Running, Colors & Love.

I’m sitting in the grass in the sun right now.  Glory.

My husband is about 10 feet away working on our garden.

I love that man for so many reasons.

I promise this isn’t going to get super mushy, BUT it is almost our 1 year anniversary, which we are pretty excited to celebrate, and I am just feeling grateful for my guy! Maybe, if you’re lucky, I will share our *story*. It’s a pretty good story. Just sayin.

Reason numero uno that I adore my hubby (besides that he loves to grow veggies): We have a lot of similar interests, one being running (and growing veggies).

Not everyone enjoys running, but we both do, and it is so much fun to be able to share that part of our lives together.

When we first starting dating I couldn’t run for crud, but I really wanted to start getting into it. Joe was a more experienced runner. So, one day he met me at my dorm, we walked to the nearby track, and he literally ran by my side giving me tips and checking in with me the whole mile. He totally could have smoked me if he wanted to show off or something. I knew I had a real keeper.

Since then we have trained for and ran a 10 mile race with our awesome friend Chrisy, which was quite the accomplishment.

Recently, knowing that Joe and I are runners, our good friend Roo over at NiceGirlNotes approached us to be on her team for a 5k she found herself committed to. Not just ANY 5k…The Color Me Rad 5k. Oh. Dang.

Color Me Rad is a 5k (3.125 mile) race in which participants not only get dyed corn starch hurled at them from every direction whilst running or walking the course laid out, but also receive bags of this colored fun to brighten up themselves & friends with. When is the last time you and your friends had the excuse to throw paint around at each other, or run and play in the biggest rainbow like explosion ever?

Clearly we said yes immediately.

While Joe & I enjoy running, the awesome thing about the Color Me Rad crew is that they don’t time the race. You can run, walk, hop, skip or jump. It’s all about one thing:  Fun. Fun, fun, and more fun. It’s for anyone, any age.

Straight from their mouth: “Color Me Rad is the best time you’ll have all year. Plain and simple. It’s like a food fight without food. It’s a race with no glory for the victor and no shame for the loser – only large slops of color plastered all over you and your friends’ smiling faces. It’ll brighten your day literally and figuratively…” Want some more from where this came from? See FAQs.

It was truly a blast.

The race took place in Hartford on Saturday May 26th, and driving up to the venue we could hear music pumping through the speakers, pretty much all top hits right now, and crowds cheering in excitement. Walking in it was a mob of people in white t-shirts, the occasional tutu, and even a man in tightie whities (could of gone without seeing that, fyi), waiting to be tie dyed with blue, purple, pink, orange, yellow & green.

Our team ran in the 10:20am heat. It was nearing the end so there weren’t too many people lined up. We got right in the front and at the end of the kick off countdown we all dispersed! It was awesome coming up to what looked like a mile marker, but finding the “color bomb squad” there with dyed corn starch in hand determined to dirty up your white t-shirt. I vividly remember getting a blast of purple to the neck. There’s definitely still a purple tint to my chest & upper torso!

Some of us ran and some walked, but all shared the sheer enjoyment of the experience.  A few of my amazing friends who did run ran longer than they ever had before, which was a great feeling of accomplishment in the midst of the fun.

Here are some pictures of the day:

currraaazzzzyyyyy colored rad fun

The first picture is me about to cross the finish line. Pretty epic. Props to my girl Madison for taking such a great picture.

The second is me in the car afterwards, desperately in need of a shower.

The bottom is all of us friends who came out!

Let’s just get a second, closer look at that first picture…

Joe already finished the race a minute or two before me, but he came back a few hundred feet before the finish line to run alongside me and cheer me on. We’re a team.

Like I said, he’s a keeper.

Special thanks to NiceGirlNotes for having us on her team!

Hope you all are enjoying your Memorial Day Weekend & maybe we will see you at the Color Me Rad 5k next year!

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Sweet Tooth Secret Weapon

It happens to all of us…some more frequent than others…but, sooner or later, it happens…the attack of the sweet tooth. Dun-dun-dun.

Maybe you are like me, and chocolate – luscious, dark, pure, delicious chocolate – makes you weak in the knees.

It is challenging being health conscious and vegan to find quality, wholesome & dairy free chocolate. Not to mention, that typical store bought chocolate is loaded with processed sugar, milk fat, preservatives & other processed ingredients.

Question – Do you ever wonder why you urgently crave sweets or chocolate? Do you ever wonder what the heck is going on in your body when you indulge in the sweet treat your co-worker brought in for an office birthday, or splurge on the $10 box of candy at the movie theater and chow down? I do. So, being my curious self, I did some research, and here’s what I discovered:

Serotonin is the body’s natural feel-good brain chemical. Sugar raises the serotonin level in our brain, which causes a chemical high mentally, and that, in turn, results in a lifted mood. Ever have a rough day and demand chocolate like a baby screams for a pacifier? Just me? Anyways…

This is a momentary high! Eventually excess sugar consumption, especially processed white and brown granules, and varieties of glucose, fructose & sucrose, will throw the body’s natural serotonin balance off, and even lessen the body’s natural production of serotonin, as your brain becomes addicted to getting the serotonin high artificially. No thank you. (source)

Aside from this, there is a laundry list of negative effects that refined sugar has on the human body, including: speeding the aging process, free radical formation in the bloodstream, suppression of immune system, depleting the body’s natural nutrient stores, toxemia in pregnancy, fueling cancer cells & much, much more. (source)

Someone help a girl conquer the attack of the sweet tooth with something that won’t ravage my body!!

Enter: CHOCOHOLISTIC.

You may have heard that I have a knack for winning free things lately. And you may remember that I attended the CT Veg Fest last weekend, and that my favorite item was Chocoholistic. Well, guess who won a free box of Chocoholistic chocolates…Me! And y’all should know more about it.

Kenzie Harrick, creator of KHolistic & Chocoholistic, sent me a sweet handmade package of her delicious chocolates, and I was THRILLED to receive it!

Cute little package.

They come 9 in a pack…some were obviously eaten at this point. Couldn’t resist.

Kenzie describes her product this way: “The only chocolate you can eat everyday that will improve your health while you eat it!” Conquering a sweet craving, while boosting my health? That is my kind of chocolate.

Savor, I will. Or did, actually.

Chocholistic redeems the true value of chocolate. As we can learn from Chocoholistic’s website, chocolate eaten the right way can powerfully support the immune system, be anti-aging, be a happy “medicine”, support weight loss, provided non-stimulant energy, and promote longevity! These chocolates are raw, herbal, organic, sugar free, nut free, soy free, dairy free, corn free, wheat & gluten free, non-GMO and are chock full of superfoods. Some of the ingredients include:

Cacao – supports heart health, relieves stress, relaxes muscles, lowers blood pressure, has anti-inflammatory functions, & is highest food in antioxidants, which boosts immune system and fights aging.

Chia Seeds – great Omega 3:Omega 6 ratio, supreme energy food, contributes to mental health, bone health, breast health & prenatal health.

Coconut Oil – antimicrobial oil that kills unwanted bacteria, viruses & parasites, a fast absorbing fat that does not affect the waistline, lowers cholesterol & triglycerides, provides energy & boosts immune system.

Passion Flower – soothing mood booster that calms anxiety, promotes happiness, helps eliminate stress & promotes good sleep.

Reishi – medicinal mushroom known for outrageous immune support & helping the body return to homeostasis so it can operate at optimal efficiency. It has a variety of vitamins & minerals. (source)

Could you tell they are hiding all that good stuff in there?! Sneaky buggers.

Wondering how they taste? YUMMY. You bite into the handmade morsel and it hits your tongue with the deep taste of pure cacao, with hints of herbal notes and the perfect amount of sweetness. It also has an enjoyable slight grittiness that adds a perfect texture. It pairs well with morning coffee, afternoon tea, wine after dinner…and anything anywhere in between.

I so enjoyed experimenting with different ways of enjoying this chocolate treat. Here are some of my faves:

In a smoothie!! (2 bananas, 1.5c blueberries, 2c almond milk, 1c spinach, 1tbsp flax seed meal, 2 coarsely chopped Chocoholisitic chocolates and blend for 2 smoothies!)

Grainy cracker topped with almond butter and shaved Chocoholistic chocolate. Fun late night snack.

Keep a look out for more from the talented Kenzie Harrick & Chocoholistic…like the new Goji Superberry flavor!

Oh, and you’re welcome for your new sweet tooth secret weapon. 🙂

Do you have any fun healthy treats that you go to when you are in need of the sweet?? Do share, friends!