Half Fanatic #892

Morocco, Luxembourg, Spain,
Czech Republic, Germany, France,
United States of America

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Ten Years Later... Let's Start Here

This past weekend I stumbled upon the Nanny Goat, 12 hour/24 hour ultra marathon. I saw a few friends post about it on Facebook and Instagram, so I was hoping to run a few laps with some Marathon Maniacs… but when I arrived, they were lapping faster than my current pace, and the MMs I wanted to run with were pacing for the 50 mile or the 100 mile. Their ultra marathon paces where faster than my regular workout pace.

I wanted to cry.

That’s what you get for not running in over 4 years. Kicking myself! Ugh.

Then Serena texts me the next day, saying I should sign up for the San Francisco Half Marathon 2017. Something to train for, she says. How can I say no?! She paced me for my very first marathon, the Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco in 2008. After pacing me, she ran an additional 3 miles around the neighborhood before going home (She was scheduled to run a 16 mile training run that day) Ugh, she kills me! She is so freakin’ awesome.

OMG! It’ll be our ten year friendship anniversary! : I HAVE TO DO IT :

Googling, “How to train for a half marathon…”

Look! My tried and trusted program from years past, Hal Higdon’s Half Marathon Training Guide – Novice 1 Program:


Now we are in business! Let’s see… it says here you should have the ability to run 3 miles, three to four times a week. But it doesn’t say anything about the quality of the runs… okay, so I need to focus here and make my runs STRONGER without peaking. I peak too soon, too fast, too much. Amateur.

Focus for the month of June:
3 miles, three to four times per week. (WATCHING MY HEART RATE – emphasis mine)

Let’s start here.

Thursday, March 31, 2016


Yesterday my mom was watching, "The View," an American talk show. They were talking about yoga being taught to children in schools, and some of the hosts took issue with this, because of their religion. One of the hosts said she felt uncomfortable with buddhist statues and pointing toward the east (or was it west?) and saying, "Namaste," in a yoga class. This, she said, made her seek out yoga classes that were nonthreatening to her religious beliefs.

I've been regularly attending yoga classes with a handful of friends for a little over two months. The teachers almost always end the classes in a prayer mudra, say a few words of gratitude, and conclude the class by saying, "Namaste." You can google the meaning, history and origin of the word. This is how the yoga classes are run at the yoga studios around here.

Today after yoga practice, a friend and I were talking about this. She was jokingly teasing me about my use of the word namaste. We were both raised Catholic, and she knows that some of the older generation Catholics might feel uncomfortable with namaste. I always say it back to the teachers at the end of class. I guess I think it's just plain rude not to return the greeting. It's like when you are in France, and someone says, "Bonjour!" Of course you say it back. It would be rude not to return the hello. If you are in College Station, Texas, and someone says, "Howdy!" Etiquette dictates that you say, "Howdy!" back, otherwise you are just being plain rude. In Japan you bow, in Mexico you kiss on the two cheeks, and in Luxembourg you kiss three times, otherwise the person you are greeting thinks you are being insulting. It's just having good manners, to acknowledge the other person with a greeting in kind.

In yoga class, when the teacher says, "Namaste" they are acknowledging you. Isn't it rude if you don't acknowledge them back? Anyway, that's how I see it. Just because you are Christian, Buddhist, Hindu, Catholic, or any other religious affiliation, doesn't mean we can't all acknowledge the divine in each other. I see it as an etiquette issue, like when you travel to other countries, it benefits you to be receptive to other cultures and customs. It doesn't negate your own personal beliefs by being polite in kind and showing respect to others. It helps to sometimes get out of your comfort zone and opens up your world just a little. The more you travel, the more you know.

So today after yoga class, and after my friend's teasing, she looked me in the eyes and said with a big smile, "Namaste, Kim"

Monday, March 21, 2016

Home, Sweet Home

After two years of saying, "Moien," and, "Merci Beaucoup" I spent the next two years greeting everyone with, "Howdy!" and saying, "Yes, Sir!" and, "Yes, Ma'am!" Then we moved to Dallas. And then we took The 10 to The 60 back home, where it's hella hot and folks have I.E. Pride.

I reconnected with some best friends. We go to the gym at 5:00am, and practice yoga in the afternoon. Because we are chill like that. And one day we'll be chillin' in scorpion pose.

Home, sweet home.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango

I watched the documentary, Forks Over Knives, last night. I'm not vegan, but I love eating vegan dishes. After watching this film, I am reconsidering my stance on food and health. I am not vegetarian at this time, but my plan is to ease more into a Happy Herbivore diet. I feel most aligned with the term, Nutritarian, coined by Dr. Joel Fuhrman, author of Eat To Live. He advocates a nutrient dense diet. Whole Foods uses his ANDI score system, which they post up in their produce section. I've attempted a 100% vegan diet several times in the past, and failed miserably. It's very discouraging. I'm not perfect. But I can see being a Nutritarian. Here is a great article explaining how A Nutritarian is Different Than a Vegetarian

So, I've got some Sunday Fun Day with my 5 year old to do today and a plant-strong recipe to break in!

Today I will make a Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango based on the one from "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook," by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero.  My vegan girlfriend made this the other weekend when we went to her place for the black bean burgers (Also in Veganomicon) Wow!

Quinoa Salad with Black Beans and Mango
  • 1 mango, peeled and cut into small dice
  • 1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced as small as you can get it
  • 1 cup chopped scallions
  • 1 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1.5 tablespoons walnut oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa, cooled
  • 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
Combine the mango, red bell pepper, scallions, and cilantro in a mixing bowl. Add the red wine vinegar, walnut oil, and salt, and stir to combine. Add the quinoa and stir until everything is well incorporated. Fold in the black beans. You can serve immediately or let it sit for a bit for the flavors to meld. This tastes good chilled and is even better at room temperature.

Here is a photo of the quinoa salad I made today, before adding the scallions and cilantro, for the 5 year old.
UPDATE: The quinoa salad came out fantastic! Sunday Funday is almost over and now I'm ready to embrace Monday. I'm looking forward to working on Beck and creating a health and fitness plan. I need to articulate some goals for myself. I work better with a plan. I need some sense of structure, otherwise, I'm in limbo....

Friday, September 2, 2011

Raspberry-Lime Vinaigrette

Last week my vegan girlfriend lent me one of her cookbooks, "Veganomicon: The Ultimate Vegan Cookbook" by Isa Chandra Moskowitz & Terry Hope Romero. They've published other books, Vegan with a Vengeance, and Vegan Cupcakes Take Over The World, and Isa does the Post Punk Kitchen blog. I am going to give their raspberry dressing on page 94 another whirl today...

Raspberry-Lime Vinaigrette
  • 1 box (300 grams/12 ounces) frozen raspberries, thawed
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil or nut oil*
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1.5 teaspoons sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Pinch of grated lime zest
  • Ground white pepper
* Do not use pumpkin seed oil. I did that the first time and it came out a bit clunky. It didn't sing. Pumpkin seed oil is too strong and heavy for this recipe and overpowers the flavors of the raspberry and lime.

Use a large spoon to press the thawed raspberries in several batches through a large sieve into a medium size bowl. Discard the seeds. Add the remaining ingredients, whisk to combine, and pour into an airtight container if not using immediately.

I love limes. I love raspberries. You just can't go wrong with this flavor combination. This is my second attempt. I used a French walnut seed oil this time. D i v i n e !

I wonder how this would taste with some mint... and substitute the oil for a bottle of crémant or light rum. Mmmm... Cheers!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Pot Au Feu

A recently acquired favorite homemade soup of mine is the Pot Au Feu. All the moms in my neighborhood that I've talked to about this gently poke fun at me, because they say that only the old people (their grandparents) buy these fresh organic vegetables prepackaged with herbs for soup making. And also, that only the old people (their grandparents) serve and eat that stuff. Ha! Well call me grandma! This stuff ROCKS!

The package contents may vary slightly depending on the season, but usually it is 2.2 pounds worth of...
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips
  • Leeks
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Bay leaf and herbs
Wash, clean (peel if needed) all vegetables. Cut into small chunks. Place in large pot. Fill to just below vegetable line with vegetable stock (chicken broth) or just plain water and herbs. Bring to boil, then simmer. Once it is done you can serve it as is, or take a stick blender to it and purée. Voilà! Soup is served!

I like to add vegetable broth, but sometimes I use chicken broth if the husband is eating it, and add extra herbs and spices. This may not be very impressive to everyday cooks, but for someone like me, who just most recently started expanding my culinary repertoire to include vegetables and soups in the past two years, this is fantastic! Traditionally, it is common to add some stewing beef, but this tastes excellent all on its own.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Back at IT

I posted THIS on the first day of this month, Beck Day 1. I am reviewing my Day 1 today so that I can move onward. Forward. Yes, today is the last day of the month, I know. I am officially "Back at IT!"
  • I am an insanely powerful force of nature when I am below 24% body fat
I've been talking a lot about my weight and BMI lately, but really, at the end of the day, it comes down to my body fat and energy level. It's not all about the number on the scale. My clothes are not becoming on me today. I feel tired and lethargic more than I did a year ago at this time when we first moved here from California to Luxembourg. I need to clean house. I need to make health and fitness a priority in my life again. I just feel better when I take care of myself. I miss that feeling of superior health and good well being.

Today after lunch we are going to the Centre Ville for the Farmer's Market. Maybe I can find a fantastic salad dressing. Rice vinegar is tasty, and less than 2 euros at the Asian market, but I'd like to limit my gluten now.

Mixed greens, avocado, tomato, spices, rice vinegar.
I know! Look at this salad! Where is the protein?! I should have added beans, tofu, or some nuts and seeds.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Fage Yogurt 0% 1€

Before moving here to Luxembourg, I was eating the Trader Joe's brand non-fat Greek yogurt. It was good. Really good. But not FANTASTIC. Not SUBLIME. It wasn't FAGE. Fage brand Greek yogurt is the measure for all other Greek yogurts. It is a Food of the Gods. It. is. divine. I didn't buy it much because it was a bit on the pricey side. Back home in California, it was selling for around $3 to $4 per container. And when you buy a dozen containers every week, it adds up! So I would only buy Fage Total 0% sparingly for dessert. Yes, the Fage Total 0% (fat free) Greek yogurt at 90 calories is the most HEAVENLY dessert. I bought the Trader Joe's brand for breakfast, at least three or four days a week. I would religiously add a tablespoon of freshly ground flaxseed, sometimes a little honey. And then we moved. I haven't seen any fat free Greek yogurt here, only regular, at around 300+ calories, or maybe it is somewhere in the 400 calorie range? I am in calorie denial.

And then it happened. Look what I found at the supermarket yesterday...

Have I died and gone to heaven?! My all time favorite Fage Total 0% Greek yogurt at my local supermarket!!

They just started carrying this product so it only gets a tiny shelf spot. Yes, of course that shelf spot is empty! Kim Du Bry was here!!

Sunday, August 28, 2011


Sunday afternoon at the 671st Schueberfouer, held in the center of Luxembourg City. Originally founded in 1340 as an annual market. Around the 18th century it turned more into a "funfair." Nowadays you can still find the shops and restaurants set up, as well as all the modern carnival rides, attractions and concerts. The Schueberfouer marks our one year anniversary in Luxembourg. We had just moved here a week or two earlier before the Schueberfouer opened. Back then I could barely pronounce Schueberfouer. I can say it much better now, but I still get teased about my American accent.

I passed on the ferris wheel ride. I hate heights. I've spent enough time at 35,000 feet to last me a lifetime.

Friday, August 26, 2011

Last Long Run Before Berlin

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Mark Twain

This is it! Tomorrow will be my second and final 32K (19.88 miles) training run before the Berlin Marathon next month. I keep reminding myself that I've done a lot more with a lot less. I ran the Los Angeles Marathon two years ago with only one 18 mile training run a month earlier, so really, I'm better prepared this time around! ha! I'm grateful to have had that previous experience because it gives me some desperately needed confidence now. I'm not as prepared as I'd like to be, but I'm going in and doing it anyway!

I still have those nagging thoughts... If only I had trained more, If only I had trained harder, If only.... But at least I trained, and that's got to count for something, right? Feel the fear and do it anyway! No regrets! Jump!