Sunday, May 31, 2015

Books read: 2015

1. No Meat Athlete Marathon training guide- Matt Frazier 1/2/15 RR
2. The days are just packed- Bill Watterson 1/3/15 RR
3. Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand 1/9/15
4. Anathem- Neal Stephenson 1/15/15
5. The afterlife diet- Daniel Pinkwater 1/23/15
6. Tale of sand- Jim Henson, Jerry Juhl, & Ramón Pérez  1/24/15
7.  The mysteries of Pittsburg- Michael Chabon 1/25/15
8.  The invisibility of success- Daniel Quinn 1/30/15


1. Thank you for smoking- Christopher Buckley 2/6/15
2. Trigger Warning- Neil Gaiman 2/6/15
3. Grimble- Clement Freud 2/7/15 RR
4. Attack of the deranged mutant killer mutant snow goons- Bill Watterson 2/12/15 RR
5. Grandma Gatewood's walk- Ben Montgomery 2/13/15
6. Little House in the Big Woods- Laura Ingalls Wilder 2/14/15 RR
7. So Big- Edna Ferber 2/17/15
8. Reckless- Cornelia Funke 2/21/15
9. The Art of War- Sun Tzu 2/21/15
10. The essential Rumi- translated by Coleman Barks 2/22/15
11. As you wish- Cary Elwes 2/25/15


1. The Princess Bride- William Goldman 3/5/15 RR
2. The Diamond Age- Neal Stephenson 3/20/15
3. The Boston Girl- Anita Diamant 3/25/15
4. Lock in- John Scalzi 3/28/15
5. The Edible Woman- Margaret Atwood 3/31/15


1. Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close- Jonathan Safran Foer 4/8/15 RR
2. The Yiddish policeman's union- Michael Chabon 4/13/15
3. The Prestige- Christopher Priest 4/17/15
4. The girl on the train- Paula Hawkins 4/19/15
5. Will Travel for Vegan Food- Kristin Lajunesse 4/23/15
6. Revival- Stephen King 4/26/15
7. Lightning- Dean Koontz  4/27/15 RR
8. The Nerd's guide to being confident- Mark Manson 4/30/15


1. Peace- Gene Wolfe 5/3/15
2. For Colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf- Ntozake Shange 5/4/15 
3.  The Ocean at the end of the lane- Neil Gaiman 5/5/15 RR
4. The Reader- Bernard Schlink 5/10/15
5. Quiet- Susan Caine 5/18/15 RR 
6. Anansi Boys- Neil Gaiman 5/21/15 RR
7. The illustrated man- Ray Bradbury 5/22/15  RR
8.The Cat's pajamas- Ray Bradbury 5/23/15
9.  Shadowshow- edited by Sam Weller and Mort Castle 5/26/15
10. Strange Highways- Dean Koontz 5/30/15
11. All the light we cannot see- Anthony Doerr 5/31/15


1. The manga guide to Calculus- Hiroyuki Kojima & Shin Togami 6/2/15
2. Happy healthy vegan kitchen- Kathy Patalsky 6/3/15
3. The exorcist- William Peter Blatty 6/3/15
4. The best of Mutts- Patrick McDonell 6/3/15
5. Run less, run faster- Bill Pierce, Scott Murr, & Ray Moss 6/6/15
6. The silence of the lambs- Thomas Harris 6/7/15
7. A prayer for Owen Meany- John Irving 6/14/15 RR
8. Empire Falls- Richard Russo 6/18/15 
9. Pioneer Girl (the annotated edition)- Laura Ingalls Wilder 6/26/15 


1. The Plantpower Way- Rich Roll & Julie Piatt 7/1/15
2. Living the Farm Sanctuary Life- Gene Baur 7/2/15
3. Vegan with a Vengeance- Isa Chandra Moscowitz 7/3/15 RR
4. Snow Crash- Neal Stephenson 7/8/15 
5. Walden Two- B. F. Skinner 7/9/15
6. Interworld- Neil Gaiman 7/15/15 RR
7. The Red Tent- Anita Diamant 7/20/15 RR
8. The Snow Queen- Hans Christian Anderson 7/21/15 RR
9. The Dark- Lemony Snickett 7/21/15 RR
10. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty- James Thurber 7/21/15 RR
11. Year Zero- Rob Reid 7/26/15
12. . The Neil Gaiman children's collection, including The Wolves in the walls, Cinnamon, The day I swapped my dad for two goldfish, and Crazy Hair- Neil Gaiman 7/28/15 RR


1. The silver dream. Interworld 2.- Michael Reaves & Neil Gaiman 8/3/15
2. A blink of the screen- Terry Pratchett 8/4/15
3. The graveyard book- Neil Gaiman 8/6/15 RR
4. Coraline- Neil Gaiman 8/15/15 RR
5. American Gods- Neil Gaiman 8/18/15 RR
6. The husband's secret- Lynne Morriarity 8/23/15
7. The advent of Sage- Scott Newman 8/26/15
8. Neuromancer- William Gibson 8/27/15
9. Oryx and Crake- Margaret Atwood 8/28/15 RR
10. Sanctuary- Sharon Lee Hart 8/28/15


1. The Holy- Daniel Quinn 9/4/15 RR
2. Not a Match- Brian Donovan 9/15/15
3. PhiLOLzophy- Chrissy Stockton  9/20/15
4. The Nerd's guide to being confident- Mark Manson 9/25/15 RR
5. The Time Traveller's wife- Audrey Niffenger 9/28/15 RR
6. The Adventures of Kavalier and Clay -Michael Chabon 9/30/15 RR
7.  Go set a watchtower- Harper Lee  9/26/15


1. Girl with glasses-  10/1/15
2. Fortunately the milk- Neil Gaiman 10/3/15 RR
3. Free Country- Neil Gaiman 10/5/15
4. The Martian - Andy Weir 10/28/15


1. House of Leaves- Mark Z. Danielwksi 11/1/15
2. Game of thrones, fire and ice - George R. R. Martin 11/12/15
3. Bazaar of bad dreams- Stephen King 11/20/15
4. Slade House- David Mitchell 11/21/15
5. Wait for signs- Craig Johnson 11/21/15
6. Bird Box- Josh Malerman 11/21/15
7. The Pension Grillpartzer- John Irving 11/25/15 RR
8. Ready Player One- Ernest Cline 11/27/15
9. Finders Keepers- Stephen King 11/29/15


1. Keep Moving- Dick Van Dyke 12/4/15
2. Secondhand Souls- Christopher Moore 12/6/15
3. Avenue of Mysteries- John Irving 12/11/15
4. The Heart Goes Last- Margaret Atwood 12/18/15
5. The league for the suppression of celery- Wendy Russ 12/25/15
6. My dog: the paradox- Matthew Inman 12/26/15
7. The Essential Neruda- ed. by Mark Eisner 12/29/15
8. The October country- Ray Bradbury 12/31/15


Friday, May 29, 2015

Plan June 1-7

Shakeout run 45 crunches, 45 squats, 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups 
Raw fruit & greens smoothie
Monster salad
Cucumber & hummus
Summer rolls

Tempo run 50 crunches, 50 squats
Raw fruit & greens smoothie
Summer rolls
Carrots & hummus
Buffalo chickpea salad

Long run 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups
Raw fruit & greens smoothie
Buffalo chickpea salad
Bell pepper & hummus
Tuscany pasta salad

Walking & yoga 50 crunches, 50 squats
Bagel & chive "cream cheese"
Tuscany pasta salad
Dinner TBD

Walking & yoga 55 crunches, 55 squats, 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups
Fruit & protein shake
Lunch & dinner TBD

Walking & yoga 60 crunches, 60 squats
Fruit & protein shake
Late lunch @ Native foods cafe
BBQ tofu nuggets and veggies

Yoga & rest day
Microwave peach crisp
Potato verde tacos

More Korean vets in this week, hence all the walking instead of running in the second half of the week. The weather forecast isn't great, I'm hoping that changes before they land.

Monday, June 1, marks the start of a few things I am doing with Mia.
First of all, we're still doing the #8weeksofhealthyhabits, check out my other blog post for specifics there.
We're also doing Erin Stutland's week of "Say it, sweat it, get it," which incorporates dance moves and positive mantras.
And yoga. All the yoga. Now that I'm pushing myself more with my marathon training, and have some time off work, yoga is do important. We are doing Yogivore, a 21 day session with Lindsay Nixon, the Happy Herbivore, and three different IG yoga challenges, listed below.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

#8weeksofhealthyhabits week 2 overview

8 Weeks of Healthy Habits!

Welcome to week 2 of our #8weeksofhealthyhabits.  Each week, I will post an overview of the upcoming week's goals with some helpful links and info. The purpose of this challenge is not to be stressful, preachy, or overbearing, just a fun way to incorporate some new ideas.  If you like something that we do, please feel free to incorporate it into your daily/weekly schedule and really make it a new habit. If you're looking to really up your game, try the #DaisyDukeStrong challenge at the bottom of this email.

The fun part about these challenges is the sharing.  See if you can post a thought or a selfie each day to the facebook page about what you're doing.  If you're an Instagram user, you can also post there, using the hashtags #PIG and #8weeksofhealthyhabits  and/or #DaisyDukeStrong

My favorite shares from this last week came from some emails that said things like "My crunches were more like squishes." And "My push-ups were more like lie-downs." Remember, this isn't a competition, everyone should just aim to do their best! If 40-60 in the #DaisyDukeStrong challenge is too much, just see what you can do each day!

I'm really looking forward to the family reunion in July! Week #2 means we are getting closer!

Week 2:

Sunday: Take some time to reflect on your day & the last week. Write in a journal, or share to your blog.  Journaling on a regular basis can help you gain insight to your own humanity.  According to a recent report on NPR, students who took notes on paper, as opposed to on an electronic device scored significantly higher on tests.  The researchers called this "Desirable difficulty," which they defined as a small roadblock that improves comprehension and understanding of the situation. Hmm. Don't know where to start? Here are 10 journaling tips that may spark your writing!

Monday: Listen to music that makes you happy! Have a dance party! This can be a solo dance party in your kitchen, or you can make it a family affair! Share a video of your "Happy" song(s) to the facebook page.  Dancing not only effects your body, but also your mood.  According to Kathy Patalsky, "Music and movement is all it takes to get a boost in your attitude."

Tuesday: Choose something healthy for a snack! I know when 3pm hits, it's time for a snack. But instead of heading to the vending machine, or unwrapping some pre-packaged snack food, think about having something healthy.  Drink a glass of water first, that will give your body time to decide.  I like to buy fruit and chop it up and put it in a big bowl in my fridge for the week.  That way, it's ready for me to dive into when those afternoon munchies come around.

Wednesday: Try a PM yoga routine before bed. Yoga can be quite relaxing.  Try a short yoga routine before bed and see how your body likes it! Here's a short (13 minute) video that you might enjoy, I like Kino McGregor. 

Or, if you just want some yoga pose ideas, these are all quite relaxing after a long day. I especially like "legs up the wall."

Thursday: Drink water! How much water should you be drinking? Most people don't drink enough. As a guideline, take your body weight, and multiply it by 2/3. That's how many ounces I want you to aim for today!

Friday: Free Fitness! Post a selfie of you doing your favorite activity to the facebook page! Each Friday will be Free Fitness Friday. You get to choose the activity- just get up and do something and share it with the rest of us! If you post to Instagram, don't forget your hashtags, #PIG and #8weeksofhealthyhabits

Saturday: No electronics for one hour before bedtime. Yep, you heard me. Turn the phone, tv, computer, tablet OFF one hour before you go to bed. This is going to be tough for me, too, but a study by the National Sleep Foundation found that looking at the lights of your electronic device before going to sleep suppresses the body's natural release of melatonin- which makes us sleep better.  Try reading a book instead! I'm currently reading "All the light we cannot see," a novel about two children growing up different lives in WWII's Europe.

Daisy Duke Strong Challenge

Now, if you want that extra challenge, here's the week overview of #DaisyDukeStrong!

Sunday: 40 crunches, 40 squats
Monday: 45 crunches, 45 squats, 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups each
Tuesday: 50 crunches, 50 squats
Wednesday: 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups each
Thursday: 50 crunches, 50 squats
Friday: 55 crunches, 55 squats, 5 sets of 4-7 push-ups each
Saturday: 60 crunches, 60 squats

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Plan May 25-31

Shakeout run
20 crunches
20 squats
5 sets of 2-5 push ups
Coffee, fruit, protein shake
Veggie cookout (carrot dogs?)

Tempo run
25 crunches
25 squats
Coffee, fruit, protein shake
Hawaiian portobello taco

30 crunches
30 squats
5 sets of 2-5 push ups
Coffee, fruit, protein shake
Hawaiian portobello taco
Tahini chickpea salad

35 crunches
35 squats
Coffee, fruit, protein shake
Tahini chickpea salad
Bistro beet burger

Long & slow 10 miles
5 sets of 2-5 push ups
Coffee, fruit, protein shake
Bistro beet burger
Tuscany pasta salad

35 crunches
35 squats
Coffee & tofu sandwich
Tuscany pasta salad
Spinach artichoke panini 

40 crunches
40 squats
Coffee & breakfast mcmuffins (4/15 email)
Spinach artichoke panini
Cuban bowl 

I've decided against doing the #RWrunstreak this summer. That's a thing sponsored by Runner's World, wherein you're supposed to run at least one mile every day between Memorial Day and July 4 (41 consecutive running days). I've done this in the past, but I don't want to combine that with my marathon training, which officially kicks off this week.

I am doing a couple of challenges with my family for the next 8 weeks, though. I haven't had an overwhelming response, so it may just be ME doing these things, but it's okay. At least I put it out there... In the interest of fun & games, I'll post the info here, each week, too.

Saturday, May 23, 2015

#8weeksofhealthyhabits Week 1 overview

 8 Weeks of Healthy Habits!

Welcome to week 1 of our #8weeksofhealthyhabits.  Each week, I will post an overview of the upcoming week's goals with some helpful links and suggestions.

This first week, we are starting off with some simple habits that are easy to incorporate into any schedule.  The purpose of this challenge is not to be stressful, preachy, or overbearing, just a fun way to incorporate some new ideas.  If you like something that we do, please feel free to incorporate it into your daily/weekly schedule and really make it a new habit. If you're looking to really up your game, try the #DaisyDukeStrong challenge at the bottom of this email.

The fun part about these challenges is the sharing.  See if you can post a thought or a selfie each day to the facebook page about what you're doing.  If you're an Instagram user, you can also post there, using the hashtags #PIG and #8weeksofhealthyhabits  and/or #DaisyDukeStrong

I'm really looking forward to the family reunion in July!

Week 1:

Sunday: Set some SMART goals for yourself. Write them in a journal, or share them on the facebook page. What IS a SMART goal, you might ask? Well, SMART goals are Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant, and Time-Sensitive. Need some help creating SMART goals? Check out these worksheets here. Your goals do not need to be public, but writing them down actually will help you strive to achieve them.  If you don't want to share your goals, a journal is a great place to keep them.

Monday:  Go for a walk during lunch or after work. Taking 15 minutes to just go for a walk outside accomplishes more than just getting your body moving.  You also take time to contemplate, and can see some really beautiful and amazing things on a walk.  In addition, there's nothing like a little Vitamin D from the sun's rays. Need some inspiration on your walk? I love the upbeat positive message and mantras in Erin Stutland's Soul Strolls. You can listen to this one for free on soundcloud.

Tuesday: Drink a glass of water before each meal. Especially now that the weather is warmer, hydration is very necessary. Most folks don't get enough water. I've been challenging myself all through May to drink 100oz. of water each day, and I know that's helped my head.  Drinking a glass of water before a meal can also sometimes lead to making smarter food choices.  You're less likely to overindulge on a meal if you've had a glass of water!

Wednesday: Set your alarm 10 minutes early and do crunches before you get dressed for the day. When was the last time you thought about your core? Don't worry about the number of crunches you can do, rather, focus on good form. This site gives basic instructions about how how to do a crunch correctly.
Want a video to help you along? I like this one by Autumn Calabrese.

Thursday: Try an extra vegetable today. Simple, right? Breakfast, Lunch, or Dinner, just pick one extra vegetable. It doesn't need to be one you've never had before, just one extra. First lady Michelle Obama, in her Let's Move campaign, endorses trying an extra vegetable by mixing extra veggies into your favorite foods!

Friday: Free Fitness! Post a selfie of you doing your favorite activity to the facebook page! Each Friday will be Free Fitness Friday. You get to choose the activity- just get up and do something and share it with the rest of us! If you post to Instagram, don't forget your hashtags, #PIG and #8weeksofhealthyhabits

Saturday: Meditate for 10 minutes. Just take 10 minutes to sit quietly. There are some great meditation tools out there if this is your first foray into meditation.  I love, and they have a free 10 day meditation series, wherein each of those are only 10 minutes. This is also available as an app you can download to your phone or tablet.

Daisy Duke Strong Challenge

Now, if you want that extra challenge, here's the week overview of #DaisyDukeStrong, which will start on Monday.

Monday: 20 crunches, 20 squats, 5 sets of 2-5 push-ups each (take a 30-60 second break between sets.)
Tuesday: 25 crunches, 25 squats
Wednesday: 30 crunches, 30 squats, 5 sets of 2-5 push-ups each
Thursday: 35 crunches, 35 squats
Friday: 5 sets of 2-5 push-ups each
Saturday: 35 crunches, 35 squats

Friday, May 22, 2015

On recipes and my cooking process...

I think I've mentioned before that I'm kind of a cook-by-whim kind of chef. Sometimes people ask me to share recipes with them, and the only reason I might ever be apprehensive about it is because I am terrible at following recipes. So I just go with the flow, and do what feels right, and generally I get something good out of it.

For instance, let me share with you my cooking process for tonight's dinner, which on my plan was listed as artichoke and sunflower patty wraps. Here's how this all is going down.

First, I draft my plans about 4-6 days ahead.  That allows me to do ONE grocery store run a week, and to plan that visit during non-peak hours. I hate shopping on Sunday afternoon. I prefer mid-day Monday or Tuesday.  That also allows me to get excited about my meals well in advance.  I try to plan easy meals (or cook-aheads) on busy evenings, and more extravagant meals on evenings I'll be home. This is very important during the semesters when I teach evening classes.

So, that being said, I source my recipes from a myriad of locations. I have a cookbook buying PROBLEM (but the first step is to admit it, so I'm okay...) and I also get a number of recipes from the inter-web. I also get ideas sometimes, and just try them. The recipe for tonight's dinner was inspired by a recipe featured on (the original is linked here.).  I saw this recipe over a week ago, glanced it over, thought "I like artichokes, I like sunflowers, let's do this!" I gave a very cursory glance at the ingredients list, didn't notice anything crazy, and made a mental note to buy artichokes at the grocery.

Skip ahead to today. What am I making? Oh, yes. So I open the recipe, and take a closer look at the ingredients and directions.  Wait, I needed to pre-cook the rice? Well, that's out the window. I don't want to wait an extra 40 minutes while the rice cooks.

Instead of tossing the whole idea and making something else, I decide to forge ahead and improvise. I have the artichokes by the way, so I might as well. The recipe calls for 2 cups artichoke hearts. I have two cans. So I drain them, and put the hearts in the food processor.***

Now, I need something to stick it together. Let's go. I drain and add a can of cannelini beans, a handful of nutritional yeast, and the rest of the container of oats. Pulse.

Hmmm, I glance at the ingredients and notice that it calls for a number of spices and garlic, and other things that I have deviated too far to worry about. But wait, mustard? Don't let's be silly! Of course I will add some Dijon. As I pull it out of the fridge, I notice the big beautiful bag of kale I bought. Kale. Yes. Kale goes in EVERYTHING. After I squeeze a good amount of mustard into the processor, I add kale. And more kale. And then a little bit more.

Now, some spices. Well, cumin goes in everything. And some sea salt. A little garlic powder. Too bad I'm out of freeze dried dill- that would be great.

Okay. I'm not even looking at this recipe any more. I'm cooking it's bastard child. And it's going to be awesome.  I make patties, 8, because that's divisible by 2. I that's how I roll.  I pop them in the oven at 350, because that's the universal blood type of oven temperatures. I set the timer for 15 minutes, and I check on them then. Ok, they need a little longer. I want to flip them when they start browning a bit. And firming.

Flipped them after 30 minutes, and baked for an additional 20. Then served them on pita thins with arugula and avocado. They were perfect!

*** a note about my food processor: how did I ever live without one, I use mine almost daily. On another note, how did I ever learn to use it? My mom didn't have or use one!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Vegan eating out, Wildwood, NJ

Rob and Copper and I headed up to Wildwood, NJ for the half marathon again this year. We also were celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary!
Like last year, we stopped on the way up in Newark, DE, to eat lunch at The Home Grown Cafe! Yum! This veg friendly place has lots of clearly labeled veg and vegan options! New to this year's menu were cauliflower buffalo "wings"! Wow! They were amazing! We also split an apple bacon seitan walnut wrap! 

While in Wildwood, the first night we ate on the boardwalk. Rob had pizza, and I had fries. Saturday morning, we drove down to Bella Vida cafe in Cape May. Like home grown, it had lots of clearly marked vegan options on the menu. I was super excited about the vegan waffle, which I ate topped with fruit. I also had a side of tempeh, and they were happy not only to provide me with almond milk for my coffee, but even brought over a dish of cool water for Copper.
On the way, I was very happy to see turtle crossing signs! They get me!
After we ate, I walked Copper around a bit, and found a neat house with Om stones on a table, and a sign that encouraged you to take home your favorite!

I was very lax in taking other pictures during the weekend...

But Saturday evening (I ate leftovers for lunch), we went to the Alumni Grill. There were a few vegan options there, but even with a more limited menu, I was still able to find something quite tasty! A black bean panini, called "the Mathlete"! Too perfect! The sauce was not vegan but it was great without.

Sunday morning, I woke super early so that I would have some down time before the race. It was lovely. I enjoyed my coffee, meditated a bit, and prepared myself for the day.

After the race, we once again went to my favorite eatery on the island: the Wild Burrito! Joe, the owner,  is also a runner, and hosts a post race party every year. I was pleased to see that the avocado fries were back, and he's expanded his vegan menu! I had the BBQ seitan burrito, and I can't wish hard enough for Joe to close up shop and move in next door to me so that I could eat his food all  the time!

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Plan May 18-24

Rest & recovery day
Coffee & tofu breakfast sandwich
Grocery shopping
Bake blueberry scones
Couscous veggie salad

Coffee & fruit
Chickpea salad
Zucchini cakes

Run 4
Coffee & fruit
Zucchini cakes
Baked falafel plate

Coffee & fruit
Baked falafels
Polenta & beans

Run 6
Coffee & fruit
Polenta & beans
Artichoke & sunflower patty wraps

Coffee & fruit
Artichoke & sunflower patty wraps
Maple peanut soba noodles

Coffee & fruit
Maple peanut soba noodles
BBQ sweet potato pizzas

This is an easy athletic week for me, as I allow my body to recover from the half marathon, at which I PR'd btw!  Next week, I'll start my full marathon training, as well as a couple of healthy and strength training challenges I've cooked up for my family. I'll post them here, as well. For my marathon training, this week I'm reading Run Less, Run Faster, published by Runner's World, and modeling my own training plan after theirs. I also have an appt with my neurologist this week to make sure my brain is still where it should be.

Aside from some work meetings, I've also got a lot of WRITING time built in. Are you tired of hearing me talk about writing my dissertation? Me, too! I chucked my Chapter 4, which was just feeling muddled, and totally started it over. Set me back a bit, but I feel better about it.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Plan May 11-17

Run 4
Coffee & fruit
Weekend leftovers 
White bean meatball sandwiches

Coffee & fruit
White bean meatball sandwiches
Couscous salad

Run 6
Coffee & fruit
Couscous salad 
Carrot noodle stir fry

Run 4
Coffee & fruit
Carrot noodle stir fry 
Singaporean noodles

Coffee & fruit
Food TBD 

Run 2
Coffee & fruit
Food TBD

Wild half marathon 13.1

This week I'm catching up on some recipes that just didn't happen in the last month. I'm also grading, training, and writing like a crazy person. Some weeks are like that.
This week ends with two awesome things: Sunday I'm running the Wild half marathon, one of my favorite races. Friday, Rob and I celebrate our fifth wedding anniversary! He is my Soulmate, and I can't imagine life without him.