My brother’s wedding

This past Saturday, my oldest brother got married to a wonderful woman I’m happy to call my sister. It was quite a fun weekend and I woke up Monday more exhausted than my last race. I’d say I did that wedding thing right.

On Saturday both my date and I had to work until mid afternoon, so after getting cleaned up and dressed, we headed to my parent’s house to take some pictures (and fill my tires with air).

Don’t we look spiffy? My sister has beautiful long hair and she did it in a fishtail style which looked lovely.

The wedding was held at the New Park Event Center in Ithaca, NY. The day was perfect. It was about 70 degrees with a slight breeze. I was very happy for this, as my dress was sleeveless and nothing is worse than being cold and having to wear a sweater over a fabulous dress.

P.S. I got it from my mom’s boutique, Fabulous But Frugal (wink wink).

My brother looked very handsome, and Cassidy, his wife, stole the gaze of everyone with her gold dress and ornate hair.

I thought he was going to lose it, but my brother held it together for the whole ceremony. The love he has for her is so wonderful.

After they tied the knot, we took pictures all around the event center. The owner has been all over the world and so each room had a theme and tons of neat stuff he brought back from his travels.

Don’t we look great? 

After pictures, we had dinner, toasts were made (all the groomsmen said something about my mom’s pie…?) and then it was time to dance! Isaac was such a great sport and danced almost the entire time with me. I’m glad I brought him!

This wedding made me so happy to be in a big family. I just couldn’t help but be thankful for everyone who came, for the love that was shown and all the fun we had. It was a night I’ll remember.

On Sunday, I was woken up each hour from like 4-7AM by our cat Mo, so I got up around 7:30 and went for a nice run in the daylight. I forget how beautiful running in the fall foliage is, especially when the weather is perfect.

I then went back to New Park for the post wedding brunch with the wedding party and close family. That was delicious as well and it was nice to just sit and talk with my brother and new sister. We were all exhausted, but in that Blissful way, almost like after a race. Just tired and happy.

My mom and I walked around the park admiring all the decorations that were harder to see the night of the wedding. I called this a rickshaw, but it’s most likely not hahaha

I travelled to my parent’s house to score some leftover food and pie from the rehearsal dinner I was unable to attend on Friday. I am definitely enjoying that this week. My mom needed to get to her boutique, so I left and did a bit of grocery shopping on my way home.

That afternoon I met with a guy in Dryden about a pop-up camper, which looked great, but I didn’t buy it…

I finished the afternoon vegging out watching Beauty and the Beast (Emma Watson you are perfect) and prepping some food for the week (rice, veggies, carrot hummus etc).

I think I fell asleep at like 7.

A great weekend. I have a new sister.

Weekly Breakfast Staple #1: Cereal with peanut butter and nuts

In addition to oatmeal, which I tabulated in a recent post, I frequently eat cereal in the mornings. It sounds boring and almost immature to me when people over the age of 19 used to say they still eat cereal, but I have come around.

Cereal is not just Lucky Charms and Cocoa Krispies anymore. There are so many great and nutrient dense choices these days and the best part, they are generic brand. I don’t know about you, but I don’t think spending over $3 for a box of cereal that lasts me three bowls is worth it.

Let’s talk nutrition first. Whole grain cereal with nuts is perfect for me when I get done with my morning run. It is hearty, goes down easily and quick to make. Whole grains have fiber, vitamins and minerals that are important for recovery but also because after breakfast I am onto the next activity, which requires energy. I add peanut butter first because I love it and second because I found it keeps me fuller longer. Combining carbohydrates with a fat helps them digest slower and provides sustained energy. I began adding walnuts on top after finding them in my pantry and remembering how much I love them. Walnuts are both delicious, and also stay crunchy after the milk has made the cereal soggy. Oh yea, they also have something called Omega-3s for your brain or whatever. Regardless, they take the cereal up a level in flavor town.

Now, let’s talk budget. Cereal is more pricey per calorie than oats or another slow cooking grain. It is not however more pricey than bread. The bread I’m talking about is not the dollar per loaf cheap bread. If I’ve learned anything from my time at CTB, it’s that higher quality bread, even full of gluten and carbohydrates, is better for your body. Ingredients matter even if you’re on a budget.

Back to cereal, my local grocer sells most of its generic brand at $1.69-$1.99 per box. Because I combine two cereals usually when I eat it, and I add nuts and peanut butter, I get more bowls per box. I will be honest, if I just ate the cereal with milk and that’s it, I would get at the most three breakfasts. By adding in healthy, higher calorie foods, I can justify spending $2 on a box of cereal when that $2 might go further in terms of oats or rice.

This is my favorite bowl of cereal, broken down cost and calories.

Whole Grain Cereal with Peanut Butter and Nuts

1 c Fiber Cereal (Wegmans Brand): $0.62

1/2 c Wheat Berries Cereal (Wegmans Brand): $0.31

2 T peanut butter (Skippy Super Chunk): $0.19

1/2 c walnuts (Aldi’s brand): $1.08

1/2 c almond milk (Almond Breeze brand): $0.21

Total Cost: $2.41

Total Calorie: 860 (my fitness pal)

On a different note, I’m starting to send out my newsletter again. Links and films I’ve consumed and also I want to give more budget tips. Should I do those in the newsletter and more what I eat in a day on the blog? Should I do the money part on the blog and then the calorie part in the newsletter?

Help me organize!

9.9 Humbling, Beautiful Miles

My day started while it’s still dark. It usually does actually, but today even my later 6AM wake up was cloaked in a darkness I associate with fall running. This morning I had it in my mind to try for 10 miles. If my foot hurt, I would stop, but outside of that, 10 was the goal.

Damn, it was hard.

I can remember a time when 10 flat miles was cake. Ironically, during that time I questioned whether 10 miles was enough. Could I do more? Push harder? Is this right?

This morning, I felt no pressure to conform to that. I gave myself grace and acknowledged that this running thing is hard. Building fitness is a huge challenge. But it’s also my favorite part.

The first few miles are uneventful as my body wakes up and it’s still too dark to notice the beauty of my small town. I make it through Stewart Park and pass the college rowers warming up. I wonder what it would be like to be strong like that. I am strong too, but in a different way. I run over the two bridges, one is so wobbly I think about come winter if I’ll slip this year like the two previous. 

I make it over the four lane highway and to my turn at Buffalo street and wonder if I’ll make it to 10 miles. I’m at mile 4 and I can feel my fitness, or lack there of. I start getting into the podcast I’m listening to about cultivating a side hustle. Sweet Jesus I don’t have time for that right now, but it’s a great concept. My sister makes beautiful signs out of restored wood, I should encourage her to listen to this podcast, she has a side hustle.

I get to Cass Park and make it to the bathroom just in time to take my characteristic mid-run poop. I’ve tried to stop going outside if I can avoid it because you never know if you’ll show up in the news. Is my backside cute enough for Good Morning America? I don’t want to find out. Kim K already has made her ass into her side hustle so I think I have big competition (pun intended). 

I get to the turn around point and have a choice to make. Keep going home and end at 8 miles or do another loop of Cass and get to 10. I am questioning how my foot feels (fine) and how my fitness is (not great). I decide to try. Slow and steady, just move forward, get to the rink, get to the boats, back to the bridge, back on Buffalo. Now the straight away down to my end point, my work, to CTB for coffee and a cool down. 

I made it. I stop my watch, almost 10. 9.9. Good enough. Cool down routine using the tree outside, get a coffee (half hazelnut , half love buzz) and walk a half mile home.

I did it. It was hard. It was humbling. It was fucking beautiful.

See you out there (finally)!!!!!

Athlete On A Budget

I really like saving money. I like finding deals or simply learning to live with less. One of my favorite ways to do this is with food and cooking. Once I learned how to cook and make a few cheap staples, I’ve been able to both save money, but also afford higher quality items, such as organic or specialty things.

I have always enjoyed reading posts about how to eat well and not spend an arm and a leg. These resources were great, but I found myself constantly adjusting the amounts and therefore cost, because I eat a lot more than the average person. I eat like an athlete, so I taught myself how to do that while still living a frugal life.

For example, a normal breakfast for the average person might total 500 calories are cost $1.00, say oatmeal with milk and maple syrup or honey and fruit. For me, I add a few tablespoons of peanut butter and nuts to get myself to around 1,000 calories. It sounds like a lot, but three table spoons of peanut butter is 500 calories and depending on brand of peanut butter only costs you $0.20-$0.40.

I thought when I actually looked at my spending and eating, it would be a lot harder to stick to my budget, however on the contrary, the most nutrient dense and calorically dense foods did not have to be expensive. It was when I added extras like pre-made granola, superfoods or things not in season where the money added up.

I want to look at my day, break down the costs, calories and actually show how I eat like a plant based athlete on a budget.

I work at a job that takes care of my lunches and a snack or two, which is a huge benefit. However, when I am not at work, I eat mostly like what I would have for dinner, so the price is comparable. The following is what I eat in an average day, followed by the cost breakdown for my breakfast and dinner, which I eat quite a lot of when it gets cold.

Breakfast: oatmeal, peanut butter, walnuts, pumpkin seeds, banana

1/2 cup oatmeal (Wegmans bulk, organic): $0.62

3 T peanut butter (Skippy brand): $0.26

2 T walnuts (Aldi’s): $0.20

1 T pumpkin seeds (Wegman’s bulk, organic): $0.21

1 banana (brown from CTB, but let’s say Wegman’s organic for argument sake): $0.23

Total cost: $1.52

Total calorie: 1,052 (using my fitness pal app)

Lunch: Hummus, sprouts, tomato, lettuce, parsley garlic dressing on sourdough bread, small soup, pickles

Snack: smoothie with spinach, peanut butter, chocolate protein powder, banana, milk, ice

Dinner: oatmeal with peanut butter, walnuts, sunflower seeds, chia seeds and blueberries, veggies with yogurt dip

Snack: chocolate ginger brownie

Through the day I drink water and coffee. Sometimes I have juice or kombucha if I have a longer run or workout that day or if I want it or it’s free (were throwing it away because it’s expired).

I would like to do more breakdowns of my daily eats as an athlete on a budget. It is as enlightening for me as it might be fun to read. I have realized that if I am smart with my purchases, I can afford to buy my groceries from my organic co-op, which I would like to do more often.

A few tips just in the beginning which as you’ll see, I use frequently:

– Cook beans with some sort of fat, or add it afterwards

– Use peanut butter willingly as it’s the cheapest nut butter

– Season rice as you cook it

– Bananas are the highest calorie and cheapest fruit, they also act as a natural sweetener

– Eggs should always be free-range, cage-free and organic, ideally local, they are cheap protein and fat but should be used sparingly as they are not as ethical or environmental as beans or nuts

Is this something you would like to see more of?

Would you prefer the meal breakdown or a grocery list?

Would you like both organic and regular prices?