Sunday, February 11, 2018

Participating in POPSUGAR 2018 Reading Challenge

I've been participating in online reading challenges for the last couple of years as a way to broaden my reading horizons and expose myself to books I wouldn't normally read. To this end, I am taking part in the Popsugar 2018 reading challenge.

Although there is a total of 50 books to read for this challenge, I am pushing myself to read a total of 100 books for 2018 which I'm keeping track of through the goodreads website. So far, I've read a total of 10 books for the challenge which I'll list below with the connected reading prompt and signify completing by highlighting it. I'll make sure to update this post of I complete more books for the reading challenge. Happy reading!

2018 POPSUGAR Reading Challenge
  1. A book made into a movie you've already seen: The Color Purple by Alice Walker
  2. True Crime: Killer Twins by Michael Benson 
  3. The next book in a series you started: Intimate Geography by Tasmen Parker
  4. A book involving a heist:
  5. Nordic noir:
  6. A novel based on a real person:
  7. A book set in a country that fascinates you: The Corpse Walker by Liao Yiwu
  8. A book with the time of day in the title:
  9. A book about a villian or antihero:
  10. A book about death or grief:From Here to Eternity: Traveling the World to Find the Good Death by Caitlin Doughty
  11. A book with your favorite color in the title:
  12. A book with alliteration in the title:
  13. A book about time travel:
  14. A book with a weather element in the title:
  15. A book set at sea:
  16. A book with an animal in the title:
  17. A book set on a different plant: Saga, Volume 8 by Brian K. Vaughn 
  18. A book with song lyrics in the title:
  19. A book about or set on Halloween:
  20. A book with characters who are twins:
  21. A book with a female author who uses a male pseudonym:
  22. A book with an LGBTQ+ protagonist: A Very, Very Bad Thing by Jeffery Self 
  23. A book that is also a stage play or a musical:
  24. A book by an author of a different ethnicity than you:
  25. A book about feminism:
  26. A book about mental health:
  27. A book you borrowed or that was given to you as a gift: Darker by E.L. James
  28. A book by two authors:
  29. A book about or involving a sport:
  30. A book by a local author:
  31. A book mentioned in another book:
  32. A book from a celebrity book club: Y: The Last Man, Volume 3 by Brian K. Vaughn 
  33. A childhood classic you've never read: The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein
  34. A book that's published in 2018:
  35. A past Goodreads Choice Awards winner:
  36. A book set in the decade you were born:
  37. A book you meant to read in 2017 but didn't get to: Natural Disaster by Ginger Zee 
  38. A book with an ugly cover:
  39. A book that involves a bookstore or library
  40. Your favorite prompt from the 2015, 2016, or 2017 POPSUGAR Reading Challenges:
  41. A bestseller from the year you graduated high school:
  42. A cyberpunk book:
  43. A book that was being read by a stranger in a public place:
  44. A book tied to your ancestry:
  45. A book with a fruit or vegetable in the title:
  46. An allegory:
  47. A book by an author with the same first or last name as you:
  48. A microhistory:
  49. A book about a problem facing the world today:
  50. A book recommended by someone else taking the POPSUGAR Reading Challenge:

New source for vegan pizza & vegan garlic bread in Fresno!

As I was looking on Instagram recently, one of the accounts I follow veganinfresno posted a sexy food photo of a vegan pizza and vegan garlic bread. Yesterday, hubby and I decided to stop by and see if the food was as good as it looked. I was super excited since usually you can only get access to vegan garlic bread by going down south to LA so I was hopeful that the food would be delicious.  

They just recently started offering a separate vegan menu and it has been very successful. Due to the Instagram post, the restaurant has seen a enormous increase in vegan customers and unfortunately they had run out of vegan cheese when we were there placing our order. The restaurant manager Rose was very friendly and accommodating in answering questions regarding if they use nuts in any of their food. Rose answered no but she doubled checked to make sure things were okay. After looking at the menu for a minute, I decided to the vegan garlic bread and a combination pizza. It was at this point that Rose broke the news to use that unfortunately, there was only enough cheese for either the garlic bread or the pizza but not both. I really wanted the garlic bread so we decided to have no cheese on our pizza. She the shared that since the Instagram photo, tons of vegans have visited the restaurant which led to the cheese shortage. 

After waiting a few minutes, the garlic bread arrived at our table and it was as good as I though it would. They use Teese cheese and it came with a side marinara and curry sauce. The marinara was perfectly and the curry had a nice subtle burn. The pizza was delicious and I liked that the offer vegan sausage. Overall it was a great meal and we'll definitely visit here again.

Entrance to Curry Pizza Company

Vegan menu
Vegan garlic bread with sauce

Vegan combination pizza w/o cheese

Sometimes it's not about the PR

As someone who's been consistently running since 2012, sometimes I get so caught up in getting a small finish time, I forget the very reason why I run which is to celebrate being able to move my body regardless of what size it is. Last year while out at dinner with my librarian friends, my friend Nichole said that she'd like to run a race with me. I'll admit, I initially didn't think she'd follow through with it considering I've had friends before who've said the same thing the eventually flake out on me. 

A few weeks later, I contacted her on Facebook to with a link to a race we could do together, the Kaiser Permanente San Franciso Half Marathon & 5K on February 4, 2018 in Golden Gate Park. Nichole shared with me that she had not gone running in 10 years due to health issues and being a busy single mom to three boys (two with special needs.)  After we decided to do the 5K, she started training for the race and despite her being in a car accident and totaling her car, she still stuck with her training and we completed the 5K in 1:05:23. I am proud that she decided to do the event and listened to her body in reference to taking stretch breaks and keeping a brisk pace. By helping her complete this goal, this taught me that I don't have to achieve a PR with every race I do, sometimes I need to just stop and enjoy the race course and having a conversation with a friend. Below are some photos from race day.

Pre-race selfie

Me & Nichole pre-race

And we're off!
Nichole at mile 1
Nichole at mile 2

Nichole & me rocking our medals post-race

After the race, I was really hungry so we decided to drive over to Berkeley for sandwiches from Ike's Love & Sandwiches followed by a vegan cinnamon roll from Cinnaholic. The sandwiches were delicious and the cinnamon roll was the perfect treat after the race. 
Chester Cheetah sandwich (aka vegan grilled cheese)
Chocolate topped cinnamon roll

Friday, January 19, 2018

Highlighted on 300 pounds and running podcast!

In November, I recorded my first ever podcast interview for the 300 pounds and running podcast! The podcast is free to listen through the Apple Store as well the website

I'm happy to say that the podcast is now live so check it out if you'd like to hear about my journey to becoming a runner as well ways I keep motivated.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Orlando vegan eats

While in Orlando, we enjoyed a variety of delicious vegan food. First we visited Ethos Vegan Kitchen for Sunday brunch. 
Entrance to Ethos Vegan Kitchen
Vegan biscuits & gravy

Vegan french toast with sausage and cinnamon dust

Vegan pancakes with butter & syrup

We also decided to check out the vegan food offerings at Disney World and traveled to Disney Springs for vegan sweets at Erin Mckenna's Bakery and Sassagoula Floatworks and Food Factory for vegan beginets. 

Vegan mint cupcake sandwich

Entrance to Disney Springs

Den with tall toy solider
Me and Den on Disney Springs bridge

Vegan beginets with strawberry sauce
 Before we left Florida, we made one more food stop to Dixie Dharma & Valhalla Bakery which are both housed at Market On South. The food was tasty and the staff were friendly. We'll definitely visit there again to try their lunch offering.
Market on South building

Wet burrito with cheesy homies potatoes
Yellow grits with creole butter

Corn flapjakes with tofu scramble

Pumpkin pie bar

Starting 2018 on a high note

Each year, I recommit to my healthy and fitness by completing a running event within the first week on the year. This year I decided to run a 5K (3.1 mile) New Years' Day race in Orlando, Florida. A major difference with this race versus other races I've done is that I've been running consistently for the last couple of months using the Nike Run Club app as a way to train for future running events. I happy to not only complete my first race in 39:51, but I was shocked to receive a third place medal for my age group!Here are some photos from race day.

Moss Park - race location

Warming up in hubby's coat before race
Me with third page age medal

Showing of finisher and age medal on podium

Finisher medal and age medal

Hometown for the holidays

Happy New Year!!!!! Over the last week of the December, me and hubby visited my hometown of Huntsville, Alabama and I also ran my first race of 2018 which I'll write about in a later post. The trip was filled with high points (hanging out with my best friend and finding out the sex of a another friends twin babies) as well as lows ( a friend passed away at the young age of 34.) I was happy to be able to see family and to maintain my running workout schedule. Below are some photos from my trip to Huntsville and  I posted all of my trip photos on Facebook.

Also my friend Martinus Evans from the 300 pounds and running podcast was highlighted in Runner's World magazine so of course I had to buy the magazine and support my friend. As a bigger runner, I'm excited to see more magazines and society are starting to show more runners that look like me or just look different from the white, skinny runners I usually see highlighted.

Free gift wrapping table at Huntsville airport

Working out with hubby

Me and hubby taking a morning walk

Fried chickun tofu from Huntsville Whole Foods

Me with best friend and her son

Me holding magazine with friend's photo
A lake seen while workout out

Me with mom and little sister

Me with step mom and dad

Hubby, bro-in-law, me, mom and little sister 

Hubby in front of Star Wars Christmas tree

Me and hubby having dinner with friends

It was super cold in Huntsville

Participating in POPSUGAR 2018 Reading Challenge

I've been participating in online reading challenges for the last couple of years as a way to broaden my reading horizons and expose m...