We are the Restaurant Killers and other random stuff

I’m linking with Amanda today for Thinking Out Loud!

Thinking-Out-Loud2

Birthday!

Birthday

Wednesday was Alan’s birthday. And my gift to him was…a pair of socks! Actually, two pairs, which isn’t as boring as it sounds. Alan has been wearing the thick Thorlo running socks for years, and he mentioned the other day that his old socks were getting pretty ragged. So when I was shopping for a birthday present the other day, it just so happened that Sports Authority had a special, BOGO half off. I thought that they no longer made the super thick ones that Alan always liked, so I had a couple of pairs of their new, still pretty cushy, socks in my hand when I decided to wander around the sock section just to make sure. What do you know:

ThorloActually, I planned to buy him a swim suit too (is that what they’re called for men?). I didn’t realize though that they come in waist sizes as opposed to small-large and I wasn’t sure what to buy. I settled on 32 (yes, he’s that slim), but when I was checking out the cashier told me that suits weren’t returnable, so I backed off. Turns out I had the right size, but instead I bought a suit that he picked out from the Speedo website (with a discount!), so all was good.

suit

Restaurant Killers

We went out to eat a couple times this week. On Mother’s Day Alan took me to Native Foods in Palm Springs. Since I always say we live in the Palm Springs area, you may not realize that it is actually a 40 minute drive, so we don’t get there as often as we’d like. We enjoyed it very much, as usual. It’s so nice to be at a 100% vegan restaurant, so we can have anything on the menu, including desserts, without worrying.

Native FoodsWe decided that for his birthday we’d go to lunch at a Thai restaurant in La Quinta that we liked a lot. In fact, we were just there about a month ago.

Thai

So we were really surprised when we pulled up and it was gone! Well not gone, but cleared out. Moved, closed, whatever, it was no longer there. Another good restaurant with vegan options gone.

Legacy ThaiThat got us to talking about how many restaurants we’ve “killed.” It seems like every time we find a place that we enjoy, poof, it goes out of business. This list won’t mean anything to you, because, well, they’re all gone, but here’s a short list of our victims: Mrs. Bones, Pita House, Kacoon, Frankies, Cucina Pasta, Thai Smile La Quinta, Kokapelli’s, and a few others whose names I can’t remember because this has been happening for close on 20 years.

So, if you ever open a restaurant and you see Alan and me walk through the door you had better either 86 us immediately, burn our meal so we never come back, or just say goodbye to your restaurant. Sorry.

Bob and Peg

I finally heard from my two favorite clients who moved back to Northern California last year. Or rather, they chose to stay there year round and not, at age 83, put themselves through the stresses of traveling back and forth. We’d lost touch, but I finally spotted a Facebook message from their daughter (don’t forget to occasionally check your “other” folder!), and we spoke the other night on the phone. I’m happy to report that they are still exercising, though they feel they could use a little instruction and aren’t really impressed with the trainer at the gym they use. When you’ve had the best…(just kidding)! I may have to put something together for them that they can follow on their own.

Bob and Peg

Car in the Water

Last weekend we were in San Dimas where Alan announced a triathlon, I took a run, and it was really cold. Well, for us. It was in the 50s though, and we’ve grown used to 90s, so yes, it was cold. Anyway, the most interesting thing that happened was this:

Car in the Water

Yes, that is a car in the water. It floated (drove?) by towards the end of the triathlon, beeping its horn to get everyone’s attention. Of course, I took a picture and posted it on Instagram (<–follow me!) with the hashtag #carinthewater. I noticed when I posted it that there were about 80 other pictures with that hashtag. When I checked them out there were the usual cars under water, but interestingly (I thought), there were two other pictures of cars that looked just like mine, same color and everything (and not from California). That’s all, I just thought it was interesting.

Naked Nails

I actually did this last week but forgot to write about it (shocking, I know). I decided to take off my fake nails for the summer (at least), so now I’m dealing with the aftermath of that: weak, broken, chipping, splitting, ugly nails.

nailsMy strategy for nail repair is to keep them as short as possible for now, treat them with tea tree oil (suggested by a couple people) and a nail strengthener, and I’m trying some Biotin, because that’s what it says it does. I’d appreciate any suggestions that you may have because I hate how they feel. You know, like they’re going to bend backward all the time. Though I’ve got to say that typing is a lot easier.

My most popular post

Several years ago I had a breast cancer scare and had to have an excisional biopsy, which fortunately came back negative. I wrote about the whole experience and since that time, that post has become the most popular one I’ve ever written. It still gets 10-15 hits a day, and I’ve had so many women comment about their experience both before and after the operation. It warms my heart to hear that my words have comforted them and helped them prepare for their procedure. I’m reminded why I write sometimes about very personal topics. It’s on my mind because I had another comment today.

The Fitfluential Blog

And finally, in case you missed it, my article was featured on the Fitfluential blog this week. It’s a post about vegan protein sources and Everlast VP, Everlast Nutrition’s new vegan protein powder. Plus I created an outdoor HIIT workout especially for the post. You can get a free sample of Everlast VP and enter a contest to win a two month supply! Check it out!

Everlast VP

What’s on your mind this week? And what should I do about my nails?

Marathon Training, Yoga Challenges, and Grandsons: Just a little recap

Busy weekend = mostly pictures. That and the Westminster Dog Show is distracting me. So, a little recap with a lot of pictures.

Marathon Training

What should be the biggest part of my recap is, well, not so much. I’m having schedule clashes, with clients who want to work out at 7:00 in the morning, and while I’m willing to get out there early, I’m hesitant to get out there too much in advance of the sunrise. That’s a long excuse for only two runs this week.

Running 2I did get out early on Wednesday, finishing my four miles by 6:00.

RunningAnd I did a 14 mile long run on Sunday (Saturday we had family stuff). I ran the first 5 miles with Alan and our neighbor, then took off on my own for the rest. The fire station is my perfect water stop. They have an ice machine, plus, well, firemen (though there weren’t any about on Sunday).

Total mileage only 18 miles! That should improve in the coming week. My work schedule is a little better and I have a cut back on the long run next weekend.

Yoga Challenge

Ironically, I’ve done much better with the Take the Leap 30 Days of Yoga Challenge with prAna and Sweat Pink that I did with running. I’ve managed at least a short practice every day since the beginning, and since I’m doing the Bringing Yoga Back challenge too (which fortunately work really well together), I’m really happy with my yoga efforts. I didn’t make it to a “real” class this week, but I practiced at home, both in and outdoors. Take a peek:

Week 2A little doggy-assisted yoga, my favorite kind.

Week 2_2While Alan worked the PS Half Marathon, I took a little run, the did a little posing.

Week 2_3Not only do I get help from my dogs, I get a lot of interest from the cats in the neighborhood.

Week 2_4I spread out my mat on the driveway to stretch after my Wednesday run.

Week 2_5I think I did a pretty good lizard pose variation, don’t you?

Week 2_6Back in the house, a 20 minute balance flow, and amazingly the dogs stayed clear (they were probably afraid I’d fall on them, my balance was that bad).

Week 2_8We traveled to Huntington Beach on Saturday for our twin grandsons’ 10th birthday party. While they played basketball, I posed.

Week 2_7I dragged Alan out for this one. Up in the trails behind our house, he took so many great pictures of my downward facing dog that I couldn’t choose just one.

Phew, week two in the books. I’m am so ready for week three!

Grandsons

As I mentioned, our grandsons turned 10 on Saturday (yes, they’re Valentine’s Day boys). It was a basketball themed party, so Alan and I had a chance to throw the ball around a little bit too. It had been 20 years a long time since I played basketball, and I was playing in flip flops, but I still managed a couple free throws (it seems much farther away than it did when I was younger!), and more than a few lay ups. From my Instagram:

Yes, we did. #basketball

A video posted by Debbe Woodruff (@coachdebbieruns) on

And this:

BirthdayThey asked to do this. #10yearoldboys

Valentine’s Day

We’re not big Valentine’s celebrators. We try to show our love daily, so it’s just not a big deal. We did, however, take the opportunity to stop for dinner at Native Foods on our way home from Huntington Beach on Saturday. It’s not exactly romantic, but it is our favorite restaurant. As I told one of our smartypants Facebook friends, it feels more romantic to us than candlelight and steaks!

Native Foods 3Native Foods 2Alan ordered three(!) cupcakes, so we had ALL the chocolate! I was really well fueled for my long run on Sunday. And fortunately not too sore from the basketball.

So, that was my week in training and life. What’s happening in yours? Any races, events, family fun?

Cross Country, Vegan Eats and Samuel Time!

The highlight of my week:

Samuel2Of course, seeing Samuel is always the highlight of the week, but there were a few other things going on.

Cross Country Begins

Cross country practice started on Tuesday. I’m coaching the girls team only this year, so it is a different experience than in previous years. We’re losing a couple of our best runners (they’re transferring to another school, long story), but we’re also expecting a new student, moving from Washington state, a sophomore with a cross country PR of around 18:30. Last year we had a strong, young team, so I’m excited about the coming season.

Live from La Quinta - Girls Cross Country Team - Running

Our 2012 girls team.

Cross country is very time consuming though. We meet five days a week, and that includes my usual running days (except Sunday, which I keep for my own). I do get to run with the girls a lot at this time of the season, when we’re building endurance. Because of my work schedule we have two afternoon practices a week, so they’re getting their heat training early. Those practices are at 6 pm but, using this evening as an example, it is still 110 degrees at 6:30 pm, so it’s pretty tough. They need it, but we keep it short and pretty easy, especially at first. Last week we did a circuit strength workout that included a lap on the track between each set. Challenging but doable (and we stayed in the shade for the strength portion).

Samuel Time

As I mentioned, this was the highlight of my weekend. My son and daughter in law are building a house in Murrieta, and they invited us to see the progress. Well, not exactly progress because the actual home building hasn’t really begun, but they wanted us to see the location and the model. And we wanted to see Samuel them.

We met them at a little airport near their soon-to-be new home because Samuel loves to watch the planes taking off. One of his first words, “Wow!” gets used a lot while he’s there.

Samuel3We hadn’t seen him for a couple months and at that age, what a difference a couple months makes! He seems so grown up (at 19 months), he walks (and runs) so well, he’s starting to say a few words (still can’t get him to say Grandma yet though), and is generally fun and playful. Alan had a great time playing with him.

Grandpa2

GrandpaWe all piled in their car and went to lunch. Our go-to restaurant in that area is the Earth Bistro, which serves meat but has plenty of vegan options.

Samuel

After lunch we piled back in the car and drove out to their new home site. Sitting in the back seat, squeezed in between Samuel in his car seat and Alan, I really felt I needed to take some grandma selfies. Samuel helped.

Samuel4

Samuel5The house is being built in a new development, so there are only a few homes built so far. They are just opening up the sports complex/playground in a few days. So far, the lot has been leveled, the wall is being built, and I believe they’ll being laying the foundation in the next week or so. So right now, we got to see a pile of dirt. But, it’s Nathan and Sarah’s pile of dirt.

HomeI think their house is going to be beautiful! We got to see the model and I loved the layout. It has a huge open concept kitchen/living/dining area, several bedrooms, an office for my son, and an office/work room for my daughter in law. And it will be solar powered! It should be ready to move in by mid-October. I’m so excited for them. It’s their first home, and I love that they are moving closer to us. It’s only about an hour and a half drive. Close enough to babysit!

Vegan Eats

After lunch at Native Foods in Costa Mesa last week,  I was in the mood for more, so I picked up lunch to bring back to work on Wednesday. So good. (Not pictured, the fries that are included with the daily special. They didn’t survive the 15 minute ride back to work.)

Native FoodsAfter our first evening cross country practice, I’d planned to stop at Z Pizza and pick up a vegan pizza. I didn’t know, until I parked in front of the restaurant, that they are closed temporarily. It was a little late to start from scratch (and I was in the mood for pizza), so instead I picked up a cheese-less veggie pizza from Pizza Hut, added a little Daiya to it and popped it under the broiler when I got home. For some reason I didn’t take a picture, but I’m sure you can visualize it.

I did take a picture of our food at the Earth Bistro. Alan had a veggie burger and I had a grilled veggie sandwich. I also took a picture of the stuffed grape leaves, which were Samuel’s, but they were vegan so I had to try one. They were good!

LunchThe other day I received the cookbook “Paleo By Season: A Chef’s Approach to Paleo Cooking” in the mail. I’m not sure exactly why. I didn’t order it or offer to review it. I don’t do Paleo, so that wouldn’t be something I would be interested in. Sarah and Nathan, however, do follow a Paleo diet, so I gave them the book. If you’re interested, you can look for a review soon on their blog, Rock like Grok.

Cookbook

On Saturday evening, a day that started with 6 am cross country practice, traveled to Murrieta to see the family, we ended the day with a party at our friend Liz’s house. It’s totally family oriented, they even showed a movie in the back yard on a big screen when it got dark. But there are grown ups there (and wine!). And she’s an amazing cook and always creates something deliciously vegan for us. This time is was enchiladas. One of the things I love the most is seeing how the vegan food she cooks (in addition to regular food for her other guests), gets gobbled up by everyone, who for the most part don’t even realize they’re eating plant based food.

Dinner

Johnny Be Goode

For those of you have been wondering. Johnny has settled in nicely. He is still a puppy and he has a lot of bad habits after growing up on the streets, but he’s a sweet, loving dog and he gets along with the pack just fine for the most part (except when he jumps on them in his exuberance). And we do have to watch out for our noses.

Johnny3

And finally, because nothing makes me smile more than watching my grandson play, I’m sharing this video so that you can smile too.

How was your weekend? Any events, great restaurants, or family time?

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Let’s Put This Week to Bed. In (Mostly) Pictures

I have rehashed this week to death. You’ve read about my accident, my feelings about my accident, and my completion of the Move Nourish Believe Challenge in spite of the accident. I am tired of talking about it myself. So, I won’t. Except that a decent size insurance check should be arriving today so let the car shopping will begin.

We deserved a good weekend and the good karma gods delivered. If you follow me on Instagram you have a good idea what we’ve been up to (and if not, why not?). In any case, here are some pictures from the last week.

Running Girl

Goodbye Running Girl

 

Egg Tofu

My new discover thanks to Cadry’s Kitchen. I can’t believe how easy it is too make “tofu eggs!”

Pizza

Mmmm, vegan pizza

Penny

On the trails with Penny on Saturday before leaving for the beach.

Penny and Mom

Encinitas

The view from our hotel room in Encinitas

Alan_Debbie

Enjoying a little sea breeze, watching kids playing in the ocean, adults playing beach volleyball. Life in So Cal in February!

Encinitas2

Sunset

One of the most amazing sunsets I’ve ever seen. Also from the hotel room.

Sunset

This was about 5 minutes after the sun had set. Still amazing.

Native Foods

Dinner at Native Foods. Two weeks in a row!

Native Foods 2

Soul Bowl

Native Foods 3

Bad pic, good food. Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger.

Fog

A foggy morning on Sunday.

Debbie

At about mile 9 of 10.

Alan

Samuel

Finally, the reason for our trip to San Diego! 15 months old!

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We got to meet Chloe.

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Samuel 4

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Lunch at PF Changs. These pictures were much better than the food pics.

bla bla blaThe week ended on a good note. Nothing like spending time with family to remind you of what is important and how precious life is.

I guess it’s time to start looking for a new car. I have pretty much decided that I want to start by looking at another Honda CRV. It was such a good car that it’s hard to think about a different one. Unless I get a really good deal on something else!

I want to thank you again for the support, love and concern that you expressed through the last week. It truly helped me stay strong in spite of the circumstances.

So, how was your weekend? Any travel, events, or special family time?

A Picture of Christmas + the FlipBelt Winner

We had our family Christmas celebration this past Saturday. For the second year, we picked up the twins in Orange County, then headed south to my son Nathan’s home in San Diego. Three Grandsons. Triple Awesome. In addition to the grandsons, Dane, Cash, and one year old Samuel, my son David, his girlfriend Melissa, niece Brynne (my sister Sue’s daughter), her boyfriend Eric and his son Zach were there. With, of course, Nathan and Sarah, Samuel’s parents. Nice size group, which included several paleo eaters, two vegans, and a bunch of “if it tastes good I’m eating it” eaters. Interesting combination.

While Nathan roasted a turkey, he also made a vegan stuffing, and we brought a party tray from Native Foods. We all had plenty to eat. I’d even got a slice of vegan pumpkin pie for myself when I picked up the platter, so I’d have something to nosh on at dessert time too. Confession: I didn’t take any pictures of the food. Instead, I took a lot of the family. Here are a few.

Samuel_DavidSamuel loves his Uncle David.

Dane_CashDane and Cash

Sarah_SamuelSamuel and his mom Sarah

David_MelissaMy youngest son David and his girlfriend Melissa

Brynne_EricMy niece Brynne and her boyfriend Eric

saraj_NathanArtsy pic with Sarah reflected in the mirror while Nathan admires his Chargers t-shirt.

MontanaA Joe Montana jersey for the 49ers biggest fan (sometime I’ll tell you the story of the only time I saw my husband speechless..when we bumped into Joe Montana at the Cliffhouse in La Quinta).

Alan_Dane_CashThe boys loved their goggles.

Brynne_Zach_EricWe had a plethora of 8-year-old boys. Eric brought his son Zach too.

Sarah_Nathan_SamuelIt’s great to be a one-year-old at Christmas. Of course Elmo was there.

SamuelAll this for me?

samue;2Of course, as children do, Samuel picks the wrapping as his favorite present.

Alan, the twins, and I stayed overnight in Encinitas. When we woke up on Sunday morning, we all went for a run along the coast. I’ve said it before, these eight year old boys are amazing. We all ran almost three miles!

Running FamilyMandatory family selfie

Running Family2Yes, we were running along the coast on December 21. Don’t hate us.

It was a wonderful celebration! The only sad thing was that my sister Lisa couldn’t be there. Hopefully she’ll be able to make it out from Texas next year (or, even better, the whole family meets in Hawaii (love this idea)).

With the big celebration out of the way, Christmas Day will be much smaller. Alan and I will celebrate it together, and my son David will probably stop by (and, omnivore though he is, enjoy some vegan Christmas dinner).

Before I forget, the winner of the FlipBelt giveaway is Sheena!! She says she will pick a black FlipBelt so that it will match all her crazy running clothes! Congratulations Sheena. I know you’ll love your FlipBelt. Remember if you didn’t win, you can still save on your FlipBelt! Just use the coupon code LFL and save 10%!

I hope that all of you who celebrate have a wonderful Christmas. Stay safe and enjoy the moment. See you in a few days.

Happy Anniversary to Us!

On Wednesday, Alan and I celebrated our 14th anniversary! We were married in 1999 in an interesting ceremony in Palm Springs. It seemed appropriate that we would celebrate our day in Palm Springs , not by running the Tram Road Challenge, but by having dinner at Native Foods.

Because our day was full with work and cross country practice, and because it is a 45 minute drive from La Quinta to Palm Springs, we decided to meet in Palm Desert. I got off work at 5:00, Alan finished with practice about the same time. We parked one car at the high school and drove together to Native Foods.

Anniversary cross country

We spend a lot of time in matching red shirts these days.

I had to laugh at myself today. I was telling a client about our dinner. I was saying that we arrived at Native Foods about 6:00, which is a little early, but by the time we ate and drove home it was already 7:30. That stopped me short. Seriously, how old am I that already and 7:30 belong in the same sentence? Old enough apparently.

Native Foods Anniversary

I was hungry, so I ordered the White Bean Soup to start. I came quickly and was very good.

Native Foods Anniversary

I have a lot of favorites at Native Foods, some healthier than others. While I love the Oklahoma Bacon Cheeseburger with Native Fries, I instead went for my old time favorite, the Greek Gyro Bowl, which with its combination of seitan, vegetables, kale, quinoa, and hummus, is healthy and delicious.

Native Foods Anniversary

Alan stuck with his old standby, the Scorpion Burger, a tempeh burger with “cheese” and avocado.

Native Foods Anniversary

Everything was delicious. Because it was getting late we were pretty full, we decided to bring dessert home with us. Alan chose the Peanut Butter Parfait and I picked the Pumpkin Pie. It was my only disappointment. It tasted kind of bland and the “cream” that came with it tasted just a little too gingery (I actually wiped it off).

Native Foods Anniversary

So, it was a simple anniversary celebration, which is really what we like. We celebrate every day, just by the way we live our lives.

AnniversaryHave you ever been to Native Foods? Whether you are vegan or not, they have great food, good prices, and a fun atmosphere.

Don’t forget, it’s not to late to enter to win a dozen KIND bars!