For those of you who are unfamiliar with the significance of today, its Marathon Monday and for me the kick-off of Marathon Season. One of these days I plan to make the trek to Boston to spectate this amazing event! A friend that is an incredible athlete (ahem she is ranked in the nation for tough mudders) is running Boston today for the first time so a big shout-out to Ashley!
The Boston marathon is every runners dream. To qualify and then do well the day of the race is even more of a feat. For me, the idea of Boston is to kick my butt in gear for a more regimented running routine. After becoming very ill
in February and missing my chance of participating on an awesome relay team
, I stopped running for awhile. The appeal was gone and I preferred waking up to attend CrossFit for my exercise.
With the weather warming up, and talk of future races amongst blog friends, I have used Marathon Monday as my motivation to lace up and hit the pavement. I have registered for not one, but TWO races to close out 2013. This should keep me interested in hitting the miles during the week while avoiding burnout.
My next race is the Virigina Beach Rock N'Roll Half Marathon
on September 1st!
With a vacation planned for the week prior, it will be difficult to stay on track with my eating and tapering, but 13.1 on the horizon is just what I need to be beach ready in August!
And of course to close out the year, I will once again be running the Philadelphia Marathon
. After talking to my friend and inspiration Caroline
, and reading her resolution to run,
I was more than sold to run this race again. Besides, this is my home-town race and running 26.2 miles of friends and family sounds pretty awesome to me! And I'm gunning for a PR. So now that I will be training again, who's up for a run?Question of the Day: What do you use to inspire you? Is it an event like the Boston Marathon? Or a friend's encouraging words?
Hello Hello! Wow how a month has flown by and I have somewhat hibernated from the blog world! There have been lots of changes and big events in the APOG house hence my MIA status. Work has been all consuming with all nighters in the mix (yes you read that right) and my body feels like it has gone through THON all over again, minus the sweet knee socks, DJ'd music and big reveal at the end.
Not only have I kept a busy work schedule but the BF and I have a big announcement. We are officially homeowners! It has been so hard to keep the secret of our beautiful abode, but we wanted to be sure keys were in hand before any announcement was made. And now this is ours!
Part of what sold us on this place is our backyard! I hope you will all understand that I wont be posted a full tour of the house- the bf and I have decided to keep some privacy however I can show you a room you all will become very familiar with!
The before shot
After Fresh Paint
The kitchen is by far one of my favorite rooms in the house and naturally one of the places I spend most of my time. Stay tuned for some great Paleo recipes coming out of the new digs! I am officially out of hibernation and it feels so good!
Question of the Day: When life gets too busy do you go into hibernation (work, sleep, eat, repeat?) Or do you try to break that cycle?
Hello Friends! Sorry for the MIA status last week as I was away for work (and a little fun) in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.
I consider myself lucky that I am able to travel for work and for pleasure, but with a fair amount of time spent on the road, its easy to open up to the world of temptation. Every night of extravagant dinners, desserts and drinking can pack on the pounds fast. To avoid this, I have taken a few tips from my Healthy living Blogger friends and thought I would share with you as well! Not only am I trying to eat healthy on the road, but I am also trying to keep to my Paleo lifestyle (double whammy) which makes finding food and drink options even more difficult. Here's a few tips I try to stick by when logging in the miles on the map.
1. Make a Game Plan: I am a planner by nature and so I try my best to plan out my meals. A full day of travel means lots of airport/ train station time and not much in the way of 'healthy' eating. There are always work arounds (a salad at a sammie shop, a pack of nuts from a convenience store ) but I try to pack a snack or two just in case I can't find any of those natural healthy options.
2. Brown Bag it: I pack my lunch every day while I'm in the office and so packing more food when I travel is not uncommon for me. Often times I will bake a batch of my Paleo Pumpkin muffins to bring along with a few apples or bananas and some almond butter. It's amazing how many people will comment on your food packing choices. Almond butter can be easily found in individual packets at any Wegmans or Whole Foods stores.
3. Be opinionated: If you're with a group searching for dining options and you're given a choice, pull out your smart phone, look up that menu and have an opinion! Of course there are times that you have to roll with the punches, but over time, more and more people have become forgiving of my food aversions and make restaurant decisions accordingly.
4. Book a room with a fridge/ microwave: This was one of the best tips ever from Caitlin HTP. After reading her blog about her frequent travel for work, I too now request a room with a fridge so I can stop by the nearest Trader Joes' or Whole Foods for a quick breakfast or snack option.
Eating healthy on the go can be easy with a little bit of prep work and a little bit of want. What are your healthy eating tips while in the car, plane or train?Announcement: I am so excited to announce that I will be hosting a viewing party for OZ The Great and Powerful for any Philly area bloggers or readers! Please join me and some Philly Phriends next Saturday (March 16th) at the UA King of Prussia Stadium. We will be seeing the afternoon showing (right now its looking like 2:00 PM) and afterwards we can grab some fro-yo or coffee for a blogger meet up. Please feel free to message me with any questions about the event and I hope to see you there!!
I am always looking for ways to warm up during the winter and sometimes there is no better way than with a bowl of delicious soup. This soup was inspired by Caveman Food
. I decided to take her recipe and add a little pinch of ginger to it to make it my own. This is an easy dinner for a weeknight or snowy afternoon. I finished this recipe from start to bowl in about 20 minutes.
Pumpkin and Sausage Soup
Yield: 5-6 servings
Time: 20 minutes
1.5 cups of sliced mushrooms
1 cup of diced onion
1 pack Trader Joe’s Spicy Chicken Sausage
2 T butter
3 cups of chicken stock
1 15oz. can of pumpkin puree
1/4 cup of coconut milk
Red Pepper flakes
In a pot melt butter over medium heat and add the onions and mushrooms to cook until translucent. Next add diced chicken sausage and cook until fragrant and the sausage begins to turn brown at the edges.
Scrape out the pot and place the ingredients into a bowl. Set aside. Add the chicken stock to the pot instead and bring it to a boil. Next add the pumpkin puree and the coconut milk to the pot. Remove the pot from the burner and puree. (I used a stick blender for this- if you don’t have one, simply pour into a traditional blender and return to the pot).
Add back in the sausage, mushrooms and onion. Add the seasoning as desired. I did equal parts thyme, sage, rosemary, red pepper and chili powder. I added a little more of the oregano and garlic power and just a touch of the paprika and cinnamon.
The best way to season is by taste. Continue to taste the soup as you add the dry seasonings until its pleasurable to your
Serve hot and enjoy! This recipe is even better the second day after the ingredients have a chance to mingle together!
The post is brought to you by the letter ‘P’.
The title might have made a few of you giggle or even scratch your heads in confusion. This post has been about a week in the making and a good reason for my absence on A Pinch of Ginger.
First let’s jump into Pinterest. No lie- our house smelled like something had died in it earlier this week. It’s amazing to me how this can happen since I clean once a week and tidy the house daily. Nonetheless, I needed a solution that did not include lighting candles in every corner and burning our house down. Thanks to Pinterest and the brilliant DIY section, I
found the popular repined recipe of lemons and rosemary to fill my home with the scent of Williams and Sonoma. I filled a pot ½ way with water, added two thinly sliced lemons and ½ pack of Rosemary. I let them boil for about 20 minutes and
the whole house smelled of freshness. I highly recommend this little trick after cleaning. It will help the clean smell last a little longer. And not to mention, since the POG house is old and has plaster walls, it holds the smell much longer.
1 P down and two more to go.
Well Paleo and my Pancreas go hand-in-hand. As many of my readers know, I have been eating and living a Paleo lifestyle for about a year. That means, no grains, no sugar (high fructose corn syrup etc), no dairy, no legumes. The no dairy and alcohol has been an addition of the last two months since I have been trying to eat with a Whole 30 mindset.
Last Tuesday, the BF made Laura’s Change your Life Chicken for dinner with some delicious roasted veggies. I devoured them as usual and about an hour or two later was feeling a bit ill. At about 11pm Tuesday night I awoke running to the bathroom to throw up and did not stop until about 4:45 am when I finally asked the BF to take me to the ER. I had eliminated everything that was in my stomach without relief of nausea and pain.
After some IV liquids and anti-nausea meds, they sent me home and to my personal doctor for follow up. She had suggested this could be a bout of pancreatitis. This would not be a far stretch considering I do not have my gallbladder and eat a diet very high in fat that my body is unable to process.
You’re probably wondering “why is she sharing this?” I hope that knowledge is power and this might help someone else experience similar symptoms. I had frequent warning signs that my body was not able to handle the current state of my food intake. I was frequently running off to the bathroom, bouts of nausea after meals, lots of burping and stomach gurgling occurred AFTER I ate.
So now what? I still feel a bit queasy and tailoring my diet will help alleviate that feeling. Am I giving up on Paleo? Heck no. But I am modifying how I approach the lifestyle. You see, I took Paleo as a ‘blanket lifestyle’ method that really cannot be the same for all. We each have different health needs and our diet should be tailored to accommodate them. I am now in the middle of reading Practical Paleo and plan to follow an autoimmune Paleo Plan. I will get into the details of that later this week along with some tasty recipes that fall within the meal plan.
The moral of todays story : Don’t Procrastinate! Listen to your body- what you put off today will come back to bite you later.
Question of the Day: What is your favorite DIY tip found on Pinterest? Enlighten me! I want to try them all!
This time of the year, I am dreaming about sitting by the pool, warm sun on my skin, and yummy fresh meals from the garden on our table. I will admit that I look forward to whatever season I am not currently experiencing, but this winter has been a bit strange with a lack of snow and an abundance of freezing cold temperatures. That means I’m done with winter and ready for spring!
I had summer on the brain as I whipped up a Sunday morning treat for the BF and I. As we both follow the Paleo plan strictly, eggs have been our main source of chow every morning (which may change for me- stay tuned). In order to keep things fresh, we mix up the veggies we include and the method by which we cook the breakfast. Yesterday’s was full of summer veggies and lovin’.
Feels Like Summer Frittata
Yield: 2 very hungry people or 4 with a side
Prep time: 10 min
Cook time: 20 min
2 cloves of fresh garlic
½ Vidalia onion
2 links of TJ’s Jalapeño sausage
1 cup of shredded zucchini
1 cup of diced cherry tomatoes
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 375. While the oven heats, in a skillet add coconut oil and sauté the Vidalia onion and garlic until it becomes fragrant and just a little translucent. Add in the sausage, diced, and allow the flavor to cook together. Lastly you will add the zucchini and cook for about 5 minutes until the zucchini becomes brown around the edges.
In a large bowl, beat together 6 eggs and add a pinch of salt and pepper. Add the cooked ingredients from the skillet into the bowl. Pour the bowl into a pie plate or 9x9 baking dish. Add the sliced tomatoes to the top of the frittata cut-side up.
Lastly pop that sucker in the oven for about 20 minutes or until the eggs in the center have solidified and browned on top.
This is a great breakfast to make on a Sunday night to reheat Monday morning, add feta or goat cheese and you have a delicious breakfast! Not to mention, the flavors of summer just make it feel a little warmer inside don’t you think?
Question of the day: What are you favorite fixin’s to add into your eggs?
Hello friends. Happy Super Bowl Sunday! Are you doing anything for the big game? Usually today the BF and I hit the slopes since everyone else is off celebrating their team, but with lots of work travel for the both of us, we have decided to stay home….just the 3 of us.
If you are friends with me on Facebook you are already aware of what I am about to tell you. We have an unwelcome house guest…of the spiritual kind. You got that right- we live in a haunted house. Let me back up and tell you that I have always been a believer in ghosts. I have experienced some unexplainable things while working at my dad’s office (it’s an old farm house renovated to offices) but never in our home.
We live in a twin that is an old house from the 1800’s. It was originally one huge home that has been broken into two over time. The BF and I love the charm and character the house has which is what originally attracted us to the place. In the course of our 11 months here, our landlord has put the house up for sale and because of the location (we’re right in the town borough and close to restaurants and shops) the place was a revolving door of walk-throughs.
In October, one woman walked through on a Sunday evening. On her way out the door she explained that she grew up in this house as a child and was interested in buying it back to turn into one home again. She told us that her room was on the third floor and she had experienced multiple times a ghost that had haunted her room. We laughed, and said we have had NOTHING strange and brushed the conversation under the rug. That was until about 2 weeks ago.
Since that meeting, the house sold and the front unit (the twin is broken up front and back) and our new landlords have begun renovations on the front half of the house. It was the night before MLK day when the BF and I went to bed around 10:30, at around 11 pm we heard what sounded like a super ball dropping on the floor above us with footsteps walking after it. We both whispered to each other “did you hear that?” and after hearing the footsteps more, decided to get out of the house and call the police. After all, the front unit is EMPTY (like down to the walls) and so we thought someone broke into the
house therefore having access to our house as well.
The police arrived, did a full walk through with nothing turning up. Later that night after we reluctantly went to bed, the noise started again. That is when we realized we had an unwelcome house guest. We were reminded of the potential buyer’s conversation and we reached out to friends on FB with similar experiences.
Thankfully, one week passed uneventfully and we thought we were in the clear. A onetime scare was fine by us- that is until we awoke llast Saturday morning. I walked into the BF’s office to say good morning and looked down on the floor to see a
dollar size dollop of saliva. We both immediately looked up (instinct?) and I went to get a tissue to wipe it up. Skeptics might think it was a puddle of water? No. The viscocity was that of saliva as well as the look (white, frothy, bubbly). After advice from friends, I wiped it up and spoke to the spirit explaining the spit was not funny or nice and please leave us alone.
Since then there has been more unexplainable noises (sounds of footsteps, furniture moving in an empty house), freezing cold rooms and the hair-raising feeling that we are being watched. It has been a less than comfortable feeling after night-fall. White sage burning and salt piling are in our near future.
The experiences have only been on our second floor and hearing noises from next door. We believe this was all stirred up due to the renovations on the house. We are hoping this all ends relatively soon, but in the meantime, things are a little edgy at the Pinch of Ginger house.
Question of the Day: Have you ever had paranormal experiences? How did you handle it?
I have gone from a little ginger baby hating veggies to an adult appreciating the nutrition they bring to each meal. Part of ‘leaning-out’ during my whole 30 process is eating more vegetables. Although I will readily admit I do not reach for veggies when hungry, I have learned to prepare them in a healthy and delicious way.
Brussel Sprouts are one of my favorites. Last night I was craving salt and crunch and wanted a nice complement to some yummy pork burgers I had whipped up. After looking through the pantry, I found we had a whole bottle of Organic Meyer Lemon Olive Oil and brussel sprouts – perfect and easy for Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts. An important note is that the Olive Oil is from a local specialty store that features all natural organic olive oils- aka there is no added sugar.
Lemon Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Yield: 2 servings
Time Prep: 10 min
Time Cook: 20- 25 min
3 cups of shredded raw brussel sprouts
1/8 cup of Organic Lemon Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. While the oven is preheating, wash the brussel sprouts and chop off the ends. Throw them into the food processor to shred or chop by hand into thin strips. Place the brussel sprouts into a plastic bag with olive oil and salt and pepper.
Place the brussel sprouts on a cookie sheet and sprinkle with lemon juice. Place the brussel sprouts in the oven for 20-25 minutes until crispy. Serve hot and they are the perfect light compliment to any meal!
Question of the Day: What is your favorite winter vegetable?
Hi friends! Last we spoke, I was embarking on a Whole 30 adventure and fell short about a week in. Last Sunday, I was sick on the couch with a fever and nausea so I reverted back to my carb loving ways of eating ginger ale, saltines and chicken broth. As a result of this food choice, I revert back to Day 1 of the whole 30. The good news is, my box Crossfit Sine Pari
has about 20 members all in the same mindset!
Yesterday while the group learned about Paleo 101, I thought this would be a great topic for a blog post. And now that I am a year into the lifestyle, I can impart my experiences that many of you may share if you decide to begin this journey.
Eating Paleo as I have mentioned before is more than just a way of eating, it’s a way of life. Living a Paleo lifestyle often begins with the food you consumer (no dairy, legumes, grains, sugar- occasional alcohol) but then it transforms into the amount of sleep you get, the type of exercise you embark on and how you balance your life.
It’s been my experience with the Whole 30 that I have successfully gotten over the hump of the initial 1-2 weeks of strict clean
eating, but usually an unplanned event crops up on the calendar totally throwing me off. Whether it’s a glass of wine or a nibble of cheese, the clock stops and I have ruined 2 weeks of hard work. The important thing to remember is PALEO DOES NOT EQUAL PERFECT.
Slip ups and set backs will occur. They are in no way failures. They are opportunities to learn from and move forward with.
Here are my list of “Must Knows” to complete a successful Whole 30. I think had I known then what I do now, I’d have more success stories for you all and less setbacks:
1. Planning is EVERYTHING- As I mentioned above every time I attended an event that I did not originally plan for, I slipped up. I let temptation cloud my judgment. Don’t be unprepared. Make food for the week ahead of time. If you’re coworkers are
having a lunch meeting of pizza pack a lunch you’ll look forward to (mine is usually TJs hotdogs).
2. There is Power in Numbers- Attempting a Whole 30 alone is much harder than with a group of people. You want to talk, commiserate and bounce questions off of others. Join your Paleo challenge at the local Crossfit box, get your coworkers to start a group, talk to your family about it. Its only 30 days and once they feel the effects, they will all thank you for bringing them along for the journey.
3. Knowledge is Power- Read up book worms! The more you know, the more you will be able to handle the cravings, haters and social situations that will draw on your deepest wells of will power. I would rather have an idea of what to expect than to go through blindly. The more you know, the better armed you are.
4. ITS ONLY 30 DAYS!!! – This one is a biggie. When I joined my fellow crossfitters today, a thought crossed my mind. Less than 30 days from now I will be running my way to State College for THON. This is also known as temptation island. Heading back to my alma mater means all-night benders, late night eating and a loss of self-control. This time, instead of spending my night hours at the bar, throwing back $1 beers, I’ll be supporting the dancers at the Bryce Jordan Center and catching up on much needed sleep. I’ll be back again when I will enjoy a Café 210 tea. Let’s keep it in prospective people. The worst case scenario... you eat really healthy for 30 days.
image courtesy of GoingPaleo.blogspot.com
For all my fellow Whole 30 challengers- SEIZE THE DAY! Today you begin a road to a whole new healthier you!
Question of the day: Do you think the whole 30 is crazy? If you have tried it, what was your experience like?
Hi Friends! The holidays and New Year have come and gone without a word from me. I’m sorry for being MIA. I enjoyed a much needed vacation with the BF, family and friends and took some time to slow down and decompress during
the break. I hope you all enjoyed the time as well!
2013 has started off with a WHOLE new beginning since I have attended the WHOLE 30 Seminar
hosted by Melissa and Dallas Hartwig. I will write up a recap post for you all since I found it inspiring and really eye opening! I think those who are ‘anti-paleo’ will start to look at this growing food trend in a whole new light.
After the seminar, my mom, brother and a few friends from work have all jumped in to start a WHOLE 30 with me! As of today we are on day 5 and officially in a mode to EAT ALL THE THINGS!
For the new readers that are unfamiliar, the WHOLE 30 is a 30 day cleanse removing grains, alcohol, sugar, dairy and legumes from the plate. You might be asking “what CAN you eat?!” Great question! I still consume eggs, meat, veggies, fruit and nuts. You would be shocked at the amount of eggs our house consumes in a week!
Along with the cleansing process comes a lot of emotions and hormonal reactions however, there is no baby-stepping, dipping-your-toe-in solution. And as I learned last Saturday, going cold turkey is actually better for you and your body. By slowly ‘easing’ into this process, your body rebels for longer and the half cookie or small piece of cheese scenario becomes a slippery slope.
Now you all know how much I love cheese. I mean I have a CHEESE DRAWER in my fridge that the BF regularly teases me about. But with the support of friends and family, I am determined to complete my Whole 30, maybe not lovingly, but certainly more aware of my body and my food choices.
I encourage you all to visit the Whole 9 blog
and check out our timeline of thought processes as I continue on my journey. I plan to give you all weekly updates, the impact this has on my training as well as my well-being. Question of the Day: What keeps you from exploring the world of Paleo? Besides (I could NEVER give up carbs)