Tag Archives: food

I really miss my morning oatmeal!

AND YOU GUYS ARE KILLING ME.

Somebody please make and eat these for me. Kthx.

Something to read. “Cities are known for setting trends; hipsterism is about anti-trends. It sounds funny, but hipsters in Omaha may actually be cooler than hipsters in New York City — everyone knows about New York City.”

Yep, that’s right, we most definitely are.

Something to listen to. Hot off the presses.

Peace,

Jane

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Friday and Saturday

I met Laura after my flight last night and she and I and her mom had the most amazing Greek dinner. I was starving after my peanut butter got confiscated at the airport (I’d been planning a lunch of apples and peanut butter since I always dread airport food…. but apparently a jar of PB is a huge international threat…) so I finished all of my souflaka except for the fries. It was so wonderful to get fresh grilled chicken and the tzatziki (spelling?) sauce was killer.

We got to see the Acropolis at night, too. This still isn’t feeling real.

I got up early this morning to go to the expo and registration, but not before making a stop at Starbucks for my American food fix. (+ an apple and a banana was breakfast. I’m gonna have a big lunch and a light dinner so my stomach isn’t upset going into the race.)

The expo was fun! I went early and got my number and free, really legit-looking, tshirt, then wandered around for a while. I ended up buying a warm headband to wear tomorrow, since it’s supposed to be cold and windy and I didn’t pack one, but I didn’t pick up any shoes. They didn’t have the brand I’ve been wearing, so I decided to wait and shop around back in Florence. Plus, instead of having marathon discounts, it seemed like the prices were way high. (130 EURO?! for a pair of running shoes? excuse me, that’s not gonna happen.) But in the bag I got a shirt, a hat, my number, a fanny pack (not joking), and an info pamphlet. I bought two gels and an energy bar to carry in my pockets.

Seriously, how intense is that shirt? I will not be racing in it because that would be dorky, but I will be wearing it running many, many times in the future.

So, Laura and I found this sign at the finish section with a bunch of people who look really thrilled about running 26 miles, and have done so without breaking a sweat…

…So I decided to join them.

… And then take a normal picture.

I made a note of the second door of that Adidas-plastered tent: it’s the massage area. Free massages after a marathon? Yes, please. Followed by more Starbucks coffee and some baklava? Yes, yes, please.

So that’s Athens so far! Laura and her mom and I are about to walk up to a place with a lovely view of the city, then get some lunch, then I’ll try to stay more or less off my feet for the rest of the time, though it’s hard to ignore the urge of tourism in a place I’ve never been before!

Talk to ya soon,

Jane

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3-in-one Muffin Goodness

Got this recipe in an email this morning (thanks, Runner’s World!) and though it’s helping my withdrawals from that magazine, it’s making my sweet potato and pumpkin cravings so much worse!

I’m definitely making these when I go home for break, and doubtless many times throughout spring semester when I’m living in a real, live house with a real, live kitchen and can throw real, live dinner parties / breakfast parties / breakfast-for-dinner parties with my housemates when we move in! Can’t wait, Cait and Kaitlin!

*This recipe– and the photo– are copied and pasted straight from RW’s website, and I haven’t tried it yet, so I’m not responsible for damages! You can find it here.

 

 

 

Sweet Potato Muffins
2 1/2 cups whole-wheat flour (preferably pastry flour)
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup melted unsalted butter
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 cup pureed or mashed cooked sweet potato
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup buttermilk

Heat oven to 375° F. Grease 12 muffin cups or add paper liners.

Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, ginger, baking soda, and salt.

In a bowl, whisk butter, oil, sweet potato, egg, and buttermilk. Fold wet mixture into the dry; stir until just combined.

Fill muffin cups three-quarters full. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes.

Banana Nut Variation Reduce sugar to 1/2 cup. Replace sweet potato with 1 cup mashed, very ripe banana; add 1/2 cup chopped walnuts to the batter.

Pumpkin Coconut Variation Replace sweet potato with 1 cup canned pumpkin; add 1/2 cup shredded, unsweetened coconut to the batter.

CALORIES PER MUFFIN: 248
CARBS: 37 G
FIBER: 3 G
PROTEIN: 4 G
FAT: 9 G

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Wine, Leather, and Andrea Bocelli

I haven’t written a music post in a long time, even though I think of it every time I’m out on a run. Most of the music I would be sharing, if I should ever remember to write the post, would be American (or Canadian), so I wanted to make my priority posting a video of a very talented Italian, Andrea Bocelli.

He’s pretty famous, so a lot of you have probably heard of him, but I hadn’t and hearing him in the car one night this weekend kinda changed my life. His voice is so beautiful. I like this video because a couple is figure-skating to his music and he sings with a young lady who’s also very talented.

So, here’s “Vivo Per Lei,” trans. “I live for her”

Now a few images of my weekend with my mom and dad in Chianti.

And a preview of the best thing I’ve bought in Italy: it’s something leather. The reason I’m keeping you in suspense is not just to be maddening, but because I only have a photo of it under lamplight, and I want one in natural morning light tomorrow. It makes a huge difference, trust me. Can you guess what it is? (Mom, Dad, Katie, and Jeff, no spoilers!)

Venice is off this weekend, but it’s just as well because I have a ton to do regarding midterms and fall break/marathon travel preparations, as well as a haircut and a touch of shopping. As long as I stay away from downtown during the worst tourist hours Saturday and Sunday, it should be a delightfully low-key weekend.

Love to all, thinking of my mama and daddy as they arrive home and head back to work…

Jane

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So Much to Talk About

Gosh. I’m going to be a very good blogger for the next few weeks because there isn’t that long until the marathon and I haven’t checked in with you guys lately! Where to begin…

I ran 20(ish) miles on Monday. I happen to know it was a little under because I checked my route against google maps, but I’m counting it, because the run was extremely strong and I could have kept going.

I had the best recovery meal imaginable after class on Tuesday, which was: a grilled cheese sandwich from The Oil Shoppe (semisoft pecorino, sauteed mushrooms, and truffle oil, + 2 fried eggs and pesto on whole wheat bread) and a smoothie from Lovelife juice store, containing dates, mangoes, almond milk, and yogurt. They called the combination: The Marathon. I had no choice but to get it, especially considering my day had no calorie limit. :) I’ve missed my almond milk. I’ve stopped reading a lot of my favorite fitness blogs because of foods I absolutely can’t bear to look at without being able to obtain, actually. I would do anything for a soy or almond milk latte from Whole Paycheck and a bowl of pumpkin oatmeal with raisins and walnuts right now.

About fitness bloggers… I’ve noticed that they occupy a very specific demographic. College-educated, white, mostly women in their late twenties or early thirties, married or in committed relationships, with dogs, often went through some sort of weight loss / healthification process during or after college, most vegetarian or quasitarian, obsessed with pumpkin, and now, many are about to have babies. This is not fair– I can relate to the love of exercise, quasitarian-ness, and pumpkin addiction in the fall, but the rest of it is just not where I am in life right now. Where the heck is my generation? Besides, of course, the Healthy Hipster, who is fabulous. (And her tagline is genius: “too much Pabst makes you feel like crapst.”

Anyway. Other thoughts. Why has Lululemon not yet colonized Western Europe? This seems like an obvious one, folks.

My host father is singing in the living room right now, and the cat Marcello is sitting high up on a bookshelf and looking very cute. Just another day in the Bulli household. And yes, thank you news channel, in case anyone thought Italy was no longer in a crisis, you’ve set us straight– Italy is still very much in a crisis.

I found peanut butter in Florence!! Not just any old peanut butter, but organic peanut butter, and organic chestnut honey to put on crackers as much-needed fuel before my runs. Happy kid right here.

I’ve got a lot to do over the next few weeks, both in preparation for the marathon and in general. I’m spending this weekend with my parents, heading to the Biennial Contemporary Art Festival in Venice the next (!), then midterms, then fall break which I’m very excited about, then the race is the weekend after that! Can you believe it? I’m a little stunned myself. Two more long runs (18 and 20), then 3ish weeks to taper. I’ve read a lot of things that recommend getting new shoes and breaking them in during your taper, and I’m thinking that would be a good idea. I bought my shoes at the beginning of this summer, and they look like they’ve not only pounded out 500 miles, but also spent a week at the bottom of a lake and been dragged behind a train to dry off. You get the idea.

This post is very rambly, but I wanted to check in. Florence is still beautiful, especially in the evening. I ran a 7-mile hill workout today and took a Lit exam, which went pretty well, I think. I’m always nervous about the first test with a new professor. I came up with a brilliant topic for my Lit paper and my Art History paper is looking to be not too shabby, either. Tomorrow my goal is to write even a few lines of poetry. Perhaps even tonight, though I’d have to stay up until 2 to hit my productive zone again… not happening.

How’s the past week or so been for you? Any revelations, epiphanies, or discoveries? Any particularly notable Scrabble words you got to play? One of my favorites ever was “glial” as in glial cells, yes I’m a big dork, and Joe was impressed, but still managed to beat me that game. I could go for a good Scrabble showdown right now. Or Bananagrams.

Anyway.

Ciao,

J.

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Talking to Myself

Lots of times, when my friends learn that my after-school plans include 16+ mile runs, they wonder how I don’t get bored. The thing is, I look forward to those 2-3 hour blocks of time once a week when I don’t have any assignment but to jog around this beautiful city and get lost inside my head. A long period of time when being introverted and reflective is sanctioned? Yes, please.

So what I do is think. To get warmed up, I usually listen to music because the first couple miles are always the hardest. Then I just think: about my surroundings, about my day, about the Italians or tourists I see, about things my friends have said to me, about where I want to take my parents in Florence, about where I’ve been the past weekend, about anything bothering me, about anything I’m excited about. If you can release your focus on the physical and any tiredness associated with running, and let your mind take you where it will, it passes the time. And quite productively, I’ve found. I’ve begun many a run anxious, tired, confused, homesick, frustrated, or unsure of myself, and never failed to arrive home with a peaceful, centered mind.

Also I try not to blog or write to my friends/family unless I have something to say, and runs are my time for processing the world and helping me articulate my thoughts and experiences to those who I correspond with. So, here are some of those thoughts, a couple of lighthearted lists (you know I love my lists) that have been adding up in my head recently.

Things I Love About Italy

  1. The uniformity of the architecture
  2. Eating dessert for breakfast
  3. Walking, walking, walking
  4. The ease and economy of travel
  5. The beautiful language
  6. How everyone lives outside because of the premium on space
  7. Small children speaking Italian
  8. The things it makes me appreciate about America
  9. Piazzas <– not pizzas.
  10. Views of Florence from any high place
  11. The fruit. Especially the green grapes. Yes, they have seeds. Yes, the seeds are worth it.
  12. How un-intimidating / un-official-sounding the sirens are
  13. Being spoiled. My host mom sets out a tray with a mug and breakfast pastries every morning, and leaves French-pressed coffee in the fridge for me to heat up. Then she cooks me dinner every night, cleans my room and bathroom, and does my laundry. She insists on doing all of that too! It’s Italian culture. I offer to help do dishes all the time but have never been allowed. The best I can do is thank her all the time.
  14. The fact that I’m in Italy, particularly Florence. I get annoyed with its city-ness sometimes, but forget all of that when I can just walk into the Uffizi or Santa Croce or Palazzo Strozzi in my free time.

Things I Miss About America

  1. My family :)
  2. Men with manners
  3. Peanut butter!!!
  4. Soy lattes
  5. Ice
  6. Screens on windows
  7. Video streaming– both Youtube and TV episodes online. Netflix instant doesn’t even work in this country! The injustice!
  8. Cascadian Farm granola sprinkled over WF 365 organic lemon yogurt with half a sliced banana, slivered almonds, and a drizzle of local honey. Specifically. <– you know what I’m gonna be eating as soon as I return to the US!
  9. Cooking and baking
  10. Lululemon and yoga classes and my friends at Lotus
  11. The fact that I’m going to miss Thanksgiving.
  12. The fact that most of the things on this list are food-related, even though I’m in a country renowned for its food

Things Training for a Marathon Has Taught Me

  1. Your boundaries are 75% mental. With proper physical training, diet, and TLC for yourself (see #2-3), plus an unshakably positive attitude, you can do anything.
  2. My body was telling me something by loving dark chocolate.
  3. When you’re given a day to rest, rest. Take a slow stroll. Watch a movie. Eat a plate of pasta….
  4. …..Because the next day won’t be a rest day anymore.
  5. How to listen to myself. To my inner voice, to my body, to my cravings (more for protein and veggies these days… no shortage of carbs in Italia!)
  6. How not to listen to other people. That sounds odd, but I’ve found that peoples’ inclinations (even my parents) are to tell me I’m running too much, pushing too hard, etc. With peers here at school, it’s usually because if I ran less, they would feel better about themselves. With my wonderful Mom and Dad, it’s because they’re concerned about my well-being. But whatever the reason, it’s important to ignore all of their advice and keep after my goal.
  7. That around the first 18-mile run, you no longer feel surprised about long distances. The question becomes not, can I do it, but, when will I fit these annoying long things into my busy schedule?
  8. Uphill climbs make me feel strong.
  9. Downhill slopes make me feel like I could keep running forever.
  10. All foodies should be marathoners. It keeps you trim, and knowing you earned your meal gives you a greater appreciation for it.
  11. I’m more independent than even I thought I was. The possibility of traveling to Greece on my own to run this no longer scares me.

So there’s a peek into what I talk to myself about on long runs. Sometimes I don’t even try to keep up a monologue– I just observe and appreciate where I am. Sometimes those turn out the best and most beautifully surprising, anyway.

Pictured above: View of one of the towns in Cinque Terre; mountaintop yoga; sailboats on the Mediterranean at Cinque Terre

Love,

Jane

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1/3 of the Way There- Thoughts

I’ve been training for 6 weeks (and into my 7th) so since I started a 16-week plan two weeks early, this is the one-third mark.

  • I feel good! Not too physically exhausted, except on long run nights, and generally in good spirits, except for bouts of homesickness for Davidson and friends. And, I guess, long run nights I’m pretty emotionally drained, too, because all my willpower and positive self-talk gets channeled into the run. I thought it was weird how I was feeling irritable the night after a long run (and my parents were getting really frustrated with me), but then I remembered how drained to the point of illness I was after the half-marathon in April. I’m going to accept feeling out of sorts for an evening as part of the process, and just be aware of it in my interactions with people.
  • I’m generally decked out like this (with a pair of colorful Nike shorts or black leggings and my Brooks):

Fashion has officially been set aside for the summer.

  • The physical act of running has come to feel automatic. At the beginning of a run, it feels like the most basic movement, putting one foot in front of another, easy and thoughtless. By the end, especially on the BFH (translation: Big Hill) leading up to my house, the motion still feels automatic but it’s as if all nature’s forces are dragging me backwards with weights around the ankles and knees rather than allowing me to float.
  • Running heightens my senses. I notice the gentle physicality of cool wind, the perfection of a small boy silhouetted against the park sky, different layers in the smell of the air: rain, cut grass, car exhaust, another jogger’s cologne.
  • I’m tired a lot of the time; I’ve gotten a ton of reading done as a result.
  • I’m hungry about an hour before mealtime, regularly, and getting lax with myself about sweet treats again. Gotta stop that. I hate how sugar feels in my system and love how I feel without it.
  • Christine Marshall, an adored professor of mine, was right (as always): training for a marathon makes you live in the moment. I’m following a schedule, and it’s hard not to look ahead. But if I focused on the fact that my weekly mileage nearly doubles over the course of three weeks (yipes!) I would totally psych myself out and not feel appreciative that only three miles were scheduled for me today. During the run itself, I’m really zoomed in to my senses in each moment, and above eight miles or so, I slip into a sort of daze that makes my sensory observations seem really far in the distance.

And I’d just like to say thank you to my subscribers and readers, friends, and family who cheer me on in *real life* and on this blog! I couldn’t get motivated without you– I love you all.

That’s pretty much it! 12 weeks to go! Runners, do you share any of these experiences, or have any reflections on running to add?

xoxo Jane

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