Sunday, September 8, 2013

Big Kahuna Triathlon 2013 - 70.3 Race Recap

My original plan for this year was to re-race the Orangeman Triathlon - but something went awry with the Orangeman's planning and they ended up having to cancel the race. I was already in the midst of training for the race when I got the notice, and it took me less than a day to decide what to do about it.

I have been eyeing the Big Kahuna Triathlon for awhile now - I'd never been to Santa Cruz, and I thought it would be really cool to do a race up there, by Big Sur. It happened to be on the same day as Orangeman (before it got cancelled), so that made it really easy to transition to thinking about this new race.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Book Review of The Summit Seeker by Vanessa Runs

My book review of Vanessa Runs book The Summit Seeker

I remember the first time I ever saw Vanessa - it was on a training run for the Noble Canyon 50k. Her and Robert had on Kilts and colorful shirts from INKnBURN. The other thing I noticed was that she was wearing some sort of sandals. I now know since getting to know her that they were Luna Sandals. But for me as a new trail runner, I had no clue about barefoot running or anything else for that matter. I do remember she looked happy up there in her element and you could tell she was happy to be there.

Over the last few years I've gotten to know her a bit better and through knowing her, I've grown as a writer and as a runner. It's a great thing when you meet someone and they can help you grow in certain areas you never thought you could. Vanessa is that type of person and her book is that type of book.

Vanessa's book is more than a book about herself, or running, it's about all of us as humans on this planet exploring our possibilities. Her truth pours out in beautifully written words that put you in a trance and takes you on her journey through life. Her writing captivates you to turn each page as if it was your own life flying by in front of you. You can feel her pain and her joy in each word she writes.

She didn't dwell about her hardships of her life - she kicked off her shoes and started running to her new life, the one she was creating for herself and those that would love her for her. She was trapped inside a black hole waiting to be released into the world to explore every mountain she seeks figuratively and literally.

Vanessa writes like she runs - pursuing freedom, love and joy at every summit she seeks.

Monday, March 4, 2013

YU30 Challenge - Video Recap

by Rachel

Now that we're done with the YumUniverse 30-Day Plant-Powerful Challenge, there is one more piece to complete the challenge. We had to create a 2-minute video about our YU30 experience, and post it up on the internet.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

February Food Challenge - Week 4

by Rachel

This week when I went shopping I didn't have time to make a list - so we just bought a bunch of random stuff and then figured out what to eat each day based on what we had laying around. I do this usually when I get sick of being organized with food - and it happens often enough. While I really like meal planning, and knowing that I have everything in the house for a full week of meals, it starts to drain me mentally. We have been eating plant-based for almost 2 years now, so I have a pretty good base of things that I buy every week. I can get away with not planning, but the disorganization of that drains me too after awhile.

Anyways, it is the last week of the challenge, and we're glad to have been a part of it! While I know I'm probably plant-based for life, I don't think I'll be staying gluten-free. It was an interesting challenge trying to find snacks and meals that had no gluten in them, and I love trying new things. But, I honestly don't think I have a gluten intolerance... and this whole month, I have wanted some toast. We tried not to go for much of the GF processed foods, so I didn't buy any GF bread.

There were only 2 times that I can think of where I strayed from plant-based and GF. The first was a vegan cupcake that my friend made for me (YUM!), and today, when I ordered an iced chai from our favorite coffee shop... and I completely spaced on saying SOY iced chai. I wasn't going to let it go to waste though. It's been a long time since I had that much milk - I hope I don't regret it...

The "YAY!" of the week had to be's Miso Gravy! I haven't used miso much, but this gravy was awesome!

The "meh" of the week, if there was any, was probably the Oh She Glows lentil-walnut taco meat. It really wasn't bad! But I really have yet to find a really awesome homemade taco seasoning... does anyone have one?

This challenge went really well and reaffirmed for me that I know plant-based eating and cooking. I have many blogs that I can turn to for recipes, and google is my friend when I'm looking for recipes to match what I have onhand.

I am not going to lose much more weight - which I am fine with, because I'm at a perfectly healthy weight.

Paul lost 18 pounds during this challenge, and much of that was due to staying on track with the challenge, and not overdoing things with snacks & alcohol.

Paul and I were also very active this month - I ran 112 miles, and Paul ran 126 miles. This was the first real month of running for Paul, coming back from a very bad damaged sciatic nerve. So, the combination of the great eating, plus the increased workouts, contributed greatly to Paul's weight loss.

Well, there it is. We didn't have any life-changing moments when it comes to food - but it was a great month filled with lots of good food, and it wasn't too difficult to be gluten-free, and plant-based!

Friday, February 22, 2013

February Food Challenge - Week 3

by Rachel

This week felt more hectic - like by the time I got around to dinner, I wasn't feeling so into cooking. But we've managed to get through it. I modified some dinners to be different than what I had planned in my meal plan, but I'm really happy with how it all turned out - and glad that I don't have to feel 100% into it every day.

This week's meh of the week was the WF Collard Wraps. Paul is just really not into having fruit as an ingredient in non-sweet recipes. I think it might have been better with a really sweet orange - but the one that I had tasted a little like grapefruit?

This week's YAY of the week was Friday night's dinner with our friends Shacky and Vanessa. I just made a spread of different things to put in your bowl, and different kinds of sauce, and we all got to make our own bowl of food. The recipe I found on Post Punk Kitchen for the tofu was amazing and I've decided to make tofu with braggs and curry powder every time forever. I also have decided that I LOVE anything that has peanut butter in it...

Saturday, February 16, 2013

February Food Challenge - Week 2

by Rachel

This week was great! We did have dinner out twice, and had some alcohol, but it was all in good fun, and we made a concerted effort to keep it GF and vegan.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

February Food Challenge - Week 1

by Rachel

I was a little nervous going into this first week. I didn't have a meal plan set up on Day 1, and I didn't want to get too complex with the recipes.

I looked at the meal plan from YumUniverse, the meal plan from the Health Starts Here, and also took a look at the meal plan from Thrive (Brendan Brazier's book). I ended up cobbling together a list of breakfasts and dinners, and assumed that all lunches would be leftover dinners (I usually make more than enough for dinner, precisely so I have lunch the next day). Then I wrote all the ingredients into my shopping list and it felt really good to have it all home and put away, ready for the week!

Since we are already plant-based, this week wasn't that much of a problem. The gluten-free piece of this wasn't too hard to incorporate, especially with all the great recipes available online!

I think the highlight of the week was YumUniverse's Creamy Ranch Dressing - I made it twice, because we loved it, and Paul was putting it on everything!

The *meh* of the week was buckwheat almond chocolate coconut bars. I modified the recipe by using buckwheat instead of quinoa, and I added coconut, but I don't think that was the problem. I liked the bars, but Paul did not like the texture of it. I'm not sure if I could describe it accurately, but let's say it was more baked oatmeal than cake. In any case, I have a lot of frozen bars for quick snacks!

Saturday, February 2, 2013

February is our food challenge month

by Rachel

Paul and I have decided to recommit ourselves to being plant-strong. There are several food challenges going on in February, so we're on board with both!

San Diego Trail Marathon - Race Recap

by Rachel

When Paul and I drove up to the start line, I had a hard time getting out of the car - it was in the 30s outside! Freezing cold, I went to check in for the race - and then sat in the warm car for the next 30 minutes until it was time for the course talk. We always like getting to the start of a race early, so we can get over the stress of rushing and driving there.

By the end of the race, it would be in the 80s - such a big temperature change in just a few hours!