Scenes from a Long Weekend-Part I

Coming off a long weekend is really hard. It’s Wednesday, but my body thinks that it’s Tuesday…and my brain just really wants it to be Friday again! Combine that with the food hangover from eating…everything… yikes! See the dilemma?

Anyway, Ben and I were super blessed this weekend as we had family visiting. My dad and his wife and their good friend Gary rolled into town on Friday night. I picked them up on Saturday morning and we took a leisurely drive to Saranac Lake, NY…about an hour away.

You see, there was this amazing local food festival going on in conjunction with the Saranac Lake Farmers’ Market. It was the Farm 2 Fork Festival. Click here for more info. Basically, it’s a celebration of local growers and producers…and lots of delicious food, demonstrations and workshops.

It was $10 for a ticket and you got to try a lot of good food, made by locals–right up my alley! Unfortunately it as a bit of a dreary day, but that didn’t stop us from getting our localvore on…

Anyway, here are some photos….

The menu

The menu

 

Dad and me.... in the drizzle...

Dad and me…. in the drizzle…

 

Plate 1...the first trip around... loved the quinoa!

Plate 1…the first trip around… loved the quinoa!

 

Dad, totally thrilled that I'm taking his picture....

Dad, totally thrilled that I’m taking his picture….

 

Plate 2: not as much as plate 1, but holy moly that ice cream was delicious!

Plate 2: not as much as plate 1, but holy moly that ice cream was delicious!

 

Speaking of ice cream....

Speaking of ice cream….

 

I loved this station...

I loved this station…

 

Fridge Pickle Bar

Fridge Pickle Bar

 

Kale and Carrots...

Kale and Carrots…

 

I love purple.

I love purple.

 

One farmer had such gorgeous flowers...I took 2341354132 photos.

One farmer had such gorgeous flowers…I took 2341354132 photos. And I loved this kohlrabi!

 

Sprouts and spuds!

Sprouts and spuds!

 

Radishes...be still my beating heart!

Radishes…be still my beating heart!

 

I love all the color!

I love all the color!

 

a closer look....

a closer look….

 

More flowers...

More flowers…

 

 

 

Anyway, as you can see…I had a really good time strolling around the market, eating and hanging out with the family…but that’s not all that we did this weekend!  Stay tuned for more scenes….

 

How was your long weekend? Any big plans for September? What did you eat this weekend?!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Squash Mystery Solved

Folks,

Mystery solved. We’ve got pumpkins… These are the first of many…although none of them really look alike. We also have what we think is a scallop squash and an albino pumpkin. Cross-breeding in action?

Sigh, I think we’re going to be making a lot of cookies and pie…

Three not-so-little-pumpkins

Three not-so-little-pumpkins

Happy Thursday!

What are you growing? Any mystery plants in your garden? Have any good pumpkin recipes to share?


Garden Variety

As promised, here is a Garden Update.

First: All of the rain we’ve gotten has made gardening a challenge. Simply put, we just had too much water!

The plus side of all the rain? We have ha so many greens!

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lettuce, Swiss chard, beet greens.

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On repeat, Beets and greens, Swiss Chard, more lettuce (oak leaf, I think?)

The potatoes have also exploded… Farmer Ben got a little excited and dug up one of the plants… when the rest are ready, we’re going to have to clear out an entire closet to store them…. but there’s something about home-grown potatoes. So good.

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These will be perfect in breakfast burritos.

Our scallions, chives and dill are taking over. We also had a ridiculous amount of cilantro, but we had to pull it and dry it because of all the water.

Chest High Dill... this has been pulled and is now drying.

Chest High Dill… this has been pulled and is now drying.

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Some of my favorite things….

Our peppers and eggplant are only doing so-so…it’s going to be sheer luck if we get a big yield this year. But we have gotten a few jalapenos.

The tomatoes (my favorite) were off to a rough start but have since flourished. I can’t wait until they all ripen! We even got a couple of random plants that popped up. Score!

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The corn, beans and squash are coming along.  Ben is a big fan of the three sisters method, as you can see. We planted a red corn (bloody butcher, I think) for drying and a later season bean.

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Teamwork in Nature

The garlic seems to keep coming back, but we’re not sure how. It’s a survivor.

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Garlic and Carrots…and more squash.

 

The chocolate mint won’t leave.

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Chocolate mint jungle. There is no way to kill mint or to remove it from your garden once it’s been planted: In other news, this has all been pulled and is now being dried for tea.

Our sauce tomatoes (Paisanos) are doing the best out of all the plants. We’re going to be making a LOT of sauce in the next couple of weeks!

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tomato jungle

Farmer Ben and I had a lot of winter squash this year and we put the seeds in our composter. Well, sometimes when you do that, you get mystery plants that take over half of the garden…

This squash plant?

First we thought it was zucchini, then we thought and 8-ball zucchini…then an acorn squash. Now we think it’s a pie pumpkin. Whatever it is, we are going to have a lot of them.

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Can you guess what this is?

Our beets and greens did pretty well. The beets were small, but so tasty and we got a huge yield of beet greens (and to be honest, that’s my favorite part anyway).

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Beets… and more squash.

Again, our beans seem to be doing pretty well, and they provided the perfect shaded area for our lettuce.

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Bean Tee-Pee

We also had Swiss Chard come back this year. Not that we mind because we both love it.

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A box of Chard

Here are some more photos of our mystery squash. Does anyone know what kind it is? Again, we are narrowing it down to pie pumpkins… but we could be wrong.

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And last but not least, here is our potato jungle. I think potatoes are the my favorite item to harvest and it looks like we are going to have a lot of them.

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So there you have it… Farmer Ben’s been working really hard, and although the garden isn’t exactly as we planned it out this year (random squash, Swiss chard and tomato plants, mint take-over), we are enjoying the fruits (err…veggies!) of our (mostly his) labor.

We’ve also been able to share with our friends and loved ones, which is an equally amazing feeling.

What are you growing this year? Did you have any mystery plants? What challenges are you dealing with in your garden?

Happy Friday!

 

 


GBN-Marathon Training Update

Wow…how long has it been since I’ve done a Gross But Necessary Post?! I guess it’s time to get back in the habit! As this is a marathon training update, it’ll be a little different than previous GBN posts, but you still get the gross pics. Lucky you!

When I last updated you on training, I was working on saying no, scheduling, upgrading my gear, listening to my body and ditching my scale. I’m now about half-way through my training…all I can say is, HOLY CRAP!

So how am I doing?

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Sweaty Mess?

1. Saying no. I’ve gotten a lot better at this, but I’m still overbooking. I’ve got to stick to my guns and be more firm, but it’s coming along.

2. Scheduling. This goes hand in hand with number 1. My work schedule has been pretty nuts, so I’ve had a hard time scheduling my runs…but I’ve been doing some night running and even dragged my butt out of bed for a quick 6 am run! It’s a miracle!

I’ve already made sure that I have the days of my 20 mile runs off…. I just don’t think I’ll be up for a night of work after running that far.

Glowing!

Glowing!

3. Upgrading my gear. This is taking me longer than planned. Right now I’ve got the new kicks and the CamelBak…I need to save up more tip money for the rest of the gear I want.

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

Mizuno Wave Inspire 9s

4. Listening to my body. As I mentioned before, I’m still having some foot issues, forcing me to skip some of my training runs (a week and a half!)… this has been so frustrating! But I’ve been really good about stretching, taking a day off or rearranging my runs if I need it (grr…), and wearing proper shoes, even if it means that I have to wear sneakers to job 1, which I’ve been doing a lot lately. I’ve also been mindful of the heat…I’ve been doing some late night runs simply because it’s been hot and humid.

After a (still very humid) night run.

After a (still very humid) night run.

I’ve also been working on hydration and fuel and got a super exciting sample that I’ll be trying out on my long run this weekend…I can’t wait to share the results with you! I’m starting to figure out what foods my body works best with, and (a little bit to my surprise) all of those giant salads I’ve been eating seem to really help. Eat your veggies!

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

A simple green salad topped with yellow carrots, scallions and a mustard vinaigrette.

I’ve been taking the CamelBak out on my medium and long runs…I don’t know how I ever ran without it.

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5. Ditching my scale. July is flying by and I’ve stuck with not using my scale. I’ve been eating when I’m hungry and eating quality whole foods, save for the ice cream the hubby and I treated ourselves to twice. I’ve been feeling pretty good.

Confession: I did weigh myself once in a moment of weakness. And you know, I was exactly the same weight.

Overall: Not gonna lie, I had a mini-inner-freakout last week about having to take some time off to rest my feet, but I took another look at my training schedule, talked to my boss at the restaurant about time off for my long runs coming up and just took a deep breath. And you know, I’m feeling pretty good. Right now, my goal is to finish injury-free. I know I’m not going to break any records, but it will be a personal record for me. And that’s the most important part.

I was feeling a bit nervous about my 17 mile run this weekend, but I’m just going to take it one mile at a time.

How is your summer training going?! Anything you’re struggling with?

Happy Running!

Noelle


Marathon Training: Update

Marathon Training is challenging. The running itself isn’t the hard part, it’s really the time needed to DO the running…among all of the other things.

Does that sound weird?

You have to make sacrifices:

Like not sleeping in, waking up early (Ha!) or staying up an hour or two later to get that training run in,  skipping out on a happy hour or a shift drink after work or not having a meal with your hubby because you want to avoid running at the hottest part of the day….

And you have to schedule….Ew.

I’ve mentioned this before. And I’ve talked about how I am going to work on saying no and plan ahead… but stuff comes up…I’ve found myself overwhelmed more than a couple of times and wondering how I’m going to fit in my long run…or any run, depending on the week!

But…I’m dealing with it. And I’ve gotten better about saying no…most of the time. I have so much respect for those who are busier than myself and are still able to get out there and make things happen. Mad props.

But it’s worth it. Once you find that time and get out on the road, it’s just  you, the run, your faith and…time. Perfection.

I’ve also been focusing on upgrading my running gear:

I recently purchased a CamelBak for my long runs, because, more than likely I am not going to get out as early as I want to and running in the heat is no fun.

I also bit the bullet and spent way more money that I usually do on a pair of running shoes. I went with the Mizuno Wave Inspire 9. I went with these shoes because they have more support, something I’m finding I need with longer distances.  I’m taking them out for the first time tonight!

Next up: Sports bras and better bottoms. Any suggestions?!

Listening to my body:

The shoes I was running in before aren’t that old, but I’ve had some serious foot pain–so much that I took the last week completely off (I was still active, but I wasn’t running)–and the last thing I want is to be sidelined with an injury.

My other (super light-weight) sneakers are great for shorter runs, but after about 6 or 7 miles, I want to cut my feet off….and then I hobble around for the next few DAYS. I don’t have time for that! Lately, I’ve been doing more hobbling around more often than not…not a good sign.

I was adhering to the “tough it out” school of thought, but after a solid three days of hurting, I finally caved.

It sucked taking a week off, and I hate to skip a long run…but my foot pain has decreased drastically and I’m feeling rested.

I’m feeling confident that rest, combined with better shoes and a focus on stretching (ahem…) will help.

Not beating myself up:

I’ve mentioned before that I am not as fast as I was at this time last year… and in all honesty, on some of my long runs, I’ve had to stop and walk… this would have infuriated me last year…but now I’m okay with it.

I’ve come back from being injured and trying to prevent (or remedy?) a new injury. If this means I need to walk for a few minutes on a 14 mile run, I am okay with that. In the grand scheme of things, it doesn’t make a huge difference.  I’m still out there doing it.

Ditching my scale (for now):

This is something new, allow me to explain.

I’ve been annoyed (especially for the last month) because my weight has not budged. I’ll have the normal 1-2 pound fluctuation, but the number has not changed…. then I went up a pound… again, in the grand scheme of things, this doesn’t make a huge difference. I know that that number doesn’t mean perfect health and overall I am healthy and fit…

But it’s still frustrating, especially when I’m doing a lot of running, eating whole foods and staying active.

Instead of getting angry, I’m focusing on the fact that I’ve lost 30+ pounds and maintained that for quite some time… and my body is such a powerful creation that it can handle whatever I throw out at it. It can adjust and adapt without missing a beat. That is pretty amazing, right?

I stumbled on the Darwinian Fail’s #bodyLOVE challenge today and decided to join. One of the steps is to ditch your scale for the month of July. So I figured, why not?

I’m doing it… I’m going to focus that negative attention to training and to fueling my body with the right foods. I eat healthy for the most part, but in case you missed my last post, I’ve been indulging the last few days…80/20 principle, right?!

In short, marathon training is going. It’s a learning process but I am doing it. Loving it. And I’m learning to appreciate myself in that process.

What are you training for? How do you handle injury and time obstacles?

Happy Running!


Speaking of Challenges…

It’s Friday.  The Friday of a very long week. A long week, but a good week.

I’ve been feeling very accomplished this week, sticking to my challenges and taking on new ones as I go. For real, I could take over the world today!

  • As far as my MFP 50 day challenge goes, I have lost a little over 2 pounds so far. Not too shabby! I also got in a run with Farmer Ben last night and have been doing well at watching what I eat. I’ve been completing the mini-challenges within the group-so much motivation!
  • My clean eating challenge? I ate out last night at one of my local favorites, but it was a belated birthday dinner… other than that, I haven’t even gotten a coffee this week! So big!
  • I’ve been doing a lot of soul-searching and decision-making. And prayer (or circle-making). Big things on the horizon. I can feel it!
  • 30 days of gratitude is making me count my blessings. I am overflowing with joy when I realize how blessed I am.

On another note, I got a call from a friend yesterday asking me to fill in at a performance his theatre class is doing. It’s tomorrow. I got the script this afternoon. I haven’t been on stage (in a theatre production) in about 6 years. To say I am a little nervous is an understatement. EEEK!

I also made a deal with one of my MFP Buddies to attend a spin class next week. Something new. Totally new!

But I’ll be okay. I’m just looking at both of these opportunities as another little challenge…that I will win. Or learn from…or at least get a laugh out of.

So, in the spirit of spontaneity and taking on challenges, I am asking you to branch out this weekend. Do something unexpected and out of the ordinary! Big or small, just try something new!

Then, tell me about it!!! I’ll feature your obstacles, your successes and maybe failures growth opportunities in a post sometime next week. 

I want to know what you are doing and how you are taking on the world…or yourself!

You can either send me an email at noellesnotebook (@)gmail.com or leave a comment below. Please get me your stories by Tuesday, November 13.

So fill me in!

Happy weekend!

 


Hotter Than….

Jalapenos. I love them. Especially fresh out of the garden.

That being said, we are currently trying to figure out what to do with all of them! I’m in pepper heaven.

They’ve been pickled, sauced, jammed, fried and added as toppings to almost everything I’ve eaten lately.

Two nights ago, I stumbled upon a brilliant idea… I don’t exactly know how I came up with this… or why I never thought of it before. Sigh, so much wasted time!

Jalapeno Hummus. It’s spicy, tangy, smooth, hot. Delicious. And I think I have a new food addiction… no big deal.
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You’re welcome.

Jalapeno Hummus:

Ingredients:

  • 1 large can chickpeas (you can also use dried and soak overnight)
  • 3 fresh jalapenos, seeds and stems removed
  • 2 cloves garlic (the bigger the better)
  • A pinch of sea salt-or to taste
  • A few cranks of crushed black pepper
  • About 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Half a lemon
  • Roughly 2-3 tbsp. tahini

What to do:

Drain chickpeas and dump into food processor. Add in jalapenos, garlic, sea salt, pepper and olive oil (I roughly chopped my japs before doing this).

Process until the mixture is smooth, with some chunks. Squeeze in juice from half a lemon (and some zest if you’re feeling adventurous!) and tahini.  Blend until desired consistency.

Serve with your favorite snacking vegetables, crackers or as a sandwich spread. Hummus will last, sealed and refrigerated for a few days…if it lasts that long.

Happy Friday!