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Blog

1 day to go...

Andrea

Its the day before Thanksgiving!!!!!  Are you all as excited as I am?!?!  With only one work day between me and some amazing smoked turkey, I think its time for a bit of reflection about what we have to be thankful for... Its a bit of a long story, but I promise to get to a point.

Last night I had a great chat with my momma.  We’re going to be apart for Thanksgiving this year, which is hard for both of us, so we were chatting about plans, menus, family etc.  I was telling her about the blogging community and how impressed I am with all of you that are participating in the Thanksgiving Challenge.  My mom and stepdad are big foodies, so they completely understand big grocery bills and mine and Brian’s unwillingness to compromise on the kinds of food that we eat.  We don’t want to compromise, but we still feel guilty about how much money we spend.  This year, my parents decided to help somebody less fortunate than all of us to have a happy Thanksgiving.

My grandfather is living in a nursing facility near my parents’ home.  My mom is so grateful to the nursing staff for everything they have done for him, and she and my stepdad decided that this year they wanted to do something to give back.  She talked to the director to find out if there was anybody working at the center that was having a hard time and could maybe use a bit of help this year.  The director called her back with the name of an 18 year old woman working in the kitchen at the center for $7.50/hour.  The woman’s mother recently had a stroke and was unable to work, and her father had recently lost his job in this economic downturn.  At 18 years old, making $7.50/hour, this young woman is the only provider for she, her mother and her father.  My mom went to Publix and got a gift certificate large enough to cover everything the young woman would need to provide Thanksgiving dinner to her family.  When the director presented the young woman with the gift, she burst into tears and said “Now we can have a Thanksgiving.  The only food we have in the house is peanut butter”.

After hearing this story I was reminded again of how generous and thoughtful my mother is and how lucky I am to have her as an influence in my life.  It really got me thinking about how we can make small sacrifices in our own lives and make a huge difference in someone else’s.  For me, the ultimate show of thanks is to be able to help someone less fortunate than yourself. 

Brian and I are scheming about ways to do just that in December, so stay tuned...

On to training:

During my lunch hour yesterday I went to the running shop to talk to my 10-miler training program coach.  He is amazing, and took about 45 minutes out of his very busy day to talk with me about the issues I am having with my left foot and right knee.  He examined my shoes, took the insoles out of the shoes and examined them, examined the calluses on my feet (ew!) and had me test out several pairs of new shoes.  Because my current shoes only have about 150 miles on them and are still in good shape, he decided to have me try some inserts in them to help determine whether or not I needed more or less support in my shoe.  He wanted me to go for a test run and come back to the shop on Friday to report in.  So, after work Brian and I drove over to UVA campus to go for a run.  I love running around campus, its so pretty and well-lit and active, and the terrain is perfect.  We did almost 2 miles, and it felt fantastic!!!  My foot did hurt a bit and I made a bunch of mental notes to talk to my coach about, but other than the foot everything was great.  It was one of those fabulous runs where everything seems to click and you feel smooth and strong and like you could keep going for miles.  I loved it.  

On to food:

Dinner:  Brian made veggie chili!!!  Oh how I love chili.

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He used:

  • 1 yellow bell pepper

  • 5 carrots

  • 5 celery stalks

  • 1 onion

  • 1 can cannellini beans

  • 1 can kidney beans

  • 2 cans diced tomatoes


And his special chili seasoning (we make it all at once, and use about 1/2 per pot of chili.  the rest is stored in an airtight container in our spice cabinet).

  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder

  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper

  • 1 tablespoon dried minced onion

  • 1 tablespoon dried, minced garlic

  • 2 teaspoons white sugar

  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin

  • 2 teaspoons dried parsley

  • 2 teaspoons salt

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper


We served it over brown rice curly-cue pasta.  There are many things in life that make me happy, and curly-cue pasta is definitely one of them.

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Dessert:  One beautiful medjool date.  Yum.

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Breakfast Today:  Oikos vanilla yogurt with fresh raspberries.  This was my first time trying the vanilla, I like that its not too sweet.  Honey is still my fave though.  I also had a slice of pumpkin cranberry bread with almond butter.

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Lunch Today:  Trying to make room in the fridge, although this didn’t help too much.  I made a salad with broccoli slaw, cucumber, orange bell pepper and the last of my roasted red pepper hummus, about 4 tbsp.  I’m also going to heat up some Amy’s Vegetable Soup...I was bummed I didn’t have any bean soups for some protein.  :(

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Snack Today:  Another piece of pumpkin cranberry bread with almond butter.  I’m pleased to announce that this bread is still wonderfully moist and yummy 4 days later!

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Turkey Day Peek!!!

I braved Whole Foods yesterday on my lunch hour (or lunch 2.5 hours as it wound up being...) to pick up the fresh ingredients we need for our meal.  On the menu...Roasted Veggies!!!  I love roasted veggies, can't get enough of them.  This is always the dish that Brian and I offer to make at holidays because it ensures that there will be plenty of veggies on our plates.  This year we will have

  • beets

  • brussels sprouts

  • carrots

  • onions

  • asparagus

  • broccoli

  • parsnips

  • grape tomatoes


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I can't wait.  What are you all making for Thanksgiving this year?

Happy Wednesday!