldi, they typically have a lot less ingredients than similar things at Kroger, and I can actually pronounce all the ingredients. I always thought of Aldi as a discount store, and while it is, it probably has a lot more in common with Trader Joe’s. Also, this bottle has 2-110 calorie servings, but I have found that a smaller serving is more my style with this. While it is delicious, it’s also pretty strong and I probably wouldn’t want to drink a whole lot of it at once. Approve!

So, send me good vibes that I get my workout in tomorrow morning!!

Question of the Day:
What’s your favorite pumpkin-related item? (You aren’t allowed to say you don’t like pumpkin, because I might die)

 

A Fall Getaway

1 Oct

This weekend, Zach and I joined some friends for a trip to Marlinton, WV for their annual Fall Festival and “Roadkill Cook-off” — all of us had seen advertisements for the Festival when we’ve visited Pocahontas County, so our curiosity was peaked. Our friend Mandee’s husband Garrett’s family happens to have a cabin located right along the Greenbrier River and they invited us down to hang out at the cabin and check out the Festival.

See Zach and Garrett?

The cabin was great! All the comforts of home. We arrived on Friday evening and left Sunday morning, so minus our Roadkill Festival fare, we concluded that we would need three meals while we were there — dinner Friday, breakfast Saturday, and dinner on Saturday. So each couple was responsible for one meal. Mandee made us an excellent chili on Friday evening (I threw together a quickie cast-iron skillet cornbread also). I’m sad I didn’t take any photos, but I was ravenous and just inhaled it! I was responsible for breakfast Saturday morning. Since we were right on the Greenbrier River Trail, I wanted to get a run or two in, so I decided on a low-maintenance breakfast: quiche!

Mmmmm….

Quiche is the easiest. You just crack some eggs, add in some cream, cheese and veggies then cook it until it’s not runny anymore. I even used a store-bought crust because I was going for quick and easy. I love easy meals that are delicious and seem labor-intensive. This quiche turned out great. Usually I go the asparagus route with quiche, but this time I threw in some broccoli and peppers. It was very delicious. I made two, and we had plenty of leftovers to heat up and eat while we were packing up on Sunday morning.

Speaking of running (was I?), like I mentioned we were right on the Greenbrier River Trail. It’s a 78 mile trail that goes through the mountains of West Virginia, and it is breathtaking. On Saturday morning, I did a three-mile loop in one direction and then on Sunday I did a six-mile loop in the other direction. It was a really pretty run, and the weather was chilly enough that once I started sweating I was still comfortable.

I must have stopped to take a million photos.

Our cabin was located on mile marker 77, so on my six mile loop I ran until I got to mile marker 74 and then turned around. I love running in the solitude and nature, but do not try to do it without music. When I run in town, there is plenty to keep my interest, but miles and miles of river and trees, while lovely, can get pretty repetitive pretty quickly. The first morning I realized that I forgot my headphones, hence the shorter run, but then on Sunday morning I realized I brought that hat you see on my head up there, which has built in headphones. Luckily it was chilly enough to run in a hat.

Enjoying the view from the cabin porch, post-run.

Let’s talk about the Roadkill Cook-off, shall we? The Pocahontas County Autumn Harvest Festival and Roadkill Cook-off has been happening for 22 years now. The first rule listed in the WV Living Magazine article about it last year reads: The main ingredient must be any animal commonly found dead on the side of the road, including groundhog, possum, deer, rabbit, squirrel, or snake. Pigs, cows, chickens, horses, and goats are also acceptable. The animal need not actually come off the side of the road, and in fact, most of the judges prefer that it didn’t.

I’ll have to admit, I was pretty nervous. I’ve been a vegetarian in the past, so going beyond my usual chicken or fish was a bit of a stretch for me. But, these are once in a lifetime opportunities, people!

After a rainy Friday, we had some fabulous weather for the festival on Saturday. Blue skies, fluffy white clouds, hot sun and cool breeze — perfect fall weather. The Festival itself was pretty standard — crafts, food, etc. But the real fun was located in the town square. For three dollars, you got a wristband that allowed you to sample any of the food that was being judged for the cook-off:

 

The first line we got into was a booth that was serving “Possum Burgoo” I’m pretty sure they were trying to go for a traditional Kentucky Burgoo (which is amazing!), so I figured if nothing else I would like the stew itself.

This possum was incredibly life-like.

The stew itself resembled chili. I got a huge chunk of meat in mine, which I bravely ate. It tasted exactly like chicken. In fact, I swear it actually was chicken because possums are kind of gross and I don’t want to think about eating them. The stew itself, however, was bland. After that I went into it with a new attitude: Food Critic.

After the first booth, we got straight into line to try a squirrel meat rice dish. It was a little better than the Burgoo, but I was still searching for my favorite.

The next line we got into had the best presentation, in my opinion. They were serving “Porcupine Quill” which was basically a skewer of porcupine meat (are porcupines typically roadkill?) with vegetables and a yummy sweet and a little spicy sauce.

 

The boy in the middle said that Native Americans would use this recipe and use the porcupine’s quills as skewers for the meat and veggies. This was by far my favorite of the cook-off. They claimed to use the traditional Native American recipe, but it seemed a lot like teriyaki sauce. It was still delicious.

After that, we tried a bear meatloaf, which I found to be a little mushy, but everyone else seemed to like.

A few of the booths were closed down because judging was happening. This is the one I would have liked to try:

 

In case you can’t read that menu, they had a Teriyaki Venison, a Rabbit and Dandelion salad and Venison fried rice. Yum! I’m really sorry I missed that one.

All in all, we thought the Roadkill Cook-off was just so-so. While the food was interesting and exciting, other than the samples of the food being judged, there wasn’t many food vendors around. There was a stand selling goat meat sandwiches (not my thing) and a stand selling Polish sausage (so my thing). Everyone got a goat meat sandwich, but when I went over to get a sausage they were out of onions and peppers so I passed. We ended up going to a restaurant and having a few bites there before heading back to the cabin for the evening.

 

We got back to the cabin just as the sun was setting. I ran to the river to take some photos of the view, and I got the above gem. Despite the festival being kind of a bust, we had a great time hanging out, enjoying nature and each other’s company so the trip was a success!

Question of the Day:
Did you do anything fun this weekend? 

Some random news…

20 Sep

Good morning!

As you may or may not know, I work in the Public Library system. I’m not a librarian, I work in the Administrative side of the library business. The library where I work is a Service Center library for many smaller libraries in our state, which means we handle all their administration so they can just be a library.

Yesterday, we had the job of moving one of our smallest branch libraries to a new room. Previously, this library was located in one room of an old school building. This building was dilapidated and is now being torn down. While we would like to build a new library in that area, for now the library is borrowing a room in an (0perating) elementary school. My boss asked people to volunteer to take the day off of their regular jobs to go help move all the books across the street to the new location. Despite this library being very small, it was no easy task. Basically, we had to take the books off of the shelves, load them onto book trucks (a book truck looks like this):

 

…and then push the truck across the street (completely filled with heavy books) to be unloaded onto the new shelves. Since I work in Administration and don’t know much about shelving books, my job was to load the book trucks and push them across the street. Talk about a workout! After doing this for six hours (with an hour break for lunch), my arms, back and legs were like jelly and I was completely wiped out. I went ahead and counted that as my workout for the day.

This morning I needed some extra sleep, so my speed work will have to wait until after work. I’m happy to report, however, that I’ve had my first pumpkin-flavored thing of the season:

Breakfast this morning (even though you can’t really see the smoothie) was a whole-wheat bagel thin with some neufchatel and a pumpkin spice smoothie (a banana, some pumpkin puree, almond milk, protein powder and lots of pumpkin pie spice). Ohhh, pumpkin. I think football and pumpkin flavored things are our gifts for having to suffer through winter.

I forgot to mention that when I got home from work yesterday, I opened the screen door to see that the tomato fairy had come to my house:

 

My friends Shane and Susie have a ton of tomato plants. They are overrun with tomatoes right now, and they know where to get rid of produce they can’t use!

Zach and I also booked our wedding venue yesterday! More about that in a separate wedding post, though.

Finally, I’m happy to report that my weight has settled back to the normal 149 lbs after my vacation weight gain. I attribute it to eating healthy and exercising regularly, naturally!

Question of the Day:
What is the best thing that happened to you yesterday?