Planning a trip first time trip to Thailand

Tuesday, April 10, 2018
I cannot remember the last time I was this excited (and nervous) about going on a trip. In 4 weeks, my husband Gabe and I, along with another couple, will be on a 27 hour flight (god help me) to Thailand! Thailand has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. This goes back to when Leonardo DiCaprio’s The Beach premiered in early 2000. Last fall, when our friends asked us if we wanted to go to Thailand, it was the quickest I said yes aside from the night we got engaged.

When that conversation happened back in September, the trip felt like a lifetime away. We limited our travel leading up to the May, reducing spend wherever possible, eating home more often than not and I've been selling stuff on Poshmark, all so we could take this trip without putting anything on a credit card. It's working out pretty well! To date, we've paid for all the hotels and our flights in cash, plus we have money to for daily activities! I've sold over $300 this month on Poshmark, selling things that have been sitting in my closet (easiest money I've ever made and I've become rather obsessed with selling stuff). I am also going to share with you what this vacation cost when we get back to the US, for those who are on the fence about visiting Thailand!
Big Buddah, Phuket
Usually we don't have this much time to plan a trip so I have been going a little OCD with the travel planning.  Below is a brief overview of our itinerary and we are open to any and all suggestions from friends who have visited Thailand before (however, our locations are set in stone as everything has been paid ahead of time with no cancellation....so please don't tell me to go to Chiang Mai - we dropped the ball there).

Day 1-3 Bangkok
Temples: Grand Palace, Wat Pho, Wat Arun, maybe Wat Traimit
Markets: Damnoen Saduak Floating Market, Chatuchak Weekend MarketJJ Night Market
Bangkok Royal Palace
I have no idea how we will feel landing in Bangkok at 5:30am after being on a 27 hour flight. I'd rather not think about it actually. If we get out of customs and into Bangkok by 8am, we will do a day trip to Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. We will dedicate one day to see the temples seems really packed, but from what I've read, very doable if we start early. I'm excited about Wat Pho - the home of Thai Massage school. Guess what an hour Thai Massage costs there....$13. Also while in town, we are excited to check out the Chatuchak Weekend Market which is the worlds largest weekend market.

Day 4-6 Sai Yok / Kanchanaburi 
Erawan Falls, Hellfire Pass, Lawa Cave
image from www.thefloathouseriverkwai.com
I can't tell you how excited we are for the hotel we are staying at in Sai Yok. We splurged and booked at The Float House River Kwai, which are floating villas surrounded by tropical forests and mountains of Saiyoke. They have balconies that lead are right into the river. I can see our 2 nights here spent drinking wine and relaxing. Of everything we are doing on this trip, it is the one thing my husband keeps bringing up. He's very excited about staying in a villa on the river!
Erawan Falls
We are going to visit Erawan Falls which is an hour away from The Lake House River Kwai. There are a few other "must see's" in proximity to the resort that we will check out but we are really looking forward to a few quiet days before heading into the chaos of Phuket.

Day 7-11 Phuket
James Bond Island Phangnga Treasures Sunsrise Trip, Elephant Jungle Sanctuary, The Real Phuket City Tour, Surfing in Kata
James Bond Island
I've had a lot of people ask why we're spending so much time in Phuket. Easy answer, the ease of being able to Island hop. We also like to party and Patong is known as a huge party town but the location we chose to stay here isn't the rum buckets, it was the ease of island hopping. In Phuket we will get to go to James Bond Island (The Man with the Golden Gun), visit an Elephant Ethical Sanctuary, and Gabe will get to go surfing. The one thing he asked during this entire trip was a chance to surf in Thailand. This will mark the 4th country he has surfed in!
Kata Beach
We will also make sure to check out the other side of Phuket in a city tour (it's more than parties and beaches!). I am looking forward to seeing the colorful buildings of Old Phuket Town and we may fit in a cooking class. I'm sure there will be late nights and too many drinks in our future while in Phuket as well. We will be bringing The Morning Recovery Drink!

Day 12-16 Krabi / Railay
Phi Phi Islands Early Bird Speedboat Tour, 4 Island self-guided tour, Emerald Pool & Krabi Hot Springs (maybe)
Railay Phutawan Resort, photo booking.com
We decided to book a hotel in Railay without researching much into it. Now it's paid in full and we found out we are on an island with no cars, only accessible by boat! I am the research queen, not sure what happened there. However, Railay is said to be one of the most beautiful beaches in Krabi. It's also low key, which is probably what we will need after 5 nights in Phuket. Plus the infiniti pool at our hotel is ridiculous, and we got an deluxe ocean view room for less than $60 a night.
Phi Phi Islands
While here, we will visit Phi Phi Islands, including Maya Bay as mentioned above. We are booking an early bird tour so we avoid the crowds. Maya Bay is actually closing down on June 1st for the first time to tourists so they can recover and regrow. I would have been heart broken if we went to Thailand and weren't able to visit Maya Bay.
Chicken Island
We also found out we can do a very popular tour in Krabi on our own. The 4 Island Krabi Tour usually costs $50 a person, but we can rent a 1/2 day self-guided tour for $50 total and can bring our own drinks (we'll be visiting Chicken Island, Koh Mawr, Tup Island, Poda Island). We will have the flexibility of going at our own time and not being with a mass of people. Plus as I mentioned, BYOB! I am not 100% sold on going to the Emerald Pool & Krabi Hot Springs, that is something we will decide when we arrive. I think I've read up too much on those destinations, and when I learned people bathe there on the weekends, the magic was lost on me.

Day 17-19 Bangkok
Historic City of Ayutthaya
Our friends will remain in Asia after we head home, so we have a few days to ourselves in Bangkok prior to returning to the US. We are going to do a day trip to the Historic City of Ayutthaya. I've heard great things from other travel bloggers! While this is on the agenda on the last leg of the trip, we may end up going with our friends and switching up the agenda a bit.

Beautiful - The Carole King Story, The Straz Center

Wednesday, March 28, 2018
One of the things we miss most about living in Ybor City is the proximity to The Straz Center. Both my husband Gabe and I love going to Broadway shows and we definitely took advantage of being less than 5 minutes away in the 5+ years we lived in Ybor. Now that we live in New Tampa, our visits have been less frequent.

I had the opportunity to go see Beautiful - The Carole King Story last night at The Straz Center. This show tells the story of Carole Kings remarkable rise as teenage song writer to Rock n Roll hall of fame. Last night also happened to be World Theater Day!! Perfect timing :)
Goosebumps. You guys.....this show. If you are in Tampa, buy tickets now. Beautiful runs through this Sunday, April 1st.  If you aren't in Tampa, find a location near you that has this show on tour (Fort Meyers & Jacksonville, you're next). Beautiful - The Carole King Story quickly stole my heart and top spot for favorite Broadway musical.
I grew up listening to Carole King. She was and still is one of my parents favorite singers. On Saturday's, we would always have musical chore days. This did nothing to excite me to do chores, but listening to music over the vacuum and hearing my parents sing is something I will always remember. Due to this, hearing Carole King reminds me of doing laundry. These days, Carole King is one of the artists on rotation during my Mom and Step Dad's dinner parties.

I laughed and cried throughout this show. Memories, both beautiful and sad came to mind throughout the 2 hours. Carole King's songs are something most generations would recognize, including “I Feel The Earth Move,” “One Fine Day,” “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman,” “You’ve Got A Friend”, and BEAUTIFUL.
Beautiful - Photo rights Carnegie Hall. Sarah Bockel as Carole King
I had a total ugly cry moment during "You've Got A Friend". This was one of my Dad's favorite song and he used to sing it to me. When he passed away at the age of 52, we played James Taylor's version of this song at the funeral. My Step Father requested the song to dance with me at his and my Mom's wedding (my parents were still alive when my Dad passed away). Although I was a mess, it was such a beautiful part of the musical - and yes, I am crying writing this.
Four Friends. (l to r) James Clow as Don Kirshner, Andrew Brewer as Gerry Goffin, Sarah Bockel as Carole King, Jacob Heimer as Barry Mann and Sarah Goeke as Cynthia Weil
If you aren't familiar with Carole Kings story (honestly I wasn't!), she started her career in writing hits for some of the biggest acts in the music industry alongside her then husband Gerry Goffin who she met in college. The pair were teamed up with Cynthia Weil and Barry Mann and the two pairs frequented #1 on the Billboard top 100. They wrote more than two dozen chart hits, many of which have become standards. Growing up, Carol dated Neil Sedaka in high school and "Oh! Carol" was written about her.
Beautiful - Queens College Sarah Bockel as Carole King and Andrew Brewer as Gerry Goffin
When Carole and Gerry divorced, she then became the singer we all know her as today, one who still holds one of the most successful solo acts in music history. She is a longtime friend of James Taylor, who happens to be one of my top 5 artists and has collaborated with more music acts to even try and list out. It's easy to say without Carole King, the music scene wouldn't be what we know it as today.
This show is incredible. You will sing along with it and leave with a giant smile on your face. Beautiful - The Carole King Story will be playing the following dates and times at The Straz Center. Click here to buy tickets
3/28 7:30
3/29 7:30
3/30 8:00
3/31 2:00, 8:00
4/1 2:00, 7:30

Special thanks to Tampa Bay Bloggers for providing us tickets to the show. As always, all opinions are my own. 

Key West Island Adventure Eco Tour - Fury Cat

Monday, March 26, 2018
While in Key West for our girls trip, my best friend Keri and I had the opportunity to take a Island Adventure Eco Tour and enjoy a laid back day in Key West's backcountry. The Island Adventure by Fury Cat included an Eco Tour, Snorkeling, Kayaking and Paddleboarding. We had a pretty packed schedule during our trip but we wanted to do something different. This tour was the first thing we did on the trip and we truly enjoyed it.
The 4.5 hour Island Adventure trip happens twice daily, 9:30 & 3:30. We booked the 9:30 knowing we would be able to have the second half of the day to do whatever we wanted. Once we boarded the boat, we found ourselves with fresh fruit, pastries, coffee, soda and water. We were also informed that after the snorkeling portion of the trip, beer and champagne would be provided! This was very excited news to us as this wasn't listed online when we booked the trip.

The snorkeling was the first stop of our adventure. Keri and I chose not to partake in this, as the water was very cold still and being Florida locals. Those who snorkeled saw tons of marine life. The Captain told us frequent sightings are spiny sea urchins, tropical fish, conch shells, sea sponges, stingrays, Goliath grouper and event sea turtles and dolphins!
Keri and I were the only ones on the boat who chose not to snorkel and the champagne started flowing once we said we weren't going swimming. On this beautiful Thursday afternoon when all our friends and family were working, we were enjoying a mimosa, on a boat, in the middle of the beautiful blue waters of Key West. Life is Good.
We were then brought to a sandbar and the Mangroves. We got on kayaks and went over to the Mangroves, learning some facts about the Eco system. I forgot to mention, they brought along more champagne and OJ for us! Two happy girls right here.
After our Eco Tour, we went over and hung out on the sandbar. It was surreal being the only people out here. I finally got to use my new GoPro that my husband got me for Christmas. I'm still learning but captured some incredible shots. I can't wait to use this in Thailand next month!
We also had the option to paddleboard at this time but we decided to head back to the boat and have lunch. Lunch had a lot of options including fried chicken, salad, build your own sandwich bar, fresh fruit and more. More as in more mimosas!
It was then time to head back to the mainland. Keri and I have been to Key West a few times and over our journey's, we found White Tarpon which is located at the Marina Fury Cat picked us up at. We hightailed it over to White Tarpon for Happy Hour and indulged in $1 oysters and Key Lime Pie Martinis!
I would strongly suggest th3 Key West Island Adventure Eco Tour to anyone visiting Key West. It is a fun, unique and relaxing adventure that will show you a different side of the island!

I received complimentary sailings through The Florida Keys. As Always, all opinions are my own. 

Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival Review 2018

Friday, March 23, 2018
Food, Wine, Concerts, exciting rides and animals can only mean one thing. Busch Garden's Food and Wine Festival is back! On the weekends through April 29,you can take advantage to see some of the biggest acts in musical entertainment while enjoying delicious food, craft brews, a large selection of wine and cocktails!
The best part about it, your admission covers concerts and this is a valid event with any annual pass, fun card or daily admission. A few weeks ago, Gabe and I had the opportunity to check out this years Food and Wine Festival. Busch Garden's festival gets better year after year. I was very impressed with this years selection of food and drink. They had quite a few options for dietary restrictions which was great to see. We had a fantastic time and hope to get back again this year.
I strongly suggest getting one of the food samplers if you go. You can use these to select any food or drink at the festival. It's much easier than pulling out a credit card or cash at each food cabin and you have a choice between a variety of levels. If there is a concert you want to sea, one of the VIP Concert Seating options is the way to go!
5 item sampler: $29.99
10 item sampler: $39.99
12 item sampler: $59.99
VIP Concert Seating level 1 + 5 item sampler: $44.99
VIP Concert Seating level 2 + 5 item sampler: $34.99


ARTISAN EATS
Duck Fat Truffle Fries
Pupusas with Curdito & Grilled Shrimp
Smoked Trout, Watermelon Radish Charred Herbs Vinaigrette (GF)
Duck Fat Truffle Fries with Parmesan Truffle Aioli (GF)
Wine: Fleur De Mer, Rose
Beer: Founders Brewing Co., All Day IPA 4.7% ABV, IBU 42

COOKING WITH COKE PAVILION
Orange Fanta Whoopie Pie
Orange Fanta Whoopie Pie (VEG)
Pulled Pork Slider with Cherry Coke BBQ Sauce
Baked Brie with Strawberry Fanta Coulis (VEG)
Wine: William Hill Estate Winery, Pinot Noir
Beer: Pair O' Dice Brewing Co., Lucky Lucy Strawberry Blonde 5.5% ABV, IBU 15

COKE FUSION


Minute Maid Apple Glazed Pork Belly
Boiled Peanut Hummus with Coke® Drizzle (V)
Minute Maid Apple Glazed Pork Belly with Kimchee Slaw
Coke® Infused Chocolate Cupcake Topped with Pop Rocks (VEG)
Wine: Michael David Winery, Freakshow Red Blend
Beer: Tampa Bay Brewing Co., Reef Donkey APA 5.5% ABV, IBU 36

FIELD HOUSE EATERY
Grilled Lamb Chops
Char Sui Duck Steam Bun
Habanero-Infused Baklava with Fresh Pomegranate (V)
Grilled Lamb Chops with Tabouleh & Tzatziki (GF)
Wine: Josh Cellars, Cabernet Sauvignon Craftsman 14
Beer: Motorworks Brewing, Intellectual Property Ale IPA 6.9% ABV, IBU 85
Frozen Cocktails: Mojito, Red Sangria

GOURMET LODGE
Beef Brisket on Spiced Corn Waffle
Mango Shrimp Ceviche with Sweet and Spicy Marinade (GF)
Beef Brisket on a Spiced Corn Waffle with Amberbock BBQ Sauce
Griddled Cheese Cake Sandwich with Raspberry Drizzle (VEG)
Wine: Trapiche, Oak Cask Malbec
Beer: New Belgium, Fat Tire Belgium White Ale 5.2% ABV IBU

SAVORY TAVERN
Fried Frog Legs - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Guava Empanada (VEG)
Shrimp Po Boy
Fried Frog Legs with Bacon Corn Fritters & Cajun Remoulade
Wine: Pacific Rim, Riesling "J"
Beer: Motorworks Brewing, Pulp Friction Grapefruit IPA 6.3% ABV, IBU 85

CHEF'S PLANTATION
Gochujang Ribs - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Short Rib & Brie Grilled Cheese on House-Made Brioche
Salmon Cake with Lemon Aioli
Gochujang Ribs in Korean BBQ Sauce
Wine: Lobetia, Rose
Beer Funky Buddha Brewery, Pineapple Beach Blonde 5% ABV, 20 IBU

COAST-TO-COAST COOKERY
Cauliflower Cake
Cauliflower Cake with Sriracha Aioli (V)
Pan-Seared Steak with Chimichurri & Roasted Poblano Hash (GF)
Flourless Chocolate Torte with Raspberry Sauce (VEG) Wine: SAVED, Red Blend
Beer: Swamp Head Brewery, Wild Night Honey Cream Ale 5% ABV, IBU 21
Frozen Cocktails: Blue Lemonade, Watermelon Frosé

SOUTHERN STATION
Bananas Foster Panna Cotta - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Venison Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes, Fresh English Peas, and Blackberry Demi-Glace
Bison Slider on a Poppy Seed Roll with Bacon and Sriracha Ketchup
Bananas Foster Panna Cotta with Caramel Popcorn
Wine: Alexander Valley, Merlot
Beer: Founders Brewing Co., Solid Gold Lager 4.4% ABV, IBU 20
Frozen Cocktails: Blue Lemonade, Watermelon Frosé

COMFORT KITCHEN
Tostones Rellenos - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Tostones Rellenos de Pollo Fried Plantain Cups filled with Stewed Chicken
Cabernet Wine-Filled Chocolate Truffles (GF, V, VEG)
Bacon Mac & Cheese
Wine: Terrazas de los Andes, Malbec
Beer: 3 Daughters Brewing, Beach Blonde Ale 5% ABV, IBU 24

LIGHT FARE CANTEEN
Antipasti - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Antipasti of Roasted Tomatoes, Artesian Meats, Cheeses & Olives (GF)
Mushroom Vol-Au-Vent Medley of Mushrooms in a Flakey Pastry (VEG)
Lobster Tart with Leeks & Swiss Cheese
Wine: Rutherford Ranch, Sauvignon Blanc
Beer: Rekorderlig, Strawberry-Lime Cider 4.5% ABV

TASTY TAQUERIA
Short Rib Taco - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Duck Taco with Sweet Chili Sauce, Slow Roasted, Asian Sweet Chili Sauce on a Corn Tortilla
Short Rib Taco Tender Beef with a BBQ Demi Glaze & Onion Straws on a Corn Tortilla (GF)
Portobello Mushroom Taco Balsamic Vinegar Roasted Portobello Mushrooms Paired with Corn on a Corn Tortilla (GF, V, VEG)
Wine: J. Lohr, Seven Oaks Cabernet Sauvignon
Beer: Goose Island Beer Co., Goose Island IPA 5.9% ABV, 55 IBU
Frozen Cocktails: Mojito, Red Sangria

GARDEN GATE CAFÉ
Tuna Poke - Photo Rights: Busch Gardens
Truffle Seafood Mac & Cheese, Shrimp, Scallops, & Cod in a Creamy Swiss Cheese Sauce Scented with White Truffle
Tuna Poke, Hawaiian Seasoned Tuna
Wine: Murphy Goode, Sauvignon Blanc
Beer: Brew Bus Brewing, You're My Boy Blueberry Wheat 6% ABV, IBU 12

CONCERTS:

Here is the lineup of concerts at the Busch Gardens Food and Wine Festival. You can purchase a VIP seating upgrade (as mentioned above), which will get you prime seats and 5 treats from the festival. There is literally something for everyone at this years festival! There are quite a few concerts from this years festival I would love to see.
March 3rd: Sister Hazel and Edwin McCain 5:30pm
March 4th: Group Niche 6pm
March 10th: The Fray 7pm
March 11th: Southern Uprising - Travis Tritt, The Charlie Daniels Band, The Marshall Tucker Band 3pm
March 17th: Olga Tanon 7pm
March 18th: Goo Goo Dolls 6pm
March 24th: Better than Ezra & Tonic 5:30pm
March 25th: Michael Bolton 6pm
March 31st: Boyz II Men 7pm
April 1st: Natalie Grant 6pm
April 7th: Hank Williams Jr 7pm
April 8th: TLC 6pm
April 14th: Bret Michaels 7pm
April 15th: Kool & The Gang and The Commodores 5:30pm
April 21st: The All-American Rejects 7pm
April 22nd: Cole Swindell 6pm
April 28th: Flo Rida 7pm
April 29th: Kaleo & Bleachers 5:30pm

Special thanks to Busch Gardens for hosting us at the VIP media preview. I was not required to write a post, as always all opinions are my own. 

My First DNS - why I didn't run First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon

I had a dream weekend planned in Sarasota. My husband Gabe and I were going to run our fourth First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon Relay and we decided to make a lux weekend out of it by splurging my Marriott Rewards on a stay at the Ritz Carlton Sarasota. Things did not go as I imagined......

Let's take you back to Friday night. Gabe and I decided to have a date night at one of our favorite restaurants near our house. It's an Italian restaurant that has a live piano player, wood fired pizzas and wine on tap. Pizza and wine was exactly what I needed after my week, and it was delicious. When we got home later that night, I didn't feel 100% myself. I went to bed and woke up around 2am with pain I had never experienced before. I felt like a fire was lit inside of me. Apparently, I was experiencing my first ever acid reflux attack.

After a horrible night of sleep, we woke up and got a later than planned start to Sarasota. I felt really odd - I had no appetite and didn't want to do anything but lay around. We had to get to Fit2Run for packet pickup by 3pm and I wanted to get over to our hotel so we could enjoy the amenities.
While at Fit2Run I could feel my patience slipping away for no reason. Imagine PMS x 100. Everything was annoying me and I needed to get out of there. When we got to the Ritz, we were welcomed with champagne and learned we had been upgraded to a waterfront suite. That made my crankiness go away instantly! I took one sip of the champagne but it hurt to drink.

After going up to our room and picking our jaws off the ground, we decided to head down to the pool, which was pretty crowded at 3:30. Once again, everything was annoying me. From people taking fake instagram posed shots to kids splashing us, there was nothing I could do but put my headphones on and read a book, escaping from paradise. If I was in a better mood, I would have gone fishing off their pier! The amenities and activities at Ritz Carlton were pretty amazing.

We had plans that night to go to dinner at a restaurant called Indigenous that we were really looking forward to. Although I really had nothing to eat all day, I was not hungry. I also didn't want to drink, which is very odd for me! After taking literally 3 bites of my dinner, I asked for a to go box. I did not feel good. I felt full which was impossible and I had really bad pains in my abdomen. So we decided to walk over to Walgreens and get me some medicine. The only thing I wanted to do was go back to the hotel and take a bath.
After getting back to the Ritz, I tried my hardest not to be sad. Here we were in this gorgeous hotel, in walking distance to many places. We bought a bottle of Cakebread Chardonnay to drink on the balcony and I had no interest in that (it sat in an ice bucket in the bathroom instead). Rather than enjoying my night, I was laying in bed, trying not to cry or vomit. Well, both those things happened shortly after. Around midnight, I was woken up once again, with that same incredible burning sensation. I felt like a fire breathing dragon. I was able to go back to sleep only to be woken up again, about every 20-30 minutes. Around 2am, I vomited not once, but twice. Sitting on the floor of my hotel, I lost it. I knew right then and there that I would likely not be running in a few hours.
I've pushed through so many things with running. I ran the NYC Marathon with a sprained ankle (I sprained it at mile 4 and completed 22.2 miles injured). I completed the Dopey Challenge with a severe cellulitis infection (unknown to me at the time). I've ran hurt, I've ran sick. However, I mentally couldn't accept that I had to run half of a half marathon relay. I only had to complete 6.2 miles! Those 6.2 miles seemed like an Ultra Marathon and it was time (for once) to listen to my body.
My outfit that wasn't worn:
Shirt: Buy Me Brunch, Tequila & Tan lines

I got the 5:45am wake-up call and told Gabe I wasn't going to run. I was drenched head to toe in sweat, fairly certain I had a fever. My throat hurt and the room was spinning. We slept until 10am. The first thing I did when I woke up was to check on my friends who ran the race (Tracy, Haley & Denise). Bummed I didn't get to see them at the race, let alone cheer them on, or cross the finish line with my husband really put a damper on my weekend.

I went to the Dr. on Tuesday and I was put on medication immediately. Whatever is going on is not normal and here begins the testing until we figure it out. First step is food allergy testing. If nothing shows up there, I have to go get a camera shoved down my throat. No fun.
photo from Eat Drink and Be Tracy
Although I didn't get to run the First Watch Half Marathon (relay) this year, I know I made the right decision. There will always be other races and I will be back next year in Sarasota with a vengeance. Be sure to check out Tracy's recap of her First Watch Half Marathon experience. She has ran 7 half marathons in the past 5 months and is training for her first full!!

Fueling Tips and a First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon Giveaway

Tuesday, March 13, 2018
My friends at First Watch have provided me with amazingly delicious fueling tips for running and training to share with my readers! I suddenly have the urge for Avocado Toast and a Mimosa fresh squeezed fruit juice. My favorite breakfast restaurant happens to be the sponsor for this weekends First Watch Half Marathon in Sarasota. Along with the fueling tips below, they are also giving away an entry to First Watch Half Marathon, winners choice of a 10K or Half Marathon! Click here to enter the giveaway through Instagram. You can also still register for the First Watch Half Marathon, click here to run one of our favorite races in Florida.

You’ve heard the saying before – Food is Fuel. For everyone, fueling your body daily with nutritious and delicious meals is important. For a runner, it’s even more vital to fuel up for your training runs and leading up to a big race with foods that will give you the energy and nutrients you need to achieve your goals, keep a clear mind and take care of your hardworking body!

We wanted to share a few tips to help you prepare for this year’s First Watch Sarasota Half Marathon.

Eat more! – As you’re powering through those longer runs and getting closer to race day, this one is important. While you’re training for a longer race, your body is likely burning many more calories than it was before. You need to replace these calories with nutrients that will help you run your best race. So what should you eat?
Eat carbs – Your body breaks these down to make glucose, which is burned to provide jet fuel for your muscles. Try our whole grain artisan toast – topped with some almond butter and Maldon Sea Salt!
Eat fats – Body fat is an important energy source for endurance exercise like running, and dietary fat helps your body absorb vitamins. The best source of healthy fats? Dark meat, coconut oil, seeds, avocado and fish. Try our Avocado Toast for some tasty polyunsaturated fats. Yum!
Eat protein – Protein is a muscle builder, and for runners, it’s vital to re-build, re-shape and re-condition your muscles as you train. At First Watch, try our Farm Stand Breakfast Tacos, full of great proteins like eggs, chicken and chorizo and served with a size of black beans.

Eat fruits and veggies – It’s great when we can get our vitamins in a natural way, and fruits and veggies are the best way to do that! They also have anti-inflammatory benefits, which is an added bonus. Try our Sunrise Granola Bowl, or our Superfood Kale Salad!

And most importantly, don’t forget to reward yourself for all the hard work and training hours you’ve put in! We’ll be waiting for you at the finish line with cold water, high fives, fresh fruit, Sunrise Cocktails with our housemade granola, and (drumroll please…) multigrain pancakes fresh off the griddle!

We wish you the best of luck during your last few weeks of training, and we can’t wait to serve you on race day. Happy running!

-Your friends at First Watch
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