Meatless Monday A to Z (Ginger)!


Next up: Ginger

Meal: Spaghetti with Carrot Ginger Sauce

I based this recipe off of a dish I make relatively often – pasta with an avocado sauce.


  • 1 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
  • 3-4 carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 1 tbsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 3 tbsp water
  • 2 cups spaghetti (I used wheat)


  • Heat oil in pan. Add garlic, sauté for 30-45 seconds (until garlic is light brown)
  • Add ginger and carrots, cook for 12-15 minutes (until carrots are soft)
  • Add garlic, ginger and carrots to food processor. Mix in tahini and water.
  • Puree the mix until it is smooth
  • Mix sauce with spaghetti

To be honest, I was scared to try it at first. My boyfriend took the first bite and said it was good so I went for it. I really enjoyed it! It tasted MUCH more appetizing than it looked.



Richmond Marathon

Cliff Notes: I did 9+1 in 2011 to have guaranteed entry into the 2012 NYC Marathon. I started training in the summer. I became much faster than I used to be. I fractured my foot. I was angry at everyone. I got better. I told everyone I would be take it easy during the NYCM. I starting training again (18 miles, Ragnar Relay Ultra, 20 miles, Half Marathon PR). I tapered. Hurricane Sandy ruined lives. NYC Marathon was canceled. I didn’t care. I ran the Richmond Marathon.

Ashley version: I found out the NYC Marathon was canceled while I was at the expo (after volunteering all day). I left with Beth, drank about 10 margaritas and signed up for the Richmond Marathon.

This marathon involved a road trip, with an unreal amount of traffic. Note: if you are running a marathon, do not drive 8+ hours the day before. When we finally got to Richmond (Laura, Jess, Christy, Fiona and I) we went to the expo to grab our packets.

Next up, Katherine’s house. She went out of her way to make us all feel welcome and host a pre-race dinner! We talked about the course and laughed a lot! It was amazing and I am very appreciative. After dinner, we drove to Katie’s parents house in Richmond and bombarded the basement when Leticia, Christine and Katie were already sleeping. It was getting late and I figured a great way to get to know Katie’s mom was to clog the toilet (just pee, I swear). Next was plunging, cursing, temporary tattoo application, shirt decoration, pass out, wake up, eat peanut butter, drink coffee, forget things I need for the race, get puffy paint all over everyone’s race outfit because it didn’t dry, take pictures, dance to Gangnam Style, start race.

I think I need a bigger pair of shorts, or a smaller ass.

I ran the first 17 miles with Katie and Christy (Fiona took off around Mile 3). It was a comfortable pace. We chatted, we met other NYCM runners and Richmond runners, we laughed, we passed the 4 hour pace group and swore they wouldn’t pass us for the rest of the race, we cursed at the unexpected nowhere near flat course, we saw Bart Yasso cheering on the sidelines. I thought about all of the destruction near my hometown. I dedicated each mile to a town on the Jersey Shore. I wanted to be strong for my hometown. Those miles went by so fast I am pretty sure I blacked out.

I picked up the pace a bit around 17.5 (I think). I waved a quick goodbye to the ladies, turned my music up and continued at a pace that felt comfortable.

Then Mile 22 happened. I was alone. I hate running alone because I am my own worst enemy. I did a full body check. How was my breathing? Good. How did my legs feel? Relatively ok, good enough to keep running for sure. Then I hit a water stop, and STOPPED. I walked (even though I told myself that I didn’t need to). I knew it would be hard to keep going afterwards but I couldn’t stop myself. For the next 3 miles, it was the same story. Run, curse, talk down to myself, tell myself I should stop, tell myself I will never be able to finish. I even drank beer some college kids were offering. That is a first. I figured anything would make me feel better than I had at that moment.

Once I passed the mile marker for Mile 25, I told myself to suck it up. I am going to finish and finish strong. I ran the last 1.2 miles for Point Pleasant. I thought about my childhood memories and about how grateful I am. I pushed forward. The last half mile or so was a very welcomed downhill. The last hundred feet or so was a serious freaking decline and I was LUCKY that I did not faceplant or somersault down it and over the finish line.

Thank you Dori for capturing me on my feet!

I finished.

Garmin stats: 

Official Stats: 3:57:40. PR by 1 minute and 1 second.

I hung out at finish line and got yelled at for not moving but stayed and waited for Christy, who dominated the race and PR’d by over 2 minutes! We walked through the finisher’s chute to get our medals.

5 seconds later, the medal man took away our medals because our bibs had a blue X and our medals we be mailed to us. I threatened to run away with it but he said he could catch me since I just ran a marathon and all. He was right, I gave it back.

The finish area was great. Bagels, massages, smoothies and beer. I got my first post-race massage from a wonderful woman who kneaded out the legitimate knots in my thighs. I’m sure by the way I was talking to her she thought I was trying to pick her up. We got together with all of #TeamRichmond for a serious photoshoot.

Seeing this flag throughout the course was so wonderful.

Jess in front, Laura, Christy, Meggie, Gia and I

PR City

Meggie and I tatted up

All pics courtesy of Katherine.

Crossed the half at the same time 🙂

Photo courtesy of Dori

After we gathered our crew (hours later) we met the #runchat men and laughed (and cried a little, I think) over the whole NYCM to Richmond experience.

Then I ate and drank (until…still doing it).

Exciting things: there were a lot of PRs, there was a first marathon, there was a BQ. Most importantly, there was friendship. We went through the last few weeks together and I appreciate these ladies more than I could say. I also appreciate Richmond. They accepted us and welcomed us and the course was beautiful and challenging. It was an amazing experience.

Shitty things: I can’t help but think I could have done better. I walked when I did not have to and did not put the effort into the race (at the end) that I know I could have.

A PR is a PR and I am happy. In line with most marathoners, I am craving more. Will I do another race sooner rather than later? I am still unsure. We shall see.

Want some more #TeamRichmond race recaps?

JessMeggie, Leticia, Christy, Fiona

Who’s a Greatist? #imagreatist

Why am I a Greatist? I applied and was chosen (wooooop!) to be an official Greatist ambassador.

greatist logo

The Greatist is a health and fitness source with quality (and fun) content. Every fact is cited (by a PubMed study), every sentence is meticulously verified, and every article expert-approved (source).

Their motto: Everyone has a choice to be more fit, healthy, and happy. And though our goals and ambitions are often similar, each person is unique, every story different. A greatist is someone who chooses better to improve their fitness, health, and happiness. Are you a greatist?

I love the Greatist website and I subscribed to their daily tip emails (and podcasts)! I find the range of topics impressive (healthy recipes, workout guides, day to day healthy living tips, to name a few) and the content is always easy to understand. My favorite part of the site: the infographics. Learn by picture, sign me up.

When Greatist announced they were opening apps for their first ambassador program, I signed up. I love connecting with other fabulous, fitness savvy people. I want to share my story and learn from others. New tips about how to make healthier choices, thanks.

So what does one do as a Greatist Ambassador?

Greatist Ambassador. super noun. a person who makes healthier choices and inspires others to do the same. By becoming a Greatist Ambassador, you take on the awesome challenge of not only making better choices for yourself, but promising to empower, inform, and inspire others to become greatists, too. At the same time, we want to reward people who are already inspiring others to be healthier and happier! Together, we can impact and improve people’s lives, one small choice at a time — and that’s pretty kickass.

Pretty awesome philosophy.

Here is a snippet of my application:

I will always go to my peers for support, information, advice, workouts, clothing and shoe suggestions and/or reviews and (thankfully) my (not  creepy online) friends and readers now come to me for the same things. They are the most kind, compassionate and caring people. They inspire me and motivate me to do my best in any situation. They compliment me and encourage me. They tell me when I am wrong and when I need to suck it up. They ask me for my advice and appreciate and accept my opinion (as I unfortunately am not even close to being a fitness or health professional). As a healthy living blog reader who tries to do the same with others, it is extremely appreciated!

I know that every person has a different story and different reasons for healthy living. I know it is not easy (or realistic) to always maintain a strict healthy lifestyle. I pride myself on the balance I have between healthy choices and general enjoyment of life. I extend this by sharing my story and motivating others about running and fitness (yahoo, new certified spin instructor!) and healthy living! Honestly, I really enjoy the Greatist and I adore the site and its content. I would love to be part of the ambassador program and continue to spread the (unfortunately) sometimes not so obvious word that being healthy is freaking awesome.

Favorite thing: An open invitation to come hang at Greatist HQ if you’re ever in New York City! Laura, let’s make that happen, soon.

The first thing I want to do as an ambassador is spread the word about the site.





Pinterest (this is my favorite):

A-Z Guide:

Daily Tips Subscription:

The second thing is up to you guys. Make a healthier choice, even just one per day. Share it with others. It is that simple to inspire someone else to do the same. Use the hash tag #imagreatist and let someone else inspire you as well!

I am excited for this opportunity, I truly believe in their philosophy and I am honored to be a part of the program!

Favorite Things Right Now (Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser Style)! (1)

A lot of bloggers post lists, links, videos, pictures of their favorite things at the moment. These are some of MY favorite posts to read. You get to see things you may not normally have come across and you get an insight to what they are interested in!

So, I decided to do the same. Because I have favorite things too. A lot of them. No better place to start than with how awesome people are coming together to raise money for Hurricane relief efforts!

Today: Hurricane Sandy Fundraisers

1. Jersey Unite: As a native to the Jersey Shore, seeing the destruction of our hometowns was absolutely devastating. Jenny Gassner (whom I’ve known since middle school) designed three different Jersey Shore t-shirts available for purchase to help with the relief effort. More than 50% of the profits will be donated to the Red Cross or to a specific family in need in the area that I grew up.

(from left to right) The t-shirts feature Bon Jovi “Living on a Prayer” lyrics, Bruce Springsteen “Rosalita” lyrics and Jersey Shore town names written into the words!

I OBVIOUSLY bought the Bruce Springsteen shirt!

Note: If you order a shirt, it is pre-ordered!

2. Megan’s fundraiser/giveaway for Staten Island relief efforts: Born and raised in Staten Island, Megan feels the way toward SI as I do toward the Jersey Shore. She created a giveaway on her blog that is also a fundraiser. Donate money = get an entry. Donate more money = get more entries. The best part? She has AMAZING sponsors donating the prizes. Please head over to her blog and consider donating to the relief effort in Staten Island (and enter to win some awesome prizes)!

Photo Courtesy of Megan

3. A Wedding Registry to help a fellow HLB who lost everything to Sandy! Where do I begin with this? Ashley and her husband are amazing and came up with the idea to create a registry on the Target website for all essential items including furniture, kitchen and bath items, electronics and personal items for her and her husband as well as their two kids!

Even more awesome? Ashley was interviewed by ABC News about the fundraiser. We are that much closer to helping Jen’s family rebuild! Please share the registry and consider purchasing any items (they are shipped to Jen and her family)! The smallest purchase goes a long way.

4. Custom Erica Sara Designs necklace giveaway! Christine has very graciously offered to donate $1 for every entry received. Yes, add them to the beautiful human list. 100% of the donation will go to the Brooklyn Recovery Fund to be used to support storm recovery efforts in Brooklyn. The funds will provide direct support for need to communities and organizations impacted by Hurricane Sandy.

5. Runners running for Sandy relief! Crowdrise makes it SUPER EASY to set up a fundraising page. Please consider donating to Lora’s page and Katie’s page (who I will be side-by-side with at the Richmond Marathon this weekend)! Both have set up the fundraiser to benefit the Mayor’s Fund to Advance NYC! 100% of the donations from organizations and individuals are being dispersed to relief effort organizations, which purchase immediate aid needs such as food, water and hygiene supplies as wells as long-term relief and restoration efforts!

6. Virtual Run for Sandy Recovery 

Lora and Kara created a fun and easy way to raise money for Sandy Recovery. We are all going to be running anyway right? They figured, donate some money and they will organize a Virtual Race with PRIZES! Win/Win if you ask me. All of the proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.

How to participate:

  1. Run a race of any distance the month of November. There are SO many to choose from!
  2. Register for the Virtual Race for Hurricane Sandy here.
  3. Pledge your donation here (a minimum donation of $10 requested). Once again, ALL proceeds will be donated to the Red Cross.
  4. Tell all of your friends that you are participating and invite them to join us, too.
  5. Run your race and tell us how you did! Make sure to send us pictures.
  6. Win Prizes.

You can join and participate up until November 30.

7. Daily Zeel Pinterest page created by Stacy (she is an employee)! She pinned fundraisers, giveaways, and/or discounts for Hurricane Sandy relief. Please visit the page and check out all of the amazing opportunities to give back!

8. Surfrider Foundation, NYC – Rory, a friend I used to work with, is collecting supplies and donations needed (click on link) at his bar, Blue Haven (108 W. Houston & Thompson in Greenwich Village). Rory will be delivering the supplies on Saturday afternoon (Nov 10) to Far Rockaway to Surfrider Foundation that will distribute all of the donations to those in need!

9. Jen’s Cheribundi Giveaway (Donate for Entries)! Jen has chosen two charities to benefit from the donations (50/50).

Stephen Siller Foundation (to benefit Staten Island)

Hurricane Sandy NJ Relief Fund (to benefit NJ)

She has also agreed to match up to $50 and her parents agreed to match that donation as well! The giveaway ends November 14.

Note from Ashley: To volunteer directly with the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund, please call the state hotline at 1-800-Jersey-7. They can help point you in the right direction! Visit their Facebook page for more information!

10. Wish Upon a Hero Fundraiser to benefit the Everett Family – Please support these four children who lost both parents in the storm when a tree crashed into their car. The two youngest children were in the backseat when their parents were killed but survived. This family has a long road ahead of them!

Please do whatever you can to help. It is needed desperately. Please share, pin and comment to get some attention to these great causes!

If you know of any other organizations (or blog fundraisers!), please let me know and I will add them to the list!

Dear November…

This is the usual “let’s go over the previous month’s goals and set new goals for this month” post. I’m clearly a few (or more) days late. You probably realized I’ve been a bit preoccupied with some bitch named Sandy.

What did I want to accomplish in October?

  1. Do a plank for 5 minutes, comfortably. If I do not do one everyday, it alright. Yea that did not happen. I only did Planks at Refine Method and for Lindsay’s October Photo Challenge.
  2. Continue practicing yoga and pilates. I actually don’t think I went to one yoga or Pilates class this month. That’s really awful.
  3. Complete 2 (hopefully) successful 20+ mi runs! I did one. I ran 20.2 miles. I wanted to do another but figured my training at that point in time was sufficient for the NYCM. Now I hope that ONE 20.2 mile run was sufficient for Richmond.
  4. Do 2-3 strength train sessions each week. The only strength training I did was Refine Method, and that was once a week and only twice this month.

What did I learn about myself this month?

I need to get my act together. I was probably in the best shape of my life WHEN I WAS INJURED! I cross trained and strength trained, I did yoga and pilates and a lot of Nike Training Club and core work! I was 10 pounds lighter and although I was miserable that I was not running, I was definitely more fit.

So what did I accomplish? Nothing out of the goals I set, which is sad.

November Goals (starting 11/5):

  1. Complete the Richmond Marathon with a smile on my face.
  2. Realistically, go to yoga OR pilates once a week!
  3. Go to Refine Method once or twice a week.
  4. Run 100+ miles for the month of November.

Let’s see if I can do MUCH better this month and not write a post full of complaints and self-pity 🙂