Embrace the taper!

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Who wouldn’t love a taper? Only a crazy person! Of course there are a lot of crazy runners out there. Runners who run because it lets them run off the crazies. They’re typically the ones that go stir crazy during the taper.

Not me, nope. I’m an active person now, but it’s not really my nature to be active. I have gone against my nature so that I can age well, remain healthy, and remain at a healthy weight. That means forcing myself to be active.

I don’t have to force so much anymore; the funny thing about being active is that once you get over the initial resistance to it (which can take months, sometimes years, for some of us), it’s addictive. It becomes hard to be inactive.

I’m an active inactive person
That just means that being active doesn’t really come naturally to me. Even now, to some degree, after years of being active. When I come to the end of a training cycle, when I’ve been forced to be more active than usual, I am tired. I am ready to rest. And I love me a taper.

For all of you naturally active people, there’s good reason to embrace the taper, even if it goes against your nature. Because I think rest and recovery is important (or maybe because I like to rest so much), I’ve written about it a lot. Just take a look:

Apparently I’m kind of obsessed with resting, LOL!

Hiking, yoga, refueling: recovery can look like that for me

Why you taper
I may be a bit taper-obsessed, but there’s a reason the experts suggest you taper. Many, in fact, including:

  • To have fresh legs for your race
  • To help prevent burnout, mentally & physically
  • To help your immune system stay strong
  • To give you time to actually get ready for your race
  • To help you recover from all the training so that you’re excited for your race

Do you get the taper crazies?

Or do you embrace the taper?

Do you have any stories about tapers gone bad or particularly good?

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Linking up with Zenaida Arroyo and Kim @ Kookyrunner

This week I am also joining up with Running on Happy, Suzlyfe, Crazy Running Girl, and Coach Debbie Runs each week for the Coaches’ Corner linkup

coachescorner

Packing it Up: 7/9 – 15 Weekly Wrap

And taking it on the road. Most of this week was spent getting ready for our upcoming trip. It was its usual slog. And why did my dentist appointment have to fall a couple of days before we left? How about the moment I was afraid I’d lost my license (I didn’t)?

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home to share how I handled heat again, training, and packing this week.

WeeklyWrapNew

Workouts update

  • Monday: 5 miles easy
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk
  • Wednesday: 6 x 800 (total of 5 miles), PB Total Body Kettlebells (15 minutes)
  • Thursday:  Travel to MILs
  • Friday:  4 miles easy
  • Saturday: 9
  • Sunday: Travel to Boise

Mileage: 23 (-3)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

Monday
Although the heat is on again, the humidity isn’t, at least it wasn’t for this run. But that sun was sure beating down on me and had me wishing it was just the 4 miler I thought was scheduled, rather than five. But as usual, it got done.

Wednesday
6 x 400s. I can’t say as I looked forward to it, despite the nice cool weather — but the cloud cover made a huge difference and I actually nailed my paces (except for the first repeat). Not only that, in the past I’ve needed to walk more than I should to recover between each repeat, but I didn’t today.

Not that I’m ever going to find 400s anything less than hard.

Friday
There are truly lovely trails at a park near my MILs & I sure appreciated lower humidity, although WA was having a heatwave too!

Saturday
I talked my SIL into taking me to the East Lake Samamish Trail, which was great. I even got to see Mt. Rainier when I got off the trail for a bit.

Favorites of the week
Those 400s on Wednesday  — such a confidence booster. I really thought the run would suck but I nailed it (if you throw out the first repeat).

Getting out of Dodge! Okay, the real fun doesn’t start until next week, but even having the break from furkid duty — even if I miss them — feels good.

There have already been a few desserts, I picked up Garret’s popcorn in the Chicago airport, & I leave you with just a few photos of our shenanigans so far.

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Are you able to pack the night before a trip & not stress?

How long is long enough for you at your MILs?

Does your dentist make your next appointment at your cleaning — even though that’s 6 months away?

Let’s taper, shall we?: 7/2 – 8 Weekly Wrap

The theme for this week — until the weekend — was unbearable heat and humidity. I am not at all ashamed that two of my runs ended up on the treadmill. Recently a relatively young runner died in a race due to heat stroke. And I saw someone go down right in front of me in Wednesday’s race, too.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Wendy @ Taking the Long Way Home to share how I handled heat, racing, and training this week.

WeeklyWrapNew

Workouts update

  • Monday: Dogwalk, Speedwork 8 x 400 with 200 recovery on TM (total of 6 miles), PB Total Body (30)
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Swimming
  • Wednesday: Firecracker 4 (and yes, that was it for the day!)
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, 4 easy treadmill miles, PB Kettlebell Legs (20 min)
  • Friday:  Dogwalk
  • Saturday: 12 blessedly cool miles, Iron Strength Glutes
  • Sunday: Dogwalk disguised as a Short Hike

Mileage: 26 (+1)

JY = Jasyoga
PB = Killer B
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running Updates

I definitely do have my limits (unless with friends, apparently)

Monday
With a real temperature of 93F (feels like 106) I am #sorrynotsorryatall that I did my speed work on the treadmill. I just couldn’t get out early enough to beat the heat — well, I did to walk the dogs, which is part of why I couldn’t run early.

Was it tough? It wasn’t as bad as I had made it up to be in my mind. Will it help in Wednesday’s hot & humid race? Nope. Not sure anything really will . . .

Before the race. We were all a hot mess afterwards.

Wednesday
This was my fifth year running Firecracker 4 — and the hottest year yet! I went in prepared for a slow race. Rachel @ Runningonhappy had a race plan for me but due to the extreme heat, I ignored it and ran by feel (a wise decision).

A group of my friends goes most years. I was waiting for people to bail, but no one did.

I’ll recap it Tuesday, because yes, I like to tease that way.

Thursday
Today we actually did get thunderstorms — good news being the heatwave is finally going to break — yup, another treadmill run. Four miles I have to admit I wasn’t feeling and they felt oh-so-much harder than yesterday’s four mile race — but got it done!

Early morning miles and smiles

Saturday
I couldn’t have asked for better weather for my longest run of this training cycle. The heatwave broke, it was cool and dry, and the sun was shining brightly. It was a confidence building 12 mile run — and no taping. I felt a little tightness towards the end, but it quickly dissipated after the run.

I happened to “run” into a Skirt Sister right before the run, who was kind enough to take some photos of me even though she was a little late.

Favorites of the week
The heatwave breaking! It’s going to heat back up, but nowhere near as bad as last week. And the weather this weekend was so beautiful.

We finally booked a room for my 1812 race next month! In fact, we booked two rooms. The first place looks a bit sketchy, but we wanted to make sure we had something. Both have a relatively liberal cancellation policy.

We did split it. Sort of. I may or may not have eaten most of the brownie.

I decided that since I felt I liked the brownie sundae better than the cupcake sundae — don’t get me wrong, they’re both good — that I had to go out and get the brownie sundae to celebrate 12 miles.

I’ve run at the bikepath for many years, but it was only in the last few that I realized there are all sorts of trails around it too. Mr Judy, the dogs, and I got out this morning to explore just a little.

Blog posts that caught my eye this week:

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do you feel you deserve a reward for a double digit run?

Would you rather swelter than ever run on the treadmill?

Do you have a cut off point for running outside when it comes to the heat?

Hello Taper!: 9/11-17 Weekly Wrap

I love me some taper. Seriously. I am so ready for mine. Y’all, I started training for halfs in March of 2016 with almost no breaks at all since then. So many do more, but that’s a lot for me!

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and sharing how my last peak week of training went down. Share along with us — we want to know how you’re doing!

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: 5 miles easy, PB Arms, Dogwalk
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, 5 miles (4 x 800s), Pilates
  • Wednesday: Dogwalk, PB HIIT, Swim 25 minutes
  • Thursday:  YFR Hamstrings, Dogwalk, 6 miles easy
  • Friday: Dogwalk, PB Core
  • Saturday: YFPR Knees, Hips & Digestion, 12 mile LSD
  • Sunday: Dogwalk

Mileage: 28 (+3 )

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

Loved the Wool Tee for a cooler day — too bad the heat came back!

Monday


Being 9/11, you’d think that would be on my mind for this run. Oddly enough, no, although of course it was on my mind on & off throughout the day.

I decided to do a grocery store run, so I took Bandit out with me the first 1.5 miles, dropped him off at home, tried to get Lola to do her business but no go, and then ran out & ended at the grocery store (I have an insulated backpack to carry home the groceries).

Nothing remarkable about this run except for its slowness. I am almost in taper town, so I am not pushing things (except for speed work). It was another beautiful day to run, too, and I enjoyed the run, it was just slow.

I did wear the Skirtsports Wonder Wool Tee for the first time. Love it! Normally I’d bring something to change into because I’ll get chilled walking home in my sweaty running clothes. You couldn’t even tell I’d sweated (except for the under arms). And it is actually way more flattering than it appears on the Website.

The heron’s made his home

Tuesday


Same workout as last week: 1 mile warmup; 4 x 800m fast with 400m recovery; 1 mile cooldown. I told Rachel @ Runningonhappy last week that I needed to adjust the paces. They just weren’t happening.

I went back to the same park I used for this run last week. It’s not as flat as the path I usually do speed work on, but heck, my race won’t be flat either (although net downhill). I kept the pace deliberately slower on the first repeat — I thought maybe I’d just gone out too hard the previous week. Except it ended up way slower than it ought to have been.

Never one to give up easily, the next three repeats just squeaked into the newly adjusted pace range and were, in fact, the exact same pace. And while my cool down mile was slow, it wasn’t as bad as the previous week; this run was still really hard for me, but it also didn’t suck the life out of me as much as the previous week. And it was a minute faster — I’ll take it!

Bandit enjoying the cool down

Thursday


I checked both weather apps and the radar today because yes, rain was in the forecast. Unfortunately it didn’t happen and it was hot and humid; been a while since I ran in that.

I’m keeping with the keep it easy (except the speedwork) theme. I didn’t sleep well the night before, I didn’t hydrate as well as usual, and I kept falling asleep while watching some tv after lunch.

So I just ran. The first mile was super slow — which kind of annoyed me — until I realized that I had to stop because I still had it on lap key instead of autolap and alerts for each quarter mile — left over from Tuesday’s speedwork — so I stopped and adjusted that and I think that accounted for the slowness.

The rest of the run was also on the slow side, but reasonable. I just wanted it done. I was tired and felt sluggish. Then I picked up Bandit for the last mile.

Yes, Fall’s here, even if it feels like summer now!

Saturday


This last really long run was another confidence booster, but in a different way from last week’s. It was much warmer and more humid than last week. Runners were complaining about the humidity up and down the east coast.

The run started out great. I had an average pace in mind, and while the first mile was slow, the rest all feel within that pace — all over the place, but actually a bit faster than that fast.

Until mile 9, that is. When I lost the cloud cover. This would be around 10 am or so (yes, I got out there a bit later than I’d planned on). I’ll admit it — I just couldn’t pull myself out of a negative funk. Not that “I’ll never run the race I want” place, but simply “I can no longer move my legs fast” place. I tried, but heat and humidity has a way of sucking the positive out of me.

The last couple of miles were very slow and a huge struggle, but you know what? In the end my average pace was the pace I had in mind to run this run! Glacially slow for most of my readers, but it’s actually speedy for me — not as speedy as last week, but that’s okay.

There’s hope for this race!

Favorites of the week
The weather was wacky again. I got to try out the Wonder Wool Tee from Skirtsports on Monday (love it!) and by yesterday’s long run I was back in a skirt and tank. Code BDAY13 gets you $20 off your order through tomorrow, 9/18.

Not a favorite? Hitting my foot on the sharp edge of our wooden platform bed last weekend. You should’ve seen the goose egg and bruise. While it hurt like a mother when I did it, thankfully it didn’t hurt to walk on and didn’t effect running.

And then there were the gnats on my long run. Holly @ Hohoruns had talked about being covered with them when she got through with a run — which had never happened to me — until yesterday. It was disgusting!

And can we talk about the fact that my knee was tight after swimming this week? There was no question about taping for my long run and I’m happy to report it wasn’t an issue (and I already have a massage and chiropractor appointment booked before that happened — long overdue anyway).

Today I’m relaxing, recovering, and spending the night with my parents because a couple of my West Coast cousins are in town on Monday.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Do the gnats stick to you?

Have your leaves begun to change (if they do in fall)? 

Sad to see summer go or happy for Fall? 

Winding down: 5/29-6/4 Weekly Wrap

Before you know it I’ll be winding down the half marathon course in Utah. Where hopefully I’ll be meeting up with some awesome bloggers — including one of our lovely hosts, Holly.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin; I’m sharing how Rachel @ Runningonhappy helped me wind down this half marathon training cycle.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: 5 x 400m down/uphill reeats (5 miles total), Iron Strength Core
  • Tuesday: Dogwalk, Iron Strength Abbreviated
  • Wednesday: 6 mile tempo run (outside!), Dogwalk, Core
  • Thursday:  Dogwalk, Iron Strength Glute Blaster
  • Friday: 4 miles easy
  • Saturday: Travel day with a very early departure
  • Sunday: 8 mile long run? Turned out to be 7.5

Mileage: 22.5 (-4.5)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 


Monday


The forecast called for showers almost all day with supposedly a break in the afternoon. It wasn’t that bad in the morning and I decided I just wanted to get the run done!

I chose wisely. There was light rain for much of my run, but it went well. I didn’t push it but I’m pleased with my pace again. Of course the skies opened up the last mile, but I was dressed for it and actually the sound of rain is really soothing (not sure it would be for 13.1 miles).

Although the rain did finally let up a bit, it never really dried out. 

Wednesday


It was forecast to be a disgusting day — a lot of rain and a lot of chance for thunderstorms. And they got it totally wrong. A little rain in the morning. And then it turned into the most beautiful day.

Good thing, because the treadmill still wasn’t running. And I didn’t plan to run through thunderstorms.

I headed out thinking I’d be rained on, but I stayed dry. It was a lot more humid than it’s been lately — and warmer (although not hot) — maybe that’s why it felt so hard?

Or maybe it was the fact that the last time I’d run a tempo run was the beginning of March, and that was at the bike path, which is a lot flatter than my neighborhood.

I didn’t quite make my paces and damn I was giving it my all. Some runs are just like that. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad run, just hard.


Friday


I was totally planning on squeezing in a long run after dropping Bandit off at the pet sitter. But when I woke up, I just felt run down. It’s always a struggle, but I knew that long run just wasn’t in my best interest this day (even if the weather was pretty damn awesome).

I did manage to squeeze in a 4 mile easy run (negative splits again!). I parked at the Salt Den, ran around the area, then relaxed there post run. I tried to figure out a way to just run there, but then I’d have to walk home — not enough time — or run home — thereby blowing all the nice relexation.

 

Sunday


I just ran on the nice wide shoulder of the road. Stopping often to take photos. Exploring. Discovering a water fountain to refill my bottles in the nick of time. 

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Yes, I topped it with another piece of bread
Favorites of the week
I’m not sure it qualifies as a favorite — but it was totally random (a lot of that going on lately) and hit the spot. The avocado I had planned to use for my sandwich on Thursday was way overripe, sadly. Unusable, in fact.

So I made a PB&J. And topped it with a hard boiled egg and some bacon. So you got your sweet, your salty, your protein, and your fat.

Not pictured: relaxing in the Salt Den and a pretty awesome Sports Massage + infrared wrap.




Just a few photos from the long drive down to Bryce Canyon.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

Does it bother you if you can’t hit the right paces? 

Do you ever enjoy running in the rain? 

What’s the weirdest PB&J you’ve ever made??

Spring Blizzard Stella: 3/13-19 Weekly Wrap

You’ll notice, probably, that there wasn’t as much activity as normal. Not a lot of dog walking. Not much cross training. Not as much strength work.

Yes, a lot of that was due to the blizzard, because when I wasn’t running on the treadmill, I was shoveling. Maybe Stella came along at a good time for me and prevented me from overdoing things? Although if you’ve ever shoveled two feet of snow, you know it’s a workout. Good thing Mr. Judy uses the snow blower on most of it.

I’m joining up with the Weekly Wrap from Holly @ Hohoruns and Tricia @ Misssipppiddlin and am into my taper — I always love me a taper.

WeeklyWrap

Workouts update

  • Monday: Iron Strength Glutes Blaster, Dogwalk Pilates Rapid Results Arms, Buns & Thighs
  • Tuesday: 6 miles (4 @ tempo)
  • Wednesday: 4 miles easy
  • Thursday:  6 miles speedwork
  • Friday: Iron Strength Abbreviated, Dogwalk
  • Saturday: Dogwalk
  • Sunday: 8 Mile LSD & a massage

Mileage: 24 (-6)

JY = Jasyoga
TM = Treadmill
YFR = Yoga for Runners*
WU = warmup
CD = cooldown
SB = Stationary Bike
YFPR = Yoga for Pain Relief
YTU = Yoga Tune Up Lower Body*

*Disclaimer: Amazon affiliate links; I will make a small amount of money if you buy through these links

Running updates 

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When a blizzard hits, I hit the treadmill for 6
Tuesday


Did you hear the one about Blizzard Stella? Yeah, unfortunately they got that forecast right. So in between shoveling paths for the dogs so they didn’t disappear forever and freeze to death, I ran my tempo run on the treadmill.

I’d already whine the previous evening to Rachel @ Runningonhappy to not make me do 6, and she said 5 was okay. But once I got on there — no, it wasn’t easy, but what’s one more mile? Maybe it felt a little easier? Maybe?

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Pre indoor run in fleece lined tights

Wednesday


I seriously did not want to be back on the treadmill but . . . still cold and super windy. Hardly worth going out twice (errands earlier in the day), which makes Bandit super anxious and can lead to bathroom issues . . . hoping this is my last treadmill run for a while.

 

Thursday


Another tough speed workout! 8 x 400m with 200m recovery (plus warmup & cooldown, of course). And while I could have run outside, it was bitterly cold, super windy — yes, still — and I spent my third day in a row on the treadmill. A first, I think.

Somewhere in the fourth mile I couldn’t remember if I was in the middle or the beginning of the little 400m track on my treadmill . . . pretty sure I screwed up and no doubt ended up not running as hard for as long as I should’ve.

Still, the 400m were at 6.2 mph, which for me is super fast (and yes, it wasn’t easy either — especially not for 3 miles!).

I wore a skirt for this run!

Really does not show the amount of snow there!

Sunday


I finally met up with Darlene for a run for the first time in many months. Our schedules just haven’t meshed much lately, due to her job and my working on my parents’ house.

And in the first time in what seems like forever, the weather was great. We met up at the park  and there was a lot of looping, as not all the paths are cleared, but the ones that were were fine.

As always when running with Darlene, I sometimes ran a little faster than I probably would have on my own. I keep an eye on my pace, though, and dial it back down when I realize we’re running at a pace that’s too fast for me to maintain for 8 miles.

Nothing beats a little face to face time and it was really nice to catch up.

 

Favorites of the week
No scrumptious desserts this week — I’ll have a few next week, no doubt! And while Blizzard Stella could hardly be called a favorite, it did give me a few photo opps:

bstella1
Just liked the shapes the snow made

bstella2
Our front door with roughly 2 feet of snow blocking it

bstella3
A winter wonderland — just in time for spring!

bstella4
It’s a team effort with Mr. Judy snow blowing & me shoveling pitstops for the dogs

bstella5
If Bandit wanted to escape, he missed his chance

bstella6
Here’s why we need to make paths in the backyard
What those photos doesn’t show is the cold. And wind. And the cold all that snow pumps out. And the fact that there are very few places to get a long run in without snow shoes — the good news being it was my last long run before my race, meaning it wasn’t as long.

Of course the run with Darlene was a favorite. Running into my running buddy and catching up with her, too, although unfortunately she has some sad news. And a massage.

And that’s a wrap 

link-up-badge

This week I am also linking up with the Sunday Fitness & Food Linkup brought to you by Ilka @ Ilka’s Blog and Angela @ Marathons & Motivation.

Let’s get the conversation started:

What temperature would you like it to be now? 

Any exciting Spring vacations coming up?

Do you lose track of speedwork repeats?

5 hacks to replace eggs when baking

eggs

I am not vegan; no, I’m not even vegetarian. Yet I often do eat vegan and vegetarian — I also eat meat, cheese, and fish; but I try to limit the meat and cheese, as I don’t consider them the healthiest options.

I do eat a lot of eggs, but as I said, I like to mix it up, so I do love vegan baking. Maybe someone in your family is vegan. Maybe someone in your family is allergic to eggs.

Never fear, you can still bake!

It is the end of an era: I feel as though my blog has grown up the Friday Five  from Cynthia from You Signed Up for What?, Courtney from Eat Pray Run DC, and Mar from Mar on the Run, and today, while helping you bake without eggs, I’m also saying thanks to these three bloggers for helping me grow my blog. The Friday Five will be missed.

Each of these hacks is the equivalent of one whole egg.

Flax Eggs
Mix 1 tbsp ground flaxseeds with 3 tbsp water and let it sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.

Flaxseed does have a nutty flavor, so take that into consideration when choosing where to use flax eggs.

Chia Eggs
Mix 1 tbsp chia seeds with 3 tbsp water and let sit approximately 10 minutes until it gels.

I know, I know — this is the same thing as flax eggs, only using chia seeds. While flaxseeds will give a slightly nutty flavor to baked goods, chia seeds don’t — but they do have a tendency to stick in your teeth. On the positive side, chia seeds have a lot of healthy benefits, like lots of fiber and calcium, for instance.

Chickpea Four
Mix 3 tbsp flour with 3 tbsp water.

I have not actually tried this method, although I do have quite a few chickpea flour recipes I want to try!

Banana
One ripe banana (mashed).

This works well in anything sweet: pancakes, cookies, brownies, muffins, etc. The riper the banana, the more sweetness it will add. You may need to cut back on the sweetener — it all depends on your sweet tooth.

Pumpkin
Use 1/4 cup pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie mix).

It is time for all things pumpkin, after all.

Talk to me. Leave a comment or answer a question:

Do you ever worry about how many eggs you eat?

Have you tried any of these egg hacks?

Are you allergic to any foods?