5 steps forward, 5 steps back

Over the past 4 months I’ve had on-again off-again knee problems.  🙁

I’ve played soccer since I was in elementary school, and never had any issues.  This past spring, I decided to take up running.  I was AMAZED by how much I enjoyed it!  About a month into my newly found passion, I had a sharp pain in my right knee during my morning run.  I didn’t twist the knee, or land funny, or make any other type of movement to cause the pain.  It just sort of happened.  I attributed the pain to weakness (i.e., “push yourself harder, Mary“) and ran about 1 more mile to my house.  That genius move resulted in me limping around for about a week or so.  I tried several times to pick up where I had left off, with no success.  I even went to see an orthopedic doctor who told me “some knees just aren’t made for running.”

Unacceptable.

Then a couple months ago I developed a plan of attack in the form of my interval training plan.  Basically, the plan was to start off with walking/running intervals and slowly increase the running time over a period of weeks until I was running the entire time.

Things were going super smooth, and I was up to 7 minutes running and 3 minutes walking…. that is until I hurt my knee again on vacation a couple weeks ago.  I think this time it was due to overuse–we did a TON of walking and I was still doing my regular intervals on top of it.

It’s been 2 weeks since vacation, and I’ve tried several times to get my run on.  This was not going well at all — I could only do 1/2 of my regular intervals before feeling the pain start.  At least I have learned my lesson and now stop running at the first sign of knee pain!

So this morning I decided to start the interval all over again… yup… all the way back at 4 minutes walking, 2 minutes running.  Slowly but surely, I am determined to get to running a 5K with no knee issues!

Breakfast #1

Leftovers from yesterday’s eggins–with one new addition:

Heinz reduced sugar ketchup.  After my ketchup post last week, I started thinking about how much ketchup I actually consume in any given week.  As much as I love ketchup, it’s really just a bunch of empty calories.  So I decided to give this reduced sugar version a shot:

The ketchup was pretty good — though it oddly tasted sweeter than regular Heinz ketchup.  I’m going to try and use the reduced sugar ketchup in place of the regular stuff as much as possible.

Stats on B#1:  161 calories, 9g carbs, 5g fat, 21g protein, 2g fiber

Breakfast #2

Overnight oats 🙂

Last night, I put the following into a bowl:

  • 1/2 cup uncooked quick oats
  • 1/2 cup almond breeze unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • sprinkling of cinnamon

I mixed everything up and left them in the fridge overnight.  This morning I added about 6 sliced strawberries (thank you to my mom for hooking me up with these DELICIOUS strawberries) and a 1/3 cup fresh blueberries:

All mixed up:

These overnight oats never get old 🙂

Stats on B#2:  236 calories, 45g carbs, 5g fat, 6g protein, 7g fiber

Lunch

My all-time favorite hummus comes from Nate’s Deli in Cleveland.  A close second would be Trader Joe’s hummus.  Unfortunately, neither of my long distance relationships with Nate nor Trader Joe are able to satisfy my frequent  hummus cravings, so I’ve been on the hunt for a tasty hummus that I can find locally.

I picked this up at the grocery store last night:

I especially liked the simple list of ingredients (chick peas, tahini, fresh spinach, lemon juice, garlic, and salt) and it is only 33 calories for a 2tbsp serving!  The flavor was a little on the bland side, however.

For lunch, I made up a sandwich with a 3.5 ounce grilled chicken breast, 1 tbsp Amir Hummus, 1/2 a roma tomato, sliced red onion, and 1 cup spinach sandwiched between a Pepperidge Farm 7 grain Deli flat:

Notice that I used my tupperware lid as a plate instead of using a paper plate.  “Kelsy” would be proud 😉

Now that’s what I’m talkin bout:

I could eat this every day:

I also had some cucumber salad on the side.  This cucumber was straight from the BF’s mom’s garden!

Stats on lunch:  323 calories, 37g carbs, 3g fat, 40g protein, 10g fiber

 

Question:  Have you ever had an injury that prevented you from doing an activity you really enjoy?

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End of Vaca

Monday morning we left Charleston and headed to Botany Bay Plantation on Edisto Island.  We got a ton of great pics.  Here are just a few:

We munched on the remnants of food we brought from home while driving through the plantation.  For more information on Edisto Island, check out  www.edistobeach.com.

Then we headed back to Charlotte.  This time, Priceline got us a room at the Double-Tree in Uptown Charlotte for only $45 a night 😀

We really liked this hotel (especially because you get free chocolate chip cookies when you check in)…

The bed was lot more comfortable than Aloft’s bed, however you really just cannot beat the Aloft location!

Here are some shots of Charlotte:

Monday night we headed to Rockbottom for some cheesy jalapeno dip (hello $5 appetizers!) and drinks:

Then to Aria for dinner.

Aria was a lot fancier/swankier than I expected, but I thought the bartenders were pretty rude :-/

We ordered a Super Tuscan Wine to start:

We’ve never tried this type of wine before and we both really liked it!

We ordered the bruschetta for the appetizer:

This was actually served cold, which I thought was odd.  Then we got the vodka penne for dinner and added grilled chicken.  The pasta was super tasty, which made up for the appetizer.  Didn’t capture a photo unfortunately.

Aria Tuscan Grill on Urbanspoon

Tuesday morning, we went to the Holiday Inn’s Cafe Siena for our favorite breakfast buffet.  Walked around the city, then hit up Fuel on our way back to Ohio.

Jarrod is obsessed with Fuel’s chicken parm calzone.  I got an Italian sub which was also quite tasty:

And that brings us back to lovely Ohio.  First thing I did was head to Acme and buy an ABUNDANCE of produce.  My body is just craving healthy eating after a week-long restaurant binge!

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Last day in Charleston

Sunday was our last day in Charleston.  For breakfast, we nibbled on some of the goods we had brought from home, then headed to the Folly Beach Pier.

We layed out on the beach for a while, then headed to Locklear’s for lunch.

Jarrod got a chicken wrap and I ordered the shrimp burger wrap:

I’m still not entirely sure what a shrimp burger is made of, and I don’t think my belly was very fond of it!  That’s ok, that left more room for hushpuppies 🙂  The food wasn’t stellar, but we were really there for the view anyway:

After lunch, we strolled along the pier.

Then back to the beach so Jarrod could catch some rays:

And I could lay under the pier in the shade:  Haha…

And then I got pooped on…  Second time time that has happened to me.  It’s supposed to be good luck, but I don’t know about that.  Getting pooped on is pretty crappy in my opinion 😉

Lucky for you, I didn’t take a picture!

For dinner, we hit up the Mellow Mushroom

This place was, well, trippy, for lack of a better word:

  I orderd the field green salad and Jarrod got the ceaser salad and some tortilla soup:

Of course we also got some bruschetta to share:

All of this was delicious, but the Gourmet White pizza we ordered was AMAZING:

Jarrod said he could “eat this for nine days.”  Thankfully, we don’t have a Mellow Mushroom near home… though there is one in Columbus….

After dinner, we went to the Vendue Inn Roooftop bar for a drink:

Love this bar.  It was really nice and breezy and they had some great live music.  We also saw Nick Lachey which was funny.

Today we are headed home. Strike that.  Change of plans!  Today we are headed to Edisto Beach, then back to Charlotte 😀  Home will have to wait!

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10-Mile-Saturday

Saturday morning I woke up around 7am to get my run in.  It was already 80+ degrees and 85%+ humidity.  Perfect running weather, right?  Even though the air was so thick feeling, I was excited to get out and explore some of Charleston on my run.  I’m still on week #5 of the interval training, which means I’m doing 3 intervals of 3 minutes walking and 7 minutes running.

Here’s the route I ran:

 

My time per mile was a lot slower than my Charlotte run earlier in the week — but I’ll crack that up to the crazy humidity!

We were planning to have a late breakfast, and were in search of bottomless mimosas, so we headed to Toast.

Bottomless mimosas:

I took this picture several times, and somehow a bulging bicep kept appearing in the background… 😉

We split the Deluxe French Toast stuffed with apples and apple syrup:

And the all garden omelet (which I added sausage, zucchini, and pepper jack cheese to):

Both of these were delicious, and the mimosa made for a very relaxing brunch 🙂

(Unintentional foreshadowing:  we are headed to the Folly Beach Pier today!)

After brunch, we set out to walk along the river banks.  We walked, and walked, and wallllkkkeeeedddd…..

On our way back towards the studio, we stopped at the Buccaneer restaurant for some margaritas and snacks.  The Buccaneer has a ton of authentic pirate artifacts, which was pretty neat.

 

I ordered the crab cake:

This was pretty good, but I don’t think my belly is sold on crab meat yet.  I could only eat half of this (may have been do to the exhaustion from walking though).

Here’s the route we walked during our Saturday afternoon excursions:

That’s over 7 miles.  Add that to the 3 miles for my AM interval training, and you’ve got yourself a 10-Mile-Saturday!

After a much needed 2-hour nap and showers, we headed to California Dreaming for some waterfront dining.

View from our table:

First up was the bottle of wine:

We split the chicken quesadilla appetizer:

SOOO frickin good.

For dinner, we split the blackened chicken pasta:

Pasta four nights in a row?  Check. 😀

And then we split the hot brownie with ice cream for dessert:

Of course we were extremely happy with this meal:

California Dreaming on Urbanspoon

We decided to go green on the way home, and called up a Green Taxi:

Jarrod was pretty pumped about this:

Today is our last day in Charleston!  We plan to get in a little beach time then head to King street for some grub 🙂

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Friday B,L,D in Charleston

 For breakfast Friday we decided to head to Hominy Grill, which is a nice short walk from the studio we are renting.

We sat outside on a nice little covered patio that had several mounted fans to cool us down:

We decided to order two dishes to split, and ended up with the sausage omelet with home fries and toast:

And the buttermilk pancakes:

Both of these were DELICIOUS.  We also brought some of the housemade banana bread and ginger pumpkin bread home with us:

Box of joy:

We both enjoyed both of these breads, though I preferred the pumpkin and Jarrod preferred the banana.. so that worked out quite well 🙂

After breakfast, we headed to Folly Beach for a little sun, and the sand, and drinks in our hands napping on the beach:

All the sun and salt water made us crazy hungry, so we stopped at the Triangle Char bar for lunch:

For an appetizer, we ordered the cheesy sausage Tailgate Dip.  Cheesy Heaven:

I ordered the Turkey Burger, which was called the “I’m on a diet but still want a burger, burger”

I ended up only eating half of the burger, because we had such a big breakfast and all the cheesy dip.  The avocado spread is what really made the burger tasty.

Jarrod got the spicy chicken tacos, which he REALLY liked:

After our late lunch, we headed back to the studio for some napping/showering then headed on our merry way to dinner.  We decided to go to Sermet’s Corner on King Street.  The restaurant had great ambiance, and kind of funky decor:

For the appetizer, we ordered the Baked Artichoke Torta:

Looks beautiful, tasted like butt.  Haha.. unfortunately the menu didn’t mention that the torta was FILLED with black olives.  Jarrod dislikes black olives.  I, on the other hand, DESPISE black olives.  I feel like they taint everything they touch… there’s just no eating around them because once they are in a dish the whole dish is RUINED (in my opinion anyway 😉 )

Lucky for us, the main course was AMAZING.  We ordered the chicken sautéed with  chorizo sausage, roasted red peppers, and sweat peas, in a red wine thyme gorgonzola reduction over penne pasta:

A-may-zing.  For the record, that is pasta for night #3 in a row.. Hahaha 😀

On the way home, we decided to take one of the bike taxis back to the studio.  Here’s a pic of me trying to discretely take a pick of the driver’s t-shirt without the driver noticing…  Too bad he noticed, so I felt bad and didn’t try to take another clearer pic.. hahahah

For my raincheck b-day cake, we stopped at Cupcake and I got a Chocolate Tuxedo Cupcake:

This was so decadent…the icing was so thick and creamy it literally took several attempts to swallow… I saved half for later today 🙂

Today we’re heading to the harbor to do some actual sighteeing and some (more) eating 😉

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Italian take #2

Yesterday afternoon, we arrived in Charleston.  In an effort to save $$$, I booked us a studio apartment rather than staying in a hotel in the historic district.  This saved us about $400, but we are about 1-2 miles out from most of the restaurants and sightseeing we want to do.  I think the savings offsets the distance, plus with all the eating we’re doing the more walking the better!

We have a full kitchen, washer dryer, and nice dining area too:

While Jarrod was in Belgium he said all he wanted was some decent Italian food, and there was none to be found near his worksite.  So, I grudgingly complied with his request to get Italian for the second night in a row….  😉 Just kidding–Italian is my fav too!

After some googling, we decided to go to Bocci’s in Historic Charleston because their menu had a lot of different dishes we had never tried.

Typically, when I go to the store to buy wine I end up with Cabernet about 90% of the time.  So in an effort to keep trying new things we went with Bocci’s special wine of the night:

This wine was FANTASTIC!  I’m so glad the waitress recommended it.  It was full bodied and had a great spice to it.

For the appetizer, we really REALLY wanted to order the bruschetta….  But we decided to push ourselves outside our tomato-basil-cheesy-bread-goodness comfort zone and instead ordered the Arancini.  The arancini is an arborio rice ball made with sausage, parmesan, ricotta and roasted red peppers, fried to golden brown and served with marinara sauce:

And it was absolutely delicious!

The ambiance of the restaurant was fantastic.  It was low lit, and had a series of small rooms with sporadic tables of all shapes and sizes.  It reminded me of restaurants I visited in Europe back in college, especially with the huge doors that opened up to the outdoors.

For our main entre, we went with the Chicken Conchiglia:  Large pasta shells stuffed with chicken, three cheese mix, and herbs, topped with tomato basil sauce and baked:

These were so tasty — and super filling!  We ended up brining 3 of the 5 shells home with us.  I think we might make them into sandwiches later today 😀

Charleston has so much character (and so much humidity 😉 ). 

Since I’ve been gone, two of my friends from home have decided to try out overnight oats (and send me pictures)!  I think they miss me 🙂

Tim tried oats + almond milk + cinnamon + brown sugar + banana + peanut butter:

In his words they were: “mmmm OMG perfect!”

Jessie decided to try oats + almond milk + peanut butter + cinnamon + brown sugar + strawberries + blueberries:

In her words:  “OMGGGGG.  These rocks my socksssss”

😀 So if you haven’t tried them based on my raving, now you have two additional ravers to back up my love for overnight oats!  I think that’s the first thing I’m going to eat when I get home!

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Last night I ate like a queen

For dinner last night, Jarrod and I headed to Coco Osteria.  We found this restaurant last time we were in Charlotte and loved it not only for the food but also the location and lovely outside patio right in the heart of uptown Charlotte.

First thing first, we ordered a bottle of wine:

Though we love wine, Jarrod and I are not wine experts.  We usually order wine based on which name sounds the most appealing.   This wine was fantastic!

We ordered some bruschetta to split:

I think bruschetta is our #1 favorite pick for appetizers.  We get it pretty much everywhere we go, and it is ALWAYS amazing.  I love balsamic.. and tomatoes… and basil… and bread… 😀

We also had some of the house beans and bread, which was so simple and so tasty:

When we go out to eat, Jarrod and I often split an appetizer and dinner.  That way we get to try lots of things without overeating (at least not TOO much).  We split the bucatini with grilled chicken for our main entre.  This consisted of hollow spaghetti, caramelized onions, smoked pancetta, tomato sauce & shaved pecorino cheese plus the grilled chicken we requested:

A fabulous first night of food on vacation!

Coco Osteria on Urbanspoon

Interval Training:  Day #1, Week #5

This morning, I woke up around 6:30am to get my run in for the day before the streets of Charlotte got too busy.  I am now at 3 intervals of 3 minutes walking and 7 minutes running.  I was a little nervous about the jump in running time from 5 minutes to 7, but I think being in a different city really energized me.  I had to do most of my running on the sidewalk, which made me worry about my knee.  So I tried to “think light” as I was running and put as little impact as possible on my legs.

I really didn’t have a route in mind, I just kind of set out and turned whenever I came across a red light:

There are so many beautiful buildings in Charlotte, and also very many beautiful restaurants I’d like to try 😉

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