IOA Corporate 5K run in Orlando

IOA Corporate Lake Eola

This past week I joined over 18,000 runners in the IOA Corporate 5K in downtown Orlando.  I had never participated before so I didn’t know what to expect.


The event had a record-breaking 18,020 participants representing over 790 companies in the Orlando area.  Most companies had purchased corporate tents- a gathering place for their runners.  Our tent was catered by Jason’s Deli- yummy.  They brought us sandwiches, fruit, brownies and cookies.

Jason's Deli IOA

IOA Brownies and Cookies

It was more of a big office party with the run being a side note.  It was hard to run among 18,000 people through the streets.  We didn’t even line up in the various corrals.  We just waited on the side and joined in once the race started.  There were runners everywhere.

IOA Corporate Run 2014

However, my company did very well and we won all three categories in the media division!  Go team!

IOA Corporate Run runners

After the race the sun had gone down and it was a perfect night for a fireworks show over Lake Eola.  It was a great display, however, I must have had some Disney cast members behind me who made the comment “We are all a little numb to fireworks.  I mean, we see them everyday.”  True that.  We do have fireworks all over Orlando every night and at any given time you will find yourself driving down the street and seeing big lights exploding in the sky.

Fireworks6 Fireworks8

We actually had fun watching the swans just swim around the lake- completely oblivious to the fireworks and the people that have invaded their turf.

Swans at Lake Eola

After the fireworks we decided to get out of the area before we got stuck in traffic.  Lucky for us, the big office party rolled on as we snuck quietly away.

IOA Corporate tents

We decided to hit IHOP to celebrate our race.

Spinach, Roasted Red Pepper & Cheese Griddle Melt

Berry Berry Brioche French Toast

Bellies full and legs tired we headed back home.  Though I didn’t score any record times during my run, it was fun!


This was my run for April- my goal this year is to run at least one race a month.  Chad and I actually ran two races in April- the other being the Legoland 5K.  Our race for May will be a lot of fun- we are running the back nine holes on the TPC Sawgrass Golf Course, one week before the PGA comes to town for their big tournament.  Stay tuned!

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Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans

Welcome to another edition of Vegan Monday!  Every week I am experimenting with Vegan recipes- some are quite simple, some require  little more effort.  Today’s recipe is fairly easy, simple and delicious.

Sweet Potato with Sprouts Beauty and the Beets

I was searching Pinterest for recipes with brussel sprouts (our favorite!) and found this interesting one from So Hungry I Could Blog (love the name!)- Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans.  My concern was the lack of any type of dressing or liquid and I was worried that the end result may be a bit dry.  I was pleasantly surprised that it was not only tasty, the moisture from the baked sweet potato made it moist and almost creamy.

Baked Sweet Potato with Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans

As you can see from the pictures and the recipe itself, blue cheese is added.  I found a Vegan Blue Cheese at Whole Foods we decided to try to make it Vegan.  While it lacked the punginess and bite of real blue cheese, it was a decent substitute.

Soy Blue Vegan Cheese

Baked Sweet Potatoes with Brussel Sprouts, Cranberries and Pecans

For the printable recipe go here


  • 2 medium-sized sweet potatoes
  • about 10 Brussels sprouts, rinsed and quartered
  • handful of pecans
  • handful of dried cranberries
  • 3 tablespoons blue cheese
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste


1. Wash the sweet potatoes and pierce the skin all over with a fork. Bake the potatoes at 400 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour, or until a knife can be easily inserted into the potatoes.

2. When the potatoes have about 15 minutes left in the oven, toss the Brussels sprouts in olive oil, salt and pepper and place in a metal or glass pan. Roast for about 15 minutes or until the leaves begin to brown and crisp.

3. Once the potatoes have cooled to where you can touch them, slice lengthwise and apply pressure to open. Top with the roasted Brussels sprouts, cranberries, pecans and cheese.

Makes two servings.

Sweet Potato with Sprouts

I served my potatoes alongside this Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing recipe that has been a huge hit on both my website and at my house.  Can it get healthier than that?

Kale Salad with Peanut Dressing

Tell me in the comments below- what are you making for Vegan and/or Meatless Monday?

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