Category Archives: about me

Outstanding in the Field: Big Sur Secret (2014)

Public Service Announcement: there’s a traveling bus, table and quirky crew that stop at farms all around the country and bring delicious dinners, drinks and desserts to you – all courtesy of local farms and chefs. Outstanding in the Field (OITF). No matter where you are, I bet they’ve come close.

Last summer, we dined with them in Whitefield, ME, and proceeded to stalk their 2014 scheduling knowing they would very likely stop somewhere near our new digs around the Bay. We opted for the “Big Sur Secret Location”…

DSCN2814 There’s not a single bad spot along Highway 1, heading south to Big Sur. The scenery stuns and amazes, mile after mile. If nothing else, we did this for the drive and the confidence that you can’t go wrong with doing anything in Big Sur. Confirmed.

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We parked about 15 minutes away (driving) from the actual spot, as there’s no parking near this hideaway. An OITF shuttle took us to/from. We arrived to the familiar bus, without the usual farm setting. We may not have been surrounded by fields of vegetation, but our table was perked right atop a cliff and backed by the Pacific Ocean. (Literally, take 2 steps away from those back seats and adios!, down the cliff you go!)

OITF Big Sur 2014

With each OITF event you’re treated to appetizers and local libations; in this case, we had freshly baked flatbread pizzas with artichokes and smoked leek sauce, sea urchin, mussels, dashi braised pork belly and Alma Rosa wines.

Chef: Clark Staub, of Full of Life Flatbread (Santa Barbara, CA)
Farms: Sea Stephanie Fish; The Abalone Farm (Cayucos, CA), Drake Family Farms.

DSCN2855 DSCN2860 DSCN2865 We were also treated to absolutely perfect November weather, comfortable in jeans and sleeves while the sun was out and as it set right behind us on the ocean.

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We dined on Abalone and seaweed soup to start (a first for these two!), fresh vegetables and herbs, and white sea bass for the main dish (fine by this pescetarian!). Our dessert was a spiced walnut cake with pine and wild fig ice-cream, and all courses were accompanied by wine pairings. Each section of the long group table is served family-style, so you get plenty of eats and friendly conversations!

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We’re already anxiously awaiting the 2015 schedule, as we fully intent to capitalize on our current California to catch this delightful crew once or twice next year. It’s a pricey ticket, but considering the full afternoon-to-evening experience, delicious local eats and should-you-choose-to-indulge beer/wine pairings, it’s more than worth the splurge.

Have you joined them for a dinner? Any location recommendations? We’ve planned a trip around this meal before and will likely do it again…

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After the run, we have gratitude

My little world has had two little successes this week: running, without any pain. And while I barely got to the 2-mile mark, because those miles are real slow and easy, this is monumental in my mind.

Melissa: This may sound weird, but…do you think it could have been made worse by the {unusual} stress lately?

Me: Absolutely. 100%. No doubt. Worst timing ever.

After playing one soccer game one week after MCM, my legs were  destroyed. Every barely-recovered muscle tissue that had a voice spoke loud n’ clear: you better stop that right now! And since early November, my running shoes and ego have been side-lined. Add an unusual stress level, for other reasons, and a huge hole where my running-outlet once comfortably sat, and you have a recipe for one unhappy-injured-runner.

Those around me (namely the one dude that lives with me and has the unfortunate obligation to deal with this every day) have seen a Low low; when it rains, it pours. Necessary apologies have been sent to those human beings, because I know it’s exhausting to constantly give that reassuring care to an athlete’s exaggerated broken heart. I finally wised up  and took one full week off, which coincided with stress levels dropping like an anchor. We’re on the up n’ up! (Thanks entirely to home-remedies, foam-rolling, the Lacrosse ball peanut, him, Coach, deep breaths and Dr. Paul.)

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And it feels so good.

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My boss e-mailed me yesterday morning – subject: “grateful” – a short list of the simple things she’s grateful for, and I was like “Yes, THIS.”  Because it’s no secret that gratitude is linked to happiness, and maybe happiness is linked to deep-tissue-muscle-healing. You never know…

Ergo, this week,  I’m grateful to have 20 minutes of pain-free running. That’s all.

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Joy is…

Joy is_hiking in CA

There’s a small light at the end of a long tunnel; this week has probably been the roughest part of the ride, and it’s high time for a turn-around, folks. My attitude needs a reality-check, and every time I remember this quote it does the trick.

Joy is….

…hiking in Garrapata park with that dude (seen above). It’s right off of Highway 1, close to Big Sur.  In one direction you see mountains on mountains, and in the other, the sea. My Colorado-trained, land-locked hiking brain can’t get enough of this.

…a hard-earned jar of Justin’s chocolate almond butter pairing up with my favorite Love Grown Foods treat.  2014-11-11 19.09.41
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…curling up on the couch every Thursday night with the newest episode of Serial  {podcast} and very anxious, curious minds.

….finally purchasing a big-girl swimming suit so I’m not longer that chick with the floatie-belt and a bikini. I went grab-bag, of course. We’ll see!

….reading a novel for the first time in months. There’s nothing better than that can’t-put-this-book-down feeling. “Sycamore Row”, John Grisham. Go.

…(speaking of books) counting down to the WILD premiere!! Reese, you nailed it. I have no doubt.

…the return of fall squash. In particular, squash noodles.

squash and eggplant_dietitian on the run Squash and seafood_Dietitian on the Run

…training him to run what will definitely be a kick-ass marathon, and a huge PR. Two weeks to go!

…and joining this team of rock-star gals. More on that to come!

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What’s bringing a little light into your world this week?
Share the wealth!

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In Case You’re Wandering

Well, whatdoyaknow, it’s another rainy day on the central coast! Probably just some sympathy rain for the polar-vortex-sequel hitting most of you around the rest of the country. I’ll take it. And I’ll keep you busy while you’re comfy and cozy indoors!

Some reading and wandering I’ve been doing ‘round the web:

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1) “The New Rules of Fitness” – OutsideOnline.com

I’ve learned a lot about hydration in a short amount of time, thanks to some nudging from the Coach to take a second look at things. This list touches on the importance of quality hydration practices, but also a lot of other interesting things that have emerged in our world of fitness recently.
(Of note: this is not breaking news, rather it was posted in April, but a good read nonetheless.)

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2) “Affordable Care Act Enrollment FAQs” – NYTimes.com

Whether or not you support ACA, I think we can all agree there are questions. And here are some answers.  It affects everyone – read up!

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3) “What is your life purpose?”  – MarieForleo.com (MarieTV!)

first stepQuite a deep question to ponder on any day, but hey, if not now then when? Amiright? Decide where you’re going. Even if it’s just to stick around on the couch in sweats for now, making plans.

Either way, now you know about MarieTV and your Tuesdays just got better!

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4) I’ve saved the best for last. If you haven’t watched “New Girl” (Fox) yet, you’re missing one of the most brilliantly scripted characters on television.

Start here (warning: some NSFW words). You’ll see:

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Photo source: buzzfeed.com

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What’s open on your browsing tab(s) today? Add to the list!

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Recovery & Resilience

This year has taken my running+racing ego for a wild ride. Let’s just say this:  I severely underestimated the cumulative effect of taking 2013 “off”.There’s not one single thing I would change about that decision, or any of the other ones I made in that calendar year (‘twas a great one, indeed),  but set me up for peak physical fitness it surely did not. Noted.

2014 started off like a rocket: taking the RRCA running coach certification course, signing on to work with a Coach and subsequently starting to train for a marathon (after a 10 day trip to Africa, of course).  If you’ve hung around for a while, well, we know how that turned out.

Desire to Change_Dietitian on the Run

Right away my name was thrown into the MCM lottery just to see what might happen.  I knew that my body had more to give. I also knew that was a lot more to be learned from MAF, my coach, and my favorite sport.

I ran MCM with a goal to re-qualify for Boston. It wasn’t a huge stretch, but it certainly wouldn’t be easy (and it’s not supposed to be!). I let Katie whoop my butt from July to October, and have never been so happily exhausted.

Aaand, now we know how that turned out, too.

Katie reminded me that I took a huge chunk of time off my spring vs. fall marathons in one year; I did what I did on that day. And it’s up to me how to move forward from that, how to recover.

Resilience_Dietitian on the Run

If there’s one thing I’ve learned from this year, it is this:  whether or not you choose resilience will teach you a lot about yourself and your strength. It won’t give you measurable pounds lifted or minutes per mile run or a specific race time. (At least not right away….) But every time you choose it, you run a meter that deposits a lot of emotional energy in a bank with an incredible interest rate.

When you choose to be resilient after your perceived failures, set-backs or let-downs, you’re recovering and coming back stronger.  You’re soaking in a mental ice-bath – letting the sting of the situation-at-hand cool down, become numb, and eventually dissipate. It’s absorbed into your muscle and brain tissue to rebuild and get ready for what’s next.

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It took a few days and enough time to accept, absorb and let go of a race day that wasn’t what I expected it to be, before finally giving credit to a few things. I didn’t enter this year with the fitness base I’ve had in the past. I didn’t keep building on the successes of 2012, and because of the year I did chose to have ( think: more fun less fitness, in a great way), I entered this one as a different athlete. I’m rebuilding. And it’s a long, tedious process that involves using a lot of patience that I didn’t think I had (still debatable, I s’pose). 

But it’s way more exciting to be resilient – to chase endurance and strength and speed on my own terms – than to throw in the towel.

courage_Dietitian on the Run

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