Photo Share 9/30

Hello, friends! How are ya? I’m finally back home and currently writing this post alongside Lou and Derek – life is good and back to normal! While I’m very excited about beginning my career, it’s nice to have training end and be back with my family!

The most exciting part of my weekend was definitely Saturday morning. Several weeks ago, my dad, Derek and I signed for a 5K to benefit the Children’s Cancer Center of Tampa. Before I talk about the race, I think it’s important to mention what a great organization the Children’s Cancer Center is. While it’s evident how important cancer research – both pediatric and adult – is to finding a cure, it’s also important for children and families diagnosed with this disease to have a means to cope with the experience of cancer. The Children’s Cancer Center is committed to helping children and families cope today.

“Our mission is to provide these children and their families with the educational, emotional and financial relief necessary to cope with the illnesses which threaten to tear their lives apart.” – Patty O’Leary, Children’s Cancer Center C.O.O.

It was inspiring to be amongst the members and volunteers of this remarkable organization, as well as the survivors and children currently fighting cancer. I swear that the reason running felt so great Saturday morning is because I kept remembering what cause I was running for.

Which leads me to my next bit of news: I had a PR time on Saturday morning! My running while at work training the past couple weeks was much lighter than usual, so  before the race started, I thought a sub 26:00 5K probably wouldn’t happen (my previous PR was right over 26 minutes). After the second mile (and two gigantic hills/bridges), I realized that a sub 26 minute 5K was definitely within reach. I decided not to check my Garmin for several minutes, and when I did look down, I discovered that I was probably going to make it in under 25 minutes. After turning the final corner and sprinting through the finish, my official time was 24:36 – a minute and a half faster than my previous PR!

Now, the title of this blog, eatsandfastfeets, is obviously a joke – I’m by no means a setter of any land speed records. But I did cut 10 minutes off of my 5K time since I started running a year and a half ago, and it really makes me fall in love with running all over again! My time put me in 2nd place in my age group, and Derek’s sub 22 minute 5K put him in 2nd place in his age group also! Neither of us have placed top 2 ever, so it was a fun experience. My dad placed 1st in his group, which is nothing out of the norm 😉

Now some photos from the past few days..

The 3 of us right after the race

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What I received when I ordered the chicken dinner at Two Urban Licks in Atlanta. 1/2 of a chicken.

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Moroccan Chicken @ Carmel Cafe with my family on Friday night

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Molten Lava Cake @ Carmel Cafe

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Derek on the podium – they called our names and gave us medals 😉

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Dad on the podium

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Finally my turn!photo333 3

Greek Frittata on Sunday morning – Recipe to come shortly!

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Chicken Francese on Saturday night – recipe on the way photo 5

Parker posing with the Bucs cheerleaders at the 5K on Saturday – he was in heaven photo 43

I hope you all have a lovely Monday and a happy week! I will be over here trying to balance work + fitness + cooking, all with a smile on my face! Wish me luck 🙂

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Guest Post #2: Tips To Let Go + Stress Less

Hello lovely blog readers! I’m Megan, Mal’s dear friend, old roomie and Maid of Honor! I’m sure you saw me in a post or two, as Mal and I tend to spend more than a few days a week together. I guess you could say we like each other..

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I was so excited when Mal asked me to write a guest post this week! I’m a huge fan of her blog since I’m also a food and fitness lover, and love living healthy in general. A few essentials about me:  I love yoga and meditation, I’m currently a grad student and lived in Spain this past year teaching, I’m obsessed with Bethenny Frankel and recently had the opportunity to meet her (best night ever!), and I write weekly for an online magazine called Sweet Lemon on lots of healthy living topics. But enough about me..this week, I decided to write about creating a healthy balance in your life, in hopes that it will benefit your mind, body and spirit.

Do you consider yourself a perfectionist or always want to be in control? Maybe you can’t complete something until it’s absolutely “just right”or tend to go a little crazy when your day doesn’t go exactly according to plan because there’s just too much to juggle. This trying to be perfect can be exhausting! And actually, it’s impossible. It only creates stress and anxiety. It can affect your mood, attitude, relationships and quite simply, your overall happiness.

This segment from the Today Show may inspire you to create a healthy balance in your life!

Like these lovely ladies said, let’s create that balance and flow! How?

My tips for a balanced, less stressed life:

– Don’t be so hard on yourself! Give up some control. Breathe a little and just enjoy life and the moment. Become a little more flexible and listen to your body..with both eating and exercise. Take a day off from a workout if needed or cancel those dinner plans for a night in.

-Tell yourself: This is as good as it (work project, event, assignment) will be, and that’s okay.

-Focus on you! Eat healthy, workout, do something daily you love and just breathe. You can’t be there fully for others in the best way possible unless you take care of yourself first.

-Find what works for you to relieve stress: yoga, mediation, a bubble bath or a spiritual practice. Surrender and stop trying to control. Find your inner peace. If you choose this for yourself, it will change your life experience. Like Marianne Williamson says..

“Everything we do is infused with the energy with which we do it. If we’re frantic, life will be frantic. If we’re peaceful, life will be peaceful. And so our goal in any situation becomes inner peace. Our internal state determines our experience of our lives; our experiences do not determine our internal state.”

Maybe things aren’t supposed to be perfect in life. How would we learn if everything was? Maybe, it really is the journey that’s most important, full of imperfections and mistakes. That’s where we learn. That’s where we grow. That’s where we discover ourselves and become truly happy in realizing that life isn’t about being perfect, it’s about letting go and living. When we do that, everything will fall perfectly into place.

I hope you enjoyed my guest post today and could take a little something from it. Don’t hesitate to share your thoughts with me..I’d love to hear from you! And please, feel free to check out my features on Sweet Lemon, especially if you’re into fitness and healthy living! Read about yoga teachers I love, my favorite workouts, how to keep fit while traveling, and how to eat healthy on the go..just to name a few!

Enjoy your day peeps, and thanks for stopping in!

Focus: Fall Fitness Fashion

Now how is that title for some “F” alliteration?

Fall is finally here! And while it won’t get chilly in Tampa for a while, I’ve already got clothes for the new season on my mind. I enjoyed some cooler air in Atlanta over the weekend, and was actually able to wear sleeves while I ran outside – this hasn’t happened at home since February! Below are some pics and links to the work out gear I’m currently loving, and adding to my wish list in case anyone is wondering 😉

POLYVORE FALL

Clockwise from top (ending with the shoe)

1. Runbeam Short Sleeve Lululemon

2. Women’s Active Top Oldnavy

3. Full Tilt Longsleeve Lululemon

4. Element Half Zip Nike

5. Impact Capri New Balance

6. Legend 2.0 Capri Nike

7. Run Inspire Crop Lululemon

8. Gel Cumulus 15 Asics

While I really love Lululemon products, sometimes my wallet just can’t handle the sticker price. I’ve gotten many lulu products on sale, but prefer to stick to Nike, Underarmour, or Oldnavy when sales aren’t occurring!

What are your favorite brands of fitness apparel?

Is it cold in your neck o’ the woods yet?

Zucchini Bites + My Tasty Week

Happy Hump Day, friends! I hope you are all having a great week thus far. I’m enjoying my time + food here in Atlanta (you’d think I came here just for the food with all I talk about it), but I’m looking forward to get home to my loved ones and Louie this weekend.

On Monday I took a break from working out – it was one of those days where I needed the break both mentally and physically. You ever feel that way? Anyways, to treat myself on this lovely rest day, I went to Tin Lizzy’s in Atlanta with three girlfriends from work, and it was delicious. I had an awesome salad topped with grilled shrimp, and loads of chips and guacamole. This made for one happy gal.
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I got back to the gym on Tuesday, and got a 4 mile interval run in, which coincided with our half marathon training plan! The run on Tuesday felt as good as the rest day on Monday did – funny how that happens, huh? Tuesday evening some friends and I went to eat at a seafood restaurant and all ordered the same seafood chopped salad and shrimp and grits. IT. WAS. DIVINE. We left feeling happy and full 🙂

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Now on to a recipe I promised you all! When I made this for my family last week, it was devoured in seconds. And the best part: this zucchini appetizer was as quick as it is healthy and tasty!

Ingredients

2 large zucchini

1/3 cup tomato sauce

1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese

1 tbsp panko bread crumbs

Directions

Preheat oven to 350°and prepare a baking pan. Slice the zucchini into thin circular rounds. Place on baking pan and bake for 15 minutes. Remove from oven, and top each round with tomato sauce, panko bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Return to oven and bake for 15 more minutes. Serve hot! (Makes about 30 pieces)

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Zucchini are one of my favorite vegetables to cook with, and pack some great nutrients. They are a good source of Vitamin C, folate and potassium – this recipe is a great dish to make when entertaining guests, and they won’t even know they’re eating healthy!

Guest Post #1: How To Make The Most Out Of Your Workout Time

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Ruff Ruff! Good morning blog viewers! Mallory is out today due to a work trip in Atlanta so I am taking over the bog! It should be a pretty smooth take over considering I am the most blogged about guy on eatsandfastfeets… it’s me Louie!! As you may have seen from prior posts/glamour shots, I am the cutest and sweetest little pup you have ever seen, and I belong to Mallory and her family, or should I say they belong to me? Some might argue both! Mallory has been gone for about 6 days now and the loneness is starting to set in… she means the world to me and I want her back already! I realize I spend a majority of the day sleeping but sleeping is just so much better when I know that she is near! Speaking of sleeping, I have been meaning to get back to that…ZZZzzzzzz…

Ok, in all seriousness this is not Lou but Derek (Mallory’s Fiancé). Although I might not be as amazing as a typing dog, Mal asked me to do a little guest post so I will give it a shot! Quick Disclaimer: I am not a blogger by trade so if you are not a fan of this post just know Mallory will be back soon along with all her talents that I might lack!

After being first asked to write a post for eatsandfastfeets, I immediately said yes… having no idea what interesting activity I could possibly write about. So, after some serious soul searching (asking Mallory), I decided I could give some tips on how to find time to be active even with a busy schedule. When making the jump from college life to work life (as Mallory is currently), one will probably find that a “busy” schedule takes on a whole new meaning and finding time to go for a run or to the gym is a constant challenge. So fear not, because here are a few ways to find that extra 30-60 minutes for some activity in the day.

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  • Tip #1: Wake up early… easier said than done. Working out in the morning will not only save you time but can boost mental focus, give you increased energy for the day, and result in better sleep at night. (http://dailyhealthpost.com/5-benefits-of-early-morning-exercise/2/#axzz2fizgtePA)
  • Tip #2: Run to the gym (and back), rather than drive. By using the trip to the gym as a part of your workout, you add time to your workout and eliminate sedentary drive time.
  • Tip #3: Workout Videos. These video sessions are normally intense and fast paced and range from 15-30 minutes, and the best part is that you can do this in the privacy of your own home.
  • Tip #4: Plan your day. By planning your day and including necessary workout time, it will be easier to stick to that schedule as your day progresses.

So there you have it! I hope these few tips help you out and motivate you to get out from behind the desk and move!

That’s all for me today folks, enjoy your Tuesday!

-Guest Blogger Derek

Avocado Hummus Recipe

I have a story for you guys, it goes like this. One afternoon, I couldn’t choose between Guacamole or Hummus. So, I didn’t.

Avocado Hummus

Ingredients

2 small avocados (or 1 giant)

1 (15 oz.) can of cannellini beans or chickpeas (rinsed and drained)

1/4 cup cilantro

2 clove garlic

juice from 1 lemon

2 tbsp olive oil

2 tsp sesami tahini (optional)

1/2 tsp pepper

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The dip tasted more like avocado than it did hummus, which surprised me, given the tahini I added in. Still, it was refreshing, and exactly what I wanted to dip my carrots and pretzels in!

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Hope you guys enjoy this recipe should you try it! User beware: the dip turns brown after a couple of days, similar to the way guacamole does. So eat up!

Photo Share 9/23

Hey, everyone! Long time no talk. I hope you all had a wonderful weekend! Mine was spent in Hottlanta, as I know I’ve mentioned several times – but the plot thickens! Derek was sweet enough to fly up for the weekend and spend some time with me here in the Giant Peach. We got lucky and were able to spend the weekend with his family as well, which makes work travel much more enjoyable! In addition to a 5 mile run through beautiful Piedmont Park, we spent the weekend eating tasty food and visiting the Georgia Aquarium. Here are some pics from my weekend!

Date night dinner at Pasta da Pulcinella in Midtown – Pumpkin Ravioli with walnuts, sage and brown butter. Need I say more?

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The prosciutto and mozzarella wrapped grilled asparagus wasn’t so bad either.

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Dinner with family + my best friend Ayden at The Big Ketch. We tried to cheer on our Auburn Tigers but apparently didn’t cheer loud enough

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Brunch @ BLT Steak

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View from the treadmill at my hotel. Not too shabby.

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Masterchef Derek’s Sunday Creation.

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Happy Monday, friends! Have a happy and healthy week 🙂