Friday, November 20, 2009

a jam-packed post!

vegan 4 a day
yesterday on a whim i decided to join katy and michelle by participating in this one-day vegan challenge. i have never photographed all of my food before, and now i know that i never EVER will -- once a day is more than enough for me! but it was a fun challenge to participate in and i'm glad they came up with the idea. here's how it went . . .

it started off super-easy, because my typical breakfast choices are already vegan or close to it. i normally have either an english muffin with peanut (or almond) butter and some sort of fruit, or oatmeal with the same accompaniments. i make my oats with water (and salt) so no substitutions were necessary for this pre-run meal.

of course, i also had some coffee. again, no subs needed here, as i take it black normally. incidentally, my favorite coffee ever is the 365 brand colombian. it's fairly inexpensive and sounds no-frills, but every time i try anything else i find myself yearning for the original.

for runs longer than 12 miles or so, i always bring some fuel. the honey stinger energy chews that i have been using lately (at susan's recommendation) are not vegan, since they contain honey.

a quick search though my bar stash revealed that honest foods bars are vegan! i have yet to post a formal review, but i absolutely LOVE the square bars -- they are chewy and taste like wholesome-but-tasty cookies.

as an aside, like kath, i found that the plank i tried tasted very off and had a stale texture -- and as you see in this post, the company stated that they did have problems with their recent batch. i plan on writing them to see if they will send me some replacements as well.

anyway, i toted an almond honest food square and some water mixed with a few ounces of OJ (homemade gatorade) to snack on throughout my 20 mile run.

close up of the delicious almond trail mix honest foods square

now, we will interrupt this day of vegan eating with a run update! to be continued . . .

marathon bound!
i'm very happy with how my 20 mile run went yesterday! psychologically, i knew the run was very important -- if it was terrible, i would wind up very anxious and negative about the marathon, which is never a good thing.

instead, it was pretty glorious. i did feel ready to finish when i was done, but i think it's because i did my last 6 miles at a pretty fast (for me) clip. i just have to remember not to kick into that gear in the real race until at least mile 22 or 23.

here's my polar, looking all victorious:

and here are my splits:

mile 1 9:18
mile 2 8:52
mile 3 9:02
mile 4 9:08
mile 5 9:28
mile 6 9:06
mile 7 9:00 ( + ~2 minute fuel break)
mile 8 9:12
mile 9 9:06
mile 10 9:08
mile 11 9:08
mile 12 9:25
mile 13 8:43
mile 14 8:34 ( + ~2 minute fuel break)
mile 15 8:53
mile 16 8:48
mile 17 8:45
mile 18 8:41
mile 19 8:23
mile 20 8:18 <--- last mile party!

overall i am very happy with how it went and feel ready and excited for my race in 3.5 weeks!

back to vegan 4 a day!
for lunch, i had thought about going out, but post-20-mile-run hunger necessitated a faster solution. i rifled through the freezer and came up with a sunshine burger, which i served on an ezekiel sesame bun. i quickly realized that i am annoyed at having to check the label of everything i put in my mouth.

still, i enjoyed this lunch. maybe i would have enjoyed it just slightly more with some cheese on that burger, but copious ketchup + relish made up for it (almost). served with pepper slices and a mound of sabra hummus with pine nuts (also vegan).

at around 4 pm, i got hungry again and fixed up a little snack plate: sliced apple, almond butter, and a few pita chips (yes, also vegan - i checked). normally, i don't eat nut butter this much in one day and i probably would have had some yogurt + mix-ins had i not been vegan 4 a day.

the short-term vegan experiment was going fairly well up to this point. i felt well-fueled, and didn't really feel that i was eating all that differently from my usual staples. but then . . .

well, then there was cheese.

photo from jessica

and this cheese marked the beginning of the end of vegan 4 a day. and in fact, tasting these sumptuous, delectable cheeses reminded me why i am not vegan -- or even vegetarian -- at all. now, don't get me wrong: i love vegan cuisine -- vegetable-heavy entrees, fresh innovative salads, and creative baked goods.

but i also love FOOD in general! and when it comes to eating, i want what i want when i want it. i am anti-"diet", and i can't deal with the idea of limits or restrictions. luckily, i prefer eating healthy foods most of the time, and i think that i naturally go for a good balance of choices.

if i'm at a wine bar where there is delicious cheese, i am not about to eat olives and then a bowl of cereal (with milk alternative, of course) upon arriving home, something i briefly (VERY briefly) considered doing last night. so: i guess i failed vegan 4 a day, but i still learned some valuable lessons in the process, which i suppose was the point, anyway.

i'm still interested -- for ethical, environmental, and taste-curious reasons -- in making a point of experimenting with vegan cuisine in the future. i'm not envisioning a full-fledged cookthrough doin' time-style, but perhaps a once-a-week challenge. more on that to come . . .

six bloggers at six plates!
now for the most exciting part of the day! i had a blast with allie, jessica, april, meg, caroline, and margaret last night! topics of discussion included:

☑ pumpkin butter
☑ barney butter
☑ various blogs
☑ moderating comments
☑ rival high schools (i found out that meg and i attended rival high schools in PA!)
☑ gluten-free living
☑ the HLS

and much, much more. there was much flash photography (the lighting in six plates was awful for blogging) and lots of delicious food + wine. the owner, matthew beason, even came and talked with us for a while (i had emailed him a heads up that we were coming, and caroline had tweeted him).

without further adieu, here are some photos from the event:

a shot of the menu. i love the concept of small plates paired with wine selections.

sign at the bar with additional wine offerings

i ordered a bottle of this altos (sort of a spanish version of mourvedre from jumilla) for the table and enjoyed it a lot. it was fruity, not too tannic, and went wonderfully with the cheese.

food bloggers in action!

piled on the comfortable sofa (left to right: carolina, jessica, me, meg, april, reader margaret, and allie)

teira sauvignon blanc, which i chose because i think i remember seeing signs for this vineyard in the dry creek valley (sonoma). it was bright and citrusy and not too sweet.

our spread! olives, cheese plate, and pecorino flatbread with tomatoes and a balsamic syrup.

i ordered the mediterranean salad for my entree and loved the bits of goat cheese + pomegranate arils.

and i had to order truffle frites for the table! i had several tastes and absolutely adored the truffle flavor.

when i got home, it was back to the vegan lifestyle with a cookie (a generous gift from allie!) and almond milk.

there's more!
i have yet even MORE to share in this mammoth post . . . but i have to go to work (8 am - 12 pm today AND 3 pm - 11 pm -- going out with a BANG). you'll just have to wait until later (or tomorrow) to find out whether or not i kept the j. crew toothpick jeans AND see which dress i picked out from anthro. i know: suspenseful. it's what keeps you coming back, right? ha.

happy friday!!


  1. JennyN7:52 AM

    Happy Vacation Sarah and congrtulations on your glorious 20 miler! So now it is almost taper time? I think you will have a great marathon!

  2. Anonymous7:57 AM

    My commiserations...from a fellow turophile.

  3. Anonymous8:27 AM

    Sounds like a great day through and through. I could never photograph all my eats nor could I be vegan. Oh well.

  4. Anonymous9:00 AM

    what an awesome 20 miler! those were wicked great splits :)

    looks like going out last night was a blast: yummy food and good company!

  5. I'm totally checking later about the dress and the jeans. Congratulations on the run. It is amazing to see how some people can run. I would have been un-vegan the minute the cheese showed up too. Probably the second the cheese showed up.

  6. Those splits were SICK! Jealous.

  7. Anonymous9:36 AM

    It looks like you guys had an amazing time. The truffle frites have me drooling here!

  8. Wow... looks like you had a jam packed day off. Congrats on the great 20-miler and the super fun blogger get together.

  9. You would make a great food blogger :) So great to see you again! Oh and the cookies had chocolate chips which I guess aren't vegan....oops!!

  10. Congrats on 20! Love those last mile parties! Must have been those Honey Stingers. ;)

    The meet-up looked awesome...especially the food! I definitely would have had a hard time passing up the cheese. I love that pumpkin butter was one of the topics of conversation...oh food bloggers...

  11. You are a MACHINE! 8:18 on mile 20!?!?

    Wish I could have joined you at the meet-up!

  12. I feel special that I already know what dress you picked :)
    Great to meet you last night!
    After your done with your marathon we should definitely go for a run. Have a great weekend!

  13. Wonderful job on the long run! It's great when the last one goes so well.

  14. great splits,sarah! sounds like you are going strong.

  15. Ah, looks like such a fun night!

    I couldn't agree more with you on your Vegan-4-A Day wrap-up. Having a fun attitude about food is the best way to look at life, its no fun to turn down a plate of cheese that divine!

    Congrats on the run! I'm glad it was a good one!

  16. Oh man, you make vegan eats look so tasty and easy! Aren't Sunshine burgers awesome? I've tried only the Garden Herb kind but the Southwest sounds delicious as well.
    Thanks again for a great night last night!

  17. atilla11:47 PM

    see I knew you were not a vegan at heart you love good food too much...great splits