Monthly Archives: July 2011

People’s Health Day 5K

Recipe for a not so great 5K

• 1 concert the night before that doesn’t end until 1:30 (I only had one beer though)
• 1 stomach ache
• 1 rushed morning because someone (of the canine variety) would not go to the bathroom on our morning walk
• Lots of hills
• No training in the heat

Pre-heat the oven to at least 90 degrees (it was at 9am). Mix all that together and you get a rather difficult race.

I ran the People’s Health Day 5K this morning with Laura, Lindsay and Carol. I was actually a little apprehensive when I first signed up because the race started and ended at different points. Originally the website said to park your car at the finish and take a MARTA bus to the start. I emailed the race director and politely told him that I’d never seen a non-loop race that didn’t have some sort of shuttle and if I’d known, I wouldn’t have signed up. Well, what to you know? He wrote back and said there was now a shuttle! Talk about customer service! I guess maybe other people said the same thing?

Carol and I met at the shuttle stop and found Laura and Lindsay right away at the start. This race was pretty small, maybe 200 people tops, but it was well organized. We started out in the front of the pack. Lindsay was dealing with an injury so she said she was going to walk. We all lost each other pretty quickly. I was doing fine until a big hill at Georgia Tech (I think a little over a mile into it). The heat combined with the hills and my lack of training outdoors got to me and I started to walk. After a few minutes, I saw Lindsay come up behind me and she pushed me to run.

The two of us did a run/walk combination to the finish line. I was actually pleasantly surprised to see that we crossed in 33 minutes considering the amount of walking that we did. Umm, yeah. I can’t just up and run a fast 5K without training. I don’t know what I was thinking. Next time I’ll be more prepared. I also need to learn to pace myself better. I’m really good at it in a longer race, but terrible in a 5K. I burn out too easily.

The race was part of a festival in Piedmont Park. Along with a t-shirt, we were also given 4 tickets. There were various vendor booths set up with items available in exchange for tickets. We found the jackpot at the 180 Degree Farm booth. I got all these peppers and tomatoes for two tickets (which were essentially free). I also picked up some pasta sauce at another booth for my remaining two tickets.

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Even though it wasn’t my best race by any means, it was still really fun to get together with my blogging friends and do it together. And after the race, we met up with even more bloggers, but I’ll save that for another post.

My Most Used Cookbook

Though it’s gotten better in recent years, I have a bit of a cookbook hoarding problem. I’ll admit to curling up with a cookbook in bed. The problem is with so many cookbooks, plus recipe clippings from magazines, plus the entire internet, well, I get a little overwhelmed and most of my cookbooks don’t get used. There is one, however, that I find myself going back to time and time again and that’s the PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook.

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This cookbook promises healthy meals that can be made quickly without a lot of prep work. It relies heavily on frozen veggies and quick cooking grains and pastas. I guess it’s sort of the antithesis of the whole farm to table movement, but hey, when you’re tired after work, opening a can of corn and incorporating that into a healthy recipe is a lot more appealing that chopping up a ton of veggies. Plus even if the veggies aren’t fresh, having a veggie-based meal at home is much healthier than picking up take out or going out to dinner.

The back cover says the following:

• More than 240 nutritious recipes for appetizers, soups, salads, sandwiches, main courses, side dishes and desserts.

• No cutlery, graters, juicers, electric mixers, blenders, or food processors required.

• Tips on using convenience foods like ready-washed salad greens, precut fruits and vegetables, jarred sauces and ready-made crusts.

• Most dishes ready in 30 minutes – with minimal kitchen cleanup.

• Over 100 egg-free, dairy-free vegan recipes with no tofu or other substitutions necessary.

I like to think of this book as very carnivore friendly. While all the recipes are vegetarian, and some are vegan, they don’t have any strange ingredients. While I don’t mind some of the more interesting ingredients in some vegetarian cookbooks, I know that Jason prefers food that resembles what he’s used to. (For those that have asked, he’s not vegetarian anymore. It lasted for a month.) With recipes like cheese stuff shells, Tex-Mex Baked Potatoes with Chili Beans and Skillet Breakfast Potatoes, it’s probably good for kids too. Last night, I made Szechuan-Style Lo Mein Stir-Fry with Broccoli Slaw and Peanuts (only without the peanuts).

{Recipe here.}

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I liked this but I thought the sauce to pasta ratio wasn’t right. I’d do either more sauce or less pasta. Other than that, it was quick and tasty.

In between the time that I wrote this post and the time that I’m publishing it, I bought another cookbook. Clearly, I have a problem.

Publix vs Kroger – The Great Debate

Here in Atlanta, our main grocery stores are Publix and Kroger. It seems like everyone that I talk to has a strong opinion about which is better. I, on the other hand, don’t. I go to both and I think that they each have their strengths and weeknesses (that’s a word, right? Mars Edit doesn’t recognize it.). I can’t decide which I like better so I thought I’d do a little comparison of the two and what I’ve noticed about each of them. This just applies to the Publix and Kroger that are closest to my house.

Closest – Kroger is a little bit closer but Publix isn’t far. I would have to drive past Kroger to get to Publix. (Kroger wins)

Store Hours – Kroger is open 24 hours. Publix is open until 10 or 11. (Kroger wins)

Parking Lot – The Kroger parking lot drives me crazy. There’s a Walmart in the same shopping center and there are tons of people. The Publix parking lot is calmer. (Publix wins)

Niceness of store – The Kroger by me is a pretty average Kroger. I’ve seen way nicer and I’ve seen way worse. Publix is generally the same from store to store. Publix is a nicer store. (Publix wins)

Friendliness of employees – Publix wins by a landslide here. Some of the Kroger employees are nice, but I have had a lot of run ins with disgruntled check out cashiers. Plus, sometimes the baggers run away and I feel like I have to bag my groceries myself because the cashier sure isn’t doing it. (Publix wins)

Price – Now both grocery stores claim to be cheaper. I find that generally Kroger is less expensive, however there are certain items that you can get for less at Publix, which I will get into in a minute. Publix also sends us a $5 off coupon in the mail every week but I think Kroger is still cheaper. (Kroger wins)

Pre-packaged food – I sometimes go to Publix to pick up lunch because they have a lot of pre-packaged salads and fruit bowls. Kroger does not. Also, Publix has better sushi. (Publix wins)

Deli/Salad Bar – While some Krogers have a salad bar, most Publix’s (Publi?) do and although it’s no Whole Foods, it’ll do in a pinch. They also have good subs. (Publix wins)

Natural Food section – Publix and Kroger have different set ups when it comes to “natural foods”. Kroger has a separate section for them and Publix tries to integrate them into the aisle. While I understand the rational for putting the organic tomato sauces with the regular, having certain products in a separate section makes them easier to find. There have been many times when I’ve had trouble finding something “natural” at Publix and had to ask an employee. Tofu that isn’t refrigerated comes to mind. My specific Kroger has a rather large natural foods section, although not all of them do. (Kroger wins)

Chobani – For some reason, Publix has a much better selection of Chobani yogurt than Kroger does. Kroger has some flavors but Publix has them all. (Publix wins)

La Tortilla – These are my favorite tortillas and they are MUCH cheaper at Publix. I think they are $2.99 there and $4.99 at Kroger! (Publix wins)

Frozen Pizza – Publix brand frozen pizza rocks. Seriously, look at all these veggies. That’s pretty impressive for a frozen pizza, I think.

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Plus, you could eat the entire thing for 570 calories. (Publix wins)

Funny signs – I’ve only seen this in my Kroger, but it cracks me up every time. Wonder what’s in this aisle? (Kroger wins)

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So the grand total is 5 for Kroger and 8 for Publix which would make it sound like Publix is the better store, but some of these categories are not equal. You can’t compare price to Chobani yogurt selection! I still can’t decide, so I guess I’ll do what I do now: go to both.

What’s your favorite grocery store?

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