Hey there. Here’s what’s been going on in my life lately. Mostly through food.
I saw this in the grocery store the other day:
Crunchy!?! I think my life is now complete. However, I didn’t even buy it! I know, I totally should have bought it strictly for ‘blog research purposes.’ Next time, promise. I did, however, get this:
Which is absolutely delicious. There’s something about the Peanut Butter & Co. brand that just can’t be topped. It’s a little gritty, but in the most delicious way. Go ahead and get yourself some. I’m still dying to try The Heat Is On and Mighty Maple.
I think I’ve finally gotten the hang of french braiding my own hair. It’s one of those things that seems simple to master, but I just never got around to learning. I’ve been practicing a lot, and I think I’ve (mostly) got it down. Yay for easy, pretty summer hair!
Sometimes I forget I have nifty kitchen gadgets and it’s like Christmas when I re-discover them. Popsicle mold was one of these things. I made honey berry greek yogurt pops the other day. Best. Breakfast. Ever. High in protein too!
Marathon training, I’m ready for you.
Kinda. Please don’t kill me.
There have been some c.r.a.z.y. summer storms down here, which produce some amazing skies. Half the sky was bright and sunny and the other half was dark and threatening. I think I’ve come to terms with the fact that my camera will never do the sky’s beauty justice though.
Whole Foods Hot Bar = Love. Especially the tofu fried chicken. Southern comfort food right there.
#don’tjudgeme They’re not bad. The filling kinda tastes like Dunkaroo cream. At least they’re vegan?
Running group has been going well so far. We’re still only a few runs in and today’s run was actually cancelled due to excessive heat. We had a ‘heat clinic’ last week after the Thursday run, where this dude gave us advice to prevent overheating/dehydration/death while running when it’s boiling outside. A lot of it actually overlapped with my post on the subject. We also got to try a bunch of Nuun flavors, which I’ve decided I’m a fan of. Just another running-related thing to spend my money on….
In other news, OLYMPICS START TOMORROW!!!??! I freaking love the Olympics, especially the summer ones. Who else is pumped!?
It’s always hard to return to the real world after a blissful few days removed.
Last Wednesday, I drove down to Charleston to spend some time with the BFF and her family.
I met them out on Kiawah, where I missed the beach because I stopped in Columbia to spend a bit of time with my other BFF. I did, however, get to see the bike parade, which was pretty neat.
We also walked around the island a bit, where I spotted this marathon sign! I want to do the Kiawah Marathon now….
But seriously, if you’ve never been to lowcountry South Carolina, you’re missing out…
The next morning, we were up bright and not-so-early to tackle a run on the infamous Cooper River Bridge. This obviously wasn’t my first time around the
block bridge, but something about the mid-day heat, humidity, incline and wind made the run borderline insane. However, we all pushed through and made it!
I look happy in this picture, but I assure you, I am just delirious.
Before and after, pictures courtesy of MH:
That afternoon, the girls went outlet shopping for both baby and grown up clothes. 1. Baby clothes are all so. very. adorable. and 2. I scored with a bunch of Banana Republic sale items and new sports bras. #runnerproblems
Fuel was for dinner, which is a caribbean taco place that was apparently featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Not surprising because the food was d.e.l.i.c.i.o.u.s. I got a fried goat cheese salad, which featured mandarin oranges, cashews, and a wonderful cocounut crusted ball of fried goat cheese atop a bed of mixed greens. On the side, some spicy, spicy boiled peanuts (so yum) and a margarita to accompany everything. Wonderful doesn’t even begin to describe it. Highly recommended!
On the last day, we got up and headed to the aquarium! For the many times I’ve been to Charleston, I’ve never been to the aquarium, so it was exciting for me, as evidenced by our official picture:
After we wore this adorable baby out by looking at fish and after he took a nice long nap, we headed out to the beach one last time.
It was early evening, the perfect time to soak up the last few rays of sunlight for the day without having to worry about frying to death.
All in all, it was a wonderful time with good friends. Special thanks to the Fricks for hosting me and to the Woffords for having such an adorable baby!
So today I went running. The temperature outside was approximately 104F, and no, that’s not an exaggeration. Why it’s easier for me to run when it’s the temperature of the sun outside versus a balmy 50 degrees, I don’t know, because I loathe running in the cold.
Either way, the run wasn’t awful, and I think that has to due with my preparedness. So lo and behold, I’ve come up with a handy dandy list of items that might just help make your sweltering run a little bit more manageable.
1. Put ice in your clothes
Yes, I’m serious. It doesn’t feel like torture and it will be your lifesaver. I wrapped a few ice cubes in a paper towel and put it on the back of my neck. Obviously it melted as I ran but it felt oh so good. You can use the icy towel to wipe up sweat, wring it out over your head, and keep yourself cool in general.
2. Run with hydration
This is an absolute must. I don’t care if you’re going ten steps or ten miles, carry.water.with.you. Or place it along the route before you go, whatever works. Do not expect to get out there and wing it because you will shrivel up and die. When it’s hot, you sweat a lot more and basically need constant hydration. My camelbak is a lifesaver and one of the best investments I’ve made. I know some people run with bottle belts, handheld bottles, etc. Find what works for you and drink up!
3. S.l.o.w d.o.w.n. and shorten it
Your pace will plummet when it is hot. Don’t expect to run the race of your life when the temps are 90+. Your pace will be significantly slower (minutes/mile) when running in the heat, simply because it takes more effort. I’ve been told that training in the heat for a cooler race is like opening a gift on race day. Also, there is no need for you to suffer through 20+ mile runs in hell. Keep the distances short, because again, your pace will be slower. If you have to go the high mileage route and absolutely must run outside, try to do a few miles outside and then take the rest inside to the treadmill.
4. Run in the shade
I usually run on the sidewalk or in the street, but today I ran on the grass under a series of trees, simply because there was shade there. Having the sun beat down on you will make your already stifling run borderline unbearable, so try to find any shade you can.
If you have to run in the sun, slather on the sunblock. Don’t be shy, butter yourself up. I can tell you from personal experience that being burned to a crisp is absolutely no fun and quite painful. Try to find a sport kind because you’ll be sweating up a storm and again, look for the shade. Don’t spend more time in the direct sunlight than necessary.
6. Be aware
Running in the heat is obviously more risky, so it’s important to be aware of your surroundings. Try to run a route you know and forego the music. If you need your tunes, try to keep them on low. The weather can dull your senses and reaction time and it’s important to keep your guard up. This is good running practice in general as well.
7. Time it right
My summer runs either have to be early in the morning (ha!) or late in the evening, when the temperatures are comparatively cooler. I will never, never go out running at high noon, mostly because I can’t, but also because it’s much smarter to run when the sun and temps are low.
Running should feel a bit uncomfortable at times, but if you start feeling dizzy, nauseous, dehydrated, with headache, like you’re going to pass out, etc., GET OUT OF THE HEAT. The hot weather can be downright dangerous and it’s not worth risking your life for the sake of “getting your run in.” If all else fails, there’s always the treadmill.
Heat doesn’t have to put a halt on your running (unlike lightning), and with these tips, I’ve had good luck so far. It’s July and I live in South Carolina, so I think it’s pretty safe to assume it’s going to be hot, hot, hot at least for a couple more months. Any other tips to add?
While in Savannah, my one request was to dine at Paula Deen’s restaurant. I’m not really sure why, as her food is butter-laden and diabetes-laced, maybe I was just curious as to what all the hype was about.
We made lunch reservations for 11am and arrived right on time. When we first drove by searching for parking, we noticed that the crowd gathered outside held no person younger than approximately 50 years old. Uhhh.. this was going to be interesting.
Despite the fact that we were likely the youngest people in the restaurant, I can’t complain about the experience. In fact, I would give it a thumbs up….
The menu housed typical southern fare, with the option of a buffet.
Definitely the youngest (and cutest!) dude in the house.
Everyone gets a savory corn cake, what they refer to as a “ho cake”, and a cheddar biscuit. Those two alone were enough to fill me up! I went for the sweet tea, which was quite delicious albeit super sweet. I started with crab stew, which was pretty tasty but also super salty.
Time for my main dish! I went for a veggie sandwich, which was portabello mushroom, zucchini and yellow squash roasted and topped with gooey cheese. On the side were a few slices of potato, crispy and deep fried. It was all yummy, but I (as well as everyone else) ended up so.freaking.stuffed.
Before leaving, we couldn’t help but notice this terrible marketing strategy. Anyone else think it looks like Paula Deen is in hell?
Yes, that is butter flavored lip balm, and no, I don’t think it actually tastes like butter. Also, I think prior to this experience, we reference diabetes no less than 53,000 times. I think we all escaped diabetes free, although I can see how eating like that 24/7 definitely puts you on the path to unhealthiness. Like I’ve said before and like I will continue to advocate, MODERATION, people!
Also, in the event that you would like to see a short video about our adventure, you are in luck because I’ve prepared such an item. In the event you don’t care about the adventure, watch the video anyway because it includes an absolutely precious baby.
So this past weekend I went to Nashville to visit with my family and take part in various running activities. First up was the Rock ‘n’ Roll Country Music Marathon Expo! I love expos, and this one did not disappoint.
Right after the expo, we headed down the street where I ran a one-mile race with the little bro. He ran the entire time and sprinted ahead at the finish. He’s a speedy one!
The next day I was up bright and early to run the half marathon! Over 30k people participated in both the marathon and half, so it was a little nuts.
My mom got up at the crack of dawn with me just to spectate! Thanks Mom! I love you. However, I don’t love these awful pictures of me looking stupid along the course:
I’m quite glad I did this race, because of views like this:
However, it was hot as hell and the hills wanted to kill me. Not my best race, but I got my body to the end, and for that, I am grateful.
Running is a gift.
I’m kind of glad I don’t have any races coming up any time soon. I need a little mental break from running, and these pool/yoga vouchers are burning a hole in my pocket.
Plus, I don’t have an adorable ice bath buddy to keep me company here in South Carolina:
When I was in college, I was lucky enough to partake in the experience that is Chicken Tender Tuesday. It was a very big deal. These chicken tenders were prime, juicy, and just waiting to be devoured by hoards of hungry college kids. We lived for Tuesdays back then.
One of the things I miss most is a beautifully crisp chicken tender. Not so much because of how it makes me feel, but because it’s a southern culture thing. These folk don’t mess around with their fried chicken. Chic-fil-a is everywhere, trying to lure me in. Can you believe it’s been almost two years since the spicy ridiculousness?
While I don’t feel the need to go out and stuff myself with KFC, I figured I could try my hand at the next best thing, tempeh tenders. Lucky for me (and you!) they came out quite tasty.
1 package tempeh
a lot of cups of canola oil
for the wash:
1 egg, beaten
1c rice milk
for the breading:
1/2c all-purpose flour
1/2c panko breadcrumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1 tsp Penzey’s mural of flavor or other spices as you desire
- Heat the oil in a small saucepan to 350 degrees.
- Whisk together the egg and milk in a small bowl. Combine all the dry breading ingredients in another bowl.
- Cut the tempeh into strips. Dip each strip into the breading, then the egg wash, then back into the breading. Ensure each strip is fully coated with breading.
- Repeat until all strips are prepped.
- Fry the strips in hot oil until golden and crispy.
- Allow the strips to drain on paper towels. Let cool slightly before eating. Enjoy!
I had these babies tonight dipped in some classic ketchup. Their flavor isn’t overwhelming, which makes it perfect for pairing with sauces and dips. Can’t wait to try out a crispy buffalo tempeh wrap tomorrow!
So. As anyone who knows anything about sports knows, it’s March Madness. Sadly, the bracket I made is very dead at this point. I’m not surprised though; it was based solely on cities I liked and names that sound pretty. Definitely not the best strategy.
When I stumbled across this gem, I got a little excited. I kind of want to hold my own
March April Madness with this thing.
Making all these foods, having a southern showdown. Sounds like deliciousness to me. I might even consider eating meat for this one. Oh, by the way. I eat fish now. [explanation to come later]
We could probably just skip this whole thing and declare pimento cheese the winner. I swear, there’s crack in that stuff.
Living in the south, I’m constantly surrounded by delicious dishes like pulled pork and shrimp and grits.
Honestly, before I went vegetarian, those were two of my favorite foods. I let the craving for pulled pork get to me tonight and indulged.
Vegetarian, of course!
Vegetarian Pulled “Pork”Sammies
1 block extra firm tofu
additional toppings; slaw is highly recommended
- Slice the tofu into long strips. Bake at 350F until it just starts to brown. You don’t need to press the tofu if you’re baking it this way. It usually takes about 30-40 minutes to bake.
- Put the tofu in a food processor. Gently pulse 3-4 times, until the tofu crumbled but isn’t pulverized.
- Mix the tofu crumbles with your desired amount of barbecue sauce. If you like it saucy, slather it on. If you’re a bit more conservative, use a little less. It’s up to you!
- Spoon tofu + barbecue mixture onto hamburger buns, dress with toppings and enjoy your sloppy southern meal.
I used store bought light barbecue dressing and it was freaking delicious. I had Annie’s organic barbecue the other day and while it was good, there was something a bit off. This version hit the spot and wasn’t too terrible on the ingredient list.
While I was researching vegetarian pulled pork, I found this ridiculous thing called a jackfruit, which apparently makes a pretty decent substitute? It’s supposed to have a mild taste and a similar texture to pulled pork. I’m a little skeptical but Greenville does have an Asian market, where I can supposedly find said jackfruit. I might need to take a little gander and see if I can whip up a better version.
I’ve also seen some versions made with seitan, which I have yet to try (!!).
Now if someone could just figure out how to veg-ize low country boil and shrimp & grits, I’d pretty much love you forever.