Healthy Living Summit

I didn’t know what to expect, I just knew as soon as I heard Healthy Living Summit was going to be in Boston this year I signed up. As we got into the week before, I started getting a little nervous that my introverted awkward self would basically just be on my own for the entire weekend. What was I thinking signing up for something where I didn’t know a soul?

I was also concerned over the fact that I’m not much of a blogger. Lately I only blog once every week or so, there just hasn’t been enough time, but I enjoy it enough that I want to continue. I was scared I would be the only one where this was the case and then someone would wonder, why are you here?

Couldn’t be farther from the truth. As soon as I arrived at the cocktail party two people heading in at the same time quickly introduced themselves and made me feel welcome. From there it was easy, I felt during most moments someone either proactively reached out to me or I felt confident enough to introduce myself to a new group. This sort of thing is so far out of my comfort zone and it felt great to overcome my nerves.

Even better than expected, I met two women, one that was training for the upcoming Marine Corps Marathon (and had run marathons before), Theodora from Losing Weight in the City, and one that had run this same marathon twice before, Melissa from Melissa Runs. I was feeling a little lack of confidence over the past week or so, mostly my fault, with my lack of mileage during the week, but it was helpful to talk to both and get even more excited about the race ahead!

I got to connect with many different women that are local to Boston also and who I am so excited to get to know even better soon! Wish I had been better with the pictures of all of us, photo fail, but you aren’t surprised by this are you?

As if that wasn’t enough, I also attended several helpful and motivating sessions. I really took a lot from each one of them, but a special note of appreciation to Gretchen for her photography session. As you know, I need some serious help in this arena.

I did manage to take some photos, mostly of the delicious food, take a peek! Thank you to Wild Harvest!

I loved these, never had them before!

Something else awesome? Free shoes! Thank you Reebok!

Pretty excited about those, totally my colors too. Thank you to the fabulous team that planned everything this year, I have no idea how you did it, that is a large undertaking, thank you Meghann, Julie & Heather. I had an awesome time!!!

Our Gluttonous Weekend in Vermont: Part Two

We had done a bit of research before our trip to Burlington so we knew the restaurants we did not want to miss (of which there were many). Our first breakfast stop in town was at Penny Cluse. There was a bit of a wait, but that suited us fine given our indulgences the evening before.

In full tourist fashion I selected the namesake dish the Penny Cluse. It was even better than expected. 2 eggs any style (I went for sunny side up), home fries & biscuits with herb cream gravy.

It was definitely time to walk off some of those calories. We checked out the Burlington farmers market. Ben had a hard time holding me off from purchasing everything, but I knew it would be unreasonable to purchase much produce so far from home. I did grab a bunch of tomatillos since I don’t seen those grown locally often. Also picked up some beet pasta and Ben (shocked) actually bought something too.

Gin. Local gin. He said it was delicious and had me try a sip which I then choked down since I’m not exactly in the habit of drinking gin straight. I’ll take your word for it next time Ben.

Next up, a stop to Burton’s Factory, the original. Obviously this had no appeal for me, but Ben was excited to check it out.

We were supposed to take an actual tour of the Magic Hat brewery, but arrived a tad early so decided to tour ourselves and try some samples.

We returned downtown for some reading/relaxing time and eventually, MANY hours after our ridiculously filling breakfast grabbed some lunch at American Flatbread. We split a large flatbread, with half Medicine Wheel (organic tomato sauce & 3 cheeses and fresh herbs) and half Roasted Tomato Salsa.

Once again, stuffed. I felt like I was still catching up on a lack of sleep over the past week so we headed back to the hotel room and I did something I never do, took a nap! As usual, I did not wake up feeling well rested and refreshed as I always hope a nap will do. I don’t understand it, other people love naps, I just don’t get it. What is the allure? Anyone else out there with me on this one?

For dinner we enjoyed an awesome meal at the Farmhouse Tap & Grill.

Oh, I’m sorry, did you think I was done with our food consumption?

WRONG

On our way home Sunday, we made one final stop at a very highly recommended breakfast spot Sneakers Bistro.

See that? That is the best hollandaise sauce I have had. The best. The end.

Our Gluttonous Weekend in Vermont: Part One

On Wednesday Ben and I celebrated our third anniversary!

 

We decided it might be nice to get away on a mini-vacation to celebrate, but keep it to something minimal since we had just dropped some money for our trip in December. We figured neither of us had really spent extensive time in Vermont so why not check out Burlington? Also, the price was right which was key.

We departed at exactly 2pm on Friday afternoon to make it before closing time for the legendary Alchemist Brewery. Ben’s heart was set on picking up a large number of Heady Topper cans since you can’t purchase anywhere outside of the immediate area and restaurant offerings in Boston were slim to none.

Also important to note that typically the brewery sells out most weekends and does not have cans available again until Monday mornings. I was unaware, but learned that Ben had been tracking the brewery’s tweets and they had not sold out on a Friday evening during the summer yet, but always gone by Saturday morning. And wouldn’t you know it, arrival right around 6pm on Friday, SOLD OUT!

I neglected to take a picture of the sold out sign or the terrible look on Ben’s face, it was just too sad. He was so not happy, that we didn’t even go into the brewery for a taste. This ended up being a good choice given our next stop, but still upsetting.

A few days ago Ben was talking to our friend Tania and she mentioned her visit to an amazing restaurant in Waterbury, Hen of the Wood. After a brief review of the site I knew this place was right up my alley and perfect for our anniversary meal. Sadly Ben tried to make reservations for us on Friday or Saturday night and we ended up being “waitlisted” for cancellations.

We thought on the off-chance they kept a table or two open for walk ins that we should stop while in Waterbury. I was a little nervous that we would be disappointed yet again after the brewery stop, but tried to keep expectations low. Miraculously they had a 5:30pm cancellation, we were there at 5:50pm and just had to make sure we finished up by 7:30pm. Since we had just done a long car ride and wanted to check in to our hotel shortly anyway this was perfect.

Now, as if I need to tell you or remind you, but I am a terrible photographer. But I want to show you something for our weekend, just keep in mind my photos are in no way reflective of the quality of the food consumed (sometimes you think you can take pictures without flash and just add light and they will be awesome, they aren’t). Actually, if you want to see much higher quality photos of a visit to Hen of the Wood in particular, check out Tania’s visit here.

Hen of the Wood is in the beautiful basement of an old grist mill. The food prepared focuses on using resources from as close by as possible, celebrating all of what makes Vermont unique. As a result, the menu changes on a daily basis, making a visit to the restaurant special every time.

 

 

 

 

I started out with a delicious glass of rose and although Ben was still bitter, at least Hen of the Wood is one of the few (or only?) places to have Heady Topper available on draft.

We decided to save the one of many cheese plate choices for dessert and started with all three bites offered for that evening. Corn Fritters with Wildflower Honey, Chioggia Beets with Basil, Pine Nuts and Bonnieview Feta, and Cucumber, Blueberries, & Baby Fennel with Crème Fraiche.

 

For his entrée, Ben ordered the Local Grown Pork with Summer Beans, Sweet Corn & Blueberry Mustard Jus.

 

And I went with the Goat’s Milk Dumplings with Summer Squash, Pine Nuts, & Olive Oil Braised Tomato Puree.

 

We finished with a cheese plate, selecting the Cabot Creamery ‘Clothbound Cheddar and Champlain Valley Triple Crème, served with candied fennel, fig bread and hazelnuts. I also tried a glass of their Hen of the Wood Pinot Noir which was delicious!

 

This place make’s the absolute top of my list. All around amazing meal, cozy atmosphere, great wine and obviously Ben’s favorite beer. I’m still dreaming of those beets, corn fritters, cheeses, and Pinot Noir to name a few. We sadly departed to check in at our hotel and with fingers crossed check out a local retailer that “might” have Heady Topper in stock.

I wish I could have spent much more time in Healthy Living, but we were focused on one thing and look what we found!

 

Success!

We ended our evening with a drink at Church & Main and a slice of pizza at a place nearby. And the gluttony had only just begun…

I’m Lame

Again.

I was trying to at least share here once a week, but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. So I’ve got lots to tell you!

 

Not the most attractive picture, but on July 28th I ran my longest mileage ever, 14 miles! Hurray! My friend Sara took this lovely picture to commemorate the event, she is also responsible for me finishing the 14 miles, I needed a few pushes to keep going.

We also did 15 miles this past weekend, but I had to finish the last two miles walking on the treadmill at the gym. It was hot and humid out, anyone else out and about for their runs this past Saturday? How did you do?

Amanda and I checked out another class at Eurostoves too! She might have had the most time-consuming and complex recipe out of the group, but it was well worth it.

Lemon Mousse

 

 

The results!

 

Aside from the Lemon Mousse, one of my favorites was their Gazpacho. I ended up making it for Ben and I for dinner one night.

 

Gazpacho from Eurostoves

2 lg. tomatoes, chopped
1 cucumber, peeled, chopped
1 green pepper, cored, chopped
1 celery stalk, chopped
2 green onions, chopped
1 avocado, chopped (optional)
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
2 tbsp. vegetable oil (or olive oil)
1/4 c. red wine vinegar
2 (12 oz.) cans tomato juice or V-8
1/2 c. sour cream or yogurt for garnish
Chopped chives for garnish

In a large bowl, combine first 6 ingredients. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Combine oil, vinegar, and tomato juice. Mix with vegetables. Cover and refrigerate at least 5 hours or overnight.

Serve in large bowls or mugs. Garnish soup with sour cream, chives, croutons, etc.

Serves 6 to 8.

Thank you also to Amanda for supplying the most perfect looking tomato, she was kind enough to share only the second tomato from her garden!

Shockingly I made two other recipes last week.

This one was so good and a healthy Italian dish that doesn’t taste healthy believe it or not!

Sausage Stuffed Zucchini Boats

And Fish Packets from my friend Tania

Just heard my cue to end this post, the Olympics! Have a great night!

One Year

And some. I missed the whole one year blog anniversary, but I still managed to catch up in the right month. Here is where it all started. Fascinating I know.

In case you happen to be checking this blog out for the first time, here is a little bit about me.

Since it is my one year blogaversary (creative huh), this might be the perfect time to check in on those little resolutions. We are more than halfway through the year, right?

  1. Run a marathon. Still in training folks. Can’t say I’ve been the most training committed, but I’m hoping to continue to improve. Officially 92 days until the Marine Corps Marathon.
  2. Run 1,000 miles. Ooof. This one bums me out. Status today: 300 exactly. I would love to say I’m going to make it, but reality is, I’m experiencing a bit of running injury right now and hoping to still run the marathon, but most likely will take a bit of running rest after that. Still possible, but unlikely.
  3. Create and follow a new budget. Create yes, follow, on and off. Clearly needs improvement but progress shown.
  4. Create one new recipe. I’ll have to think about that one, I mean I did make this lovely vermicelli noodle bowl the other night, does that count?
  5. Start volunteering with a new organization. This one I can officially check off. I started a monthly commitment to The Home for Little Wanderers through my church.
  6. Take a really fun trip with Ben. Booked!
  7. Make some dents in this healthy living and eating thing. Ouch. I honestly don’t feel like I’ve done much here since January. I don’t know about you, but I get SO frustrated with myself. It’s no one’s fault, but my own. It’s alarming to me that I look back and am still shocked when I realized I’ve made little to no progress, and that it’s literally the tenth time it’s happened. I’m heading into pity party mode (which is ridiculous), let’s end there. This is supposed to be a motivating blog.

Let’s look at ducks. Ducks make me happy.

What else makes me happy? Summer concerts on the Esplanade.

 

So fun!

 

Have a great weekend!

What’s Been Fun, What’s Not

FUN

1. Dinner with Anna & Joey! Fail on pictures of them, but success on capturing the appetizer.

Haven’t made this one is SO long. Oldie but goodie. Creole Baked Goat Cheese from Bahama Breeze.

2. Celebrating my mom’s birthday with the whole family including Jean! Another photo fail. Then quality sister time at the Colonnade Roof Top Pool. And some pina coladas, yum!

3. Booking our tropical vacation! Have a bit of a wait until we go, but still SO excited. Here’s our last tropical vacation, our honeymoon!

 

4. Two late afternoons spent on the Charles with some beverages.

 

5. A first time visit (for me) to Castle Island and Sullivans with our CG.

 

6. Last, but most certainly not least. A weekend of dog sitting with an adorable Boston Terrier, named Boston.

 

 

What’s NOT Fun

 

What’s not fun, running injuries are NOT fun. My heel pain has gotten pretty bad. We are heading towards limping stage. I took the last week off from running with the exception of my long run. Better you would think, right? No, almost seemed worse. Ouch.

Here’s the deal, I really can’t stop and rest right now. It’s either I train and run the marathon, or I don’t run the marathon. Clearly this is not doctor’s advice or good advice just to throw that out there.

So what do you see in this lovely picture? It’s the Strassburg sock, purchased from my favorite Marathon Sports. I’ve tried everything else so why not try this? I haven’t done the overnight wearing yet, but am building up to it. Anyone out there used this before?

I know it’s really cool how I announced my workout log and then I didn’t use it, but I’ll get that updated very soon, if not tonight.

This week:

  • Mon – Rest
  • Tues – Run 4m
  • Wed – Run 7m
  • Thurs – Rest
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 14m
  • Sun – Cardio & Strength

Anyone else out there dealt with heel pain or what I think is Plantar Fascitis? I’ve done the whole Achilles tendonitis thing already and I know what that is like, but this pain is all new to me.

 

Fish Sticks?

Did you grow up with fish sticks for dinner too? We probably had them once or twice a month and I loved them! I know, most kids turn their nose up at fish, but I was a fan. Especially with lots of tartar sauce. I mean, when you order Fish & Chips in a restaurant, it’s not too different, now is it?

I decided to make the grown up version from Ancient Grains for Modern Meals for dinner tonight, Sesame-Crusted Fish Sticks with Yogurt Remoulade. I have loved everything else I’ve made from this cookbook so far, but this one was a little disappointing. I mean, it was good, but I expected it to be better. I think the one thing that might have made a difference is the sesame seeds. The recipe noted that unhulled would be best, but unfortunately I only had the hulled version. I’m wondering if that is the case since the coating was overall tasteless with the hulled. Oh well. Dinner is not always going to be a winner. 🙂

Clearly, I didn’t do the best job documenting my eats this week. Let’s just say that a little something called Fourth of July in the middle of the week happened. I might have overindulged. Obviously Eva’s Berry Pie was involved.

This was our first year staying in Boston for the fourth and therefore my first viewing of the Boston Fireworks. Normally I’m not into attending fireworks. I know, I’m lame, but big crowds of people and waiting around all day are not my thing. Conveniently we now live very, very close to ideal firework viewing now so I was game. About 10 minutes before, we headed out to the bridge to watch the show.  About 1 minute in, it started to sprinkle, and then it started to downpour. And honestly, it was the most fun ever. Everyone was just out laughing at the fact that we are all getting soaked together in the pouring rain while watching an awesome fireworks show. I loved it.

Sadly, I did not manage to get a picture of the fireworks. BUT I did get an after shot of the fireworks. Wow, so glad no one told me I had smeared mascara all over my face. Thanks Ben.

Just so beautiful.

In other news, I’ve started a new workout log on the blog. Sorry, but this was actually a selfish need. This week, I finally started to get back in the gym and do a strength workout. I used to be really good at strength training, and it made such a difference, also helping me be a more balanced runner. Running, without strength training is a path towards injury (at least for me). I love recording my runs on DailyMile, but it isn’t as efficient for recording my strength workouts so here it is.

I had read somewhere that a “reward” for completing a workout can be recording it. I didn’t realize that this was actually something I enjoyed until I caught myself the other day immediately updating my daily mile log after a run. And then I realized I do that every time! I know, I’m a genius. You should be jealous.

So what was my actual workout results this week:

  • Mon – Run 3m – Check
  • Tues – Cardio & Strength Check
  • Wed – Run 6m Half that
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength Rest
  • Fri – Rest Rest
  • Sat – Run 11m Sort of, I made the 11, but there was definitely some walking involved. 
  • Sun – Crosstraining or Rest 30 min stationary bike & 30 min strength done 
And onto the week ahead:
  • Mon – Rest
  • Tues – Run 3m
  • Wed – Run6m
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 12m
  • Sun – Crosstraining/Strength

Wish me luck!

Saturday/Sunday Eats

I wish I could say I stayed right within my point allowance after the weekend, but I did not. I do have to say, I came the closest I have the past couple of months so not bad, right? I think this had something to do with knowing I would have to post it here? I think it’s worth another week to do so and help keep me on track. Hey, if it helps, why not? Oh and I know it can be a bit boring so I think I’ll go ahead and post Saturday and Sunday towards the bottom so you can see where a few, ahem, errors were made.

  • Mon – Strength Done
  • Tues – Run 3m Yes!
  • Wed – Run 5m Not so much
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength Guess again
  • Fri – Rest I ran on rest day, that’s good right? Okay it was 1.5 miles. 
  • Sat – Run 6m 4m
  • Sun – Crosstraining Rest instead

I’m feeling okay, but I’m seeing a trend in my training where I’m not exactly following the plan. Not that things have to be exact all the time, but they should be closer than this. I am still having a bit of heel pain and need to remind myself to be a balanced runner. I really need to be strength training and not all my cardio should be running. The end. Let’s go for it this week, even have a holiday in the middle of the week, No Excuses!
  • Mon – Run 3m
  • Tues – Cardio & Strength
  • Wed – Run 6m
  • Thurs – Run 3m & Strength
  • Fri – Rest
  • Sat – Run 11m
  • Sun – Crosstraining or Rest

Also just had that thought I keep pushing to the back of my head about that little New Year’s Resolution I made where I would run 1,000 miles this year. Oooof. I’ll be providing an update on these since we are halfway through the year, but let’s just say I need to average closer to 29 miles per week going forward to meet that one. Ouch.

What is your typical grocery list method? Or do you not have one? And if you don’t, I just don’t understand. Control freak, I know.My usual method is to try out some new recipes I may have come across in my ridiculous amount of magazine subscriptions or a recipe I saw recently on a blog I follow. This particular one that Ben and I had for dinner tonight, was from Joy the Baker. Such a great summer dish.

BLT Corn Salad Wraps

I bought a head of hydroponic Boston lettuce for the wrap portion. A) have you ever bought one of these? and B) Have you checked out the roots that come along with it? Craziness! Should have taken a picture, would have made more sense.

If I haven’t completely and utterly bored you with this post, please find my eats below. Full disclosure.

Saturday 

Breakfast – Whole Wheat toast with 1 tablespoon Sunflower Butter, Dunks Iced French Vanilla Coffee with skim milk & sugar

Lunch – Super Sub (best subs EVER) small sub with turkey, american cheese, honey mustard, lettuce, olives and pickles

Snacks – It was 90 degrees out, needed some Berryline obviously, small Lavender Honey fro yo with mochi

Dinner – Two slices veggie pizza & a Magic Hat

Sunday

Breakfast – Whole Wheat toast with 1 tablespoon Sunflower Butter, Dunks Iced Coconut Coffee with skim milk & sugar

Lunch – Vermicelli bowl with chicken at Phoa Pho, delicious!

Snacks – Oh, big surprise! Berryline again, small Oreo, also way too much of a bag of Kettle Chip Sea Salt & Vinegar chips

Dinner – Beer & Ritz crackers with dark chocolate peanut butter

Monday

Breakfast – Overnight Oats, iced coffee with 1 tsp sugar & 1/2 cup soy milk

Lunch – Arugula with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, 1/4 cup hummus and 1/4 cup tabouli, 1 cup blackberries

Snacks – Larabar Uber Cherry Bar and a peach

Dinner – BLT Corn Salad Wraps & another peach!

 

Thursday/Friday Eats

So you’ll find Thursday boring, I’ll get through it quickly, because Friday is MUCH better.

Breakfast – 3/4 cup Wild Harvest Cherry Vanilla Granola with 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, iced coffee with sugar (1 tsp) and soy milk (1/2 cup).

Lunch – Arugula & kale with summer squash, broccoli, bell pepper, 1/2 cup quinoa, olives and balsamic vinegar, handful of cherries

Snacks – Larabar bar

Dinner – Steamed green beans, 3/4 cup mashed potatoes, 1 cup Wild Blueberry sorbet from JP Licks (yes, you’re right, this is a bizarre dinner)

WW Points Used – 26 out of 26 daily and 1 out of 34 remaining weekly points

And now time for Friday!

Breakfast- 3/4 cup Wild Harvest Cherry Vanilla Granola with 1/2 cup vanilla almond milk, medium French Vanilla Dunkin Donuts coffee with skim milk and one sugar

Lunch – B. Good Strawberry Goat Cheese Salad

Snacks – Larabar bar, Pirate’s Booty

Dinner – a glass of Rose at home and then…

Two glasses of the Rose in the middle at Island Creek Oyster Bar. I’m about ready to do a full out canvas of Boston to find this wine, anyone have any tips?

Ben started with some oysters and I went for the No Shell Prince Edward Island Mussels with Fennel, Spanish Olives, Basil and Lemon Broth. 

Seriously yum!

As if it could get any better, then came this…

Seared New Bedford Scallops with Parsnip and Chorizo Hash and Sweet Corn Cream

Oh my goodness, delicious. This meal was amazing. I’m sure being in the top 10 restaurants in the United States already sold you, but in case you needed a push off the fence, Island Creek Oyster Bar, GO NOW! You need to see this food in person, you know I am the world’s worst photographer.

WW Points Used – this is what I save those weekly and activity points for 🙂 cleared out, but nothing negative for Saturday! How does the week end? We shall see…