WIAW #33 – Notsomeatless Monday

Goooood morning and happy WIAW. This What I Ate Wednesday post was Monday’s eats. Yum yum.

If we’re being honest (and that’s what WIAW is all about right?), I would tell you that I had fully intended to have a complete Meatless Monday. It’s been ages since I did, and I had plans to fill the day with vegetarian goodness. I was going to meal-prep on Sunday and have an amazing Monday (and other days this week) of eats.

Sunday meal prep didn’t happen. We did make it to the West Side Market but since we had walked there, we only picked up a few items. And then we watched the Browns game and went to B’s parents house for dinner so productivity went out the window (full weekend recap is here).

So here you go. A not-so-Meatless Monday for What I Ate Wednesday (are you still following?).

Breakfast started with egg whites with hot peppers and some pepperoni in the eggs. B makes my breakfasts and surprised me with the pepperoni (leftover from our pizza night Saturday). So I guess you could say I was doomed for my Meatless Monday from the start? It was very delicious, though AND had some great veggies on the side.

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For lunch, I had no groceries. (see above – no meal prep and not much food from the Market …) SO I opted to take a walk with some coworkers to one of my favorite and most-underrated downtown lunch spots – Stone Oven! I picked up Janea’s Salad, which is my favorite. I know I’ve shared it before. It’s chicken, feta, roasted red peppers, sundried tomatoes, croutons, tabbouleh and great dressing and bread. It is a hearty salad and I ate the entire thing over about the course of 2 hours in between and during meetings. And yes, there was chicken so again, not-so-meatless.

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Snacks that afternoon included some fruit and nuts. Yum!

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For dinner, I finally got my act together and hit up Heinen’s on my way home from work to pick up some supplies and I made a vegetarian curry dish. It was really good! I stir fried some veggies (green beans from the local farm stand, onion, pepper, sweet potato and carrots) and topped them with a green coconut curry sauce and mixed in some freekeh. I’m definitely going to be sharing the recipe soon – so easy and so good. I even had enough for leftovers for lunch the next day!

green curry over freekeh

green curry over freekeh

No day is complete without dessert. For dessert I made myself a mini ice cream sundae with vanilla maple Arctic Zero. I topped it with some chocolate and white chocolate chips, as well as some peanut butter and a bite of a Take Five.

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And that was it! A pretty good Monday – even if it didn’t end up being meatless after all.

Some questions for you:

  • Do you participate in Meatless Mondays?
  • Do you meal prep or plan in advance?

Training Tuesday: Akron Marathon Relay Race Recap

My first relay is done!

This past weekend, I ran the Akron Marathon Relay. I ran with some of my fellow Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors. I’m not going to lie – going into the race, I was pretty nervous. I’d never done a relay before and all the logistics made me uneasy. Where did I start? Did I run with a baton? (a la track and field) What is this slap bracelet I run with? How would I find my other team members? Needless to say, we ROCKED it.

B and I decided last minute to spend Friday night in Akron so we wouldn’t have to drive back and forth twice to go to the Expo Friday and race Saturday morning. So Friday late after work, B and I headed down to Akron for the Expo. I love race expos and it was so great to see the famous Blue Line in real life and feel all the amazing energy at the show!

We had gotten Flaming Ice Cube for dinner and I had my standard pre-race or long-run meal before we headed to bed. I had a 5:15 a.m. wakeup to get ready for!

Relay Ready!

Saturday morning came quickly, as most people in the hotel were also going to the race. I heard doors opening and closing starting around 4:30 a.m. (the hotel had a shuttle to the start at 5:30 a.m.) and I was able to get up, get race ready, and drink some water and eat part of a bagel. My stomach was acting up, which is unusual for me. I rarely have actual stomach issues, but for some reason this morning my stomach was not liking food OR water.

Warning: if you’re not a runner, feel free to not read on. It’s just about running and involves multiple portapotty visits, which, if you’re not a runner (and even if you are a runner) may be TMI.

B and I got to the starting line around 6:30 a.m. so I could meet up with some of my fellow Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors. We parked near a McDonald’s and as B grabbed breakfast I had to make bathroom trip #2-3. I couldn’t finish my half of bagel and just really hoped that I would make it another few hours until I had to start.

We made it to the starting line and I had enough time to hit up the porta potty Then, we had just enough time to snap a few photos before it was time before it was 7 a.m. and the race began!

Starting line photo (From Stephani)

 

I was able to find Jill, Dan and Stephanie, but not Andrew, our first relay runner. I was hoping to find him before we started so I could see what he was wearing and we could discuss the bracelet handoff, but alas, he was nowhere to be found. After the start, it was time to make my way to my start.

We got to leg #2’s start, a few blocks away, and I knew I had like 35 minutes to kill before Andrew got there. I had enough time to hit up the porta potty line twice and decided that it was not worth it to drink any water. I knew I was dehydrated but figured it wasn’t worth it  – I didn’t want to get sick during the race!

I waited for Andrew to come and soon they started to call Bib Numbers. Andrew is speedy, and sure enough, I was one of the first runners to be called. I made my way onto the street and grabbed the slap bracelet as Andrew ran up to me. It was go-time!

The 5.7 miles I ran are kind of a blur. I know that I wasn’t feeling my best. I was feeling slow, sluggish and slightly dehydrated and woozy (likely from so many bathroom trips). I was running with some of the faster marathoners (Andrew runs a 6:45 min/mile pace, so many of the runners were running about that speed too!) and I was getting passed nearly every second. I started the run on an incline and there were rarely any flat spots.

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Course elevation – see! No flat spots.

I passed a few water and gatorade spots but didn’t want to stop for water because I felt selfish – after all, I wasn’t a marathoner or even half-marathoner, so who was I to stop for water? Also, I worried that I’d feel sick again and I knew I couldn’t let my team down and slow down to stop for the bathroom! Around mile 3, I knew I had to take in some water, so I grabbed a cup and drank a few sips. Sure enough, I started to feel sick again. I knew I just had to make it to the finish. A few hills and miles later, and finally I saw the sign that we were ready for the relay handoff. I got to the point where I was supposed to meet Stephanie (leg #3), and she wasn’t there. I called her name, stopped for maybe half a second, and she appeared! Finally. I was done.

I made my way to through the crowd in a daze. I was tired, needed water, and felt discouraged. I felt like I had let my team down – I knew I had been going so much slower than I had expected. All of a sudden, Andrew appeared and gave me a high five and brought me a bottle of water. He was so encouraging and enthusiastic – I was so grateful to see him! I think I may have teared up from relief but also just out of feeling his support. And then I spotted B! He had been watching from across the street and also had water and a hug for me. Again, almost teared up – I felt so emotional for some reason.

Just then, Jamie ran by – I was so excited to see her! She is another marathon ambassador and was running the Akron full. She was one of the main reasons we were there as a relay team – to cheer her on!

I snapped this photo of Jamie running by at the finish!

After that, Andrew and I parted ways – B and I hung out and watched some of the finishers and then it was time to meet up with my fellow ambassadors and wait for the rest of our relay team and Jamie to finish! I made my way to the Finishers Festival on the Rubber Ducks stadium field. I felt much better and was able to enjoy a free beer, a few bites of pizza and had a great reunion with the rest of my ambassadors!

Team #ShareCLE

The relay team

Here’s our time – I was Leg #2 (I circled my supposed pace), which was between miles 5.8 and 11.5 – so 5.7 mi. We finished just under 2 hours! (disclosure: not sure that our paces are completely accurate…my GPS had me at around 48 and I turned it on before it was my turn to run)

race time

A few thoughts on the race and my experience:

The good:

  • It is VERY well run. I mean, I got emails nearly every day the week of the race with every single detail that I may have wanted. This was my first relay so I was pretty nervous, but they pretty much spell it out for you from where to be, what your route is, the elevation profile, how do to the switch from runner #1 to runner #2, etc. There’s info for each leg and once I read through the Leg #2 info, I felt much better.

distances

  • The EXPO was great. Lots of booths, free samples, runners and great energy.
my name on the pace car at the Expo!

my name on the pace car at the Expo!

  • The course had great energy! So much entertainment (I only ran 5.7 miles but I passed at least 4 bands/music stations), cheering (they have an official cheer crew too with blue shirts and cowbells all along the course) and fun crowd support at different points. The volunteers made such a difference!
in front of the after party

in front of the after party

  • The after-race party. It was so fun to watch all the runners come into the stadium and cheer on the other members of our team. Plus, there was pizza, beer, and other food and refreshments for everyone.

The not-as-good:

  • My stomach. I woke up in the morning early before the race and my stomach was not happy. Let’s just say that I used the porta potties multiple times before actually starting my leg. I felt a little dehydrated and weak at the start but was super thankful I was only running the relay. I don’t think my body would’ve kept up for much more miles.
  • The hills. My leg started with a slow incline and then I encountered quite a few more hills along the course. Looking at the elevation profile, I may have had it easier than other legs, but it still was rough for me. Especially as I wasn’t feeling optimal to begin with. If I ever decided to run the race outside of the relay, I’d definitely have to do some hill training!

All in all, it was a good experience. I’m so glad I did it. I’m not going to lie – I had some reservations about signing up – I had need done a relay before and I didn’t want to let my team down. But they were all so encouraging and helpful! My phone was blowing up with texts the weeks and days leading up to the race, all with such motivating text messages.

Also, I ran faster than I expected. My goal was to do sub-9 minute miles, especially since I hadn’t done much training and my stomach wasn’t feeling great. But I got about 8:15 min/mile pace. This was thanks to a few things. First, our first runner, Andrew, ran 6:45 min/miles. Meaning, when I started, I was running with so many of the speedier runners. It sucked at first, because they were all passing me – but I’m sure it made me run faster. That, combined with the fact that my GPS wasn’t working (user error – I had set it on “inside run” mode), made me run faster than I expected, especially given the stomach troubles.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever run a relay? How was it?
  • What event or race should I sign up for next?
  • Have you ever had stomach troubles the morning of a race? What do you do?

 

 

Relay Race, Pizza and Street Festivals

The weekend started with a mini trip…to Akron! Akron is just south of Cleveland, and B and I had made last minute plans to spend the night in a hotel. Literally last minute. As in Friday morning, we booked a hotel.

Why? … Friday morning I was running the Akron Marathon Relay with a few of my Cleveland Marathon Ambassadors! Several of the ambassadors were running in the event (from the half to the full marathon), so a few of us got together and had signed up for the relay.

So Friday night started with the Race Expo. I love Race Expos. It’s so much fun to walk around all the booths, try out new goodies and buy running stuff. I was looking for a big headband (now that my hair is so short, I need a bigger headband to keep it back … ) but didn’t find one I liked. So instead, I came home with some new sports beans and Gu (salted caramel!). Finding salted caramel Gu at a race expo is apparently not as easy as it should be. We went to four booths before finding some!

After the Expo, B and I had dinner. We had gotten some Flaming Ice Cube – a pre-run eat staple in our household.

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Saturday morning started EARLY. As in 5 a.m. early (which would’ve been 4 a.m. if we’d stayed in Cleveland!)- I wanted to be at the start at 6:30 a.m. to meet my fellow Ambassadors for a photo!

After our photo opp, the race began. I’ll provide a separate race recap post, but I’ll just share the fact that despite having stomach issues (TMI?), I ran leg #2 faster than I expected and we finished under 4 hours for our marathon. Woohoo!

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The after race party was of course fun. Free beer, pizza and other goodies!

group pic

Shortly thereafter, B and I headed back to Cleveland. We hit up the driving range for a few buckets of balls to enjoy the nice weather.

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After that, I was super tired and we didn’t end up doing much that afternoon. We hit up Gallucci’s for some pizza supplies and then enjoyed homemade pizza for dinner.

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With wine. And a side of Orange is the New Black. Because I still haven’t watched Season 3. I’m savoring it!

oitnb

Sunday morning B and I took a walk to the Ohio City Street Festival.

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We got some food, beer and watched the bratwurst eating contest.

bratwurst eaters

bratwurst eaters

We also walked around downtown because there was a Browns Game and a lot of people were out and about. It was a gorgeous day of a walk!

the stadium before the game

the stadium before the game

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Sunday night ended with dinner at B’s parents house and then a failed attempt to stay up late to watch the lunar eclipse blood moon.

Some questions for you:

  • Pizza: do you like thin crust or deep dish? NY style thin crust for me 🙂
  • Did you catch the blood moon?
  • Have you ever done any eating contests? Yes! I did a jello eating contest at camp once and a pie-eating contest at work. I didn’t win either 😦

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul and Healthy Diva Life for this week’s weekend update and Marvelous Monday post!

WIAW #32 – Clambake Season

Happy WIAW! Today’s What I Ate Wednesday is a fun one – it was last Thursday, which was the day of my office clambake. Have you ever been to a clambake? I had been to lobster bakes when I lived in Boston, but clambakes are a seasonal regularity here. And each year my office has one and they are delicious.

The day started out a little different from usual. Instead of eggs, I had a smoothie bowl. It was a mix of frozen fruit and some protein powder, topped with chia seeds and flaxseed.

Oh, and some coffee mixed with cinnamon. So delicious!

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For lunch, I had a salad, leftover chicken sausage and a sweet and salty peanut bar.

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Snacks during the afternoon included some kombucha, peanut M&Ms and an apple.

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i ate more than these but forgot to photograph them at first

i ate more than these but forgot to photograph them at first

Then it was time for the clambake. Appetizers and beer first:

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And then clambake time. Clams, chicken, corn and sweet potato.

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There were so many dessert options. Cherry pie, brownies, cookies and s’mores. I opted for the s’mores. I LOVE roasting marshmallows and these were perfectly roasted.

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And that was it! A pretty stuffed day.

Some questions for you:

  • Have you ever had a clambake before?
  • What’s something great you ate today?

Buttermilk Custard Bars

These bars may look summery and summer may be almost officially over, but these bars are great all year round. I came across this recipe by accident. B and I had babysat for our niece and nephew and made buttermilk pancakes. We had a lot of buttermilk leftover, so I decided I was going to make some cookies to mail to my brother. I didn’t really read the recipe and after making these, I realized that there was no way that these bars were going to make it in the mail. AND the bars needed something more. They were good, but needed more flavor. Add a fruit topping? And they’re perfect 🙂

I’ve made the recipe a few times since, and refined it. So here you go. Enjoy!

Buttermilk Custard Bars

Buttermilk Custard Bars with Fruit Topping

(adapted from Baking Bites)
For the crust
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
2 tsp vanilla

For the custard:
1 cup granulated sugar
3 Tbsp all purpose flour
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
2 tbsp butter, melted and cooled
2 cups buttermilk

For the topping:
1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
1/2 pint sliced strawberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Here what you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
  2. Start with the crust. In a large bowl, cream together sugar and butter, until smooth and fluffy. Working at a low speed, gradually beat in flour and salt until mixture resembles loose crumbs.
  3. Pour the mixture into prepared pan and press down onto an even layer. Bake for 15-17 minutes, until it just begins to turn golden brown.
  4. While the crust bakes, prepare the custard. In a large bowl combine all custard ingredients and beat until mixture is well combined and very smooth.
  5. When crust is done, pour the filling into the warm crust and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the custard is just set. Cool bars before adding topping.
  6. To make the fruit topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed.  Refrigerate until ready to serve and then toss onto cooled bars.
The bars, out of the oven. YUM.

The bars, out of the oven. YUM.

Fruit topping, ready to be added to the bars.

Fruit topping, ready to be added to the bars.

Oh, weekends. How I love thee.

What a glorious weekend. It was the perfect amount of fun, productivity and even somewhat relaxing. I haven’t had one of those weekends in a while and I was definitely due for one!

Friday night, B and I played it low-key and decided to enjoy a patio meal. We hit up Sushi 86 and it was still warm enough to eat outside. I love warm September nights.

<3 me some sushi. Sashimi and rainbow roll

❤ me some sushi. Sashimi and rainbow roll

Saturday morning started somewhat early. I had plans to meet up with Mary to go for a run. She had 13 miles to run and I wanted to do 8, so I met up with her about 5 miles in. We ran a one-way route, which was fun for a change.

8miles

After the run, B and I went about doing normal Saturday stuff. We hit up the West Side Market and Hingetown for groceries, coffee, scones and kombucha.

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Then it was time for my monthly Ladies Craft Beer Society! This month we were drinking ciders and making leaf bowls! (craft: here)

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Saturday night, B and I decided to have dinner while watching some games – so we hit up a sports bar and I found a drink that is a a combination of two of my favorite Southern Tier beers – Warlock AND Pumking! It tasted like fall in a glass.

BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD

BUFFALO CHICKEN SALAD

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Sunday, after a short workout, B and I headed to Dave and Ansons to girl out and watch the Browns game. The Browns ended up winning! We also had a really good meal – steak, watermelon, quinoa salad and some buckeyes that I had made for dessert.

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It was such a gorgeous day that we decided to also walk to Mitchells for ice cream.

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I know there are just a few days left where we can really enjoy the weather, so I’m trying to stay outside as long as possible. Thankfully, the weather for this week is looking amazing. Guess there may be some patio meals in my future!

Some things I’m looking forward to this week:

  • Some work travel. Two days out of the office means the week will FLY by!
  • Gorgeous weather.
  • Akron marathon relay this Saturday. I’m nervous (it’s my first relay), but I’m really trying to step outside my comfort zone!

Hope you have a marvelous Monday!

Some questions for you:

  • What’s your favorite type of sushi?
  • What are you looking forward to this week?

Linking up with Her Heartland Soul and Healthy Diva Life.

WIAW #31: Girls Night Out!

Happy WIAW! I’m back with another fun What I Ate Wednesday post, and this week features Monday’s eats. I had a birthday dinner out with some ladies, so I’m entitling this post GNO 0r Girls Night Out!

Now that’s in your heard. You’re welcome!

The day started as usual… Egg whites, spinach, broccoli, carrots and cauliflower. I love it. B makes it for me nearly every day and I can’t complain!

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I had a nectarine for a snack before lunch.

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For lunch, I had a whole lotta food on top of lettuce. A.k.a a salad, right? That’s lettuce, carrots, tomato, some pickles, goat cheese and salty roasted almonds. AND leftover sea bass from dinner Saturday night.

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Snacks that afternoon included Wintergreen mints and Werthers (not pictured), a local apple and some carrots.

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And tea and honey. ❤

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For dinner, I had plans to meet up with some former coworkers for dinner and drinks to celebrate August birthdays. We went to Crop Kitchen in Uptown. It was warm enough to sit outside and enjoy the patio and the food was pretty good! I had a warm farro salad and some wine. We had plans to go to a bakery for dessert, but it was closed on Mondays … whoops.  So for dessert I ended up having a granola bar (unpictured 😦 Sorry!).

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That was about it! Not a bad day. Minus the bakery being closed 🙂

Only one question for you this time:

  • Do you eat the same thing for breakfast every day?