Five Things I Usually Eat/Drink

I’ve really liked reading others’ Life in a Day posts, so this is somewhat inspired by that and it’s five things I eat/drink in a typical week.

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  • Breakfast burritos for breakfast. I am really good about making time for breakfast even if it’s just something quick. Breakfast burritos are perfect for a quick meal you can heat up before you run out the door. I make mine on the weekends and wrap them individually in foil and freeze them for later in the week. They’re super cheap, filling, and as healthy as you want them to be and you can fill them with just about anything and change the spices to what you like. This week I’m eating a spinach-kidney bean-egg-gruyere mix with some Ethiopian berbere spice thrown in on a whole wheat tortilla.
  • Coffee. I wouldn’t say I’m an addict, but I definitely have made coffee part of my morning routine. I love to drink a cup before I work out and a cup for breakfast and  possibly some in the afternoon as a pick-me-up. I used to use my Keurig a lot, but I’ve switched to a reusible K-cup pod and have been using my French press a lot more lately since I’ve been working through the bag of whole bean coffee I got from Alaska Coffee Roasting Co. I usually add either flavored creamer or just a little cream and sugar to the coffee. I can suffer if it’s just sugar, but I can’t drink it black.

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    I made a little coffee station at my new house. I’m not completely done with it yet, but I love having all my breakfast things conveniently next to each other.

  • Water. I have a nice collection of water bottles going on so I can always make sure one is full and that I have one somewhere. I’ve never minded the taste of tap water but I like to add flavoring sometimes. I used to use just a splash of lemon juice, but I recently bought a premium starter kit from Young Living and now I love using dietary essential oils in my water for flavor. Lemon and tangerine are my absolute favorites for flavoring water and I love using peppermint for an especially hot day as it just feels so much more refreshing.

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    Seriously, SO good in water! Or even tea.

  • Sandwiches for lunch. I’m getting better about packing lunch for myself so I don’t end up wandering the commissary aisles during rush hour or worse, end up wandering the gas station nearby at 2 p.m. and wind up eating cupcakes and Icees for lunch. Making sure I have a full lunch really goes a long way to prevent that, and the cornerstone for me is a sandwich. I like to be able to mix it up a little bit so I keep some deli meat and cheese available but I also still love a peanut butter and jelly sandwich any time of the day. The best tip I’ve figured out for myself is to have a cute lunchbox or two and those cold blocks like you used to have in elementary school.
  • Salmon. I’m still getting over the fact that wild caught salmon is going to be less available to me now that I live on the opposite side of the coast, but I ate salmon at least weekly for years now between living in Washington and then Alaska. Most of it was what we’d caught and frozen and there is nothing more delicious than king salmon. My favorite way to cook it is to soak a cedar plank all day and then grill the salmon on it, or even to smoke the salmon over cedar chips until it’s infused with the flavor and just falls apart. Wild salmon is sustainable, delicious, and so good for you. I know some people say it tastes too strong, but I think they just haven’t had it in a way they liked yet.

Heart-pounding moments

It’s a fitness Friday but I thought I’d talk about some of the times and things that make my heart beat harder, and not just from cardio. Even watching some of these things makes me a little nervous.

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  • Cycling in a group scares me. I’m afraid I’ll crash into someone or someone will crash and then cause me to crash, I’m afraid of drafting, and I have no idea how cycling groups manage to look so effortless. When I see cycling races I’m more amazed at how they can stay so close together and not trip each other up. I’ve been considering joining a group ride once a week to get some more experience with riding in a group and calm my nerves.
  • The start of a race because there’s so much anticipation. When I took my horse to horse shows I felt the same way for every round we jumped. I’m not even sure I breathed. Thankfully, this has gotten better with time and more races but when I used to run cross-country in college it was my least favorite part of racing.
  • Bench press is my weakest lift because I have skinny T-rex arms. It’s also the first lift I failed and I can still remember the humbling feeling of needing someone to help me get the bar up since I was doing a painful kayaking-like movement with it. I’m a lot more confident with the other lifts because I either have more control over them or can do them in a rack where I won’t hurt myself or others if I fail.
  • Running in the rain because even though I sort of hate it, I always feel like I did something extra hardcore after I’ve come in completely drenched. And the hot shower always feels amazing afterwards, too.
  • The final sprint towards a finish line when you let out all the gas in your tank. I have to be careful because if I overexert myself when I’m undertrained I get the heaves, but thankfully this has also gotten a lot better with mental and physical training. Nothing is worse than puking all over yourself during a run, except maybe peeing and also puking on yourself.

Roadtrip Songs

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I’m from the age of mix tapes. If you liked someone, you made them a cool CD of songs that made you think of them. I’ll never forget a guy I dated who made me a playlist of country love songs that I listened to over and over again until I’d nearly convinced myself I liked the music.

I don’t make CDs for people anymore, mostly because P likes metal and I…don’t. But I do make playlists for running and working out and also for driving cross-continent. Here are a couple of my favorite songs for road tripping.

It’s a sort-of love song, but I like the chorus of “I got a little bit longer, I got a ways to go.”


I really like the whole Walter Mitty soundtrack, and I like this song a lot. It’s uplifting and inspiring and about getting out of your comfort zone.


This has been one of my favorite songs for a while. It’s about “home is where the heart is.” I like to try to whistle along with it, to my dogs’ confusion.


Does anyone remember Matchbox Twenty? I like this song because it reminds me to remember how far I’ve come even when it seems like I have so much further to go.


I admit, I love Moana and have been listening to the soundtrack on repeat. It’s just such a good mix of hope and struggle and I can’t stop, won’t stop listening to it anytime soon.

Eating Healthy While Traveling

One of the hardest things for me while traveling is the lack of food options on the road. Several years ago I drove cross-country and ate only Taco Bell, gas station pastries, and 5-Hour Energy Shots.  Living like that is just not sustainable for me anymore. While traveling, I’ve developed a few keys to try to make better choices on the road.

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  1. Pack your own food. Did you know you can bring your own food to the airport? I didn’t know this for years. Now I love packing myself a great meal to eat while waiting for my flight or on a layover. One of my favorite things to make is chèvre, spinach, avocado, and pesto between two slices of thick bread and toasted over a skillet until the sides are golden brown and the insides are warmed and melted together.
  2. Bring your own snacks to avoid binging on things like gas station pastries. Small snacks like grapes or apples are great for curing my sweet tooth cravings and keep me from wandering down the candy aisle when I’m paying for gas. I also like bars like Picky Bars or Bobo’s Oat Bars.

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    Smooth Caffeinator is my favorite

  3. Eat breakfast. I find if I don’t eat breakfast, I’m more likely to indulge myself because I’m beyond hungry. Even just the slim pickings at most hotels’ continental breakfasts can help keep you from making crazy choices fueled by hunger.
  4. Drink plenty of water. It helps your body regulate itself and juices and sodas have lots of empty calories with no concrete nutritional values. Having a water bottle in the car also helps to keep it available. If you don’t like the taste of tap water (it almost always makes me sick while traveling), they make water bottles now with filters in them so you don’t have to buy bottled water. header-image-bottle
  5. There are lots of good websites and apps that can help you decipher what’s really in menus at restaurants. I used Weight Watchers several years ago and I liked their app because it let me choose a restaurant and see how many “points” different dishes at that restaurant were.

Lottery Races

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This week it’s about five races you either need a lottery to get in, or can get in through a lottery system.  Some popular races are switching to a lottery system, such as Big Sur, because of how quickly they sell out and to give new runners an opportunity to run the race as well. The good news is that even though you may not get in a race through the lottery, they typically also offer the option to run for a charity and raise money for them, which is a nice way to raise awareness of the charity and help fundraise for them while still getting to run the race.

  1. Atlanta Track Club Peachtree Road Race. It’s the biggest 10K in the world, and insanely popular. It runs on the 4th of July every year in Atlanta and a yearly membership to the Atlanta Track Club gives you priority registration. I missed that since I didn’t find out I was moving to Georgia until the middle of February, so I entered the lottery. I’m not particularly lucky, but I was happy to get that congratulations email!ajc
  2. TCS New York City Marathon. I got in back in 2013 but didn’t realize how special that was or how hard it is to get in (Runner’s World estimates an 18% acceptance rate) and didn’t go (plus tickets from Alaska are always expensive). I didn’t get in for this year, so maybe next year?
  3. Bank of America Chicago Marathon. I’d heard this was a fun race and lots of other Volée are running it, but I was just not super excited about getting in this lottery. I waited to see if I got into NYC and didn’t but I’m still unsure whether I’m going to head up to Illinois this fall or not. There are a lot of other races I want to do that are much closer to home, but it is a lottery which means if I’m on the fence I will probably do it just so I avoid FOMO.
  4. Credit Union Cherry Blossom 10-Mile. I did this back in 2013 (a year when the blossoms were severely delayed so there were hardly any on the Mall) and it was a good time. The 10-mile distance is a good distance for me, easy to train for, but the crowded field makes it harder for a PR. It’s a pretty race and very scenic even if the cherry blossoms are shy.
  5. Big Sur International Marathon. Another pretty, scenic race. I drove the Pacific Coast Highway on my way up to Alaska and it was so beautiful. Running it would be even better. I already have a California marathon under my belt, but this would be an awesome race.

Friday Five: Favorite Podcasts

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First of all,  I wrote the headline as favorite “podcats.”

This is what Google says a podcat looks like

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Anyway, this Friday I wanted to talk about five of my favorite podcasts. I’m one of those weird people who likes to listen to podcasts while lifting in the gym. I don’t mind them while cycling sometimes, but I need music while running on a treadmill. I don’t wear headphones outside because I don’t want to get run over by a sledneck.

  1. TEDTalks. I’ve been listening to these for years. I also like the TED Radio Hour that NPR puts together and selects clips from different but related talks.
  2. Serial. I started listening to the second season because it was about the Bowe Bergdahl story and was hooked.
  3. Fresh Air. I like the interviews of different actors, writers, and artists. I’ve watched movies and TV shows I likely never would have considered otherwise. It calls itself a weekday magazine and while I think of magazines as being print, it’s a very apt description for the show.
  4. The Splendid Table. I love food and making it, but wouldn’t consider myself of a high enough caliber to be called a “foodie.” The Splendid Table looks at history of food, chefs, and will make you hungry for more as well as something to eat. I especially liked their episode about the black presidential cooks in the White House.
  5. How To Do Everything. I love how this show is a little bit of everything. It’s one part MythBusters and one part Explain Like I’m Five. The descriptions of their shows are curiosity-piquing such as : “how to talk to fish and protect your yard signs” or “how to protect your cow and pull a loose tooth.”