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So many things…

Hello long lost friends,

I have missed you. I have missed blogging. Life kind of swallowed me for a while there and a lot has been happening but I miss writing and I miss my bloggy friends. If anyone is still out there–hello again!

Lately my life is a lot more runner and a little less Paleo, so the name of this blog probably needs to change.  But I’ll get to that eventually.  The biggest thing that has been happening is this:

Chase and I were shocked and excited. We proceeded to buy fun baby books and brainstorm ways to tell our families.

But then yesterday things did not feel right and I went to the doctor and learned that I had miscarried.

It was still early and we had told almost no one which is both a blessing and a curse–how do you tell people this? How do you even find the words?  How do you grieve something that was just starting? Since we hadn’t told many people it has given us the ability to live our daily lives as “normally” as possible, but I don’t really know how to do that because nothing seems normal.  Honestly, I haven’t figured anything out yet but I woke up today and I wanted to write about it. I wanted to put it into words and for some reason the only way I could verbalize it was through a blog post so here you have it. I figured that maybe writing about this experience and sending it out into the cosmic Internet void may help to make it real so that I don’t feel like it is such a secret.  It is hard to mourn a ghost–it is even harder when it is a secret ghost.  No one likes to talk about sad things but sometimes the only way to move past sadness is to sit with it for a while. So that is what I am doing. There has been lots of tissues, tears, and comforting cups of hot tea.

I realize that this is probably the most melancholic return post ever but I wanted to be real and this is the current reality for PaleoRunnerGirl.  I promise future posts will contain more positivity.

xoxo

Officially Back in Action!

Hello Blog Friends!

Well, I am officially back and SO excited to return to the blog world.  I have missed blogging, commenting, and the whole community! However, the past month has been non-stop! We are officially settled in Maryland and I just bid farewell to Chase on his first day of residency!

Have I ever mentioned that Chase is amazing at ironing? It is a good thing because he is going to be spending oodles of time ironing his uniform in the next 10 years.

While I promise recipes and other fun and exciting things will be in store, I thought y’all might want a peak into the events of the past month!

Chase graduated from medical school:

He was commissioned and is now officially a Lieutenant:

After graduation we packed our entire apartment and moved to Maryland ( Pictured of our new place to come…).

Days after moving we hopped on a plane and flew to Palm Springs, California for a quick last hurrah before Chase forfeits his life (and vacation time) to medicine and the Navy!

We celebrated Chase’s 28th Birthday and enjoyed lots of fun in the sun!

While on vacation, we did a TON of hiking and running.

We even drove to the Grand Canyon and ran around the rim! It was insane! This has always been on the top of my bucket list ever since I visited the Grand Canyon for the first time, 13 years ago.

Chase has been training for his fitness test, so he ran with me!

We definitely enjoyed the views–it definitely beat watching the news while running on the treadmill!

We also went to Sedona and saw the Red Rocks.  Sedona was amazing!

We enjoyed lots of window shopping and exploring the town.

I also mingled with the locals.

And visited cave castles

While in Sedona, we went on a mini-excursion to a little city that used to be a ghost-town–Jerome.  It was situated on top of a mountain and is known as the “Mile High Town.” We found the most amazing Mexican restaurant and had dinner in Jerome and explored the shops.

While on vacation, I tried to eat as Paleo as possible–there were lots of salads and grilled meats and poultry

However, there was also local experiences like:

Avocado Pie (I avoided the gluten crust and just tried the filling..it was CRAZY! It tasted like Key Lime Pie).

There was also some chip eating (while corn is not paleo–it is a grain I am able to tolerate fairly well and authentic corn chips are amazing!)

And there was far too much frozen yogurt eating (I LOVE the taste of frozen yogurt, but my stomach does not…you would think I would learn my lesson…)

Now that we have moved, vacation is over and normalcy is slowly but surely returning, I am attempting to re-group and re-focus.  My goal for June is to dive back into Paleo eating and try new recipes (with lots of amazing local produce from all of the farm markets), return to running and select a race to train for, and get acquainted with my new town!

Do you have any vacations planned?

How do you get back to “normal” when you return from vacation?

Enjoying the Outdoors and Post-picnic Dining

We have been totally enjoying spring lately.  There is just something about sunshine and warm weather that make me so stinking happy.  Warm sunny days always make me want to be one of those picnic-type people.

I mean who doesn’t love a picnic *in theory*? It is a lovely idea–eating outside on a blanket with a basket full of food wrapped carefully in wax paper–amazing.  In reality, for me picnics mean ants, bees, and allergies.  Bugs in general have a natural affinity for me–they love to bite me, chase me, or sting me.  Consequently, having food with me is not a move in my favor.  Chase and I have started to perfect the pre-meal picnic.  We enjoy the outdoors with a little (heavily packaged and unaromatic) snack and when it comes time to eat a real meal we retreat to the bug-free indoors.

Recently, I took some almonds to our pre-meal picnic while Chase’s snack of choice was the amazingness that is mini Cadberry chocolate eggs–we have a post-Easter stockpile of these beauties.

Few meals are more ideal for post-picnic appetites than spice-rubbed hamburgers.  I am currently obsessed.  While Chase still likes to eat his burger on a bun, I like a solid paleo burger–bun-free with avocado and sauteed onions on top.

Here is the current blend of spices I have been LOVING:

Spice Rub Recipe:

1 tbsp chili powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp dry mustard

1/4 tsp cayanne pepper

1/4 tsp black pepper

2 tsp paprika

1 tsp cumin

1) I place all spices in a small tupperware container and shake until combined

2) I usually buy 1 lb of lean ground beef which make 4 burgers and I add diced onions to 2 burgers (and leave Chase’s onion-free)

3) I place all 4 burgers on a grill pan at medium heat and sprinkle the rub on both sides

4) Cover the burgers with foil and cook 4-6 minutes on each side

What is your favorite BBQ food item?

Blue Print Cleanse…FAIL

Today I am embarked on a crazy little experiment–the Blue Print Cleanse.

A lovely little box was delivered to my doorstep with this giant bundle inside:

These are the first 3:

And these are the other 3:

The cleanse that I selected was the Renovation Cleanse:

The website describes it as follows:

“Caution: The Renovation Cleanse has been referred to as “a gateway cleanse,” as it may encourage you to experiment with the next two levels of the BluePrintCleanse. This “Class-A” cleanse will leave you addicted to feeling amazing and wanting more.

This cleanse is designed for the absolute beginner—the “I’ll have my martini with a side of steak, please” type—and for that we applaud you. Typically the renovating type is one who could stand to lose a few pounds, or perhaps a few more than a few. You like to indulge, sometimes in excess—a few extra drinks here, a few extra smokes there, but hey, who’s counting? Maybe you have a family history of health issues. Point is you’re a real person, who is about to feel real results.”

Upon waking up this morning, I started with a warm cup of water with lemon.

I drank Juice #1 (Green Juice) at 8:00AM

The Green Juice is where the nutrition is at! Look at all of these benefits:

  • Detoxifies the liver
  • Reduces bad breath and body odor
  • Low sugar content; good for Candida
  • Highly alkalizing for pH balance
  • Used in cancer therapy
  • Helps in the growth and repair of body tissues
  • Antioxidant and anti-inflammatory
  • Improves oxygenation of cells
  • Washes kidneys and bladder of debris
  • Contains phloridzin, supporting lung health
  • Prevents growth of harmful bacteria
  • Lowers blood pressure
  • Eases symptoms of menopause

Um, I got through a total of TWO sips and thought I was going to literally DIE. This little baby tasted NASTY! It was like a giant bottle of cucumber juice (I HATE cucumbers…nothing personal…I want to like them, but my taste buds refuse to budge).

Ok, so I decided to go with Plan B.  In the lovely package that the juice came in, they included a cheat sheet.  It said that if you need to eat something try a bit of avocado or produce.  So, that is precisely what I did–

I had some strawberries

 

And about a quarter of an avocado:

 

After my “breakfast” I was feeling all kinds of high and mighty–I figured this would be no biggie.  I went on a little run and came back to enjoy Juice #2:

I drank Juice #2 (PAM =Pineapple + Apple + Mint ) around 11:00AM

This juice was actually not too terrible–the mint was a bit too overpowering, but compared to the 1st one this was a breeze.

Juice #3 was the same type as the morning juice = cucumber debacle.  In lieu of gagging down the awfulness, I had an apple:

 

After my lovely apple snack, Chase and I went out to run errands.  He, of course, got hungry and decided to stop and get a hot dog from this adorable little shop.  I hate hot dogs, but by GOLLY, that hot dog smelled sooooo good.  On our way home we started talking about our plans for the night (Our “little brother” had a music concert at school–he was SO excited about it) and we discussed our crazy schedule for tomorrow (Chase’s medical school ceremonies begin!).  It was around this time,  as my head started pounding and I felt like crap, that I had my come to Jesus moment–WHY THE HECK AM I DOING THIS?!  I thought it would be a fun adventure (I am clearly starved for entertainment…), but this was just awful! Plus, I realized that I was going to be SO stinking hungry/grumpy/awful by the time we went to the concert that I would totally miss out on an amazing memory (and one of our last times with the little bro).

I then promptly made myself two over-easy eggs and all was right with the world—Juice cleanse = OVER.

 

It is kind of ironic because all of the review and testimonials from the Blue Print Cleanse said that it was a “revolutionizing” experience and that it would alter your perspective of nourishment etc. etc.  The irony is in the fact that FAILING at this made me realize that I stinking LOVE real food and that eating nourishing healthy food is just as good, if not FAR better than drinking awful tasting juices.  I want to enjoy nourishing my body–not choke juice down with a grimace on my face.  To me, this is no way to live.  If juicing works for some people, more power to them, but it is NOT for me.  Instead, I am going to enjoy fruits, vegetables, a protein in solid form and enjoy every single BITE.  I am also going to appreciate the fact that eating nourishing food provides me with the ability to nourish and experience LIFE and JOY with people around me.

By the way, I have 4 lovely juices left that need to go to a loving home…any takers?  I will pay you to drink the cucumber one!  :)

Have you ever had a WONDERFUL  failure? Has anyone else ever tried juicing?

 

Back and Blogging!

Hello Dear Bloggy Friends!

I have missed the blog world and am SO excited to get back to it!

We have had a very crazy month, but things are going well and I haven’t even lost my mind yet! :)

In between juggling work and other responsibilities, we have been trying to do some last minute activities before we move.  A few weekends ago we went to New Jersey to see the longest miniature train in the world.  It was….an experience. :)

It was literally 8 miles of tiny train tracks with tons of miniature villages.

It was insane. Not necessarily my personal passion, but it was an experience and definitely a memory.

After I finished my last day with the twinnies (I only cried a little…), I went home to Kentucky to take Mumsie to a doctor’s appointment in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

On our long trip, we stopped in Asheville, North Carolina.  Neither one of us had been to Asheville and we had a lovely little visit. We stayed in a little Bed and Breakfast, the Beaufort House Inn.

It was so gorgeous!

It was a beautiful inn! The rooms were delightful and the bathroom was even more spectacular.

Having never spent much time in Western North Carolina, I never realized the amazingness of the mountains! We stopped by The Grove Park Inn, which was also incredible.

Our little stop in Asheville was a perfect respite before enduring doctor’s appointments.  However, Mumsie was a total champ.  Chase and my dad came down as well–it was a family affair.

In an effort to literally and figuratively sweeten our experience, I outlined a cupcake tour of North Carolina.  We stopped by as many cupcakeries as possible on our trip–there was a tremendous amount of buttercream frosting consumed by yours truly.

Our first stop was Magpies in Knoxville, TN (on our road trip):

The frosting was quite delightful!

We also stopped by several cupcake shops in Asheville.

We had great hopes for the Cupcake Corner–they even had German Chocolate cupcakes:

However, the frosting was TERRIBLE.  It was the biggest disappointment EVER.

I returned from my  trip to Kentucky/North Carolina just a few days ago and feel a little bit of a  frosting/sugar overload!  I am actually trying a bit of a detox to help usher in a more strictly paleo period.  My stomach has been going a bit nuts and I am ready to feel 100% again.  It is funny because I know what makes me feel healthy–I just need to pursue it!  With Chase’s graduation festivities this week, it will be a bit of a struggle to remain strict paleo, but I am going to try my hardest! I will post details tomorrow!

What have YOU all been up to?! I cannot wait to catch up with everyone!

 

 

 

Fact: You Cannot Cry with Chocolate Pudding in your Mouth

Change makes me cry.

This is a fact that is simply irrefutable.

Change #1:

A week from Monday is my last day with these two beauties:

I keep talking to them about the fact that I am moving away and both promptly shake their heads and say “No.”  It is super cute.  They turned 20 months old on Wednesday–I have known them for all 20 months.  My heart hurts just thinking about not seeing these girls on a weekly basis.

Change #2:

I was officially offered a long term full time position at the graduate school where I work.  While this is a happy change in many respects, it means that I have my first official adult career.  It also means that my computer is my new BFF.  I am ALWAYS grading papers.

Source

Change #3:

Five months ago I accepted (as in signed the contract) an adjuncting job at another university teaching American literature to begin in May.  Five months ago I had no idea I would ALSO have a full time job on top of teaching so I happily signed up to teach not one but TWO courses at the same time.  Right now I am scrambling to read the 400 page textbook and figure out my lesson plans.  I adore teaching American lit but I am TERRIFIED as I have never taught at this university and never taught this curriculum before.

Change #4:

Chase will officially be a doctor in less than 4 weeks.  Yep, after 4 LONG years, this guy is graduating from medical school.

Change #5:

Four, yes FOUR days after Chase graduates, we move to Bethesda, MD.  We bid farewell to Bethlehem and move for the fourth time in 5 years.

In case you are wondering, this means that in May I will be saying goodbye to the twinnies, working my full-time job, teaching two literature courses, celebrating Chase’s graduation (and hosting his entire family), and moving to another state. Guys, I have to be honest–blogging is going to be a bit sparse for the next 6-8 weeks.  I promise that life will eventually calm down and I will once again be a devoted blogger.

Commence crying NOW.

Enter the desperate need for pudding because we all know you can’t cry with chocolate pudding in your mouth.  Especially if it is my practically Paleo, gluten-free, tastes-like-brownie-batter, chocolate pudding.

 

I adapted the brilliant Dorie Greenspan’s recipe from this lovely cooking tome:

(This is the type of cookbook that you read.  It has spectacular anecdotes and a plethora of pictures–LOVE).

The ingredients are incredibly easy and you probably have them in your pantry RIGHT now.

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups Coconut Milk (or any other type of milk–however, I recommend a thicker milk = full-fat coconut milk or whole cow’s milk)

7 tbsp sugar

2 heaping tbsp cocoa

2 tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

1 egg

2 egg yolks

1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp vanilla extract

1) Combine 2 cups milk and 3 tbsp sugar in a pot and gradually bring to a gentle boil stirring occasionally.

 

2) As the milk is heating up, combine the corn starch, cocoa, 2 tbsp cocoa & salt and blend together in a blender or food processor (you need a large full processor).

and

3) After pulsing the dry ingredients until fine.  Add in 1 egg, 2 yolks, and 1/4 cup coconut milk and puree until smooth.

4) After the milk comes to a gentle boil, remove from heat and slowly pour into the chocolate mixture in the blender/processor and puree until smooth and fully combined.

5) Pour mixture back into the pot and heat over medium heat, stirring continually with a whisk until thick (about 3 minutes).

6) Melt chocolate chips in microwave (be sure not to burn them–stir often!)

7) Stir butter and vanilla into the melted chocolate chips and add to the chocolate mixture–return everything to the blender and puree until smooth.

8) Pour into 6-8 ramekins for fancy individual portions (or a larger corning ware if you prefer to just eat spoonfuls every time you pass the fridge) and chill 4 hours.

(FYI: I totally just spooned some into a ramekin for the pretty photo and then spooned it right back into the bowl in the fridge –I am not as fancy as the pictures may lead you to believe).

The pudding will thicken up to an almost pots-de-creme consistency and it truly tastes like brownie-batter–for real.

You need to make this RIGHT NOW.

And I dare you to try to cry with a spoonful of this magic in your mouth.

For me, the next few weeks are going to include MANY spoonfuls of pudding.

New York Adventure

As we will soon be officially bidding the Northeast farewell in favor of the mid-Atlantic, we decided that one last trip to New Your City was necessary.   Mumsie came for a final visit to  our Bethlehem abode so we decided that it was the perfect time to take a jaunt into the city.  We were so excited because my dad, who has lately been gallivanting across the country for work, was able to meet us in Manhattan for the weekend.

We spent the weekend in the Grand Hyatt which was completely fabulous.

For NYC standards, the rooms were GIGANTIC.  And the fact that it was on top of Grand Central Station made it the most convenient location EVER.  We did not have to take a single cab all weekend.  Plus, since my dad has been basically living in Hyatt Hotels across America, he has “super duper special status” and we were able to hang out in the “Club Room.”

Basically this place was my favorite–free wifi, great views of the city, free drinks, tea, coffee and free food! It. Was. Awesome.  When my family was able to persuade me to actually leave the special room, we did some quality New York adventuring.

We brunched as Sarabeth’s where I got the most amazing spinach omelet:

(I did not eat the toast–but it made the plate look pretty–also, I totally forgot to take a picture until I was a few bites in–sorry!)

It was such a darling restaurant.

I have wanted to visit Sarabeth’s ever since I saw her delightful looking preserves in the carefully selected food stuffs of Williams-Sonoma

Source

We also visited one of my all-time favorite spots in NYC–The Plaza Hotel!

Did anyone else read Eloise as a kid?

My mom always used it as a lesson in “how NOT to act” since Eloise was basically a spoiled brat–however, I always dreamed of being able to LIVE in a hotel–and not just any hotel–The PLAZA!

We then went inside and pretended like we were celebrities!

Did y’all know that there is a luxury book publishing house INSIDE of The Plaza?  They sell these incredible (and pricey!) books on fashion and luxury living.  The people that work there were surprisingly unpretentious and actually urged us to explore (and TOUCH!) the books. Am I the only person that turn into a scared 8-year-old when I am in an expensive store? I suddenly feel like I am in severe danger of “you break it, you buy it” status.

After acting very civilized in the bookstore, we headed down to the lower level of the Plaza to Eloise Wonderland

They even have a TEA room for little girls to visit!

It was completely magical!

After Mumsie and I absorbed every adorable square inch, we all headed to Central Park.  Chase proceeded to make friends with a musician who let him try to play his crazy instrument.  Chase definitely needs to stick to doctoring…

We had some seriously amazing meals when we were in New York.  We decided that if we lived in New York there is no way you could go to the same restaurant twice because there are just too many delicious places.  While we were in the city, we ate at this guy’s restaurant:

Bobby Flay knows what he is doing!

The food at Mesa was insane!

From the pork

To the Chili Rellenos

To the insanely delicious side dishes (Roasted corn, Smoked Chile collard greens, Double-Baked Potato
with Horseradish, Green Onions
+ Creme Fraiche)

Um, yeah…it was all DELICIOUS!!! If you are visit NYC, you MUST go to Mesa!

We also discovered an amazing Mexican restaurant called Sinigual.

This place had the BEST guacamole I have ever had in my entire LIFE.  It was heavenly.

In addition to the amazing meals we had, Mumsie and I made sure to include some cupcake tasting (or frosting eating in my case).

We tried Baked By Melissa Cupcakes

Which only sells mini-cupcakes and when I say mini, I mean MINI.

(Magnolia Cupcake on the left, Melissa’s mini on the right).

I was not a fan of Melissa’s because for a frosting-only girl like myself, Melissa did not give me much to work with! My heart still belongs to Sprinkles–I mean they sell FROSTING shots!

This would be me with a heavenly shot of cinnamon cream cheese frosting–like I said before–who needs alcohol when you can have FROSTING shots and cupcake tastings?!

Aside from experiencing culinary and cupcake perfection, we also did several quintessentially NYC tourist activities:

We took the Ellis Island/Statue of Liberty ferry.  I, happily, did not get sea sick which was truly miraculous as I get nauseous in the bathroom.

It was amazing to see the statue up close.  We took the audio tour which was incredibly fascinating.  I totally recommend it!

Besides visiting the statue, we also spent an afternoon at the Met!

It was wonderful! We saw everything from stain-glassed windows  created by Louis Tiffany (as in the lamps and the son of the Tiffany Jeweler founder), Egyptian tombs and mummys (I love a good mummy) and tons of paintings.

 No trip to New York City would be complete without a bit of shopping.  Mumsie and I may have happened upon a TWO-STORY Lilly Pulitzer store on the Upper East side.  Pure heaven.

Lilly Perfection

Mumsie may have FORCED me to get this little gem…

I am thinking pink high heels–thoughts?

Basically it was a perfect trip from start to finish!

Have you visited NYC?  What are your favorite places in the city or where would you like to visit?

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