Sunday, August 18, 2013

Two Funny Drinks

The first one I actually drank myself.  The second one I did not.

First we'll start with Kombucha.  I have heard about this several times.  It's funny how certain products seem to become very popular and you start seeing them everywhere.  I usually avoid these on purpose.  Somehow Kombucha caught me at a weak moment though and I bought it.  My husband and I both caught some kind of stomach bug last week.  It didn't make us very sick but we definitely weren't feeling right.  In general I have issues with digestion and since Kombucha contains a good dose of probiotics, I decided to give it a try.  It also has a decent about of vitamin B12 which is always a nice bonus when you don't eat animal products.

My health food store had many brands but I went for Synergy mainly because it seemed somewhat familiar.  I bought the mango flavor because I really like mango in general.  I also grabbed the strawberry flavor because it was half off.  I hesitated for a minute because I thought maybe it wasn't a very popular flavor and they were just trying to get rid of it but how can strawberry taste bad?

I drank some of the mango as soon as we got in the car.  My daughter was disgusted by it and wouldn't even give it a try.  I thought it tasted mostly like regular mango juice but with a bit of fizziness to it.  In general I don't like fizzy drinks but it wasn't so much that it bothered me much.  Overall, I thought it was pretty good.  Then I tried it again later in the day and didn't enjoy it quite as much.  Maybe I was just thirsty the first time because each time I try it, it tastes a little worse.

I was ready to give up on them completely but I thought I should at least try the strawberry one.  I was worried immediately because when I opened the bottle, it was really fizzy.

And while the mango tasted good to start with, this one was funny.  BUT after a few more sips, I actually found that I prefer the strawberry one (which tastes nothing like strawberry, by the way).  It is really fizzy though.  I do feel better now but I'm not sure if that is because of the Kombucha or just because of time.

And, speaking of strawberry...

The second drink, or at least the empty can, was discovered by my husband.  His job requires him to spend a lot of time walking through fields.  Usually he picks up any cans he finds and brings them home to put with our recycling.  It is amazing how many people must hang out in fields, drinking beer, and littering!  This week he found this margarita in a can.  Does that actually sound good to anyone?  Yuck!  We had never heard of this before and we will not be trying it anytime soon!

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Back to Chesterton's European Market

A whole table of tomatoes

We went to this market early in the season and have been wanting to go back all summer.  Unfortunately it is on Saturday morning and that really doesn't work well for us.  Finally, today we didn't have anything going on so Kayleigh and I headed out not so early this morning.  I wanted to leave sooner but it is the last weekend before school started so I waited until 9 to wake her up.
Some of the available fruit.

This market is huge and so much more vibrant and alive than the Munster market.  The only drawbacks are that it is on Saturday morning and there is no vegan food truck.  The produce selection was unbelievable.  I was able to get everything we needed for the week whereas last week at Munster, I struggled to find a couple zucchini.  We bought all our produce at one stand but there were several others to choose from.  We ended up buying yellow squash, kale, beets, tomatoes, plums, green beans, cabbage, okra, onions, green beans and purple bell peppers.  I wasn't too thrilled with the greens attached to the beets but other than that, everything was good quality. 

From another stand we bought maple syrup and maple sugar.  Kayleigh found a stand that was mostly selling cupcakes but that had a few macarons which she grabbed!  She tried the strawberry and the cacao nib and loved both of them.  We were going to get pretzels again but the line was too long so we passed.  

The macarons and Kayleigh's reaction to the first bite.

In general this is a really fun, enjoyable market, even if you don't buy anything.  It has an upbeat feel to it, everyone is very friendly, there are tons of stands selling all kinds of things, and various musicians play throughout the market.  Today there was someone playing an accordion, a fiddle, a guitar and then a singer.  They also had someone drawing caricatures.  We had a great time.  We took some videos as we walked around which Kayleigh is trying to edit into something watchable so I may post that in a few days.  She has new editing software so we'll see how that works!
More produce.

Kayleigh's cross country meets are about to start but we are hoping there will be one more Saturday this year when we can return.  I've been waiting all year for this much fresh produce!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Rotary Ramble

I should begin by saying I didn't start running until I was in my 40's and before today I had never participated in any kind of sporting or athletic event.  That is why I really can't believe that I ran in a 5K today, didn't have to walk any of it, and finished in 33 minutes and 40 seconds. That time is so shocking to me, I had to keep looking at my watch when people asked because it just didn't seem possible!  Everyone (online and in person) kept telling me I could do it and that it would be fun.  And guess what?  I did it and it was fun!

I'm now going to go into a lot of details about my day.  Feel free to just look at the pictures (that my husband was so nice to take)!

Look how relaxed I am!

We were up at 5 this morning so that we could be out the door shortly after 6.  I was very surprised to not feel nervous at all and had no problem eating breakfast.  Yesterday my stomach was full of butterflies but they disappeared sometime during the night.  I wasn't about to question it!  Unfortunately, I have problems with motion sickness and this race was about an hour away so half way there I started not to feel well.  It didn't get too bad though and before I knew it, we were out of the car and I was fine again.

Registration was a bit of a mess.  I got my stuff fine but just as we walked into the gym, someone came up to my daughter and her teammate (after seeing their shirts) and said that their coach had already picked up their bags so they only needed to get their numbers.  Kayleigh got her number and told them she didn't need a bag.  Angelic on the other hand, didn't get anything.  We were confused about why the coach would get one number and not the other and had a feeling he didn't have Kayleigh on his list but we went with what they told us at registration.

The three of us went down the finish straight-away to check it out since it was Angelic's first year.  I ran back for my warm up and immediately decided that it was not as cool as they predicted and changed into shorts.  A text message came through from other teammates so they headed off to find them and Bill and I just walked around.
Kayleigh and Angelic before the race.

There were two stressful things that happened minutes before start time.  First, the expressway was closed down and they were re-routing traffic through this little town and right through the start line.  They said they could hold off the race a few minutes but then the traffic would just have to wait.  Unfortunately, the closure caused a lot of runners to get there late so they came in and basically went straight to the start line.  I was very happy we left so early!  The other thing was that Kayleigh's coach did not have her bag so she had to rush in, get it from registration and then run out to our car and still get a warm up in.  It was more confusion than she would have liked but it all worked out in the end.
Kayleigh and Angelic are off!

I got in line way in the back with the other 11 minute/mile runners.  I was trying to look around for someone who looked like a good person to pace off of.  There were a couple people right by me and based on the parts of their conversation I could overhear, I thought they'd be a good option.

And here I come.  Why do I look like a giant?

The race started really abruptly because we were so far back, we didn't realize they were even giving instructions.  All of a sudden everyone just started running.  The second I started moving, I felt pretty good.  It wasn't very far down the road before you come to the first turn and by that point, we had all slotted into a decent position.  I've never run in a huge group like that so it was a little unnerving to try and weave through people.  It probably helped in the long run though because it kept me from starting off too fast.
Kayleigh (with Angelic hiding behind her) right before the 1 mile point.

I reached the 1 mile mark without too much trouble but still I was surprised to see that my time was 10:36 even with the slow start.  I tried to slow down a little and fell in next to someone who I then stuck with through most of the race.  The first part of the race is a really long straight road so I was happy once we turned.  Plus this road was shaded so that was extra nice.  My cousins used to live at the end of the road so from this point, I was very familiar with the route.  I was very shocked with how fast we got to the next turn. The road seemed so much longer when we were kids!

A few minutes later, here I come.  Still smiling and you can tell I'm running because my hair is swinging!

Right after the turn we hit the two mile mark and my husband seemed to pop out of nowhere with the camera.  I was shocked to see him because there isn't really any short cuts through this route so I couldn't figure out how he got there when I had passed him earlier on the other end of the route (turns out he just ran really fast!).  I did my second mile in 11:02  which is still pretty fast for me.  At this point, the person I had been running with fell off but I still felt OK.  Every time I saw someone stop to walk it just motivated me to keep going.

The girls are starting to look tired and Kayleigh's hair has broke free from it's bun!

Not sure why I'm still smiling.  Maybe by this point I'm delirious.

After a couple more turns, I was on the same road as the finish line.  Unfortunately there are a couple hills to get through before you are done.  Now I was starting to hurt and I was really tired.  The 3 mile marker seemed to be so far away but I finally reached it in 11:02 (again!).  At this point I wanted to stop so bad but I could see the finish line and, even worse, I could hear cheering.  There was no way I could stop!

Ok, now I'm getting tired.

Apparently Kayleigh and Angelic came down the road after they finished to find me.  Kayleigh said she was running next to me on the side of the road but I didn't even see her until Angelic said "Good job Mom"!  Nice that I'm spotting Angelic but not my own daughter!  I was obviously reaching my limit at this point.
Seriously - where is that finish line?

I wanted so badly to sprint at the end but my legs just wouldn't cooperate.  I was never so happy as the moment I stepped across that finish line.  Bill, Kayleigh and Angelic quickly found me and told me that both of them had got their best times as well.  Kayleigh said she had a really good final sprint and I was a little upset I couldn't see it.

My attempt at a sprint.

Thank goodness!  Stopping my watch and staring in shock at the time.

I quickly found somewhere to sit since I was starting to feel like my legs were going to buckle.  I was out of breath, too, but after a few minutes, I was feeling almost normal again.  I really couldn't believe it was over and I had done it!  Some of Kayleigh's other teammates came over at that point and they tried to convince me to do a cool down run with them.  I told them "That run across the finish line was my last running step for today"!

Bill went over to check the final rankings.  Turns out I was 8th place in the 40-44 age group.  What?!  Granted we don't know at this point how many people were in this group but since there were about 750 runners total, I'm hoping it was more than 10!  One of Kayleigh's teammates got 3rd in her age group and her coach's son (who is about 11 years old) got 2nd in his.

Bill road his bike home so I had to drive but felt pretty good.  Until around 2 this afternoon, that is, when I fell asleep on the couch!  I didn't feel too bad though.  Kayleigh has done this a lot more than me but shortly after getting home, we found her asleep while holding the tablet in her hands and a video still playing!  I guess she was a little tired!

So in closing I would say that if anyone is questioning whether they should sign up for a 5K, I'm going to say YES YOU SHOULD! (But you may not want to plan anything for the rest of the day!)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Getting ready for my 5K

Overall I've been happy with my running even though my exercising in general has decreased dramatically since I returned to work.  The first week, the only thing I wanted to do when I got home was sit on the couch and watch TV but now I can actually continue to function for a couple more hours.  Still I'm glad I reached my goal of running 3 miles before I returned to work. I needed that confidence boost.

This Saturday is my 5K run.  I'm not sure if I'm more nervous about running or the fact that I have to get up, drive about an hour and then run in a huge group of people with tons of spectators!  I'm trying not to think about it too much.

To get ready for this weekend, I decided that tonight would be my last run.  I planned on running nice and slow just to stretch my legs.  When I got to the park, though, I felt so good I just had to go.  On the first lap (2/3 mile) I beat my best time by one minute.  I still felt good but decided I really should slow down.  I ended up doing 2 miles in 21:35 which is still pretty fast considering my mile times are usually 11 to 11:30.  Overall, this gave me a big confidence boost for the weekend.

Tomorrow night I'm planning to do some strength training and then Friday night some yoga so I'm nice and relaxed (yeah, right!) for Saturday morning.

Kayleigh has morning training now so she didn't run with me but she did go to the park and took some pictures.

I don't look quite a miserable as I used to!

These clouds created a beautiful picture but they are also bringing with them beautiful cool weather for the weekend with low humidity.  I was scared to death we'd have miserable weather with it being August.  This has to be a good sign!

Monday, August 5, 2013

Tuscan Bean Pizza

Oh my poor blog.  Can you tell I went back to work?  It really takes up so much time!  My evenings and weekends are now jam packed with all the things I used to do during the day.  I am exhausted!  Unfortunately the blog has been loosing out to running (5K coming up on Saturday!) and fun things like laundry.  Actually our weekends have been full of a lot of fun things so I can't really complain.

Usually I can at least come up with some food to post
but I'm not even cooking lately.  Kayleigh has been handling dinner 4 times a week.  She has to do it all by herself and she's been doing a really good job.  I knew all that time in the kitchen with me would come in handy!  I am so happy she has been willing and able to help out but I miss cooking.

Sunday we made it home in time for dinner so I spent a few minutes throwing something together.  This is not my own recipe.  It comes from "Vegan on the Cheap".  I looked at this recipe for a long time before making it.  I don't know what I was waiting for.  We all really like it and now that tomatoes are at the farmer's market, it tastes even better.

Tuscan Bean Pizza

Pizza dough - I use my own recipe for the dough.  It can be found on our old blog by clicking here.

1 tablespoon olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 can great northern beans, drained and rinsed
sprinkle of salt
sprinkle of pepper
1/3 cup water
3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
enough sliced tomatoes to cover the top

Make the dough and stretch over a pan or stone.  

In a large skillet, heat the oil over medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook until softened.  Add the beans. Mash the beans to break them up then stir in the water and simmer about 8 minutes.  Stir in the basil.

Spread the bean mixture over the pizza dough.  Arrange the tomato slices on top and then sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 425 degrees for 12-15 minutes.