This week is all about foods that I am loving this week.
Hot Teas | Although I am a coffee lover I have been cutting back to no more than one cup per day. Now that it is fall I crave nice warm beverages to warm me up so I after my cup of coffee I have been turning to teas to warm me up and enjoy throughout the day.
Kale Chips | I am in love with kale chips, but I mean these days who isn’t? I think my craving is in over drive because I have enjoyed so many tasty ones lately and my desire for snacks is over the top right now. I must pick up some kale next week to make my own tasty batch of kale chips. What’s your favorite flavor?
Raw Macaroons | Not only am I craving some nice savory kale chips I am also loving these new tasty macaroons.
Harvest Beers | Okay not really a food but I am loving them right now. Last weekend we had a harvest beer tasting and in a few weeks we are hosting a pumpkin beer tasting. If only I wasn’t breastfeeding I could enjoy more than a few sips. What is your favorite harvest or pumpkin beer?
Soups, Stews & Chilis | As son as the leaves start to change my weekly menu has at least one soup, stew or chili on it. Last week I made a delicious squash-bulgar chili (recipe to come) and this week we had split pea soup. What is your favorite soup, stew or chili recipe?
Today is the last day of my 6 day vacation and I’m sad for it to be over. Neil and I have been super busy every day of this vacation and I am using today to relax and get ready for the short but surely busy work week.
Thursday I spent most of the day trying to get some work done around the house, I took a nap and then headed out to watch Neil’s softball game. After his game, we went to American Flatbread for our traditional post-midwife appointment flatbread date a day early since we had made different plans for after our Friday midwife appointment.
Friday Neil and I woke up early and headed out to an early morning midwife appointment at their main office 75 minutes away. We usually go to the satellite office that is only 45 minutes away but we had hoped that we would be able to tour the birth center but unfortunately all the birthing suites were full when we arrived so we couldn’t tour. On the upside we found out that the baby turned and that now there is a 98% chance they will stay head down!!
After our appointment we headed to Hill Farmstead Brewery so Neil could sample a few beers and pick up a stock (you can only buy bottles at the brewery). On our way there, we stopped in Hardwick at the Buffalo Mountain Co-op for lunch where we both got veggie and tempeh bowls with brown rice for me and quinoa for him. After we finally made it to the brewery (after getting lost, asking for directions, learning we needed cash, getting cash and returning) we finally headed to Little River State Park in Waterbury (where my parents were camping) for dinner. Neil helped them set up camp and then we ate tons of raw veggies with dip, Field Roast Sausages and potatoes, then Neil and I finally packed up and headed home.
Saturday we stopped into the VCM Race Expo, ran a bunch of errands and then relaxed. Since Neil was running Sunday we didn’t want to over do it and spent all afternoon/evening relaxing on the couch.
Sunday = RACE DAY! Neil and I both woke up bright and early to get ready for the Vermont City Marathon. I spent the day as a spectator and Neil ran his very first half marathon! We dropped Neil off at the starting line and then we headed to our planned viewing spot, just after mile 10. Since we were going to have a few hours to wait before Neil passed through we headed up the hill to cheer him on just pass the 2-mile marker.
Just Pass 2-Mile Mark (Neil with yellow hat)
After we cheered on Neil and his fellow runners we headed back down the hill to our spots and set up camp to cheer on runners as they passed by.
Finally we spotted Neil with the 4:15 pace group and gave him a big cheer as he passed.
We stayed and cheered on all the runners up until the very last one passed us by and then packed things up and walked down to the waterfront to meet official Half-Marathoner Neil (his unofficial time is 2:20!)
Monday after spending the day in the hot sun and running Sunday, Neil and I were both ready for our anniversary massages at The Essex Resort and Spa. About a month ago I scheduled appointments for a sports-specific massage for Neil and a prenatal massage for myself for our anniversary which is May 31st, BEST IDEA EVER.
We arrived a bit early, checked into the spa and then went the relaxation lounge to relax, sip green juice and water before our massages. We ended up having our massages in the same room together which was really nice and they were honestly some of the best massages either of us have had. We had the same massages about 3 months ago in Boston and although they were good these were amazing. The best part was I could lay on my stomach thanks to the special pregnancy belly pillow they had for prenatal massages.
After our massages we decided to take advantage of the facilities (you have access to the pool, gym, sauna, steam room and relaxation lounges) and we headed to the indoor pool for a swim. It was so nice to get in the water and swim around, I wish I had been doing this throughout all of my pregnancy! Walking has becoming more challenging but swimming yesterday I was able to do 300 yards with no problem!
After the pool, we headed back to our designated (men/women) spa changing rooms so that Neil could use the steam room and I took the time to put my feet up and enjoy a cup of tea, a cup of water and a trashy magazine since neither the sauna nor the steam room were options for me. We both showered and got ourselves ready for the day and then headed out to pick up a picnic lunch and run a few errands before settling in at home.
We ended our night with this delicious homemade flatbread and caught up on a few shows.
Last May Neil and I did a short detox where we avoided caffeine, alcohol and processed sugars. Although challenging at first in the end it felt great to take a break and let my body rest. As much as I love coffee and a really nice microbrew or glass of red I’ve decided that I want to do a pre-Christmas detox. I also think it pairs well with the 30 Days of Yoga Challenge.
So from now until Christmas I’m going on a caffeine and alcohol detox. I know it’s going to be a challenge with the days getting colder but instead of turning to a nice warm cup of coffee I’ll be turning to a nice decaf tea. As for the alcohol not as big of a challenge but I’ll just have to wait to try Neil’s newest home brew until Christmas.
Tips to Reduce Coffee
To slightly reduce the depleting effects of coffee add a bit of ginger, cardamom and a few grains of salt to your coffee.
Try half herbal coffee such as Teecino and half regular coffee. Slowly increasing ration of herbal until you make the switch. Alternatively try half regular and half decaf and use the same method.
Switch to teas such as green tea and yerba mate both of which boost energy but without the negative side effects associated with coffee.
Are you a coffee drinker? Have you ever tried to eliminate or reduce your coffee intake?
For last nights dinner I decided to try my hand at beer soaked fries, what seems to be a new foodie trend. We got a bunch of potatoes in our CSA this week so it only seemed fitting that they be made into fries. I also had a bunch of carrots leftover from last weeks CSA so I decided to toss them in as well. To go along with our beer soaked carrot and potato fries I made tempeh of the sea (recipe below).
1.5 lbs Red Norland Potatoes (or new potatoes), scrubbed and sliced into fries
1 bunch of carrots, scrubbed and sliced into fries
2 extra large cloves of garlic (or 3 regular), finely minced
3T olive oil
1.5 t salt
1t black pepper
Preheat oven to 425F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper (optional).In a large bowl, soak the cut potato and carrot fries in the two bottles of beer for 20-30 minutes, tossing 1-2 times. After 20-30 minutes drain the beer.While the fries are soaking place half of the olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper in a ziplock and place half of the fries in the bag; shake around to fully coat. Pour out onto one of the baking sheets and spread the fries into a single layer. Repeat. Bake for 30 minutes and then turn on the broiler and broil for 3-5 minutes until lightly browned and crispy.
Tempeh of the Sea
The umeboshi plum vinegar gives this dish a fishy taste.
Yields 2 servings
1-8oz package tempeh, cut into large chunks
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 garlic cloves, choppped
1 inch ginger, sliced in large rounds
2 t sesame oil
2 t umeboshi plum vinegar
1 chili, minced
4 cups loosely packed baby spinach
Preheat oven to 425F.
In a bowl created the marinade by combining the onion, garlic, ginger, sesame oil, vinegar, tamari, water and chili.
Place the tempeh in a oven safe baking dish. Pour the marinade over the tempeh.Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and place in a large preheated skillet over medium-high heat; saute on for 5 minutes. Stir in the baby spinach and saute for 5 more minutes.
Last week Neil and I decided that we needed to have a date night. Lately we have been so busy with our own things and home things that we haven’t been spending enough quality time together.
Our date night started at the driving range where we shared an extra large bucket of balls.
After we emptied our bucket of balls we headed to the batting gages. I watched while Neil hit a few balls and then it was time to head downtown for the second half of our date.
We debated over a few places to go for a drink and dinner but I wasn’t really that hungry so we decided to go to the German brew pub for a beer and decide on what we wanted for dinner later. Once we sat down and perused the menu we saw that there were a few potential small plate options for us to have and since we were enjoying the quiet night on the patio we decided to stay and order food as well.
Grilled Asparagus with olive oil and lemon
Giant pretzel with horseradish mustard (no butter on the pretzel)
Spicy Fries (more liked seasoned)
The Verdict: delicious beer (we stayed for a second) and tasty food. We sat and enjoyed each others company while sipping beers and snacking on the food. Overall one of the best nights lately and I can’t wait to return for more of the asparagus-SO GOOD!
We did it! Neil and I ran our first 5k this past weekend in Portland, ME. It was an amazing experience and we both did really well.
The race started off on a hill. I was feeling nervous because I had only done one kill run during my training so I wasn’t sure how I would do. To my delight and both Neil and my surprise I actually crushed that hill. The course went onto a slightly inclined area and eventually to the stairs which you can see here. I shocked myself on the stairs. I didn’t stumble, fall flat on my face or run into anyone; WIN!
Then it was on to the next section of the course which was on a bike path right along the water. This area was described to us as “flat as a pancake”; well it was only “flat as a pancake” if pancakes have lump inclines. I really hit my stride at the last mile and it felt great. When I got to the last .1, right before the finish line, I decided to give it all I had and pass the 2 people in front of me to come in at a 37:36 giving me a 12:05 pace per mile. This was huge for me since my last 3.1 mile training run was 40:30 and the one before that 39:30! There were 17 finishers in the Female 25 to 29 age group and 185 finishers in the race. My overall finish place was 158 and I placed 16th in my age group (I didn’t finish last overall or in my age group- WAHOO).
Neil crossed the finish line at 28:49 and came in 5th out of 8 in his age group and 93rd overall. He rocked it.
After Race Complimentary Beers
After race brunch at Whole Foods (kale salad, home fries, roasted mushrooms, tomatoes, vegan chicken salad, fresh roll, macrobiotic dumplings and a vegan sesame chicken nugget)
Friday after work Neil and I headed to Portsmouth, NH to meet up with my parents for the night. We got to the hotel and jumped on the treadmill for a 2 mile run before getting ready to go out for dinner. For dinner we decided to dine at The Portsmouth Brewery where we all started with a beer; I got the red, it was okay-not great.
While I looked over the menu we snacked on some chips and salsa:
For dinner I had to make a choice out of a few vegan friendly options:
Although both of these sounded good Neil and I both decided to get this:
The wrap was full of veggies and tempeh but I was not too impressed with the flavor, or rather lack there of. It was pretty bland so I added the salsa from my chips, which I didn’t eat since I had chips and salsa already.
Overall the food was okay and the beer was blah not my favorite. I probably wouldn’t return to The Portsmouth Brewery and I definitely wouldn’t order a beer from there again.
Saturday morning we headed back into Portsmouth for breakfast at The Friendly Toast a retro dinner with (over priced) breakfast. The restaurant has a fun 60’s/70’s theme and a huge menu but it’s a little expensive for my pocket.
Neil and I had tofu scramble, coffee and water for breakfast. Overall the food was pretty good, the coffee was great and the water cold. The Friendly Toast is a fun place but it is a little pricey and can get crazy busy.
After breakfast we did a little window shopping and then headed to the farmers market where I got the best black iced tea ever.
That concludes our visit to Portsmouth! Stay tuned for Portland and Race Re-cap posts!
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