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Nike Women’s Half Marathon Entry Winner #2: Congrats to Karla!

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Last month, Whole Foods Market, Nike and I gave away 2 entries to the sold out Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco.

I wanted you to meet the entry winners, so you might perhaps comment below and cheer them on for the upcoming race on October 19th! Maybe you’ll even look them up in the race results following the race.

The second entry winner is Karla Euler from Jackson, GA. I asked Karla to share a little bit about herself, her daily diet, and how she is preparing for the race:

I am a 52 year old US Army Vet, mother of 3 grown daughters and grandmother to two beautiful grandchildren, both age 5.  I grew up in Southern California and now live in Jackson, GA.  I work as a Deputy Court Clerk so I spend most days inside a building which drives me to spend my off days outside as much as possible!  I enjoy yard work, hiking, swimming, biking, pretty much anything that will keep me outside and spending time with my family :)

karla 2

 I have always tried to maintain a healthy life style and I did up until my 2 grandchildren were born. I found myself making many excuses not to eat right or exercise just so I could spend all my spare time with my grand kids. The Nike Women’s Half Marathon will be my first and has given me the motivation and determination to get myself back into a healthy life style. I have ran numerous 5k and 10k’s in the past, but I am super excited about the SF Half!!  I have been diligently training for this and have loved getting back into exercise and healthy eating. I have more energy overall and feel better physically and mentally both.

The following is a typical day of eating for me:

A Cup of Black Coffee and then out for a run; I find that I do better when I don’t eat before a long run as I tend to eat dinner pretty late at night.

Breakfast:
Bowl of Oatmeal and a Banana, Black Coffee

Lunch:
Deli sandwich on wheat bread, cottage cheese with fruit

Dinner:
Baked Fish, yellow rice, garden salad, glass of milk

Additionally, I do take a multi-vitamin, fish oil, calcium supplement, and glucosamine tablet daily as well as drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated.

karla 1

Thanks to Karla for submitting her story to cavegrrl.com. I am hoping to meet her on the day of the run and wish her luck in person! :) Thanks to Nike and Whole Foods for allowing me to give two other women the chance to run in the race.

You can find Whole Foods on Facebook here and on twitter here. My local store is in Roseville on Facebook here.

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You can find the Run Nike Women’s Series and more information on the race on Facebook here.


National Pizza Month: Gluten Free Options Galore at California Pizza Kitchen!

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Happy National Pizza Month!! Yes, October is National Pizza Month, and to celebrate, Andy and I are selflessly sacrificing being strict Paleo ;) to try out some gluten free pizza options available in the area.

I can’t think of a more iconic place to begin the celebration than California Pizza Kitchen!

It’s been about 6 months since the renovation of California Pizza Kitchen at Arden Fair. This location of California Pizza Kitchen features The Next Chapter menu–updated with fresh and exciting dishes. We were invited to the event along with other local writers and were so impressed by the improvements that I decided I should eventually do a solo feature on their gluten free menu.

Of course, gluten free is a growing trend and a tasty gluten free pizza is in high demand. Especially for a pair of distance runners like Andy and me! :)

Here’s are the pizzas that now come gluten free (including the CPK classic BBQ Chicken pizza:

menu
Andy and I decided to order two salads and two pizzas. Hey, I had planned (and completed) a 10 mile training run the next day! :)

There are several salads on California Pizza Kitchen’s menu that are gluten free. We chose the Cobb Salad: Nueske’s applewood smoked bacon, avocado, chicken, tomatoes,
chopped egg, beets, fresh basil and Gorgonzola with housemade bleu cheese dressing (on the side). OK, so I love Cobb Salad and pretty much order it whenever possible. I have said in the past that a Cobb might possibly be my choice for last meal on Earth. I know that might sound a little odd, but the combination of chicken, avocado, bacon, and blue cheese crumbles is pretty much my favorite thing. New pizza variety perhaps? ;)

cobb

We also tried the Moroccan Spiced Chicken Salad with Roasted butternut squash, dates, avocado, toasted almonds, beets, red peppers, chopped egg, cranberries, and tossed with housemade Champagne vinaigrette.

moroccan chicken
The Morroccan Spiced Chicken salad was a refreshing take on a dinner salad. I loved the fall notes (cranberry) with the perfectly cooked butternut squash. The salads we ordered were the smaller size on the menu, so I can assure you, the portions are very generous.

Speaking of generous portions, the pizzas came out next! We ordered the Margarita pizza with Italian tomatoes with fresh Mozzarella, basil and Parmesan. Now, I haven’t had real pizza dough in as long as I can remember, but I have had about 10-20 different gluten free doughs since adopting a gluten free diet 3 1/2 years ago. I was pretty impressed with the texture and chew of the dough and the almost crispy edges of the crust. I also liked the sauce and cheese ratio on the pizza–as in, there was plenty of it! (See the slice on the lower right with the extra tomato? Mmmm. That’s the first slice I took! Sorry, Andy!)

margherita
And because we are meat lovers, we couldn’t pass up the Mushroom Pepperoni Sausage pizza with Cremini mushrooms, rustic pepperoni, spicy Italian sausage, fresh torn basil, Mozzarella and wild Greek oregano. I loved the huge chunks of sausage on this pie. Andy liked the fact that the pizza was cut into real wedges as opposed to squares. I was just having fun eating pizza with my best friend, no matter how you slice it. Pizza is something we just don’t get to have a lot of anymore, so it’s a pleasure to find a good gluten free alternative.

pepperoni sausage mushroom
For our wine pairing, we ordered a Malbec from Mendoza, Argentina. A reasonably priced, full bodied red wine that reminded me more of a Cabernet. That was not an insult to wine, because typically a Cabernet is a finer wine than Malbec. Andy is always puzzled by my wine tastes and why I like a cheaper Malbec, but my taste in Cabernet is ultra expensive. :) Bodega Tamarí is part of Viña San Pedro Tarapacá, Chile´s second largest group in the wine industry, selling over 27 million cases of wine yearly and exporting wine to 80 countries worldwide.

malbec
I really loved the gluten free pizza at California Pizza Kitchen and I am so happy this restaurant is now giving gluten free people an option besides salad. With the revamped menu and new choices available along with the updated interior, California Pizza Kitchen is a perfect choice for parties or large groups of people. There’s really something for everyone on the menu and it no longer feels like a cafeteria inside the restaurant. Everything on the menu is reasonably priced, making it a good spot for family night out or even a first date.

California Pizza Kitchen has also recently begun a rewards program called Pizza Dough. For every $100 you spend, you get $5 in rewards, redeemable on your next visit. Also, as an incentive to join the program, you get a FREE small plate when you register.

Special thanks to the marketing team I worked with to produce this piece and to Brendon, the Assistant General Manager of California Pizza Kitchen at Arden Fair. I’ll have to try some of those New Zealand Pinot Noirs you told us about. :)

You can find California Pizza Kitchen on Facebook here and follow them on twitter here.


Farm to Fork Wine Dinner Series: Piatti Presents Matchbook on Wednesday, October 8th!

I am very excited to share this event with you put on by my long time advertiser, Piatti Sacramento.
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Matchbook
I’ll be attending the dinner and writing about it afterwards. I am really looking forward to the pairing of some of my very favorite wines with food by one of Sacramento’s best chefs, Lance Carlini! If you want to attend, call 916-649-8885. Hurry, space is limited and will sell out!

You can find Matchbook Wines on Facebook here and on Twitter here. Piatti Sacramento is on Facebook here and on Twitter here.


Nike Women’s Half Marathon Entry Winner #1: Congrats to Cathy!

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You might recall a few weeks ago that Whole Foods Market, Nike and I gave away 2 entries to the sold out Nike Women’s Half Marathon in San Francisco.

I wanted you to meet the entry winners (I’ll be featuring one today and one next week), so you might perhaps comment below and cheer them on for the upcoming race on October 19th! Maybe you’ll even look them up in the race results following the race.

The first entry winner is Cathy Wiggs-Hong from the Los Angeles, California area. I asked Cathy to share a little bit about herself, her daily diet, and how she is preparing for the race:

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Hi my name is Cathy.  I am a 34 year old mother of 3 girls ages 9, 4 and 1.5.  I am a stay at home mom with the girls now, but I previously worked as a pediatric physical therapist.  I love to be active, and enjoy all outdoor activities.  As a family, we love to go to the beach, the pool, and Disneyland.

The Nike Women’s half marathon will be my second half.  I’ve completed many shorter distance races, but have actually come to enjoy the training and actual race of the 13,1 miles.  I try to eat pretty healthy in general, as I am still nursing my youngest child, but I often find it difficult to keep it as healthy as I’d like because of how busy I am.

I find that when I food prep I eat much healthier, that is something I am striving to get more consistent with.  I’ve also noticed that when I “eat clean” I feel so much better both physically and mentally, that is real motivation for me to try and keep it up.

The following food journal is what I ate today and is pretty typical of what I normally eat.

Breakfast: Yogurt with strawberries and blueberries
Snack: Baked mini flat pretzels and dill havarti cheese, honey crisp apple (shared with the littlest)
Lunch: Grilled chicken breast with side salad
Dinner: BBQ’d hamburger with lettuce and avocado, baked sweet potato fries

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Water throughout the day, as well as a multivitamin, glucosamine supplement, calcium, and a broad spectrum antioxidant supplement.

On days that I run, I also have a protein bar or shake following my runs.

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Thanks to Cathy for submitting her story to cavegrrl.com. I am hoping to meet her on the day of the run and wish her luck in person! :) Thanks to Nike and Whole Foods for allowing me to give two other women the chance to run in the race.

You can find Whole Foods on Facebook here and on twitter here. My local store is in Roseville on Facebook here.

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You can find the Run Nike Women’s Series and more information on the race on Facebook here.


River Run for Youth Wrap Up

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Last Saturday, I ran the River Run for Youth in West Sacramento. I wanted to circle back and report on what a great time I had at the race, and give a little bit more about its beneficiary, Collings Teen Center.

I asked Gary Fox, executive director of Campus Life Connection (the non-profit organization that administrates Collings Teen Center) for some more information about the center itself and about how the idea for the River Run for Youth began.

Cavegrrl:
Can you tell me a little more about the services Collings Teen Center provides?

Gary Fox:
The Teen Center offers afterschool options including: tutoring, recreation, field trips, camps, competition, free afternoon meal and service projects. The age for the teen center participants is middle school through high school. The program is for any young person in the West Sacramento area and it is free.

Cavegrrl:
How did the idea of a 5K come to mind as a fundraiser?

Gary Fox:
The idea started with a group of people who wanted to do something to support the center and the next steps included talking to several people who have been doing runs to find out how to put one together, who should we talk to about managing the event and helping with logistics, where should we hold it and who should we talk to about participating.

Cavegrrl:
How did you get Capital Road Race Management and Fleet Feet involved with the race?

Gary Fox:
Both groups have been very helpful and responded with coaching and ideas when we approached them to do a run.

Cavegrrl:
Are you hoping to make the race an annual event?

Gary Fox:
We are planning our next year’s event now, having learned so much from this first year we are excited about the possibilities for the next one.

Cavegrrl:
Besides running the race, how can people donate to Collings Teen Center? Also, do you take volunteers?

Gary Fox:
We encourage people to visit and see what is going on and how the program impacts young people, we accept donation of cash, but we also accept food, clothing and other items as needs arise. We are always looking for volunteers who will be consistent and build relationships with young people.

Thanks, Gary!

dinger 6 min mile
I mentioned that I ran in the race (3.1 miles) as one leg of 11.25 miles I ended up running that day. I finished 2nd in my division (30-39) and took home a nice glass tumbler and medal for it :) Below is my Garmin readout from the race with a map of the course.

river run

 

Speaking of the course, I will say it’s a not a flat one.  There are some hills in there. And if you’re a good cross country runner, you would really like it, as only about 1.5 miles of the race are on paved roads. The rest is gravel and dirt. :) And you finish right on the baseball field, which is again, dirt. :) Below are my official results:

race results

Here’s the link to the rest of the official race results: CLICK HERE

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If you have the chance, come out and run with us next year!

The Collings Teen Center invests in the lives of young people in the West Sacramento Community. Our purpose is to Embrace, Engage and Empower.

Designed to be a safe place where young people will always feel welcomed to hangout after school, a place where computers, basketball, games and activities are blended with tutoring, community service, educational seminars, and trips outside the area, job training and connection to men and women who are leaders in the community.

Young people need caring adults in their lives that will be a positive influence, listen to their issues, encourage good decisions, and celebrate their successes.

You can follow the River Run for Youth on twitter here and find them on Facebook here.


Pinot on the River Runs Through Healdsburg on October 26th!

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Pinot on the River
 is a fun filled weekend of Pinot Noir in the beautiful Russian River Valley town of Healdsburg, California. Guests of the event can sit with the winemakers and other Pinot-loving consumers as the festival focuses on limited productionWest Coast Pinot Noirs. Sunday’s Pinot Noir Grand Tasting will feature over 100 wineries plus guest Artisan Food Vendors all on the downtown Healdsburg Plaza Square,  it’s a Sonoma County wine weekend you won’t want to miss.

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Here’s the day’s schedule:
Sunday, October 26th

11 a.m. to 12 noon – Grand Tasting Opens -
Artisanal Pinot Noir Grand Tasting Early access.

12 noon to 4 p.m. – Artisanal Pinot Noir Grand Tasting – General Admission
Taste current releases, special bottlings and library wines from 100 top Pinot producers from up and down the West Coast at this “full immersion” walkaround tasting.

3PM
Judges will award “Special Achievement in Pinot Noir” Trophies.

3:30 PM
Giant check Presentation to Boys & Girls Clubs.

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Wineries scheduled to be present at Pinot on the River are:
Abiouness Wines
Alexander Valley Vineyards
Alysian Wines
Anaba Wines
Angel Camp
Artisan Wines of California
Attune
August West
Auteur Winery
Belle Glos Wines
Benovia Winery
Benziger Family Winery
Bien Nacido Vineyards
Black Kite Cellars
Blue Farm Wines
Brassfield Estate Winery
Bruiliam Wines
Bucher Vineyard Wines
Canihan Family Winery
Camlow Cellars
Carpenter Wines
Chenoweth Wines
Clouds Rest
Comptche Ridge Vineyards
Conarium Wines
Couloir Wines | Straight Line Wine
DeLoach Vineyards
Donelan Family Wines
DRNK Wines
E16 Wine Company
Emeritus Vineyards
Failla Wines
FEL Wines
Ferrari-Carano Vineyards
Foursight Wines
Freeman
Friedeman Wines
Furthermore Pinot Noir
Geyser Peak
Gloria Ferrer
Gracianna Winery
Willowbrook
Hahn Family Wines
Handley Cellars
Hanna Winery
Hop Kiln Vineyards
Hook and Ladder Winery
J Vineyards & Winery
Jamieson Ranch
Kanzler Vineyards
Ketcham Estate
Kobler Estate
Kokomo Winery
Landmark Vineyards
L Foppiano Wine Co
La Crema
La Follette Wines
Lando Wines
La Pitchoune Winery
LIOCO
Littorai Wines
MacPhail Wines
MacRostie Winery
Maggy Hawk Wines
Martin Ray Winery
Martinelli Winery
Matrix Winery
Masut
Meiomi Wines
Merriam Vineyards
Migration
Morgan Winery
Mueller Winery
Nunes Vineyard / St. Rose Winery
Ordaz Family Wines
Ousterhout Wine & Vineyard
Papapietro Perry
Patz & Hall
Paul Hobbs Winery
Pech Merle Winery
Pellegrini Wine Company
Peter Paul Wines
Ram’s Gate Winery
Riverbench Winery
Roadhouse Winery
Roar Wines
Reuling Vineyard
Rusack Vineyards
Russian Hill Estate
Sea Smoke
Siduri Wines
Skewis Wines
Small Vines Wines
Sojourn Cellars
Spell Estate
Talisman Wines
Ten Acre Winery
The Donum Estate
Thralls Family Cellars
TR Elliott
Trione VIneyards
Valdez Family Winery
VML Winery
Wait Cellars
Walt Wines
White Oak Vineyards & Winery
Windsor Oaks Vineyards and Winery
Wrath
Wren Hop

Do you see any of your favorites? I am looking forward to seeing my friends from Walt! This looks to be the Olympics of Pinot Noir, so if you’re a fan, don’t miss it. The draw of this event is that it showcases very small producers that you will rarely see elsewhere!

Tickets are $75 per person and $100 at the door. You can purchase tickets here. Hope to see you there! :)

Pinot on the River is on Facebook here.


Kathryn Hall 2011 Cabernet Release Party: My Heaven on Earth!

great lawn
The Cabernet Gods looked upon St. Helena with a smile on their faces last Saturday. It was the setting of the Kathryn Hall Release Party, and the release of the Kathryn Hall 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon. The ticketed party was mostly held on the great lawn at HALL Wines, featuring several stations to taste wine and food from Feast Catering.

It was an honor and privilege for Andy and I to be guests of the party and to experience it amongst true Cabernet lovers and fans of Kathryn Hall.

I felt a bit like Alice in Wonderland in the Queen’s croquet garden, surrounded by the big red vinyl couches and the delights hidden behind the shrubs on the Great Lawn.

sushi
Upon arrival, we were greeted with a glass of 2013 Hall NV Sauvignon Blanc, and behind the first set of shrubs to the right of the entrance were these tuna and cucumber rolls with finger lime and wasabi in little wooden boats (pictured above). The next station we visited was even better, serving a chilled carrot soup with radish top pistou (pictured below). It was paired with a 2012 Walt “Dutton Ranch” Russian River Chardonnay. The soup was perfect for a very warm and sunny day and its flavor was amplified with a little curry and coconut. I was tempted to have a second. ;) PS: Dutton Ranch is an excellent place of origin for a Chardonnay. Just google it and you’ll see what I mean. :)

carrot soup
Then the Bacon, Duck Fat, and Smoked Sea Salt popcorn happened! Actually, it happened just as Kathryn Hall herself officially announced the release of the 2011 Kathryn Hall Cabernet Sauvignon. Andy and I hustled to the nearest station pouring the newly christened cab to have a taste. AND THEN the fatty popcorn happened. ;) It was made fresh in a large wok and served in little paper bags. I didn’t want to seem uncouth, so I took a small serving in a paper bag instead of taking the scoop and shoveling the delectable kernels directly into my mouth! ;) Better than anything I had ever had at the movies!

Well, at least popcorn is gluten free… and for vegetarians, there was another flavor: A habanero, green onion, garlic, and chive concoction. And I think it paired a little better with the new Kathryn Hall Release because the Cabernet is still pretty young and stood up to the heat of the slightly spicy popcorn.

popcorn
We also tried a different Cabernet: a 2011 “T Bar T Ranch” cab from Alexander Valley. I couldn’t say which is my favorite because I liked them for different reasons and asking me to pick a favorite is like asking someone to pick their favorite child, and I know you don’t want to do that to me. ;)

There was a DJ positioned just in front of the great lawn, and he kept patrons happy by playing some current tunes, but also many hits from the 80s. Thanks DJ Adam Bomb, you were great and loved by the crowd. Check out his website and his client list. Pretty impressive! :)

DJ adam
Then I visited the grape crushing station and contributed to the 2014 Cabernet. So, that’s a warning to all of you out there. My feet touched some of that juice. ;) Watch and see! Here’s how you make great wine!


I was having a blast! :) I still pinch myself sometimes because I think I am dreaming. This is the life I saw for myself 10 years ago. I wanted to be in the heart of wine country standing in the sun and sipping some of the best wine in the world!

heaven on earth
Andy stayed out of the juice, and thank goodness…you don’t want to know where that guy’s feet have been. Just kidding. I think he just didn’t want to have sticky feet. :) I am so happy I crushed those grapes. I will always remember how happy I was standing in that barrel! I think the only thing that would make me happier is being a judge at next year’s Cabernet Cookoff (also held at HALL Wines).

Man, all that grape crushing worked up my appetite… (ha, just kidding…) but we were looking for another little snack to try, so we headed into the workshop and dining area. It’s basically a full open kitchen with a dining area where patrons can see demonstrations of food being prepared. Today the culinary team were demonstrating how to make sopes.

inside kitchen
They began by rolling out the dough (masa soaked in lime) into a ball and then flattening it into a disc with a little but of an impression in it. Then, post frying and draining the discs were filled with ancho chili rubbed carnitas with avocado tomatillo salsa, picked red onions & cotija cheese. They were muy delicioso!

sopes
Also in the workshop was a display and check out area where vintage Kathryn Hall Cabernets and large volumes were available for purchase.

bottles of cabernet
The 2011 is available to wine club members in this allotment: 15 bottles (750ml), 1 Magnum (1.5L) and 1 Larger Format (3L or 6L). What an incentive to join the wine club! PS: You get an invite to this amazing release party!

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We did a little bit more walking around the great lawn, and went back to hang out with a new friend we made that day! His name is Spencer and he’s straight out of Louisville, Kentucky! :) Congrats on your position at HALL Wines, and what a great place to be so young in your life. Cheers!

spencer
After we chatted with Spencer, we found Moroccan Lamb Lollipops with Pomegranate sauce! YAY!

lamb meatballs
I had a few of the meatballs, and they were spectacular just everything else I had tasted at the party. But, I had my limits, and was pretty full by this time. Andy and I decided to get one more taste of the new release before we left and we sat down at a table in the sun. This was his heartfelt thank you! :)


Along with Andy, I want to thank the PR team and social media folks at HALL Wines for making us feel like VIPs. We both had an incredible time. :)

Take a look at the fun other guests had by viewing the social media feed from the party here.

Get social with Kathryn Hall by following HALL Wines on Instagram here, on Facebook here, or on Twitter here.


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