You are currently browsing the monthly archive for July 2010.

Today we went on a tour of the farm we have a crop share with.  It was really neat!

They have a gorgeous view.

Some of the sights…

Tomatoes in one of the greenhouses

Peppers, looking almost ready to go to the market.

Lettuce mix

Recently planted strawberries

Multicolored cherry tomatoes in one of the hoop houses

Cute!

My husband and mom checking out the pen with the chickens (and a goose and some guinea fowl).

Goats! (My husband’s favorite)

Adorable little baby goat.

I really enjoyed getting out to the farm and seeing where all our produce has been coming from.  So many people today are completely disconnected from their food.  They have no idea where it comes from, what it takes to grow it, and what’s put on it.  Considering how much your food impacts your health,  it’s a great thing to learn as much as you can about the food you are choosing to eat.  Think about it – what you eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner today is what your body is using for fuel.  That food is being used to keep you healthy and functioning.  Why choose something that you have absolutely no idea where it’s come from or how it’s been treated?  The sheer volume of people’s blind food choices is astounding – and scary.

For example – many people today want to do what they can to be ethically responsible and choose to buy “free range” or “cage free” eggs.  This is a great thing.  However, there is no regulation when it comes to putting this on packaging.  So even though a carton of eggs may say that it’s free range, that doesn’t necessarily mean what you hope that it does.  Your best option is to go to your local farmer’s market to purchase that sort of thing (the same thing goes for grass fed meats, etc.).  This way, you can talk to the actual person who does the farming, egg collecting, or raising of the cattle/chickens/pigs.  Many of them bring pictures of their farm to the market with them and have displays so potential customers can see what exactly goes on at their farm.  Also, like our farmers, many are happy to have you come to their farm and take a tour or just look around.  It’s highly likely that if there’s a farmer who is partaking in good practices, they’d be more than happy to share that information with you.  Don’t be afraid to ask!  For example – since switching to a vegan diet, I no longer eat eggs.  However, my husband does.  After going to the farm today and seeing everything, I wouldn’t hesitate to purchase eggs from my farmers for my husband (not that I will, but it’s an example).

Knowledge is power.  You can always find products that fit your ethics – you just need to do some legwork.

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Tonight we went to one of my coworkers houses for dinner.  We had a great time!

First things first – the tequila BBQ tofu turned out AMAZING.  I didn’t take a picture of it all done and ready to eat because we didn’t grill it until we got to their house and I would have felt funny whipping out my camera to take pictures of food (they don’t all know about my little blogging addiction :-)).  But here’s the tofu with the dry rub on, all wrapped up and ready to go to their house…

After you grill it for five minutes or so, you coat it with the BBQ sauce and then continue to grill it for a couple more minutes.  It was absolutely fantastic!

Here’s the recipe.  I love Vegan Dad.  I will ABSOLUTELY be making this again (and I’ll take a picture this time).

I also, on a whim, decided to make some dessert…

Strawberries stuffed with vanilla frosting

They look cool and they’re super easy.

  1. Slice off the top (green part) of the strawberry so it can stand upright on the plate.
  2. Cut an “X” into the other end of the strawberry – making sure not to cut all the way through (it should still be one piece).
  3. Using a decorating bag, or a ziplock bag with the corner cut open, pipe the frosting inside the strawberry.  For frosting – mix margarine (I use Earth Balance), vanilla, almond milk, and powdered sugar to taste.

They’re also great if you drizzle them with a little melted chocolate.  But I didn’t have any around.

Our friend showed us his amazing garden.  It’s huge and bursting with veggies!  I’m so jealous!  Fortunately, they always end up with an oversupply of produce, and I often come into work to find food in my office.  Good people!

So Tuesday I caved and finished off the last of the cookie dough that was hiding in the back of the fridge (at least it was only a couple bites that were left).  I felt guilty for a minute, and then made myself let it go and move on with my night.  Often I find that I beat myself up over little things like that and it makes me feel worse and worse, which just perpetuates the cycle.

During the day we took the dogs to go swimming.  It was Rocket’s first time off leash and he did great! (Sorry for all the pictures.  I couldn’t resist!)

Rocket enjoying his first time swimming.

We think Jade looks like an otter when she swims.

The “water crazies.”  Any time they go in water, they instantly want to wrestle.

Rocket practically leaping over Jade while playing fetch.  Jade ignoring.

Rocket exploring.

Brother and sister exploring together.

Jade looking regal.  She’s good at that.

Today was much better!  I wanted to make a green monster for breakfast this morning, but my husband is on vacation this week and was still asleep.  Now, normally, this isn’t a problem, but our blender is a BEAST and is incredibly loud (and awesome).  So I passed and went with some toast instead.

For dinner, I worked on making a dent in the pesto I made the other day and made some spaghetti.  DELICIOUS!  The evening snack was spicy remoulade and carrots.  I can not even begin to tell you how much I LOVE this remoulade.  I know my mom and friend (Hi Mer!  See?  I didn’t forget  :-)) would agree.

Simple and Spicy Vegan Remoulade

  • Veganaise
  • Your favorite mustard
  • Your favorite hot sauce

I usually mix in a 3:1:1 ratio (mostly Veganaise), but if you’d like it less spicy, just decrease the amount of hot sauce.

Beware – if you make this remoulade, you will be addicted!  It actually goes with the vegan “crab” cakes I’m in love with (as are my husband and my mom).

Drool!  Now I want to make them for dinner again.  Perhaps this weekend?

This afternoon I went to see my orthopedist about my foot and what I’d self-diagnosed as plantar fasciitis.  It’s been going on for about three weeks. but has gotten steadily better since I took a recovery break from training two weeks ago.  I made my appointment when it was still not feeling so hot, but I decided to keep it and just see what he thought.  He agreed that it sounded like plantar fasciitis and that I was doing everything I should be to take care of it.  So no worries.  It’s feeling much better now too.  I was just being careful.

So what have I been doing to take care of my plantar fasciitis?

  • First things first, I rested. I took one good solid week off from training, and the week following that I went very, very light – so it was essentially a second recovery week.
  • Stretch, stretch, and stretch more! Any spare moment where I found myself not doing anything, I would work on stretching out my calves and achilles.  Some stretches/yoga poses I found to be extremely helpful were standing calf stretches, downward dog, and warrior pose.

Standing calf stretch (Image source)

Downward dog (Image source)

Warrior pose (Image source)

  • Ice! The first couple days, when my heel was pretty sore, I spent most of the time off my feet and hanging out on the couch with an ice pack.
  • No more barefoot in the house. I pulled my slippers back out from under the bed and made sure I wasn’t standing barefoot on hard surfaces around the house.  I didn’t know it until I talked to my mom, but apparently that can also cause plantar fasciitis (both of my parents ended up with it when they moved to Florida and a house with all tile floors instead of carpet).
  • Transitioning my running form to a mid/forefoot gait. This will lessen the extreme flexing on my achilles that occurs when I heelstrike.  It will also strengthen the muscles in my foot/ankles/calves, which will decrease the stress on my plantar fascia.

This is something that’s always going to be lurking, waiting to come back occasionally.  The best thing I can do to prevent that is to continue stretching, even when it’s not bothering me.

Tomorrow should be fun.  My husband and I are going to my coworker’s house to have a BBQ.  I’m going to bring this amazing Tequila BBQ Tofu from Vegan Dad.  My friend (hi Carrie!) made it for us for one of our dinner nights and it was awesome.  I’ll let you know how it goes when I make it!

I have been eating so horribly the past two weeks.  I don’t want to eat this way, but as soon as I have just a little bit of sugar, I get pretty intense cravings and it’s extremely hard to get past them and back into my healthy habits.  I actually get headaches and am exhausted for a couple days from the sugar withdrawal.  It’s crazy!

So I’m putting it out there right now – I’m getting past this sugar craving and back into my healthy ways starting tonight.  Tomorrow I’m not giving in to these cravings, and I will come back here and let you know how it goes.

See, now that it’s out there, I’ll think twice before I reach for that leftover cookie dough that’s sitting in the fridge…  🙂

One of our CSA items this week was a bag of basil.  And I’m not talking about a little bag…

So I decided to put my new food processor to work and make some pesto!

Yay food processor!

Yum!

I used basil, garlic, pine nuts, lemon juice, and extra virgin olive oil.  Everything was to taste.  I like really garlicky pesto, so there’s a LOT of garlic in there.  Delicious!

Weekend in review

Over the last couple days I’ve been working on adjusting to my Vibrams (Bikilas) and changing my running form to use a mid/forefoot strike, rather than heelstriking.  This should help to remedy the knee and foot issues I’ve dealt with over the last couple months.  So I’m hopeful…

On Friday, I did five miles on our treadmill (it was late).  I did the first mile in the Vibrams, and then did the remaining four in my regular shoes (Asics GT 2140s) but continued to run on the balls of my feet.  I tried to put the Vibrams back on for mile 5, but I only got .03 miles in before I knew all those little muscles in my feet and ankles were so exhausted there was no way I could hold myself up.  So I switched back to the Asics and finished the last mile.  Even though I was still running on my toes, the Asics gave a little more sturdiness and support so those muscles you’re not used to using don’t have to work quite as hard.  I also stopped at the end of each mile to stretch out my calves/achilles to prevent the plantar fasciitis issues.  It seemed to work well.

The overall impression of that run… things worked well!  My heel felt good – the stretching definitely helped.  As for the forefoot striking… wow!  The muscles in my feet and ankles were so sore for two days afterwards!  But it was a good kind of sore.

Saturday, I headed to Buffalo for my friend’s bridal shower.  I’m a bridesmaid, so I was on my feet all afternoon running around doing stuff for the party, and by the end of the day, my feet were on FIRE.  I was concerned that some of that was the plantar fasciitis (PF), but I think most of it was actually just stiffness from the workout on Friday night.  I did decide to call the run that I had scheduled for that day a wash though.  I didn’t want to cause the PF to flare up again.

Sunday, still sore!  I attempted to get a run in.  I got all dressed, put my shoes on, and got about 25 feet before I threw in the towel.  I was still so achy from Friday night.  So instead I spent the night stretching and trying to loosen up those muscles.

So this week was essentially another PF recovery week.  And I’m alright with that.  I feel like my heel is doing much better.  I have an appointment with my orthopedist on Wednesday so I can get his professional opinion on how it’s doing.

Today, I didn’t have a run scheduled, but I dragged my husband off the couch and asked him to go for a run with me (run/walk intervals for him to build up his endurance).  We took the dogs and just did a nice little 2 miles around the neighborhood.  I wore the Vibrams the whole way and felt great.  No heel issues or pain.  I’m really starting to love those things!

My take on the Vibrams so far…

I love these shoes.  Love love love.  Yes, they are weird looking (conversation starter?), and a little difficult to put on (it gets easier, I promise), but they are fantastic.

I was skeptical at first.  I figured they were a fad that would quickly fade and I wasn’t going to buy them.  So I waited to see how long it would take before I would stop hearing about them.  But I never did.  I just kept hearing more and more about them and how great they are.  I talked to several people who had them and they all raved about their Vibrams.  Considering my IT band issues, runners knee experience, and now the plantar fasciitis, I figured it couldn’t hurt to try the supposed “miracle shoes.”  So I took the plunge.

They definitely take some getting used to.  They feel weird at first, but are oddly comfortable at the same time.  You have to hold yourself back from doing too much too soon.  Although, honestly, it’s so tiring adjusting to running with a forefoot strike that I found I really couldn’t do too much too soon because my muscles simply weren’t strong enough.  But you have to make sure to build up that muscle strength a little at a time.

What surprised me was how quickly my plantar fasciitis symptoms went away after I started running in them consistently and modifying my running form.  It’s almost impossible to run with bad form in these shoes because you will feel it. When you’re in regular running shoes, you’re cushioned enough that you can be running with improper form and not really realize it until an injury flares up.

So my conclusion on the Vibrams so far… I’m glad I got them!  For me, they were definitely worth it!

This weekend will be 9 weeks until my marathon (September 26th).

I have to say, this time around, I am feeling super excited and good about the whole thing.  Even with this most recent minor setback.  I think the reason for that is because at this point, I have been running regularly for a year.  (Just to clarify: I have been running since 1995 when I started doing cross country, but took a “brief” hiatus when I was in college and grad school.  I went back to good, solid running about a year ago.  Read the full journey here.)  When I started training for the Buffalo Marathon, I really just dove in headfirst – without enough of a running base, and without the knowledge of physiology and nutrition that is so helpful to me today.  And of course, I ended up injured, and only able to run the half marathon when the big day rolled around.  It was disappointing, but I learned a lot about what works and what doesn’t.  I wasn’t taking my training as seriously as I should, and I was trying to do too much too soon.  Unfortunately, this is not uncommon amongst runners training for their first marathon.

Since Buffalo, I’ve been on top of my training.  The only time I’ve missed a run was last week when I took some time off to rest my foot.  And I have that extra time built into my schedule.  Now my foot is feeling much better and I can continue on with my training.

So here’s what I’ve got left before the big day…

  • This week (remainder): 5mi/5mi/12mi
  • 7/26: 5mi/4mi/5mi/13mi
  • 8/2: 5mi/5mi/5mi/15mi
  • 8/9: 6mi/5mi/6mi/16mi
  • 8/16: 6mi/6mi/6mi/18mi
  • 8/23: 7mi/6mi/7mi/20mi
  • 8/30: 6mi/6mi/6mi/15mi (fall back week)
  • 9/6: 7mi/8mi/7mi/22mi
  • 9/13: 6mi/6mi/6mi/10mi (begin taper)
  • 9/20: 3mi/4mi/2mi/26.2mi (taper and RACE!)

Wow!  That’s not much left!

Aside from the running, I’ll be biking 2-3 times a week to continue strengthening my quads and prevent the runners knee issues that plagued me during the Buffalo marathon.

Looking forward to it!

Today was a good day!

The birthday festivities actually began last night when my friend (hi Carrie!) made a birthday dinner.

BBQ tofu and tempeh and corn on the cob.  Be still my heart!  Thanks Carrie!

This morning started off fairly uneventful since I had to go get an oil change, but it went uphill after that.

One of my best friends is a massage therapist and owns her own studio – and my birthday present was a massage!  I love being her guinea pig when she gets new things to try out.  Today it was time to play with paraffin wax.  Neat stuff!  So my friend gave me a fabulous massage and a paraffin wax treatment on my feet.  I told her about my recent foot issues so she spent a good chunk of time working on my right leg, and it’s felt great all day.  So that’s a plus too!

Thanks Ashley!

After that, I dropped by another friends house and enjoyed some food deliciousness (not pictured because I was too busy stuffing my face), and then headed home.

Then it was time for the hubs to show his mad skills…

It’s the only wrapping paper in our house.

YAY!!!  I may have been requesting this for about a month…

My husband made some delicious tofu spring rolls for dinner.  I took a picture but I couldn’t get one to come out well.  I think the combination of bad lighting in our apartment, plus the smooth surface of the rice paper just made it impossible.  Oh well.  I promise they were good!

After that, it was time for cake!

Now… before I show you my husband’s handy work… I should mention that this is our standard cake recipe (the same one I made for his birthday) and is completely delicious, but… well…  you’ll see…

I feel like maybe I should submit this to Cakewrecks.

Happy birthday to meeeeee… Happy birthday to meeeeee…

I hope you had an excellent day!  I’m off to play with my new food processor!

I’ve been quiet this week since I decided to take a break from training and rehab my foot situation.

Much of my week was spent like this…

This is the best ice pack EVER.  It’s actually a knee wrap.

So far, things are coming along.  My heel is still a little sore, but feeling better than it did a week ago.  So I’m back to my training and will continue to stretch and ice like I’ve been doing.  If it doesn’t continue to feel better, I’ll make an appointment with my orthopedist and get into some PT.  But I think it’ll be alright now.

So rather than running this week I’ve been laying low.  I tried to minimize the time spent on my feet.  But that didn’t mean I couldn’t get out and have some fun!

Yesterday my mom and I went up to Schroon Lake to enjoy the beautiful weather and scenery.  I decided to take the opportunity to scope out the marathon course I’ll be running in September.  The verdict: Pretty!  But the hills on the first half are killer!  I better get some serious hill training in.  At least the second half is mostly flat(ish).

My course map and notes.  I love the hill that goes from mile 8 to mile 11.  Gah!

Today, my mom and I went kayaking in the Adirondacks.  I love living here!

Me, working hard.

Lunch break

Gorgeous views.  The pictures really don’t do it justice.

So tomorrow it’s back to the training plan.  I’m going to repeat last week since I’ve had a week off – I don’t want to increase the mileage again until I redo the last one.  I hope it goes well!

Last night I was playing around online and started thinking about registering for the Disney World Marathon that’s running on January 9th.  We go to Florida to visit my parents around then anyway, so I thought it would be fun.  I didn’t register yet (it’s expensive), but I’m leaning toward going for it.

I felt very “blah” this week.  My husband was been away on field work.  I’m so glad he’s back super soon.  I really have no motivation to cook real food when it’s just for me.  So I’ve been eating horribly the entire time.  Taking a week off from training didn’t help either.  Now that I’ve made eating better and training consistently a habit, I feel really horrible when I don’t stick to it.  But that’s okay – tomorrow is another day!

It looks like I will be taking this week off from running.  Over the last week I’ve developed a nagging pain in my right foot that I’m 99.9% certain is the early stages of  plantar fasciitis.  I also have tight calves and a tight achilles in my right leg – which is often a cause of plantar fasciitis.  That, on top of running a lot and working on hills, can end up irritating the plantar fascia and causing this pain that I’ve been feeling lately.

So what’s a girl to do?  This week, my focus is going to be:

  • Rest
  • Ice
  • Stretching – both my plantar fascia, and my calves/achilles

I’ll also be picking up a new pair of my Superfeet insoles.  The ones that I have at the moment have around 500 miles on them, so that should help too.

So no running for me this week.  But that’s okay.  I have a couple extra weeks built into my training plan for this specific purpose.  And hopefully, by resting now, I’ll avoid being sidelined for a longer period of time later.

After the Buffalo Marathon (which turned into a half marathon due to my knee debacle), I had to dial my mileage WAY back and start from the beginning to avoid the runners knee issues that had been plaguing me.

Today it was time for my 12 mile run and I was really looking forward to it.  My husband and I took his bike and went to a local bike trail where I could run while he rode with me.

Before we left, I had a banana because I needed something to eat quickly before getting started.  I don’t need anything before my shorter runs, but I run out of steam quickly if I don’t eat before my long ones.  I also packed up a cooler with some water and cantaloupe for after our run/ride.  I’m always trying to find food combinations that work well with my long runs, and I was happy to find out that these definitely were.

It was a beautiful sunny day – not super cool, but definitely not as gross as it has been lately.  The trail was packed!  There were tons of people out riding, walking, and running.  Dogs aren’t allowed on the trail, but if they were, I’m sure we would have seen a bunch!

I was super glad I did my run on this trail.  Since I’m running the ADK marathon in September, I need to get used to hills, which I don’t usually do.  The trail was perfect for this!  Lots of hills.  Some gradual and long, and others short (but they felt long!) and steep!  It was GREAT hill practice.  I will definitely have to do that again.

One thing I’ve learned through all this training is that I am a distance runner, not a speed demon.  My typical long run pace is 10:00 to 11:00/mile.  I like to run at a pace that feels comfortable and doesn’t make me feel like I don’t know how much longer I can make it.  I like to settle in for the long haul.

So here’s the splits…

  • Mile 1 – 10:58
  • Mile 2 – 10:49
  • Mile 3 – 10:56
  • Mile 4 – 12:53 (Crazy long hill that felt like it would NEVER end!)
  • Mile 5 – 9:34 (My husband disappeared ahead of me and I was trying to find him.  Perhaps I should employ this strategy more often!)
  • Mile 6 – 10:41
  • Mile 7 – 11:23 (Half mile STEEP uphill.)
  • Mile 8 – 10:39
  • Mile 9 – 10:50
  • Mile 10 – 11:18 (LAST uphill!)
  • Mile 11 – 10:51
  • Mile 12 – 9:37 (I wanted to see what I could do for the last mile.  It felt really comfortable!  I could have kept going or gone a little faster but I ran out of water.)

I’m so thrilled that my Garmin stuck with me through the whole thing.  When I went hiking on the 4th I brought it with me and it started giving me a low battery warning.  I forgot to charge it after the hike and remembered in the car on my way up to the bike trail today.  I was less than thrilled and was expecting it to shut off at any second, but it didn’t!  That low battery warning must come on when you have about 3 hours of juice left.  Good to know!  I came home and charged it all back up, so CRISIS AVERTED!

I hope you had an excellent weekend!

Need to contact me?

geonerdette at gmail dot com

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