What to do about failure: a heavy dose of self-compassion + a sprinkle of commiseration

This weekend I had a setback.

Between a fitness project I’m working on (that I’ll share more about soon) in addition to marathon training, I haven’t been running as much as I could be. Don’t get me wrong, I’m definitely running a lot, but I could have another short run day added in the mix if I really tried. It hasn’t been affecting me terribly, and even though it’s been tough as hell I figured that since I already ran 16 miles I was clearly on the right track. Fast forward to this past Saturday morning for our 18-miler and I was a wreck. An absolutely wreck.

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I felt like the Tin Man, in need of oil at my “hinges.” My hip flexors felt so tight that I was barely bending my legs with every step, and with each additional mile it felt worse and worse. I wasn’t sure whether I was just tired, going through typical running pains, hitting a wall, or if I was actually hurt, so I kept pushing. I could tell after the first four miles that it was going to be horrible. When we hit mile six I wanted to vomit thinking that we were only 1/3 of the way through. I even thought about stopping at mile 10 and running with a slower pace group, but I kept pushing. We finally hit a point where I was close to lululemon and I just knew I had to stop. I awkwardly slipped out of line with my running group at Oak Street Beach, ran under the bridge, and came up to my store. I had completed 13 miles instead of 18 and I felt like a complete and total failure. I knocked on the door of lululemon (the store wasn’t open yet) and the second my manager opened the door I just started crying. I was more frustrated than I’d been in years. I’m in the home stretch of training and I can’t even hit the marks? 18 miles shouldn’t be impossible. I know that 13 miles is where I hit my wall. WHY didn’t I push through it? Where was my discipline?

My coworker was quick to reframe my thinking: where was my compassion? Compassion for myself? Marathon training is hard. My body probably has no idea what I’m doing to it and what the end goal is. And while I could definitely take the short runs more seriously instead of pounding through the long ones and using those as my markers for success, I have to just move forward and not wallow in the fact that I ended my run a few miles early. So I didn’t spend another minute mad at myself this weekend. I got over it and celebrated the fact that 13 miles, a HALF MARATHON, is pretty common in my life these days. And that’s incredible.

So I spent the rest of the weekend doing what I do best: EATING.

Tuna melts with Mom at our favorite spot:

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A family BBQ in the suburbs complete with Billy Joel radio, pineapple margaritas, and every grilled vegetable on the planet:

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Late morning Sunday wake-up call with peach french toast on our deck:

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Roasted tomatoes from my mom’s garden:

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And a bit of quiet reflection on my porch swing as I enjoyed the 80+ temps we got this weekend:

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The verdict? There is nothing wrong with my life, even though I didn’t run 18 miles this weekend.

20 miler, I’m coming for ya. Just have to work on these Tin Man hinges first.

Question:

  • Did you struggle during training with your first marathon?
  • How do you stay disciplined with running with everything else you have going on?
  • How are you spending your Labor Day weekend?

New diet trend: gnats and tumeric (WIAW)

It’s been awhile since I’ve shared a day of eats, and while they can get old pretty fast, I think it’s fun to see what other healthy living bloggers eat with their busy schedules. Everyone’s idea of healthy differs, and it’s interesting to see what those ideas are.

You know that one spice that you can barely pronounce or describe but you just know when it’s in something you’re eating? I know a lot of people who can’t stand the taste of cilantro and if a dish even has a hint of the herb, they’re done. That’s how I am with tumeric. For awhile now I’ve been on the fence about it — I didn’t love it, I didn’t hate it, but it’s ususally the only thing I can taste when it’s in a dish.

For breakfast the other day I needed something quick before a doctor’s appointment. Luckily a KitchFix just opened up on State Street so I stopped in a paid way too much for a smoothie. Thank goodness it was a good smoothie but damn — I hate when meals where I don’t have to chew cost more than a Chipotle burrito. Just gonna leave that there…


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The smoothie was actually killer — “The Golden” has organic coconut milk, raw honey, orange, ginger, flaxseed, and tumeric. The tumeric is the most prominent flavor in there and it changed my mind on the spice. The flavors were great and it wasn’t too sweet, which normally would turn me off because I love my smoothies to taste like dessert. But it was just sweet enough to keep me interested and I automatically felt healthier drinking it so win-win.

I did all my grocery shopping and some food prep for the week (it was my day off since I work weekends). I had scrambled eggs and a Kashi waffle + jam on the side while I did my work (plus some pistachios on the side).

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Food prep included pumpkin bites that came from mixing pumpkin, oats, an egg, tons of random spices and chocolate chips in a bowl and throwing them in the oven. They actually turned out great! I love how pumpkin keeps desserts from drying out.

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I also kept up my lucky streak of “throw everything together and hope for the best” and made some Crockpot Chicken Tortilla Soup. I’m sure there are 100 recipes out there but I should definitely share this one because it was so good! It’s also 90 degrees out so I’m not sure why I was craving soup, but I went with it.

That night I met up with my guardian angel Brigitte for a nine miler along the lake. It felt like I was running in a sauna but we made it happen. Thank goodness for this girl otherwise I definitely would have stopped after half a mile — it was hot, sticky, and there were gnats everywhere. I must have eaten at least a dozen and they kept sticking to my sweaty skin as I ran. Nasty.

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I’m normally not a fan of nighttime runs but it sure is cool when they start off sunny and humid and end with this view, the skyline lit up in the moonlight. Absolutely beautiful.

I stopped at Walgreens to pick up a Gatorade (there’s nothing more refreshing after a long run), hobbled home, and immediately threw dinner together (eating copious amounts of guacamole while I made it — I’m not the only one who does that right? Appetizers are the best part of dinner….)

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My favorite meal lately: baked chicken (garlic, dijon, and panko) + arugula salad with cherry tomatoes, buffalo mozzarella, and EVOO + balsamic glaze. I could eat this meal for the rest of my life (and I probably will because it’s so easy and pretty darn cheap for how fancy it looks). Dessert was a few too many peanut M&Ms, but I gave up feeling bad about that years ago. M&Ms bring me happiness, so I’ll never compromise on that.

It was my favorite kind of day — any day when I can grocery shop, prep food for the week, watch The Kardashians, and run makes me all kinds of happy.

Questions:

  • What’s the one “unhealthy” food that you won’t compromise on?
  • Is there a spice or herb you can’t stand?

September Vibes

This is it this is it this is it! If you can, imagine me prancing around my apartment right now singing “It’s the most wonderful tiiiiiiime, of the yearrr” because that is absolutely what I’m doing.

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I specifically remember the post I wrote on the first of September last year…I was just emerging from a difficult time in my life and it felt like I was living every day in a constant cycle of pain with no end in sight. I remember I decided to use the new month/new season to start over, mentally, physically, emotionally.

There are so many reasons why I love the beginning of the fall season: chilly weather, hot drinks, oversized sweaters and crockpot cooking galore. But I love the feeling of revival that comes with the change in seasons. It’s a chance to hit reset, to reevaluate your goals and priorities, and really stick with them.

So today, while I undoubtedly start browsing the pumpkin bread recipes, I’ll also be writing some new goals for the month. Nothing crazy, but just some accountability to be the best version of myself. Once I get a hard copy of my goals I’ll definitely share, but for now the wheels are turning in my mind. It’s the beginning of an exciting season, and I hope everyone takes advantage of the new month to make those changes they’ve been putting off. Because, after all, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.

Questions:

  • What are some changes you’re hoping to implement this month/season?
  • What’s your favorite part of September?
  • Favorite pumpkin indulgence: baked goods, candles, home decor, coffee creamer?

Friday: The Allergy Monster + Billy Joel Is In My Backyard

Okay, confession time: is there some sort of forum that bloggers go on that they just know who to link up with on which days? Because I see 8000 Friday linkups and all I can think is, does someone have a monopoly on Friday Favorites? Friday Features? Friday Five? Can I just post some things on Friday and it will all be okay? Let me know if there’s some secret I’m missing out on. It wouldn’t be the first time I was late to the party.

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I’ve been fighting some kind of cold for weeks now. We’re talking cough, tight chest, sinus pressure, the whole shebang. I did what I do best and chalked it up to stress from the exam and move and figured it would go away. Then on Tuesday it all came crashing down on me — within an hour I went from being at work, to suddenly feeling sick, to laying in bed wishing my mom was here to bring me soup, 7-up and love. I still kept trying to pretend it was nothing, but the thermometer doesn’t lie.

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So here I am, three days later, and I’ve left my house once to go to Trader Joe’s (because I’m basic AF). I’m sure marathon training is really going to go well after basically taking a WEEK off of running this close to the race (I know, I know…the bigger picture……)

The good news? My doc thinks it can alllll be attributed to bad allergies that I’ve been ignoring and my body basically screamed PAY ATTENTION TO ME by giving me a fever. So now I’m all drugged up and ready to go.

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In other fun news, Billy Joel was playing at Wrigley Field last night and since I live only a few blocks away, it was like he was playing a personal show for us in our backyard. I sat out on the porch and listened to him play for a bit, and it was such a cool experience. I always forget how many classics he sings that I know!

I sometimes get bored with chicken but I think I’ve finally found a recipe that will get me so excited to cook dinner. You just mix dijon and garlic, dunk the chicken breast in there, roll it around in panko bread crumbs, and bake away (450 for 25 minutes or so). It smells like my mom is in the kitchen and I love it.

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Also arugula+tomatoes+mozzarella+balsamic glaze never hurt anybody.

THIS:

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I still remember when my first boyfriend asked me out: he handed me a CD case full of 21 CDs he had burned for me. Nowadays I don’t even want to know what’s happening in America’s high schools. I’m home schooling my kids for sure (just kidding that sounds like too much work).

I’m really missing my family this week! I used to go stay in the suburbs with them a lot, but since I’ve been loving my new apartment so much time has been flying and I haven’t had a chance to go home. I’m planning on visiting next weekend, but in the mean time it was so great to spend a few days in Michigan with them a few weekends ago. Plus we ate soooo much great food.

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Oh, and this little thing came in the mail. So I guess it’s official!

unnamed (31)Have a great weekend everyone! Mine will (hopefully) include a 12 mile run, a farewell party at a pizza parlor, and a rooftop cookout listening to Foo Fighters at Wrigley Field. Squeezing as much out of the end of summer as I can!

Questions:

  • Big plans for the weekend?
  • Last family vacation you took?

Thinking Out Loud: there are still good people in the world

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve thought out loud, but what can I say? Lot’s of thoughts have been floating around lately. The most prominent being, there are still great people in the world.

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For those of you who aren’t from Chicago, the city just removed all plastic bags from grocery stores in an effort to get folks to bring their own reusable bags. I don’t see much of a problem with it, especially since I probably have two dozen large lululemon bags in my pantry and they hold a LOT, but we’re all human, and humans forget things.

Last week we had a bit on an “incident” at our apartment, and seeing as it’s a new place, we realized that no one had brought a plunger. tumblr_inline_mgv01qbWPt1r5c8sb (1)

We also had a guest over so I knew we couldn’t just ignore the problem and hope for the best, so I quickly slipped out the front door and walked down the street to CVS to pick up a plunger.

Now, I’m not sure how many of you have gone shopping for this particular item, but I was shocked to find out that they are sold neither in a inconspicuous box nor plastic covering…it was literally a plunger with a tag stuck to it. #cleanliness

No big deal, I thought, until I made my way to the checkout and realized I didn’t bring a bag with me.

Images of my tall, blonde self walking down the street with a bare plunger in hand flashed before my eyes. My stomach turned as I counted how many restaurant patios I’d have to pass carrying that damn thing.

Pretty soon I realized I would have to suck it up and just do it, hopefully taking as many alleyways as possible. As I walked up to the self-checkout I could feel one of the employee’s eyes on me. Not embarrassing at all. You don’t know humility until you have to purchase a plunger alone: you can’t pretend like you’re getting it for any reason other than the obvious. And just as I was about to walk out the door, head held high (just kidding, more like sunglasses on, hair covering most of my face in true celebrity style), the employee walked up to me and offered me a paper bag, free of charge.

We didn’t talk about why it was happening, but he knew I needed it, and I knew that this was a true act of compassion. So instead of having to partake in a new walk of shame, I walked proudly home with my new purchase.

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Moral of the story: there are still people out there looking out for one another. Thank you, anonymous CVS employee! You’re the best.

Questions:

  • What’s a story of good old human compassion that’s happened to you recently?

Weekend Happenings: 16 miler, Pizza Pizza, and Ready For Fall

Well this weekend was a doozy.

For starters, I ran my longest distance ever. I popped out of bed surprisingly early on Saturday morning and met up with my CARA group to attempt what I thought was an impossible 16 miler along the lake. The first 12 miles weren’t too hard, especially since I ended up running next to an awesome girl named Brigitte and we ended up talking the entire time. But the minute I hit the half marathon mark (my longest distance to date) my body hit a wall and it felt like the next three miles would be insurmountable. I’ll tell you — having Brigitte there saved me. I wouldn’t have even come close to finishing without her. She talked to me the entire time and I even stopped talking back the last two miles but she kept on gabbing, trying to distract me from the pain. And in the end, I was so happy I kept going — I thought the runner’s high after 8 miles was strong…but aside from feeling like I was having a stroke, the high I had the rest of the weekend after the 16 miler was crazy! Such an incredible feeling.

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I ran home and did the typical runner things (including my first ice bath, which I definitely did wrong and didn’t put any water in the tub), hoping that I would be able to function for the rest of the gorgeous weekend instead of hobbling around my apartment like a 90 year old woman.

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Legs up the wall is a true life saver, even when your hip flexors are so tight that you can’t even straighten them. The foam roller is going to be my best friend this week.

The rest of Saturday was spent at the beach, eating pizza, and playing Heads Up with some of my friends who drove in from the suburbs to enjoy the gorgeous weather — it really was the most perfect day of the summer.unnamed (14)

I met Spencer downtown later in the night for some rooftop cocktails which in hindsight wasn’t the greatest idea after a double digit run, but I’ll rarely turn down an invitation from friends.

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Sunday was the definition of exhaustion. I had to work at the store but since I hadn’t really rested since my long run and day/night on the town I was pretty loopy. Luckily the shift flew and I was able to meet Megan out for dinner for her birthday today! Megan and I just realized that we’ve been friends for 10 YEARS now — the fact that I’m old enough to have a decade-long friend is only slightly terrifying but it’s crazy to think how much we’ve been through together. Never in a million years in freshman-year French class did we think we’d be living just across the street from one another in the city.

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Oh, and we ate more pizza and beer. I think that was the theme of my weekend (never an unwelcome one).

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Now that I truly got to enjoy a full summer weekend I’m completely ready for fall to be here. I keep my apartment on the chilly side so I can hang out in a sweatshirt and sip coffee in the morning like it’s going to be a fall day anyway, so I just need nature to get on the same page as me. Let’s just keep winter far, far away, shall we?

Questions:

  • What did you feel like the first time you ran a crazy-long distance?
  • Are you ready for fall or still savoring summer?

Foodie News: A PSA on the PSL and I put the “D” in Foodie

I would be lying if I didn’t say that I’ve been waiting all week to spread the good news. No, not the Gospel (sorry for the joke, Mom). But this good news: Starbucks is giving its classic Pumpkin Spice Latte a makeover and using real pumpkin puree instead of caramel coloring and other nonsense.

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You know why this is particularly exciting for me? I’m as basic as it gets in every way. I live in my lululemon leggings, I wear scarves the minute the temperature dips below 70 degrees, I crave Diet Coke like a MOFO when I’m stressed out, and when September comes around I want ALL THINGS PUMPKIN. The one thing I haven’t gotten on board with? The PSL. It’s just never tasted good to me. So who knows — maybe this change will bring me to full-fledged basic status.

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How Much Do You Know About Food? I was really excited to rock the crap out of this test. And then I got 15/20…which, if I remember from high school, would be a D. So apparently I’m a fraud. You all can just close your browsers now. Damn you, Taramasalata!

I was recently coerced into buying $12 worth of chicken sausage at the store. Now, before you get all judgey, just hear me out. There were samples, it was a sweet old man selling them, we talked for a few minutes about all the dishes I could incorporate them into, AND he topped it all off with a coupon. SOLD.

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I have been alllllllllll about that chicken sausage life since buying these. My roommate Emma and I have been putting our two selections in all the food: I’ve been slicing the Pineapple and Bacon and throwing it into my omelets every morning, and adding the Sun Dried Tomato sausages to pasta dishes. It’s been a magical, meaty few days.

I recently discovered a Forever Yogurt that is a straight up club. It’s located underground and the inside is lit up by neon lights. It’s right by my work and is going to make things very difficult from now on. Not only does Forever Yogurt have all the toppings imaginable, this place is like The Mid at 2am on a Saturday night, so once you’re in it feels like a froyo rave (how are these not a thing yet?)

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Speaking of temptations near my work, a Goddess and Grocer opened up as well. Their sandwiches, baked goods, hot bar, etc. offer outstanding choices (remember the sandwich I got from there a few months ago?)

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Well now I’m on their coffee kick. 1) because it’s killer coffee 2) because their sleeves all have different sayings on them. The first cup I read said: “Raisin cookies that look like chocolate chip cookies are the main reason I have trust issues.” I’ve been back a few days a week ever since just to see what the sleeve will say. Well played, Goddess. Well played.

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Well that’s all I’ve got in the world of foodie news. Cutting edge journalism, as usual.

Questions:

  • Raisin cookies: delicious in their own right or manipulative?
  • PSL: can’t live with ’em or can’t live without ’em?

How to throw a potluck dinner

Last Thursday night I invited a group of friends over to break in my new apartment with a Greek-themed potluck dinner. It went so well that I’ve deemed myself potluck queen. Here are my tips:

1. Make Friends

Friends are easy to make. Usually you can find them by striking up conversation and finding a common ground. Offer a piece of gum or discover that your cousin’s best friend’s preschool teacher is one of your mutual friends on Facebook. That usually works.

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2. Learn how to boil water

Few things can be cooked without knowing how to boil water. Even if they can, if you can’t figure out how to boil water you probably shouldn’t be cooking in any other form anyway. You can hit up Trader Joe’s for some tortilla chips and salsa, but let’s be real: you’ll get the stink eye if, as the host, you serve anything you poured out of a can. So learn the basics, and apply. I was pretty lazy and just made a signature cocktail and some couscous, but my friends more than made up for my lack of cooking with all the Mediterranean classics: homemade hummus, pita bread, baba ganoush, olives, Greek Chicken, Greek roasted potatoes, feta tomato salad, Orzo salad, and baklava.

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3. Make sure you have enough silverware

There are 12 people coming over. That means you need 12 knives, 12 forks, 12 spoons. And serving spoons. There are people who are going to use 4 forks each. You must be prepared for those people. I almost learned this the hard way. Also give your dishwasher a pep talk beforehand because it’s going to be working pretty hard that night — potlucks require almost every dish in your cupboard.

4. Serve copious amounts of alcohol.

Booze makes people more fun. It’s a fact. Honor that fact.

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Santorini Sunrise, Sangria, Lemonade cocktail (I forgot what he called it), and Moscato Sangria

5. Play inappropriate party games. They turn acquaintances into best friends.

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I’m happy to take any follow-up questions via email.

Namaste!

Questions:

  • Potlucks: theme or free for all?
  • Favorite Greek food?

Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market

Since starting IHABL I haven’t done nearly as many restaurant reviews as I’ve wanted to. Truth be told (and don’t tell my bank), but I go out to eat so much that by the time I’m ready to sit down and rave about a restauarnt, I’m oftentimes headed out the door to try another and become equally enthralled. (Sidenote: in high school my English teacher would take points off if you used certain “taboo words” — and oftentimes was one of them. To this day my heart skips a beat when I write out any of those words, as if something bad is going to happen because of it).

Anyway, this past Sunday my parents ventured into the city to bring me some final touches for my apartment. I’ve been wanting to take them to some of the cool restaurants in my neighborhood so I was excited when they agreed to go out to dinner with me (*cough cough* pay for dinner *cough cough*).

Eating with my family can be tricky: my mom doesn’t eat meat, I don’t eat red meat, my brother basically eats meat exclusively, and my dad will eat anything as long as a green vegetable isn’t within arms length. When I heard that my brother, god love him, wouldn’t be coming along, I jumped at the chance to take them to Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market.

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Fahlstrom’s is a restaurant that doubles as a fish market, so you can simply stop by, choose from 16 pieces of fresh fish daily, and prepare it at home yourself if you don’t feel like eating like a king and then having someone else clean up after you.

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The restaurant prides itself on a few things: 16 pieces of fresh fish to choose from daily (ever-changing based on season and availability), the cereal wall, breakfast anytime, and all-you-can-eat crab legs on Tuesdays. Oh, and The Crabster, but more on that later.

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Do you want a filet of mahi mahi or a bowl of Apple Jacks? No biggie, do both. (Say, WHAT?!)

The menu is…..overwhelming. There is a menu chalkboard on the wall, a menu they hand you as you sit down, and an additional piece of paper that lives on the table and offers even more choices. Truth be told it took 20 minutes AND the opinions of two servers before I could even settle on an appetizer. Somehow we managed, and soon enough the Shrimp Kargot was sitting before us. Boursin, garlic butter, Gruyere, Parmesan, garlic bread

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I don’t know how else to describe this except a garlic butter hot tub accompanied by a hunka hunka burning garlic bread love. There were some dirty deeds going on in that hot tub. The garlic was seeping into every pore of the protein and the shrimp were loving it. Aside from escargot, this was the most garlicky dish I’ve ever had and I was in utter ecstasy. It was so good I would unquestionably eat this on a first date because it would be so much more important to me that my date try this than save face by ordering a piece of grilled chicken and chewing Orbit all night in anticipation. But that’s irrelevant…

After another few minutes of looking over the menu, my parents and I decided to order three dishes and split them, as I have a serious case of Food FOMO and I think they could see the blips of sweat rolling down my face as I worried I was going to make the wrong decision.

First we went with The Crabster, one of the specialties at Fahlstrom’s and, in the words of our server, “what people come here for.” Hand-shucked and seasoned Alaskan King Crab on a toasted New England roll topped with creamy coleslaw.

Second up, the Alaskan King Crab Macaroni and Cheese. Crab, Gruyere cheese sauce…married and baked.

Finally, the Seafood Bisque Fettuccine. Filled to the brim with shrimp, scallops, fairy dust and magic.

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If you asked me to pick a favorite I would literally weep. The Crabster is what I would order again, because the other two were so heavy and rich that I felt like 16th-century royalty shoving them into my mouth as fast as possible. I wish I had a single negative thing to say about any of these dishes so you would better trust my authenticity, but everything was truly wonderful. The shrimp, crab, and scallops were cooked perfectly. They are very difficult proteins to master and just a few seconds can make the difference between underdone, perfect, and overdone. I also appreciated that Fahlstrom’s doesn’t skimp on the seafood. They take a stand for quality AND quantity, and they stick by it. There were huge pieces of crab in both the sandwich and the macaroni, and it definitely made it worth the price point. Wait, let’s just zoom in on that mac one more time:

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I only wish I stopped by for a later dinner so I could have enjoyed all these incredible eats with a glass of white wine. Until next time, Fahlstrom’s…..oh, and what’s the likelihood that you’ll deliver crab mac directly to my couch…..

Fahlstrom’s Fresh Fish Market

1258 W. Belmont Ave, Chicago IL, 60657

(773) 281-6000

Monday – Friday: 11am – 10pm

Saturday: 9am – 10pm | Sunday: 9am – 9pm

Guess who’s back!!

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Team,

You have no idea how long I’ve waited to get back to IHABL. There is no doubt in my mind that I needed to get away from the blog for a month or so in order to really dive headfirst into my studies. After all, writing consumes me. If you gave me all the time in the world to do what I wanted, I would wake up, work out, eat, write, repeat. So trying to fit in some witty posts about the obnoxious amount of tacos I consume in any given week just wasn’t going to fit in with my “July-identity.” July-Lauren was not very healthy. July-Lauren ate out almost every day, barely worked out, and didn’t sleep very much. Oh, and no, her water intake still hovered around zero. But July-Lauren reminded me about the true balance of life — and that is, we can’t be everything all at once. There are some points in our lives when we have to push things aside and not worry, because there is a bigger goal in mind. In my case, my personal training exam at the end of the month. Every time I wanted to spend an hour at the gym, I thought of all the knowledge I could be soaking up instead of burning a few measly calories. That’s not to say I didn’t miss it — I almost went crazy by the end of the month. But focusing on my exam really was what was best for me and now I can finally say,

I’m a NASM-CPT!

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Strong, certified, and ready for action!

Since I missed the heart of summer, let’s do a quick recap of what I’ve been up to the past month (because I didn’t live in the library).

I ran a half marathon

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I brunched like a champ

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I moved into a new apartment

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I tried some new workouts around the city

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I hosted visitors and played tourist — Amanda and Jully were the highlight of my month!

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Oh, and I drank a lot. It was a crazy month.

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With all the craziness behind me, I’m finally settled on my couch watching Food Network and meal-prepping for the week. It feels so good to get back to my old routine. ESPECIALLY talking to you folks. I can’t wait to catch up on all your lives today! Prepare yourselves for lengthy comments 🙂

Questions:

  • Tell me the best thing that happened to you in July. What did I miss??