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WordPress is my new home

Hello! This is just a test. I’m switching from Blogger to WordPress and am just fiddling around, getting my bearings here. Thanks!

Birthday eats at American Craft and Elephant Walk

You know you had a good birthday weekend when you can’t stomach the thought of another restaurant meal out, glass of wine, or slice of cake for a very long time. I certainly celebrated with a lot of delicious food this past birthday weekend and want to highlight two of my favorites. These restaurants – American Craft and Elephant Walk are located very close to home, which means I have no excuse not to return…as if that would happen!

IMG_1544Friday night I celebrated with friends at the brand spankin’ new restaurant/bar American Craft. If you’re from the Boston area, you may have been familiar with the short-lived restaurant Roadhouse Café, which specialized in BBQ foods, complete with an in-house smoke pit. This restaurant, owned by the neighboring Publick House owner, was forced to close because the neighbors didn’t love the smokey smell. Fortunately it reopened just last week as American Craft, an all-American establishment with two large bars, plenty of tables, and slightly upscale American cuisine. Our table for 20 was taken care of by a friendly waiter who was able to recommend specific glasses of beer from their extensive menu. I was drawn to this restaurant when I saw they had a build your own burger section, which included beef, turkey, and veggie burgers that could be topped with your choice of a variety of toppings. I do judge a restaurant based on their veggie burger quality. If it’s a frozen patty that you slap on a bun and charge me $15 for, I will not return. If it’s homemade with chunks of fresh vegetables, I’ll be the first to give it a go.

American Craft’s veggie burgers were just that and I ordered mine topped with sautéed mushrooms and pickled peppers on a challah bread bun. Once I got my mouth around it to sink my teeth in, I discovered I have a new veggie burger restaurant favorite. The crispy fries on the side helped seal the deal. Funk and I also shared the grilled tofu entrée with broccoli rabe and salted potatoes. I love seeing what restaurants can do with tofu and was impressed with this dish. The tofu had a great grilled flavor and marinade in every bite and though the portion size was small, it was very satisfying (or it was all the fries that filled me up?). A+ American Craft – we’ll be coming back.

The next night Funk took me to Elephant Walk, which is a French-Cambodian restaurant right at the Brookline-Boston border. We had been before on my birthday four years ago and I wanted to revisit it, because they have a standout vegan (and gluten free!) menu. We started with the Vegetarian Rouleaux which are Cambodian spring rolls. They are made just like typical Chinese or Thai spring rolls but had a much different flavor and delicious dipping sauce. We could have eaten these all night. I chose the Curry de Legumes for my main meal, which was a vegetable curry sauté with eggplant, asparagus, baby bok choy, red bell peppers,

snow peas, and yellow squash. The curry was perfect – not too heavy and slightly sweet. But we loved Funk’s choice even more, which was the Vegan Mee Siem which included rice noodles in a sauce with sliced tofu, garlic, salted soy, pickled shallot, Chinese chives, bean sprouts, and red bell pepper. We devoured the entire plate together. It reminded me of a Pad Thai dish with a very different flavor. By the time we left the restaurant (to head to the Jamie Cullum concert!) the place was packed full, and so were our bellies.

It was a well-fed, wonderful birthday weekend.

I love birthdays!

Today is a good day. Can you guess why? I’m 28! Wahoo! Here’s a little birthday trip down memory lane from the past few years. Clearly I love birthday cake…

Have a fabulous March 5th, everyone!

New Blog Name!

Hopefully there was no glitch when you stopped by my blog today, and now that you’re here, check out the new look! And new name! I’ve been meaning to give the ol’ bloggie a makeover for a while now, and since I’ve been laid up on the couch for a week, it was a perfect time to get cracking. I still have work to do, but the name and logo are changed!

My logo was re-designed by my good friends Kathryn and Craig who are not only talented graphic designers but also photographers. I re-named my blog to be streamlined with my Eat Well with Janel nutrition consulting business, and EatWellwithJanel.com website.
If you’re following on google reader, hopefully you got redirected automatically and if you’re new to the blog, welcome! The content will be the same as I’ve been delivering all along and hopefully my posts will help you Eat Well (with Janel!).
Just an update on my hip surgery recovery too: All of you in the blog and twitter-verse have been so supportive and encouraging in my recovery so thank you! It’s been a week since the surgery and I’m hangin’ in there. There have been some big time obstacles, but I am so so SO lucky to have people surrounding me who are taking very good care of me. To my friends, sister, my in-laws-to-be, my parents and my fiance Funk: you are amazing. I couldn’t do this without you (but please don’t go anywhere…I have a long recovery ahead!).
Now week 1 has passed and my butt is firmly indented in the couch. I thought by now I’d be sneaking in bicep curls in the middle of the night or crawling back to the gym, but I think my body has adjusted to the fact that exercise is on a major hiatus right now. It’s amazing how my hourly lap around the apartment on crutches feels like I just completed a marathon. I am looking forward to another week from now to see how much more I can progress and feel better every day. Thanks again for the well wishes and hope to bring you a food post real soon.

Hip Surgery is Here.

If you follow me on twitter, or in real life, you may know that I’ve been dealing with a hip injury since April. When I first started training for my triathlon, I hurt my hip, and while I always felt pain off and on, it was never enough to stop me. I went through months of PT and (stupid) doctors’ appointments, raced in my triathlon, then duathlon, a half marathon and a 10k before it started to get really bad. So I found a new, competent doctor a few months ago who told me I have a torn labrum that needs surgical repair. My surgery is tomorrow. Holycow…tomorrow.

I know I have one of the top surgeon’s in the country and that as long as he can do his job, I’ll get better. But (fortunately) this is the first time in my life I’ve ever been sidelined from, well, moving. My recovery includes six weeks on crutches and no exercise. Zero. Zilch. I thought the surgeon was joking when he told me that and I burst into tears. Exercise is a huge part of my life, and I’ve never gone longer than a few days without it.

Over the past few weeks I’ve been able to slowly wrap my head around the fact that I won’t be exercising or even just running a quick errand, or walking around the city. I’ll be honest, I’ve been freaking out on a daily basis. Freaking. Out. But I have LOTS of wedding magazines to read (silver lining!) and some freelance work I want to tackle while I’m recovering. I also have some very considerate bosses who are letting me work from home until I’m back on my feet.

I’m trying to spin this surgery into a positive thing and keep telling myself it’s an experiment to see how I can handle this life change. I’m not one who enjoys sitting around watching movies and chilling on the couch, so I wouldn’t be surprised if my brain totally rots out in the process. I know the situation could be SO much worse and I’m grateful for the fact that I have my health, my healthcare, and have had time to prepare for this situation. I am very very lucky to have family and friends nearby to support me in every way. And of course Funk, who will be running the show for the next few months.

I’ve set new goals for myself for 2010 and patience and staying positive are top on my list. As for fitness goals, I originally thought I could run the Vermont Half Marathon in May, but I don’t think I’ll be ready or able at that point. So my new goals are a 5 miler in June, and 7 miler in August and for the first time since my short running history began, my goal is not to set any personal records, but to just finish. And to feel good. I also think I’ll learn to love swimming, since it’ll play a big role in my recovery. And pilates has been my new favorite exercise the past month as I realize how important core strength is in every move I make.

So this little obstacle in my life is going to result in some blog changes. I won’t be cooking nearly as much, if at all, in the beginning. (I did freeze some meals in preparation though!). So I can’t promise to have new recipe ideas. I hope to document my recovery process on the blog at least once a week to keep myself positive, and as a way to track my progress. And this will give me some time to work on giving my blog the makeover I’ve had planned.

If you’ve ever gone through a similar situation (surgery, not blog makeover), I’d love some tips!

What’s the hardest thing you’ve ever had to overcome?

We’ve got the Funk


Hello there, readers! While I try to keep this a food, nutrition and wellness related blog, I can’t help but share some exciting news.

On Sunday night when I got home from a long day of work, Funk had a delicious dinner waiting for me (so it is food related after all!). I was so exhausted I told him if he hadn’t cooked, I would have slept right through dinner. It’s a good thing I didn’t because after we ate, my amazing boyfriend of four and a half years PROPOSED!!!!!!! And of course I said the one answer I have known I’d say to him for years: YES!


Fiancée Funk and I spent the night spreading the good news to family and friends, screaming, “We’re engaged!” at the top of our lungs outside to our neighbors, and toasting with champagne. We couldn’t be happier!

Note the hot pink dress I’m wearing in the photos? I don’t usually dress up for dinner in theapartment, but I just bought the dress and was trying it on to show Funk when he got down on one knee! I can’t think of a better way to end an incredible year and start a new one.

People have recently told me they didn’t know “Funk” was actually his last name, and not a nickname I used for the blog. So I guess now is a good time to clarify! When Aaron and I tie the knot, I will officially be Mrs. Funk. Hooray!!!

Now we’re gearing up to spend a long weekend and New Years with friends in New Hampshire and are looking forward to celebrating many great things with them. So, readers, I’ll be back on the blog in 2010 and wish you and yours a very healthy, happy New Year. I look forward to sharing many more posts with you in the years to come!

We've got the Funk


Hello there, readers! While I try to keep this a food, nutrition and wellness related blog, I can’t help but share some exciting news.

On Sunday night when I got home from a long day of work, Funk had a delicious dinner waiting for me (so it is food related after all!). I was so exhausted I told him if he hadn’t cooked, I would have slept right through dinner. It’s a good thing I didn’t because after we ate, my amazing boyfriend of four and a half years PROPOSED!!!!!!! And of course I said the one answer I have known I’d say to him for years: YES!


Fiancée Funk and I spent the night spreading the good news to family and friends, screaming, “We’re engaged!” at the top of our lungs outside to our neighbors, and toasting with champagne. We couldn’t be happier!

Note the hot pink dress I’m wearing in the photos? I don’t usually dress up for dinner in theapartment, but I just bought the dress and was trying it on to show Funk when he got down on one knee! I can’t think of a better way to end an incredible year and start a new one.

People have recently told me they didn’t know “Funk” was actually his last name, and not a nickname I used for the blog. So I guess now is a good time to clarify! When Aaron and I tie the knot, I will officially be Mrs. Funk. Hooray!!!

Now we’re gearing up to spend a long weekend and New Years with friends in New Hampshire and are looking forward to celebrating many great things with them. So, readers, I’ll be back on the blog in 2010 and wish you and yours a very healthy, happy New Year. I look forward to sharing many more posts with you in the years to come!