Monthly Archives: January 2012

Atlanta Underground Market – Brunch Version

Yesterday, I went to the Atlanta Underground Market with Laura, her friend Felix, Heather and her husband Kirk. The Atlanta Underground Market is a monthly event where 30-40 different vendors, mostly home cooks and small businesses, sell their goods to people that otherwise might not get the chance to try them. The location is revealed in an email the day before the event. The entrance fee is $5 and the dishes are anywhere from $1-$5 each and are of various sizes.

Even though this event is somewhat secretive, a lot of people seem to be in the know and there was a line around the building to get in.

#Line at the Atlanta Undergroudn Market#

Fortunately, it moved fast once people were let inside. I’d been to the Underground Market once before, but this time was different because this month they focused on brunch foods. Now, truth be told, I’m not the biggest brunch fan. Don’t get me wrong; I like it just fine, but it’s not my favorite meal of the day. That said, I was still excited to try some new foods. And new foods I did try!

First were some gluten-free pancakes from Dr. Sweets Cake Emporium. Laura and I split an order of two and tried both the apple-jalapeno jelly and the raspberry lime jelly.

#Dr. Sweets Gluten-Free Pancakes#

Next was a Bloody Maria mini cupcake from S’more cupcakes. Sounds kind of weird, but tasted delicious. It was savory, despite looking like it’d be sweet.


After the savory cupcake, it was time for another sweet treat, this time in the form of a Strawberry Margarita cookie from Cookie Underground. These cookies actually contain vegetables (this one was Lime Beet thin with Tequila Strawberry Cream rolled in Turbinado Sugar, to be exact). You would never know it though, because they were delicious.

#Cookie Underground Strawberry Margarita Cookie#

After stopping at a few tables, we wandered around some to see our options. Last month was the first time I went to the Atlanta Underground Market and I didn’t have a strategy. I ended up buying the first five or so things that I saw and got too full to try some other things. This time, I knew that I needed to conserve my hunger until I figured out all my options.

Here’s an option that I didn’t try…

#Dad's Nads#

…it’s what you think it is.

We decided to wait in line for the most popular item in the market – arepas from Arepa Mia. Last month, I opted to not wait in the very long line for an arepa, but after hearing everyone rave about them, I decided that it was time to try them. We waited in line for at least half an hour before making our way to the front.

#Arepas from Arepa Mia Atlanta#

I was sort of worried that they might run out of the vegetarian arepas, but fortunately, they did not.

#vegetarian arepa mia#

After that, we were tired and full and we parted our separate ways. My separate way included to my bed, where I spent the next two hours in a food coma. Well worth it though!

Eight Miles – Done!

Eight miles is my favorite distance to run. That is, provided I’m in decent enough shape that I can run it. It’s long enough that I feel pretty accomplished but short enough that I don’t need to spend the rest of the day with my feet propped up on the couch. (Need being the operative word, I probably still do lie on the couch after running any distance.)

Eight miles was on my training plan for this weekend. Even though I usually enjoy the distance, the thought of running it by my house was less than thrilling. I have some loops that I run, but they’re all on main roads and they’re not pretty and people always seem to want to honk their damn horn at the runner on the sidewalk. In other words, not the best running environment.

Instead of dealing with all that, I decided to go to the Silver Comet Trail instead. The Silver Comet Trail is about 40 minutes away. It’s far enough that I have to really decide that I’m going there, it can’t be a spur of the moment thing. The weather was really nice on Saturday though, so I made the decision to drive there.

First, I had to pick up some pants that I had altered. My plan was to also stop at REI to pick up some Gu but it was out of the way, so I hoped that I would be okay with out it. It took a while to get there because I went a weird way to stop off at the dry-cleaners, but I had a nice view of the city at least.

#skyline at freedom parkway#

I stopped at a gas station to pick up some Gatorade. I hoped that would be an okay substitute for the missing Gu. Did you know that you can buy boiled peanuts at RaceTrac? Neither did I. I never had boiled peanuts until I moved to Georgia, but I actually really like them.

#boiled peanuts racetrac gas station#

Moving on.

The trail was pretty crowded, but not horribly so and I parked my car and was on my way. The good thing about this trail for me (it’s a paved trail, by the way) is that I’ve run it so many times that I can break it up into sections. For example, I know that there’s a bridge at .75 miles, another right after 2, etc. I find that looking forward to my little checkpoints or whatever you’d call them is a good way to break up the monotony. Because even though this trail is very pretty, it’s also pretty boring.

It’s boring, but it’s flat. The race I’m training for is not flat so I do like to train on hills sometimes, however, doing a nice, flat run is a good confidence booster because my times are faster than normal.

I ran at a relaxed pace although towards the end I sort of speeded up because I wanted to be finished. I felt really great until the last mile and then my hips felt really sore. That always happens to me; the last mile is super hard no matter what the distance. Here are my mile splits:

1. 10:46
2. 10:22
3. 10:30
4. 11:06
5. 10:18
6. 9:50
7. 9:49
8. 10:06

Hello negative splits. Nice to see you.

#silver comet trailhead mavell road#

Eights miles – done!

The High Cost of Drinking

I decided to end my alcohol-free month a couple of days early. I really wanted a glass of wine (okay fine, two glasses) with dinner last night. Aside from the two glasses of wine that I had two weeks ago, this was the first time that I’d drank in about a month. Four drinks in a month doesn’t sound like such a little amount, but really it is. There were two specific times when it felt really weird not to drink – one when we went out for a friend’s birthday to a wine bar and then to a pool hall and the other was when we made sushi at a friend’s house. Basically, when Jason and I were alone, it wasn’t weird not to drink because the other person wasn’t either, but when we were with friends that did drink, it did feel odd.

When I say the high cost of drinking, I’m not talking about cost as in risk; I’m talking about the actual cost. I didn’t really think about it before, but alcohol can be really expensive. The primary thing that I noticed about not drinking wasn’t that I was losing weight (I maybe lost a pound) or that I felt better (although I did, but I typically don’t drink so much that I get a hangover), it was that when we went out to dinner, the bills ended up being so cheap!

While I was unemployed, we got into the habit of almost solely going to restaurants that had a Scoutmob deal available. It was a fun way to try new places and it was cheaper. The way that Scoutmob works, if you are unfamiliar, is that you get 50% off your total bill up to a certain amount. Restaurants are usually anywhere from $10-$25 depending on how pricey the restaurant is.

Last night, we decided to go to Urban Pl8, also on Scoutmob. I’d been there once, probably a year or so ago, and Jason had never. We got stuck in some horrible traffic on the way there and didn’t get there until 8:45. The restaurant closed at 9:30, but it was still packed, so we went in anyway. I always feel sort of bad going to a place right before it closes, but why are they only opened until 9:30 on a Friday night?

Urban Pl8 is really off the beaten path. It’s in a trendy area, but way down this random street and you’d never know it was there if you didn’t know about it. The interior is small and industrial looking.

#Urban Plate interior#

There was a little bit of a wait, so we started out at the bar, where I ordered the aforementioned glass of wine.

#glass of wine savignon blanc#

For my entree, I had the veggie burger. It was on the smaller side, although you can’t really tell that in the picture, but it was good.

#veggie burger#

I don’t usually post pictures of Jason’s food, but he declared his cheeseburger one of the top five that he’s had in Atlanta which is a major compliment as he likes to fashion himself as a cheeseburger aficionado.


Our bill ended up being $37 after the Scoutmob discount which is pretty decent for a nice place. However, you know what our bill would have been if we hadn’t been drinking (I had two glasses of wine and Jason had three beers)? $8. Yes, $8. Both of our entrees were on the less expensive side at $8 each so 50% of that would have been $8. So we spent nearly $30 extra dollars on alcohol. Part of the issue is that I get wine which is anywhere from $6-$9 a glass (I usually don’t get glasses that are more expensive) and while I only have two, sometimes three, that adds up!

If we didn’t drink when we went out, or at least drastically cut down, think of all the money that we would save! And with that saved money, we can buy expensive ice cream instead!

#so delicious coconut milk ice cream#

FYI – I thought it was too icy and minty tasting.

Two More

I’m still working my way through the Eating Well 25 Quick Vegetarian recipes. Last weekend, I made the Egyptian Edamame Stew.

#Egyptian Edamame Stew Eating Well#

I didn’t make any changes to the recipe besides adding a little bit of feta cheese to the top. When I first read this recipe, I wondered how stew like it would be since there was no broth. However, the juices from the canned tomatoes did make it stew-like. This was decent, but not wonderful. I probably won’t make it again. It was sort of bland.

I got home a little earlier tonight (7:30 as opposed to 8; I ran four miles instead of running and weight lifting) so I didn’t feel as rushed/famished as I did last night and I was able to make another recipe: the Southwestern Tofu Scramble.

#Eating Well Tofu Scramble#

I changed the recipe a little bit according to what I had on hand. Instead of corn, I used frozen peppers and instead of scallions, I used a quarter of an onion. I wasn’t sure if Jason would like this or not since he’s just sort of meh on tofu dishes, but we were both big fans. I would definitely make this again.

I have been struggling to find a good place to take pictures. For some reason, the white balance gets all wonky when I shoot at my dining room table so I’m constantly trying to find a better place. I decided that the dining room floor might work. Murphy did not understand that food on the floor does not equal food for Murphy.


(He didn’t get any. But maybe I should reconsider my photography setup anyway.)

Where Did the Day Go?

Today felt busy. Tuesday’s are my double workout day meaning that I do weights and run. My legs are fresh from taking Monday as a rest day so usually it goes by pretty quickly. Today, however, I was tired. Starting a new job is exhausting. I’m sure some of it is because before yesterday, I hadn’t gone to work since November, but I think a bigger part of it is just trying to learn so much new stuff in such a short amount of time. I remember feeling tired for a while when I started my last job too.

Nevertheless, I went to the gym after work. Fortunately, there is an LA Fitness literally 5 minutes from my office and even more fortunately, it wasn’t that crowded at 6:15 pm. I did my weights and halfway into it, a man stopped me and corrected my form. I never know how I feel about this when it happens. On one hand, if I’m doing something wrong, I’m not doing it on purpose and would rather learn to do it correctly. But on the other hand, it’s not really anyone else’s business how I’m lifting weights. This was just a random dude, not a person that works for the gym. I don’t know how I feel about someone trying to help me. I guess I should just take advantage and remember that they really are trying to be helpful.

By the time I finished my weight routine and my three mile run, it was already 7:30 and I live about 20 minutes from the gym by my office. Making a home cooked dinner was obviously not happening! Fortunately, I went to Trader Joe’s over the weekend.


Entire dinner – Vegetarian Pizza, organic arugula and Goddess dressing – brought to you by Trader Joe’s. My long day wasn’t over after I ate though; I had a freelance writing assignment to work on. I’m not sure if I’ve ever mentioned this, but I write deals for a daily deal website (called Home Run) a few times a week.

By the time I got everything done, it was after ten. Where did the day go? I guess that’s what happens when you go to the gym for an hour and 15 minutes after work. I might need to reevaluate my double workouts.

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