Monthly Archives: April 2013

Afternoon Delight


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Super Easy, Super Clean, Super Healthy Fish Recipe!


I’ve been trying to eat healthy (I said trying, I didn’t say it’s been going well) and decided that I was going to make fish for dinner.  My original plan was to make a fish stirfry with soy sauce and rice and veggies, but I was talking with one of my good friends on the phone, who is a cook, and he suggested I go in a different direction, which happened to also be an “easy clean up”…so basically I was sold.  Below I’ve shared this SUPER EASY recipe:

What you need:

  • White fish of your choice (I don’t know exactly what mine was…whatever was on sale at Big Y)
  • Veggies of your choice (I used frozen mixed veggies)
  • A lemon, or lemon juice
  • White Pepper
  • Dill
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Tin Foil

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 375

Take a piece of tin foil and fold it in half (make sure you leave enough "slack" that once you add the fish and veggies you can still wrap the foil around everything without a problem.   Put the fish in the middle of the foil.

Take a piece of tin foil and fold it in half (make sure you leave enough “slack” that once you add the fish and veggies you can still wrap the foil around everything without a problem.
Put the fish in the middle of the foil unseasoned.

Add veggies - as many or as few as you want to eat.  The more veggies the better in my book!

Add veggies – as many or as few as you want to eat. The more veggies the better in my book!
As you can see, my veggies are frozen – thats fine, they’ll thaw out while cooking, no big deal.

Add seasoning.  I poured some lemon juice over everything then sprinkled with dill and white pepper.  Then some regular salt and pepper.  I didn't use any formal measurements - just "eyeballed" it.  Yes, I realize this could be dangerous, but erred on the side of caution - I'd rather have it be too bland than inedible.

Add seasoning. I poured some lemon juice over everything then sprinkled with dill and white pepper. Then some regular salt and pepper. I didn’t use any formal measurements – just “eyeballed” it. Yes, I realize this could be dangerous, but erred on the side of caution – I’d rather have it be too bland than inedible.

wrap that puppy up!  Make sure you have it wrapped well so no juices will seep out while it's cooking. You could also place it on a baking dish if you're nervous.  I didn't do that though...I like to live on the edge.

wrap that puppy up! Make sure you have it wrapped well so no juices will seep out while it’s cooking. You could also place it on a baking dish if you’re nervous. I didn’t do that though…I like to live on the edge.

Bake for 20 - 30 minutes, or until fish is cooked through, and voila!  you've got yourself a healthy, simple, easy-clean-up dinner!   As you can see, I also added some brown rice.  (the instructions to cook that are right on the box ;) )

Bake for 20 – 30 minutes, or until fish is cooked through, and voila! you’ve got yourself a healthy, simple, easy-clean-up dinner!
As you can see, I also added some brown rice. (the instructions to cook that are right on the box ;))

So you can alter this recipe to fit your own person tastes!  Add any veggies or spices that you like, and if you don’t like rice, you could have pasta, baked potato or anything else your heart desires for a side!  The world is your oyster!  Bon Apetite!

A Beautiful Day for a Glass of Wine


Along on our voyage, Taz and I stopped at Priam Vineyards, which is part of the CT Wine Trail, thus, part of my Bucket List for 2013.  Since it was very close to the hikes I was doing that day, I decided I may as well knock that out at the same time.  We needed a break between hikes, we were due for a snack, and we were parched!  I really like this vineyard because it’s really dog friendly.  Taz, of course, did not come inside while I did the tasting, but that only took about 5 – 10 minutes, so I left him in the car to relax (and by relax I mean I let him freak out, thinking that I have left him for life) for a minute.  A  young guy guided me through the tasting.  I have actually been to this vineyard before with my sister and bestie.  Funny story:  it was at this vineyard that my sister told me and Liz that she “doesn’t even like wine”…oh how times have changed since then.

Address: 11 Shailor Hill Rd  Colchester, CT 06415 (860) 267-8520

Cost For Tasting:  $7 – $14.  For $7 you get a smaller glass and less variety of wine, for $14 you get a larger glass as well as a bigger variety of wines to taste. (It’s worth it for the larger glass – the small glass is kind of dinky and isn’t what you’d want to drink wine out of at home.  The larger one is really pretty and has a nice shape).

Ranking:  $10!!  The staff is SUPER NICE and friendly, and the vineyard itself is dog friendly!  Awesome!

How the tasting works at Priam is that there are 2 “levels”  of tasting.  (apparently there are actually 3 levels, per the website, but I was only offered two, so that’s all I’m going to talk about).  So Level one included a smaller glass and only a couple wines for $7, and level two included a larger wine glass and more of a selection.  I did level 2, but only because I did level two before, and this wine glass is my favorite, so I reallllyyyy wanted another one.   My favorite was the Blackledge Rose’.  I ended up buying a bottle, and I was happy about this particular purchase because this certain wine donates 15% of all proceeds to the Backus Hospital Breast Cancer Survivors Fund.  It also won the Bronze Medal at the 2013 International Easter Wine Competition!  Yumm!

I liked all the wine.  I feel like I’m actually learning things from going to these vineyards because I actually could pull out the flavors in the wine’s description many times before actually reading it.  How pretentious is that?  Anyways.  I was going to get a glass and go sit outside with Taz and have our snack, but I got talked into a bottle because a glass was $10 and a bottle was $17…so for only $7 more I got 3 more glasses.  Don’t worry, I only drank one glass there, but I’m sure the rest will not go to waste!  We sat for a little bit, then walked around the grounds and took some pictures, since it was a beautiful day!

This truck is on the corner of the street you have to turn onto to get to the vineyard - You can't miss it!

This truck is on the corner of the street you have to turn onto to get to the vineyard – You can’t miss it!

Welcome Sign

Welcome Sign

Sign directing you to the Tasting Room.  (I probably could have figured it out on my own, but it's always good to get extra guidance!)

Sign directing you to the Tasting Room. (I probably could have figured it out on my own, but it’s always good to get extra guidance!)

Inside the tasting room - all the wines and awards!

Inside the tasting room – all the wines and awards!

A view from the picnic table I was sitting at up on the hill of the back of the vineyard's tasting room and patio.

A view from the picnic table I was sitting at up on the hill of the back of the vineyard’s tasting room and patio.

Blackledge Rose' - Delicious!

Blackledge Rose’ – Delicious!

Taz in front of the vineyard - not too many grapes yet...hopefully the weather will warm up soon!!

Taz in front of the vineyard – not too many grapes yet…hopefully the weather will warm up soon!!

Devil’s Hopyard, East Haddam, CT


Over this past weekend, me and Taz went on a nice hike over at Devils Hopyard State Park in East Haddam, CT.  The park was significantly further from my house than I expected.  For some reason I thought it was only about 25 minutes away, but really, it was an hour.  boooo.  Anyways, it was absolutely gorgeous out, about 50 degrees without a cloud in the sky.  Of course, being me, I always wish for it to be warmer, but hey, at least the sun was shining.

I had some major issues with this hike, which I’m sure does not come as a surprise.  I started out on the Orange trail (which for some reason in my head I thought was the Yellow trail, which could have been part of the problem), and things were going well for a while, but after I hit the scenic overlook (see pic below), things got hairy and I got lost.  Must have been those devils in the hopyard.  Anyways, Taz and I were hoping all over the dang yard…we kept thinking we were back on the path, but then the path would disappear again and we were basically just walking through the woods.

Eventually I came to this road, and decided to it was in my best interest to walk back on the street…We had already walked about an hour and a half to two hours and we had 2 more stops on our Sunday Funday Adventure before going home…and the way this was going, it really could have taken all day!  All in all, we had a great time though, see for yourself:

Taz posing by the State Park Sign.  What a handsome fellow

Taz posing by the State Park Sign. What a handsome fellow

Me and Taz taking a quick scenery break

Me and Taz taking a quick scenery break

Waterfall along the way

Waterfall along the way

Me and Taz at the waterfall.  He was a bit stressed.  I think it was probably because he fall in a waterfall as a puppy and was having terrifying fashbacks.  He was willing to take a quick picture near the falls, but only one! haha

Me and Taz at the waterfall. He was a bit stressed. I think it was probably because he fall in a waterfall as a puppy and was having terrifying fashbacks. He was willing to take a quick picture near the falls, but only one! haha

First Time Fitathlon Finisher


my race bibThis past weekend my sister and I competed in our first ever Fitathlon Challenge!  Going into it, I was super nervous because I had never done one before.  I was hoping that I had prepared enough for it and that I wouldn’t die somewhere along the course.  When you see the “course line up”, which we received about 2 days before the event, you’ll see why I was feeling that way!!

My sis and I have actually been training for this event for a while now.  The gym we go to, Fitness Revolution, run by the one and only Cass Forsythe, was offering fitathlon training on Sundays since many of us were participating.  Additionally, many of the things that we had to do during the challenge, especially the calisthenics, are something we do so often at bootcamp I swear I do them in my dreams sometimes!

We got to the race about an hour and a half before it started.  It was at Rentschler field in East Hartford, a couple towns over from where we live.  We wanted to make sure we had ample time to get our registration packet, figure out where the starting line was and stretch beforehand.

So enough about that…what did the actual challenge entail?  Here’s the lineup:

  1. Calisthenics – 40 Squats, 40 pushups, 40 crunches & 40 burpees.  We do these types of exercises on a daily basis at bootcamp, so yes, it was still hard, but not unmanageable.  I would say, though, that I really could have used a box for my pushups! haha
  2. Lunge lap – 1/4 mile of lunges – this was a long slow, and very painful (for days to come) process – trust me!
  3. Long run – Not to long, only ¾ -1 mile of road running. This was a welcome change from lunges – in fact it felt amazing!
  4. Transverse Wall – Not your typical wall. The angled wall had rock climbing holds on it and you had to scale from one side to the other without falling.  When I did this at the Warrior Dash in September I totally fell off into the water, but somehow i was able to keep it together this weekend!
  5. Tire Flip – 200lb+ tires. We each flipped a tire 8 times, which was fun.  We actually practiced this one a lot at training so I knew what to expect.
  6. Balance Beams – We had to carry a slosh pipe (10 foot long pvc piping partially filled with water – if you think this is easy to carry while keeping your balance, I’d LOVE to see you try) over eight 4 in wide and 8 feet long balance beams.  This was the most difficult obastacle for me, as I have zero balance when I’m standing on two feet on level ground, let alone a skinny balance beam holding a slosh pipe.  That must have been comical to watch.
  7. Wheel Barrel Push – Push a “wheel barrel” loaded with weights through grass I’d day we did about 100yds of this.
  8. Trail Run– We had to put on a 25 lb ruck sack and “blaze a trail”.  the trail itself was marked, but it was kind of creepy back there.  This being basically just a running event was one of the easier challenges, but of course the extra weight did make it more difficult.
  9. Speed and Agility Run – Tires,tires, tires. Add some cones, hurdles, hay and ladders. I may or may not have taken a digger while “tire hopping”, but its ok.  I got right back up and kept going.
  10. Monkey Bars – The monkey bars were really short, but it was really hard to keep your grip because the bars turned when you grabbed them.  I wasn’t able to keep any momentum there and therefore fell off…wah!
  11. Walls – The short ones – 5 feet. We had to essentially “hop” over these walls using upper body strength to pull ourselves up and then throw our legs over.
  12. Chain Pull – 30lbs, 100 yards. Just had to drag those chains behind us like the ghost of Christmas past.
  13. Tunnels – 24 inches, 18 inches, and even 12 inches! This was interesting because the bottom of the tunnels were grass and the day before the race it poured and POURED.  so needless to say we got a litttttle messy there, but it was all good.  I felt like an army guy crawling on my belly through the tunnels.
  14. Ropes – 40 foot ropes 2inches thick.  We had to slam the ropes for 30 seconds.  It would have been better, I think, if we had to do a specific number of rope slams, but doing it for an alloted amount of time was still good.
  15. Cargo Net – Cargo nets were set up about 3 feet above the ground and we had to crawl across them, or get across however you could.  Some people had an interesting “roll” technique.  we had 2 rounds of these with some “hay bale hops” in between.
  16. Wall Climb – We had to get over an 8 foot wall (twice) using nothing but a rope.  I wont lie, I definitely got some assistance on this one, but my sister Kate was able to do it all on her own.  She rocks.
  17. Over/Unders – 100 yards of leaping and ducking over 2 foot hurdles and under 3 foot hurdles. 48 hurdles in all!  Man, this one was almost dizzying under, over, under, over, blah blah blah….I was happy to be done with that.
  18. Farmers Walk – 300 yards of an unbalanced walk with a 25 lb weight in one hand.  This lead us to the finish line where we were greeted with granola, water, and bananas! Yum!!

We completely rocked it!  And had a great time (and looked great, if I do say so myself) doing it! The Fitathlon can get kind of pricey, but I was able to sign up at a very discounted rate.  I probably wouldn’t have done it if I had to pay full price.  You can read more about the Fitahlon Challenge and find one in your area HERE!  And if you hear of any awesome races, leave the in the comments below!  I’m always looking to try something new!

Here’s some pics from the day:

Hanging out in my car before the race started goofing around w my sis

Hanging out in my car before the race started goofing around w my sis

BEFORE

BEFORE

AFTER We met up with our friend Anna from Bootcamp

AFTER
We met up with our friend Anna from Bootcamp

Of course some post-race celebration beer and pizza!  YUM!

Of course some post-race celebration beer and pizza! YUM!

 

 

 

2013 Fight For Air Climb


fight for airTypically throughout the spring and summer I spend many a weekend morning up early to run in races.  Some of them are for fun, and some of them are for causes.  This past weekend I did a race much different than one I’ve ever participated in before called the Fight For Air Climb.  The Fight for Air Climb is a unique type of race that took place in downtown Hartford at City Place.  Its not a road race or a trail run, but rather a “vertical race” where we ran up 34 flights of stairs at City Place.  A good friend asked me to do this with them and I was was intregued, partially because I have never run in a “stair race” before, but mostly because the money raised goes to the American Lung Association, which is an amazing organization that works to save lives by improving lung health and preventing lung diseases, like asthma, emphysema and lung cancer to name just a few.  This is something close to my heart as my mother lost her mother to lung cancer years before I was even born and I currently have other family members suffering from the same disease.  No one should have to struggle to breathe, something that most of us can do so easily and naturally.

photo 2The race itself was…interesting…to say the least.  There was a few hundred participants, all raising at least $100, but some over $1,000 for the American Lung Association.  How it works was that everyone lines up and every 20 seconds a person starts up the stairs – this minimizes the “stampede” effect.  I thought, since I work out frequently and am in pretty good physical healthy, that this would be easy.  I mean really, whats 34 flights of stairs?! (That’s totally obnoxious to say, right?  Don’t worry, I “got mine”).  The stair climbing portion, was in fact easy…What was not easy was breathing.

I’m going to say this in the nicest way I possibly can…whoever thought that having hundreds of people tramp up 30+ flights of stairs in a completely 100% enclosed area with absolutely ZERO ventilation is an absolute idiot.  No, seriously.  If I knew who the person was that made this decision I’d tell them to their face.  My legs were fine, but for about 10 hours after the race my throat and lungs burned with every breath I took.  I literally had that irony-blood taste in my mouth for the remainder of the day (I finished the race before 10AM), and consequently 3 days later I’m still coughing so badly I’m literally hacking things up.  Its not pretty.  I’m sorry for the detailed description, but its the only way to really paint a picture for you!  Apparently this is “how it feels to have lung disease”.  I’m sorry, but I really don’t think it benefits anyone to make lung disease more prominent. I thought we were trying to raise money to prevent lung disease, not spread it!!

Me and some of my teammates outside City Plaza before the race!

Me and some of my teammates outside City Plaza before the race!

Though the actual race has passed, I still have a few more weeks to collect donations.  If you’d like to support the American Lung Association (or my horrific experience this past weekend), please click HERE and click on the “make a gift” link underneath the thermometer.  I’m sure just about everyone knows someone suffering from a lung disease, no matter how big or small it is, and any donation to this amazing cause (even if it’s just a few bucks) will really add up and help make a difference!

On The Run from the “Blue-Car-Gangster”


I’ve always had a very active imagination, and not just when I’m awake.  It’s when I’m sleeping that most of the craziest things happen.  The cool thing about my dreams is that many times the people in my dreams are people that I know.  Most of the time they are my friends, but sometimes just an acquaintance.  At any rate, I recognize them.  Last night was no different.  It was one hell of a night.  In fact, even though I got a solid 9 hours of sleep, I’m feeling a bit exhausted from all the stress and travel that happened overnight!

It all started when I was with my friend Liz and her friend Erin and Erin’s son Justin (don’t be confused – so in this car is Liz, me (erin), another Erin and her son Justin).  Anyways we go to Big Y and there is this gangster guy there in this very noticeable robin’s egg blue and white car.   Well he starts saying something to us, at which point Erin lashes out.  Things got a little heated, so we decide its probably best to get the heck out of there.  This gangster guy chases us for a little while, but then he’s out of sight, and therefore out of mind.

We all go along with our daily business, but then about a week later we find out that Erin and Justin have been missing for days.  Of course Liz and I are the only ones that know of the blue-car-gangster, but obviously we know that he is the one who must have abducted Erin and Justin and naturally we were next.  I mean that only makes sense, right?  So what else were we supposed to do but go “on the run”?

So we hop in Liz’s car and of course we immediately have a run in with blue-car-gangster, but we somehow avoid him and are now dipping through town trying to think of where we should go or what we should do to get away from this psycho.  We decided the best thing to do would be to get on the highway and drive to VT.  Why Vermont?  Well we were convinced that blue-car-gangster had our car bugged, but as soon as we got as far as Vermont it would no longer be traceable.

So there we are driving on the highway, trying to get away from blue-car-gangster, but suddenly just about half of the cars on the crowded highway are light blue and white, and we can’t figure out which one has the villain in it.  It’s at this point that I realize I was supposed to waitress that night, but obviously I couldn’t take the risk of being in one place for that long.  So, I called down to the restaurant where I worked and talked to the bartender, who basically laughed at me and instructed me to drive to the nearest police station if I was really that concerned.  I was that concerned, but was also terrified that if we stopped the blue-car-gangster would get us before we could walk into the police station or even on our way out.   So we just stuck with our original plan to get to VT.

Once we got to Vermont, we went to my apartment.  Of course, my everyday apartment just happened to be in Vermont, why wouldn’t it be?  Unfortunately, this is where the dream kind of abruptly ends.  I know, I’m just as sad about this as you are, but I had already snoozed my alarm about 7 times so if I didn’t actually get out of bed then, it wasn’t going to happen.  Hopefully this is a “to be continued…”  Maybe if I read this right before I go to bed tonight I’ll find out what happens!  Does Erin and Justin get rescued?  Does the blue-car-ganster get caught?  Are me and Liz safe up in Vermont?

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