Something New

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Do you get stuck in restaurant ruts?  Once I know what dish I like at a particular restaurant, I find it really hard to order anything else.  I like the guarantee I’ll be satisfied.  (I’m pretty sure there’s a metaphor my life in there somewhere.)


For example, I always get the veggie burger at this wonderful raw/vegan restaurant in Charlotte called Luna’s Living Kitchen.  I’ve eaten at Luna’s dozens of times and have never ordered anything different.  But today…  I branched out.  And it was good.  Really, really good.


The Gaia’s Treasure doesn’t look like much, but trust me – there were loads of goodies buried in that bowl.  Think… shitake mushrooms, carrots, and broccoli tossed in a mouth-watering ginger sesame marinade and served over veggie rich and zucchini noodles. 

IMG_6639 IMG_6636

Macaroons and samples from the nearby farmers’ market for dessert!


Let’s see..


I also went for a run!  These days, that’s something new, too (or at least, something very rare).  But I just woke up with the smallest of small urges to run. It took some self-motivating, but eventually I pulled on my running gear and opened the door… only to be confronted by rain.  I almost backed out, but then I said to myself (literally out loud while standing in the doorway), “Caitlin, you used to be a hardcore running badass who ran in rain and sleet and snow and tropical storms [side note: true story]. You can handle a little sun shower.”  So off I went.


Hardcore run, it was not. Smile But I did do 2.0 miles in walk/run fashion. And it was especially comfy in my new New Balance 880s, which I was sent to test out.  Tina over at Carrots N Cake did a great review of the shoes that I 100% agree with – these are great, cushiony sneaks!  I would definitely buy another pair once these wear down.  


Our grand plans for tonight?  Movie and pizza.  Sounds pretty good to me!



  • Kari February 4, 2012, 5:42 pm

    Yay for branching out and trying something new. Just motivating yourself out the door to run makes you a bad ass in my books. Enjoy the movie.

  • Sneakers2Sandals February 4, 2012, 6:07 pm

    Our plans are a movie and a frozen pizza 🙂 Let me just say, I am lookin’ forward to it! I also have to admit that we’re staying in partially because I do not want to leave the puppy alone tonight!

  • Christie February 4, 2012, 6:17 pm

    I am totally the same when it comes to ordering the same thing – I just can’t help myself! I must try and branch out more too 🙂

    Your evening plans sound wonderful! I think ours are going to be quite similar 🙂

  • m February 4, 2012, 6:20 pm

    Congrats on the run! I had a quick question about sprouts… I’m newly pregnant (<6 weeks so yet to go to my first prenatal visit beyond blood work) and read on your blog sprouts are bad, but it looks like the above dish has them? Do you think because the risk is lysteria that eating at a reputable place minimizes the risk?

    • CaitlinHTP February 4, 2012, 6:50 pm


      I didn’t eat the sprouts because I figure I wouldn’t miss them, but I really don’t stress out over things like listeria and have eaten raw cheeses and what not (personal choice, not saying it’s best for everyone). I HIGHLY recommend reading The Panic Free Pregnancy. It really changed the way I look at all these food rules about pregnancy and made me much calmer about things in general.

      • CaitlinHTP February 4, 2012, 6:51 pm

        Seriously, if you read one pregnancy book, read that one.

  • Michelle @ A Healthy Mrs February 4, 2012, 6:22 pm

    Movie & pizza sounds like a good night indeed! Congrats on your run!

  • Coco February 4, 2012, 6:23 pm

    Movie and pizza for me too. Rain/snow/sleeting in Baltimore. Also, thanks for your decluttering post the other day–it inspired me BIG time. I am 23 and moved out of my parents’ house over a year ago, but yet I still had a closet FULL of stuff at their place. This afternoon, I went through the whole closet and was able to save, organize, throw away, and donate so many items. It felt great. Have a great evening 🙂

    P.S. I told my boyfriend about your 60 days challenge with Molly and he was very interested. A post you may want to consider is the MALE perspective on the experiment. Sounds like your husband is supportive, and my boyfriend seemed to understand it as well. But he did have a lot of questions and mentioned that “a lot of guys would think hairy legs are gross”…which got us on a discussion about grooming and its history…For example, bikini lines have changed so many times in the past 50 years, from bushy to bare (sorry for the visual). I’d be interested in a post about how men view the experiment. Just a thought.

    • CaitlinHTP February 4, 2012, 6:51 pm

      This is a good idea! I’m trying to find some way to get men involved but I’m not sure the best way to go about it.

  • Sarena (The Non Dairy Queen) February 4, 2012, 6:59 pm

    I always order the same thing at restaurants and use the justification that I go to these places to get this meal. I need to branch out more often. I need to keep this place bookmarked for when I come to Charlotte in June! Looks delicious!

    I’m glad you enjoyed the run! Have a great night Caitlin!

  • Amy@ahealthyandhappyheart February 4, 2012, 7:10 pm

    It was a pizza and movie night for us last night! Love those nights..have fun 🙂

  • Alex @ Raw Recovery February 4, 2012, 7:34 pm

    Hey 2 miles is great! I’ve just started running in Vibrams and I absolutely love them! I remember asking you about them about a year ago and just recently I purchased a pair that were 50% off so it was a great deal. Love them!

  • Jacalyn February 4, 2012, 8:03 pm

    It was thunderstorming all day in Houston. I only got off the couch to go upstairs and play in my son’s room. I feel pretty crappy since I didn’t run, so I have decided rain or shine, I am running tomorrow! I, too, can be a bad-ass! ; )

  • Molly F. February 4, 2012, 8:18 pm

    If a company sends you free products, shouldn’t you write a more detailed review about them? It seems kind of ungrateful to just mention them in a sentence and then link to another blogger’s review.

    • Caitlin February 4, 2012, 8:58 pm

      Do you have a specific question about the shoes that I can perhaps answer for you?

      In regards to your question about how I handle product mentions… My blog isn’t a product review blog. When I am offered a product for free (which happens on a daily basis) and I actually accept it (which rarely happens – about once every two – three months) AND I like it enough to write about it on the blog (just because a blogger accepts a product doesn’t mean she has to write about it; companies understand and expect this – it’s part of public relations), I’ll mention it on the blog but rarely devote entire posts to product reviews because, again, that’s not what the blog is about. It’s not a matter of being ‘grateful’ or not but more about being authentic with my posts and the products that I choose to review. I know that most of my readers do not generally like to be inundated with long or frequent product reviews.

      That being said, if you want more info on the shoes, I’d be happy to share it with you, but Tina pretty much said it all.

      • Mizzy February 4, 2012, 10:47 pm

        I was wondering if you could speak for the stability of the shoe. Is it good for people who are pronators? or those with a neutral gait? how about heel strikers versus midfoot strikers? Also, is this a lightweight shoe? would you recommend it for racing or just training? Tina’s review leaves much to be desired…

        Also – I know this is not your intention, but mentioning that you only take a few products every few months comes across as self-righteous, and frankly, irrelevant to Molly’s point. Companies send you products because they want you to advertise them, not because they want you (personally) to have a new pair of running shoes.

        • Caitlin February 5, 2012, 10:52 am

          The shoe is designed for someone with a neutral gait. My feet tend to roll out slightly but not enough for me to switch from neutral shoes.

          No idea re: heel strikers v. midfoot strikers, but I’m a high striker and it seemed comfy.

          I wear the same shoes for training and racing so I guess I would say it works for both.

    • Miranda February 4, 2012, 9:30 pm

      Regardless of how Caitlin wants to spin it I totally agree with you Molly. I was about to comment the same thing!

      • Mary February 5, 2012, 1:43 am

        I completely agree with Molly. If you’re sent a product to test, you should test them and then write a review. If all you want to do is link to another review, you shouldn’t accept the shoes.

        • Meredith February 5, 2012, 8:52 am

          Yeah this bugged me too. I don’t have specific questions, because Tina did a good review, but if you get something for free (and not just a jar of nut butter but like a $100 pair of shoes), I would have expected more. While I appreciate Tina’s post, I have to say you linking to hers makes it seem like you didn’t even appreciate the shoes New Balance sent to you. Just my 2 cents.

  • Keri February 4, 2012, 10:02 pm

    Yay for running with new shoes 🙂 I just got some new Sauconys this week that I love. Maybe when those wear down, I’ll try the NB880s. Yay also for a movie and pizza. Unless you watch War Horse, like we just did. I really couldn’t take watching Joey suffer!

  • shrinking mommy of 2 February 4, 2012, 10:46 pm

    Every since I started running almost 2 years now I run in New Balance! LOVE THEM!

  • Nina February 4, 2012, 10:47 pm

    As someone who comes to your blog to read what *you* have to say, I would have appreciated a bit more detail about the shoes rather than “they’re cushiony!” What about the arch support? Toe box width? Was the shoe true to size or did you have to go up or down to get a comfortable fit? Are they too heavy for long distances?

    You share so much about your pregnancy, work-life balance issues, and your fitness regimen. A nice paragraph about a pair of sneakers you’ve endorsed 100% doesn’t seem like an outrageous request.

    • Caitlin February 5, 2012, 10:48 am

      Hey Nina!

      toe box width was big – lots of room. I liked that because my toes are wide 🙂

      Shoe was pretty true to size. I think the larger toe box makes it seem larger but overall, it was true to size.

      Considering the cushioning, I thought they were pretty light. My non-super cushioned sneakers seemed heavier. I don’t know if they would be good for long distances because I haven’t tested them out yet, but I anticipate they would be.

      Thanks for reading!

  • Khushboo February 4, 2012, 11:18 pm

    Two miles bears 0 miles- way to go! I’m guilty of ordering the sane items at restaurants- probably reflects my low-risk personality!

  • Luv What You Do February 4, 2012, 11:52 pm

    I had a fun night getting together with my college girlfriends and their families. We enjoyed catching up and digging into our college favorite, spinach dip! Afterwards, it was a pitcher of beer with boyfriend before heading home for comfies and tea : )

    BTW, I love your stretch picture. It totally captures the moment!

  • Sarah@The Flying ONION February 5, 2012, 7:24 am

    I’ll have to check out those sneaks! 😀

  • Chelsea @ One Healthy Munchkin February 5, 2012, 7:57 am

    I’m the worst at always ordering the same thing at a particular restaurant! That’s why I like restaurants with changing seasonal menus because then I am forced to get out of my rut. 😀

  • Life's a Bowl February 5, 2012, 8:13 am

    You used the rain as your motivator and I used rain as my excuse 😛 No sweat Saturday makes for a much needed sweaty Sunday!

  • Katie @ Peace Love & Oats February 5, 2012, 8:18 am

    Yay for getting out there and running! I’m about to head to Bikram, I always go to the first class so I don’t have time to think about it and change my mind!

  • Dooda February 5, 2012, 10:52 am

    I think you are absolutely right.

    Many running shoe manufacturers would like healthy living bloggers to improve their running so when they claim to be a badass runner, readers will actually believe it.

    Don’t get bogged down with negative comments. They are just angry because they didn’t get the new shoes and had to buy them like rest of us. Their loss.

    I am sure if you had any time left after taking pictures of your meals/cropping/editing them and posting them on the blog, you would have certainly written two paragraphs about the shoes.

    I respect you more for not writing it and babbling things like foot strike/stability/cushion/cute etc.

    • Caitlin February 5, 2012, 10:55 am

      Hey Dooda – Thanks for reading and for your nice words. I truly don’t mind comments asking me to do something differently. 🙂 I don’t expect I can make everyone happy the first time around (or even the seventh… hah!). It’s hard to strike a balance with product reviews, which is why I rarely do them at all. It’s nice when people request more info in a polite way, of course.

      Thanks for reading!

      • Kel February 5, 2012, 11:23 am

        Did you even read her comment?

        I’d have to agree with the other negative comments about not posting a review. It is not “what the company expects”. They send you a shoe for YOUR feedback and for advertising not for you to link to someone else’s not helpful review. I sincerely hope a NB rep and other shoe company reps are seeing this and seriously rethink sending shoes to the HLB crew.

        • Jen February 5, 2012, 11:40 am

          Yeah, I have to agree with this. It’s your decision of course! But the blog is part of your job. It’s only common courtesy, and common-sense to show some respect and appreciation to these companies that show support for blogs by doing a brief review or mention. Even if it is negative!

          Glad they work well for you though for your run!

  • lulu February 5, 2012, 11:50 am

    nevermind a review – i think a gracious “Thanks, New Balance” would also be appropriate.

    • Julie February 5, 2012, 4:07 pm

      I know it’s difficult to convey tone through text but I think Dooda was being sarcastic.

      • Caitlin February 6, 2012, 10:39 am

        I think the tone of the reply matches that of the comment.

  • Amber K February 5, 2012, 1:47 pm

    I almost always get the exact same meal when I eat out, mostly because there are still limited options to find vegetarian gluten-free foods that are filling and don’t include one of the variety of foods upset my stomach. Branching out has led to a stomachache far too often!

    I have to admit that your “review” rubbed me the wrong way at first. From reading the comments, that’s how some others took it too. But I agree that it’s your blog and to be honest, I like that you don’t do a lot of product reviews. I love your blog to read about your perspective on things and to learn new things. Not to hear about the latest and greatest product.

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