Tuesday, March 12, 2013

G-dub's Birthday and Botanical Goodness

February has come and gone...hard to believe it. Tim traveled to the west coast quite a bit, which actually seemed to make the time fly by even more, because I kept myself very busy. :)

However, we have been fortunate enough to have some fun despite our chaotic schedules...we ran the "Love the Run You're With" 5k in Arlington, which was a blast! The day was sunny, but cold...29 degrees to be exact. BUT...I broke my previous PR time by 44 seconds, thanks to my great pacer-husband. I was thrilled about it (the cold made me run faster, I just wanted to get done! :)

Pre-race: Tim, Steven, me, Starr (our cheerleader)

Post race: Tim, me, Sonni, Kol (had just run a 50k race the day before!)

I went to get a new pair of running shoes after the race, and I found this sign. I think I need it.

We celebrated Valentine's Day at our favorite "splurge" restaurant, Cedar. The chef loves cooking vegan food, and we had one of the best meals we've ever had...it was incredibly tasty! Our menu consisted of: Roasted Beets & Poached Seckel Pear with pickled onions and arugula, Grilled Royal Trumpet Mushrooms with truffled white bean puree, parsnips, heirloom carrots and cranberries, and Fried Banana Cigar with pear sorbet, pomegranate reduction, and spiced walnuts.

So. Amazing.

Something else that was amazing was our trip to the United States Botanical Garden, right outside the Capitol in DC. We saw so many green plants and gorgeous flowers!

Tim and I had the day off in honor of President's Day a few weeks ago. So naturally, we decided to use our Mt. Vernon Annual Pass (which my parents gave us for Christmas), and go to George Washington's house. Mt. Vernon is only about 8 miles up the road from us, so it is very convenient. When we arrived, we  were informed it was their busiest day of the year...they get 17-20,000 guests that day alone! We ended up sitting on GW's back porch and enjoyed the view of the Potomac, reflecting on what it must have been like to live there centuries ago...

At the end of February, Tim and I went to hear Rip Esselstyn speak at the Patent and Trademark Office in Alexandria. He is the son of the famed Dr. Caldwell B. Esselstyn of the Cleveland Clinic, who is featured on "Forks Over Knives." Rip is the founder of the Engine 2 diet, which supports the idea of a plant-strong diet and lifestyle. Rip was a professional triathlete for over a decade, then decided to become a firefighter in Austin, Texas.

Here is how the diet came about: apparently, firefighters love challenges. One day, while sitting around the firehouse, all the men decided to see who had the lowest cholesterol, so they went to a local lab to have their blood tested. The results were shocking...in fact, one of the men, JR, had a cholesterol level of 344, which is, as Rip states, "knocking on death's door". The next day, they decided to adopt a plant-strong diet and see how it would affect JR's health. The results were amazing...JR's cholesterol dropped to 196 without any medication, and he lost 20 pounds. That's pretty incredible. Check out the website for recipes and more info!

Who says healthy cannot be delicious?! :)

Until next time.. :)

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