Living Kitchen Love

Yesterday I went on an 8 mile run with my good friend Connie and then after that I did an hour long Camp Gladiator endurance workout.  I did take a short nap and then my daughter Andie and I took all 3 dogs to the vet at Petco.  Since we have 3 dogs, this low cost vaccination clinic really makes a lot of sense for us.  Some years we have had to wait in a long line but this year, we got there 30 minutes early and walked right up to the check-in assistants.  We filled out our paperwork and were ready to see the vet in minutes flat.  The whole process took only 1 hour and now Fred, Lucky, and Lily are all good to go for another year.

Fred Lucky and Lily

During the run earlier that morning, Connie told me about a new restaurant that has just opened up in downtown Raleigh.  When she started talking about it I realized it must be the same restaurant that I saw on Facebook.  The No Meat Athlete group in Raleigh was having a social run and dinner at someplace new.   Then Ron came home from Kung Fu and said Sifu Mo had told him about this new place that was 100% plant based and organic.

After such a busy day when I finally settled down it was almost 6:00pm and I was very tired.  I had a smoothie after the workout and before the vet I had a veggie burger and now I was getting quite hungry.  I started to think about what I could come up with for dinner and then it hit me.  Let’s go out!  Ron was sitting right beside me and I looked to him and asked him if he wanted to try the new place that Sifu had told him about.  I told him Connie’s recommendations and within seconds he said, “Let’s Go!”

Living Kitchen is on the corner of Fayetteville Street and Lenoir.  I loved it from the moment we stepped inside.


The space is very modern and open.   We were greeted quickly and were seated in minutes.


Connie had recommended the ginger-ale so I had to get it.  Ron was happy with a great IPA.

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That brewery is in Charlotte and what we were finding out was that this is the 2nd Living Kitchen Restaurant with the original one having been in business in Charlotte since 2010.

I loved the ginger-ale.  You could taste the fresh ginger but it wasn’t so strong that it knocked you down.

Our appetizer was the sushi.  Oh man!  Yummo!

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It was just sweet potatoes and veggies but the nori it was wrapped in gave it the fish taste.  The dipping sauce was amazing.

Next came our entrée’s.  I got the Living Burrito and Ron got the Pad Thai


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Ron is online right now researching spiralizers.  He loved it so much he just has to try and recreate it.

That is beet salad for my side and you know I adore beets.  Wowzer!  So yummy.  My sauce for the burrito was their signature hot sauce.  To.die.for.

I saved half of my burrito and half of the beet salad and brought that home so I could try a dessert.

Here’s my selection!  The Lemon-Berry Cheesecake!  I don’t know how they do it but the cashews, coconut, and berries somehow come together and you’d swear you are eating real cheesecake.  Out of this world delicious.

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Living Kitchen serves cold pressed juices and before we left, Ron got these 2 beauties for today and tomorrow.


I was so excited to find another plant based dining option in Raleigh.  You know I love Remedy Diner and Fiction Kitchen but Living Kitchen is way healthier.

If you’ve been interested in plant based eating, give LK a try.  You will love it!


Swamp Sludge


I used to call my green smoothies, Green Monsters, but after last week when my sister dubbed them Swamp Sludge, the name has stuck.  And besides, these 2014 smoothies have taken on a whole new personality from the ones I first began drinking back in 2010.

In the olden days, I’d start in the bottom of the Vitamix with some almond milk, add a frozen banana, a scoop of protein powder, and maybe some berries, then a couple of handfuls of spinach.  They were delicious and a great recovery drink after my long runs.


Now Swamp Sludge is a Green Monster on steroids!


Ron invented these and I am so thankful that he takes the extra time and prepares these for us.  If it were up to me and I in charge of getting our protein recovery drink ready at 5:00am on a Saturday morning, it would probably be a tame little green monster at best.

Nothing doing for Ron.  It’s Swamp Sludge or bust!

Ron starts with green juice as the base.  Green juice is prepared in his Omega Vert juicer and has many of these in it on any given day:  kale, SuperGreens mix, celery, ginger, apples, and carrots.

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He puts probably about 2 cups of this juice in the Vitamix and then he adds some fresh blueberries and strawberries.  Next come the powders.  Garden of Life protein mix, spirulina, maca, and chlorella powders.  These powders are not sweet at all so today he added a little of this mix.


This one is super sweet and a little bit will do ya.

After our long runs with Galloway on Saturday, we head to the truck and our cooler.   You won’t find anything this nutritious or delicious ANYWHERE!  You can’t buy this stuff!  In a pinch a Bolthouse Farms juice or a Smoothie King smoothie will get you close but those just can’t hold a candle to Swamp Sludge.

It does sound and look disgusting but I promise you, it is the bomb!  One Mason jar full satisfies me and I’m good to go until well up into the afternoon.   Do yourself a favor and next time someone offers you some chocolate milk after a long run, thank them kindly and go whirl up some Swamp Sludge.

Happy Sludging Friends!  🙂


Happy + Hale

Ron joined Galloway with me and we had a great 8 miler on the Black Creek Greenway.  We ran with the 12:30 pace group and they did 1.5 minute of running and 1 minute of walking.  It was “Just Right” which happens to be the group’s name.  The course was very hilly but when we made it to the 4 mile mark, we got to see this pretty view of Crabtree Lake. 10450047_839349916077528_8642070104883620688_o The humidity was down and the temperature was perfect for running.  For the 5th of July in Raleigh, North Carolina, we were very lucky indeed. After the run, Ron wanted to check out a new juice bar that our friend Dan had told him about. We set off to downtown Raleigh in search of Happy + Hale. IMG_1437 Ron was in heaven! This business was started by 2 NCSU students who began by peddling juice off a bicycle.  Click here for a very good article of how their business was born.    They sell salads, smoothies, and cold pressed juice.  IMG_1434 IMG_1435

We both got smoothies.  Mine was City of Oats and Ron’s was Green No Envy.


City of Oats had strawberry, banana, steel cut oats, peanut butter, almond milk, cinnamon, and dates. Green No Envy had coconut water, spinach, mango, avocado, ginger root, pressed lemon juice. City was delicious but Green will only be loved if you are a true connoisseur of juice like Ron. Downtown Raleigh is such a pretty place to me.  We had a very nice time walking around.

IMG_1438   IMG_1439 And how did they come up with the name Happy + Hale?      Take a look. IMG_1433

Here’s to you and wishing joy and health always!

The St. Augustine Lighthouse

The morning after The Conch House, Ron and I headed out to visit the lighthouse up close.  But, we couldn’t get started until Ron found juice!  Ron has been juicing for, I don’t know, years and years I guess, and it’s all I can do to get him to not take the juicer with us on vacation. 

We ended up at Smoothie King.  It worked in a pinch but just as we were pulling away from Smoothie King, Ron spotted Smoothie Fresh!


They were the real deal and had a Ron approved Champion juicer.  He got his normal kale, apple, carrot, ginger, and I don’t’ know what else.

And he even got a shot of wheatgrass juice!


I stuck with the Chocolate Peanut butter smoothie I had gotten at Smoothie King.

Now we could head on over to the lighthouse.  I snapped and snapped away and really had a blast touring such a pretty lighthouse.

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The climb to the top was 219 steps and the perfect exercise to loosen us up for the next day’s half marathon.

Don’t miss the lighthouse when you are in the nation’s oldest city!

Reflections on the Juice Fast

Well, I made it.  The whole 6 days and not one bite of anything.  Juice only!

Days 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 were so easy.  I wasn’t hungry at all and I felt great.  Day 2 started out ok but by the late afternoon, I had a horrible headache and felt sick to my stomach.  When I got home from work, I was totally
useless.  All I could do was sit in the Lazyboy and ended up heading to bed very early.

I do have to admit that I did cheat a little.  I drank one small cup of coffee each day except Day 2.  On the juice fast, you’re not supposed to drink anything with caffeine but I had to drive long distances for work and I just get so sleepy.  I’m
guessing that Day 2 might not have been so horrible if I had the coffee.

On the morning of Day 3, I hit a little snafu.  I took my vitamins.  I take a multi vitamin and 2 calcium tablets each day.  Without giving too much information, let’s just say they didn’t agree with me at all.  Ron later showed me on the website, that it says to not take vitamins.  I guess your body can’t handle it with nothing in your stomach but the juice.

By Day 5, I was sick to death of the Mean Green Juice.  So, I made a tomato, celery, and onion juice and that’s what I lived on for the last two days.  I added a dash of Worcestershire sauce and it made the juice just like a V8.

The other things that I didn’t like about the program were cleaning the juicer each time and wasting all that good fiber in the vegetables.  I was making that beet, apple, ginger, and carrot juice in the mornings (Ruby Red Princess) and you have to be very careful with the beet juice.  It will stain like crazy.

I always put a plastic bag in the back of the juicer to ease in cleanup but there are still many parts you have to hand-wash.  The bag of scraps would weigh a ton and it just broke my heart to be throwing away all that good fiber.

I lost 9 pounds in the 6 days.

All in all, I would say that the juice fast would be a very good thing to kick start a weight loss journey.  I won’t do it again.  I will probably juice again but I promise you, it will not be for a long while.

Say goodbye to the Jack LaLanne Juicer.  He’s headed to the top of the refrigerator and might just go out to the shed very soon.

Today’s menu was all that I dreamed it would be.  I began with cooked banana oats in a jar and my normal cup of coffee.  I’m leaving cream out now and only adding one packet of Truvia.

Lunch was that detox salad that I found on  I chopped up some broccoli and cauliflower in the food process very, very fine.  Then added some shredded carrots, parsley, salt, pepper, raisins, sunflower seeds and a drizzle of pure maple syrup.

I also had a boiled egg.

On the way home from work I munched on a very sweet apple.

Dinner was divine.

I made grilled tofu and caramelized onions.

I also made kale chips.  (I had a lot of kale left over that I didn’t juice.)  I love kale so much as long as it’s not in juice form.

I spread some Earth Balance on sourdough bread and grilled it.  Next came the tofu, onions, and then I topped the sandwich with BBQ sauce.

Friends, this dinner was the best dinner in the world.  Better than any fast food could ever think of being.

I even had enough leftovers that I was able to assemble an awesome lunch for tomorrow.

My friend, Terry, has invited me to go on a short jog with her tomorrow and I’m going to give it a try.  My foot is still hurting but since I don’t think resting is doing much good, why not run?  Might see if I can go to get some orthotics for my shoes soon.

Happy Eating Friends!

Ruby Red Princess

Upon arriving home from work today, I immediately set out to juice some more.

These were my first ingredients:  2 beets, 2 apples, 3 carrots, and ginger.

At first when I got the juice, I thought about adding a packet of Truvia to the mix.  I was ready for something different from my Mean Green Juice today.  I hesitated before grabbing the packet of Truvia and I am so glad I did.  After just one sip, I was in pure HEAVEN!

I’m calling her my Ruby Red Princess because she is so sweet!  I can just imagine her in the Vitamix with a few ice cubes and maybe some vanilla protein powder.  Boy o boy would that be delicious.  Better than any green monster ever thought of being.

Before I cleaned out the juicer, I juiced up some more of the Mean Green Juice.  Tonight I used the same ingredients as last night but I left the lemon out and added celery.

Tonight’s mix:  2 cucumbers, a bunch of kale, 4 stalks of celery, 3 carrots, ginger, and 2 apples.

I have a whole liter ready for tomorrow.

I’ve got a few chores to do and then I might do a Total Gym workout.

Gotta get to bed early so I won’t be tempted to break the fast.

Happy Tuesday Friends!

Rest and Juice

Well, I have rested for 4 days and my foot feels so much better.  I’ve decided to rest all of this week and then MAYBE give running a try next week.

So, in honor of my rest, I will be beginning a 6 day juice fast tomorrow morning.

My friends, Tery and John, introduced me to the “Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead” movie on Netflix and I have been intrigued ever since.

It really is a very inspirational movie.  I especially love the fact that the juice fast cured a lady’s migranes and that horrible skin condition that the two men had.

I’ve been wanting to try this and what better time than when I am not running.

So here goes.

A bunch of kale, 2 cucumbers, 1 lemon (peeled), 3 carrots, 2 Granny Smith apples, and a thumb size cut of ginger.  I juiced tonight and tomorrow the plan is to drink 5 12oz. glasses of juice and lots of water each day for 6 days.

I’ll keep you updated as to how I’m feeling.

Bottom’s up Friends!