Category Archives: vacation

There’s No Place Like Home and Starting the Whole30

My little fam has just returned from our week long vacation at Disney World. It was magical!


I think no matter where you go though, there is still nothing like coming back home.

I’m ready to get back down to business and back into my normal eating/exercising routine. I was definitely off all week on the Paleo (or even “healthy” eating) front. I did manage to stick to my training plan for the marathon while I was there though, since thankfully it was a “step-down” week for me. I actually had a couple pretty spectacular runs.

There is a paved Nature Trail from the Wilderness Lodge, where we stayed, to the Fort Wilderness campground. There were deer EVERYWHERE along the trail, and they weren’t scared at all. I was able to get within an arms distance of them without frightening them. They never even startled when I ran by. Here are some of the pictures I snapped…

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I felt like a real-life Snow White.

I can’t believe what a thrill seeker my son is, especially since he still begs to sleep in bed with Tim and I because he’s “scared of the dark”. I think that’s just an excuse, because he had absolutely no problem riding Space Mountain multiple times which is a roller coaster in the dark. He also rode Expedition Everest four times in one day and Splash Mountain.

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He looks so fierce!

On the 8 hour drive down I finished reading the book that I’ve been working on for a while by Rich Roll called Finding Ultra and on the way home I read the majority of It Starts With Food by Dallas and Melissa Hartwig.


Both really great books!

It Starts With Food outlines a Paleo-based 30 day “reset” program, that the hubby and I are officially starting tomorrow. The basic idea of the book is that all food either makes you more healthy, or less healthy … nothing is neutral. Foods must meet all of the “Good Food Standards” in order to pass as healthy foods. The standards are:

  1. Promote a healthy psychological response.
  2. Promote a healthy hormonal response.
  3. Support a healthy gut.
  4. Support immune function and minimize inflammation.

Any foods that have been found to not strictly meet ALL of these standards are out for the 30 days. After the 30 day time period you may stay on the program as written or add back in food items one at a time to find what your body specifically tolerates and runs best on.

The foods that are out are: sugar (natural or artificial in every form including honey, agave, maple syrup, etc.), grains of any kind, legumes and/or beans (including peanuts and peanut butter GAH!), alcohol and dairy. All of these foods violate one or more of the Good Food Standards.

What’s left? Meats, Vegetables, Fruit and Nuts. The former vegetarian in me really likes the fact that this book/program promotes eating sustainable meats … wild caught fish, grass-fed beef, pasture raised animals who eat their normal diets.

Anyway, I won’t outline the entire book … but those are the very basics. The book goes into specific detail of each food and how it meets or does not meet the Good Food Standards and the science-y stuff behind it all.

I spent a little time this afternoon cleaning out my refrigerator and pantry and eliminating all the foods that don’t fit into the Whole30 program. I was left with only 2 things in the fridge: butter and guacamole. Shopping was in order.

I’m so used to cooking vegetarian that I’m having a really hard time transitioning to figure out how to put together Paleo meals. It’s completely different. A couple of weeks ago I discovered that Emeals, which is a program I used to use when I was doing Weight Watchers now has a Paleo plan. Basically it creates 5-7 (whichever  plan you choose) dinner meals for you, gives you the recipes, the ingredient list for each meal, and a shopping list. There is also a 5 day lunch plan that is available to add to the dinner program. I signed up for the Paleo plan to get me started with some basics.

This weeks menu will include:

Lemony Sage Chicken w/ Roasted Sweet Potatoes and Brussel Sprouts
Chicken Curry Soup w/ Cucumber Salad
Sausage Stuffed Peppers w/ Sautéed Asparagus
Walnut Crusted Tilapia w/ Squash Ribbons
Chicken Fajitas w/ Spicy Mango Salsa
Fall Mushroom Strata w/ Roasted Beets

Now this is a beautiful fridge:

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If you are interested in learning more about the Whole30 program go here. I’d love to have a couple people to do it with me!


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Filed under Books, Clean Eating, Food, Paleo, pictures, travel, vacation

Oktoberfest in the Smokies

Hi! I’m happy to report that day 2 and 3 of our vacation have gone much more smoothly than the first day.

Yesterday we road the Sky Tram to Ober Gatlinburg where they were having the last day of their Oktoberfest celebration. Although I’m terrified of heights (and pretty much everything else) it was a beautiful view.

We spent the day playing miniature golf, running through a huge maze, riding rides and eating funnel cakes and fudge.

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The fudge, o.m.g, the fudge.


How do you make a decision like that?

The food was also amazing! I’m a sucker for German food, but I decided to stay strong on my veggie kick and order a roasted veggie sandwich instead of some of the more traditional German fare.

As you can see I temporarily forgot that German potato salad has bacon in it. Duh.

I traded it to Tim for his German Red Cabbage.
His plate incase you are interested …


A good time was had by all.

Tonight we are taking Ironman Trick or Treating downtown.


I’m actually hoping I can convince him to trade his candy in at either Earth Fare where they are giving out healthy options for trading in candy or at the dentist’s office where they are giving cash for each pound traded. We’ll see how that goes over.

Happy Halloween!

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Fall Vacation 2011 – Day 1

I woke up in Fort Oglethorp, Georgia this morning. Our vacation wasn’t technically suppose to start until today, but because I had a 14 mile long run on the training schedule for this weekend we left a day early. The plan was to run at Chickamauga Battlefield and then to head to Gatlinburg for the real vacation. I was actually super stoked about running in the battlefield, everyone raves about it!

Things didn’t turn out as planned. As I reported on DailyMile …

Started off at the beginning of the Chickamauga Half Marathon course, but I could never get my Garmin to follow the route so I realized very quickly that I didn’t even know which direction to go. Called Tim to bring me the map, thought I figured it out and started again. It started raining on me hard almost immediately. There was lots of traffic on the windy road and I was afraid I was going to get hit by a car so I ended up running in the grass and getting my feet soaking wet. Then I was afraid I was going to trip and fall into traffic … a few minutes later after getting chased by a dog and caught in a rainstorm I also ended up on the interstate somehow. Finally decided to give up and call it quits. Called Tim to come pick me up, in the meantime a creepy looking guy stopped on the interstate and told me that the “lord instructed him to bring me an umbrella”. I tried to explain to him that I was already soaking wet and the rain was the least of my worries, but he insisted. All of this happened within 1.75 miles. It ended in lots of tears.

Got back to the hotel and something in me just wouldn’t let me quit. I ended up running the last 12.25 miles on the treadmill in the hotel gym. It was an absolute struggle. I had to think every positive and reassuring thought about myself that I could muster. At one point I even repeated “hardwork – dedication – hardwork – dedication” outloud for atleast 10 minutes. This was probably my toughest day so far as a runner, but it showed me what I’m made of and I’m grateful for that.

I tried my best to put the run behind me and enjoy the start of the real vacation. Before heading out of town we stopped at a great little Greek/Italian restaurant for lunch. They had an awesome salad and pizza bar.

I also discovered pickled okra. O … M .. G

I spent most of my day staring out the window of the car. Dreary, rainy and miserable … all day.

Once we finally made it to Gatlinburg we decided to pick up some things to make dinner at our cabin since we had already eaten lunch out. The cabin has a big nice gas grill on the porch by the hot tub. I envisioned an evening of grilling, hot tubbin’ and beer drinking. So far I’m 2 for 3. Still gotta make it to the hot tub.

We made grilled portobello burgers, grilled asparagus and homemade guacamole. Soooo good!


Atleast as good as any real burger I’ve ever eaten and probably better.

Before we made it to the cabin I had something happen that hasn’t happened to me in several years. I had a STRAIGHT UP panic attack. I had a flashback of driving here 2 years ago and sliding all over the road when it was raining and we were trying to go up the mountain. Of course it was raining again today. I started crying as soon as I thought about it. I honestly felt like I was going to vomit I was so scared. I considered getting out of the car and walking up the moutain carrying my 3.5 year old son, in the rain. Tim can figure out his way up himself. Ha!

Anyway … obviously I lived. And I didn’t have to walk. I just closed my eyes and held on for dear life. Good job husband for not getting me kilt today.

Now I think I hear that hot tub calling my name. Here’s hoping day 2 goes more smoothly.


Filed under Food, Long Runs, Marathon Training, pictures, travel, vacation

So Much To Do!

Aaaah! We are going to Disney World in less than one week. I’m finally starting to get excited. I’ve been too busy lately to even really put any thought into it until now.


But first an update on the knee …

Its been 4 days now since I’ve run which is pretty  much unheard of for me. I don’t think I’ve gone 4 days without running in about a year and a half now.

I have been doing the elliptical in place of running. I have virtually no pain while I’m doing the elliptical. I have still been experiencing some dull pain and aching in general though. It isn’t the same sharp, “I can barely walk because my knee keeps locking up” pain that I felt before, so I guess that’s good. I was really hoping by now the pain would have gone away completely though.

I want to run again. Nothing is the same. But I will give it atleast a full week (which will be Tuesday) and more time if needed. It might be time to see a doctor soon.

Back to the fun stuff …

In preparation for our Disney trip I bought this:

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I’ve been wanting one anyway, so this seemed like the perfect time. I can make healthy snacks to have on our long car trip. It should be delivered today.

I’m hoping to make:

  • banana chips
  • dried strawberries
  • sweet potato chips
  • apple chips

I have so much to do before this trip. I really need to start a list so I don’t forget something important.


What is your take on these type of devices …


Tim and I have both always agreed that we would never use a “leash” on our child. Tim is adamantly opposed to it, but I am now considering it for Disney World. I want my child to be able to walk around without me being scared that I’m going to lose him in a crowd.



Filed under Food, Parenting/Mommy Blogging, pictures, products, travel, vacation

Mini Vacay


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Food Finds – Kentucky Style

Miss me much? Sorry to bail this weekend, but the little man and I went on a whirlwind trip to visit a friend of mine in Kentucky. My friend Nicole and I (and Lincoln) flew up to Kentucky on Friday to visit our friend Kelli.

I was nervous about flying with Lincoln without the Hubby, but he did great! He was so excited to see the airplanes.



We did a lot of eating out while we were in Kentucky. My most favorite place that we went was Wallace Station. It was a neat little sandwich shop in the middle of nowhere.


I was surprised to see signs in the window saying that the restaurant would be featured on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives on the Food Network on June 28th.

I was impressed with the vegetarian options they had, especially at such a little hole-in-the-wall place. I ordered the Mediterranean Wrap.

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Deeeeee – lish!

Another food I tried while I was in Kentucky was a Hot Brown. According to Wikipedia a hot brown is:

A Hot Brown is a hot sandwich originally created at the Brown Hotel in Louisville, Kentucky, by Fred K. Schmidt in 1926. It was one of two signature sandwiches created by chefs at the Brown Hotel shortly after its founding in 1923. It was created to serve as an alternative to ham and egg late-night suppers.

The Hot Brown is an open-faced sandwich of turkey and bacon, covered in Mornay sauce and baked or broiled until the bread is crisp and the sauce begins to brown. Many Hot Browns also include ham with the turkey, and either pimentos or tomatoes over the sauce, and imitation Hot Browns sometimes substitute a commercial cheese sauce instead of the Mornay sauce, but fans of the dish usually decry this substitution. Some restaurants even offer a ‘veggie brown’ nowadays to attract vegetarians, as the recipe is easy to modify with avocado, or, less commonly, soy burger.

I had my Hot Brown at a restaurant called Ramsey’s. It included: bread, mushrooms, tomato, asparagus, zucchini and ALOT of mozzarella cheese.

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Honestly, It didn’t do alot for me. I wish I would have gotten their zucchini burger or a veggie plate instead. Who can eat that much cheese anyway? It was interesting to try though.

Ramsey’s did have an awesome Key Lime Pie though, that may be the best I’ve ever had.

I also had the most amazing Chocolate and Peanut Butter Pretzels that we randomly found at a grocery store, that I must find again.

All in all I had a great trip, but its always nice to come back home. One plus was that because we were flying into Birmingham instead of Montgomery, I was able to eat at my favorite restaurant, Surin West, today for lunch. I had my usual – Tofu Massaman.


And Veggie Tempura sushi …



Its time for me to get back into my normal routine. Waaay too much eating out, and waaay too little exercise has occured lately. I did run twice (3.1 miles, and 3 miles) while I was out of town though.

Now I’m off to fight the ant infestation that I was welcomed home by.

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Filed under Food, Restaurants, travel, vacation

Family Vacation!

We just booked our fall vacation to DISNEY WORLD!!!

I can’t wait!

Anyone have any suggestions about vegetarian friendly places to eat or things that we should definitely include in our trip?

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