I’m Thinking Out Loud something very simple today: thank God for spandex! Have you ever eaten your way through New Orleans? If you follow me on Instagram (here), you know I sure did last week. I was a little afraid I wouldn’t fit into the only pair of jeans I brought, but spandex is our friend sometimes.

Since I just got back and you never know when you might end up in NOLA, I’m sharing the good eats we found. This will be photo intensive and drool worthy. You’ve been warned!

Food Tour
Food tours never disappoint us. It’s a good way to get your bearings, learn a little bit that you didn’t know, and eat good food. We had a fabulous time with Tastebud Tours and our guide Libby, who is a 10th or so generation NOLA native and has her own tour company, Lucky Bean Tours.

Brisket Po’Boy

We started with the brisket po’boy at Tujagues, which came with a side of history about how po’boys came to be. It did not disappoint and that horseradish sauce can sure clear your sinuses!


Next we stopped at The Old Coffeepot. It’s a lovely restaurant and the food was good, but we waited . . . and we waited . . . and we waited. We had gumbo, jambalaya, and calas cakes.

Calas Cake

I’m glad we got to try the Calas cakes, since I’d never even heard of them. I want to recreate these at home, although interestingly, the recipes I’ve looked up show them as fritters, not the cooked rice cakes we ate, which I really enjoyed.

Muffulettas — a NOLA must!

I think the Muffulettas were actually the highlight of the tour, although all the food was really good. We ate them out on the riverwalk, which was a nice touch.

Tea Sampler

While our guide picked up our sandwiches, we got to explore The Spice and Tea Exchange — turns out this is a chain, which I didn’t know at the time. I bought some teas, naturally.

Our final stop was at Lara’s Candies for Pralines tastings; the store offered a 10% discount, and we always like to bring something back for our pet sitters, so we took advantage of the discount. I must have eaten my weight in Pralines while in NOLA — it seemed every store had their version out for tastings. Of course my favorites were the chocolate ones.

And that was just one day!

Well, I was there to run a half marathon, after all. I’m not sure that really justified everything I indulged in, but New Orleans sure does have some good food, baby. I think I heard “baby” a lot more than y’all.

Cafe du Monde Beignets

One day we were both up early so I dragged Mr. Judy over to Cafe du Monde. We had been to NOLA once, pre-Katrina, but it was so that I could attend a conference (as a blogger, but not a running blogger, obviously) — so while we’d eaten at the Cafe Du Monde in the Riverwalk Mall, we’d never eaten at the original location.

I think we got there around 8 am and while they were somewhat busy, we were able to walk in, sit down, and be waited on, rather than having to stand in a crazy stupid line. There was a pleasant breeze coming in off the river and we enjoyed every bite (it’s cash only, by the way, although it’s also quite reasonable).

Go with the flavored Buttermilk Drops

Mr. Judy had a groupon for Winks Bakery. They didn’t open until 9, and actually, they were having some employee problems, so it was a little later. And it was totally worth it.

Winks is famous for their buttermilk drops. What’s a buttermilk drop, you ask? A big donut hole. That’s what’s in the box. I wasn’t blown away by the original, but the flavored ones? Yeah, baby. That morning the cream puff was calling my name. It was divine, too.

Carb loading at Big Pie Pizza

Of course I had to carb load for my half, too. I took Tricia’s recommendation and we went to Big Pie Pizza. Even though I’m not really a fan of New York style pizza (despite having been born and lived most of my life in NY), it did not disappoint. We just got a simple cheese pizza and garlic cheese sticks (which have now guided me to 2 PRs — wish that could work every time!).

Trust me: get the sweet potato fritters

And then there was a lucky find up in the Garden District: The Rum House. We were just walking around in search of a mug for me, when we walked by this restaurant with what looked like amazing food. We walked on by . . . and then came back, and thank God we did, because the food was amazing.

We shared the Sweet Potato Crab fritters and the Jamaican Beef Patties, which were like empanadas. And then I had an amazing sweet potato beet goat cheese salad while Mr. Judy enjoyed one of their tacos.

If you get out to the Garden District, I highly recommend this restaurant!

Apparently Bittersweet Confections was on Cupcake Wars?


Our last day in NOLA we walked around the Warehouse district a bit and I made a beeline for Bittersweet Confections. Some woman in front of me nabbed the last Chocolate Peanut Butter cupcake. The nerve of her!

I got a cookies & cream cupcake and a chocolate chocolate chip scone. Both were yummy.

The Ruby Slipper’s take on Migas

There’s more to life than carbs
Another restaurant a couple of people recommended was The Ruby Slipper. So we went for brunch one day. It was a few days before my half, still, and I decided to be slightly virtuous and got Migas. They were good, but not quite like the Migas I was used to in TX. The portion was very generous, though, and I actually ate them for lunch the next day (yes, the day before my half!).

There were so many things to choose from, so many things I wanted to try. It wasn’t an easy decision. I’m not sure Mr. Judy really wants to go back to NOLA, but some day I’d like to!

Boudin Balls at Sobou

I had wanted to try to eat lunch at Commander’s Palace, but it just didn’t work out. However, walking home one day, I noticed a restaurant named Sobou (a Commander’s Palace restaurant). I looked them up when we got to the hotel, and it got very good reviews. And for good reason.

Tuna Tacos. Delish!


I got the Boudin Balls and the Cracklin’ Crusted Yellowfin Tuna Tacos. So good. And then the Chocolate Coma Bar. I mean, seriously — how could I skip that? It was probably the best dessert we had in NOLA, which is saying quite a bit!

Not my best photo, but probably the best dessert — which is saying something!

Go for the race, stay for the food!


Come run Utah with me
Don’t forget that code crj15 gets you 15% off of your registration for the Utah Valley Marathon (your choice of three race distances). The price goes up on March 2, so register today!

I’m running the half, and quite a few other bloggers will be racing, too.

Disclaimer: I make a small amount of money if you register using my code.

Bandit update
Well, obviously we didn’t see the furkids last week. Although Bandit’s pet sitter sent us this photo of Bandit — I cropped out the dog he was playing with. Apparently he got along great with a couple of the dogs there. We were joking that we have a gay dog (because he doesn’t play with Lola, who is dying to play with him).

Lola, OTOH, apparently helped herself to some hot dog rolls that were on a counter where she was staying. Thankfully she didn’t actually eat them — or have time enough to eat them, I guess — but she did nest with them.

I think next week I’ll be rounding up some of the stuff we did while in New Orleans.

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Do you have a furkid that likes to bring stuff to their bed?

Any great NOLA restaurants to add?

Ever tried a food tour?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

March 2017: Did I pass?


We continued with the weather whiplash in March, and we thought we got a lot of snow in February? Thanks to Blizzard Stella, we got almost twice as much in March. In one day. To say that made running challenging is an understatement. And then there was the cold!

So how did I mange my March?

Getting in scheduled runs
March blew in continued trips to my parents, the celebration of my mom’s 89th birthday, and a blizzard just for giggles and grins.

I always found a solution, only this month it involved the treadmill. A lot.

Grade Earned:  A+

Recording my runs
I continued to be pretty good at recording my runs. Not perfect, but I think there was some improvement.

Grade Earned: A-

Dynamic Warmup
Again, I skipped this on one super cold run. With no dire consequences.

Grade Earned: A-

Foam Rolling
I’m pretty sure I nailed the foam rolling this March.

Grade Earned: A

Respecting my body
I tried, but it was hard. There were many days I just had to push through fatigue and get it done. Some weeks when I was too busy to even soak my feet.

I think I mostly did the best I could under the circumstances.

Grade Earned: B

This month is was my mom and my dad’s birthdays. Good thing I was at my highest mileage this training cycle.

I actually did mix things up a bit this month — figuratively and literally. I experimented with a lot of new recipes for pre and post run, as well as during as well. I even decided not to worry too much about my weight. Not to go crazy, but to add in a little more carbs than I might normally do if I was trying to lose weight (I’m almost always trying to lose weight).

For the most part I think I ate pretty well in March, but I was still rungry a lot and sometimes I made the same things over and over again because they’re quick and easy (hello, tuna waldorf caesar salad, I’m looking at you).

Grade Earned: A-

I went to the chiropractor on a regular basis. The tendinitis became a mild ache rather than an acute pain. I even stopped taping it toward the end of the month.

Unfortunately, I switched from Pahla B’s workouts to Iron Strength to mix things up. I’ve done Iron Strength before, but I kept the same weights. Which apparently was not a good idea and then I strained my hip. Again, nothing serious and it’s getting better.

I got one last massage before my racecation.

Grade Earned: A-

Not enough of this

Cross Training
Oooh boy, did I fall off the cross training train. Not nearly as much biking as I worked toward my peak training, yoga became scarce, Pilates became scarce.

Maybe it was actually a good thing. Maybe it gave me a little rest that was needed.

Grade Earned: B

March 2017 gets  . . . 
. . . an A-, or maybe a B+. I did the best I could, but I definitely fell short in some critical areas.

Goals for April:

  • Continue keeping my journal up to date
  • Get back to cross training
  • Keep up the healthy eating, with a side of indulgence occasionally
  • Eat a savory breakfast at least once per week (bonus points for more than once)
  • Decide on April half after NOLA — let’s see how I’m feeling
  • If I decide to do the half, which is a trail half, join in the trail series (which scares me)
  • I’d like to organize another get together for the Wineglass girls, but let’s see what’s going on in my life

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Half #15, State #13: 3/20-26 Weekly Wrap

Lucky 13?

Racecations are both terribly exciting and a little bit crazy, what with all the work that goes into the front end. For some reason this time I found myself oddly calm. Was it all the meditating? Getting so used to “traveling” every week? Getting really organized because of my extra “travel”?

No idea, but I wish I could feel that way before most vacations.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and actually hope to join up with Tricia in the flesh this week.


Workouts update

  • Monday: Iron Strength Abbreviated, Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: DM Flow, Travel
  • Wednesday: 6 miles steady
  • Thursday:  4 miles easy
  • Friday: JY Running Efficiency Boost
  • Saturday: JY Reset Foot, Hips &  Calves 
  • Sunday: Best Damn Race NOLA Half

Mileage: 23 (-1)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 


My first run in NOLA. It was hot & hard, but not as bad as I feared. 


Started out slow but picked it up last 2 miles. 

This run gave me some confidence that I would handle the heat. Good thing I didn’t know how hot & humid race day would be. 


Hot, humid, but flat – a hard fought PR. 

Favorites of the week
Except for race day & one day with some rain, the weather was awesome. 

Actually race day was nice weather–just not for racing. 

All the carbs. 

And that’s a wrap 


This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do your PRs surprise you? 

5 Foods fueling my runs

I have done a lot of experimenting with alternative, home made fuel this training cycle.



Today I am joining up with the  Friday Five 2.0  from Fairytales & Fitness and Rachel @ Running on Happy to talk share with you five of my favorites — and three of the books I got them from.

Date Almond Bars
An oldie but a goodie, from Nutrition for Runners (not an affiliate link). These don’t even require cooking. You pulse together some oats, almonds, dates, cinnamon and salt until they hold together. Press into a pan and refrigerate.

I like to cut them into small pieces and roll them into little balls. They stand up surprisingly well to a long run.

Didn’t stick together enough for on the run

Rice Balls
I’m pretty sure I won’t be fueling with the rice balls from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link) in my half, but I’m also pretty sure that I’ll be taking some along for snacks.

Essentially oats and sushi rice cooked together; you add some sea salt, some cinnamon, some coconut sugar and some chocolate chips. Roll them into little balls. Very easy to digest, very light.

My only problem when I tried them out on the run? Too messy. I do like them as a nice dessert for a meal where I want to stay generally low carb but still include a little carbs.

Salty Balls
These were kind of a bust. Not because I didn’t like them; oh no, quite the contrary, maybe I liked them a little too much. Essentially equal parts brown rice syrup, nut butter, and protein powder microwaved together until they bubble. Add a little salt.

They’re kind of like malted balls. But they’re sticky, and they have a tendency to stick together on the run.

I really like these post run — so much that I found myself indulging in them too much. These came from ROAR (Amazon Affiliate link).

They pack a caloric whallop, but I love these bars!

Fig Crumble Bars
I am so in love with these bars from Rocket Fuel (Amazon Affiliate link) I can’t even tell you. Like the Salty Balls above, though, rather high in calories. Which is fine while you’re running many miles, but maybe a bit too tempting when you’re not.

Plus, crumble. Although using my Amphipod SnapPod (Amazon Affliaite link), they actually stood up fairly well. I did the same thing with these as I did with the Date bars: cut them into little pieces and rolled them into balls. And while that worked, it was hard to cut them into really small balls.

You can try Fig Newtons, too.

Simple, light, not too sweet — we have a winner!

Chocoloate Chip Cookies
These little nuggets from Feedzone Portables (Amazon Affiliate link) were a surprising winner. Now, before you go drooling over toll house cookies on the run, these aren’t those. Which is good — because I don’t actually like overly sweet stuff on the run.

The first time I made these cookies, I didn’t have the potato flour called for in the recipe. After some research I subbed in quinoa flour. I think I actually prefer them that way — I finally found potato flour (not the same as potato starch, btw), and made another batch with it after I ate up the first batch.

These really are quite plain, but they work for me.

So let me know in the comments:

Have you ever tried anything other than sport drinks, chews, or gels?

Have a favorite recipe/book to share with us?

How do you carry your fuel with you during a race?

Never say never: TOLT

Today I’m Thinking Out Loud about not being jinxed by well wishes for a PR in my upcoming race, and everything race related. Of course. Plus the furkids. Of course.

Trying something different
I’ve pretty much been trying to lose weight for the last 8 years or so. That includes during training for all my halfs. This year is no different. And yes, I’d still love to drop about 5 pounds, but I decided to try something different, at least during the last few weeks.

I didn’t worry as much about what I ate. I’m not saying I went crazy, or didn’t continue to plan my meals, or be mindful of sugar. But I decided this training cycle it was more important to eat some extra carbs and maybe be just a bit heavier. As long as my clothes are comfortable, I’m okay!

And speaking of okay, yes, I’m about 3 pounds heavier than I’d like to be — I know that sounds like nothing, but for a petite girl that can make a big difference in how my clothes fit. So while I’m not saying my clothes are uncomfortable, they are a wee bit tighter than I’d like.

What will my night before race meal be?
Normally I like sushi. But since I was in a group for my last half, pizza and cheese garlic bread it was. And then there was that surprising PR.

Maybe I should go for cheese garlic sticks again? Nothing much better than cheesy garlic bread if you ask me.

Finding the time
I spent just under 6 hours running in my peak week of running, which was actually a total of 29 miles.

So why does it seem like it was all consuming? We have 168 hours in a week, so seriously, 6 hours shouldn’t be a burden. Of course, there’s changing, driving to an area to run in, warming up, foam rolling, showering, eating a recovery snack . . . it’s not really just 6 hours.

Still it seems like it should at least have been about 20 hours!

And then of course there’s the thought that that’s like running a marathon. Only spread out over a week. So no, not so much like running a marathon.

I’ve seen the signs
Everyone keeps telling me on I’m track for a PR. I know that it all comes down to race day; no matter how hard you’ve worked for it, a PR is never a given. I also know I do better if I don’t put that sort of pressure on myself, even if I did tell Rachel @ Runningonhappy that I wanted to work towards a PR.

The main reason I did tell her I wanted to work towards a PR was that the course should be flat and fast and since it’s early spring, there’s hope for favorable weather.

Whatever, I truly intend to enjoy my race (and carry a little extra water in case).

But Thursday, I saw the signs! As I left to go to my chiropractor appointment, I was passed by a Smuttynose truck. I’ve never seen one here. And Smuttynose was my triumphant return to running after a really bad half and intense bout of ITBS.

Then who should I run into while at the chiropractor’s? My running buddy, whom I kept meaning to email (she’s not on social media, dammit), but hadn’t gotten around to. We hadn’t seen each other in a couple of months.

Another timely affirmation

Are these really signs? Who knows, but I’m going to take them as such!


Come run Utah with me
Don’t forget that code crj15 gets you 15% off of your registration for the Utah Valley Marathon (your choice of three race distances). The price goes up on March 2, so register today!

I’m running the half, and quite a few other bloggers will be racing, too.

Disclaimer: I make a small amount of money if you register using my code.
A surprising find

Bandit update
Speaking of things I’ve never seen before . . . the photo above. Oh sure, every once in a while they share a bed. For like 30 seconds.

This time they stayed side by side for a good 10 minutes, while I went downstairs to retrieve the good camera (taking a few shots with my ipod first because I was sure they’d never be together when I came back up).

Talk to me. Tell me in the comments:

Would you rather drop a few pounds to be comfortable or eat all the carbs?

Do you believe in signs? If you do, do you remember the last one you saw?

Got any NOLA restaurant recommendations for me? Or any tips about NOLA?

I’m linking up with Amanda at Running with Spoons for her:

Thursdays are for thinking out loud

I want to run like a dog


Or is that live like a dog?

Or any animal, really
Mindfulness. In the now. Being present. Animals, it seems, are the ultimate yogis. I’ve actually taken to calling Bandit Mr. Yogi because of his frequent down dogs. Of course Lola does them too, and Gizmo, but it just struck a chord with me with Bandit.

Animals don’t worry about the future. They don’t spend time contemplating their past. It’s why they’re so darn happy to see you, whether you’ve been gone for 5 minutes or a week.

Dogs run because they love to run. They don’t worry about how fast they’re running, or if those tights make their butt look big, they don’t worry about injury, they don’t even worry if they don’t have all 4 legs!

Dogs run because they love to run!

Being fully present is the best guarantee for a bright future.
— Guy Finley

The time crunched runner
That was me a few weeks ago — it was my peak week of running and because we took the time to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her, instead of just losing one day that week, I lost two.

So I headed out for a 7 mile easy run on what should have been a picture perfect day for it, which was a real gift. Instead of being in the present, though, I was worried about squeezing in the run in time to make it home to shower before meeting with the new pet sitter.

Little wonder that those 7 miles just seemed to drag on and on and brought me little joy.

Buddha mindfullnes is about the present, but I also think it’s about being real. Being awake to everything. Feeling like nothing can hurt you if you can look it straight on.
— Krista Tippett

So what’s the time crunched runner to do?
I really wish I could get that day back, but I can’t.  As runners we all have all sorts of tricks to get us through the bad runs, but we seem to forget about one of the best tricks of all: being present. Not worrying about what comes next or checking things off of your to-do list, but just being full present to what you’re doing in the moment.

So how can we turn off our brains and really show up for our runs?

  • Take several deep breaths before you start your warm up or your run
  • Contemplate why you’re doing this run before you start
  • Try a music-podcast free run
  • Take a moment to feel the sun on your face or enjoy the beauty of nature around you
  • Concentrate on your breath while you’re running

Unless you try to do something beyond what you have already mastered, you will never grow.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

You may also surprise yourself. You may just give yourself a little burst of confidence. You may grow as a runner.

A few mindfulness resources
I went looking for a few other articles on mindfulness and running:

Do you practice mindfulness while running? Any tips for us?

I’m linking up with with MCM Mama Runs, Marcia’s Healthy Slice, and My No Guilt Life for the Tuesdays on the Run linkup.


This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup


Spring Blizzard Stella: 3/13-19 Weekly Wrap

You’ll notice, probably, that there wasn’t as much activity as normal. Not a lot of dog walking. Not much cross training. Not as much strength work.

Yes, a lot of that was due to the blizzard, because when I wasn’t running on the treadmill, I was shoveling. Maybe Stella came along at a good time for me and prevented me from overdoing things? Although if you’ve ever shoveled two feet of snow, you know it’s a workout. Good thing Mr. Judy uses the snow blower on most of it.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and am into my taper — I always love me a taper.


Workouts update

  • Monday: Iron Strength Glutes Blaster, Dogwalk Pilates Rapid Results Arms, Buns & Thighs
  • Tuesday: 6 miles (4 @ tempo)
  • Wednesday: 4 miles easy
  • Thursday:  6 miles speedwork
  • Friday: Iron Strength Abbreviated, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Dogwalk
  • Sunday: 8 Mile LSD & a massage

Mileage: 24 (-6)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

When a blizzard hits, I hit the treadmill for 6

Did you hear the one about Blizzard Stella? Yeah, unfortunately they got that forecast right. So in between shoveling paths for the dogs so they didn’t disappear forever and freeze to death, I ran my tempo run on the treadmill.

I’d already whine the previous evening to Rachel @ Runningonhappy to not make me do 6, and she said 5 was okay. But once I got on there — no, it wasn’t easy, but what’s one more mile? Maybe it felt a little easier? Maybe?

Pre indoor run in fleece lined tights


I seriously did not want to be back on the treadmill but . . . still cold and super windy. Hardly worth going out twice (errands earlier in the day), which makes Bandit super anxious and can lead to bathroom issues . . . hoping this is my last treadmill run for a while.



Another tough speed workout! 8 x 400m with 200m recovery (plus warmup & cooldown, of course). And while I could have run outside, it was bitterly cold, super windy — yes, still — and I spent my third day in a row on the treadmill. A first, I think.

Somewhere in the fourth mile I couldn’t remember if I was in the middle or the beginning of the little 400m track on my treadmill . . . pretty sure I screwed up and no doubt ended up not running as hard for as long as I should’ve.

Still, the 400m were at 6.2 mph, which for me is super fast (and yes, it wasn’t easy either — especially not for 3 miles!).

I wore a skirt for this run!

Really does not show the amount of snow there!


I finally met up with Darlene for a run for the first time in many months. Our schedules just haven’t meshed much lately, due to her job and my working on my parents’ house.

And in the first time in what seems like forever, the weather was great. We met up at the park  and there was a lot of looping, as not all the paths are cleared, but the ones that were were fine.

As always when running with Darlene, I sometimes ran a little faster than I probably would have on my own. I keep an eye on my pace, though, and dial it back down when I realize we’re running at a pace that’s too fast for me to maintain for 8 miles.

Nothing beats a little face to face time and it was really nice to catch up.


Favorites of the week
No scrumptious desserts this week — I’ll have a few next week, no doubt! And while Blizzard Stella could hardly be called a favorite, it did give me a few photo opps:

Just liked the shapes the snow made

Our front door with roughly 2 feet of snow blocking it

A winter wonderland — just in time for spring!

It’s a team effort with Mr. Judy snow blowing & me shoveling pitstops for the dogs

If Bandit wanted to escape, he missed his chance

Here’s why we need to make paths in the backyard
What those photos doesn’t show is the cold. And wind. And the cold all that snow pumps out. And the fact that there are very few places to get a long run in without snow shoes — the good news being it was my last long run before my race, meaning it wasn’t as long.

Of course the run with Darlene was a favorite. Running into my running buddy and catching up with her, too, although unfortunately she has some sad news. And a massage.

And that’s a wrap 


This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

What temperature would you like it to be now? 

Any exciting Spring vacations coming up?

Do you lose track of speedwork repeats?