{Friday Photos — a girl. her mamasita. both love food. today will travel.}

Today is a good day, isn’t it?

The countdown is on … I leave for Denver on Tuesday! And you guys know how much I heart D-town. This is a super-special trip because my BFF just had a sweet little baby girl — and already has a little “bee” that I just adore, and we just so happen to be celebrating her 2nd birthday while I’m there. T-minus four days!

But before I jet out to the Rockies, the countdown (in hours) is going for a long weekend up north.

I can already hear Jungle Jim’s calling my name — you really should stop in and visit next time you’re in the northwoods.

But before I go, let me recap the week.

You know that smiling face — it’s my Mamasita!

That little trickster showed up at our Team Gluten-Free 5k on Saturday to SURPRISE me. And surprise me she did. (she had been scheming with the husband and my bestie Liesel for quite some time) They were like ninjas and showed up right before the race started — out of no where.

The icing on the cake? My mama got to stay until Tuesday.

She loves food as much as this girl, so we filled up on all kinds of GF goodness while she was here.

A couple smoothie breakfasts, lunch in Cedarburg at Vintage Cafe, and a night of grilling on the balcony — my guy can make a mean steak.

While we were out and about last week, we spotted the new Fresh Market in Fox Point. They stock some GF treats I have never even seen before. And they carry Jovial GF pasta. Get in there and check it out!

Before I sent my mama on her way, I introduced her to one of my all time favorite restaurants, Bunky’s Cafe in Madison. 

We shared the hummus plate, meat lasagna, and chocolate-caramel cheesecake. Go there. As soon as you possibly can.

Oh, and after the 5k last week, we fueled up on some Luna Protein Bars — the folks at Luna were kind enough to send some of every flavor for the group to try. I’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews this week, from those who tried them. (although I wish the ingredient list was just a tad shorter, I love that they pack in the protein — 12g — for each bar, and they keep me full longer)

Like days like today, when I’m camped out at Alterra on the lake for a meeting, catching up on emails, and popping in here before I unplug for the weekend.

(Chocolate Cherry Almond is my new fave) 

But before I go, here are some recipes you could be making this weekend for your Memorial Day picnic.

What are you up to on this long, holiday weekend? Any road trips planned? Or chilling at home?

10 days of real food & the couch to 5k begins (again)

To kick off the year right, we are starting with a little real food detox.

There are plenty of detox plans out there, but I knew I wanted something basic, with no shakes or special products to purchase. Also wasn’t interested in drinking liquids only for two weeks. Basically, I just need to lay off the chips, cookies, and diet coke habits I’ve picked up this holiday season.

My sister had told me about the 100 Days of Real Food website this summer. I’m a big fan of their simple concept — eat whole foods, get rid of the processed stuff. And to be honest, (minus the last month) we try to eat that way in general.

We’re taking baby steps and doing their 10 Days of Real Food pledge, starting tomorrow and continuing through the 12th. My girl Kristi and I decided to rock the challenge together, and Mark says he’s in too — this will make it much easier at our place, to have us both on board.

He says it’s going to be a cake walk. I’m just hoping to wake up in a few days and not crave a Christmas cookie for breakfast. It will be an organized way to get back on track to eating the way we normally do.

And it helps me get working on my 2012 list right out of the gate. Not only are we going to be eating better, to “be well,” but we’re going to open up some cookbooks to inspire us. (I would love to do their 100 day challenge at some point this year too — maybe after our honeymoon.) 🙂

To go hand in hand with the better eating habits, it’s about time I get back to the gym. Consistently.

I sort of fell off the running wagon after the wedding. It’s my own fault. Wish I had someone blame, but I can’t think of anyone really.

So, I guess it’s on me.

I seem to do best when I have a game plan, so I’m going to do the Couch to 5k running plan again — and perfect timing, I just got an email with the date for our Team Gluten-Free 5k. 

We had a blast last year, and plan on more of the same for this year’s 5k — Saturday, May 19th.

Feel free to join in the fun — or tell me what you have planned for the new year. 

Ready. Set. Real Food. Go.

Team Gluten-Free 5k . Saturday, May 21st

When I started the Couch to 5k Running program in December, my body struggled to get through just 60 seconds of running. By the time I finished the program in February, I was running 30 minutes straight.

Now it’s time to put those running skills to the test. (I am no where near “real runner” status, but to this girl, this is a very big deal)

Saturday, May 21st is our 2nd Annual Team Gluten-Free 5k at Brown Deer Park.

And this time, I’m running!

But I didn’t get here alone. Luckily my guy has been my running partner over the last few months, both at the gym and when WI weather cooperated, along the lake. And my soul sister — my cheerleader. She’s been supporting me every single week of the program and now she’s running it with me too.

Want to join us?

You can RSVP on the Facebook invite, or contact me via email at celiacinthecity@gmail.com. There are GF friends running and walking, at all speeds. And if you want to just come cheer us on, that works too.

Either way, you can support us as we raise funds to benefit the Celiac Disease Foundation — with the money we raise, kiddos with Celiac Disease will have the opportunity to go to their very own summer camp.

Who’s with us?