Marathon Training Update

I was on such a roll with the training for so long and then all of a sudden…the plantar fascitis bomb went off.  I must have been thinking I was invincible or something because I decided to run two back to back 7 mile runs and then walk theme parks all day and into the night.  Yeah, my foot was not loving me.  So I’m modifying my training and trying to get the inflammation under control.  I”m still doing all my plantar fascitis treatments and cutting back on my weekday mileage.  Hopefully I’ll be posting little to no symptoms one of these days.

I was feeling pretty good so I did a spur of the moment half marathon on Saturday.  It went surprisingly well.  I completed it in 2 hours and 7 minutes.  Not too shabby for 3.5 hours of sleep.  I did crash when I got home.  I seriously couldn’t open my eyes I was so tired.  The sore factor waited until the next day to kick in.  Man, those down hill courses are a beast on the shins.  I’m still walking like zombie girl.

Ok, off to take more ibuprofen.


WDW Recap & #24 Universal Studios Harry Potter

I’m back from my Halloween WDW getaway!  It truly is my favorite time of year at Disney.  The Food and Wine Festival is going on, Halloween decorations are up, the weather is beautiful, and you can trick or treat the Magic Kingdom.  It just doesn’t get any better.  Since we had fab costumes from Val’s birthday party, we wore them to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party.  Believe it or not, we were not the most decked out group.  But we did get our fair share of random people taking our photograph.  If you are a Halloween fan you have to go to this party at least once in your life.  Tons of people dress up and trick or treat no matter their age, it’s the best!


Lots of people always ask me what my favorite ride is at Disney World and I have a few.  But my favorite coaster is Expedition Everest over at Animal Kingdom.  Just look at this view!


Ok, I love me some candy, but this is a bit ridiculous.  I swear this picture doesn’t even do our haul justice!  We weighed our trick or treat bag when we got home and it was 28 pounds!!  That’s after I had been eating it for 2 days, craziness.

I posted lots of other pics on Facebook.  So if you want to see more Disney head on over there 🙂


The highlight of the trip for me had to be our detour over to Universal Orlando.  I got to check #24 off my 30 before 30 list!  I was so completely stoked to see Hogwarts the giddiness was just oozing out of every pore.  It was amazing!  I’m a total HP nerd, it’s one of my obsessions.  To see it come to life and walk through the fantasy was incredible.  I probably could have spent the whole day meticulously looking at every detail.  I could fill this whole blog with Harry Potter insanity, but instead I’m going to stick to my 3 favorite things of the day. #1 frozen butter beer, so tasty!  A must purchase. But buy it in the Three Broomsticks and not at a cart, it’s a buck cheaper in the restaurant.  #2 Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey.  This ride is fantastic.  I was screaming the whole time the first go because I didn’t know what to expect.  But the 2nd 3rd and 4th ride just got better and better, loved it.  #3 Ollivander’s Wand Shop.  Valie got to be the person to have a wand “choose” her!  I was beside myself.  I probably looked like the biggest dork ever, I was so dang excited for her.  They did it just like the movie.  They made the wrong wands do crazy things to drawers and bells.  Then when the cute little old wizard guy gave her “the” wand, the wind was blowing and the light was glowing, it was so so cool.  Of course they must have know that I was the biggest sucker ever and of course I was going to buy that wand for her.  Hello, it “chose” her!  They only pick on person per show and who knows if she’d ever get picked again, so I coughed up the $34 bucks and it will be our new family heirloom :).


Day #7 Vegan Challenge

Today is the last day of my weeklong vegan challenge.  It was definitely more difficult than I anticipated.  I think the hardest thing was cooking from scratch everyday.  It was a ton of dishes!  Also, the cravings didn’t really diminish until day 6, so that wasn’t very fun.  But this has been good for me.  I learned to read my labels, combine my plant proteins, and cook some new dishes.

Today was pretty boring for day 7.  I wish I would have planned to go out with more of a bang.  But instead I was just cleaning the house, doing laundry, and eating leftovers.  But I guess I do have a pretty fun week ahead of me…Disney World!  Woot woot, I can smell the chocolate covered goodies already :).  I’ll definitely be posting about that when I get back.

So until then…#14, check.

Day #6 Vegan Challenge & Running

Today was a big day on the Vegan Challenge!  I had a really long run and I was excited to see how it would compare to other runs since changing my diet.  I headed out on a 16 mile run.  Yes, you read that right, 16 long miles.  I was also testing out a pre run beverage called G Force. It tasted like chalk, burnt orange kool aid, and sand.  But it did get give me a boost without making me jittery.  So off I went.  It was a beautiful fall day, I couldn’t have asked for better conditions.  I have to say, my stamina felt loads better on this run compared to previous long runs.  I really do think that this increase of high nutrient food in my diet helped my performance.  Even after the 16 miles had passed I actually felt like if I had to, I could do more.  Luckily for me, I didn’t have to do any more and could take a shower!

After that many miles I was of course starving.  I could not wait to dive into the oreos!  I hadn’t had any processed foods all week and those oreos were calling my name.  Can you believe those are vegan?  Yup, they are. Sweet!  And delicious with peanut butter smeared in the middle :).

For dinner I boiled up some whole wheat linguine and made a peanut sauce.  I was lazy and didn’t take measurements to include a recipe.  But I will tell you that it was easy.  Peanut butter, soy sauce, chili sauce, garlic & onion powder, ginger, and water.  Whisk, heat, and enjoy.  I put the leftover stir fry on top of the noodles and it was super tasty.  Thank goodness because the last two vegan dinners I’ve made were not winners.

Only one more day left of the challenge and I can check another item off my 30 before 30 list 🙂

Day #5 Vegan Challenge

Alrighty, now that grumpy day is behind us, let’s move on to a happier day.  Day 5 was much better.  I even baked cupcakes and brownies and didn’t feel tempted.  Which is crazy, I’m one of the biggest sugar bugs out there!  It was however too much for my Valie girl.  She decided that she had had enough of the Vegan Challenge and wanted a brownie.  But I think she did an excellent job and lasted 4 days!  Not too shabby for a 3rd grader.

For dinner I made a Quinoa salad. I’m not gonna lie, I got this recipe online and it was not that great.  It looked yummy, but I just wasn’t feeling it.  How could this be??  Two bummers in a row!  I was really wanting to crumble some feta on this thing.  Maybe when the challenge is over I will try that, because I have a bunch of it just sitting in the fridge :).  Here’s a pic of the dish we will call “Something was Missing Quinoa”.


Day #4 Vegan Challenge

Ah, I’m getting behind on my updates!  Ok, day four was Friday.  Oh yes, Friday I was super grumpy, haha :).  I did not want to eat any of my lovely fresh produce.  All I wanted was pretty much anything else.  Funny how cravings can be so strong and affect your mood.  I seriously wanted to punch someone.  But there was no caving on my end, just unjustified angriness.

Let’s see what did I cook for dinner??  Oh yeah, sweet potato pattie burger thingies.  They were ok.  It could have been my mood though, I’m not sure.  Well, they probably were meh, because my hubby and kid ate one and said that was enough.  Ugh, not a particularly stellar day on the Vegan Challenge.

I’ll spare you the recipe 🙂 but they looked cute.




Day #3 Vegan Challenge

I’m a bit late posting day 3 so I’ll try my best to recollect how it was.  I was busy nannying kiddos and didn’t have a lot of time to plan out meals.  I usually just grab something that’s quick and eat it while I’m tending to the kids, but since I had to think about the content of my food, it was trickier than grab and go.  Packaged oatmeal, no, granola bar, no, bread, no, crackers, no, teriyaki beef jerky, definitely no, hmmmm.  A full day of apples, peanut butter, and carrot sticks was not very fun.  I should have packed food!  By the time I got home I was super tired, but still had to cook dinner.  Stir fry was on the menu.



I didn’t really have a recipe for this dish.  I was pretty much just chopping and tossing in the pan.  But I’ll give you an estimate of what went into this meal 🙂

Veggie Tofu Stir Fry

1 green pepper

1/2 red pepper

1/2 yellow pepper

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup chopped carrots

3/4 cup edamame

1 tub of tofu

3 cloves garlic

1 tsp. grated ginger

Sesame oil


1/4 cup soy sauce

1 cup water

3 Tbsp. chili sauce

1/2 tsp. onion powder

1 scant Tbsp. corn starch

Directions: Chop up all the veggies, toss in a hot wok with a couple tablespoons of oil.  Cook for a few minutes until the veggies start to soften.  Chop up the garlic and grate the ginger, add it to the veggies.  Cube up the tofu and add it to the wok. Next, add the ingredients for the sauce to a small bowl and whisk together.  Once the garlic and ginger have had a chance to cook a bit with the veggies, add the sauce and cook until thickened.  Add about a teaspoon or 2 of sesame oil to the stir fry and turn off the heat.  Serve over rice and chow down!


Day #2 Vegan Challenge

Day 2 was much better than day 1.  I’ve been racking up tons of fruits and veggies!  I should do a fruit/veggie count everyday and see how many I eat on this challenge.  Let’s see, day 1 I had around 7 servings. Day 2, 8 servings.  I find it much easier to just grab an apple or some grapes, rather than sit around reading labels and trying to decide if a granola bar if vegan.

I made a vegan version of 7 layer mexican dip for dinner.  Well, mine was only 5 layers…but still tasty!  I served it with baked tortilla chips.  I just cut up a bunch of tortillas, spray a baking pan with a little oil, lay the tortillas down, spray again, salt, and bake at 425 degrees for about 6-7 minutes.  And here’s the recipe for the dip…


5 Layer Vegan Dip

1 can of fat free vegetarian refried beans

1 tsp. cumin

1/4 tsp. garlic powder

1/4 tsp. onion powder

2 ripe avocados

2 limes

1 red pepper (or any color you like)

1 can olives

1 cup chopped tomatoes (or salsa)

Directions: Stir the cumin, garlic powder, and onion powder into the refried beans.  Layer the beans into a serving dish.  Mash up the 2 avocados with the juice of 2 limes, salt to taste.  Layer the avocados on top of the beans.  Chop up the red pepper and layer in on top of the avocados.  Chop up the olives and layer.  Chop up the tomatoes and layer.  Easy peasy!  Oooo, corn would be good in here too!  Yes yes, add corn too 🙂  Darn, next time I need to remember that.

A little note on how it feels eating an all plant based diet.  I feel good overall.  I’m my usual self.  I have felt less hungry, probably due to all the fiber and water that is in the foods I’m eating.  Sometimes though I feel like my meals aren’t nutritionally complete.  I mean they are, possibly even more so than when I’m just eating normally.  But I’m so used to eating meat, eggs, and dairy, that it feels like something is missing.  I guess that is just habit and something one would have to get used to.

P.S. I really wanted beef jerky today!

P.P.S. And milk chocolate!

Day #1 Vegan Challenge

1 down, 6 to go.  Yesterday was my first day without animal products.  It went ok. I wasn’t very good at putting together breakfast or lunch.  I ended up eating mostly veggies, fruits, nuts, and crackers.  But for dinner I made coconut curry lentils with rice, green beans, and watermelon.  This dish actually turned out pretty good.  I was super happy that it was “Valie Approved”!  So if you’re feeling veganish, give this one a try.

Coconut Curry Lentils

1.5 cups dried red lentils

half an onion

1 Tbsp. olive oil

1.5 cups baby carrots

1 can light coconut milk

2 Tbsp. curry powder

1 Tbsp. cumin

1 tsp. garlic powder

3-4 cups water

Salt to taste

Directions:  Start by putting the onion and carrots in a food processor.  Pulse until you have minced the veggies very finely.  Add the veggies to a pre heated pot with a tablespoon of olive oil and some salt to taste.  Cook until soft, stirring often.  When the veggies are soft, add 3 cups of water, the coconut milk, and all of the spices.  Stir until the spices are well distributed.  Next, add the lentils and turn the heat to low.  Cook the lentils for about 30 minutes, stirring every so often.  Depending on how much liquid the lentils absorb, add another cup of water if it looks like there isn’t enough sauce.  You may need to add a bit more curry and cumin if you add the extra water.  Taste for seasoning and then serve over rice!

30 before 30 #14, Vegan Challenge

Today is day one of the Vegan Challenge!  I plan on posting daily for the next week to document how it is to be vegan.  I even have a companion for this challenge (no it’s not the hubby), it’s my baby girl.  Val is so adventurous, I love it.  I’m hoping that by taking the Vegan Challenge we will both learn to like new foods and become mindful of the foods we eat.

The Rules:

Plant based foods only

No animal products

No fake meats or cheeses

As many unprocessed foods as possible

I definitely was not prepared for the challenge to start this morning.  Oatmeal with brown sugar was pretty much the only thing we had that sounded good for breakfast.  I also had to scrape together a lunch for Valie, which ended up being pb&j, dried mangos, crackers, and a fruit roll up.  Not the best lunch around, but probably better than the school’s sweet and sour meatballs that I know Val would have just tossed in the trash.

Grocery shopping today was different.  I ventured out to Winco since they usually have great produce prices.  I loaded up on fruits and veggies, and tried to get a few things we had never tried before.  As I was trying to think of veggie protein sources, I was having a hard time coming up with things that I’d want to eat.  I ended up buying a couple different tofus, soy milk, nuts, edamame, and a bunch of different beans/lentils/grains that create complete proteins.  I guess we will see how it goes, and hopefully I’ll learn some new healthy recipes!

I plan on cooking up a vegan dish for dinner tonight, I’ll post it and let you all know if it was any good 🙂