Trends June 2016

This past week I noticed patterns in my life. Maybe it was just a reflective week and I had time to analyze my preferences. Whatever the reason, it came to my attention that I favored a few specific things this week. For Meg’s Week In Review I wanted to talk about what things kept popping up in my life. No, they aren’t all running related 🙂

1.) Dreams

In both the goal setting and nightly slumber sense, I thought a great deal about dreams this past week. When the weather gets hot, I sweat a lot when I sleep and often get vivid dreams. I had a few good ones that reminded me of all the information my brain takes in subconsciously, which it then filters at night. I actually had a few experiences in my dreams this week that helped me work out difficult circumstances in my real life. I think of those dreams as a blessing in disguise. They are like a practice round.

The second type of dreams I dealt with this week was in the goal setting sense. Have you ever wanted something so bad it hurts? Have you ever thought about something and wanted it to happen that it actually made you ill to overthink about it? Well I’ve had a couple of those moments this past week, and I’ll touch on it more in another post this week. I was reminded by my mentors that it’s important to have those dreams to keep the fire going, but also not over analyze those dreams and allow them to make me unbalanced.

2.) Rice

Oh rice, you delicious grain I had forgotten about until recently. Why did I let you leave my life? But really I have been on a rice kick this past week and I’m not hating it. There’s just something about a huge bowl of just white (or brown, I don’t hate) for lunch that comforts me. I have been interested in the concept of monomealling for a while, but it was an interest of “looks cool but I like eating more than one thing at a time.” This past week, I found a bag of rice in our pantry and all of a sudden a big bowl of fluffy rice sounded like the greatest food experience ever. Craving was met everyday for lunch this week. Simple big bowls of rice. Yum!

3.) Friendship

Each of my runs this past week except one were with others. I ran with Baily on Monday, Ian on Tuesday, my favorite ladies on Wednesday and Julie (plus a new face!) on Friday. I am definitely falling behind on the podcast listening, but the amazing comradeship and conversations have totally blessed me. This is what I have missed during my marathon training.

Speaking of training, I decided this week to give up my gym membership. I am doing this for a few reasons. The first is that I’ll save $40 a month. The second is that I want to force myself to do my speed and tempo runs outside. This can only benefit me in the future. The third is that I got myself a stationary bike from the Salvation Army so I don’t need to use the one at the gym anymore. It was only $30 so I take that as a sign. I downloaded the Nike training app so I will be focusing on bodyweight exercises instead of dumbells. I do have a few weights but they are at my parents house right now and I will get them when I have off this next week.

This week on the blog:

Strawberry-Banana Vegan Protein Cookie Dough

WIAW: Fake Meats

Running with friends, rice and goals #WeekInReview Click To Tweet

How was your week?

Do your dreams ever help you navigate life?

Running Links [06/12/2016]

Not too much to ramble about this morning guys. Enjoy the links and enjoy your Sunday!

Running Links

Simple Ways To Become A Stronger Runner via No Meat Athlete

Marathon Training For The Busy via Run To The Finish

Aaron Rodgers Ditches Dairy via ESPNgo

7 Lessons Regarding A Runners Body Image and Weight Loss via Jerod Killick

Factors That Affect Training Mileage via Salty Running

Bodyweight Changes During and After a Training Cycle via NYC Running Mama

Tips For Running A Hilly Race via Skora Running

Trail Running is still “New”

When I try something new, I come at it either one of two ways. I’m either really excited and try hard to get it right, or I’m very skeptical and do a half-assed job.

When I tried yoga for the first time, it was definitely the latter. This was years ago so it was still fringe and considered pretty hippie. I thought it was silly and only went because my friend did. I didn’t try very hard and probably gave off a pretty negative energy. Sorry to anyone who was involved.

Trail running is something I used to do every once in a while a few years ago when I didn’t run consistently. I mostly did it because a friend did and he gave me rides to races. Thanks Mark. Trail running was a different experience for me than yoga was because I already had one part down, the running. It was only half new, whereas yoga put me out of my element.

For the past two years since I started becoming more than the casual couple times a week runner, I have kept it to pavement and roads (hint hint blog name). I raced on the roads, I trained on the roads and because I didn’t know trails and have a habit of getting lost, I did not experiment with them.

On my week hiatus from exercise or workouts after the marathon, I decided to find the trails in my neighborhood that I had been leery of before. I explored the South Hill Recreation Trail and the Black a Diamond trail and mapped out runs to others. This was really fun and good for my legs to get off hard surfaces.

On Tuesday, my teammate Ian asked if I would want to run some trails in Buttermilk Falls state park with him as he prepares for the Vegan Power 50k in two weeks. Of course I couldn’t say no! After volunteering at Cayuga Trails 50 on that same course last Saturday, I had been itching to explore myself.

We met up and got on the rocky, rooted paths that make Ithaca famous. Although I had run trails before, it had been years and I wasn’t sure how sturdy my body would be. I saw myself rolling an ankle to be honest.

However, once we got going, my body seemed to know what to do. It was a new experience in a way, but it felt natural. I knew we would go slow, there would be a lot of walking (hiking?) and it would be super chill. I was ready and prepared to take on this new thing because I humbled myself to do something else very foreign to me; relax, go slow, talk and not train.

We had a great time. I didn’t roll my ankle. We hiked some parts of it. We talked the whole time and not it haggard breaths. Our pace was over 11 minutes per mile. It rained at the end just when we needed it to. I felt like I was home.

For me, trying new things is a challenge because I am not in control. Trail running is still running, but you don’t really use time as a gage. You use the weather, your competitors and how smartly you take in food and water (we only needed water, it wasn’t that strenuous). It’s taking what I do on the roads and making you use your brain a bit more.

I loved it.

What is the last new thing you did?

What is your favorite snack?

Fake Meats? [WIAW]

Starting back running this week has been fun. I’ve ran with friends for all of my runs, all are at an easy pace and I am truly enjoying this weather. I haven’t really noticed a change in the quantity of food I usually eat, even though last week I didn’t train at all. I have definitely relaxed my standards for meals because I’m not training. Whole foods are important, but the fake stuff just tastes good sometimes you know?

My thoughts on vegan substitutes for meat products vary considerably. I cannot form a consensus mostly because they are delicious sometimes, and other times they freak me out. I love seitan even though it is supposed to be a deli meat substitute because it tastes nothing like meat and hits my sweet yet savory craving. I’m not a huge fan or fake chicken because it looks like chicken, which is still a dead animal. Meatless crumbles or TVP is hit or miss. Sometimes it’s great, other times I pass.

Veggie burgers that don’t resemble meat burgers are a favorite, though I will be trying Beyond Meat’s Beast Burger soon and have been told it tastes like the real deal. I don’t miss meat, so I’m trying it purely for the wow factor.

In my experience, the flavors that I enjoyed on meat products (buffalo wings, BBQ, smoke taste) are really good in vegan products and I don’t want the meat. For example, in Buffalo I had buffaloed tofu which was SO GOOD and gave me the flavor I wanted, but did not resemble a dead animal. It was perfect. I enjoy the way I can add liquid smoke to mushrooms or coconut and get a crispy product similar to bacon, without feeling like I’m eating bacon. I like the shape of a veggie burger, but appreciate that is does not remind me of a beef burger.

I guess it’s a texture/dead flesh thing.

Today I am linking up with ArmanLaura, and Jen for What I ate Wednesday so showcase a day of eats from last week, when I was not actively running or working out.

Breakfast: oatmeal mixed with banana, Philosophie Superfoods Green Dream powder, pecans, dried blueberries and Philosophie coconut butter. Apple on the side.


Lunch: seitan, avocado, hummus, spinach, tomato and Dijon on sourdough bread. Fruit soup on the side.


Dinner: Rocky road banana ice cream with aquafaba whipped cream, banana chips and a bowl of greens


I’ve been trying to drink more water throughout the day, which is a challenge for me because I always go for juice or coffee. Water makes me feel the best, but I forget about it. This weeks goal is more water, all the time.

What is your stance on vegan meats?

How do you get in more water?

Strawberry-Banana Vegan Protein Cookie Dough

Do you ever have one of those moments in a grocery store where ingredients blow you away? I’m not much of an ingredient label checker (one of my vegan faults), but when I do randomly check ingredients, I am often surprised at the variety of things that are already vegan.

Bacon bits? Vegan.

Cream cheese frosting? Vegan

My latest recipe in the Plant Fusion protein cookie dough series would not have been possible without another of these gems. Ok, it would have been possible, but it takes an extra step…and this way is kind of fun.

Ok guys, strawberry pudding mix, yep it’s vegan! I checked the ingredients. Twice.

That is some dedication right there.

Why, you might ask, was I even in the pudding isle? Well, back in my yogurt days in college, I realized that pudding mix was a great flavor addition to plain or vanilla yogurt. I could buy the cheapest, plain yogurt and then make it fancy while saving money at the same time.

This same concept came to me in the store when I was buying some spices for other recipes. Surely pudding wasn’t vegan right? Well, to my surprise and utter glee, it was! It only turns non-vegan with the addition of milk.

Oh, the possibilities! Beginning with this one.

Nope, it’s not organic or non-processed, but it’s tasty and a good “once in a while” breakfast. If you do want a bit healthier, instead of pudding mix, blend up 3-4 strawberries and mix that in instead. Or strawberry jam. Whatever strikes your fancy. I’ll just stick to my lazy bones approach, and take the vegan gift that is pudding mix.

Strawberry-Banana Vegan Protein Cookie Dough

1 ripe banana mashed

1 scoop Plant Fusion vanilla protein powder

1 T strawberry pudding mix (or 2 T strawberry jam)

1/4 cup sunflower seeds

Pumpkin seeds for garnish

Mash the banana in a bowl until fully macerated. Stir in protein powder and pudding mix until incorporated. Mix in sunflower seeds. Top with strawberries or pumpkin seeds if you feel fancy.


A new #vegan protein cookie dough recipe! Strawberry-banana! @plantfusion #whatveganseat Click To Tweet

What is one food item that has blown you away with its ingredients?

Have you ever used pudding to flavor something other than milk?