Blog Archives

Fleur de Lis Cafe, Take 2

I first visited this restaurant with a group of friends back in September. I was really impressed with the food and of course the half priced bottles of wine 🙂

This time, I had a Living Social coupon that I needed to use, so my friend Courtney and I decided to hit the place up for lunch after some shopping in the Highlands.

Yes, the vegan options are limited but I was grateful that they at least have them. Plus there are a few things on the menu that could be “veganized” if need be.

For lunch, I ordered the Vegan Muffaletta:

Fleur de lisFor my side I got a “side salad” which was a funny name because it was huge!

Fleur de lis 2

The food was really delicious and the service was just as good. Since we had a Living Social coupon we did not have to pay much for the meal but we sure did tip the waiter well. 🙂

I just love the place, it’s atmosphere is cute and cozy, they have good food and good service. They weren’t very busy when we first got there, but it picked up and we always had enough of everything we needed.

My only complaint? They really need to update their website. Their menu is far more vast than what appears online!

Happy Thursday 🙂

Fleur de Lis Cafe on Urbanspoon

Gearing up for racing season

Hi friends! Holy heck, where has the time gone?

I still have a few race recaps to share with you that I participated in this past Fall and Winter, but a more pressing topic is that Spring racing season has arrived! This Saturday, I will be running in my 4th consecutive Anthem 5k, which holds a very special place in my heart…it was my first race ever.

I had just starting running in September of 2007 and built myself up to 30 minutes, then gradually started working on distance. In early March of 2008, I crossed my very first finish line as a runner. It was probably one of the proudest moments of my life, the first of many. It helped me fall in love with racing.

But this year, I feel like a seasoned veteran and there is a good feeling that comes with that too. I am not anxious or worried about anything. I’m ready for any weather, any crowd (heard there are over 9,000 registered so far!), I already know where the bathrooms are, etc. Now I am just ready to go have fun running 3.1 miles.

The Anthem 5k is also exciting because it kicks off the Louisville Triple Crown of Running, which is three races: the 5k, the 10k and the 10-miler. This will also be my 4th consecutive 10-miler, but only my third 10k, as I missed that race last year when I was out of town.

All of these races lead up to the big one, which for me this year is once again the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon. Someday I hope to do a full marathon but not quite yet 😉

What are your racing plans for the Spring? Please share!

Louisville Vegetarian Club to meet this Saturday

Hello friends!

For those of you in the Louisville-Southern Indiana area, just a heads up that the Louisville Vegetarian Club is going to hold our first meeting of 2011 this coming Saturday, January 29th at 1:00 at the Zen Tea House on Frankfort Avenue.

This club formed just about a year ago and we have already done so many things together including potlucks, dinners out, bakes sales, a holiday cookie exchange and the Walk For Farm Animals!

Walk for Farm Animals

Photo courtesy of Louisville Vegetarian Club

On a personal note, I became a vegan in October 2009 for health reasons but through joining this group, I  have learned a lot about animal abuse issues, the environmental impact of the human diet and enjoyed even more health-related discussions.

I have also received a ton of support from like-minded people which has been such a blessing. Oh yeah, and I’ve also eaten more delicious food this past year than I can ever remember!

Check out the event on Facebook and RSVP if you are interested in joining us!

Also join the group 🙂

2010: A year of running

Happy 2011 everyone!

I still have a lot to catch you all up on but for now, I thought I would reflect back on the past year, most of which I have spent running! There was a time when I thought I would never run regularly again, let alone in long distance races but I have proven myself wrong again. Oh, how I love to do that!

I did a lot of other fitness-related things in 2010 but it was definitely the year of running for me. As a matter of fact, in 2010, I ran…

  • Nine 5k races!
  • One 10k race
  • One 10-miler
  • Two half marathons
  • My first 15k race
  • A nighttime 3 mile race
  • A 5-miler through Iroquois Park

There is nothing better to keep you motivated than to register for races. I tend to want to quit over the summer when it gets too hot and during the winter when temperatures fall below freezing and you have to wear 4 layers of clothing to stay warm. But having the races (and a great training partner) kept me going all year long!

There were times that I got discouraged and doubted myself. The mileage intimidated me as did my past finishing times. But after the 15k in September and especially the half marathon in October, I realized that I really can do whatever I set my mind to. I don’t have to be the fastest, I don’t have to beat my PR every time I go out there. I just need to have fun and enjoy the fact that I CAN RUN. And I can do so without soreness or injury. I am very blessed.

I am also happy to say that I have not slowed down at all. In fact, I started of the first day of 2011 with a 10 mile race! There are many more coming up this Spring, including the Triple Crown of Running and the Kentucky Derby Festival mini-Marathon that I have to look forward to. I do hope to beat my 5k PR sometime in 2011 but no pressure! And maybe, just maybe, I will go for a full marathon in the Fall. We shall see!

What fitness goals did you accomplish in 2010? What do you hope to do in 2011?

Austin’s Restaurant

I had been to Austin’s Restaurant here in Louisville maybe three times in my entire life. I couldn’t remember much about it, other than I liked the spaciousness of the inside and that they held a lot of banquets/parties there.

So when my mom wanted to go there for her birthday celebration with our family, I decided to check out the menu.

They are known for their “contemporary Southern cuisine” which unfortunately means a lot of meat and cheese. While they do offer a “garden veggie burger” I wasn’t sure if this would contain dairy, like some other restaurants’ veggie burger choices do. (I can’t tell you how much I wish Buffalo Wild Wings would do me a solid and at least opt for the Boca vegan burger if I’m going to pay $7 for something I could make at home)

So I emailed the address listed on their website to ask about vegan options. I got almost an immediate response from the general manager, Adam, who informed me that most items on their menu do indeed contain meat and/or dairy, but that the kitchen staff would be more than happy to make a special dish for me.

I was really excited by this response, not just the timeliness, but the fact that he was willing to work with me. I’ve emailed places before and either gotten no response, a generic response indicating they did not even read my email, or in the case of Applebee’s, my email was answered by a phone call from a person who did not speak very good English.

Last Sunday when we went to Austin’s, I was the last to order and I was a little nervous. It’s intimidating when you are with 8 other people and you are the only one with a special request. I was also a little unsure of what I wanted and had hoped the waitress would recommend something or ask the chef/kitchen staff what they usually make if they receive a request such as this. She told me if I knew what I wanted, they’d make it, but they couldn’t just pick something for me. Duh, it was silly of me to think that, right?

Luckily, she sent the kitchen manager out who suggested their spinach pasta dish, minus the chicken and cheese, and with a ton of veggies added in their place. Sounds good to me!

This dish was delicious! The mushrooms were probably my favorite part, but all the veggies were just so fresh and went very well with the olive oil-garlic sauce. They even threw some asparagus in there. It was also great because I had enough for lunch that day plus leftovers!

While I was a little worried at first, I ended up being very happy with my dining experience and even my family was impressed that a restaurant would go out of their way for someone with special dietary needs. A lot of times, I am afraid to ask so I will just order a salad or a plain baked potato. But I’m glad I stepped out of my comfort zone this time.

If this is how I plan to eat forever, then I’d better get used to it!

Have you ever made a special request at a restaurant? How did it go?

Austins on Urbanspoon

Louisville Half Marathon 2010

I can’t believe it has taken me over a month to write this recap. The Louisville Half Marathon took place on Sunday, October 17th, 2010. Farrah (my running partner) and I originally signed up to run this half marathon earlier this year. We had a plan. We were going to train all summer and be ready for this race, no problem.

Problem!

Running over the summer was very challenging for us this year. As much as I prefer warm weather to cold, when it comes to running I am really sensitive to the heat. We spent many, many days at 90+ temperatures and for me that is just not conducive to running well. Farrah injured her foot over the summer as well. So we spent most of our time together walking or weight lifting.

When September came around, it cooled off slightly and I was able to at least get in a few runs here and there, including a 15k that I “winged” at the last minute (don’t try that at home). That gave me the confidence that I needed to continue on. But then, weather fluctuations kept happening, life got in the way, etc. When October 1st rolled around, we knew we needed to get down to business.

So we started a new running plan that has us running 5 days a week at various distances (mostly between 2-5 miles, with a longer run on weekends) and we decided that unless we are sick or injured, there are NO EXCUSES. If we want to become better runners and finish long races with smiles, we need to get serious. So we did. However, the Louisville Half Marathon fell on October 17th, a mere two weeks into our new program.

Could we do it? We didn’t know. Were we going to try? Heck yes!

The morning of the race we were both feeling good but not sure where the day would take us. I made enough songs on my playlist to cover 3 hours, which is about how long I figured it would take me. The first year we ran I finished in 2:12 and the year we walked was 3:30, so I figured somewhere in the middle was safe.

After the first mile, I lost Farrah as she took off into the crowd (this is not uncommon and doesn’t bother me in the slightest–she’s taller and more experienced, thus naturally faster). I decided I was going to run the first few miles and see how I felt. The first three came and went really fast, so I decided to shoot for 5. Then 6. When I got to the halfway point I walked for a minute, then kept going. One guy I passed said “You’re looking good, don’t give up.” 🙂

I kept waiting for the turn around point, which I knew would come at mile 8. When it did, I switched into walk/run mode because I knew that was the only way I was going to go the distance. I can’t remember the exact ratio but I would run for a while, walk for a little bit, then pick it back up. I did not wear a watch during this race, which at first was an accident but then it ended up being a blessing. I did not obsess about time and I just went with the flow, enjoying the view along the way.

The course was mostly flat, with a few inclines near the river and then close to the turn around. Running along the Ohio River was really peaceful. It went by so fast and I’ve never been able to say that about a half marathon before! When I came near the finish line, I saw Farrah, who ran the last 0.1 with me and my jaw dropped when I saw the clock.

I finished this race, a race I hadn’t really trained for, in 2 hours, 30 minutes and 58 seconds!!!

I was beyond happy and proud of myself. I was hoping to finish under 3 hours. I exceeded my own expectations in a way that I didn’t know I could. To say this race boosted my confidence in running would be an understatement. I must have thanked God a million times that day, for giving me the abilities that I have and the strength to use them.

The most amazing thing was that I wasn’t that tired. I went home, showered, ate, and went about my normal routine. I woke up the next day expecting to be super sore…nope. Farrah wasn’t either. We both felt like we hadn’t even run a race the day before. We must be doing something right!

Since then I have run one other race, which I will write about later. But in the month of October, I ran 78 miles and November has been going really well too. To follow my daily runs and thoughts, you can follow me over at the Daily Mile. That tool has been really useful for me and I don’t feel like I have to write a blog post about every. single. run. So I hope you’ll check that out!

Thank you for the support! I plan to get back to blogging regularly, both here and at See Sarah Eat very soon 🙂

2010 Walk for Farm Animals

On Saturday, October 16th, I joined several other people from our community (including some fellow members of the Louisville Vegetarian Club) in the very first Louisville Walk for Farm Animals, benefitting Farm Sanctuary, an animal shelter/charity based out of Watkins Glen, New York (with two farm locations, in New York & California).

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The 2.5 mile route took us through downtown Louisville, past several busy areas, including the new KFC Yum! Center. As we walked along, we each carried a sign, some with just words and some with super cute animal pictures.

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We also had pamphlets and information to share with people (I even left a few about the benefits of a vegetarian diet at the Diabetes Walk which took place that same morning).

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We also got to wear these cute T-shirts! 🙂

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About a month before the walk, we held a bake sale at Eternal Health Yoga, where we raised over $230 for Farm Sanctuary in one weekend! By the time the walk was over, we had raised over $1,000 for this organization!

We were very pleased with the turnout (around 40 people signed up!) and the amount of money raised, especially considering this was our first year doing this walk. I can’t wait to do this walk again next year!

For more information about Farm Sanctuary and the Walk for Farm Animals, visit this link. To see more photos from this walk and other Louisville Vegetarian Club events, check out the Louisville Veg Flickr page.

Beloved Seitan

Seitan is one of those foods I didn’t try for the longest time because I wasn’t really sure I needed to. I mean, I already had tofu. Then I tried tempeh and was very impressed. And I had no idea how to cook it.

But when I dined at Ramsi’s Cafe on the World over the summer (one of many times) I decided to finally give this seitan (say-tan, not Satan, haha) a try.

139That’s a vegan seitan parmesan sandwich on cuban bread with roasted potatoes 🙂

I liked it so much that when I went back to Ramsi’s the next time, I tried the Jamaican seitan sandwich, which I posted about back in August.

I can’t really describe seitan, other than to say I find it just as delicious and versatile as tofu and tempeh. But I still have yet to purchase and cook any seitan myself at home. Maybe someday!

Have you ever had seitan? Do you cook with it at home? What are your favorite recipes to use it in?

2010 Kentuckiana Start! Heart Walk

On September 25th, I participated in the Kentuckiana Start! Heart Walk benefitting the American Heart Association. This wasn’t a race for me but it was a pretty cool event that I felt was worth sharing with you here.

It was a chilly morning and I parked a little ways away, which allowed me to walk past the baseball stadium. I can’t believe my phone takes pictures this good, better than my camera even.

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Since we were walking and not running, we brought our 4-legged friends to join us. They need their exercise too! Meet Suzie (my dog, the Beagle) and her friend Alf.

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Alf also found his “brother from another mother.” Ha!

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University of Louisville football coach Charlie Strong was there to deliver the kick-off speech. Both of his parents passed away as the result of heart and cardiovascular diseases, so obviously he is passionate about this cause. He also pointed out the survivors, who were wearing red hats. I was once again counting my blessings.

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As we walked downtown and across the 2nd Street bridge (I believe the walk was around 3 miles), I took a lot of pictures of things we passed by, including the new KFC Yum! Center, which if you live in Louisville, you either find really exciting or really disappointing. I can’t decide.

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Going across the bridge to Indiana!

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And one last one because it turned out cool and totally not how I intended.

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Hope you enjoyed this little recap! Obviously, I am passionate about running but I also enjoy a nice walk or anything that gets people to be active, especially if it means supporting a great cause.

Heart Disease is still the #1 killer of both men and women here in the United States. Let’s do what we can to make sure us and our loved ones don’t go down that path.

For more information, check out the American Heart Association webpage.

Komen 5K Louisville

I can’t believe it has been a month since I’ve blogged here! Especially when so much has happened recently. Let me tell you about a race I ran recently!

On Saturday, October 9th, I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure here in Louisville, which was held down at Waterfront Park.

I joined a team from work and ran the race with my good friend and training partner Farrah. It was the perfect morning for a run; a little on the chilly side, but the sunshine kept us warm.

The course was flat and included a trip across the 2nd street bridge over to Indiana and back. Nothing too memorable. I didn’t go for a PR (finished in 32:42). I just took the opportunity to enjoy a nice 5k run on a Saturday morning and to help out a good cause in the process. It ended up being so much more than that.

The thing I remember most about this race is feeling overwhelmed and blessed at the same time. So many were walking and running with signs on their backs that said “In Memory Of…” or “In Celebration Of…” and it really hit me just how many lives are affected by breast cancer.

Image Source

I thought of my friend Erica and how awesome her story is. And she just a ran marathon by the way!!!

I also thought of my husband’s mother, who was diagnosed with breast cancer and had surgery not long before she passed away (from another cause). I was kind of mad at myself for not wearing a sign. Isn’t it sad how you can get caught up in your own life so much that you sometimes forget what others have been through?

I am truly blessed and I think being at this race was God’s way of showing me that. I am happy to be alive, happy to be healthy and grateful for my ability to run. I cannot take these things for granted.

It’s funny how we can show up somewhere thinking it’s no big deal and end up being completely moved. It was a beautiful day. 🙂