Happy New Year! Thank you for sticking around for what has been an inconsistent year on my part. 💖
I learned a lot about myself in 2022. I stepped out of my comfort zone more than I have in quite some time, and let go of a lot of the limiting beliefs that had been holding me back for most of my twenties. I still have a lot to work on, but all in all, 2022 was a year of personal expansion. I am grateful for everyone and everything that made it a truly memorable year.
I am going into 2023 with a clearer vision and a renewed sense of purpose with Up Beet Kitchen. Stay tuned for more nourishing and delicious recipes, as well as some fresh new nutrition, holistic wellness, and fitness content. 💫
Before I forge ahead with that, here are some of my favourite moments of 2022 in photographs.
I am wishing you all a healthy and happy start to 2023. As always, thank you so much for being here! I look forward to sharing more of my nourishing recipes and healthy inspiration with you in the coming weeks.
My favourite week of the year, by far, was a rather spontaneous trip to Ithaca, New York, in September. It’s a destination that had been on my bucket list for well over a decade. Those familiar with Ithaca know that it is the home of the famous Moosewood Restaurant, a vegetarian mecca since the 1970s. It is also famous for its waterfalls, of which there are 150 in a 10-mile radius! We rented a cute little Airbnb in downtown Ithaca and spent most our days hiking/chasing waterfalls.
We hiked at Robert Treman State Park, Taughannock Falls State Park, Buttermilk Falls State Park, and Watkins Glen State Park. All had their own unique beauty, and I would find it challenging to choose my favourite.
Robert Treman State Park is home to Lucifer Falls, pictured above. The Gorge Trail leads you to these incredible falls, near the top of the park, and the Rim Trail leads you back down with this view from the other side. We visited the park three times over the course of our stay, as we could not get enough!
Buttermilk Falls, above, are also gorgeous. We enjoyed a couple of picnic lunches at the bottom of the falls, and completed the hike a couple of times as well. In the summer, the natural pool below the falls is open for swimming. Sadly, we arrived a bit too late in the year to enjoy that!
Taughannock Falls has an understated beauty. The photo does not do it justice! It is, in fact, taller than Niagara Falls. The canyon that surrounds these falls is nothing short of spectacular. Seconds after snapping this photo, a tremendous clap of thunder sounded and a torrential downpour began. It was one of the more mystical moments in nature that I have experienced.
Before seeing Taughannock Falls, we checked out the other side of the state park, along the shores of Cayuga Lake.
We also explored the Cornell University campus, enjoyed some incredible craft beer and delicious local food, and fell in love with shopping at the Green Star Coop. (What an amazing store!)
Above is a photo of Cornell Botanic Gardens, and below is the campus arboretum. What an incredible campus! If you are a current Cornell student or an alumnus, all I can say is, wow. What an experience!
One of the days, we spent the morning in Watkins Glen State Park. Located about 40 minutes west of Ithaca by car, the town of Watkins Glen is on the shores of Seneca Lake. The town is beautiful, replete with heritage architecture, a bustling main street, and, of course, the awe-inspiring state park of the same name. This one definitely had a more touristy vibe to it, and I can imagine that it would be quite busy during peak summer tourist season. When we went, it was busy, but there were not any big crowds.
Upon entering, you climb a set of stairs and walk under a waterfall before continuing the climb up to the top of the park. Along the way, you encounter a number of waterfalls cascading down into these vibrant green pools. I felt like I was in a fairy tale during this walk.
What is incredible about these state parks is that the Civilian Conservation Corps built most of the trails and infrastructure that still stands today during the Great Depression. They have truly stood the test of time!
This rail bridge in Watkins Glen was rebuilt after a flood washed it out in 1939. An engineering marvel.
We stayed for four days, but I could have quite easily stayed for at least a month… errrr, make that a lifetime! There is so much beauty in Upstate New York, and I am looking so forward to continuing to explore it in the coming year.
Getting back into training for and running in races was another highlight of the year. With races back on after the pandemic, I had decided to run a spring 10K in Ottawa and a fall marathon in Prince Edward Island.
I ran my 10K in an okay (for me) time of 42:28. I was pretty happy with it, as I had taken a fair bit of time off running prior to starting to train for that in late winter of 2022.
A short time later, I decided to register for the Prince Edward Marathon in October. Training for a marathon (my first since 2018) was a great experience, particularly since some stressful life events transpired in the summer. Spending many hours every week running on quiet trails was incredibly cathartic. However, as is often the case for me, I ended up training a bit too hard. I was running too many of my miles in the “grey zone,” which is a pace that is neither fast enough to get faster, nor slow enough to recover sufficiently to allow you to run to your full potential on workout days.
What this meant for my marathon was that I ended up going into it rather “overcooked,” as they say. I was overtrained and under-rested. While I tried to stay positive going into the race, something deep down inside of me knew that I was not going to have a great day out there.
The race began and I was not feeling great. My legs felt heavy, I felt short on breath, and I was unable to get into a rhythm. I felt how I expected to feel towards the end of the marathon, in the first 10 km. Not an auspicious sign!
To make a long story short, I ended up completing just over one loop of the two loop marathon course before calling it quits. While it’s nice to finish what we start, I have learned that when it comes to running, or any physical pursuit for that matter, it is equally as important to know when to stop. There is no sense in pushing yourself to the point of injury or worse- a lesson that I have learned the hard way a few times.
While I was a bit disappointed in myself for not finishing the race, I tried to make the most of my weekend in Charlottetown. If nothing else, it was good to get out of my comfort zone and travel on my own for the first time in a few years.
I came home and took a few days off before shifting my focus to a new kind of challenge: the 5K. It had been quite some time since I had strung together 5 sub-4 minute kilometres, and I wanted to see what I would be able to do with the solid aerobic base that marathon training had built. I found a really good sub-20 minute 5K training plan and got to work. After 4 weeks of following it, I was able to run a 5K in 19 minutes and 30 seconds. It was probably the most satisfying moment in this entire year of training.
Other highlights of the year included becoming an auntie to the most beautiful baby girl, deepening relationships with family and friends, connecting with some wonderful and inspiring new people at work, and learning to believe more in myself and my worth.
If all goes according to the intentions that I have set for the year, 2023 will be Up Beet Kitchen’s best one yet. 🙂
Looking forward to another year of expansion and evolution, both personally and professionally! Cheers to moving forward in 2023.