Summery Salads

So as you’re well aware: my pasta salad obsession hasn’t ended. The more I make and eat- the more I crave. It’s that time of year- cookouts, barbecues, parties with family and friends, eating meals outside, the beginning of summer.

When the heat is on- you want food that feels light and refreshing. I hate using the word “refreshing” to describe food but it’s the best way to get the point across that you don’t want to eat foods that are only going to make you feel grosser in the summer heat or make you feel bloated. And if you spend a lot of time outside like I do- you don’t necessarily want to be munching on hot foods while you’re dripping with sweat. Just sayin.

Prepared salads of all varieties are certainly going to make my summer delicious, nutritious, and… awesome? Yes. let’s go with awesome.

This past Memorial Day weekend I let summery pasta-y salads get the best of me and not only made a big batch of one for Will and I for two dinners:

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but I also prepped some yummy ones to have during the week. I loved two of the recipes so much that I have decided to share them with you today.

I do have a confession to make. I didn’t create these recipes and cannot take credit for them. I stole them both from Kath and made them my own in small ways. She recently compiled a good list of good picnic salads and I have been reaping the benefits of her hard work and recipe magic.

1. Strawberry Basil Pasta Salad

To read Kath’s original recipe- click here.

Ingredients I used:

  • 3 cups of cooked whole grain elbow macaronis
  • 1 cup sliced strawberries
  • 1/4 cup pesto
  • 2 tbl. pine nuts
  • 1 can of cannellini beans
  • Hefty shakes of basil
  • 1 sliced cucumber
  • 1 cup of goat cheese
  • {I made three lunches out of this mix and served it over spinach and with 1/4 of an avocado}

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After cooking and cooling the macaroni, I just mixed all this together in a big ol’ bowl and then transferred that to some tupperware.

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I’ve been enjoying it outdoors on my lunch break within the park confines of various major rotaries throughout DC.

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2. Orangey Bean Salad

To read Kath’s original recipe- click here.

Ingredients I used:

  • 2 oranges- peeled, separated, and chopped
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 can of pinto beans
  • 2 cups of brown rice
  • 1 tbl. olive oil
  • 1 tbl. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • {I planned to use this mix for two dinners this week}

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I served this mix over kale and with some cumin/oregano/cayenne pepper seared pork chops. But as Kath suggests in her post- you can scoop up this mix with tortilla chips!

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My definition of what constitutes as a “salad” is ever growing and I don’t really see it stopping any time soon. Especially when I already foresee Kath’s Greek Quinoa Salad and Lemon Caper Chickpea Salad on the horizon…

And when other lovely bloggers share their pasta salad recipes like this one from the DC Girl in Pearls.

Happy Summer Eating!

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Let’s Talk About Oats, Baby

Overnight oats. At this point you’ve seen them everywhere. I mean… Buzz Feed has even done a post on them. Whole Foods has a recipe for them online. What I’m also saying here is: they’re trendy and all the rage (and have been for quite some time now- let’s be real). I really only need to direct you to Pinterest to prove this to you.

If you’re not seeing them everywhere- you at have least seen them here on my blog. I talk about them all the time because 1) I love them and 2) I make them a lot. I usually don’t go too in depth with explaining how I make them or providing you all with recipes because I make them pretty much every day and I usually don’t think to do so- they’re an old trick to me at this point.

But all this being said- I receive more questions on a daily basis about overnight oats than anything else in my repertoire. If you’re already an overnight oats fanatic- you don’t really need this post. I just wanted to include one dedicated post to them because they obviously deserve it and if you search “overnight oats” on my blog- you’re going to come up with like half of my posts (yes, I talk about them that frequently).

{I don’t think I fit all the typical stereotypes of a healthy blogger- but one I will accept and be proud of is my obsession with oatmeal and my love of taking pictures of all of the different creations I come up with. Guilty as charged}

When I first started my blog last summer, I introduced overnight oats in an August post. It was also in this post that I revealed my love of Parks and Recreation. And my strong support of breakfast.

ANYWAY. I was inspired to make overnight oats back in the day when I started to eat better last year and was looking for easy, ready to go breakfast options. The woman who started it all for me was Kath of the blog Kath Eats. She has entire pages dedicated to oatmeal, oatmeal recipes, and overnight oats. To check it out (you will not be disappointed) click here. She is the true master of all things oatmeal!

Overnight oats are cool, refreshing, sweet, satisfying, and full of every thing your body needs to start the day off right (see: carbs, protein, healthy fats) And now that summer is getting to be in full swing- they’re a great hot day breakfast that will fill you up without weighing you down.

Warm oatmeal is perfect for cold weather- it sticks to your ribs and keeps your body temperature up before bracing the freezing temps. Overnight oats, however, are the opposite. They’re essentially chilled oats made with milk and mixed with greek yogurt. The oats absorb the liquid and the combination thickens up when mixed together and allowed to sit overnight in your fridge.

A simple google search will yield you millions of overnight oats recipes. The fact of the matter is- you can do pretty much whatever you want with them. Part of the reason why I love them is because they’re so versatile and they allow me to be creative.

BUT the base of my overnight oats (and the majority of recipes you will see) remain the same:

  • Greek yogurt
  • Milk
  • Oats

Those three things are the power core of overnight oats. If you have these three things- you got yourself a breakfast (for arrested development and carl weathers’ fans, you could say “you’ve got yourself a stew.”). Grab yourself a bowl- tupperware container- mason jar- empty nut butter jar- empty big greek yogurt container- whatever holding device you want to use- mix these things together, cover, and place in the fridge overnight.

You can use whatever yogurt you want: flavored or plain (but I do recommend greek because of its amped protein and thickness). You can also use whatever milk you want: cow’s milk, almond milk, soy milk, coconut milk, flavored milks- whatever floats your boat. But for the oats- I always use standard rolled oats.

How much of each you use is a personal preference but my go to is: 1/2 cup oats, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup milk. That’s sort of the baseline and from there I adapt it based on whatever else I’m mixing in (for example- if I know I want to top the oats with granola for a crunch factor- I only use 1/3 cup oats)

There are also other ingredients that I always add to the bowl before putting it in the fridge overnight:

  • Either a 1/2 or a whole mashed banana (for sweetness and thickness)
  • 1-2 tbl. of chia seeds or flax meal (for extra nutrition benefits and they really affect the thickness of your oats making them creamier and less runny)
  • Spices- cinnamon is usually in there somewhere but I also sometimes use ginger, nutmeg, or cardamom

And then in the morning, before digging into the bowl, I stir in:

  • Nuts (pecans, walnuts, almonds, etc.) or nut butters (sunflower seed butter, peanut butter, cashew butter, almond butter, etc.)
  • Fruit (apples, pears, berries, orange, mango, pineapple, etc.)
  • Other options: shredded coconut, sweeteners like agave, honey, or syrup, seeds, granola, canned pumpkin, cottage cheese

To make a standard Wicked Healthy Washingtonian bowl of overnight oats:

  • Mash a banana in the bottom of a bowl
  • Add 1/2 cup of oats, 1/2 cup greek yogurt, 1/2 cup milk, and a literal heaping tbl. of flax meal or chia seeds.
  • Stir in some hefty shakes of cinnamon and nutmeg
  • Mix it all up well
  • Cover and put in the fridge overnight
  • Top in the morning with 2 tbl. of some type of nut butter and 1/2 cup of sliced up fruit.

Again this post may seem redundant for you who are all up in the healthy blogging world or who are overnight oats pros- but I had to do it for those out there still looking to get inspired by something tasty and simple for breakfast.

Seriously- who doesn’t want a breakfast that kind of resembles dessert and that they don’t have to assemble in the morning?

My friend Sara recently wrote a post on Overnight Oats on the “DC Ladies” site where she shares some cool combo ideas. Check it out!

And of course- feel free to search my blog for plenty of combination ideas. But again- I don’t want to give you too much instruction on your oats because I want you to be creative with them! Take what I give you and run with it!

Here are some of my favorites and bowls I’ve made as of late:

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  • Raspberry lemonade (raspberries, lemon juice, lemon zest, lemon pulp)

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  • Strawberries and cashew butter
  • Christmas oats (candy cane, coconut, walnuts, egg nog, and banana)
  • Pineapple, coconut, and coconut peanut butter
  • Raisins and dark chocolate chips
  • Dried cherries and granola
  • Raisins, apple, and peanut butter
  • Pear and almond butter

And that’s a wrap on overnight oats.

In the words of Biggie, if you don’t know- now you know.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

Memorial Day Weekend Highlights

Hey everyone- I hope you all had enjoyable weekends! I was expecting lame weather because that’s what the news people told me all last week, but it proved to be quite lovely here in DC (minus the overcast-ness that took over yesterday). I watch the news and hear the weather reports everyday but I still feel so unprepared for what is actually going to happen in real life…

Anyway, I’m back to work today after having six days off and lets just say the transition back to normal times is naht so easy. I’m not complaining- I feel very lucky to have had six days off. But man… you certainly get used to living on vacation time after a while. Half of me is happy to have some routine/consistency back but the other half of me definitely would have liked to stay in bed this morning when the 5:45am alarm went off.

As I am still rubbing the sleepiness out of my eyes and don’t really have the brain space to write a thoughtful, dedicated post about something interesting, I thought it best that I just share with you some of my favorite things this weekend. There was a lot of time spent outdoors, a lot of time spent eating, and a lot of time spent watching Arrested Development season four. For all of you not up on Arrested Development developments (if you will), Netflix released all 15 episodes of the long awaited season four on Sunday- commence Arrested Development marathon.

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a luscious bowl of overnight oats accompanied by Lindsay Bluth’s Arrested Development.

Memorial Day Weekend Highlights:

1. I’m hesitant to be so bold as to say that I had the BEST run of MY LIFE on Saturday morning… but I’m pretty sure that’s the only way I can describe the 6.3 miles I ran. Yes you read that correctly- 6.3 miles. For some people that’s nothing but me that figure is absolutely INSANE. I’ve never run that long. Ever.

I set out around 8am with nothing but the Missy Elliot pandora station I had going on my phone that was nestled into my armband. My last handful of runs had been kind of awful so I wasn’t expecting much. My stomach all last week had been giving me so much trouble too which also just made exercising that much harder. All I wanted to do on Saturday was run ~five miles in order to semi-prepare for the 8k I’m running this upcoming weekend.

Apparently I should have low expectations more often because I felt like I could have ran a marathon. The weather was absolutely beautiful. It was in the high 50s, no humidity, light breeze (just enough to keep me cool but not enough to push me around). There was the perfect balance of sunshine and cloud coverage. I didn’t plan my course but I ended up running down toward the White House, around the World War II Memorial, around the reflecting pool, and then back up to my neck of the woods. I had no idea how long I was running… I was just running and listening to my music. There was great scenery, not too many annoying tourists, and lots of cute dogs, ducks, and ducklings (!) to look at along the way.

I knew I must have run longer than five miles because I returned home a few minutes before 9am but it wasn’t until I mapped my run upon my return that I knew the true mileage. It was one of those rare, beautiful runs where it definitely didn’t feel like I was running for that long and running felt easy and fun. It put me in such a good mood for the rest of Saturday. I was just so happy.

After this run- I think it’s safe to say I’m more than ready for the 8k this weekend. This trial run was just what I needed to boost my confidence heading into the “Run for the Dream” in Williamsburg.

2. On Saturday night I made a jambalaya and the BRUINS beat the Rangers to go on to Round 3 of the Stanley Cup playoffs. I called home immediately following the game to yell into our answering machine about the Bs and their sweet win. While I was sort of expecting the Bruins to win (I mean, they had been killing it on the ice and they were back at home), I was not expecting to enjoy the random jambalaya I threw together as much as I did.

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In a pan I sauteed a few chopped stalks of celery, green and red pepper, onion, garlic, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, and a plethora of spices (shown in a photo below). I served that over brown rice and browned chicken sausage (of a roasted red pepper and asiago cheese variety). It was spicy but in a good way! I don’t know if it deserves to be called jambalaya but that’s the only thing I can think to call it! But I think the whole point of a jambalaya is that its random vegetables and meat/seafood mixed together in a thickish sauce and with rice- and its cajun inspired. If I’m wrong- my apologies- that’s how jambalaya sits in my memory at least.

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3. This weekend I was a bona fide cat sitter. Say hello to my friend’s cats- Ruby and Fluffy.

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4. Will and I spent a lot of time outside in the park behind our apartment building. We lounged, we napped, we read, we worked out, and we played catch.

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totally stole this picture from Will. I look so enthused out there, don’t I?

Our Memorial Day workout in the park looked a little something like this:

  • Warm up: stretching and stair runs (up and down the big flight ten times)
  • 4 lap jog around the big field. We guesstimate that one time around is probably about a quarter mile.
  • 15 tricep dips (off park bench), 15 “box jumps” (jumping onto a short half wall), 15 squats {x3)
  • 20 shoulder tap claps (instead tapping our shoulders- we high fived each other), 20 skaters, 20 walking lunges {x3}
  • 15 pushups (off park bench), 30 jumping jacks, 60 second plank {x3)
  • Cool down walk around the big field

Will is officially enrolled in Bootcamp by Allison 😉

5. Will and I also rode our bikes all over the place. On Sunday we rode down and around Hains Point (it was so beautiful by the water!) and then on yesterday we rode to Nats Park. We were hoping to score some last minute tickets to the first game in the “Battle of the Beltway” series between the Nats and Orioles but it was sold out when we got there. Womp. At least it was a nice ride there and back- right?

6. And Arrested Development shenanigans ensued. Our friends threw a themed party for the show on Saturday night and throughout the weekend Will and I managed to watch 10 out of the 15 new episodes.

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they really went all out- I was so impressed.

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show quotes posted everywhere.

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blue drinks were a must.

7. My obsession with pasta salads continued and I made a variation of the Roasted Vegetable Pasta Salad (click through for the original recipe). And thanks to the nice weather, balcony eating was a thing.

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I mean… if there is ever the perfect time for pasta salads its Memorial Day weekend- yes? Yes. It’s only rivalved by the Fourth of July and Labor Day weekend. These three holidays alone probably contribute to 99% of pasta salad consumption in America. Oh and of course my recent pasta salad craze of course he he.

8. Really good desserts happened every single day of this long weekend. On Friday is was Tiramisu from Piola on 14th, Saturday was chocolate covered frozen bananas at the Arrested Development themed party, Sunday was a Maple Blueberry cupcake from Bake House, and last night was a rhubarb pie from Whisked (purchased at Pleasant Pops). Sweet tooth satisfied. All were so so so delicious.

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9. OH and Will and I FINALLY got sandwiches from SundevichIt’s down this cool little alley off of 9th street in between N and O Streets. I can’t believe it took us this long to go there… what have we been doing?!

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All their sandwiches are named after major world cities and incorporate ingredients accordingly.I got the “Kingston” which had jerk chicken, pineapple, garlic mayo, and some spicy slaw. It was wicked good and only made me want to travel the world via the rest of their sandwiches. It should also be noted that on our way there we were interrupted by a local Memorial Day parade- it was awesome.

All in all, it was an amazingly well rounded weekend full of good eats, good workouts, time outside, time inside, time with friends, and time with will. I love weekends like this past one and I love feeling like I hit my ever lasting goal of “balance” right on the head without even trying. That’s how it’s supposed to be.

Here’s to a good (and shortened) work week!

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

In and Out

Being a foodie, I am constantly trying to balance how much I eat out in relation to how much I eat in. I love cooking and experimenting on my own accord in my kitchen, but I also love having other people cook for me and having new and cool food experiences in the city. I don’t plan on being in D.C. forever so while I’m here, I’m on a mission to try all the places it has to offer that intrigue me.

This has gotten more difficult as my neighborhood has decided to be the hippest place in town and open like a bajillion new restaurants. See THIS article from the Washington City Paper to get an idea of what I’m saying here. Not to mention all the other restaurants I want to go to all over the city and new ones popping up all over the place.

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this guy is opening up on Connecticut Ave. in Dupont Circle!

It’s not just for “being healthy’s sake” that I don’t want to eat out too much- in fact, I’m a pretty firm believer that you can eat healthy pretty much anywhere and not be too concerned about that. It’s more so a money thingeating out is expensive.

Being a master planner serves me well with meal planning and grocery shopping. I love saving money each week by making more of my own meals and buying things out less. But at the same time, I hate feeling tied to the food in my kitchen and guilty for being spontaneous or trying a new place out on a whim. When I have stuff that I can easily make at home that I already paid for, it’s really hard for me sometimes to throw caution to the wind, blow off my meal plan, and buy food out somewhere. BUT again, I love experiences out and I hate turning down these opportunities when they present themselves to me. Argh. First world problems- I know. But it’s a struggle sometimes!

What I basically try and do is pick 2-3 places a week that I want to go to and then plan on making all my other meals. Some I’ll plan out- so for example, I’ll make reservations with Will for the weekend somewhere or make note that I’m going to try a new place some time in the upcoming week. And then I’ll also choose a day where I just say I’ll get lunch out and then decide that day where I want to go. I think it’s the closest I can get to a good balance for me between planning, making my own food, eating out, making splurges, saving money, and being free in terms of my food choices.

Truth be told: I love eating out just as much as I love cooking myself. It’s all about the experience. Getting ready to go- being excited to go- getting there- perusing the menu- waiting and anticipating that perfect thing that you want- getting a beautiful plate of food- devouring the deliciousness- not having to clean up- going home happy and full. I don’t know about you- but dining is like, one of my favorite things in the world.

So this week, after a year’s worth of hard work going into the telethon at my work and  having SIX consecutive days off because of it, I have decided to reward myself with a handful of dining experiences. I made sure I didn’t over buy things when I went grocery shopping so that I would be able to get out there and eat. But of course, keeping my wallet and my body happy, I also did buy plenty of yummy things to satisfy my hunger and soul throughout the week.

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Beans + Greens + Veggies = Great, easy lunches

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the hanging produce basket is jammin’

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strawberries- my favorite fruit. I have a pasta strawberry pesto salad recipe I want to try out this week!

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On Wednesday after bootcamp, to celebrate my first day off in the six day series, I took myself out to breakfast at Le Pain Quotidien (a tried and true favorite):

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six vegetable quiche! mmmmmm.

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a hot americano on a rainy DC morning.

And for dinner I met up with my friend Jess to try a place I haven’t tried before- Farmers Fishers and Bakers located on the Georgetown waterfront. SO DELICIOUS. And the restaurant is pretty cool looking- lots to look at in the inside.

We shared their warm, soft pretzels and a pork belly sushi roll– both were awesome. I ordered the shrimp scampi which is served with just the shrimp in a lil skillet, a vegetable medley, and a rice medley on the side. And because they have a killer dessert list- I just had to try their strawberry/rhubarb crumble. Nom.

Tonight Will and I are going to try out Piola– a new pizza place that opened three blocks from our apartment. Can you say dangerous? But until May 26th their WHOLE menu is half off! How awesome is that? They make super thin crust pizza and add a lot of their toppings after they take it out of the oven- this intrigues me. After briefly checking out their menu online I think I can safely say that I’m going to have a hard time figuring out what to order- so many tasty looking options!

I have a feeling that this weekend tacos from another new joint- Taqueria Nacional– are going to happen and maybe a baked good from the new bakery right next door- Bake House DC? Maybe this will be the weekend I finally get a sandwich from Sundevich?! I hope so. That place has been on my “food to-do list” for a while now.

So many places- so little time. But I need to remind myself that there is in fact plenty of time to try all these eateries. In due time I shall. In due time.

In between all these eating out times– there will be plenty of lovely meals made with the foods I shared above, yogurt with fresh fruit, bowls of overnight oats, and massive salads.

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Carrot Cake Overnight Oats: 1/3 cup oats, 1/2 cup grated carrot, 1/4 cup chopped walnuts, 1 tbl. coconut, 2 tbl. raisins, 1 tsp. honey, 1 cup of almond milk, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, 1 wedge of laughing cow cinnamon cream cheese, and 1 tbl. flax.

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I’m constantly trying to find the right balance of everything I got going on and that includes eating out and eating in- you gotta be able to be practical and be able to “carpe diem” it up.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

To Train or Not to Train

Next Saturday I’m running my first ever 8k. I know I can run five miles- I know that I have run five miles before- but there is a small part of me that is still nervous. Sometimes runs just don’t go as planned and you have an off day. I’ve actually had a couple of bad runs in the past handful of weeks only making me even more anxious about it.

I’m still fairly new to running. I ran my first 5k in October which was a huge deal for me. Hell- I can still remember the first time I ran for thirty minutes without stopping in August (covering just about three miles) and how I couldn’t stop smiling/had an internal mini freakout because I was so happy.

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I had been so distracted by life and other things lately that I kinda forgot about this 8k… whoops. Like I knew I was doing it- it’s in my calendar- but my brain hadn’t really processed the fact that I’m going to actually run 8k.

Some of you may remember that I won a blogger contest for a free entry into the Run for the Dream race held in Colonial Williamsburg in the beginning of March. Being a big old history freak- I am quite excited about this. Will and I found a low cost hotel and we’re going to stay overnight Friday into Saturday (June 1st, the day of the race). Otherwise we’d have to leave at like four in the morning in order for me to get there early enough- woof.

So I never trained for the 5k I did- mainly because I knew I could run 3ish miles. I did a couple of test runs prior to the big day but I didn’t do anything special to prepare. Should I do the same thing with this upcoming 8k? This is a genuine question here, readers. I’m not really sure. It’s a little late for a training program so that’s out of the question, but if I consistently run 3-4ish miles and have run more in the past- should I be concerned?

At this point my plan is to wing it. Hopefully that’s not a mistake. I guess only time will tell. At the end of the day- I’m running the 8k for fun and not for a time so it’s not a big deal. But me being the perfectionist I am- I of course want to have a good run.

On Tuesday I did a practice run of five miles on the treadmill just to prove I could do it. Although it was boring and felt so long… I could do it. I don’t think I’ll have to worry about boredom when it comes to the actual race as Colonial Williamsburg will have plenty of interesting things for me to look at. I’m actually more so worried that I’ll want to stop and check out all of the historical shenanigans around me 😉

I think what I’m most nervous about actually is the 24 hours before the actual race. With the 5k I was able to make myself dinner at home the night before, sleep in my own bed, make myself breakfast, and get to the race start with full knowledge of where I was going and what I was doing. This 8k is COMPLETELY different. I’ll be in a place I’ve never been before and relying on whatever food is available to me there and the hotel I’m staying at for quality zzz’s. The planner side of me doesn’t like this. I know it will be fine- but again, planner Allison says no bueno. Should I bring food with me? What other things might I want to think about bringing?

Any advice and tips on being on the road and running a race are welcome. Well actually, I’m accepting any and all running advice always.

In the meantime I’m just going to go with my “wing it” plan of running twice in this last week before the race and cross training in between. Here’s to hoping!

IN OTHER NEWS

Speaking of running…

My friend Barbara over at Food is Fuel is a finalist in the Brooks “My First Half” contest where she’d win a trip to participate in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Las Vegas 1/2 marathon in November!

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I would absolutely love your help in getting her to win the contest- she deserves it so much. Her story is really inspiring and relatable to anyone out there who has struggled and recovered from disordered eating.

All you have to do is go to this page >>> click here.

  1. Click on “Barbara Kennedy” to view her bio and vote.
  2. Click on “Submit Your Vote”
  3. Select “Barbara Kennedy” on the ballot page and click “Submit Your Vote”
  4. That’s it!

{a HUGE THANK YOU to anyone who votes for her!}

Also fitness related- have you been hanging ten lately? That’s my lame-o way of asking you if you’ve been participating in the CSX #GiveThem10 push-up challenge that benefits the Wounded Warrior Project. I blogged about it yesterday and have been taking photo evidence that I’ve been getting my push-ups done!

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And related to NOTHING else in this post: I GOT MY VISA TO GO TO RUSSIA. Now enjoy this sensual moment between me and my passport:

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Is it July 1st yet?

If some of you remember- I had yesterday off of work AND I had today off (and I have F, Sat., Sun., and M off).  SWEET, SWEET, SWEET VICTORY!

I’ve been enjoying some serious downtime, relaxation, good food, long walks, middle of the afternoon yoga, retail therapy (I needed shorts), an 1.5 hour massage (paid for by the production company we worked with on the telethon!), and time with friends.

The good life- basically.

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo

More Salmon

Yeah. I eat a lot of salmon. No apologies.

My inner cat like tendencies come through with my fish and salmon love. Gross but true story: I used to try and eat my cat George’s canned food when I was a youngin/toddler. Mhm- my Mom used to have to stop me from eating cat food out of his dish. I guess this should have been a sign for my future love of seafood.

Plus I was born and raised in New England. It’s pretty hard not to dig seafood when it’s around you all the time and made really well. AND I mean, my Mom is a big seafood freak (I mean that in a good way) so my interest in it was bound to happen.

Now that I’m out on my own and have my own kitchen, I make a lot of seafood at home. My blog is living proof of this. You would think that when I go out to eat that I would try and order different things because of how frequently I make myself fish. Nope. I have to refrain myself from immediately letting my eyes wander to the seafood section and sometimes have to convince myself not to get the salmon because I make it all the time. Whenever I order it I feel the need to justify it out loud to Will (he’s usually my restaurant eating partner in crime). My favorite restaurant, Busboys and Poets, does a great version on salmon if you were curious and I am obsessed. Also, recently at Cuba Libre in Penn Quarter- I had their salmon with a honey mango glaze… ummm holy crap good.

But anyway. Back to my home cooked salmon craze… I’m sure you saw the word salmon in the title and were like- really, Allison? Again with the salmon, huh? We’re going to see more pictures of salmon? The answer to all of these questions is yes. In all seriousness- the amount of pictures of salmon on my camera is ridiculous. Point taken people- I get it. There are worse things in life than to be addicted to salmon though, right? Right.

If it makes you feel better, I do put effort into changing the flavors up and cooking it differently from time to time {see: Lemon, Dill, and Garlic and Coconut and Ginger salmon as evidence}.

And this dinner was no different. I had heard that orange tasted good paired with salmon so I picked up an orange at the grocery store to marinade my salmon in. I didn’t follow a recipe and instead just followed my taste buds when creating this meal. Thus I don’t have a list of measurements to use for you to replicate this recipe (I’m a great chef and blogger, I know). At the very least, I hope to just inspire you to change up your flavor palates and experiment with food. It’s fun- not scary- I promise.

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The jist of what I did is: I cut an orange into fourths, squeezed the juice all over the salmon, and added some of this spice mix (which I’ve been lovin on pretty hard these days):

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I have almost all of these spices individually bottled in my kitchen, but there is something so easy about blends like this that just get the combination of things just right. I’m a sucker for em.

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I ripped out the orange segments from the rinds and tossed them on the salmon and let all this sit in the fridge overnight.

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Please note: blueberries were buy one get one free at Harris Teeter this past week. Hence my hoard of blueberries that you can see.

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I didn’t cook the orange segments with the salmon- but you probably could and that would be fun I suppose. The salmon turned out pretty moist and definitely delicious- as always. Cooking salmon is wicked easy too. If you’ve missed any of my other bajillions of posts about it- check out this one for a quick way to cook it up. Dinner in less than fifteen minutes is a winner in my book.

I served the salmon on a bed of brown rice and with roasted asparagus- topped with tomato and basil feta cheese. So delicious. Also highly recommended. It was almost better than the salmon itself- almost. Asparagus is another favorite of mine- mainly because it only takes about ten minutes to roast. And feta makes everythang betta.

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This is definitely a great summer meal. I enjoyed it post-spin class on my balcony while watching an old episode of The Daily Show that I missed last week.

Before I go and continue to enjoy my six days off of work (!) – I want to share with you all this wicked cool fitness and fundraising opportunity I was told about called “Drop and Give Them Ten.”

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This Memorial Day weekend, CSX, one of the leading transportation companies in the nation, is asking people to do 10 push-ups in honor of our troops and to support them. How it works is that between now and May 29th, when you do 10 pushups, CSX will donate $1.00 to Wouded Warrior Project. If you post about your experience (through social media), CSX will donate another buck! All you have to do is do the work and use the hashtag #GiveThem10 when you tweet or instagram.

We can all definitely bust out ten push-ups. So who is with me? #GiveThem10 this Memorial Day weekend and support Wounded Warrior Project and the campaign.

In the midst of Memorial Day activities, #GiveThem10 is not only something cool to do for a good cause, but it will help you….

Keep it wicked healthy xoxo