It’s my birthday! Well, sort of. Today Vegan on the Run turns one.
This photo was taken a year ago by my mom, just before launching VOTR.
When we approach a landmark anniversary or milestone of any kind, we tend to look back, be it to pat ourselves on the back over where we’ve come from, or to be hard on ourselves for what we haven’t accomplished by now. While looking back for a moment can be healthy in offering perspective, if we lose ourselves in the rearview, we risk stalling out. We lose our sense of motion. This is something I struggle with.
As Vegan on the Run celebrates its birthday today, I’m overriding my natural instinct to look back, and instead, stare straight ahead, not to the distant future, but to the immediate present.
Here’s me at the present (well, close enough). This photo was taken by Andrew a few weeks ago at the Farmers Market.
In my personal life, I’m constantly learning how to do life together with Andrew, in a partnership. Being a “we” is something that feels foreign at times to the both of us, considering we’re still relatively fresh off of four years of what we like to refer to as desert wandering. There are things we’re both still working out that don’t magically fix themselves when you work someone else into your equation. Instead, they rise to the surface and now that someone else can see them, must be dealt with. Vulnerability doesn’t come easily for me. But sharing the ugliest parts of myself and dealing with them, is key to breaking cycles of negative behavior, fostering better communication, and forward motion.
What do you cook when you are visiting someone afar and working out of a foreign kitchen that is less than stocked with any bare necessities, much less extra goodies, and you’ve volunteered to prepare a vegan dinner for a group of four that has quickly grown to be seven? I just so happened to be greeted with this welcomed scenario Monday night, in St. Augustine. The result appeared as follows.
Seriously, who knew America’s oldest city was so good to the vegans? (Now this vegan does!) Little did I know when I whisked myself off on a solo expedition to the opposite end of my Florida home state for the weekend to give myself a “Spring Break” of sorts, and enjoy the company of another, I would be driving straight into a vegan mecca. While having a veg-adventure is always in the forefront of my mind, and I can spot a vegan ‘v’ from a mile away, this particular getaway did not have food as the ultimate goal. Sure, there were a couple of places I knew I wanted to check out while I was in town. To my pleasant surprise, nearly everywhere I looked, there was vegan goodness to be had.
The morning after setting a PR at the Rock n’ Roll New Orleans Half Marathon (March 2013), I discovered this encouraging word while en route to get coffee.
Seeing as how I learn something new every single day, it’s safe to say, not only are there countless items I deem as “rules of the road,” the list continues to grow.
Since my current marathon training is the most extensive training I’ve ever done, it seems only natural I’ve been reflecting (more than normal) on all the things I’ve learned through training for anything over the years. No matter what you are working to achieve, here are five training-related rules of the road that will hopefully help you on your journey.
Everyone loves sinking their teeth into firm, saucy bite-sized delicacies. While there are certainly meat substitutes that come eerily close to resembling an authentic “hot wing,” I’ve come to fancy mock-ups of the whole vegetable variety—mushrooms to be exact.
These especially saucy ’shrooms were born out of a post-run moment of desperation that went something like, “I need a quick, filling bite to eat, but I’m not sure what I have on hand and I’m definitely craving something nutty and spicy.” To my pleasant surprise, the mushrooms, peanut butter, marinara sauce and Sriracha I scrounged for, came together gracefully to inspire what has become a spicy, saucy staple. With a 15 minute combined prep and cook time, you can’t go wrong with this quick fix. And while this dish makes a hearty bite for one, it is also one that can easily be split between two.
Warning: If you happen to be making these for a date night, you will definitely want to use forks and have ample napkins present. Otherwise the sauciness will get entirely out of hand, all too quickly.