Farm-to-Fork Friday: Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe

Zada Jane's Corner Cafe in NoDa

Located in Charlotte’s Historic Arts District, NoDa, Zada Jane’s Corner Cafe seems to be somewhat of an unknown gem in the city. I learned about it by googling “farm-to-table restaurants in Charlotte.”

I specifically went to Zada Jane’s last Saturday evening after venturing to their website where I was intrigued by their “a little info” webpage. The information is so cute the way it is written. As promised, a shuffleboard court was in front of the cafe. I suspect it’s quite an attraction during warm weather months. They also had this killer patio which seats fifty, but it was empty because of the chill in the air.

Zada Jane’s prepares its meals with “drug-free” meat and uses organic/sustainable ingredients as much as possible. I love all of this, but I absolutely love the fact that they utilize regional and local farmers to the best of their ability.

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So You Think You’re Healthy

But are you really? Maybe you run three half marathons a year. Maybe you eat a clean diet 90 percent of the time. Maybe you don’t smoke or drink. Perhaps you’re an avid crossfitter. Who knows, maybe you’re a triathlete.

You’re active, you eat healthy, and your BMI is in the healthy range so you must be healthy.

Too bad all of these things don’t automatically equate to being healthy. There could be things going on with your body that you can’t feel or see.

When was the last time you had a well visit (physical)?

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What I Ate Wednesday

Click on button to learn more about WIAW!

I’m new to blogging.

I’m fairly certain you’ve picked up on that already. It probably took you all of five seconds.

Anyway, I started this blog because I was inspired by all the healthy living bloggers I follow. I’ve always been passionate about living healthy so blogging about healthy living just made sense to me. I slowly gained the courage to share my life with the world over the past year. I am still somewhat reserved about all of this sharing, but I am sure I will warm up to it!

I read about a half dozen to a dozen healthy living blogs on a regular basis now. Jenn’s blog, Peas and Crayons, is amongst one of my favorite blogs to visit.  I’ve been following a lot of the healthy living bloggers for about a year now, but I just recently discovered Jenn’s blog about a month or so ago when I kept seeing tweets with #WIAW. I am so thankful those tweets led me to her blog! Jenn is the creative mind behind all the What I Ate Wednesday posts you see on so many blogs.

She seems so fun and visiting her blog is always worthwhile. Here’s another reason I love reading Jenn’s blog… She is so sweet! I decided to tweet her to see if I could join in on the #WIAW fun and confessed to her that I was an aspiring healthy living blogger. I didn’t feel worthy enough to join in on the fun and expected her response to be something like “sure” or “yah, that’s cool.”

Do you think Jenn responsed like that? Not a chance. Here’s how she responded to me:

“@RunLiftPlay whoo! party away girl! ❤ … we’re doing a theme this month: LOVE your veggies! #wiaw”

Her response made me feel so good. I suppose she knows everyone has to start somewhere! I look forward to making weekly What I Ate Wednesday posts especially now that I feel so welcome.

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Extending Workouts Beyond Gym Walls

Source: hunter22375 via Zazzle

All too often we make fitness a rigid routine of working out in a gym with the masses. However, being fit shouldn’t mean that we should have to force ourselves to workout in a gym full of madness every day. Don’t get me wrong, I believe structured workouts are very important, but we should be complementing our workouts with other physical activity. I think too many of us look at working out as a task and once we accomplish it, we’re tempted to be idle for the rest of our day.

I constantly try to slip in fun physical activities outside of my main training in order to truly live an active lifestyle. I enjoy the feeling I get when I am active outside of gym walls or my scheduled runs. I always feel healthier when I’m routinely complementing my structured workouts with physical activities I genuinely enjoy.

My blog is named RunLiftPlay because I am a fan of finding fun ways to squeeze in additional physical activity! I believe running and lifting weights play an important role in my ability to stay fit, but I feel strongly that the ‘play’ portion of my life is what keeps me on track 365 days a year. Maintaining a rigid workout routine 5-6 days a week will inevitably become a challenge at some point during the year so it’s important for me to have activities in my life that will keep me active even when I do not have time for structured workouts.

I challenge you to find physical activities that you enjoy and to make an effort to do them on a regular basis. Perhaps you like to play tennis, shoot hoops, rock climb, or surf. I don’t care what the activity is, I just think it’s important for all of us to find a few fun physical activities we enjoy so we’re not relying solely on our scheduled workouts to keep us fit! Finding activities we are passionate about makes it so much easier to live and sustain an active lifestyle.

I hope you are inspired to begin complementing your scheduled workout with fun outdoor (or indoor) activities. Find your passion outside of gym walls. You’ll be glad you did.

Here are all the things I do to stay active outside of my typical running and gym routine (clearly I’m an outdoor type of girl):

  • Hiking
  • Mountain Biking
  • Stand-Up-Paddle Boarding (I’d kill to have my own board)
  • Wakeboarding
  • Snowboarding
  • Snowshoeing (ha, I’ve done it once)
  • Kayaking
  • Yoga (on occasion)
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Kicking it into High Gear

Good morning!

I hope you’re feeling motivated this morning because I am! Last night I realized I have just 18 days until my beach vacation and 65 days until my first half marathon. It’s nice to have activities planned that serve as strong motivators to eat healthy and hit the gym regularly. I know I won’t have any desire to skip a workout in the next couple of weeks!

Just looking at the picture below gives me all the motivation I need to stay focused on my workout and eating clean until vacation. This picture may not give you the motivation, but I remember how beautiful this pool was in person so it’s a huge motivator for me!

Delano pool (South Beach vacation 2010)

I’ll be making small tweaks in my diet the next couple of weeks to make sure I am beach ready.  Thankfully I’ve been working out regularly and eating relatively clean since November so I feel pretty good about hitting the beach already!

Here’s what I’ll be kicking from diet over the next couple of weeks:

  • Coke Zeros (I’m obsessed with Coke Zeros. So good, but so bad. Carbonation and artificial sweeteners encourage bloating!)
  • Triple tall sugar-free soy cinnamon dolce lattes from Starbucks (One barista calls it my “rocket fuel.”)
  • Dried fruit (Only because recently I’ve been eating five servings in one sitting. It’s so hard to eat the appropriate serving size!)

I can’t wait until my vacation. I’m actually taking a full week vacation which I haven’t done since well before my college days.

How do you stay motivated? Do you have anything to look forward to in the next couple of weeks?

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Sunday Confessional: Behaving like a Treadmill Snob

My fuel of choice this morning was my favorite pumpkin spice latte overnight oats. I caught up on some of my favorite healthy living blogs for about 15 minutes while eating breakfast. Some of the ladies I follow are so good about motivating me to get out the door and workout! Half asleep, I wondered to the apartment gym praying the only working treadmill would be available. It has been quite the competition to get on the treadmill recently.

As I made my way into the gym I breathed a sigh of relief because I had the entire gym to myself. I prayed it would remain empty since I needed the treadmill for at least an hour and I didn’t want to end up feeling bad about hogging it. I typically plan my long runs outside to avoid feeling guilty. However, the weather in Charlotte today was pretty gloomy and cold so I opted for the boring indoor treadmill run.

A mile into my run, I was finally getting warm and I could tell I was going to have an amazing run. I was feeling like a star, and no one could stop my shine. The gym was still empty. Then, moments later, the familiar guy that I’m 99 percent confident is a triathlete ventured into the gym. I’ve seen him before and he doesn’t shy away from any of the cardio equipment, but seems to love the treadmill when he can get on it. “Great,” I thought, “This guy is going to want to punch me.” Yet, he didn’t give off any sense of disappointment and opted for the pathetic little bike next to me.

Not too long after Mr. Tri walked in the door, the married couple I admire walked into the gym. They’re probably my parents’ age and workout together all the time. They seem to have the healthy lifestyle thing down. I am fairly certain the woman would have loved to have my treadmill but she immediately made her way over to the weights. A few minutes later, she walked out of the gym and grabbed a coffee from the machine in the clubhouse. “Good,” I thought. I convinced myself she was just lifting weights since she grabbed a coffee to sip on while working out. I don’t know of anyone that drinks coffee while doing cardio. In the back of mind I started to think, “Her husband might want the treadmill eventually, but he’ll approach me if he thinks I’m hogging it.” I managed to hit mute on my thoughts and kept running.

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Rise N Shine

Good morning!

It is a bit early to be up on a Saturday, but when I’m not away on the weekends I usually try to kick off my Saturday with an early morning workout session at my gym. I always love early workouts since it sets the tone for the rest of my day. I went to the gym last night at 6:30pm so I am probably in for a nice treat since I’ve barely recovered. I try to space out my workouts better than that, but sometimes it’s impossible with the hectic schedule I maintain. Call me crazy, but I am also praying I feel up for a two mile run on the greenway after class. Just a nice, slow paced run since I’ll be doing my long run tomorrow.

I’m fueling my body with a bowl of Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats. This is my favorite breakfast right now, but I typically only enjoy it on weekends. I usually stick to an egg white omelet with a bunch of veggies on weekdays.

Here’s the recipe for the Pumpkin Spice Latte Overnight Oats:

  • 1/2 c almond milk
  • 1/2 c old fashioned gluten free oats
  • 2-3 tbsps canned pumpkin
  • 1 packet stevia
  • 1 packet Starbucks Blonde Roast Instant Coffee (it’s really strong so you may only want to use 1/2 packet)
  • 2 tbsps cottage cheese (sometimes I sub a scoop of protein powder)
  • Sprinkle allspice, nutmeg, ginger and cloves to taste.
  • Scoop of cinnamon (seriously, I probably use at least a tbsp)
  • 1 tbsp almond butter (sometimes I choose to use a scoop of greek yogurt instead)
  • Dash of chia seeds
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Farm-to-Fork Friday

Welcome to my first Farm-to-fork Friday post! Well, technically the first real post featuring food will come next Friday, but this will give you an idea of what it is all about!

Farm-to-fork Friday will be a recurring post that I will be incorporating into my blog every Friday in order to give you all a glimpse of my fresh, local eats. In case you have not heard of “farm-to-fork” or “farm-to-table,” it is a way restaurants can identify themselves as eateries that prepare dishes with locally procured ingredients. There is a fairly strong farm-to-table movement in the restaurant industry largely driven by consumers like myself that would rather eat at restaurant who support local farms. I am using the same farm-to-fork concept here as a theme on my blog to show off some of the delicious meals I consume that consist of local ingredients!

I am grateful that I live in a region of the country where many restaurants seem to be adopting the farm-to-fork philosophy. I’d much rather eat local ingredients than ingest food that landed on my plate from halfway across the country (or the world). I am also thankful I have access to so many farmers markets and small farms. My preference is to not have my food shipped in a container or truck prior to making its grand debut on my plate.

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Racing the Sun

I decided to cancel my scheduled workout yesterday for an unplanned run on the greenway since the expected high was 63 degrees. I’ve been putting a lot of miles in on the treadmill so I figured I better take advantage of the beautiful day and run outside. Thankfully, my favorite meteorologist was right and we had an absolutely gorgeous day in Charlotte.

As soon as 5pm hit I gave myself permission to rush out of the office to go for a run on the greenway. Since the sunset was around 6:05pm, I knew I would have to keep a decent pace in order to be back to my car before dusk. Apparently, racing the sun is good for me since I maintained a faster than normal pace. I have been trying to pace myself for 10 minute miles since my goal is to run my first half in 2:10.

Here are my run stats:

I’m happy with my 9’13″/mi pace and actually a bit shocked by it. I felt strong yesterday which was a good feeling since I struggled through my workout on Monday night. I even had enough energy to lift weights after a brief recovery period. I suppose somedays are better than others!

Today is a planned rest day since my day starts earlier than usual and doesn’t wrap up until about 8pm. Maybe I’ll find some time for a 15 minute ab routine later this evening.

Are you currently training for any races? How do you squeeze in the time for your runs?

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Stomping on Snowshoes

In honor of heart month, I recently made my heart race by venturing out into 20-degree weather and strapping on some snowshoes. Let’s just say that snowshoeing is not for the faint of heart. If you don’t enjoy a good physical challenge, snowshoeing would probably fall somewhere on your list of least favorite activities.

This was my first experience with snowshoeing and I was pleasantly surprised by how much I enjoyed it. I took a guided tour on Sugar Mountain in North Carolina and an adventurous man named Doug served as the guide. He kept making references to “back in the 80s on this mountain” so I am assuming he is a fulltime ski bum that enjoys making his living on the mountain. If that’s the case, I am a tad bit envious of his life.

I expected Doug to take us out to some flat, desolate trail but instead we headed straight  up the slopes that everyone else was skiing and snowboarding down. I had no idea we’d be snowshoeing up a mountain and it honestly caught me a little of guard but I immediately embraced the experience. I ended up loving the challenge and was quite comfortable with the upward climb.

During our rest periods, I couldn’t help but think what all the snowboarders and skiers must be saying about us. I am a snowboarder and chances are if I saw some fools snowshoeing up a mountain I’d definitely be making fun of them!

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