Tag Archives: thanksgiving

10K Turkey Trot = SUCCESS!

Training for a race kinda sucks… until you show up on D-Day with 17,000 other people and realize you’re ready to go. Even though I’ve run many organized races, I often wonder why people, including myself, keep spending money to run when they could just do it for free.  THIS IS WHY: TURKEY TROT 2 There’s just something about the crowds, the anticipation, the collective anxiety, and the thought that no matter how slow I go or how fast you go… or how fat or skinny or old or young we are… we’re all in this together.  On this day, we’re all runners.  We’re all athletes.  We prepared for this, and now it’s time make ourselves proud.  Well worth the $35 fee, right?  That, and the free snack buffet at the finish line.

On Thanksgiving morning, it was about 20 degrees, and I’ll be honest with you.  I didn’t give a shit.  My boyfriend Eddy and I bundled up and promised to stay together on the course.  Although there are ZERO pictures of us actually running, we finished!  We didn’t break any records, but our time was respectable: 1:11:20.

And I’m so proud of Eddy.  As I mentioned before, he’s more of a sprinter… so long distance running, for him, was a challenge.  And guess what.  He didn’t stop once!  Well, he did stop ONCE, but it was for maybe 10 seconds as we were going up a massive hill.  I’m not counting it.

Here’s my final tally for training.  I stuck to the chart (and even did some extra) during the last half, and it showed! 10 Novice I’ve done two races with Hal Higdon’s programs at this point, one for the marathon and the other for this 10K.  I can’t say enough good things about them.  No matter your fitness level, he has something that fits.  Check out his site!

Now on to a new physical challenge.  Any suggestions?


Recipe: Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Happy Thanksgiving Eve!  On day 3 of this week’s recipe blitz, I bring you a suitable substitute for mashed potatoes – mashed cauliflower!

Usually, mashed cauliflower lacks a certain creaminess, which is disappointing.  But instead of using dairy to fill the void, I added something else – white beans!  Don’t knock it until you try it.  It makes total sense.  Pureed beans are what?  Hummus.  Hummus is creamy.  So are mashed potatoes.  The circle is complete, and it totally works.  Add a tiny pat of Earth Balance or butter on top of your mashed-up mound, garnish with some green onions, and WHOA.  Flavor explosion.

Garlic Cauliflower Mash

Serves 6



  • 2 heads of cauliflower
  • 1 and 1/2 c. canned white beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 c. plain unsweetened nut milk.  I used almond.
  • 4 small shallots, diced
  • 2 tbsp. garlic, minced
  • sea salt, to taste
  • Cooking spray.  I used coconut oil cooking spray from Trader Joe’s.


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Chop cauliflower into florets.  Add to a baking sheet with garlic and shallots.  Coat generously with cooking spray, stir, and roast for about an hour until cauliflower is tender and slightly browned.  The shallots and garlic may look a little burned.  This is okay.  The little crispy bits will at a lot of flavor to the final product.  This is also why the cauliflower mash looks more brown than white.  Brown = flavor!MASH 2
  3. Add roasted cauliflower combo to a food processor with beans and nut milk.  Puree on high until you reach a creamy consistency.  It took me several minutes.  Just be patient.  It’ll get there.
  4. Add sea salt to taste, and serve warm.

Recipe: Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie

Welcome to day 2 of my Thanksgiving Blitz!  I’m posting holiday recipes each day through Thursday.  Today, let’s indulge in some PECAN PIE!


I never really liked pecan pie until one day, someone added chocolate chips.  Total game changer.  But traditional pecan pie, chocolate or not, has a lot of eggs, butter, and refined sugars.  This version is not only plant-based, but 100% whole grain and refined sugar-free!  The secret ingredient – tofu!  Don’t gag.  I promise you can’t even tell it’s there.  All it’s doing is taking the place of the eggs in helping bind and set the rest of the ingredients.  Do not fear the tofu!

Chocolate Maple Pecan Pie

Serves 8



  • 1 pre-made whole grain 9 in. pie shell.  I got mine in the freezer section of Whole Foods.
  • 2 tbsp. 100% whole wheat flour.  Any flour you have should work.
  • 1 c. pecans halves, chopped… plus a few extra to decorate the top
  • 6 oz. extra firm tofu, drained & dried
  • 1/4 c. unsweetened nut milk.  I used vanilla almond.
  • 1/2 c. vegan chocolate chips.  I used Lily’s brand dark chocolate baking chips, which are sweetened with stevia.  Amazing.
  • 1/2 c. 100% pure maple syrup
  • 1 c. unrefined granulated sweetener.  I used stevia to avoid extra calories, but something like coconut sugar would also work.
  • 1/4 c. virgin coconut oil
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. In a food processor, puree the tofu, nut milk, flour, and vanilla together to make a paste.  Set aside.
  3. In a small sauce pan over medium-low heat, whisk together the maple syrup and granulated sweetener.  Cook until bubbly, then remove from the burner.  Add coconut oil and stir until melted.
  4. Whisk in the tofu puree, then add the chopped pecans and the chocolate chips.  Poor entire mixture into the prepared pie shell.
  5. Decorate the top of the pie with pecan halves, then bake at 350 degrees for about an hour until pie is set and the crust is slightly brown.  Let cool before serving.  Keeps well in the fridge.

OPTIONAL AWESOMENESS:  Coconut whipped cream.  Guys, it’s so easy to make.  Check out the tutorial at one of my favorite sites, Oh She Glows.

Recipe adapted from Post Punk Kitchen


The Runner In Me Returns

This time last year, I was just a few days away from completing my very first (and probably only) marathon.  That’s 26.2 miles.  I still can’t believe it really happened, but there is proof.  Thank God someone had a camera.  The terminator shades hide it well, but I was sobbing uncontrollably as this picture was being taken.  Tears of joy.  Tears of relief.  Tears of pain, because oh my God… my hips feel like they’re dislocating, my muscles are seizing, and my knees are on fire.


I wouldn’t say I’ve been lazy since then.  I guess I’ve just been less intense.  I told myself that this year, I was just going to enjoy myself and enjoy being active.  I didn’t want the pressure of a big race, and I didn’t want the constant dread of another 10, 15, or 20 mile run hanging over my head.  The marathon made life complicated and made my frequent out-of-town trips difficult to plan.  I guess that’s why it’s so rewarding… because it’s really just effing hard to run a marathon.  So, instead of committing to another insane challenge, I’ve been walking, biking, and leisurely trotting around my neighborhood often and whenever the hell I please.  It’s exercise I enjoy, and it’s been magnificent.

The only problem is that now, I’m starting to feel like I need a little kick in the pants.

One year ago, I was able to run 26.2 miles straight.  Just once, but still… it happened.  Now, I’d be lucky to finish 3 without stopping.

So, when my boyfriend (who is an aspiring professional eater, NOT a long-distance runner) suggested we run a 10K Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving, I had some reactions:

A) Who are you?

B) Does this mean I can have more stuffing?

C) No negotiating.  My favorite turkey drumstick hat will be worn.


D) What the hell.  Sure.

I’m telling you, because I’m excited to get started.  I really do enjoy running.  It gives me confidence and time to think.  I’m planning to momentarily update you on my progress, and I hope you’ll keep me accountable.  I’m also hoping you’ll share how you keep in shape.  What’s your favorite way to burn calories?  Kayaking?  Zumba?  Prancercising?  Seriously, I want to know.

Training with the Hal Higdon 8 week 10K program starts MONDAY!  Check it out.  Totally doable, right?  Stay tuned!

10 Novice

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