November 24, 2016

A cozy Thanksgiving

Today felt like such a nice, cozy day for Thanksgiving. The weather was perfect for fall--about 40 degrees and overcast. I got up early, at around 5:00, and went out in the living room to curl under my blanket and play solitaire on my iPad.

Recently, Jerry and I were looking for a new entertainment center (the one we had wasn't even an entertainment center--just cheap shelves). I looked at thrift stores for a long time, but just couldn't find what I had in mind. I would have loved to get one of the entertainment centers with an LED fireplace, but they were expensive, so I hadn't even been considering them.

When I mentioned it to my mom, she offered to give Jerry and me Christmas gift money early so that we could use it toward one of the fireplace entertainment centers. With her gift, we decided to go ahead and get one.

We bought one at Lowe's, and I LOVE it! I've always liked the light given off by a fire; the LED one obviously don't look as good as a real fire, but it's much more convenient, and it actually does look pretty good (in my opinion).

Anyway, this morning was spent cuddled on the couch in the light of the fireplace, playing solitaire, in a silent house (everyone was still asleep). It makes me feel so excited for the colder weather!

My mom asked me to make a pecan pie to take to her house for dessert, so I baked that this morning. Then I decided to head out for a run with Joey.

I wasn't sure how well I'd be able to stick to my low heart rate training while running with Joey, but I really wanted him to come with me. I decided I would just run at a slow pace, even if he pulled hard to get me to move faster. I love the hands-free leash, because it makes it easier to keep my heart rate down (when I had to hold the leash, my heart rate spiked all the time from pulling Joey in all sorts of directions).

We just did a short three-mile route, and it was pretty uneventful. Joey was trying to get me to move faster, but I was stubborn and just held him back to keep my heart rate down. The run felt really easy today, for some reason, and when I was done, I realized why: my pace was in the 12:00's!

I've been sticking with my plan to keep my heart rate at my MAF training zone (under 146 bpm). I think I just might not be running enough mileage to make a difference, though. My pace has been SO inconsistent since I started this training! I had been planning to plot out all of my runs into a line graph, but the inconsistency will make it difficult to see any progress. Instead, I think I'll run the same route once a week (not with Joey!) and compare that run each week. It'll be easier if I'm just comparing one run per week instead of all the runs together, if that makes sense. I'll get in one more week of training, and then write an update on how it's going so far.

I'm actually really looking forward to starting my vegan challenge tomorrow! This morning, I went through my recipes blog to see what meals I have that are already vegan--and there were actually quite a few! (Here is where you can see the recipes)

Lentil and Black Bean Chili
Chick Pea Curry
Taco Soup (omit the chicken)
Cookie Dough Hummus
Crispy Potato Halves
Vegetarian Fajitas
General Tso's Cauliflower (my chicken recipe, just with cauliflower instead of chicken)
Green Monster Smoothie
Hot Cinnamon Apples
Indian Lentil Soup
Lemon Lentil Soup
Mexican Lentils & Rice
Quick Bean Soup
Quinoa Salad with Spicy Peanut Dressing
Roasted Tomato & Garlic Soup with Barley
Spicy Peanut Noodle Bowls
Beans and Rice
Sweet Potato Wheels
Vegetarian Fried Rice
Pizza Crust
Whole Wheat Tortillas

These are all the recipes on my recipes blog that are already vegan. Bonnie sent me a ton of recipes yesterday as well. It's actually kind of overwhelming! I need to sit down and make a meal plan so I don't get frustrated.

Anyway, we are heading to my parents' house now. Happy Thanksgiving!



  1. Hope you enjoy the vegan challenge- I've been vegetarian for about 15 years and vegan for the last year and I'm not looking back! There are so many great recipes that you don't have to sacrifice flavor. Restaurants are the toughest part but you will be fine for a month! It doesn't sound like you need more recipes, but one of my favorite quick and tasty recipes is from Runner's world- it's called Fusilli with Tomatoes, Basil and Avacado (

    1. That pasta recipe looks delicious! I love anything with fresh basil!

  2. Hi Katie. Have you read Rich Roll's Finding Ultra book? He's a vegan MAFF runner who lost weight and took up running in his forties.
    Good luck with the challenge!

    1. Yes, I did read that, and thought it was a great book!

  3. Those recipes look delicious!

    1. I was excited to see that I already had so many recipes that I cook regularly that are already vegan. Slightly less work! ;)

  4. Is your family on board with going vegan? It is rough, be prepared for some tough days, but it can be done. The secret is to be prepared all the time. I was raised vegetarian, I try, try, try to be a complete vegan, but I always fail. I now consider myself 90% vegan, I eat cheese now and then is all. The recipes you have sound great! Good luck!

    1. Ohhhh, no, I would never ask them to do that! ;) I'm just cooking separately for myself. It's been much harder than I thought it would be. You're right about having to be prepared ALL the time! Thanks!

  5. I'm intrigued by your low HR training. As a master's runner, I try to follow the 80/20 rule – 80% easy runs in HR zone 1-2 and 20% working hard and oushing myself.

    I'm the author of 3 plant-based cookbooks :) Good luck on your vegan challenge. Once you get going, you'll sxee it's not all that hard. Your recipe list is impressive!


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