Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Nayonaise Review and Trail Running

Goodness it has been a while!

Life has been crazy over the past few weeks. Finished my second year of law school in the midst of my hard drive crashing, my car getting broken into, working two jobs, Colin and I's 3 year anniversary, and running a couple half marathons!

Phew! So pardon the pause on posts. I've been cooking lots of delicious things and have a ton coming your way :)

For now, I have a little product review and a couple trail run reviews. Enjoy!


Being a long-time lover of Veganaise, I had never tried Nayonaise, although I've heard great things about it. Nayonaise is gluten free, non-GMO AND made in the US - all things I look for in pretty much all of the products I consume.

I sampled both the Nayonaise Regular and the Nayonaise Whipped - each different in both taste and texture. I think I preferred the regular over the whipped, only because the whipped reminded me too much of Miracle Whip in terms of the texture and, even as a kid, I always preferred regular mayo to the whipped alternative. Plus the regular seems to hold up better for sandwhiches, in sauces and in dips.

The main differences I noticed between Nayonaise and Veganaise is Nayonaise has a slightly more whipped, fluffy texture, and a sweeter taste. Veganaise is a thicker, more dense texture and isn't quite as sweet. Nayonaise is a great option for things like a vegan Waldorf Salad or in something like this Spicy Aioli, paired with steamed artichokes!

Spicy Aioli
  • 3 parts Nayonaise
  • 1 part Spicy Mustard
  • 1 part Sriracha

Overall, very impressed with Nayonaise and stoked beyond belief for the free samples from the wonderful people at Nasoya/Vitasoy! For more info on Nayonaise, check out their website!

Trail Running

Since I have been out of school, a significant amount of my time has been devoted to trail running. We have had some seriously beautiful weather in Oregon (uncharacteristic for May) and I have taken FULL advantage of it. I ran two trails that I hadn't ever heard of until this year, despite growing up within 50 miles of each of them.

The first - Trail of 10 Falls in Silver Falls, OR - was one of the more beautiful places I have EVER been. It was a balmy 75 degrees and humid and I felt like I was in Hawaii with all of the lush foliage, sunshine and picturesque waterfall spray. Nowhere else (that I know of) can you see 10 distinct waterfalls on a single hike/run. I mean, seriously, this place was UNREAL. You walk behind 3 different waterfalls, all within a couple miles of one another. We went on a Friday and it was not too busy, but I have heard that on weekends in the summer the place is PACKED.

The trail itself runs somewhere in the neighborhood of 9 miles (a loop, not an out-and-back) but we added on here and there to make it about 10 miles. The trail is well maintained with nice, rolling hills and only a few rocky or gravelly spots. It is easily runnable in normal running shoes, although I imagine you would want trail runners if you were running there after a rainy spell.

Katie and I at Waterfall number 4 or 5!
I mean how incredibly beautiful is this place, right?! It's unreal. The trail, the waterfalls, the weather - everything about this place added up to a 10 in my book. It's one of my favorite places and favorite days in memory.

A couple weeks later I saw a picture of Dog Mountain on a friend's instagram account and thought: where ever this place is, I am going to go run there. Not a few days later, I ran it past my running partner and marathoner-extraordinaire, Katie, and she confessed she'd been dying to run there as well. So, despite having ran a half-marathon the day prior, we laced up our shoes and drove up to the Washington side of the Columbia Gorge to take advantage of the only nice day of weather forecasted for that week.

I will confess, I should have done a tiny bit more research before committing to this run, but in the end it was SO worth it. We got lost on the way there and ended up in some random person's private driveway, but once we had phone service again, we got it figured out. Part of the drive from Portland to Dog Mountain takes you over the Bridge of the Gods which was particularly fitting since I just finished Cheryl Strayed's book Wild and she ends her insane trek through the PCT at this very spot.

Katie and I -- summit of Dog Mountain
Anyway, when we got to the trail head, we paid for parking before opting to take the "easier" trail (3.7 miles to the summit instead of 3.1). I can now see why this trail is rated one of the most difficult in the Gorge. It is literally straight up hill the entire way up, over rocks and gravel and overgrown plants. It's not particularly technical, just steep as all get-out. It was 3.7 of the hardest miles I have ever run in my life. (The 3.7 down were significantly easier, although my quads were so angry with me the next day!)

After the 3rd or 4th person in the first quarter mile shot us a "you are crazy" look, I should have picked up on the signs of what we were in for. We were crazy. The trail is hard, even as a hike. But it's amazing what the human body can endure, and it is incredible how an individual can propel herself forward, simply by putting mind over matter. It was as taxing mentally as it was physically, but I loved every minute of it for what I took away from it. It felt amazing to challenge myself and I'd definitely do it again - although probably not the day after racing a half marathon.

So there you have it! Some Nayonaise and some trail runs! I have a lot more coming up for you in the next couple weeks so stay tuned!

Live long and prosper! And don't be afraid to push your limits every once in a while :)

1 comment:

  1. Just discovered your blog, so sorry if I'm commenting on old posts, but I felt compelled. I grew up running Dog Mountain (always have taken the harder route) and what I love most about it is that it is so steep that it is actually easier to run than to straight hike. One day, as a youth, I started running the steepest section and the next thing I knew I had ran all the way to the top. I always pair it with Beacon Rock which is a short drive away. The Rock is only a mile to the top, but it is purely switchbacks on the side of a rock face. Too short to do on its own, but a nice companion to The Dog and a great experience.