WIAW: 4 year Anniversary Edition

4 years.

4 years.

I’ve been married for 4 YEARS, PEOPLE.

Yowza.

In some ways, it feels like it’s been forever, because most of my vivid memories are post-wedding. On the other hand, it feels like it has flown by, and I realize that I wake up several days a week and remember, only several moments after waking, to my shock and awe, that I am indeed married.

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There’s the good and the bad, but most importantly, there are the fancy vegan anniversary dinners :)

On that note, enjoy this full day of eats from our anniversary last week:

Post-Workout:

Brendan Brazier’s Recovery Pudding.

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Breakfast:

Oatmeal, 1/2 scoop Plant Fusion Cookies n’ Creme protein powder, 2 tbsp. peanut flour, almond milk, cinnamon, and fresh figs – my first time having fresh figs!

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I can’t believe I hadn’t hopped on the train to fig-town prior to this, but they are quite good and will be a regular future summer purchase.

Lunch:

HUGE GREEN SALAD. When I was on a meal plan recently, I really got away from consuming raw fruits and veggies, so it’s been great to return to that!

Red leaf lettuce and raw kale massaged with a drizzle of hemp oil and lemon juice and topped with cherry tomato, red bell pepper, cucumber, carrot, clover sprouts, avocado, and sesame sticks. Dressing was a mixture of Whole Foods’ Fresh Avocado Vinaigrette and Trader Joes’ Fat Free Balsamic Vinaigrette.

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Snack:

PB&J rice cakes. Brown rice cakes topped with A Loving Spoon nut butters and some frozen berries that I microwaved, mashed, and added a bit of stevia to in order to make homemade “jam”!

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Dinner:

A glass of red wine at home before leaving for dinner:

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Anniversary dinner at True Bistro in Somerville:

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A cocktail with dinner – the house-created Earl Grey Martini – Earl Grey infused gin, lemon juice, and simple syrup.

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Appetizers:

My Seared Peach salad: radicchio, cashew chevre, white balsamic, and hazelnuts.

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Hubby’s Seared Canneloni: cashew tarragon ricotta, zucchini, and green garlic cream.

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Entrees:

My Housemade Fettucine: zucchini, roasted tomato and oyster mushroom, and garlic.

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BY FAR THE BEST PASTA I’VE EVER HAD! I hesitated to order the pasta because of “health” reasons, but I’m so glad I decided to just order what I was craving! It was fresh, light, and had an unbelievably perfectly chewy texture.

Hubby’s Vietnamese Crepe: honshimeiji mushrooms, fried tofu, mung sprouts, and spicy dipping sauce.

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Dessert:

Blueberry Cheesecake (vegan)

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We took dessert to go and hubby enjoyed it at home. I sampled a bite and then enjoyed some of our leftover almond milk froyo along with some homemade cookie dough I had whipped up earlier in the day :)

Since hubby is always wishing I made more baked goods, I surprised him with cookies for anniversary – Peanut Butter Oatmeal cookies from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s book, Vegan Cookies Invade Your Cookie Jar. I wanted the cookies to be dessert, and not a “healthy” granola bar substitute, but I also didn’t want to overdo the refined sugar and fat, so I made them with Sucanat and replaced the canola oil with 1/2 coconut oil and 1/2 applesauce. They turned out delicious!

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What’s your favorite thing to eat on a special occasion? Do you prefer to go out to eat or make something special at home?

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete

 

(ps) Don’t forget to check out some other great WIAW posts!

Take Out and Take One

There was truly, truly some marvelous present in my weekend, and I’m here to share as part of Marvelous in My Monday!

I had been traveling from Monday-Saturday. I had some fabulous experiences, including but not limited to my first ever vegan cupcakes in LA and traipsing around SanFrancisco for a few hours in perfect weather :)

(ps) these were HANDS DOWN the best cupcakes I’ve ever had, and even a few non-vegan friends agreed!

Black and White Oreo, Hidden Raspberry, and Vanilla from Yummy Cupcakes in LA.

Black and White Oreo, Hidden Raspberry, and Vanilla from Yummy Cupcakes in LA.

Enjoying the lovely San Francisco bay :)

Enjoying the lovely San Francisco bay :)

With all of the school and work related things on the trip, however, and a lack of sleep, I arrived home nothing short of tuckered out and having not showered in 3 days. Sorry, TMI. Needless to say, I was in need of some good old R&R.

The hubby and I decided to order some takeout from Root, the new vegan joint near Boston. We had eaten brunch there twice, but had never tried the lunch or dinner menu. I ordered the Root Burger: a housemade black bean and quinoa burger with lettuce, tomato, crispy onions, and garlic aioli. It came with a side of herbed fries, and it’s safe to say they were the best I’ve ever had. If you like your fries salty, savory, and soft, these babies are PERFECT.

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Hubby made a healthier choice (but don’t think he didn’t polish off my fries AND the hushpuppies) and ordered the Korean Quinoa Bowl: Golden Quinoa topped with sesame infused sautéed portabella, kale, red onions, pickled carrot, and sprouts and served with gochujang aioli.

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We also indulged in a side of the Sweet Corn Jalapeno Hushpuppies served with ketchup and aioli.

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Everything was delicious and it was the perfect plant-based treat after a long week of exhaustion. This combined with a great movie was the perfect medicine.

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Oh yes, and a little baby glass of red wine…

So, what did I do with all those carbs?

PUT ‘EM TO GOOD USE, BABY!

I awoke on Sunday morning to head out on the first run of my half marathon training program. I’ll be running the Harwich Cranberry Festival Half Marathon on October 6…and yes, I only have 6 weeks until race day…and yes, I just started training.

For those of you who read regularly, you know that, despite a background in distance running, running any kind of distance is not part of my normal routine right now and hasn’t been for quite some time. I’m much more focused on strength training and circuit training, incorporating some sprints, but very few distance runs. Since my 10k in June, I have gone on exactly 4 runs that were 3 miles or longer.

Side note: I don’t plan to run a lot on this training program. I’ll only be running 2 days per week: 1 “long” run and 1 speed workout, per my trainer’s instructions. As for my other workouts, I’ll be doing 2 heavy lifting days (1 upper body and 1 lower body) and 2 days of high intensity circuits and plyometrics.
 
That leaves 1 rest day where, trust me, I will be resting SO HARD.

I prepared for my run with some sugar free preworkout fuel and 2 dates. When I hit 20-25 minutes, I ate 3 more dates to give me energy for the rest of my run (lesson learned from Brendan Brazier’s Thrive on fueling for a workout that is longer than 30 minutes). I have no doubt that this contributed to my success, because I really never got that tired feeling and felt that I could push hard the entire time.

To my surprise, I returned from my 5 mile training run with a PR! A true PR – like the fastest I’ve ever run 5.5 miles in my life, and maybe even the fastest pace I’ve ever run 3 or more miles at EVER.

Strength training is so important. So much of running is dependent upon leg strength and cardiac capacity, and the most effective way of building those things is not by running more, but by doing 1) heavy leg lifting and 2) explosive plyometric movements and sprints that take your heart rate through the roof.

I ran my 5.47 miles at an 8:09min/mi pace!

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I couldn’t believe it. When I looked at the end, my jaw dropped, and I just sat there wondering how I became this girl – the girl who can run 8 minute miles, when just < 1 year ago, I was hoping to be able to run 2-3 miles at a 10 minute pace.

#nonscalevictory

I love those moments. Those are the moments that you realize it’s not all for nothing. You realize that you may not have lost a single pound, and you may not have even lost a single inch, but you are making gains – gains in athletics and gains in mental power and determination.

#winningsohard

Have you had any athletic victories lately? Any non-scale victories?

Cheers,

Avocado Athlete