Sunday, May 30, 2010

Oddyssey Half Marathon

Saturday morning I was up bright and early to run my first half marathon, the Oddyssey Half Marathon.
When I was training for the Broad Street Run I came across this race and kind of figured why stop training after Broad Street? I already had plans to run a few halfs this fall, but figured this would be fun.

I lucked out when I found out two blogger friends were running it too, Leslie from AndHerLittleDogToo and Melissa from Miles for Markets.

oddyssey half marathon

The race also encouraged people to dress up.
oddyssey half marathon

This guy juggled the entire race, pretty crazy!
oddyssey half marathon

The race started a little late, but it was a small race of about 800 people so atleast the start wasn't too crowded.
We were able to get across the start line without any trouble and settle into a comfortable pace.
oddyssey half marathon

It was a lot of fun running with Leslie and Melissa. Talking definitely made the miles fly by.
oddyssey half marathon

But we ended up splitting off around mile 6. The next 7 miles felt so long and slow and were extremely challenging.
I hadn't run past 12 miles and I'm still trying to figure out long distances and pacing myself, this is all still so new to me!

oddyssey half marathon

The race went along the Schuylkill River and was an out and back.
oddyssey half marathon

A lot of baby ducks recently hatched and the moms were shuffling them across the road.
oddyssey half marathon

So although the race was challenging I was still holding strong until the last mile. We turned off West River Drive to head to the finish line and most of the last mile was uphill. WHY WOULD SOMEONE MAKE THE LAST MILE UPHILL?! This was challenging physically and mentally. I was so tired, felt like I was going to puke and was pretty sure one of my toenails was about to fall off.

oddyssey half marathon

Luckily Eric road up the hill next to me cheering me on, while I cursed the race director.
oddyssey half marathon

And then it was over!
We got pint glasses at the finish, which was really cool.

after the half marathon

after the half marathon

after the half marathon

after the half marathon

Eric was great to get up really early, and ride along the course and take so many photos!
number 1 spectator

And thanks Leslie and Melissa! I had a blast running with both of you and hopefully we can do some more runs together in the future.

I came home and got cleaned up then Eric and I went out for brunch. Food has never tasted so good.
Post Half Celebration

And I most definitely picked up a giant bottle of beer to pour in my new pint glass.
Post Half Celebration

Today I am feeling pretty good! My right hamstring is really tight, and although I didn't actually lose a toenail it is all black and blue and hurts pretty bad.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Pei Wei and Eating on the Cheap

I have borderline forgot about chain type of restaurants due to living in the city. I can't remember the last time I ate a meal at one of these establishments but it probably wasn’t that that long ago. Its easy to forget how nice it is to be able to eat at/support local restaurants and not have to go out of your way to do so. Anyways, at work today there was a lunch planned due to a few new hires. I don't usually attend random lunches due to the amount of time/I want to eat the food I brought in, but to acquaint new people, sure... why not. The plan was to eat at Pei Wei, an "Asian" restaurant that’s a bit more casual/faster than it's parent company, P.F. Chang's.

This brought me back since Lauren and I use to eat at Pei Wei back in Texas a bunch when most of the choices were chain restaurants, or at least what could be agreed upon with others. Due to our eating habits/cheapness, we found a filling/cheap meal there. It consisted of a side of brown rice and adding vegetables to it (and sometimes a side of edamame too!). Since the restaurant supplies you with chili paste and soy sauce at the table your well on your way to an excellent meal. One thing with this meal is that you would never know exactly how much they would charge you but it would be between $1.00 to $3.50. The Pei Wei I went to today offered a side of brown rice and their steamed veggies (broccoli, snap peas, and carrots) and was more than I could eat. I also found out via Vegan Eating Out that all of the items on the menu with a leaf symbol are vegan minus the Japanese Teriyaki Style, which contains honey. Note that they do not say these items are vegan due to its "strict dietary nature." Could be from the bone char in the sugar maybe? If you want to keep it fully vegan and not worry about it, skip the sauce (which contains all the sugar), and use the soy, chili paste, or mustard they offer! Either way if your out and need a place to eat Pei Wei is an easy, cheap choice that seems to work for vegs/carnivores alike.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Lancaster Farm Fresh CSA Week 1

We have been really excited the last few weeks for the arrival of our first week of produce from our local CSA, Lancaster Farm Fresh. We had been putting off signing up for a bit, mostly because I'm a procrastinator, but Lauren eventually pulled the trigger and we got a half share. We get to pick it up just a few blocks from our house at Almanac Market, a small market that has amazing local produce, random gourmet items, fresh made soups/salads, random raw cheeses, local vegan cookies, and even sometimes Vrapple (even though I think I bought the last of it there). This week it included:

1 bunch radishes – certified organic – Maple Lawn Organics


1 bunch scallions – certified organic – Windy Hollow and Plum Hill Organics


1 bunch green kale – certified organic – Life Enhancing Acres

2 small heads green leaf lettuce – certified organic – Back 40 Ranch


1 head flashy Troutsback Romaine lettuce – certified organic – Riverview Organics

csa share

3 portabello mushrooms – certified organic – Mother Earth Organics


We have a whole lot of lettuce… which is great and is helping me with my goal to eat a more raw diet. My plan is to highlight what we receive each week and some of the recipes/meals that come out of this local produce. Hopefully this will help Lauren and I prepare some new meals and try some new foods.

First on the list is mushrooms. We don’t eat them too frequently, but I am glad that now we need to find a good use for them. Maybe marinate and grill one or two? Thin slice and fry the other? Not sure but hopefully figure something good out soon.

So with all this local produce we made a feast last night. I made three kale wraps, then two more flashy Troutsback Romaine and Lauren made a giant salad with potatoes and focaccia on the side. We have also started growing sprouts which were ready last night to get into. It feels quite good having so much fresh produce around. I'm really excited!

salad for dinner

Monday, May 24, 2010

photos from the weekend

I honestly don't have too many photos to show from the weekend. This past weekend was probably our last "low-key" weekend for a while, the next month or so is pretty busy!
Saturday morning was spent at the vet getting the cats their yearly check-up, then I came home to complete my last long run before the half marathon next weekend.

10 miles!

The run was going well, it started to sprinkle and was actually really nice. And then the sky opened up and it started to pour. I had to seek shelter and pray that my garmin and ipod would not get ruined, thankfully they didn't!

I am always such a bum after a long run, so Eric and I lounged around the house, watching the flyers game.
But we had a big evening planned and eventually peeled ourselves off the couch.

We rode our bikes into center city because we had dinner reservations at Horizons. We started off with some cocktails, I can't even remember what they were, but they were delicious!

date night at horizons

date night at horizons

Unfortunately I don't have any photos of our meals, because we were in a dark corner, but Eric ordered the Grilled Seitan, and I had the Chopped Salad with a side of Panelle. The food was delicious and we are slowly working our way through the menu.
The real star of dinner was dessert.

vegan chocolate stuff beignets

Chocolate Stuffed Beignets with a Rhubarb Float. Yes it was amazing.

We had plans later in the night, but to kill some time Eric and I headed to The Franklin Mortgage & Investment Co. Eric had been here before, but I had never been and was really excited. And wow, this place did not fail to meet any of my expectations. It's an underground bar, kind of hidden. If you live in Philly and haven't been here, you are missing out. We each got two drinks, but no photos because the place is dark and small. But they were amazing, and I am already trying to convince Eric to take me back.

After finishing up our cocktails we stopped by a birthday party, but were struggling to stay awake so we called it a night.

Sunday morning I changed up our regular pancakes for some waffles! I am still loving the waffle maker, but I really need to get a good waffle recipe down. Anyone have a good one...vegan or not, I can probably veganize it.


For the first time in a while we made it to the grocery store pretty early. Once we got back home I got to cooking.
First up was some focaccia bread.
making foccacia

I've always had good luck with focaccia, but something went wrong and this didn't turn out great. I think it was something with the flour.
focaccia bread

And then I got to creating some energy bars.
mixing stuff for energy bars

I haven't tasted one of these yet, but I brought one to work with me today. If they taste good I will post the recipe.
energy bars

Other Sunday highlights included FINISHING SEASON 4 OF DEXTER!! Oh My God. Oh My God!! I can't wait for season 5.

And of course some cat photos. I would like to introduce you to Carl, our upstairs neighbors other cat. He is really cute, and him and Kitta Marie actually get along.

I'm gonna miss him when they move next month.

Eric and I snacked all afternoon and never got around to eating dinner.
We did crack open this beer and start to watch Inglorious Bastards. This beer was really good. It has a very bold flavor, but wasn't hard to drink.

sunday night beer

Friday, May 21, 2010

Raw Eats!

My goal is to start eating more raw meals. I have been putting this off until the seasons changed and the temperature was a bit warmer. I feel like raw meals are more my style when its warmer out. Anyways I went over to Gena's blog, Choosing Raw and found an idea or two. She def has some amazing recipes.

I ended up making the "Raw Peanut Noodles" and "Ricki’s Carob-Coconut Sweeties"

For the raw peanut noodles I changed a few things. I ended up julienning carrots, onions, green/red bells peppers, cucumber, spiral cutting some zucchini, and threw in some kale that was massaged and marinated in the ginger dressing. I feel like the kale really added another dimension to the texture of the dish which I would recommend.

For the ginger dressing I ended up using about a 1/4c less oil and less sesame seed oil (since Lauren isn't a huge fan) and since we were out of dates I went with the maple syrup. Next time I will make sure we have dates since i think this will thicken the dressing up a bit. I added a bit of salt and fresh cracked pepper and half a clove of garlic minced as well. Overall it turned out amazing, definitely worth making for a dressing/wraps/fried rice/to drink :)


For dessert I made Ricki’s Carob-Coconut Sweeties, which turned out excellent. Instead of using stevia, I used some raw agave and used raw almond butter as well. I put half into the fridge and the other half into the freezer. We both agreed the ones in the freezer were best.


Thursday, May 20, 2010

Healthy Living Summit

Unless you read a lot of health/fitness blogs, you probably have no idea what the Healthy Living Summit is. It's really just a big ol' get together of bloggers (and non bloggers) with different panels focusing on a healthy mind, body and soul.
Tickets went on sale last night, and about a half hour later I decided to casually see if any where still available. Well they were, and on a whim I purchased my ticket to the event!

Eric and I have been wanting to go to Chicago for a while, and this seemed like the perfect opportunity.

So is anyone else going? I am really excited to meet a lot of bloggers!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

My First Ever Phillies Game

Last night Eric and I went to the Phillies game! It was the first time I have ever been to a Phillies, let alone an MLB game.
I never went to any professional team games in Dallas because they were all such a hassle to go to. Luckily we can easily take public transportation to all the stadiums in Philly.

Although I was really looking forward to the game, we picked the crappiest day ever. It was 50 degrees and rainy ALL DAY. Luckily by game time the rain had let up and we really only had to deal with the cold.

phillies game

phillies game

phillies game

It was bobblehead night, and I was pretty excited to get a (free) souvenir from my first game.

phillies game

phillies game

I was really looking forward to eating a soft pretzel. Did you know that Citizens Bank Park is the number one veg friendly baseball stadium? They have veggie dogs, veggie burgers, "crab" cakes, "steak" sandwiches and pretzels!

phillies game

The Phillies ended up losing (but the Flyers won!) but it was still a lot of fun. Hopefully my next baseball game will include some nicer weather.

phillies game

Monday, May 17, 2010

photos from the weekend

When the weather is nice, you always seem to do a lot more, making the weekend go a lot faster.

Eric and I started off the weekend by heading to the Piazza to watch the Flyers game!

It started to rain during the game, so we headed up to Josh and Kelly's apartment, where they made us cocktails.
They had worked up a drink based off the Master Cleanse detox drink...except theirs contained alcohol. And was delicious.

friday night cocktails

And since Eric and I are old folks now, we headed home early to go to sleep.
Woke up Saturday morning to a beautiful day, and I set out on a 12 mile run. The run went well, I was happy to set a new personal distance, and it gave me some more confidence for the half marathon I am running in two weeks.

I was happy to come home and find Eric and Andy Carr hanging out, wanting to go grab some food.
We went to our usual brunch spot, Cantina Dos Segundos. I like going to brunch here because you rarely have to wait, and free chips and salsa!

Ladies of Philadelphia...Andy Carr is single!
brunch at cantina

Juli and I had plans to get our bangs cut, so she joined us for brunch too.
brunch at cantina

Cantina had a new special on the menu, ginger seitan tacos, with a jicama slaw. Eric ordered it and said it might be the best thing he has ever eaten there.
brunch at cantina

Just as we were getting ready to leave, we were offered a free pitcher of margaritas, and you can never pass up free drinks.
brunch at cantina

After one margarita, Juli and I had to leave because we were getting our bangs trimmed. After the mop chop we headed back to our place to hang out on the deck. Eric and I finally got a table for our deck, and I was pretty excited to put it to use.

Some brewskies were consumed.
drinking beer on the deck

And Adam, Juli's boyfriend came over. He just bought some old school work glasses off of Ebay, and we were all pretty excited to try them on.
wearing adam's work glasses

wearing adam's work glasses

wearing adam's work glasses

wearing adam's work glasses

We couldn't hang for long, and Juli and Adam had to leave. Adam's pretty cool and has a motorcycle. Anyone want to take bets on how long till Eric buys a motorcycle? I don't think it will be too long...
adam and his motorcycle

Safety first!

Juli modeled how she rides her bike with a dress...shorts are a must!

I headed over to Kelly's because it was her bridal shower!
We played some games and ate delicious food and drank delicious drinks.
kelly's bridal shower

kelly's bridal shower

Eric and Josh had gone out for some drinks while the shower was going on, but we met back up with them later in the night.
We decided to head to Kraftwork, a new bar/restaurant on Girard.

I love, love, loved the menus. I am such a sucker for good design.

They don't have a ton of vegan options, but we were able to order a mixed vegetable platter that was good. Fiddleheads were a special for the evening, and I was pretty excited to try them!

Sunday was spent catching up on things around the house. We have both been so busy (or sick) the past few weeks that our place was a mess, and we were seriously lacking in food.
Eric and I got to working in the yard fairly early in the morning. I really needed to get my plants planted.

I had grand plans of building raised beds, and clearing out some of our flower beds, but the time just got by me and I never accomplished any of that. We were able to clear one bed in our yard though. For the other plants we used old kitty litter containers because we are cheap care about the environment and are all about reusing things.

Kitta Marie patrolled the backyard.
kitta marie

After a few hours of yardwork we walked over to the Art Star Craft Bazaar.
art star craft bazaar

We found a lot of cool things, but left empty-handed.
art star craft bazaar

Later in the afternoon we finally went to the grocery store. We have been so busy and have only been eating quick and easy food. It was nice to take some time to actually prepare things.
Eric started off by making cashew milk!
He soaked some cashews, then blended them, then squeezed out the liquid till he got this.
homemade cashew milk

And this is what was leftover.
leftover cashew

I then whipped it up some more, and made a curry cashew cream. It wasn't perfect, but I hope to work on the recipe some and post it up here.
curry cashew cream

I also bought ramps at the store! I had never heard of these till I moved here (along with fiddleheads). I had to grab some and try them out. I cooked them with some sweet potatoes and kale and they turned out good.

Eric also made a big batch of marinara to last him a few weeks.

We have some pretty busy weekends coming up, but I am really looking forward to them!