Tag Archives: Nutrition

WIAW – Recap Post

Hi Guys.  I think it was cold out last time I did one of these posts so I thought I’d share with you what I ate yesterday.  So, while today is definitely Thursday, we’ll still call it “What I Ate Wednesday,” because it’s actually what I ate on Wednesday ūüôā  Boy guys, Wednesday sure was A DAY.  Like one of those days that moved so quickly it makes your head spin but moved so slow you constantly found yourself checking what time it was.

Wednesday morning actually started out slow.  I woke up at 5:05am without an alarm and decided that instead of waiting until 6:15am to go to bootcamp, I’d just go to the gym and take it easy on the elliptical with some good ‘ole Netflix.  Currently switching between Grace and Frankie and House of Cards.  Who else watches?!  Because I went to the gym an hour earlier than normal, I actually had time to cook a breakfast I hadn’t had in what felt like decades…Anne’s Banana Pancake!  I never seem to have ground flax when I make it but I had garbanzo bean flour so I gave that a try and it was perfect.  I topped my pancake with fresh blueberries, my homemade whole milk yogurt, and peanut butter.  Hit. The. Spot. ūüôā  Enjoyed with black coffee!

  
By the time I arrived to work, it had been almost 3 hours since I had my pancake and I was craving something sweet.  I listened to my body, and treated myself to a donut.  No shame at all.  Enjoyed with the rest of my coffee.

  
Then I was off to a meeting that would end up being the longest meeting of my life.  2.5 hours later, my body was screaming, feed me!  It was lunch time.  I like to eat as many veggies at lunch as I can to fill up, and I love that the cafe at our hospital has these amazing veggie salads every day that employees can purchase for .91 cents.  Lately, I’ve been bouncing between the broccoli bacon salad or the kale salad.  Today was broccoli bacon day!  I paired the salad with some leftovers:  pulled pork (this recipe + BBQ sauce) + sweet potato + cabbage / spinach salad.  So good.

  
I’m a snacker and today was no different.  I got hungry multiple times throughout the afternoon.  First were these “banana cookies.”  Recipe included only 4 ingredients too!  Banana, nut butter, chocolate chips, and oats.  Definitely more granola-y than cookie like, but it still tasted good.

  
Next was a giant container of blueberries and cherries.  Who else loves summer fruit?

  
Still feeling hungry around 4, I had about 10 whole wheat crackers to tide me over.  I probably should have spread peanut butter on them… regrets ūüôā

  
Then, a once and a blue moon treat for me, a coke zero.  I gave up soda cold turkey a few  years ago and rarely crave it now.  I usually only want a few sips and that’s what went down here.  I put the rest in the fridge and might drink more later in the week.

  
Dinner was late because I work late on Wednesdays.  I had to drop off something at my parent’s house so in good fashion, I raided their fridge.  Veggie, chicken and feta wrap + chips.

   
 And because it’s impossible to end the day without chocolate, chocolate.  This dark chocolate and orange bar I bought recently.  Chocolate paired with a guilty pleasure of mine, Pretty Little Liars.  Anyone else watch?

  
So that was my day.  Ever have a day where you can’t seem to stop eating?  I eat when I’m hungry and I was hungry far often than normal

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Yelp’s Cincy Made and Taste of the NFL

So last week was probably the week I ate everything. ¬†Seriously. ¬†All the events centered around food seemed to take place all at one time. ¬†I wanted to pop in and share some of the bites I tasted with you all. ¬†But first, let’s remember balance. ¬†Because last week I ate a lot of foods I don’t normally eat all the time. ¬†But this week isn’t centered around food-focused events and I’m balancing out last weeks indulgences with lots of fresh, lighter fare in exchange for the pastries, donuts, and fried treats.

Yelp’s Cincy Made¬†at Urbana Cafe


I was such a fan of this event. ¬†This was a new to me coffee shop downtown and boy am I glad this event helped me discover it. ¬†Yelp’s Cincy Made events are free to individuals with Yelp accounts and designed so you can get an inside look at all aspects of some really cool local businesses. ¬†The space itself was really inviting but modern, and the exposed brick on the wall really added to the ambiance.


The coffee was amazing. ¬†My espresso was bold and flavorful; not bitter but definitely strong. ¬†The food here is the star of the show though. ¬†It’s not just your average chocolate cookies and brownies at this coffee shop. ¬†Pastry Chef Stephanie is formally trained and prior to joining team Urbana, she worked as a pastry chef in fine dining establishments. ¬†This has led her to create some delicious and absolutely beautiful treats. ¬†Let’s talk toast bar–probably one of the most unique things I tried at Urbana was the toast. ¬†Stephanie comes up with different toast creations are they are as beautiful as they are tasty. ¬†A close second to the toast for me was Stephanie’s chocolate lemon scone. ¬†SO GOOD.

The Freestore Foodbank’s Taste of the NFL

 

Taste of the NFL is hands down my favorite volunteer event with the Freestore Foodbank (FSFB) every year. ¬†Since I used to work at the FSFB, I always get invited to help with this high profile event. ¬†The Cincinnati Bengals team up with local eateries for one giant fundraiser where attendees can get autographs from their favorite players and taste some of Cincinnati’s best dishes. ¬†This year, per usual, was incredible. ¬†Because I could spend days typing reviews of every single bite I tasted, I’ll share some highlights with you below.

Holtman’s¬†

Always a favorite of mine. ¬†I’ve been obsessing over the simplicity of just a solid sprinkled donut recently. ¬†Always hits the spot.

 Taste of Belgium
This fun play on chicken and waffles was the best thing I ate.  It was a deliciously dense waffle topped with pulled pork and mango chutney.

This short rib and bacon dish.  So good.
This bacon and pea dish wins the creativity award.  I have never tasted anything quite like it.
The Phoenix
I’ve never eaten anything catered by the Phoenix,¬†but was super impressed with their lobster corn dog. ¬†Nice and crisp outside and moist inside.

 Tom + Chee
You may know this local establishment from shark tank. ¬†I know them for the grilled cheese donut. ¬†It’s as heavenly as it sounds.

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5 Things Friday!

TGIF, Friends! ¬†This week has been incredibly busy between deadlines at work, and evening commitments after work. ¬†Some highlights for the week include Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe and volunteering (then indulging later) at my favorite Cincinnati fundraiser, Taste of the NFL. ¬†I’ll have full recaps on both those events coming at ya next week but I thought I’d share 5 food and fitness tidbits from my week so you can get a glimpse of how I’ve managed to find balance amidst the chaos!

  1.  I made it two times to P/E class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  Every time I go, I realize how much I miss having the time to attend all 5 early AM classes.  Per usual, Andrew designed some killer workouts, and my hamstrings definitely felt it yesterday when I tried to run.   
  2. Taste of the NFL! ¬†I love that I’m on the volunteer list for this event. ¬†Not only do I get to support a great cause, but I get to taste some of Cincy’s best eats. ¬†I think the last time I felt that full was Thanksgiving dinner. ¬†Standouts for me were obviously the dishes that included donuts, but more to come on that next week ūüôā¬†¬†¬†
  3. Yelp’s Cincy Made at Urbana Cafe was a winner in my book. ¬†I love supporting local business, especially those with coffee, so learning the history behind the business and getting to taste some of their menu offerings was a real treat.¬†
  4. After a week of indulging, I was in major need of something green. ¬†It’s rare that I crave kale–those who know me best know it’s not a favorite food of mine–but when I saw the kale salad in the cafe at work today, I knew it would hit the spot. ¬†Paired this salad up with some hummus and wheat crackers. ¬†Perfect satisfying, healthy lunch.¬†
  5. A patient told me yesterday, “God gave us taste buds for a reason.” ¬†Couldn’t agree more. ¬†Food is meant to be enjoyed and every now and then, we may have a week where we overindulge, but finding balance and getting back on track is the real key to staying on the healthy lifestyle wagon.

What are your taste buds planning to enjoy this weekend?  A new recipe?  A new restaurant?  A favorite food? 

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The New Nutrition Facts Label

Hi Friends! ¬†Happy Monday. ¬†I recently wrote an article that is soon to be featured in a professional newsletter, but I thought I should share some key highlights from the article with all of you. ¬†The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has released it’s final rules¬†for it’s overhaul of the nutrition facts label and food manufacturers¬†with more than $10 million in annual food sales¬†are expected to transition to the new labeling format by July 26, 2018. ¬†So, what does this mean for you, the consumer? ¬†Detailed below are what I consider to be some of the most relevant and significant changes to the new food labels. ¬†Let’s take a look:

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  1. Updated Design
    While the classic look of the label will remain, many updates have been made to ensure consumers have access to the information they need for making informed dietary decisions:

    • Increasing font size for ‚Äúcalories,‚ÄĚ ‚Äúservings per container,‚ÄĚ and ‚Äúserving size.‚ÄĚ
    • Bolding¬†the “number of calories,” “servings per container,”¬†and ‚Äúserving size.‚ÄĚ
    • The¬†footnote section on the label will better explain what the percent daily value actually means to you, the consumer
  2. Up-To-Date Nutrition Science
    The new label will feature the addition of “added sugars,” in grams and percent daily. ¬†It’s no secret that added sugars are detrimental to our health. ¬†Scientific data has demonstrated a positive association with weight gain and obesity in children and adults. ¬†In addition, added sugars have been linked to a variety of other health conditions including heart disease. ¬†Research has also demonstrated that it is difficult to meet nutrient needs while staying within calorie limits if more than 10% of total daily calories consumed come from added sugars.

    Another scientifically relevant update comes with the removal of “calories from fat.” ¬†Current research demonstrates that the type of fat consumed is more significant than the amount consumed.

  3. Serving Size Makeover
    Serving sizes must now reflect amounts of food and beverage that people¬†actually consume, not what they should be consuming. ¬†Over the years, how much individuals eat and drink has drastically changed since the previous portion size requirements were published back in 1993. ¬†Here’s an example of what I mean: ¬†The reference amount for a scoop of ice cream was previously 1/2 cup of ice cream per serving. ¬†The new nutrition label will reference a 2/3 cup serving of ice cream. ¬†While I find it a major bummer that the new label will not reflect the modest portion sizes we¬†should be¬†eating, I think it’s important for consumers to have easy access to accurate information about their food, and this change in serving sizes will allow consumers to make realistic and informed decisions.
  4. New Labeling Requirements For Certain Package Sizes
    Package sizes that are between one and two servings (like a 20 ounce soda bottle) will now be labeled as one serving. ¬†This is to reflect the idea that most consumers are not just drinking half of a 20 ounce soda bottle, they are most likely drinking the entire thing. ¬†For products that are larger than a single serving but could be consumed in one sitting, manufacturers will be required to provide “dual column” labels to identify the amount of calories and nutrients on a “per serving” and “per package” basis. ¬†An example of this new requirement would apply to a pint of ice cream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts #4

Happy Thursday guys!  The week is almost over and I feel like I’ve been going non-stop since last Friday.  Thank goodness I’m working a half-day tomorrow.  I could use the rest and relaxation!  Between work and other obligations this week, it’s been a busy one.  For this week’s Thursday Thoughts, here’s what is on my mind.

Got a unique taco dinner at Frida 602 Saturday.  Think brussels sprouts taco with a peanut salsa.  It was tasty but can someone please explain to me when it became socially acceptable to charge $5 for a single taco WITHOUT MEAT?!  I’d go back if it was for drinks and a snack, but I’d have to eat way too many tacos for it to feel like a meal.  PS local readers, their margs were killer.

   
 Hill workouts have been the theme of my running this week.  I did one Saturday and Tuesday.  Pretty proud of Saturday’s though because not only did I run some steep hills, but I also made it a negative split run.  What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger, right?

  
Donut obsession still going strong.  Last week was National Donut Day.  I enjoyed a sweet treat (or two) and got my donation in to the Salvation Army.  Did you?

  
Attempted to make Anne’s grain free pancake this week.  It’s always a major fail.  I can never get it to cook properly.  Who has advice?!  Either way, it still hit the spot and made for an incredibly filling breakfast.

  
Who is aware of the new nutrition facts panel?  It’s pretty hot news in the world of nutrition.  I’m thinking I’ll share the inside scoop–what you need to know in an upcoming blog post.  I’m glad the label is getting a makeover.  It’s about time that the label pair better with current scientific information.

  
I’ll leave you with a picture of the dogs.  I babysat them all last weekend.  Aren’t they cute?

   
 It’s going to be 95 degrees this weekend in Cincinnati.  Hoping to still squeeze in a run!  How are you planning on staying cool?  

 

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Weekdays Can Be Weekends Too

Happy Wednesday aka hump day, friends!  For me, Wednesdays are hands down the longest day of the week for me to power through, so I always love starting it out with a solid workout.  Per my usual Wednesday morning routine, I hit up Andrew’s P/E (power and endurance) class at the Blue Ash Recreation Center.  While it’s slightly out of the way for me now, this class is hands down one of my favorites and a great value at $6 dollars for a drop-in fee.  Plus, I used to be a regular back in 2014, where I attended 4-5 mornings a week!  So, it’s always a good time seeing some familiar faces :).  Andrew organized a killer workout this morning.  I think the hardest part was the third tabata we did–instead of the traditional 10 seconds of rest between rounds, we did wall sits.  Ooof!  Super challenging.  As always, loved the puns on the workout board and the high energy of class.  Can’t wait until next Wednesday!

  
I wanted to pop in today to tell you why I think treating your weekdays like weekends is a good thing.  That’s right.  The world we live in is incredibly fast paced, over-scheduled, and full of constant, non-stop activity.  My life is no exception to this.  Sometimes, this can lead our weekends to feel just as busy as weekdays and no time for relaxation with loved ones.  In an effort to try and be a more positive thinker, I’ve come to the realization that slowing down can be a good thing.  I read this post a few weeks back and realized what a great concept it described:  Making our weekdays feel more like the weekend.

  
I spend every day of my workweek looking forward to Saturday, my one guaranteed day off each week.  I look forward to taking my time in the morning, getting in a great workout, enjoying a delicious breakfast or brunch I might not normally indulge in (or have time for) during the week, and in general, moving slower.  Weekends are also great because they involve more mental relaxation and time spent with friends.  Weekends are also great for downtime.  I read this article from Scientific American recently, that describes why our brains need more downtime.  “Research reveals how mental breaks increase productivity, replenish attention, solidify memories, and encourage creativity.”  Mental breaks can look different for everyone.  For me sometimes it’s curling up with a good book.  Sometimes it’s eating a delicious meal outside and just enjoying the quiet and peacefulness.  Sometimes a mental break is a walk to grab coffee with a friend.  These mental breaks can lend towards productivity in the workplace, but can also allow us to have a clear head and positive attitude when it comes to making healthy lifestyle choices too.

  
While I can’t say I’ve discovered a true love for meditation, what I have found is that slowing down and allowing myself to enjoy activities I traditionally save for weekends has allowed me to think more clearly, positively and remain more productive and motivated to accomplish goals during the workweek–work goals, fitness goals and even health & nutrition goals.  I gave this idea a shot on Monday, because we all know Mondays can be tough, and it worked out really great.  From moving just a touch slower and making a real effort to incorporate things into my day that provided mental breaks from my work tasks, I was really able to end the day feeling positive and refreshed, even though I spent 9 of those hours at work.

  
In an effort to move slower, Monday started out sleeping in an extra 15 minutes until 5:30 AM.  While it seems silly, allowing myself the extra 15 minutes made a huge difference!  After waking up and enjoying my coffee with a dose of NBC news on the side, I did a 25 minute circuit in my apartment.  Normally, I wouldn’t have time for this, but I knew that working out helps me to clear my head and start the day on a positive foot, so I was happy to make time for some movement.  I did a few tabatas and EMOMs (every minute on the minute) and then made breakfast.  I have been craving bacon for weeks now, and it’s typically a weekend food for me, but since I was trying to have a “weekend” kinda mindset, I went with it.  Breakfast was soaked oats, fruit and extra crispy bacon.  This meal left me so, so happy.

  
Later that day, I decided to take a work break and squeeze in a walk + coffee date with a friend instead of my traditional lunch break where I snack at my desk.  The sun was shining and there was a nice breeze.  It felt absolutely incredible to grab an iced latte and breathe in some fresh air.  It made all the difference in my day.  After work, I went straight to the park to meet up with my friend Mary for a run.  Normally, I probably wouldn’t go to a park on a weeknight, just for sake of time, but in an effort to incorporate more interesting and exciting activities into my day, I was excited to go see how the development of Summit Park was going.  We did 4 easy miles on the loop that surrounds the park before our good form running clinic that was meeting at the park later that evening.  Wandering and exploring the park prior to the clinic was a fun way to slow things down too!

 

unintentional twinning

  
 The day ended with the Bachelorette  premier + pizza with Mary.  Pizza is normally a weekend food for me, but in honor of treating Monday like the weekend, and JoJo, why not?

  
What did I learn from slowing down my Monday?  Well it didn’t impact my productivity negatively, and I ended the day feeling more refreshed, less stressed, and overall more positive about my week.  While slowing down every day isn’t a realistic goal for me, I will be making a more conscious effort to incorporate more positive activities into my days to make them more interesting and exciting.

  
Your turn, how would you make a Monday feel like the weekend?  What are your tips and tricks for slowing down?

 

 

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Thursday Thoughts #3

I think this is the third time I’ve written a post entitled “Thursday Thoughts.”  They say it takes at least 3 times for something to become a habit (or 21 days) so I think sharing my Thursday Thoughts is officially a thing now.  Don’t you?

Early morning runs are my favorite.  Loving them even more now that the sun is up around 6 when I finish!

  
It was my Mom’s birthday Monday.  This cake was hands down the highlight of my week.  These cakes are infamous in Cincinnati and make any special occasion extra special.  Mmmmm opera cream ūüôā

  
After seeing a bazillion friends go nuts over the cookbook Cravings, I broke down and bought it.  Hands down worth every penny.  The book is full of “cravable” (see what I did there) recipes that do not require too much hands on effort.  My favorite!

  
I made the spicy tomato skillet eggs + prosciutto (I subbed ham) and it was super tasty.  Served with toast for balance ūüôā  The recipe reminded me a lot of shakshouka, a dish that reminds me of happy memories in Israel from the summer of 2009.  Except the version I ate in Israel wouldn’t have included pork.

   
 Yay speed workouts!  Queen City Running Club focuses on shorter, speedier workouts during the summer. Tuesday was super gross outside, but running buddy Mary and I drove over to Covington, KY to meet the group.  The organized workout began and ended with a slow but steady 1 mile warm up / cool down and the middle chunk was speed intervals by Paul Brown Stadium.  I’m never super pumped about speed work until I actually start moving and this workout was no different.  At the end of it all, I dropped some sub 8 minute miles and felt pretty spectacular about it.  Go me!

  
This new flavor of kind bar I discovered is my new favorite snack.  I want to eat it all the time.

  
Loved squeezing in a Blue Ash Rec Center workout.  Always a good sweat fest.  Sweat fests make me happy.

  
And… I’ll end this post with an awkward photo of my feet.  My right big toe is definitely swollen.  You know how sometimes on walks you stub your toe in the sidewalk crack, but then the painful feeling goes away immediately?  That apparently didn’t happen here.  I’m thinking this will go away soon but who knows.  Maybe I’ll keep you guys updated.

  
Tell me, what are you thinking about on this Thursday?

 

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Missouri Weekend

Hi friends.  Happy Tuesday.  Just popping in here on this dreary Tuesday morning (so sick of the rain…who else is with me?!) to share some snapshots of my quick, weekend trip to Columbia, Missouri.  Myself and some of the fam went to see my younger brother graduate before he moves to Seattle.  Exciting stuff!

The drive from Cincinnati to the Columbia area took almost 9 hours.  I blame rush hour traffic in the St. Louis area.  Is St. Louis rush hour always the worst?!  The drive included plenty of packed road snacks (almonds, fruit + iced lattes) and a Panera stop for lunch.  Upon arrival to Columbia, it was dinner time.  Off to one of our favorites in Columbia, Broadway Brewery!  Broadway Brewery is located in the basement of a building so it’s very dark inside so unfortunately, no photos.  While I was 100% underwhelmed by their pre-selected graduation menu and did not enjoy my meal Friday, from a previous experience, I can report that their burgers are top notch and you can’t beat the beer.  I like their honey wheat.  Instead of food photos, here’s an attractive family photo at the restaurant.

  
The next day was a late wake up call.  After a morning workout and hotel breakfast, it was off to explore Columbia.  Coffee, scones and donuts?  Yes, please.  I was sad sour cream dunkers were the only type of donut Harold’s had left, but just goes to show in a college town, the hangover can motivate students to buy all the donuts at a local donut shop before lunch.

   
 Next up, a very early (like 3:30pm) dinner at Sophia’s before the graduation ceremony.  Sophia’s was good, not great.  In true Kaplan family fashion, we tried a bunch of stuff.  Started with an antipasti plate.  It had pita, cheese, fruit, and meat.  So tasty.

  
The ahi tuna pita flatbread was just okay.  The horseradish mayo was way too overwhelming for my taste buds.

  
My favorite was the pasta carbonara.

  

I was most confused by the grilled romaine.  Why is that a thing?

  
After or dinner (or linner–lunch + dinner, is that a real phrase?) we wandered the Mizzou campus for pre graduation photos.  Then, much needed coffee.  Then, a boring graduation ceremony.

  
The drive home was long so immediately after returning to Cincinnati, a run was in order.  5 miles with my friend Maria in the books.

  
Congrats to the grad!

Who else is traveling to graduation ceremonies this month?  Any healthy traveling tips you swear by?  Does anyone actually like grilled romaine salads?

 

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OAND Pre-Conference: Your State, Your Plate!

Hi Friends!  Happy Monday.  Posts were few and far between last week, but for good reason!  On Thursday I was up in Columbus for the day to participate in the Ohio Academy Of Nutrition and Dietetics (OAND) annual pre-conference event.  I have always wanted to attend the actual conference however, I had plans to travel to Missouri with family Friday and Saturday.  So, when I saw this pre-conference meeting was an option, I jumped right on it.

    
The day was planned and organized by the American Dairy Association Mideast, with help from the Ohio Pork Council, Ohio Poultry Association, and Ohio Cattleman’s Association in partnership with the Ohio State University Extension Center.  The goal for the meeting was for participants to get a firsthand look at how our foods are produced.  We got to chat with farmers and speak with food production experts to learn exactly how different foods end up on our plate.  Awesome!

  
First tour?  OSU’s dairy farm.  Before heading over to the actual farm, we had to put on some super attractive foot covers (pictured above) to prevent bringing contaminants on site.  Clearly they take great care of their cows.  I think for starters, it was incredibly surprising to find that right in the dead center of an urban campus, there is a fully functioning 167 acre dairy farm featuring over 100 Jersey cows.  While the main focus of this dairy farm is obviously to benefit the university (research, education, student employment), they do sell their milk to Smith’s Dairy and these profits help support the mission of the farm.

  
Now, let’s talk milk!  What I found most interesting about the dairy industry was that there is typically a turnaround of no more than 48 hours from milking the cow, to the milk appearing on supermarket shelves.  Crazy to think that milk from the grocery store is literally as fresh as it could be.  What I found to be slightly more shocking though, was how little farmers earn off each gallon of milk sold at the grocery:  only 65 cents to a dollar.  This amounts to around a $40,000 / year salary for a farmer with 100 cows.  I would have guessed they earn more considering how hard the farmers work.  It’s a 24/7 job!

   
   
Next stop was OSU’s Garden of Hope.  This garden is a unique set up designed specifically for local cancer patients.  The farm is used as a means for educating patients, survivors and family members on healthy dietary patters, specifically with cancer in mind.  These individuals also have the unique opportunity to come harvest their own produce from this ENORMOUS garden.  A lot of thought and consideration went into developing this project, including pesticide use.  They do not use pesticides or herbicides because most of the people picking the produce are immunosuppressed cancer patients.  In addition, this farm cannot be considered organic due to use of synthetic fertilizer.  Again, due minimizing risk for the cancer patients, the decision was made to prevent exposing them to the organic fertilizer, which typically is made with manure.

   
 
During lunch, we skyped a pork farmer, and he introduced us to his pigs, and explained the process of raising pigs.  Unfortunately, the skype connection was not the best and it was very difficult to hear what the farmer had to say.  However, I was very impressed with how clean the facility was and how well managed it appeared.

After lunch, we were off to the OSU Beef Facility.  Here we got to speak with the farmers and student interns who manage and maintain the cattle.  Fun fact:  did you know there is a beef farm in every Ohio county?  What was also interesting to learn was that all the cattle are artificially inseminated in order to synchronize the breeding.  This allows for all cows to be on a similar schedule, making animal management much less cumbersome.  While this farm functions just like any other beef facility might, the primary purpose here is for research and education.  Any beef left over is sold at a university meat market at a discount price (aka perfect for struggling college students!).

   
   
After the long day of farm tours, it was time to head home to Cincinnati.  Such an interesting way to spend a day–while I don’t do any farming for my work, I deal with individuals who are constantly asking questions about food and where it comes from.  This meeting provided me with new facts and perspective on what it takes to get food from farm to plate.

 

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Recent Eats + Fitness

Hi Guys!  Hope everyone had wonderful weekends celebrating with Mom!  I certainly did.  I went over to my parent’s house yesterday morning and surprised my mom with a simple but tasty brunch–bacon + egg breakfast sandwiches and fruit.  Delish!  I had been craving breakfast tacos, but these still hit the spot.  Mom was surprised too.  I caught her right after she worked out so I couldn’t have timed this meal better.

  
Sunday was pretty rainy, but Saturday, the sun was shining all day.  Running buddy Mary and I made sure to meet up with Queen City Running Club for the kickoff workout of summer training.  Considering Saturday was 1 week post-marathon, we were both very happy with our pace for this quick 3 miler.  Perfect way to start out a weekend.

  
Random thought regarding Saturday morning’s run…  so it was in the upper 60s to low 70s and there was a woman wearing a full blow track outfit (jacket + matching pants).  I was sweating just looking at her outfit.  When people over dress in the heat for runs, I get confused.  Do you guys have a go-to rule of thumb for how you decide what to wear for runs?  Tell me.  I’ve been told I under dress  when it’s cold and over dress when it’s hot!  (Insert thinking emoji here).

  
Earlier in the week, I received my first Blue Apron box!  After seeing so many positive reviews for the service, comparing it to other services, and overall liking their menu options the best, I decided to sign up.  I like the flexibility of being able to cancel my weeks whenever I chose to with Blue Apron.  I live alone so the 6 meals I receive through the service lasts me longer than a week so I don’t need a delivery more than 1-2x per month.  It allows me to mix up my meals from my standard routine, without wasting too much food or over spending.

  
The first recipe from the box I prepared was this Udon Noodle Stir Fry with Shitake Mushrooms.  It took maybe 20 minutes to prepare and was a nice way to mix up my regular dinner routine of chicken or fish with whatever veggies I had in the fridge.  Loved the shitake mushrooms in this recipe too.  I had green beans in the fridge so I added some to the mix to up the veggie volume.  Worked perfectly!  I had leftovers to enjoy all weekend.  I ended up getting 3 meals out of it.  Awesome.

    

Last thought on my mind relates to Kodiak Cakes!  Who else is obsessed?  I remember when they were on Shark Tank and now they’ve become a pantry staple for me.  I picked up their new flavors at Target this weekend and had to try them out.  The peanut butter mix wasn’t my favorite.  It didn’t have as strong a flavor as you’d expect.  I still felt the need to drizzle peanut butter on the cakes themselves.

  
However, the chocolate mix combined with the peanut butter mix was heavenly.  Topped with a banana and more peanut butter?  Perfect way to start a Monday after a drizzly 5am run.

  
Who enjoyed the Sunshine this weekend?  Thoughts on appropriate running attire?  What is your go to garment for running?

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