Tuesday, August 31, 2010


I learned how to run at the ripe old age of 24. My roommate at the time really got me into it. We both were occasional short distance runners, a mile or two here and there - nothing major. In the Spring of 2008, after both our lives were shaken up, we hit the pavement. Kathy and I pushed each other, helped each other. I ran because I was mad and sad, it was becoming my therapy and religion. That whole summer we trained for the Columbus Half Marathon in October.

We both left Toledo at the end of that summer, and went our separate ways. I continued to train, she did not. Apparently I wanted it more. So instead of heading to Columbus, I ran my own half marathon in the Metroparks. It was hard, and I wanted to give up but I didn't. I worked too hard to be discouraged by someone who failed.

I don't have a running buddy this time around, but I know I am stronger now. I know I will do this, I know I will...

in other news...

My roommate, Kevin, got his dog on Sunday. A very cute little papillon named Zoe.

So far so good...


Newest most delicious find: Amy's organic frozen cheese pizza. Mmm. I also roasted up some home grown zucchini, courtesy of Kevin's family garden.

Finished my evening with a very hot 3 miles.

I don't glisten, I sweat...a lot.

If anyone needs a buddy to get motivated....

Thursday, August 26, 2010


I read an interesting (but obvious) article in the The New York Times. It's about how music motivates you to workout harder.

Just the other night, I was listening to Arcade Fire's new album The Suburbs while doing my 3 miles, and I noticed that I felt more energized during the more upbeat tracks. I ran faster and longer, and I even wanted it more. The music pumping through your body is faux adrenaline, doesn't chemically do anything to help you perform better, but it sure does help.

If you have trouble keeping your energy up during a workout, I suggest you make a playlist or cd (or tape??) with music that gets you moving. If the music makes you want to dance, it'll be perfect!

happy moving!


For some reason I was craving an omelette yesterday, which is odd because I normally don't like breakfast food. Then it hit me, the perfect concoction of egg-y goodness. For those of you familiar with Yours Truly, you know of Notso Fries, and if you know Notso Fries you definitely love the Notso Omelette. Heaven (and Hell) stuffed inside a fluffy egg blanket. Cottage fries, cheddar cheese, bacon, and sour cream.

Since that obviously isn't healthy, I came up with a healthier alternative. A Southwestern Sweet Potato Omelette with pepper jack cheese, spinach, jalapeno pepper, Alexia's Sweet Potato Waffle Fries, and (light) sour cream.

Omelette ingredient station:

Omelette making station:

Omelette eating station:

and of course...

I know I say every Great Lakes seasonal beer is the best, but Oktoberfest may actually be the best. Yum.

The omelette was spicy, but not step-away-from-the-table spicy. A good heat that is easily washed away with a nice German beer.

in other sweet potato news.
you must try...

Ooh Momma, these are delicious.

time for lunch yet?

Monday, August 23, 2010

we are strong, no one can tell us we're wrong

I made it! Two weeks meat free! Wish I could tell you it was challenging and that I learned some secret to life, but neither of those things are true. Not eating meat was probably the easiest lifestyle change I've done. I never was challenged or wanted to give up - I only focused on things I could eat instead of the ones I couldn't.

My favorite dish I came up with was a pasta salad with cheese tortellini, yellow grape tomatoes, and roasted asparagus tossed in light italian dressing:

I feel like I'm onto something here, so I will continue my meatless adventure. I like challenging myself in the kitchen and when I go out to eat. More to come!

I had a pretty interesting weekend, met Pat Benatar Saturday!!


Spent Saturday night in Toledo for my friend, Kelly's going away party. Super fun hanging out with everyone. Good luck, Kelly!

sunday = bumday

Did a whole lot of nothing Sunday. I needed a rest and relax day anyway. After driving back from Toledo, I parked it on the couch and watched a whole lot of movies.

Half marathon training is going well. Week 1 is complete! Here's what week 2 looks like:

Monday - Walk/Run 2 milesTuesday - Walk/Run 3 miles
Wednesday - X-train (cycling for 30 min)
Thursday - Walk/Run 2 miles
Friday - X-train (cycling & strength)
Saturday - Walk/Run 2 miles
Sunday - Walk/Run 3 miles

I found my race! Looks like it's going to be the Towpath Marathon in Peninsula, OH on 10/10/10! It is voted one of the countries most beautiful courses. I'm excited! Hope this motivation continues.

I am totally loving this cloudy, rainy day!

Friday, August 20, 2010

hot town, summer in the city.

hello cleveland.

This summer I have fallen in love with a city everybody hates. Why, I don't know. Sure, we have some weather issues - but c'mon, you live in a city with so much life and enthusiasm. When Cleveland gives you snow, make snowballs : )

I am not the only one who feels such a way - Anthony Bourdain says it best : "A place so incongruously and uniquely...seductive that I often fantasize about making my home there. Though I've made television all over the world, often in faraway and 'exotic' places, it's the Cleveland episode that is my favorite - and one about which I am most proud."

I've seen more of this city in the past couple months than I have in my whole life (minus a year that was spent in Toledo). This is mostly because of (I hate to say it) Facebook. I've been led to a lot of local events because of this extremely popular social networking site. It is a wonderful thing, word of mouth is definitely the best way to explore and learn about any city.

Here is just a few of my favorite summer adventures...

Ohio City
Great Lakes Brewing Company (local brew, local ingredients - easily my favorite place in CLE)
GLBC Brewery Tour (it's free and they offer 25 cent samples, hello!)
Westside Market (incredible eats)
Open Air Market (Vintage clothes, crafts, art, CLE Clothing Co. pop-up shop)

A Christmas Story house. duhh!

Farmers' Markets
Tremont, Shaker Square, Euclid
Lots of local farmers and gardens that need support. Better quality and organic. Sadly most markets go on during the week while us saps are stuck at work. Boo!

It's true, Adam Richman was the one that finally got me to Melt. Not so great as a vegetarian though.

Cinema at the Square - Back to the Future
Back to the Future on the big screen. Incredible.

Waterloo Arts Festival
Coventry Street Fair
Tall Ships Festival
Creekside Blues & Jazz Festival
Teeechnically in Columbus, but it was a highlight of my summer. Also ran their 5K, super fun!

Cleveland Museum of Art Summer Solstice Party
Walking around the art museum at 2am was seriously awesome. THE best party ever. Phenomenal Handclap Band is super fun live. I constantly get '15 to 20' stuck in my head. Look it up.

Great Lakes Burning River Fest
A great and educational event. Definitely on my list to do every year. Lots of environmental organizations, eco-friendly vendors, and local food. All in all, a fabulous cause.

That has been my summer so far. Active and educational. I suggest you explore your city a little deeper, you never know what kind of gems you'll find.

happy friday!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

day by day.

Women's Health magazine put out a list of the best supermarket finds called, "125 Best Packaged Foods for Women." It's a really great reference because I'm always the one standing in the aisle at the grocery store reading labels and comparing which product is better, so this list is perfect for me. If you are interested in looking at it or printing your own copy, you can find it here:

Two of my new favorite things happen to be on the list - IzzeEsque soda (I had peach)...

...and SmartFood Honey Multigrain Popcorn Clusters.

And guys don't worry, these foods are perfectly fine for you as well : )

in other news.

Today is day 9 of my meat free challenge, AND day 1 of half marathon training! I've slipped a lot since my half marathon run in 2008, so I need to get back in shape. I can easily run a 5K (3.1 miles) without any sort of training, but I'm going to need some help for 13.1 miles. I chose a training schedule that includes running, walking, cross and strength training. This is a quicker way to get up my mileage (only 8 weeks), than my previous half marathon schedule which only included running. We shall see if it works. Here is what my first week looks like:

Monday - Rest
Tuesday - Walk/Run 2 miles
Wednesday - X-train (cycling for 30 min)
Thursday - Walk/Run 2 miles
Friday - X-train (cycling & strength)
Saturday - Walk/Run 2 miles
Sunday - Walk/Run 2 miles

An easy week to get back into the swing of things.

Today would also have been my grandmother's birthday.
happy birthday, grandma! i love and miss you a ton. muah!

(Oh, and my anniversary at work.) Big day.

Monday, August 16, 2010

just beet it.

hello Monday.
Hope everyone had a beautiful and exciting weekend!

I have been on such a beet kick lately. I constantly want to stuff my face with deep red slices of heaven. Hey, that's probably where the the phrase "beet red" comes from! Durrr. Anywayyy...I've been putting slices on my salads or just eating a few straight out of the can, I even ordered a panzanella salad at CPK last night purely because there were beets (and avocado) in it : ) Yumm.

I have been eating beets since I was little. My parents would always crack open a can, and i would be the first to dive into the juicy goodness. Not only are beets good for your physical well being and a good source of iron, but it has been shown to be an immunity booster and guard against cancer. They are also great for your workout!
Andy Jones, physiologist and advisor to Paula Radcliffe, discovered that a nitrate found in beet juice decreases oxygen uptake (a.k.a. the oxygen cost of workouts). The study compared performance after cyclists consumed 500 ml of beet juice for 6 days straight. Another group consumed a placebo. The cyclists who consumed the beet juice were able to workout for 16% longer, equivalent to a 2% reduction in time over the same distance. That means a 4-hour marathoner would be able to take 5 minutes of his time – just by consuming beets juice! The nitrates in beets can increase your endurance and shave minutes off your race times. Hello!

I want to wish my good friend a very happy birthday today...
happy birthday, Amanda!

Amanda had a very cool wine and chocolate party on Saturday night. Lots of yummy things to sample.

I couldn't taste a lot of the chocolate (unknown ingredients, i.e. peanuts), but everyone seemed to enjoy what they were eating!

Since there is no threat of food allergies in wine, I was all over that : )

Thanks for another fun weekend, friends!

Friday, August 13, 2010

no meats for two weeks.

I've been wanting to start a blog for some time, but never really had 'real' things to talk about. I could bore you with my not-so-exciting life or tell you about my job....err, no. There is one constant in my life, and that is food. I love making it, i love eating it, i love learning and reading about it. I've recently begun a health(ier) way of living and why not diary it with my fancy-schmancy new blog!

Today marks day five of my vegetarian experiment. On Monday of this week, I read about a campaign called 'Meat Free Mondays.' This campaign is urging people to give up meat for at least one day out of the week. This helps promote a healthier you, and planet. Reading more and more about their mission I decided to do a little experiment. I don't have any sort of goals in mind, but I assume something will come out of this. I'm going to be meat free for (at least) two weeks. I am five days in, and I have had no problems. I don't see myself becoming a vegetarian, I love all foods way too much! An occational burger or chicken burrito will always be in my life. Perhaps I will refer to myself as a flexitarian, but probably not - sounds way too snooty to be cool.

For all of you meat lovers out there, I urge you to buy and eat meat that is natural. The animals should be fed what they should be eating, and kept in a humane way; i.e. grass-fed beef, cage-free eggs. I know it is impossible to completely control everything you eat, but if you try a little here and there you are making a big difference.

I read a lot of blogs, so I've been getting some awesome insight on foods to try out. Most things I like, some I do not (Lara bars = puke). My love for Whole Foods has grown into a full-fledged obsession. I'm finding myself wanting to spend a Friday or Saturday night just roaming the aisles. So many goodies to try! I've discovered my newest favorite Whole Foods item: seeduction bread. Oh my, this bread is amazing. Tons and tons of seeds baked right inside! It's sweet and crunchy and all around delicious. I think I will have a whole blog dedicated the world of Whole Foods : )

My Friday started off with a quick breakfast, I was running late for work and decided to just grab a Clif Z bar. Yes they are for kids, but the portion size is way better than regular Clif bars. A bit of kiddie energy won't hurt, right?

I had a Gala apple for my mid-morning snack.

Lunch consisted of a salad. Basically my salads these days are anything and everything I find at home. Today's was pretty light, romaine, carrots, green beans, and sunflower seeds with light balsalmic dressing.

Pretzel crisps, roasted red pepper hummus, and a Honest Tea Arnold Palmer finished it out.

So far, so good.
Hope you enjoy my food and life journey's as much as I will! Until next time...