Biking

Weekend Highlights

1.) Savings at the grocery store always make me giddy. This week’s bill went from:

photo 1 (34)

to:

photo 2 (32)

With the store savings and a coupon I had! Almost 40% off the bill – woohoo!

2.) On Saturday, I got a manicure/pedicure with a new-to-me color that I am LOVING. The place I go to has a great deal for $35 for both, and I love for my nails to look good! The color is OPI Pamplona Purple and it is a little lighter than it looks in the photo below.

photo (11)

3.) It rained for a lot of Saturday night/all day yesterday, so I got to use my new clear bubble umbrella for the first time this weekend, and it really is the best. It makes the rain way less dreadful, and keeps both me and my purse both dry! It’s kind of crazy how much I didn’t mind going out in the rain yesterday because of it.

4.) I got two awesome workouts on Saturday and Sunday. Saturday I did a 5.25 mile run outside in about 50 minutes, and then I biked the same distance back home. On Sunday, I did 45 mins of hill walking on the treadmill (3.8 mph with incline up to 10.0) and then a full body strength training workout. I’ve started LOVING powerwalking on an incline as cross-training, and it burns almost as many calories as running does (~400 in the 45 mins)!

photo 3 (35)

5.) One night out and one night in – my ideal weekend. Friday night I was exhausted so I came home, cleaned my whole apartment and then laid down on the couch and watched Submarine on Netflix. It was a quirky independent film that was quite entertaining and funny, and I’d recommend it if you’re looking for something new to watch. Saturday night I went out for dinner and drinks with some friends, and it was a blast. Perfect combo!

6.) And the most exciting highlight from the weekend – I got a NEW BIKE!!

photo 2 (31)

I have a hybrid bike that I got just about two years ago, but I really wanted to get a road bike and have been thinking about it for quite some time. On Saturday I went to a vintage bike market to see what they had, and my eyes were immediately draw to this bike. I rode it around the parking lot and was surprised at how different it feels from my hybrid – leaning forward to grab the handle bars feels SO awkward at first! It’s definitely going to take some getting used to, but I am SO excited to own a bike I love so much!

And that’s all I got!

Share a highlight from your weekend!

Time to Regroup

Today is the first day I’ve had off in two weeks since I worked through last weekend at the conference in Columbus. I was so looking forward to sleeping in and not setting an alarm for the first time in 15 days… but at 5:10 am Wil’s alarm went off because he accidentally set it and I woke up for about an hour and a half before I could fall back asleep. Boo.

I feel like I’ve gotten pretty off track since my half marathon. Granted, I’ve had a lot going on in my personal life as well as my work life, but excuses are excuses, and it’s important for me to focus on myself a bit even when a lot of other things are going on. You’ve probably noticed that I haven’t written about working out in some time… that’s because I took 10 full days off from any form of exercise! I can’t even tell you the last time I went that long without working out, and it didn’t feel very good. It hung over my head almost daily, but I just couldn’t get it together to go to the gym. I was working almost 17 hour days in Columbus and then just exhausted when I got back and had to go grocery shopping, clean, unpack, laundry, etc, etc.

On top of the lack of exercise, I’ve been really lax with eating junk and drinking, and I think all three go very hand-in-hand for me. I’m not saying I haven’t had fun or enjoyed myself with it, I’ve just been feeling kind of gross lately for lack of a better word. Last night after work I went for a drink with my coworker Emily at Bar Dupont. They had an awesome drink menu with cocktails that are normally $11 priced at just $5 for happy hour from 4-6.

I went with the Alan’s Love, which had Smirnoff Pear Vodka, St. Germaine, Honey, Muddled Cucumber, and Lime.

It was AWESOME. Perfect level of sweetness for me and had a nice fresh taste from the cucumber and lime. We were served some bar snacks:

Mixed Nuts, Wasabi Peas, and Corn Nuts. Perfect crunch to go with the drink. We also ordered a flatbread to share.

With fig jam as the sauce, gorgonzola, dried figs, and arugula. SO good. Figs twice in one day is fine by me! 🙂

After Bar Dupont, we ventured over my friend Jess and Amy’s new apartment and had a few more drinks and snacks. We also played dress up…

Amy, Me, and Jess. They have a chest full of costumes and we went a little crazy with it… I have a flapper wig on, a hula skirt, and a sequenced tube top over my clothes. Ha. ‘Twas a fun night!

But I woke up today feeling like I really needed to get it together and start taking care of myself better. I started out by making a delicious breakfast with potato hash and an egg. I started with a potato, a green pepper, and an onion…

I chopped up half the potato

And then nuked it with some water for 3 minutes to cook it. While that was going, I chopped up half the pepper and a chunk of onion.

And then added the onion, 1 tsp of olive oil, and 1 clove of garlic to a pan. After a minute, I tossed in the pepper too.

Once that was going for 3-4 minutes and the onion and pepper were getting soft, I tossed the cooked potatoes into the mix…

And cooked it for one more minute. I cracked an egg directly on top of the potato hash…

Added a little veggie stock to create some steam, and covered the pan until the egg white was cooked through.

Carefully transfered it to a bowl, and voila!

I also had a toasted Bagel Thin on the side.

To help soak up the perfectly cooked yolk…

So good. (FYI – this whole bowl was 4 points on WW, plus 1 for the bagel thin, for a total of 5. 1/2 potato = 1, 1 tsp olive oil = 1, egg = 2, bagel thin = 1)

After that, I went on an amazing bike ride and it felt sooooo good. My goal was to keep all the miles under 5:00 minutes, and I discovered this 11 mile loop the last time I went biking (11 days ago…) that I went for again. Here are the stats:

Distance: 11.01 miles

Duration: 48:50

Avg. Speed: 13.5 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:26 min/mile

Calories: 701

It is an absolutely gorgeous day in DC – around 70 degrees, sunny, and clear. It felt so nice to be outside and work up a sweat. I don’t know WHY I let myself go so long without exercise because its one thing that always makes me feel good.  My plan for the rest of the day is to try to hit up Bikram at 4 because that always helps me get back into a healthy mindset and sweat it out big time, and then laying low. I am really enjoying the relaxation factor this weekend is bringing, and really need to take some time for me. I’m also going to try to lay off drinking because I much prefer waking up feeling refreshed, rather than with a headache. It’s just so hard when if you want to hang out with friends, all there is to do is drink! Argh.

How has your weekend been so far? What is your favorite way to “regroup” when you feel like you’ve gotten off track? Suggestions welcome. 🙂

Shrimp and Peach Summer Rolls

Tonight’s dinner came together sort of randomly, but it was DELICIOUS and a different combination that I’ve ever tried before! But first…

Afternoon snacks included unpictured popcorn (1 pt) and 2 wasa crackers (1 pt) with a babybel cheese (1 pt). I also had a Quaker Chocolate Peanut Butter Chewy Granola Bar (2 pts) that was leftover in my goodie bag from the wedding right before going on an awesome bike ride.

I’ve started waiting a little bit before working out to let the night cool off a bit since the days have been too hot. It’s nice because I don’t rush home and take my time having a snack and relaxing a bit before heading out. It was wayyy too hot for a run, so I was contemplating going swimming or going for a bike ride, and I just decided to go with a ride because it takes less prep. I am still a bit sore from yesterday’s run (my left knee is hurting a bit) so I didn’t want to push it, but wanted to get in some more exercise to balance out the indulgences from the weekend. Stats:

Duration: 46:38

Distance: 10.17 miles

Avg. Speed: 13.1 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:35 min/mile

Calories: 572

It was a great ride and my knee didn’t hurt one bit. It was a little breezy too, which made for a nice break from the heat. As soon as I got back, I was hungry and didn’t have a smoothie waiting for me like yesterday – sad story.

Dinner ended up coming together kind of by accident, but turned out AWESOME. I have two heads of cabbage left so I wanted to use some of that, and for some reason I was craving summer rolls, so my plan was to make rolls using the cabbage. But then I was thinking about it and didn’t want to use the cabbage raw in the rolls, so I cut it up and then cooked it in a pan with some veggie stock, a little water, and a splash of apple cider vinegar.

Since I was so hungry, I didn’t want to wait for the cabbage to cook and then cool, so I tried to figure out what else I could put in the summer rolls. I had some cilantro from the other night as well as cooked shrimp, but that wasn’t enough. I looked around and realized peaches might work in the rolls, so I went with it.

I put a handful of cilantro, 4 little shrimp, and 1/3 of a sliced peach in each of three rice wrappers. You have to soak the wrappers in warm water for 20 seconds so they become pliable, and then you put everything in there and wrap it up. You have to move way too quickly to take pictures of the process, and it’s definitely a little difficult, but each one gets easier. I ended up making 3 and they turned out pretty good though a little looser than ideal.

I served them with this Sweet Chili Sauce that I had in my house, which is an awesome condiment to have on hand.

2 tablespoons has 70 calories (1 pt), so I put a serving in a ramekin and served it with the three summer rolls.

And also had a bowl of the cooked cabbage for an extra veggie kick.

The cabbage was 0 points, and the summer rolls broke down to 2 points for the shrimp, 1 for the sauce, 1 for the peach, and 2 for the rice paper rolls, so 6 total for the meal. It was AWESOME. The peach, shrimp, and cilantro combo worked so well even though it came together pretty unexpectedly!

I’m off to play some Scrabble with Wil! What’s your favorite board game??

Cutting Back

Hello! This day got away from me but I did get a LOT done today. I have another conference coming up at work in September which is actually the biggest conference of the year, so we’re moving into crunch time now that there’s just 7 weeks left (which used to seem like such a long time…) so things are going to be moving even faster for me than they normally do for the next few months.

I went on a really great bike ride after work today. The weather was actually perfect for a ride because it was slightly breezy, not too hot, and not sunny so I was praying for more shade during the ride. I fueled up with a little more than half of this bag:

This flavor is actually better than the other flavors I’ve tried of these, but they’re just a little chewy/sticky for my taste. This is my last bag of them though and then I’m back to my favorite – Sports Beans! I ate 5 of the 8 in this bag which is about 115 calories (2 pts) before my ride.

Stats:

Distance: 16.25 miles

Duration: 1hr 13min 51sec

Avg Speed: 13.2 mph

Avg Pace: 4:32 min/mile

Calories: 856

This was the farthest/longest run I’ve done in a while and it felt good!

After the workout, Wil and I threw together a quick easy dinner that was delicious and very light.

We first made a dressing with:

  • 1 tbsp honey (1 pt)
  • 2 tsp olive oil (2 pts)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar (0 pts)
  • 1 tbsp minced white onion (0 pts)
  • ~1 tsp mustard
  • salt and pepper

Then we boiled blanched some green beans (from the farm share!) by boiling them for 3 minutes and then putting them in an ice bath to stop them from cooking. Mean while we boiled some red and white potatoes that my sister gave us from her farm share (she had extra!) and also made 2 hard boiled eggs. Once everything was cooked/cooled, we tossed it in the dressing and there was enough to coat everything.

It was almost like a nicoise salad (without the tuna) and was perfect for a late night meal on the balcony. The dressing was SO good and really low point/calorie (just 3 for the whole recipe, so 1.5 each). We both were tempted to lick our plates since they were left with some dressing (and no bread), but resisted the urge…

S0 I got my bridesmaid dress back today and it is TIGHT. I actually ended up switching up from a 10 to a 12 because my friend had the 12 and the 10 fit her better and vice versa, but when I went to get sized last week I had to get a few inches taken off the chest.  Well, today I go to pick it up and she was closing shop, so I just brought the dress upstairs without trying it on. I got upstairs and could not zip the dress (plus Wil wasn’t home yet so I didn’t have someone to help me) so that’s when I set out on the ride. After getting home (and showering) I tried the dress on again and Wil was able to zip it, but it is quite snug. It fits and actually looks good on because of the cut, but its very tight across the top to the point of being a little uncomfortable.

That said, this week I’m going to try to eat pretty light in order to help me breathe better on Saturday… I’m going to cut back on carbs a bit for the next few days and just try to eat really clean and drink lots of water. It won’t be that different than how I normally eat, there will just be less indulgences, and absolutely no alcohol. I plan to stick to my points every day (not eat less than, and not eat my activity points like I normally do) and try to work out tomorrow, Wednesday, and Thursday. There may also be some Spanx in my future… blah.

I do NOT recommend the place I went to get my dress tailored…

Serial Snacker

Another gorgeous day… this is incredible after the over-the-top heat from last week/the weekend.

Yesterday was a really snacky day after lunch. It’s funny because having the blog and documenting my food helps me notice trends in my eating bigtime. And then trend from yesterday was snacks.

“Dessert” was frozen grapes.

Ever tried these? You just rinse and freeze the grapes overnight and they are one of the best snacks ever because they taste like sherbet, take a while to eat, and are only 1 point for a cup and very nutritious! 🙂 Later I had an unpictured banana, and then when I got home from work I had two Wasa Crackers (1 pt) with a babybell cheese (1 pt).

I ended up going out for a nice bike ride after my snack. It was such a beautiful day out and though I had run in the morning, it was just a quick run (3 miles), plus I had nothing else to do! Stats:

Distance: 10.23 miles

Duration: 46:14 min

Avg. Speed: 13.3 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:31 min/mile

Calories: 535

Amazing ride in the perfect weather, plus I had thrown together a smoothie before the ride so was fantasizing about it the whole way and dove into it immediately when I got home.

In the mix:

  • 1 cup light soy milk (1 pt)
  • 1 medium frozen banana (1.5 pts)
  • two handfuls of spinach (0 pts)
  • 1/2 tsp cocoa powder (0 pts)
  • vanilla extract (0 pts)
  • few ice cubes (0 pts)

I topped it with a packet of barney butter (90 calories – 2 pts) and it was soooooo good. I ate it out on my balcony to enjoy the beautiful night a bit more.

A few hours later I made a small quesadilla with 2 corn tortillas (2 pts), RF shredded mozzarella cheese (1 pt) and garlic gold (0 pts).

And then a baby bowl of cereal with 1/2 cub fiber one (0 pts), 3/4 cup Puffins (1 pt) and ~1 cup of light soy milk (1 pt).

And then I felt satisfied so I went to bed.

Lesson learned? Eat a bigger snack in the afternoon and a meal at night. Should be intuitive, but everyone works at their own pace, right? 😉

This morning breakfast was simple because I was feeling lazy in the cooking department.

Stonyfield Organic Blueberry Yogurt (2 pts) with 1/4 cup rolled oats (1 pt)  and a pink lady apple (1 pt).

Are you a snacker or more into eating larger meals? What are some of your favorite snacks?

Picnic and a Mystery

The weather has been amazing in DC since yesterday, which left me with no excuse to not go running both yesterday and today before work! Not to toot my own horn (ok, maybe a little) but I have been doing a really good job at getting up and working out in the AM which is very unlike me. It feels so good and I hope its a habit I can keep up!

OK rewind to last night… my boyfriend has a daughter, Charlotte, and her and her sister Nora have been staying with us since Monday. Last night I got to hang out with the girls while my boyfriend worked, and we decided to have a picnic! They brought bikes with them, so we went on a quick bikeride (3 miles in total) and I was super impressed with their biking skills, considering they are 6 and 9. Here’s a picture of them with their bikes:

That’s Nora on the left and Charlotte on the right. We brought a sheet with us and I we packed up sandwiches, fruit, and chips to have outside.

I made turkey and cheese on wheat for them, and I had tempeh and cheese for myself. Here’s a picture of my plate:

The sandwich had:

  • 2 slices of wheat bread (2.5 pts)
  • a little more than 1/2 serving tempeh (2.5 pts)
  • 75% RF Cabot Cheddar (1 pt)
  • yellow squash (0 pts)
  • romaine (0 pts)

On the side I also had:

  • raspberries (.5 pt)
  • carrots (0 pts)
  • watermelon (1.5 pts)
  • pretzels (2 pts)

We had such a fun time sitting outside by the water and then climbing on the rocks. Hanging out with kids makes me feel like a kid again, and I love it. 🙂

Fast forward to this morning and I woke up really early (as in 6:45am) to go out for a run. I snoozed a few times and then finally got myself out of bed, into my running clothes, and out the door. I ran 3.0 miles in just under 30 minutes, but I honestly struggled a bit today during my run. I had to really push myself to keep going and felt like stopping after the first half a mile and then for most of the rest of the run. I’m not sure why exactly, but I did feel great after it was over and proud that I got up for the second day in a row to run before work.

Breakfast was true overnight oats (as in I actually made them last night!) with a topping I haven’t had in years.

Fluff! I saw fluff as a topping on Lori’s blog on several occassions and finally bought a jar of it when I remembered. I got around to using it today and it was a nice treat. 2 tablespoons only has 40 calories (1 pt), so the 1 tbsp I put on there only added .5 points to the bowl and was totally worth it.

In the mix:

  • 1/3 cup rolled oats (1.5 pts)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds (.5 pts)
  • 1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder (1 pt)
  • 2/3 cup light soy milk (1 pt)
  • 1 tbsp fluff (.5 pts)
  • 1/4 cup fiber one (0 pts)

Mmmmm. I ate breakfast out on my balcony and it was SO nice to be outside. I’m trying to spend as much time as possible outside to soak in this amazing weather! After breakfast, I picked up my CSA for the week, which had a lot of fruit this time!

This week I got:

  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Plums
  • Beets
  • Broccoli
  • A mystery herb

Do you know what kind of herb this is?? Ever seen it before?

Also, is this not the tiniest beet you’ve ever seen?

🙂

Gone Crabbin’

Hi! I’m just getting settled back in after the weekend away for Father’s Day. It turned out to be an awesome weekend but went by way too quickly, as they usually do. Friday night I picked my boyfriend up from work and we left DC around 7 to head to my parent’s house in New Jersey. It ended up taking us just over 3 hours, so we arrived around 10:30p, chatted a bit, and then crashed pretty hard.

For father’s day this year, my dad decided he wanted to do fishing of some sort, but after working out the logistics we all decided crabbing would be a better option. We had to get out there early, so woke up at 6am on Saturday and got in the car before 7 to head to the bay. I wasn’t really sure what to expect, but it was SO awesome. We couldn’t have asked for a more gorgeous day – it was in the 80s but dry, sunny, and just the right amount of breeze. Here’s a picture of my sister, her hubby Justin, and my mom on out boat, and you can see the gorgeous weather in the background.

Here I am, happy as a clam (or crab?)

We got taken out into the bay just after 8 and ended up staying out for 5 hours. They give you drop lines where you put the bait (whole fish that you cut up!) onto a hook and then drop it into the water. It’s not like fishing because you don’t hook the crabs, you just slowly bring them up towards the service while they’re eating the bait and then catch them with a net. We also had crab traps which you drop off the side of the boat after securing the bait in them, and then pull up periodically to check for crabs. Once you get the crabs, you put them into a bushel ont he boat, and then keep crabbing for more. It was really fun, and the 5 hours seriously flew by. I couldn’t believe it was time to go when it was, but we left with A LOT of crabs. Here’s a look at our catches of the day.

We ended up leaving with over 50 crabs! I was so excited to have a crab feast, but unfortunately didn’t get that great of pictures because I was very ready to eat them by then! We ended up boiling them with some of the crab seasoning we bought at the shop which was basically Old Bay. I use the term “we” loosely because my boyfriend did all the cooking, but I stood by and steadily handed him beer, a necessity alongside crabs, if you ask me. 😉 Here they are cooking and ready to be picked.

And a picture of our setup outside with newspaper down for easy cleanup.

My sister, Dad, and Grandma getting excited about picking! You can’t see it well, but I ended up grilling some fresh New Jersey corn to go with the crabs, and my boyfriend made an awesome potato salad with dill, mayo, vinegar, and mustard. My mom also whipped up some coleslaw which got good reviews too, but I’m not a fan of coleslaw so didn’t have any. It was such a fun day! I loved the simplicity of it all – sitting out on a boat with a string catching the crabs one by one, and then later eating what we caught. I’d never been crabbing before and the whole experience was awesome, the catching and eating ranking pretty similar in my book.

We ended up watching last week’s premier of Top Chef and then getting to bed pretty early. I woke up around 7:45 and went on a bike ride with my dad this morning. It’s funny because he loves to bike ride and always used to beg me to go on rides with him a few years ago and I hated it. Sometimes I would begrudgingly go and my butt would be so sore and I just wasn’t in any shape to be riding long distances. But yesterday, I actually asked him if he wanted to go on a bike ride today and he was so happy – my how the tables have turned! Here’s today’s stats:

Duration: 1h27min53sec

Distance: 17.03 miles

Avg. Speed: 11.6 mph

Avg. Pace: 5:09 min/mile

Calories: 751

It was a great ride – and it had been too long since my last one! My camera actually died so I didn’t take any pictures of my meals today, but my mom and I made everyone eggs after the ride with tomatoes, onions, spinach and cheese. I also cut up a canteloupe from the farmer’s market and mixed it with some blueberries – and we had some homemade biscuits that were left over from the crab feast. After breakfast we got on the road back and made it home in just over 3 hours. We’re now just relaxing and looking forward to True Blood tonight and laying low.

How was your weekend?

Picnic!

Today ended up being such an awesome day! I didn’t come back for lunch because I didn’t really eat lunch today. Breakfast was so late and then I grazed over some of the leftover pastries until they were gone… so much for my tips on being good at potlucks/office meals!! 😉 It was soooo hot outside today and sunny, so we decided to take an afternoon trip to Starbucks and I got a Grande Caramel Light Frappucino… first one of the season!

I never get these, but saw it on the menu and it just spoke to me. So good and really good against the hot weather!

After I got out of work, I came home and changed into my bike clothes to go meet my friends Amber and Meredith for a picnic in DC! I really wanted to get a workout in, so I decided to bike into DC rather than metro or drive, and ended up getting in 11 miles there and back! I had a banana before my ride because I was getting pretty hungry, and the ride itself went really well. Today’s round trip stats:

Distance: 11.00 miles

Duration: 54:25

Avg. Speed: 12.1 mph

Avg. Pace: 4:56 min/mile

Calories: 554

I was happy with these stats because about 2 miles was biking through DC so there was a lot of stopping at lights, dodging cars, going slow, etc. The parts on the trail were quicker, and then in the city slower, so I was pleased with the average pace and total distance I did.

The picnic itself was so fun! We walked over to a grassy area near the Potomac and set out a sheet to sit on and set out all the food.

I brought the Flat-Out Wraps, pretzels, tomato, and arugula, and Amber and Meredith picked up all the rest of the veggies (avocado, red bell pepper, sugar snap peas, sprouts, and carrots), crumbled goat cheese, hummus, and some wine! We all made wraps with the veggies, cheese, and hummus. Here was mine:

It had arugula on the bottom, tomato, avocado, hummus, and goat cheese. I rolled it up and then had some pretzels, sugar snap peas, and red bell peppers on the side.

Delicious! It felt so nice to have a healthy picnic with lots of veggies and snacks. The wine spritzers didn’t hurt, either! We had such a nice time with the three of us.

That’s Amber, Yours Truly, and Meredith. The three of us were college orientation roommates (so long ago!!) and now we all still hang out 8 years later.

Are most of your current friends from high school, college, post college, or another source (work etc)? I have a handful of friends I’m still in touch with from high school, but most of my closest friends are from college. I do have a few close friends I’ve met through work too but the majority are from GW! 🙂

Super Saturday

Today has been such a fun day, minus the one little bump in the road (quite literally).

My friend Lianne met me at my apartment, and then we biked into DC along the Mount Vernon Trail to meet up with our other friends. There were 6 of us in total, and we ended up biking all around the monuments and feeling like tourists, in a good way. It was fun snapping pictures of ourselves around the monuments, but the crowds everywhere did leave something to be desired.

We had a picnic down near the monuments on the grass and everyone contributed different things to the picnic.

We had:

  • Egg Salad
  • Regular salad w cheese, grapes, and chickpeas
  • Celery
  • Crackers
  • Bread
  • Hummus
  • Strawberries
  • Goat Cheese
  • Brie Cheese
  • Wine

I had a bit of everything while we chilled out in the sun. It was such a gorgeous day and the weather held up the whole time. After our picnic, we biked over to the Jefferson Memorial to explore a bit. Here we all are during a break from biking:

Katie, Kat, Me, Lianne, Amy, and Martyna

And here’s Lianne and I, a little sweaty but happy 🙂 We stopped for frozen yogurt at one point in the Old Post Office building, and I got a medium half vanilla half strawberry nonfat.

It was good, but not as good as my regular fro yo place. This was sweetened and didn’t sit that great in my stomach on the rest of the ride, but definitely tasted good and refreshing during the day of being outdoors.

We also went by the White House and saw a few other memorials, and then I ended up biking home. My Garmin said we had gone around 17 miles when I was within 2 miles of my apartment, and all of a sudden I heard a “pop” and my tire blew out! I had never had this happen before, didn’t have a repair kit with me (not that I would have had any clue what to do with it) but kept surprisngly cool and just decided to walk my bike the last 2 miles home. One guy stopped and asked me if I needed some help but said he had a tube but it wouldn’t fit my tire and apologized. I was surprised how nice he was to stop and offer to help considering he didn’t know me at all.

Then, another girl, Christy, stopped and insisted on helping me. She pulled out all these tools, an extra tube, an air pump, and several other gadgets that I needed to get. She said she was happy to help and it gave her a break from riding. She took out the tube and replaced it with an extra one she had, and walked me through the whole process so I think I can do it on my own next time! She was so nice, and I was seriously taken aback by how out of her way she went for me. Something I will definitely pay forward as soon as I figure out what I’m doinge. I was able to ride the last 1.5 miles home no problem on the tire, and I’m so relieved it was a simple fix! I must go to the bike store soon though to get all these gadgets I need, and now vaguely know how to use.

In the end, the Garmin said I traveled around 19 miles and the total time was a bit over 2 hours. I was biking pretty fast to DC and home from there, but the whole time around DC and the monuments we were all going very slow because there were so many people out and it was impossible to go fast.

All in all, today was a fabulous day! I can’t believe how nice people are in DC, and it was so amazing spending the whole day outside picnicking and biking. What a day!

Sweet Potato Gnocchi

Hiya! Can you believe tomorrow is already Friday and there’s a whole night of great TV ahead!? Sounds good to me! 🙂

After work, I stopped by the Farmer’s Market. I had brought $20 to spend with me, so I did a loop first to check out what they had, and then went back and bought the things I wanted. I spent exactly $20, and did REALLY well.

I got:

  • 1 bunch fresh sage
  • 1 bag of spinach
  • 1 bag of kale
  • 2 turnips
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 pink lady apples
  • 2 fuji apples
  • 2 sweet potatoes
  • 2 white potatoes

My CSA starts the first week of June, so I cannot wait! I’m basically paying $22 a week and am supposed to be getting 6-8 types of produce every week. I’m so excited to see what they give me and to try new fruits and veggies. I’ll probably still go to the Farmer’s Market a little bit to supplement what I get in the farm share, but I’m going to play it by ear because this is my first time ever doing a CSA so I’m not even sure how much I’ll get exactly/how long it’ll last. All I know is I’m excited for it to start!

My post from earlier really did pump me up a bit and reading all your comments about loving biking made me smile. I went for a nice ride after work and was speedier than usual! I think I’m getting the hang of biking more, and I came back and was a bit sweaty so I feel like I got a good workout. Here are today’s stats:

Distance: 8.01 miles

Duration: 34:25

Avg. Pace: 4:17 min/mile (!!)

Avg. Speed: 14.0 mph

Calories Burned: 449

I felt so good during the ride, and I kept glancing down at my Garmin and was going over 15.0mph during a lot of the ride. On the past few rides I was struggling to get up to 15, and this time I wasn’t even focusing on speed too much and was going that fast or faster! Exciting stuff. 🙂

For some reason I woke up today and my first thought was Sweet Potato Gnocchi. Now I have never in my life made gnocchi, or even attempted it, and the thought of making homemade gnocchi makes a lot of people cringe. I decided to give it a go and looked up some recipes today to get an idea of the process and then sort of made my own. While I was biking, I baked 2 sweet potatoes for 1 hour at 400 degrees (not advisable but no fire here) which sped up the whole process greatly.

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • ~2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

I started by putting the cooked sweet potatoes in a large bowl after removing the skin (which came off easily). I mashed the potatoes up with a potato masher, but a ricer is supposed to work better (but I don’t own one).

I let that cool for about 15 minutes (so the egg doesn’t scramble!) and then added the egg, salt, and pumpkin pie spice.

I mixed that together, and then started adding the whole wheat flour, 1/2 cup at a time.

I used 2 full cups of flour, but you’re supposed to go by texture, not measurements, because it depends on the size of the egg, potatoes, and the humidity in the air. You want the dough to not be sticky, but want to be careful not to add too much flour so it stays fluffy. Once you’ve gotten it to your desired texture, put flour down on your counter and place the ball of dough on top of the flour.

Cut the ball into 4 segments.

And keep the flour close while you roll each of the four sections into logs. You’ll need extra to keep it from sticking to your hands/the counter. Not gonna lie, this part was a bit tedious.

Then you want to cut the log into gnocchi sized pieces, about 1/2 – 3/4 inch thick.

Repeat until all of the dough is cut.

Salt and boil a pot of water, and gently place gnocchi in the water. Once they start to float, leave for another 1-2 minutes. Remove them with a slotted spoon into a colander, and then top them with your sauce of choice.

I made an Almond Butter Sauce:

  • 2 tbsp soy milk
  • 2 tbsp almond butter
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce

Microwave for 30 seconds and stir together. I tossed 1/2 of this sauce with a batch of the gnocchi.

Tada! It turned out pretty good! Not the best gnocchi I’ve ever had, but I enjoyed it and the sauce went really well with the sweet potato. This would be a great sauce to make with the Sweet Potato Ravioli. The gnocchi were a little heavier than ideal because of the whole wheat flour. Most recipes called for white flour but I really wanted to use whole wheat. Next time I might do half whole wheat, half white, and I’ve also heard its good to mix some white/russet potato in with the sweet potato to get the right consistency. Either way, I’m pretty impressed with my first attempt ever at gnocchi and it was a lot less scary than I was expecting!

For dessert, I had an ice cream-less sundae that was out of this world!

I didn’t even miss the ice cream! In the bowl:

  • 1 chocolate walnut vitabrownie
  • 1 sliced banana
  • sprinkle of coconut flakes
  • drizzle of light Hershey’s syrup
  • drizzle of almond butter
  • 1 tbsp dark chocolate chunks

Amazing way to end that meal. This post is getting long so I’m going to go relax. Have a good night!!

1 2