Healthy Eats: Roots Cafe

Last night, we went out to eat with another couple in West Chester, Pennsylvania. West Chester, is known as college-town due to its eponymous university. Having never been to West Chest before, I was delighted by the charming downtown area that seemed to blossom out of nowhere. Upon the suggestion of the other couple, we dined at a charming BYOB café called Roots

Roots serves up unique dishes which are created from local, organic, and sustainable ingredients. Want proof? They have a whole wall dedicated to the farms that supply all the ingredients on any given day. Let me just tell you that they know what they are doing with those ingredients.

We began the meal with a cheese plate made of goats milk cheese, aged gouda, and a cow's milk cheese similar to parmesan. All were delicious and even more so with the accompanied candied walnuts, honey, and blueberry compote. Only complaint: more bread please! It was so delicious but we only had four pieces for four people. For my entrée, I had spicy butternut squash curry with vegetables over quinoa with a side of sautéed vegetables. Luscious. The portion was tremendous and the flavors were rich. Leftovers will make a wonderful lunch tomorrow! The men both ordered gnocchi with venison meatballs. This dish was also quite large and was very rich, so much so that the men could barely finish! The other woman in our group got chicken which looked super juicy and came with sweet potatoes. Needless to say, everybody was happy with their meal, and the wonderful staff made sure of it.

To top it all off, the charm of Roots was undeniable. Stable doors separate the entry from the main dining room and art from local artists cover the walls. We drank water out of mason jars and dined on aged wood tables. Despite all the charm, it didn't feel forced or out-of-place. I would definitely recommend Roots! To my fellow city-dwellers, it is 100% worth the trip out of the city.


What if Everybody Ran?

The Running shoe company Mizuno recently released a study (only 10-pages so check it out) on the impact running has on a society by calculating changes if everyone ran. Authored by University of North Carolina MBA students, the study has some pretty compelling numbers. Even so, the paper warns that the all the research does not necessarily mean there is a causal relationship.

According to the study, if everybody ran, we would see:

• $130 billion in health care savings. • An increase of more than $47 billion to the national GDP, with lost productivity due to sick days reduced by 50 percent, from 2.3 percent to 1.5 percent. • Nearly 2 billion pounds of total weight loss. • 10 percent increase in household earning potential. • 5 million fewer hospital visits. • 7 billion more hours spent outdoors. • 18.7 percent fewer divorces annually, and 29.3 million happier marriages. • 10 percent improvement in self-esteem among kids. • 200 million inches lost from waistlines. • 116,000 fewer hip replacements annually. • 48.1 million fewer cigarettes smoked daily. • 63 million happier dogs (because many running dog owners would take their pets for jogs, too). • 135 million fewer hours of TV watched each week, and 14 billion fewer hours spent online each year. • 135 million more bananas consumed. • $4 billion increase in donations to charities.

Convinced? I have my questions about the study... did it calculate increase in running related injuries and surgeries (think knee replacements)? Did it consider the fact that many Americans, for various health-related reasons, are unable to run? I don't think it did, but even the authors admitted to taking some "leaps of faith."

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Change of Pace

This past January I made a New  Year's Resolution to "do more." To get active, get healthy, and take care of the one body I have. I have never been athletic. In fact, most people wouldn't think to even describe me as coordinated. Making fitness a priority has been a long time coming. Setting specific goals to work out "x" number of times per week just hasn't worked for me in the past. I felt set up to fail. So this year, I changed the way I would attack my goal. Lo and behold... it worked! I have eaten a MILLION times better and have hit the gym several times a week since January.

I decided to create this blog as another form of motivation for my ever-changing lifestyle. I plan to feature different fitness classes and healthy food choices around Philadelphia. I have also made the switch to being vegetarian for reasons which I feel no interest proselytizing. The most important part of that switch is that I'm cooking at home much more. I'm not a professional chef and I figure most of you aren't either. I'm a law student with a small, city kitchen and a smaller budget. I think more of you can relate to that.

I have an amazing boyfriend who has much more culinary prowess and fitness ability than I. He will be contributing to Fit Food Philly as well to give a manly perspective to many of the posts. He will give his input on fitness classes I'm too afraid to try right now (ex. Crossfit) and just how satisfying certain restaurants are. He is notorious for eating out and coming home to cook again (or order pizza... we're working on that).

Finally, if you couldn't tell from the blog title, we live in Philadelphia. I have lived in Philly for nearly 7 years and continue to fall in love with it every day. I will try to focus on Philly through a lens of health and fitness, however I will definitely feature fun things around town that we go to.
I'm so excited to document this new chapter. Even if no one else reads this, I'll have a chronicle of my lifestyle change and the amazing opportunity to share this journey with my boyfriend.



International Women's Day is just a few days away on March 8th. On the official website, there is a call to action to increase financial independence of women, for there to be more women in science, engineering, and technology fields, more women in senior leadership roles, increased growth for women owned businesses, fairer recognition for women in sport, and equal recognition for women in the arts. Yea... that's a pretty long to-do list. However, not one of them is an unachievable goal. It all starts with having a voice, no matter how big or small (cue Dr. Seuss reference). Once women have a voice, they are able to effectuate change. Want to see more trees in your neighborhood? Join the local civil association. Want to see political change? Campaign for a politician who stands up for your values, or better yet RUN! Want that position? Hustle for it! 

Much like every other "month" or "day" that isn't a national holiday, there is some eye-rolling that comes along with it. Why not focus on these issues everyday? Great! It got you to think that we should be dealing with these issues everyday, now live up to it and go make some change! Personally, I think it's great that we have a day to think about how far women have come in the last century but also to reflect on just how far we have to go. 

In honor of International Women's Day, I'll be posting some features on some inspiring women, worthwhile organizations to get involved with, and even my first give away! Stay tuned!


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