The Food!

Thanksgiving was a huge success.  I had so much fun with family and friends.  I don’t think I stopped smiling all day.

I started the day off with my first 5k run in goodness knows how long!!!  This particular 5k is my all-time favorite and I get excited for it every year. It has probably been 4-5 months since I’ve run a 5k but I ran the whole thing alongside a great friend and it felt fabulous.

My body is aching a bit today but I am okay with that! I am ready to start running again! I am extremely motivated to get back in shape after the rollercoaster past four months or so.

I hadn’t planned on running so my pre-race fuel wasn’t exactly the most nutritious, but it sure was tasty. We started the day off with cinnamon rolls fresh out of the oven! My mom would always make these for us on holidays so making these in the morning definitely brought back a lot of memories.

cinnamon rolls cinnamon roll

Not much needs to be said about the food on Thanksgiving except for OMG. My all-time favorite meal of all times.

To appetize….Kevi brought crackers with cream cheese, olives, and bacon. These little babies are wayyyyy too good. I stopped myself at three but it was a struggle to keep my paws off of them.

appetizers

The glorious 20# turkey…

turkey thanksgiving turkey cranberry thanksgiving

Dressing/Stuffing…

stuffing thanksgiving

Sweet potatoes…

sweet potatoes thanksgiving

Green bean casserole (I brought this one), recipe courtesy of Alton Brown with a few changes made by moi.

green bean casserole thanksgiving

I forgot a photo of the mashed potatoes—one of my favorite parts of the whole meal!

My glowing plate. Oh wait, it was me that was glowing, not the plate.

thanksgiving 2013

My homemade desserts: Pumpkin pie and caramel apple pecan pie!!!

thanksgiving pie pumpkin pie and apple pie

caramel apple pecan pie thanksgiving

I finished the holiday feeling perfectly satisfied—not so stuffed I could hardly walk, but enough to satisfy my favorite meal food quota.

I am so thankful for this meal, for my friends, for my family, and for hope and faith.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving to those who celebrated and a great Thursday to those who didn’t! Happy FRIDAY! 

Another Jog

That’s right…I got out for another jog yesterday. I can’t help myself lately! The cooler weather just screams “go for a run!”

run wild my child

The temperature was in the low 70′s, with the sun coming and going, and there was just a slight breeze. Moose and I suited up and journeyed out. I had planned on about 4 miles alternating between jogging and walking, and that is exactly what I accomplished.

Moose was practically begging me to run faster but I kept a very slow, easy pace and listened hard to any cues my body was telling me to slow down. My knee was aching a bit so I listened, and slowed down.

I must remind you, I don’t plan on running any races any time soon nor will I be running fast any time soon. I will only be running jogging at a very slow pace for a while and I am 100% okay with this.

Although my body is so close to being fully healed, I still feel I am in limbo land and could easily be knocked off the rocker if I do anything too crazy too soon. It’s not worth the risk.

I feel so delicate these days…

princess girl

Awwwwwww….

Although I am feeling great, I know better than to push myself too hard at this point.

I am not huffing and puffing on any of these runs. The slow pace has been so peaceful. The only exception to the slow running is when I run by the rumored coyote hole, in which case I book it!

me jog?

I think part of the reason I am enjoying these runs so much is because they are stress- free. I have no race to train for or deadline to build up my mileage. I have no expectation regarding how far I plan to run, how fast, and no one is judging me if I decide to walk. I don’t even judging myself when I walk and this is what surprises me most. I am truly enjoying myself and it is fabulous. This is what running should be.

don't think run

It doesn’t matter how fast, how slow, how far, it just matters that you go. If you can’t run, walk. If you can’t walk, swim. Dance, get your yoga on, stretch, do some push-ups, hold a plank. Your body and mind will thank you.

Move your body, and move it for those who can’t.

movement

Inspired by Runners

I’m a little belated on this weekend recap but I needed yesterday to unwind and stepped away from the computer and the phone for a good majority of the day, so I’m bringing it to you today.

My weekend was spent up in Duluth, MN for the Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon. I went to be a cheerleader for a bunch of my friends running in the half, and my brother Kevin, who was running his first ever marathon.

My mom and dad were also up there to help cheer everyone on, so Dana and I met up with them once we arrived in Duluth. We grabbed lunch, walked around Duluth, and took in the beauty of the city.

Aren’t my mom and dad the cutest?

mom and dad Grandma's Marathon Weekend

It was extremely foggy the whole time we were there and the air was cool and humid. It’s always unbelievable to me that there can be that drastic of a weather difference just 2 1/2 hours north of where I live. It was a 30°F difference!

We walked by the finish line of the race and that really set-off my excitement for race day. Even though I wasn’t running in the race the next day, I felt like I was.

Grandma's Marathon Weekend

I slept terribly the night before the race. It was a combination of being in a new place (it always takes me a day to adjust), the excitement of the weekend and the race, and me feeling like I was going to be running in the race.

On race day, the runners all headed out very early to get to their start points, and the rest of us spectators geared up with our warm layers, rain coats, and umbrellas. The weather was in the 50′s, super foggy, misty, and some very light rain spattered in here and there. If I were a runner, I would have been extremely happy with this weather.

melanie dana Grandma's Marathon Weekend

Dana and I were little mad mice throughout the day. We watched our friends running in the half-marathon run by at mile seven, and then drove closer to the finish line, parked, and ran our little legs off to the finish line to watch them finish.

Way to go Nate!

Nate Grandma's Marathon Weekend

Adam!

adam Grandma's Marathon Weekend

And Matt!

matt Grandma's Marathon Weekend

And Brendan, Jasen, Jessie, Annie and Casey and of course all of you other amazing runners out there too! I was so proud of each and every runner and am really itching to get out there next year and run the half.

After we watched our friends finish the half, we made our way over to mile 17 of the full marathon that Kevin was running. Grandma’s had this neat system set up so that you could get text updates of certain runners so that you knew when the reached different mile markers. This helped us gage when we needed to get over to mile 17 to see Kev go by. Since the weather wasn’t super peachy, it was nice to have this luxury so we didn’t have to be out in the rain all day.

We anxiously awaited his arrival, and screamed and cheered as he came by!

kevin Grandma's Marathon Weekend

He was looking great and feeling pretty good. He said his stamina was fine, but his legs were starting to get tired. Go figure, he just ran 19 miles right? He gave the legs a little stretch while we gave our motivational words of wisdom. At this point he only had 7.2 miles to go. I say “only” as if it were just a short little run around the neighborhood. I can’t remember the last time I ran 7.2 miles. I guess it was probably last summer.

This photo looks like a advertisement for Nike does it not? Love it!

Grandma's Marathon Weekend

Anyway…after some stretching and hugs, he went back on his way towards the finish line. My mom, dad, Dana, and I did our drive and park and get to the finish bit again.

We weaseled our way into a fence spot and again anxiously awaited Kevin’s arrival. My brother Scott and his girlfriend Nicole came in to town to watch him finish too, and got there just in the nick of time. It was so great to see them!

We spotted Kev in his black pants and black top coming down the finish lane. We screamed and cheered to let him know we were there and got his attention. This time not all smiles like at mile 17, but he still managed to give us a smirk as he conjured up every last bit of energy he had to cross that finish line.

kevin Grandma's Marathon Weekend

kevin Grandma's Marathon Weekend

My emotions took over me. My heart was probably pounding so hard and beating so fast at the excitement of seeing him run towards the finish line. I can only imagine what 26.2 miles feels like. He finished his first marathon in excellent time and is already talking about doing another one. I am the proudest baby sister.

All of this spectating really inspired me to want to take on another half-marathon myself. My first one (and only one) was last summer and it was really rough, so I’d like to prove to myself that I can do it again and I’d like to be able to enjoy it a little more next time. I know my body needs its rest at this point in my life so it won’t be any time soon, but someday, I will be running another half and it’s going to be great.

Congratulations to all of the runners that ran in the Grandma’s Marathon and Garry Bjorklund Half-Marathon this past weekend. I am proud of all of you and can’t wait to join you soon!

The New Hairdo

First of all, I don’t think I ever knew that hairdo was actually a word spelled out just like that. I always thought it was two words, but the dictionary tells me it’s one. Huh, well I learned something today!

I realize it’s Tuesday and a weekend photo recap would have been more appropriate yesterday, but I was really needing to write about running yesterday, and I decided this post could wait. Plus, I wouldn’t have been able to show you my new hairdo yesterday, so it all worked out how it was supposed to.

I actually went out for another run after posting yesterday. It wasn’t as great as my Saturday run, but it still felt good to get out. I definitely notice myself breathing a little heavier than usual, but that will go away shortly.

I’m going to keep it short and sweet for you all today. Here is a recap of my weekend in a nutshell…

Party time on Saturday! I ate way too many treats and my body paid for it the next day.  There was about 5x the amount of food in this photo at the party. Lots of nummies. Such a fun time and the weather held up for a few hours before the clouds opened up into a downpour!

party food

Chilaquile brunch on Sunday at Uptown Cafeteria with Dana, Ted, and Annie. Great food, amazing company.

chilaquile uptown cafeteria

Monday breakfast: the yogurt bowl is back. Greek yogurt with banana, strawberries, and honey. Simple and delicious.

yogurt bowl

And the big wow moment from yesterday was chopping off a good five inches of my hair.

long hair short hair short hair

 

I still have bittersweet feelings towards my new do. I wasn’t really planning on cutting that much off, but I did pretty much give the stylist the go-ahead to do it. I am just shocked at how much she actually took off. I haven’t had my hair this short in a few years at least. I know it will be perfect for summer and I just need to get used to it still. It’ll grow on me…haha, no pun intended. It does feel good to have it all cleaned up!

That’s all I have for you all today. I hope you have a fantastic Tuesday. Find something to smile about today.

Getting Back Into Running

A year ago yesterday, I ran my first half-marathon. I ran it despite battling a colitis flare, and it was a struggle, and it was not an enjoyable run for me, but I finished it and was so incredibly proud.

half marathon

 

It’s hard to believe it’s already been a whole year. It’s also hard to believe that I went from running 13.1 miles a year ago, and today my current mileage is fairly non-existent. This is mainly due to the Insanity program taking over my daily workouts, and I’m starting to get bothered by that.

I’ve never been a “good” runner. You know, those people who can get out there any time of day at any point in their lives, and run hard, far, and fast, and feel great. I am not one of those people. I am one of those people who really has to push through every run, who’s tummy needs to be in the right state before a run, who mentally loses focus, who doesn’t run fast, and like most runners, has “good” runs and “bad” runs and worries too much about the bad run days. But one thing I know for sure, is that after every single run, I feel great. Even if it was a terrible run, I am so happy I ran.

run

I started running back in 2009 to prepare for my first full 5k run, and I will never forget my first bouts of runs. I clearly remember running around my neighborhood for 10 minutes and being thrilled that I ran for 10 whole minutes. I knew I had a long way to go, but friends kept encouraging me to continue adding on time and distance to each run, to not give up, that it will build up over time, and that I will see the progress. And I did. Each time out I added a little more distance and time onto the runs, until eventually I was running for 30 minutes and was ready for my first 5k. I completed my first 5k in 30 plus minutes, and will never forget that first runner’s high. I have been hooked on running and races since then.

A while back, someone asked me if I was a runner. I said ha ha, no I can run but I’m not good at it, so no I’m not a runner. Their response was, “You run, so you’re a runner! It doesn’t matter how fast you go or how many half-marathons or marathons you’ve run. You’re a runner because you get out there and run.” Since then I’ve called myself a runner.  Running to the kitchen from the couch doesn’t count btw. :wink:

run motivation

After nearly no running happening over this past month, I finally got back out there on Saturday morning. I was nervous to run for the fear of all of the running progress that I had lost. It was just in late April that I ran a 10k, but having been out of the running scene for over a month now, I was anxious about it.

Everything was in my favor: the weather was cool, the sun was out, my tummy settled, no body aches, all was good. I set out hoping for two miles and ended up running 3.25 because I was feeling so GREAT. Sure I may have been huffing and puffing a little more than I used to, but I still felt great and I was so happy.

Running gives me confidence, it encourages me to soak in the beauty of nature, it enables my mind to wander freely, it relieves stress, and I need more of it in my life again. 

As for the Insanity workouts, I am not quite sure yet how I want to continue with those. I have completed month one, but there is still a whole other month to go. I love the changes I saw and felt in my body from the Insanity workouts. I would really like to continue with the workouts but I think I will be completing them on my own schedule now, versus the regimented six days a week program. I know this isn’t ideal but it is what will work for me. It was easy to complete the workouts when it was snowy and cold outside, but now that it is starting to warm up (finally) I really want my workouts to be outside whenever possible.  Our summers are way too short around here, and I really want to soak in every second of the beautiful days that I can.

Plus I really miss running.

I am planning on registering for a race sometime in the near future, and will keep you posted on what I decide. It’s time for me to start building up my stamina and seeing my running capabilities again. It is so good for my well-being and I want more of it in my life! Who knows, maybe a half-marathon is in my future again?

I’m so happy that I finally laced up the ol’ running shoes, set my nerves aside and got out there. I’m so lucky that I have the ability to run. I run for those who can’t.

Now, get out there and run!

gs puppies running

man running

 

Scenes from My Fun Weekend

I had such an insanely amazing weekend full of so much fun. Here’s a quick little recap for all ya’ll!

On Friday I got to see two of my fav girlies, Kate and Jules, who were both in town for a little while!

(Photo Circa Summer 2012)

kate and melanie

Friday night was date night at Piccolo with my honey. In case you missed it, you can read all about our fancy experience here!

Piccolo

 

Saturday I had lunch with my mom and dad, grandpa, and my great aunt and uncle who were in town!

Saturday afternoon we went to the Twins game. The Twins won and we got neat hats!

 

 

 

dana and melanie twins game

 

On Sunday, my mom and I completed our 6th Race for the Cure at Mall of America!

Mom and Melanie

mom and melanie race for the cure

 

Afterwards I had the family over to celebrate Mother’s Day and my grandpa’s birthday. I made pulled taco chicken and set out all of the fixin’s for Nacho Bar: chips, salsa, black beans, corn, tomatoes, lettuce, black olives, jalepenos, guacamole, sour cream. So delicious!

Happy Mother’s Day to all of you wonderful mamas out there by the way!

nacho bar Nacho bar nacho salad

 

By the time Sunday afternoon rolled around, I was spent. We ran one errand but besides that I spent the majority of the evening on the couch and then called it an early night.

It was one of those weekends where you look back and can’t believe how much fun you packed into such a short amount of time. I loved every second of it.

I’m going to leave it short and sweet for you all today. I have taken a four-day hiatus from Insanity and it’s time to get back in gear!

How was your weekend? Did you do anything fun?! Were you able to relax?

Finally a Warm Run

What an enjoyable weekend. The weather was incredible, I was able to relax, hang out with family, friends, and run a 10k with Dana!

I can’t believe I neglected to take one photo of the actual race site at Minnehaha Park because it is a very beautiful area, but I didn’t. We raced up the streets parallel to the river, crossed the river, came back down the other side, and then crossed the river again. I am always happy when the route is an actual large loop versus multiple laps.

If you are local and are interested in a really nice 10K loop, check out the race course here: Minnehaha Get in Gear 10k Race Course

On Friday we headed over to Minnehaha to pick up our race bibs and scope out the giveaway goodies. We were about to head out and then our eyes caught sight of this:

salted nut roll

That is 25 lbs of pure salted nut roll heaven right there. They were cutting up sample bars and I just had to sample one myself and OMG. This was the best Salted Nut Roll I have ever eaten, and I’ve eaten my fair share. It was so soft and there was so much NOUGAT :smile:. I savored every last bite of that magical bar.

salted nut roll

 

Moving on to race day.

Dana and I gave ourselves plenty of time to get over to the race site but unfortunately the shuttle buses to get runners from the parking area to the race site were not super efficient and by the time we got to the race site, checked our bags (this took a while too) and got into the bathroom lines, we had about 15 minutes until start time.

The bathroom lines were reeeeaaaallly long. I started to get my little anxiety spurts that I get just prior to races and was nervous that we wouldn’t be at the start line when the race began. I knew it didn’t really matter if I was or wasn’t there when it actually began because we had time chips in our race bibs, but I just like to be where I’m supposed to be at any given time.

They made the five-minute until go time announcement and we were still in line, with about eight people still in front of us. Then the two-minute announcement was made and we were still four people back. The National Anthem was sung and there was 26 seconds of silence to honor Boston and everyone involved in the tragedy. The race began and we were still in line.

get in gear 10k

We finally got our turn for the glamorous porto-potty’s and then made a mad dash to the starting line while “washing” our hands with antibacterial goop. By the time we got to the start, there were still TONS of people who hadn’t yet crossed the start line. So basically all of that anxiety and rushing to get to the start line really wasn’t necessary.

 

That was how our race began.

The course was really great and spectators were lined all along the streets almost the entire way. At about one mile in I was struck with side aches on both sides. I used the breathe in through your nose, out through your mouth technique to try to get rid of those bad boys but I wasn’t having much luck. It wasn’t until about mile 5 that they started to go away. Needless to say this wasn’t my best or most enjoyable run, however I am always proud to say that I finished it and I didn’t stop to walk even once.

I finished in 1:01:26 which was about one minute slower than my January 1st 10K race. I was a little disappointed because I had wanted to break the one hour mark, but I didn’t get too hung up on it. I just ran 6.2 miles and I was going to be proud of it!

get in gear 10k

It was SO nice to run in warm weather and not have to be bundled up from head to toe. The sun felt heavenly.

By the time we got home I was exhausted and hungry. I made myself some food and then joined Moose out on the deck to get some rays and relax.

moose deck moose deck

Goodness he’s a big boy.

I gave my camera a rest for the remainder of the weekend but will tell you I had such an incredible weekend. The highlight was spending time with family and friends and enjoying the sunny warm weather.

What was the highlight of your weekend?

 

A Weekend Full of Great Company

Well, hello hello! It’s Monday and it’s gloomy BUT I am going to stay positive for all of us and say it is going to be a GREAT day.

I “disconnected” myself yesterday from the phone and blog. I say that in “quotations” because I still had my phone on me at all times and browsed Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, etc., but I gave the photo snapping a rest for the most part. By the way are you following me on:

I would love if you did!

Anyway, I do have some catching up to do from Saturday! It was a super fun day!

Saturday Morning

The rain held off and Dana, Moose, and I were able to hit the pavement for our Saturday run. We mapped out five miles around the neighborhood and they were five hilly miles. We live in a very hilly neighborhood which is both a blessing and a curse at the same time. It’s great for training but sometimes you just want an easy flat run, and we can’t get that around here.

Moose’s paws held up just fine this time around. Last week they got a little scraped up and were bleeding. He is toughening up quickly again now that spring is here. Yay!

Saturday Afternoon

In the afternoon I headed out to Minneapolis to meet up with a handful of other Minnesota bloggers for our first ever MN blogger meet up. Katie from Running4Cupcakes and Becky from Olives’n’Wine (remember that awesome cupcake guest post she wrote for me in March?!) organized this get together and I am SO happy they did.

Here was our crew:

MN-Bloggers

From left to right:

Katie from Running4cupcakes
Diana from DianaPantz
Melanie from Beautifully Nutty (me, duh)
Kendra from Kenny Gump

 

We met at Sebastian Joe’s (the one off of Franklin) which I must say has some spectacular sorbet. As you know I adore ice cream but I had plans to go out to dinner that evening so I didn’t want to risk an upset stomach, which is why I stuck with the dairy-free sorbet. Any other day, you know I would choose ice cream, let’s be real.

I went with the Strawberry-Basil Sorbet and it did not fail. It was incredible; so fresh, with huge hunks of strawberries, and a hint of basil. It was very refreshing.

sorbet sebastian loes

sorbet sebastian loes

Your mouth watered didn’t it?

I surprisingly wasn’t too nervous to meet up with these girls. In the blog world you kind of feel like you know each other from reading each other’s blogs and commenting back and forth.

We all said it was kind of weird at first only because we already “knew” the little tidbits about each other that most people would use to start-up conversation, so our conversations hedged a little further right away.

We chatted about our lives, blogging, social media, etc. We all got along very well and the hour and a half we were there seriously flew by so fast. The conversation was great! We are planning another meet up in the next month or two so if there are any other MN bloggers out there who are interested in meeting up, throw an email my way! We are hoping to make the next meet-up a bit more active—like a walk around the lakes or something.

Such a great group of ladies! I’m so happy I had the chance to meet you all! Thanks again Katie and Becky for organizing this, you rockstars.

Saturday Evening

In the evening we had a dinner date with my parents and Dana’s parents. We met at Axel’s Bonfire which is a cozy and warm restaurant that specializes in wood fire cooking.

axel's bonfire

I ordered the Barbacoa Tacos which had seasoned beef with pineapple relish and chipotle cream. I asked if they could prepare them in lettuce cups instead of flour tortillas and they said of course. Never hesitate to ask for modifications to your meal. Remember you are paying for it, you may as well get it how you want it and 9 times out of 10 they will be able to make the modification for you.

axel's bonfire menu

Check out these beauts! I had to pick off some of the peppers on there because they were  making my mouth feel like fire, but this dish was very tasty.

beef tacos axel's bonfire

It came with beans and rice so I ended up scooping the beans onto my taco as well as the pico de gallo on top of the rice.

rice and beans axel's bonfire

Besides the food being great, the company was even better. I adore my families and always enjoy spending time with them!

Talk about a fun day, right?

Sunday

Sunday was our usual gig; breakfast, paper, coupons, hanging out with the pup, grocery shopping, lunch.

moose and melanie

In the afternoon we headed over to my mom and dad’s house because my brother Scotty and his girlfriend Nicole were in town!

We spent the afternoon and evening hanging out, eating a totally nummy dinner (rotisserie pork loin, brussels sprouts, broccoli, salad, and potatoes), and catching up on life. I was so happy to be with my family again! Ahhh I just love them so much.

We made it home just in time before the sun went down to take Moose for a little stroll around the neighborhood. We watched the Academy of Country Music Awards when we got home and then called it a night. This weekend FLEW by. What the heck?! Haha, it always does though.

Okey dokey, I am off to take on the day. Make it a great one and be thankful for the day. Catch up with you soon!

xoxo

Chicken Stir-Fry with Coconut Aminos

It’s Friday! Oh yea, baby! Before we get too excited about this glorious day of the week, let’s take a quick look at Thursday, shall we?

I had a really great day. I actually kept thinking yesterday was Friday. I was super messed up on my days.

I had the day off and I started it off by meeting up my high school friend Ted, for coffee at Caribou. Why on earth have we not gotten together sooner, I don’t know. All I can say is it was so nice to catch up with him. He is such a positive person and I love having positive people in my life! There is no room for negativity in my life.

In the afternoon Dana and I took the pup out for a 3-mile loop around our neighborhood. The weather was absolutely perfect for an outdoor run; about 50°F and sunny. I was even able to wear my capris outside for the first time this year!

Moose is still working on his stamina. He was pretty wiped immediately after the run.

moose

Allergy Update

I seem to have worked whatever food or medication allergy I had out of my system, because I have been feeling back to normal. The only thing I can think of that may have triggered it is the abundant amount of strawberries I had eaten those few days, but I’ve never had a problem with them in the past! Again, another reason I would like to have an intolerance test done.

Lunch

For lunch I threw together a ginormous veggie-packed salad. I loved the volume of this salad. In the mix was mixed spring greens, broccoli, carrots, red pepper, celery, a spritz of olive oil, hummus, and sunflower seeds. Wowza it was GOOD.

veggie salad

There were a few snacks eaten throughout the day to tide me over between meals, all of which went unphotographed.

We made a purchase yesterday to add to our “at-home gym”…..

A PULL-UP BAR!

chin up pull up bar

I wasn’t messing around when I said I am going to conquer at least one unassisted chin-up before May. We put this up in the doorway on our main floor so that I will be more likely to use it often. Like I said previously, I still have a LOOONNNG way to go, but I’ll get there!

Stir-Fry Dinner and Coconut Aminos

Mmm mmm, dinner was tasty last night. Stir-fry has got to be one of the easiest meals to make and it always comes out well.

Last night I pulled out the wok and sautéed up onion, garlic, red bell pepper, broccoli, sugar snap peas and carrots in sesame oil. Once the veggies had cooked through, I added about 1/3 of a cup of bone broth along with 5-6 splashes of coconut aminos (more on that in a sec). I also added a few sprinkles of garlic powder, onion powder, ginger, and salt. I then let the liquids cook out, added some leftover cooked chicken, allowed that to heat through and VOILA!

stir fry

I served the stir-fry over cooked quinoa (I let the quinoa soak for 24 hours before cooking to help with digestibility) and had myself a deliciously gluten-free and soy-free dinner!

stir fry

stif fry

So, about those coconut aminos I mentioned….

Yesterday I stopped in at Whole Foods and oogled over all of the great products. I meandered down the Asian-food aisle and my eyes spied this intriguing sauce:

Coconut Secret’s Raw Coconut Aminos

coconut aminos

I had to give it a go after what I read on the label. Here is what I have learned about Coconut Aminos (information taken from their website):

Their product is:

  • 100% Organic
  • Gluten-free
  • Soy-free
  • Dairy-free
  • Vegan
  • Contains 17 naturally occurring amino acids which are important for muscle tissue repair and rebuilding, enhance nervous system function, and aid in boosting the immune system
  • It is made from certified organic raw coconut sap and naturally aged and blended with sun-dried, mineral-rich sea salt
  • It can be used as a substitute for soy sauce!

Source

The flavor is a bit more bland compared to regular soy sauce, and less salty, but it did add a really nice flavor to this stir-fry dish. For those of you out there who are looking for an alternative to soy-sauce, I would definitely recommend giving this a shot. I will be 100% honest with you though, I still prefer soy sauce.

But it’s still pretty neat, right? What will they think of next?!

I had a fun new treat later in the evening including another Whole Foods find:

Gluten Free Cereal

These are SO good! And the ingredients are so simple: Organic corn meal, organic evaporated cane juice, organic peanut butter, organic soy oil, sea salt, tocopherols (natural vitamin E), organic tapioca starch. I don’t plan on eating these daily, but they are going to be nice to have around if I want a little treat.

Alright, now that we caught up on Thursday we can officially celebrate Friday. I hope you all have a FANTASTIC day! Keep on smilin’ my friends.

Question of the day: Have you ever used liquid aminos before? What are your thoughts?

A Rainy Run and Spring Cleaning

Happppppppy Saturday! I don’t have a ton of fun photos for you today, but I do have a couple of food photos to share from yesterday.

Once again, I used the NutriBullet to whip up a smoothie. I’ve made this one before. In the mix was: banana, kale, almond milk, chocolate egg white protein powder, peanut butter, and aloe vera juice.

smoothie

Lunch: Quinoa, cheese, and peas. This was actually really good despite it being so simple. Sometimes simple is best. It was cooked quinoa, salt, pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and peas.

quinoa and cheese and peas

Dinner: My favorite salmon!

salmon

 

 

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I keep forgetting to mention that Dana and I have registered for a 10K race coming up at the end of April! My runs have become few and far between, and I’m going to blame that mostly on the weather. I know, lame excuse. Every time I am out for a run I feel fantastic, and every time I am done I always say I have GOT to do this more often. I wish I could bottle up these good endorphins and release them under my nose when I’m not feeling up to a run.

Now that I have a race to look forward to, I will be hitting the pavement more often again and am really looking forward to it.

Furthermore, the weather is really turning around here which makes it that much more enticing to run outside. Yesterday it was in the 50′s and today it is in the 40′s. The snow is melting super fast and I am loving it. Spring is officially here.

Can you spot the cardinal?!

cardinal and backyard

Dana, Moose, and I headed out for a rainy run this morning. We tried a new loop in our neighborhood and covered 4.7 miles. Despite it being wet, rainy, and a little chilly, it was still a GREAT run! My endurance and stamina felt wonderful and I am confident I will be just fine for the 10K in April.

My hands are struggling to type right now because they are still pretty chilled but my body is so happy. :smile:

Moose hung on through the whole run but he isn’t quite used to runs longer than 3 miles after the winter months. His back paws got a little scraped up and he was bleeding at the end of the run. It’s time to build up those paws again! We covered his wounds with socks and he is now fast asleep on the carpet. Poor guy!

moose

 

Since it is rainy, we have decided that today is SPRING CLEANING DAY! I am off to dust, windex, vacuum, and mop! Fun, fun, fun. Kidding, but it will feel really good to do a deep clean on the house.

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Saturday! xoxo