Moving My Blog

Big news over here at Leading the Good Life…I am now self-hosting my blog! I will no longer be updating this .wordpress site. Instead, please find me at http://www.leadingthegoodlife.net (It looks so much more official, right?!) :)

I have transferred all of my old posts & pictures, so you’ll be able to see everything at the new site just as you see it here. I even kept the theme and layout for now, so it should look almost exactly the same. However, over the next few weeks, I hope to revamp it.

Again, the new home for Leading the Good Life is http://www.leadingthegoodlife.net Please come visit me there and update your bookmarks with the new address. Thanks!!

Real Food – Day 2

I started Day 2 of Real Food Week with a new recipe – quinoa for breakfast!

First, I melted a tablespoon of peanut butter in the microwave and mixed it with 6oz of plain yogurt and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

Then I added about 1/2 c cooked quinoa.

I mixed up the quinoa & yogurt and then topped it with 3/4 of a chopped apple (all that would fit in the bowl!)

This was really good! Apples and peanut butter are a natural combination, and the quinoa gave the yogurt more staying power. Plus, it was something different.

We had a team outing scheduled for lunch so I didn’t pack any food from home. Of course something came up last-minute, and I had to stay back at the office. :( Right before the cafeteria closed, I ran down to snag something to eat.

I think I did pretty well! I got tomato soup and a salad-bar mix of chickpeas, beans, tomatoes, green peppers, and radishes with a little balsamic vinegar.

Katie took the lead on prepping veggies for easy snacking and meal-making. I came home to a fridge full of sliced veggies and diced fruit. In mere minutes I had a delicious dinner!

I started with a whole wheat English muffin and slathered hummus on both sides. Then I started piling on the veggies.

Side one contained orange, yellow, and red bell pepper slices on top of fresh basil leaves.

The second side had tomatoes, cucumbers, and spring mix. And I sprinkled it all with freshly ground pepper.

All closed up, this puppy was huge!

Served with sweet & juicy cantaloupe.

Perfect for a hot Summer night.

Real Food – Day 1

After stocking our kitchen with lots of fresh foods, I was actually excited to prepare my meals for the day!

Breakfast was yogurt & a diced nectarine:

Ready to be mixed at my desk.

This yogurt is great. It’s organic and flavored with actual fruit, so it’s not too sweet.

Plus, it doesn’t have far to travel to make it to Omaha!

Lunch started with a sweet potato that I steamed in the microwave.

These pre-washed, pre-wrapped guys are a little more expensive, but they sure make packing your lunch easy.

I topped the cooked sweet potato with hummus and pepper. Yum!

Enjoyed with a banana and water.

Afternoon snack was a few nut clusters. These were good, but a little sweet. I think I’d prefer a salty/savory version.

I walked through the door after work with a game plan in mind. This made preparing dinner so much easier/quicker. First, I cooked a large batch of quinoa that we could use over the next week.

I dished out a serving and piled a salad on top.

This is spring mix, green onions, tomatoes, and sweet onion vinaigrette.

Top it all off with an over-medium egg and some hot sauce.

Delicious.

Later, I hit my dessert craving with a tablespoon of peanut butter. It felt good to have a full day of good eats!

I Think I Need Some Real Food!

You have to check out these cupcakes from Jones Bros. that Katie and I had to celebrate the start of our vacation.

All packed up in their cute little box for two.

The one on the left is coconut. The one on the right is sweet and salty. And I’d like to point out that Katie staged and took this adorable picture for me. :)

We shared.

Although I haven’t been eating too terribly lately, I can tell that I’ve been getting kind of lazy with my meals. I’ve had more granola bar breakfasts and cafeteria lunches than I’d care to mention. And traveling always seems to leave me feeling a little junky. I tend to eat and drink more when I’m not at home. And I want to try everything that is new or local!

When we returned from Boston, our fridge was empty. Honestly, we were in desperate need of groceries for more than a week before we left. Katie has been talking about limiting the amount of processed food in her diet, so we decided now would be the perfect time to load up on fresh produce, whole grains, organic yogurt, and lean meats (for Katie.)

But first, we needed dinner.

McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe is an almost completely vegetarian restaurant. They serve some fish and free-range chicken, but I’d say at least 90% their menu is meat-free, and most of that is vegan-friendly. This place has been around for a while, and is very hippie-ish. I got kind of burnt out on it when I moved back to Omaha 5 years ago because it was one of the only places to get vegetarian fare. Plus, it’s just a few short blocks from where we live(d).

The menu has grown – there are 2 more pages like this!

I ordered half of the avocado deluxe sandwich with sweet potato fries.

The sandwich was exploding! It was avocado, organic cheddar, lettuce, onions, cucumbers, sprouts, and veganaise on hearty bread.

The sweet potato fries were tempura-battered and a bit too greasy. However, they were served with a homemade banana ketchup that sounded weird but tasted great!

Then it was time to shop. After a 3-hour excursion to Costco and our regular grocery store, we were back in business. Some of the food you can expect to see over the next couple of weeks:

From Costco:

  • blueberries
  • bananas
  • apples
  • bell peppers
  • spinach
  • spring mix
  • cucumbers
  • celery
  • frozen broccoli
  • yogurt
  • quinoa
  • nuts
  • eggs
  • hummus

From the Regular Grocery Store:

  • peaches & nectarines
  • cantaloupe
  • corn
  • green onions
  • radishes
  • sweet potatoes
  • whole wheat English muffins
  • Ezekiel sprouted sourdough

From the Garden:

  • tomatoes
  • basil
  • peppers

Yay! I think the grocery shopping gods were shining down upon us. ;)

Slow 16 vs Solid 18

Did you miss the recaps of our fabulous time is Boston this weekend?

We did a LOT of walking, but unfortunately no runs. I still have hope to log some quality miles this week, but it’s so hard to get back into a routine after vacation! In the meantime, I’ve got some pre-vacation runs to recap.

My last 2 long runs were very different experiences. Two weeks ago, I tackled a 16-miler on the hilly downtown route that is part of the marathon course. I recently compared 2 other runs on this route, so I included them with my splits here:

  Sunday 6/20 Sunday 6/27 Sunday 7/18
Total Mileage 10.51 mi 15.01 mi 16.00 mi
Total Time 1:48:52 2:32:46 2:56:28
Average Pace/Mile 10:22 10:11 11:02
Mile Splits:      
Mile 1 9:03 9:56 9:15
Mile 2 11:01 9:59 10:34
Mile 3 10:39 9:56 10:30
Mile 4 10:02 9:26 10:17
Mile 5 11:26 10:40 10:27
Mile 6 10:33 9:47 10:36
Mile 7 10:08 10:58 10:38
Mile 8 11:11 10:26 10:19
Mile 9 10:25 9:54 10:45
Mile 10 9:21 10:21 10:35
Mile 11 5:03 10:11 10:35
Mile 12   9:51 11:12
Mile 13   10:06 11:41
Mile 14   10:37 12:49
Mile 15   10:38 13:54
Mile 16     12:21

I was feeling sluggish but steady for the first 12 miles or so. I could tell I was going slower than usual (plus, I had my Garmin to tell me), but I knew I had it in me to keep trekking on.

There was another guy in the group who was running 16, so we ran most of the way together. He and I usually have about the same pace, but he uses the Galloway (run/walk) method so we’re not always side by side. Near the end of the run, I decided to join him in his walk/run intervals, and I think it was my downfall.

We got to talking and it became easy to convince each other to keep walking instead of running. Plus, I think his running pace is actually faster than mine, so when he slowed to run with me, our overall pace dropped. Oh well. All miles are good miles, as long as you’re not injuring yourself, right?!

Post-Run “Glow” Downtown

Post-Run Fuel

Post-Run Torture

Last week, I set off on an 18-miler on the lovely Wabash Trail. It was nearly 10 degrees cooler than it has been recently which made a HUGE difference. This combined with ample amounts of shade, beautiful surroundings (I saw horses, cows, and sheep!), and a crushed limestone trail, made for a really comfortable run. I ended up with a great negative split:

Overall Mileage = 18    Overall Time = 2:58    Overall Pace = 9:55

  • Mile 1 – 10:32
  • Mile 2 – 10:04
  • Mile 3 – 9:59
  • Mile 4 – 10:10
  • Mile 5 – 10:10
  • Mile 6 – 10:18
  • Mile 7 – 9:42
  • Mile 8 – 9:38
  • Mile 9 – 10:11
  • Mile 10 – 9:59
  • Mile 11 – 9:22
  • Mile 12 – 9:17
  • Mile 13 – 9:42
  • Mile 14 – 9:39
  • Mile 15 – 9:56
  • Mile 16 – 10:31
  • Mile 17 – 9:44
  • Mile 18 – 8:42 (wahoo!)

I felt great on this run! My last mile was my fastest by far, which shows me that I had energy to spare….this is good because although 18 miles is a lot of miles, the marathon will be 8 miles longer!

Yay!!

Look at all the crap I bring with me…this does not include all the junk I wear while I run!

 I finished feeling like I could have done 20 without too much arm twisting, but 26 did not sound fun. I think this is a great position to be in 2 months out from the marathon. Last year, while I was training for my 1st marathon, my 18-milers were really, really hard on me. 19 was worse, and 20 was a disaster. My mental outlook on those kinds of runs is much better after successfully tackling 18 this time around.

Boston – Day 3 (Red Sox Day!)

Today was our last full day in Boston. And what better way to spend it than with the Red Sox?!

But first, we needed Dunkin’.

Can you believe that isn’t even the largest iced coffee they make?!

Then, it was off to Fenway!

We scored some amazing tickets for this afternoon’s game. We actually had a table on the Budweiser Roof Deck. Those with seats on the roof deck have wait service, their own bar, and their own bathrooms. Plus, an incredible view.

It. Was. Awesome.

They actually brought us menus to order from. Unreal.

Wait, did you catch that? Veggie burgers AND veggie dogs?!?! Can it get any better than this?!

Oh, yes, cold beer. :)

Cheers!

Photo montage of the ‘Sweet Caroline’ sing-a-long during the 8th inning. SO FUN!

“Hands…touching hands…

“…reaching out…”

“…touching me, touching you! Sweet Caroline…”

“…Bum, bum, bum!”

Of course, there was baseball watching, too.

And although it was close there at the end, the Red Sox came away with the win!

Woohoo!! What a GREAT way to end our time in Boston!

Boston – Day 2

We slept in this morning and then started our day with a lovely brunch at the North Street Grill.

Naturally, we started with mimosas.

I ordered an egg white omelet with tomatoes, basil, and feta. It was served with fresh fruit and wheat toast. It was good – but huge! I probably finished about half.

We all really enjoyed this place. There were lots of choices, the food was good, and the serving sizes were generous. And it was also just a short 15 minute walk from our hotel. After brunch, we continued on down to the water. It was a gorgeous day!

Then we explored the North End – Boston’s Little Italy.

Obviously, there were stops for cannoli and gelato.

We spent the rest of the afternoon around Harvard. Another great place to visit on this beautiful day!

This evening, Katie attended a professional women’s soccer game while Laura and I headed to Newbury St to do a little shopping. Then we all got together for dinner.

Champagne!

I got penne with vodka sauce and peas. It was gooooood. I ate it all. See!

Stuffed and tired from a full day of walking, we rolled ourselves back to the hotel where we’re ready to turn in. Good night, Boston!

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