Trick-or-Trot

Happy Halloween! This is one of my favorite holidays.  It combines outrageously festive dress and candy.  Now I may be an RD, but I still love candy.  In addition to the regular activities, my father and I decided to try something new for the both of us: running a 5K.  You may be wondering, wait a sec, you did a Half-Marathon, surely this is nothing new.  The fact is that my first race was 4 miles, and from there I have done a 10K, Half-Marathon and another 4 miler, but I completely skipped what is usually the first step in racing. 

With all of my longer races, my dad was really proud of me and said he was pushing himself a little harder in his workouts.  He is a gym regular and has routinely done 2 miles on the treadmill a couple days each week.  As a challenge, I thought it would be fun to up it to 3.1, and he was totally on board.  We trained separately, but came together this past weekend for the first annual “Trick-or-Trot”, a fundraiser for the Daisy Ingraham Elementary School PTO in Westbrook, CT.

 

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It was a very fanciful race with a costume contest, face painting, a bouncy house and a lot of children running alongside their parents.  I wore an old Native American costume over my running gear to get into the spirit.  My favorite group was a family of super heroes including a Batgirl mother/daughter pair, a Captain America father and a Buzz Light-year son.  The kids were pushed in strollers and would jump out and run a segment when the motivation struck.  It was so great to see parents getting their kids excited about exercise!

Wonder Woman pushing her child’s stroller.IMG_0246

It was a beautiful run that took us down along the beach.

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The last 0.1 miles of the race was uphill (isn’t that the way) and my dad was able to speed away from me for a strong finish.  I kicked it into gear and finished 3 seconds behind him.  Dad 34:45, Wendy 34:48.  Not too shabby considering I was at a wedding the night before!

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Unintentional Rocky Costume.IMG_0251

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We both had a great time and I see more races in our future.  Maybe I can make myself a new Half-Marathon buddy.  (Melissa rubbed off on me). 

If you are a runner or an aspiring runner, I would highly recommend doing a 5K with a friend.  Having a race date will keep you focused on your goal and doing it with a buddy will make the day of a lot more enjoyable.  You can soak up the events associated with the race and catch up with each other. 

Who do you like to run with, and do you encourage others to race with you?

How To: Spaghetti Squash

A couple weekends ago, Eric and I took a trip to Bishop’s Orchard with his family.  It was such a beautiful day out and so nice to see Eric’s relatives. 

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After our picking we visited the store.  On display with the pumpkins was a box of spaghetti squash.  I have been meaning to try it for a while so I bought one.  When I got home, I kinda stared at it for a few days, trying to figure out how to prepare it.  After some thought (and googling) I finally made a recipe.

The Basics

To begin, cut the squash in half and scoop  out the seeds.  Then season with an oil and whatever spices/herbs you want.  Place the halves flat side down on a tin-foil lined baking pan and put in the oven for 30-40 minutes at 450.  When the squash is tender, remove from oven and let it sit until it is cool enough to handle.  Take a fork and scrape out the flesh into a bowl.  From there, you can prepare it in a variety of ways, just like regular pasta!

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My Recipe

I prepared my squash with olive oil, black pepper, basil, a little salt and garlic powder.  After I scraped it out, I added it to a pot of warm marinara sauce.  I let the two mingle for a while to get to temp and then I added some fresh mozzarella slices on top. 

Squash takes some time to bake, but its super easy to do.   This squash is grown in the winter so it is coming into its season, meaning it will be fresh and likely less expensive.

It’s a nice, low calorie, low carb option to replace traditional pasta, and it counts as a vegetable serving.  Win Win!

Squash Nutrition

What is your favorite way to prepare Spaghetti Squash?

UConn Homecoming!

This past week was Homecoming at UConn.  Is there anything more sentimental than visiting your alma mater in the fall?  This was my first time back since I graduated in 2012!

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I went back on Thursday to give a guest lecture to a class of nutrition students. As a student, I remember having past graduates come to speak to us and how helpful it was to have an insider perspective. When my former advisor Dr. Rhonda Brownbill asked me to speak, I was so flattered.  In this presentation, I focused on three topics. The first was the application process. I emphasized doing the leg work by researching different programs thoroughly and focusing on fit.  I then discussed the details of my internship with the University of Maryland College Park including rotations, projects, and events. Finally, I outlined how I prepared for and passed my RD exam.

At the end the students had some great questions about all aspects of the presentation. Some even came up later and asked about long distance relationships (they saw my ring!).  After the lecture, I went to explore the campus. I had about 5 hours to kill before my dinner plans so I was able to walk over the entire place.

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Uconn Collage

So much as changed! While I was there, many large construction projects were underway.  Now they are all done leaving a ton of open space and a few new buildings.  I decided to visit my senior year apartment and as it turns out, my chemistry lab partner lives in my building right now! Small world for sure.

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If you look very closely, you can see a woodchuck by the edge of the building. There are a couple families that still live all around UConn and they are soooo cute.  There is also a small patch of construction in Hilltop Apartments, but that was one of maybe 3 spots on campus.

I popped by the Benton Art Museum and had an awesome apple pie latte.  During undergrad, it was absolutely my favorite place to get coffee (Iced Tropical Breeze is my go to spring beverage).

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I grabbed some dinner with my Alima friends at the union.  I got to catch up AND get a salad wrap, another UConn favorite.  Alima was my dance team and membership has ballooned form 9 to 36! It made me so happy to see that it found a strong foothold and developed a reputation on campus.

The Husky love continued on Saturday with the Homecoming football game!  We arrived bright and early to tailgate before the game.  I got to hang out with my goods friend Chelsey and Joanne and run into a bunch of other alumni.

 Football TailgateThe girls with a delightful photo bomb from Peter.Homecoming 5

The game was so much fun, even though we lost.  I got to do the husky chant, and revel in all of the football traditions.  I never made it to a game senior year so it had been 3 years since I went to a game!

I had an awesome time reliving UConn and cant wait to go back.

 

What is your favorite Homecoming tradition?