Tag Archives: Greensboro

Photographic Evidence of the PART 5K

Hello. Oh, I’m sorry- do I blog here?

You might not know considering I decided to take an unplanned two week sabbatical.

I’ve been a little consumed with all the details of my life. And even though I’ve had multiple entries queued in my mind, the motivation to actually write has been difficult to find.

While my thoughts on this topic are extensive , I want to share a few more photos from my April 9 race. Remember when I talked about a theatrical performance piece featuring a purple spandex clad superhero, a gas guzzler, and a kangaroo? Well, feast your eyes on some visual proof.

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I suppose I was feeling festive enough to pose for a photograph…with a kangaroo…and people I don’ t know. Papa Bear Stanley is cheesing over my left shoulder.

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Apparently the official photographer was creeping on our camera phone photo sesh with my little brother.

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So….the purpose of the race was to encourage alternative forms of transportation in the triad. So of course, the ARCHNEMISIS of the alternative transportation movement is The Lone Rider, a triad resident who cruises around town alone in a gas guzzling vehicle. Apparently, The Lone Rider also has a gas pump for a tail.

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Who are the only creatures in the land that can save our community from The Lone Rider? A purple spandex clad superhero and a kangaroo wearing sneakers, obvi. Yeah, I couldn’t explain the relevance of either character, but their “showdown” with the lone rider was almost too much for me to handle.

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Action shot of the environmental ass kicking. No really, who could keep a straight face during this madness? I kept looking at my brother in shock, expecting it to be a dream.

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But…apparently they are all bros in real life. What a jip

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Downhill is always the easiest.

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(organic!) Post race refreshments provided by Earth Fare. See those bananas? I probably ate about 26626827 of them. And by that I mean 2.

What a great day. Because of the epic Southern rainstorm last weekend, my second race (15th Annual Hospice Hope Run) was cancelled Sad smile. I didn’t schedule a race for today, but I’m thinking about doing a race next Saturday to make up the difference.

Anyway, enjoy these photos until I can summon the energy to fully explain my blogging departure (and finally talk about the sick Melting Pot dinner I ate during my absence.)

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Filed under blogging, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, goals, races, running, walking

Jessamyn Tackles The PART Commuter Dash 5k

In spite of my wallet/camera theft, I was determined to do the PART Commuter Dash 5k yesterday. For one thing, it was free. For another, PART is really focused on promoting alternative transportation methods in the piedmont. In an area which desperately suffers from urban sprawl (in the worst possible way), it’s great to see the transportation authority really start focusing on educating people about alternative transportation methods. I mean, the American South is not renowned for its public transportation options (this can be attributed to a myriad of reasons, ranging from the Civil War to sketchy bus patrons), but PART is definitely making the effort to create a culture of public transportation in an area dominated by single drivers.

Anyway, yesterday’s race took place at Bur-Mil Park, on the outskirts of Greensboro. It was very chilly and it misted rain through the entire race. However, I was determined not to let the weather get me down. Even though I was out late the night before (word to the wise- DON’T STAY OUT LATE THE NIGHT BEFORE AN EARLY WAKE-UP), I managed to wake up before my first alarm.  I was very excited that my dad and brother accompanied me to the race, and even MORE excited when my dad decided to race with me! Since my camera is probably in a Winston-Salem pawn shop( Sad smile), I made my brother take a camera phone photo of my dad and I pre-race:

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You can see that my big teeth smiles were hereditary.

Before the race, there was a veritable theatrical performance piece featuring a purple spandex clad superhero, a gas guzzler, and a kangaroo. No, I’m not speaking metaphorically or telling a riddle. Gabriel wasn’t able to get any photos of the action, but I’ll be sure to post some of the official PART photos when they are tacked on the facebook page.

At the start of the race, my dad and I parked ourselves close to the back of the pack. I wasn’t planning to run this race (“mall-walk” would be a more accurate description), and we wanted to stay out of the way of the serious runners. However, when the starting gunshot went off, I was slightly surprised to see us both weaving through the crowd of slower runners (we tried not to be obnoxious). We kept very different paces, but we both managed to run the last leg of the race. My dad finished about five minutes before me, so now I have a new personal goal- besting my physically fit papa bear.

Also, the race route was beautiful. It crossed through residential northwest Greensboro, and over Lake Brandt. There were some inclines, but nothing too ridiculous- I’m definitely going to keep this path in mind for future bike rides.

However, I’m sure doing this race was a great birthday gift for him- he turned 46 this week, and there’s nothing like physical activity to make you feel young again. Even though, for the record, 46 is the new 36.

All in all, it was a great day. Yeah, it rained through the entire race. But it felt really nice to be up and active early in the day. Earth Fare provided the post-race snacks (bananas and organic pretzels, OH yeah!), and my dad (and brother) and I loaded up on all the free gifts from the race sponsors.

Next week I’m doing the 15th Annual Hospice Hope Run in Winston-Salem, and even though it’s going to be sunny all week, it’s supposed to rain on race day. Oh well. After yesterday, I’m ready to run in every element.

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Filed under couch to 5k challenge, cycling, exercise, goals, parents, races, running, walking

The Trouble With Food Tracking and My Wish List

I learned a valuable lesson today. It’s a lesson I’ve been forced to learn about 187391092779 times over, and I hope this time the true meaning will stick in my mind so that I’ll quit making the same mistakes.

If you are monitoring your food intake, ALWAYS TRACK YOUR MEALS.

I know, it seems obvious. It is obvious. It’s also the cornerstone of the Weight Watchers philosophy. But I am the laziest tracker in the history of the world. I spent the month of March being really lazy about my tracking habits- partially because I was fasting, and partially because I’m just really freaking lazy. As a result, when I stepped on the scale two weeks ago, I wasn’t very surprised to be pissed off by the number it gave me. However, I was a little surprised to be even more upset by the number I saw last week. In my defense, I was on my period and I always weigh really heavy when I’m menstruating. But I also didn’t track very well last week. I always start the week strong, and then I taper off toward the middle of the week. When I stop tracking, it becomes infinitely easier to impulsively eat the foods which sabotage me and my goals.

This week, however, I really focused on my tracking- even when I didn’t feel like it. And I saw definite results on the scale this morning. I need to maintain this momentum- sometimes tracking my food is just such a F-ing hassle. But I have to remember that the long term goals are worth the extra five minutes of effort.

In other news, I’ve been accumulating a wish list of items which will improve my blogging/cooking/athletic life. While the list grows steadily every day, there are a couple of items that are really key:

canon rebel1. New Camera- I love my camera. I really do. It’s small, and I can take it everywhere. But I need to get serious about my photography, especially in regard to my blogging. I mean, I’m well aware that a fancy camera does not create great photos- there’s no substitute for good lighting and composition. But I want the quality of my photography to increase, and I don’t want to invest more money in another point and shoot when I’m pleased with the point and shoot I’m using. I need to upgrade to dslr. My ideal model is the Canon Rebel– of course, it’s really expensive. I’m looking for a used canon, and I’m actually looking primarily at older models. I spend quite a bit of time scouring ebay for viable options. At this point, it’s just a little too far out of my financial grasp. But I’m hopeful- if you know anyone who is upgrading to another model and wants to get rid of their dslr, let me know!

garmin heart rate monitor2. Heart Rate Monitor: I think I need to be monitoring my activity level more vigilantly and I think a heart rate monitor will really help with this goal. I’d like to kn0w exactly how many calories I’m burning while exercising and I’d like to get more precise heart rate calculations. This will help me determine how I should be increasing/decreasing my exercise levels, especially as I reach weight plateaus and finish couch to 5k. At this point I’m battling between a garmin and a polar– price is an obvious factor, but I’m still just trying to decide between the two brands. As always, I’m really open to any insight you guys might have.

running shoe fitting guides3. Running Shoes: I actually already talked about this, but it’s become a true necessity. I don’t know how I’ll make it through the summer running season (especially since I definitely plan to run/race when I’m in Boston) wearing the shoes I have right now. These are great sneaks for general exercise, but I need to take better care of my tootsie wootsies if I’m going to keep up this hobby. I’ve received some great running shoe store recommendations in both GSO and Winston-Salem, but I still can’t quite decide between Fleet Feet and Off’N Running. In fact, I might have to get fitted after Saturday’s race– but maybe I’m being too impulsive. Thoughts?

citrus reamer4. Citrus Reamer: Self-explanatory. I bite my nails, and citrus juice+ bitten cuticles= LAME.

All this talk about running has made me pretty pumped about my run tonight. It’s weird how I’m sort of starting to like it.

…I hope I didn’t speak too soon. Smile

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Filed under blogging, body issues, couch to 5k challenge, exercise, food, goals, money honey, races, running, shopping, weigh-in, Weight Watchers

Books, Books, Books- Merry Christmas, Jessamyn

I’ve been a bad girl. Well, not really- I mean it’s been a celebratory weekend. Doesn’t that mean I deserve a few treats?

Ok, maybe I got a few too many treats. But in my defense, I legitimately “needed” several of my purchases. And the others…well, whatever. Plus, I’m too much of a gluttonous American to conceal my purchases from you guys. Smile

The Borders Bookstore in Greensboro is closing its doors- sad story. On the bright side, the entire store is 60—80% off. So really, I can only express so much sadness.

I emerged from the store with quite a large haul (and I giant grin):

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  • The Radleys by Matt Haig. I started reading this book months ago, and couldn’t bring myself to actually buy it. I harbor a slight (understatement of the year) obsession with vampire lore. The Radleys is about a family of vampires who’ve assimilated into human society by learning to eat real food. It’s been very well-reviewed, and I was quick to snap it up when I saw a 70% off sign hanging above it (and it’s hardcover WHAT)
  • Female Chauvinist Pigs: Women and the Rise of Raunch Culture by Ariel Levy: yet another book that’s been hanging out in my amazon shopping cart. 70% off? Yes, please.
  • A mess of greeting cards, which (at 80%off) cost less than $2.00 total.
  • Shortbus: this movie kind of changed my life. I’ve been in love with it for years, but it’s very difficult to find. Even if you can find it, it’s usually kind of expensive. I CAN’T BELIEVE it was there- I snapped it up, even though it cost more than I wanted to spend.
  • Not For Tourists- NYC 2010 and a Boston street map: Self-explanatory. I’m an obsessive geek, what can I say.
  • In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan: Michael Pollan also wrote The Omnivore’s Dilemma, the book that’s been taking up all of my free time. I was really excited to snag this book, but I didn’t actually get it at Borders. I bought it during an unplanned record buying frenzy at one of my favorite used bookstores, Edward McKays.

While I was at Edward McKays, I also bought a couple of new records (I bought one record that I can’t post- it’s a gift for someone who reads this blog, and I don’t want to spoil the surprise Smile):

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Anyone who knows me is well aware of the fact that owning Prince’s 1999 was an absolute necessity. Also, I had to get this Donna Summer record. Really. Stop rolling your eyes.

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It includes “Mac Arthur Park”. Have you heard Donna Summer’s version of “Mac Arthur Park”? It’s disco magic that WILL BLOW YOUR MIND.

In fact:

Yeah, I’m listening to this right now.

Speaking of books, have y’all heard about The Bookup?

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Simple concept- show up, bring books, read books. No talking. Lots of eating.

And I promise this isn’t a dream. It’s real life!

The first Triad Bookup will be April 13th, 6pm-8pm, at Bin 33, a new-ish Greensboro restaurant with seriously delicious eats- they are also renowned for having one of the triad’s best wine selections, and a Bottomless Champagne Sunday Brunch. But for real, the food is DE-lish.

I can’t tell you how excited I am about this event. I love to read while I’m eating, and this is the absolute best of both worlds. It’s a free event (pay for your food, obvi), and you can donate books to the library. If you’re in the triad area, definitely consider coming to this event- and if you can’t make it to April 13th event, look out for future Bookups.

Happy Sunday!

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Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week: North Carolina Pride Edition

I’ve been thinking about how to explain the insanity of my day. Of my week, for that matter. But really- today just took the cake, pie, and every other decadent metaphor. Put simply, TGIF.

However, you know why Friday is also especially awesome. Because it’s time for Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing.

No kidding, I tried about a dozen new food items this week. Some of them were really awesome- some left quite a bit to the imagination. And some (quite literally) left a bad taste in my mouth. But what came out on top? What is Jessamyn’s New Favorite Thing of The Week?

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Ok, picture your favorite potato chip. Now make it less fatty, more delicious, and even more awesome. You’re thinking of Glories Sweet Potato Chips. The purchase of these chips was the definition of an impulse buy- the woman shopping in front of me at Washington Perk and Provisions was eating them and I asked to try a few. I immediately bought a bag, and proceeded to eat nearly the entire bag during the Sunday matinee of 1776.

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There are so many good things about these chips that I almost don’t know where to begin. Some sweet potato chips are too salty and too broad, which makes them take up too much space in your mouth and messes up the balance of natural potato sweetness and added salt. These chips are really thin and very crunchy- simply by size judgement, you will never question whether these chips are the product of actual sweet potatoes or a sweet potato processing machine monster. They are properly dusted with sea salt, and the salt does not overpower the natural potato sweetness. The chips are gluten-free AND GMO-free. Also, the only ingredients are sweet potatoes, GMO-free oil, and sea salt. As it should be.

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After I bought the chips and consumed nearly the entire bag before intermission, I made it my mission to find out more about the company. What other products do they make? Would the products like me? Would the products want to take me to the prom? (Too far? Yeah, a step too far.)

Well, I perused the website and immediately found out that NOT ONLY are these American south sweet potatoes (which explains why they are perfect and delicious- the American South farms the best sweet potatoes you’ll ever eat), but OH MY GOD THE COMPANY IS BASED IN GREENSBORO, NC.

My hometown. THE BIRTHPLACE OF JESSAMYN. It’s also the next large town over, but that’s irrelevant right now.

Therefore, not only are Glories Sweet Potato Chips my new favorite thing of the week, but Good Health Natural Foods is my new best friend.

Happy Friday, y’all. Seriously, TGIF, or what?

By the way, speaking of  Jessamyn’s New Favorite Things, my pre-fasting breakfast this morning was a bowl of corn flakes with chocolate almond milk. I nearly swooned because of the delicious flavors entering my mouth. Seriously, go to the grocery store and GET YOU SOME.

Also, keep your socks on: days 2 and 3 of The Macaroni Bowl are still forthcoming- I promise. I’m also going to post the recipe for this ABSOLUTELY AMAZING curried lentil soup I made on Wednesday.

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Delicious doesn’t begin to describe it. Also, since I’m in the mood to overshare, I finally received Waiting For “Superman” from netflix, and I can’t wait to start watching. Wait, why am I still typing? I need to watch!

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Filed under food, Jessamyn's New Favorite Thing of The Week, product review

“I went to a restaurant that serves ‘breakfast at any time’. So I ordered French Toast during the Renaissance.”

There are many thing for which I am thankful- indoor toilets, yard sale Saturdays, seeing ONE MINUTE LEFT on the treadmill.

But above all else I am thankful for my friends. Their companionship, support, and smiles make so many things which might be typically unbearable absolutely worthwhile and rewarding.

After having the fortnight from hell, I was all too happy to spend a night in Greensboro with some of the universe’s most spectacularly sparkly and smiley people.

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As you can see, I was not speaking metaphorically when I said ‘sparkly’.

We saw The Hood Internet at Artistika Nightclub in downtown Gate City- we danced, we smiled, we posed cheesily for photographs. All in all, it was one of the better nights I’ve had in a long LONG LONG time.

After a brief decompression on Saturday morning, I decided to brunch it up with a couple of my favorites at one of my absolute favorite restaurants, Smith Street Diner.

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Smith Street serves breakfast all day, and they make biscuits the size of your head (I’m not even kidding- I didn’t get a biscuit, but one of these days I’ll photograph one for you guys- seriously, the size will blow your mind). The waitstaff is really friendly, and the restaurant is decorated with pictures of decoupaged pigs. Of course, we’re not the only people in Greensboro who know about the awesomeness of Smith Street- since the restaurant is very small, be prepared to wait for a table. Luckily, our timing was perfect and we were seated immediately.

Oh yeah, these kids came too:

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From Left: Tom Tom Club (Tommy), Bob The Builder (Bobby), and ReynoldsWrap (Sara)- Look At Those Sleepy Breakfast Faces

One of the best parts of Smith Street Diner is that if you get an omelette, you can get it stuffed with an array of toppings- for no additional charge! What does that mean? It means that I ate my weight in mushrooms and black olives, that’s what.

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More specifically, there were lots of peppers, mushrooms, olives, and other vegetables spilling out of my delicious breakfast. For an additional $1, you can have an egg white omelette- I opted to do this, and so my ww points+ values were slashed dramatically.  I also made the mistake of ordering “hot peppers”- this meant my mouth was engulfed in flames of jalapeno pain. The omelette is served with grits (or home fries) and toast (or the aforementioned epic biscuit). I had rye toast, and only ate one slice (a freaking miracle). Also, the other nondescript bowl on the plate is gravy- that’s right, Smith Street serves a true Southern breakfast with a side of sausage gravy. I managed to curb my gravy enthusiasm and left the bowl relatively untouched (please don’t begrudge me the teensiest toast gravy dip- it had to happen).

All in all, Brunch at Smith Street Diner is the perfect addition to a Greensboro day- especially when you can share it with your “glitterazzi” friends.

(on an unrelated note, early Friday evening was highlighted by a spirited water jogging session. I really love water jogging, but quite ironically I got caught in the rain without an umbrella on my way home from school on Friday- so basically, I went water jogging TWICE.)

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Say it Ain’t SNOW: A Recap of New Purchases, and Why Corporate Farming is Destroying My Judgement

Today I was reminded of one of the side effects of living in a world dominated by corporate food manufacturing: it’s very easy to forget that weather directly affects farming opportunities. I mean, when you can buy peaches and strawberries in the middle of December, why the hell would anyone be thinking about the fact that those items are out of season and didn’t come from a farm nearby?

(It’s probably because we live in the Matrix. Or America. You know, semantics.)

Therefore, if there’s been an unusual amount of snow and ice in your area, there will be a very meager selection of produce at your local farmer’s market.

Let me make this a little more simple:

This:

(Source)

+This:

(Source)

=

Whatever, I’ll hit up the market later in the week. Anyway, while I was at home with my parentals and little bro, my mom and I went on a mother/daughter grocery shopping expedition and I found steel cut oats at ALDI:

Um, what? I had difficulty finding a selection of steel cut oats at Harris-Teeter, and there’s a giant display at ALDI for half the typical price? I won’t look a gift horse in the mouth, but that strikes me as slightly amusing. Now, these oats are quick cooking, so I don’t know how they will compare to these oats:

I’ll be sure to let you guys know how the taste testing goes down with these two items. Whole Foods versus Aldi– this ought to be very interesting.

Also, my mom hooked me up with a new kind of tahini:

I’m pretty excited to try it- Mama Bear got it for a great price using amazon.com, but some of the reviews say it’s kind of bitter. Do you eat tahini? Do you have a favorite way of preparing it? I, for one, am about to embark on a series of hummus experimental adventures.

Also, when I arrived home in Cancer City, guess what was waiting for me?

And Yes, I did pose these photos on top of my record player.

🙂 🙂 🙂 I love new purchases, especially when they come in the form of an Eat Smart Precision Pro Kitchen Scale and an Omron GoSmart Pocket Pedometer.

Because I’m Jessamyn and I have the patience of a two year-old, OF COURSE I had to immediately start weighing everything in my kitchen using my lovely new scale. I won’t bore you with all my testing, but I was very impressed with the scale’s accuracy and ESPECIALLY the great convenience of the tare function. By using the tare button, I can easily place a plate/bowl on the scale and zero out its weight before measuring my actual food. There’s no silly math involved at ALL. It’s a REVELATION, y’all.

Plus, doesn’t it look so pretty next to my coffeemaker? Now my kitchen is semi-color coordinated.

(Ok, I’m making an ass of myself.)

I’d have taken more photographs of my pedometer, but I immediately adjusted all the settings, clipped it to my shirt, and walked around my kitchen like an idiot for ten minutes. Things I’ve learned so far? Apparently I have a very short stride, and walk too slowly. I’m sure more lessons will be learned as soon as I start walking and acting like a normal person again. Ok, that’s probably asking a bit too much- everyone knows I’m nowhere near normal.

How was your Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day? Did you act more or less silly than I did?

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Filed under farmers market, food, grocery shopping, grocery stores, meal planning, product review, shopping