Brewfest #8

I almost didn’t go to Brewfest this year because I was in a completely different time zone and continent when the tickets went on sale. Luckily Julie, my twin (if you’re just starting to follow along), got tickets for us and her boyfriend.

We drove up Saturday morning and arrived around 11, giving us perfect time to check into our hotel and get down to the waterfront. Doors opened at 11:30 but the beer didn’t start pouring until 12. We found some shade to wait in since it was HOT.

This year I aimed to pace myself since last year I went a bit hard on the IPAs. With the hotter weather I was also craving lighter, fruitier beers so the sours and goses were right up my alley. My favorite for seven years in a row goes to a Canadian brewery, Dieu Du ciel. Their Solstice beer is amazing.

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Each pour is 3 ounces which equates to about 3.5 beers throughout the day. The tents I frequented this year were:

  • Idletyme: Pink n Pale (fermented with grapefruit)

  • Prohibition Pig: Watermelon Swine Cooler (wheat ale with watermelon and blackberries)

  • 14th Star: Raspberry Vermonter Weiss (sour ale with raspberry purée)

  • 1st Republic: Everything but the Thorns (wheat beer with blackberries)

  • A La Fut: Double Kapi (7.5% sour DIPA with mosaic and Citra hops)

  • Dieu Du Ciel: Solstice (raspberry sour wheat ale)

  • Fiddlehead: Ghost Hits (pale ale with lactose and vanilla beans and hops to make a creamsicle flavor)

  • J’ville: Blueberry Saison

  • Kingdom: Vampire Juice (sour ale with cherries)

  • Magic Hat: Laughing Stock (7.9% DIPA with grapefruit, mango and papaya)

  • Magic Hat: Spanish Lady (margarita inspired gose)

  • Miller: Strawberry Bubble Gum IPA

  • Otter Creak: Tangerine Tangent IPA

  • Zero Gravity: Bing Bing (said to be similar to Conehead)

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I know I’m missing at least one since I had a few extra tickets beyond the standard 15. Some of my favorites were Double Kapi from A La Fut and the Spanish Lady at Magic Hat.

Each year I run into people I hadn’t planned on seeing. This year it was Alex and Steven. I used to work with Steven and through him I also met Alex. It was great to join forces as we conquered Brewfest and to see some old friends.

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I’ve only done the day session a few times and normally go to the evening session, but this year I rather enjoyed myself. Drinking in the day gave me a sunburn, but also time to relax after and enjoy my beloved city. I walked along Church Street a few times, went to foam to buy their DIPAs that I can’t find in Massachusetts, met up with a bunch of old friends, and sat by the water. I don’t think I ever took advantage of the water enough while I lived there. And now that I’m gone it was all I wanted to look at. The calm water, the cool mountains, and the setting sun. It’s a place like no other.

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A lot has changed over the years and I love that Brewfest gives me a reason to go back and visit. The bike path is gorgeous and well groomed. There’s a new sailing center. Some restaurants have changed and some haven’t. And the people have changed. A lot of my friends have left, but so many come back for this event. Burlington will forever hold a place in my heart for all its beauty and for being the place where I found myself and grew up. I know it wouldn’t be the same if I moved back, but it’s still one of my favorite places to visit.

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Social Events and Health

I’ve been tracking my intake and exercise this month to see where I can make improvements. It’s been eye opening, but also humbling because making changes for your health is hard even as a dietitian! And calories add up fast throughout the day. While calorie counting works for some people it is not meant for everyone. Just like mindful eating is not meant for everyone but can be a useful tool.

This past weekend was Brewfest so I knew ahead of time that it would be a lot of drinking and eating. During the week I did my best to keep my intake around my goal range of calories (which is just an estimate). Then come Friday and Saturday I gave myself some flexibility.

Saturday we picked up Bobby’s for breakfast before hitting the road. Greg wanted me to try the Bullet which has every breakfast meat imaginable, but I wasn’t feeling all that hungry. I went with a sausage, egg and cheese on an English muffin with a side of home fries. Definitely different from my usual breakfast, but fun and delicious.

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Once at Brewfest, Julie and I decided we needed some sustenance, but not a lot since it was so hot. Soft pretzels for the win. And they had the best honey mustard! Greg didn’t want his so Julie and I shared most of his, too.

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After Brewfest we walked up to Church Street for dinner. We went to Pascolo for a pasta dinner. First up, fried calamari, which was hot, but so so so well cooked. My entree was smoked mushroom and pappardelle and was delicious! I ate every last bite and a slice of fresh bread. I miss Vermont restaurants.

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After walking around downtown and by the water (our hotel was in an amazing location) I headed back to the hotel. Six hours after we ate our late lunch we were hungry again so we ordered room service. I got a BLT with sweet potato fries, which hit the freaking spot. Sure maybe I didn’t “need” that right before bed at 11pm, but it was super satisfying.

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The thing about making healthy changes and/or weight loss is that you want to focus on your everyday habits. I don’t normally have a breakfast sandwich but rather oatmeal in the morning. My lunch is not usually fried calamari and a creamy pasta dish, but rather a salad with grilled chicken. My dinner does not usually include French fries and bacon, but rather lean protein and nothing fried. I don’t normally eat later than 8pm, but then again I’m not usually up past ten!

My everyday habits are much healthier and that’s okay. My issue tends to be that these events or dinners and drinks out tend to happen more frequently now that I live in the city. It’s not as common to go over to people’s houses or apartments, but instead to go out. To top that off I’m still making friends and trying to date which adds a whole other level of challenging.

And so even though I ate like double the amount of calories I normally do on Saturday I still woke up, went for a run, and went to my favorite bagel place: The Bagel Place. Keep the healthy habits, but also live. Brewfest is my favorite tradition and it just so happens that we eat a lot, too. And that’s okay.

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Exercising in the Summer

Heat.

Humidity.

Social events.

Travel.

These are all things that interrupt my exercise routine in the summer. Luckily, I have a very flexible workout routine that allows for rest days, swapping out workouts, travel, etc. I just renewed my BeachBody subscription for the second year and I’m super excited! The array of programs has truly helped me to enjoy exercise again and to fit it in no matter what my life looks like!

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The only way to beat the heat and hopefully the humidity too is to workout in the morning. I try my hardest to only hit snooze once and get up. Not only is it cooler, but I’m often more awake once I get to work if I exercise in the morning.

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Summer is when friends invite you to do things, you stay out late after work, and you’re just dang busy! Hallelujah to that. But it can also damper your exercise routine even though it doesn’t have to. First, I try to workout in the morning so I don’t miss my chance to sweat if plans pop up in the afternoon. Second, if the plans involve a workout I just move my workouts around. Lately I’ve been doing some 80 Day Obsession Workouts and 21 Day Fix Extreme workouts mixed in with some runs each week to total 5-6 workouts. It works well for me because a lot of the time friends will want to catch up on a run or I’ve been trying to run with a group after work! Hoping with the new program I want to do on BeachBody that I can continue to meet up for runs and not have to do 2-a-day’s because that isn’t sustainable for me, nor should it be.

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When it comes to travel, I simply switch my workouts around to accommodate these plans. Sometimes I’ll workout every weekday to have the weekend off. Other times I swap around the workouts to do the one that doesn’t involve weights when I’ll be traveling. And other times I just bring my workouts with me and do them wherever I am! When I was in Maine I used my mom’s weights and worked out on the deck each morning! It makes travel so much less stressful knowing I can workout when and where and how I want!

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I’m excited for a new BeachBody program, but I’m also enjoying all that summer brings. While running isn’t my favorite in the heat I’ll do it with friends and for beer. Heck I’ve even thought about truly training for a 5k since my times have been pretty good with a new PR of 23:51. Imagine what these legs could do, although I attribute my newfound speed to the cross training that is BeachBody.

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Happy summer exercising, friends!

This is not a sponsored post, just a girl who loves her workouts.

Summah!

It finally feels like summer, which means I had to buy an air conditioner. Seriously these things are game changers and I’m so glad I gave in. Besides air conditioners summer also brings social gatherings and nights out. This often means drinking and eating out more often, which doesn’t always align with your health goals.

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Last week I had two nights of eating out and drinking on work nights! Who am I?! While it was so much fun (and delicious) I was feeling less than stellar by the end of the week. I felt bloated and puffy and TIRED. Being social, whether it be with friends or coworkers or significant others, can make it tough to stick to your health goals. So how do you have all the fun but also be mindful and healthy?

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It’s OKAY to be social and have fun even if you eat or drink more than usual.

I woke up feeling guilty on Friday. Guilty about not cooking the dinner that was waiting for me in the fridge. Guilty for all the beer that I drank on a work night. Guilty that I teach my patients to make small changes and I struggle with sticking to my own healthy habits.

I had drank four beers the night before and ate grilled cheese and truffle tater tots at 10pm for dinner. Is that a big deal? No. Was it a lot more calories than a typical Thursday night? Yes. But it was with friends and I was having fun! And I’m human and these nights don’t happen every day! When making health related goals I tell people to focus on their every day habits because those will have the biggest impact on your overall health. That means switching up your typical lunches or dinners, not focusing on the once a week or once a month events with friends.

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Start your day off with a nutritious breakfast.

This is a must for me. Last week after my nights out I didn’t have my overnight oatmeal prepped and I honestly think that alone would have started my day off stronger.

When im feeling “off track” or “out of my routine” which often happens after times when I eat or drink more than normal I do my best to dive right back into my typical routine. That always includes oatmeal and peanut butter and coffee. If it’s a weekend then it might be a bagel. Your body needs nutrition and just because you had a bigger meal the night before doesn’t mean you don’t need fuel the next day.

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Exercise when and where you can.

I hate the term calories in, calories out, but it’s essentially true. If you’re eating a bit more than you’re used to you may need to exercise more. Now I don’t mean you need to be doing 2-a-days (2 workouts in 1 day), but maybe walk to your errands (if you can) or take the stairs at work. Find easy ways to get in more activity. In my office we moved the trash can to the office next door so we are forced to get up more. Simple activities, nothing drastic.

This past week I hit over 10,000 steps both days that I was out being a social butterfly. I’m sure I would have felt more bloated and fatigued the following days if I hadn’t walked so much. It’s also fun to pair exercise with social gatherings. Thursday night was a 5k and this past weekend I went kayaking with a friend!

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It’s okay to say no.

This weekend my friend wanted to get drinks and I simply told her I wasn’t planning on drinking. It’s not that I had any particular reason, I just didn’t want to. And the world didn’t end. We ended up lounging in the sun, people watching and talking instead. It’s so common to feel like you can only be social if you’re eating and drinking, especially when it comes to dating! Yet it is possible to enjoy each other’s company without it.

It’s also okay if you just straight up want to say no to something social. Humans need social interaction but we also need rest. After being out Wednesday and Thursday night I slept 13 hours Friday night. My body needed sleep. And you know what? I had to cancel plans with a friend because of it. And that’s okay!

Be social. Have fun.

Drink the beer if you want to. Say no if you don’t.

If you drink a little too much, get back to your routine the next day and maybe fit in a few extra steps.

Hang out with friends.

Chat for hours until you realize you haven’t eaten dinner and scarf down a few slices of pizza. The vegetables will still be there tomorrow.

If you eat more than normal your body will digest it and move on and so should you. Maybe cook a hearty balanced meal the next few nights.

Summer is a time to be social. If you’re trying to keep to your healthy habits, don’t overthink it. Find simple ways to move more and be social without relying on food or alcohol. And if it is involved, remember this isn’t your everyday. Have fun.

HelloFresh Review

I’m on week 3 of HelloFresh deliveries. I opted to get two meals each week to serve two people, which actually means four dinners for this girl. Overall I’m really enjoying it so far and have regained my passion for cooking again!

The variety of meals is more than I had imagined there would be. I find myself scrolling through the recipes even when I’m trying to find something to cook not just when I’m picking my meals for the week. Each week there are a few vegetarian options and plenty of meat/poultry/fish options. I try to choose one vegetarian option each week to be more environmentally friendly. My favorite so far has been the beef bulgogi and I can’t wait to try the bimibap next week.

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The recipes can be adapted slightly if need be. One downfall for me is that a lot of recipes include sour cream and/or mayonnaise, which I tend to leave out. It’s never been a real issue and all the meals still taste wonderful without it. Usually I would replace this ingredient with plain Greek yogurt, but now I just make due without. This past week I even added a little peanut butter to the chicken bulgogi since the recipe said it would taste good with crushed peanuts on top. It was superb! Small changes can also be made such as ways you cut or prepare the vegetables. I prefer sliced cucumbers over the ribbons, personally.

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I LOVE the positive impact that it’s had on my food waste. Cooking one meal a day for one person is so hard when it comes to variety and preventing food waste. Luckily with HelloFresh you only get the exact amount of ingredients needed for two servings. That way I have one meal and one leftover meal and that’s it. No extra ingredients lying around…except for the mayo or sour cream.

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I used to eat the same dinner four nights a week because I was terrible at cutting recipes in half or shopping for fewer ingredients than the recipe called for. It resulted in frequently feeling unsatisfied after meals and consequently eating more after despite not being hungry. Something I’ve realized is that there is a real difference between being full from a meal and satisfied from a meal. Luckily with more variety during and across the weeks I am feeling satisfied more often at the end of meal and not reaching for more.

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The one thing that I worry about with HelloFresh is the amount of packaging. Each box has 3 large ice packs and quite a bit of protective cushioning. Fortunately a lot of the material is recyclable and there was an article saying the amount of packaging is actually less than going to the store.

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If you’re thinking about trying a meal delivery service, do it! There’s no harm in trying. And you may be surprised! Sure there’s quite a bit of packaging, but there also is when buying ingredients and forgetting your reusable bags. Sure a car delivers the package to me rather than me walking to the store, but I’m wasting less food. There are pros and cons to everything and we all just need to find what works best for ourselves and what is healthiest. I’m glad I tried HelloFresh and, no, this is not sponsored but merely my personal experience.

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