This Week’s Reasons Why Life is Good

I’m a little overdue for a “why I love life” kind of post. Lots to say.

1. This is so spot on. I wish more of us (me included) took this advice to heart. My favorite part: “Just eat food. Eat real food, be active, and live your life. Forget all the diet and weight loss nonsense. It’s really just that. Nonsense.” Read it immediately. Also, here’s another good article about the “f-word”.

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Birthday Fun!

2. I had a blast on vacation, but I’m really , ridiculously happy to be back in Philly and hang out with all of my friends. I missed them!

3. I had the pleasure of celebrating two of my friend’s birthdays on Saturday. I love being part of people’s celebrations just as much, if not more, than I love celebrating my own accomplishments.

4. Mini Recap: My sister and I also went to Philly Dance Day on Saturday. It is one of my favorite fitness activities done all year. Organized by Philly Dance Fitness, it is super fun every year. Classes are mostly 45 minutes each. This year, Jess and I took Swing Fit first. It’s like Zumba, but with different music and movements. We did a little partner stuff at the end, but I sweat the whole time and thought it was an absolute blast. Then, we went to the YMCA on Christian St (It’s pretty nice there, by the way) and took a Hip Hop class followed by Cardio Pop. Hip Hop was super duper fun, and Cardio Pop left me a little sore the next day. Think: dance and fitness follow the leader intervals. They have a big evening party, but I’ve never been able to go to that. Maybe next year!

5. I took a run with Matt on Thursday. My first in awhile! It was a great day to run the bridge. It’s not a secret that I don’t like running, or exercising at all really, by myself. I clearly suck it up on occasion, as I did for most of my vacation workouts – but I’m happy to be back running with him again. We are *soon* going to be officially training for a couple races: The Sloppy Cuckoo (short distance) and The Oktoberfest Half. Run with us!

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Taken by me, from cute little bleacher style seating, made comfy with lots of pillows.

6. If you haven’t been to this adorable pop up beer garden on Broad between Pine and Lombard, go immediately. I love it here. It’s super cute, cozy, and I never want to leave.  They serve good, local beer for $5 a pop. GO IMMEDIATELY! (Unless it’s raining, in which case, you might want to wait.)

7. My closest friend in the world (not including my sister) – Ingela – recently moved back from Savannah to Harrisburg. I’m super psyched that she’s only a couple of hours away.  Now, I just have to get her to come visit my sweet new digs.

8. Have I said how much I LOVE my new apartment? And we have a COUCH now. It has seriously changed my life.

9. I had 2% greek yogurt (instead of 0%) for breakfast with my usual granola and blueberries. OH MY GOD it’s delicious. And I wasn’t starving all day. Coincidence? I think not. There’s no turning back from here.

10. Due to my vacations, I took a month off from Rangers. I took some Lithe classes when I was home and ran on vacation. Yesterday was my first day back. We started with walking lunges down the green to a far tree, running back – 4 times. Then we did 360 pushups, split up in sets of 5-10-15, etc with running in between each “station.” We repeated that with flying jack knives. Then, we did a mile run. I survived. It felt great! I’m SORE today!

11. I am taking this pretty awful teacher training class. (Made for new teachers, and I’m going into my 6th year. *sigh*) In order to be a little more positive during the day, I went to yoga class Tuesday morning and am going again tomorrow. It definitely helps! At least after this class and one more year of teaching, I’ll qualify for my instructional 2 certificate!

12.  Speaking of my lovely sister, here is a lovely picture of us. She’s a perfect example of why life is good.

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Taken by Pam, July 27, 2013

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View from my Run(s)

As you know, my running partner, Matt, has a fabulous blog, where he posts many things, including views from his runs. Now, I’m not nearly as good at taking pictures WHILE running as he is. He snaps away without breaking his stride, and I have to pause to snap one – which he nicely captured in my banner picture.  I took 4 runs on my recent week long vacation – some of which he posted over on his blog – here. Running is one my favorite ways to see a new place!

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San Juan Island – Roche Harbor

We're not in Philadelphia anymore.

San Juan Island – We’re not in Philadelphia anymore.

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San Juan Island – Friday Harbor

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San Juan Island – That’s me!

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San Juan Island – Friday Harbor

The Market is still quiet.

Seattle – The Market is still quiet.

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Seattle – Myrtle Edwards Park

Overlooking the Sound and the Olympic Mountains

Seattle – Overlooking the Sound and the Olympic Mountains

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Seattle – Myrtle Edwards Park

Fish Tacos

Recently, I started *seriously* loving fish tacos. Then, on my recent trip to Washington state, I ate salmon several times for dinner, in addition to some fish tacos. This may seem normal to all of you, but let’s back track.

Ever since I can remember, I have *hated* fish. We are talking serious hatred. Fish sticks? I’d rather sit at the kitchen table for hours then have to put those into my mouth. Flounder that we caught in Ocean City, MD? No, thanks. I’ll just eat this baked potato. At some point only a couple of years ago, I decided to give sushi a try – and holy cow did I love it! However, I still stood by the fact that I couldn’t stand cooked fish.

Here is the part of the story in which we reach the turning point. I decided on a whim one night, about a month ago, to get fish tacos at Cantina Los Caballitos in South Philly. I have never had something there that I didn’t like, and these fish tacos were no exception. They were delicious! I thought about those fish tacos for weeks until I finally decided to make my own. So, I found a recipe and got started.

I (more or less) followed this recipe. I used cod, purchased at Whole Foods. I got a pound to make tacos for 4 people, and there was enough fish leftover for 2 more small tacos.  I followed the recipe for the marinade and slaw, which was delicious.  I cut the fish into one inch pieces before marinating and then pan seared the fish on the stove. I used tortillas purchased in the Italian Market from Tortilleria San Roman (go there immediately). The tacos were a big hit.

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A few days later, I left for the Northwest.  I ate fish tacos twice and willingly ate salmon for dinner 3 nights in a row. AND I just bought more cod to make fish tacos this week.

 

I guess I like fish now. What’s a food that you now like that you used to hate?

Running on San Juan Island

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San Juan Island is about 2 hours north of Seattle, then another hour ferry off the coast. It’s gorgeous. I thought I was going on a 3-4 mile run, but turns out I ended up running almost 6. I was running on empty – little sleep, little water, little food – from traveling for 13 hours! The run was hilly and hard, but so glad that I ran! Longest run since March!

My Day in Food

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Breakfast: Plain Greek yogurt with granola, berries, and coffee.

Lunch: hummus tacos with cilantro lime slaw and avocado (plus some – too many – chips and salsa).

Dinner: salad with goat cheese, walnuts, and tomatoes with scallion vinaigrette dressing.

After frisbee snack: homemade whole wheat tuna pasta salad with roasted red peppers, tomatoes, spring mix, artichoke hearts, and yellow bell pepper

I also went to a Lithe class and played ultimate frisbee. That’s typical though – I struggle with eating well. Today was a good day!

22 miles and Dogfish Head Brewery

ImageI spent the past few days at Bethany Beach with sister, Jess, and our lovely friend Lilah. Lilah and her high school friends have a pretty impressive tradition of going to Bethany each year, and I was thrilled to be a part of it this time around.

On Tuesday, a couple of others wanted to ride to Rehoboth Beach – about 10-12 miles each way. I hadn’t EVER ridden a bike more than a few miles at a time, and frankly – I’m pretty scared of cars. However, I put on my big girl pants, rented a hybrid for $25 for the day, and off we went down Route 1 toward Rehoboth. I think it took us about an hour, and it was pretty freakin awesome!

 

Once we got there, we bee-linedphoto it straight for Dogfish Head Brew Pub for refreshments. I had some delicious Namaste and split a sampler with other delicious things like the 90 minute and My Antonia.

 

We got distracted by skee ball and the haunted house, so left a little late to make it back to the house before dark. We survived, but let’s just say that the last mile or so on Route 1 was a *tad* scary.

It was my first *ever* long distance bike ride, and I loved it! Where is your favorite place to bike?