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5 Benefits from Surviving the Whole30

And 30 days later, we are done!

The whole30 wasn’t always the easiest thing, but I also realize that at the end of the day, it’s only food and drinks, which is such a small, insignificant thing in the grand scheme of entire your life. As the authors say,  “It is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Quitting heroin is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard.”


whole30 = lots of squash

There were definitely moments when I wanted to quit, and moments when I just felt so frustrated and annoyed, but there were more instances in which I felt so good, I didn’t want to stop. As for now, I plan to relax the reigns a bit, but I hope and plan to continue eating this way for the most part. Here are some improvements I saw:

1. Physical appearance. I am so much less bloated. I honestly never realized how bloated I was until it went away. My clothes fit me so much better and some are even a little baggy. I also ended up losing nine pounds, but I had gained weight from the holidays, so I am pretty much back at my “normal” weight.

2. Sleep. In the past, I would never sleep through the night. Now? I rarely even move. I’ve been waking up before my alarm, when in the past, it would jar me out of a semi-slumber. I feel much more well-rested, despite the fact that I have not altered my sleeping habits.

3. Preferences. I usually prefer sweeter foods, as opposed to savory. However, the other day, I tried to eat a cherry pie larabar, and I couldn’t even finish it because it was so sweet. Keep in mind, the ingredients are almonds, dates and unsweetened cherries. No sugar or any kind of sweetener is added, and I still couldn’t tolerate the taste, because it was way too sweet. And the same held true for wines and ciders when I began drinking again!

4. No need for caffeine. It’s been a month without Diet Coke! While the first two weeks were tough, I now make it through my days sans caffeine with no problem. No morning pick-me-up, no afternoon slump. My energy feels very streamlined throughout the day.

5. Energy. I feel so much more energized. Fueling myself with good, healthy food has led to me feeling like a new person. I wake up feeling ready to tackle the day, not dragging. Overall, I just feel so much better.

It’s funny, before this program, I thought I felt pretty good, and I thought I ate pretty healthy. But by taking it to the next level and realizing how much better I could feel has really had a profound effect on me. While this program is strict, I think it was well worth it to feel how I do today.

Now, I just have to stay away from the Diet Coke …

CATEGORIES: Fitness, Food/Drink


Brewers of Pennsylvania meet in Hershey

Following another successful Meeting of the Malts (this one in Pittsburgh), the Brewers of Pennsylvania gathered for their annual meeting last month at our very own Troegs Brewing Co. in Hershey.

I’m an Enthusiast level member of the group since late last year, but I was able to finagle a media invitation to the Sunday night social, wherein BOP members from all over the state met to socialize, sample and network with industry-related folk.

BOP Troegs

The agenda was abbreviated due to the impending forecast, so while sampling beers from Troegs (I started with a little Nugget Nectar, as one is wont to do this season) as well as treats from visiting brewers, I chatted with the surprising number of attorneys I already knew (like Brian Gregg and Tim Horstmann of McNees and their blog, Jurisbrewdence), as well as everyone’s favorite attorney-turned-insurance guy, Andy Enders.

Watch the What’s on Tap episode featuring Andy Enders.

Also on the scene were soon-to-open Zeroday Brewing Co. duo Brandalynn and Theo Armstrong, Appalachian Brewing Co.‘s Artie Tafoya, of course John and Chris Trogner of Troegs, Millbock‘s Alan Miller and The Brewery at Hershey’s Ryan DeLutis, among many others.

Brandalynn Armstrong of Zeroday Brewing Co. and Andy Enders of Enders Insurance.

Brandalynn Armstrong of Zeroday Brewing Co. and Andy Enders of Enders Insurance.

While waiting patiently for a refill (this time, a sample of Troegs Jovial), I chatted with Victory Brewing Co. founder and current BOP Board President Bill Covaleski, who despite being a craft beer superstar, was easy to talk to and incredibly friendly.

We also were treated to an incredible barbecue dinner, care of Troegs’ incredible Chef Christian DeLutis, who weighed us down with a half a chicken, macaroni and cheese, slaw, and a JavaHead cupcake.

Two attorneys, an insurance agent and three brewers walk into a bar ...

Two attorneys, an insurance agent and three brewers walk into a bar …

Watch the What’s on Tap episode featuring ABC’s Artie Tafoya.

We did hear from keynote speaker, J.B. Shireman, who beyond an impressive resume spanning nearly every facet of the industry, is Vice President of First Beverage Group. Shireman talked quickly and thoroughly about trends in craft beer and how they can impact Pennsylvania brewers.

A rapt audience of Pennsylvania brewers listen to a talk from J.B. Shireman.

A rapt audience of Pennsylvania brewers listen to a talk from J.B. Shireman.

Socializing continued throughout the night, readying folks for the following day — a members-only business meeting that included presentations and discussion on a variety of relevant topics to the industry in Pennsylvania.

Giveaway: HHWC’s ValenWine’s Day

Explore the Hershey Harrisburg regions wineries over two weekends this month!

Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country’s ValenWine’s Day Celebration takes place Saturdays and Sundays, Feb. 14-15 and 21-22, from noon to 5 p.m.

HHWC mike sara tierney

Cheers from Buddy Boy Winery.

This four-day wine and chocolate experience will provide guests the opportunity to explore many of the wineries of the Hershey Harrisburg Wine Country.  As you travel to each of the wineries, you will enjoy hand-crafted, award-winning wines paired with chocolates from around the world, along with 10 percent off wine purchases and a complimentary souvenir glass.

All guests who visit five or more wineries those weekends will be entered into a drawing for a Wine Country basket!

Participating wineries include:

Tickets are $15 per person or $25 per couple.

This week, we’re giving away (2) Couples Passes to HHWC’s ValenWine’s Day CelebrationTo enter, complete the Rafflecopter widget below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Happy Hour Recap {Spring Gate Vineyard}

Despite the one-week snow delay, we had a terrific showing for our first Happy Hour of 2015!

sbhh spring gate

Spring Gate Vineyard, the gorgeous farm and winery located on Devonshire Road right behind Target, etc. (yeah really!), was our host. The event also kicked-off the grand opening of their new Tasting Room, which expanded their initial tasting bar to the entire first floor of the barn. Beautiful wood, high ceilings and a well-stocked bar (with room for live music, plenty of tables and food, to boot) completed the set-up.

sbhh spring gate

Guests sampled from Spring Gate’s wide variety of sweet and dry wines, including a few special ones from their sister winery, North Gate, located in northern Virginia. Spring Gate also offers a rotating variety of ciders; two hopped versions were available Wednesday night.

sbhh spring gate

Bountiful snacks from Grand Cru Hospitality sated palates. I’m still mad at myself for skipping out on the Peanut Butter Pie, which I hear was just outstanding. Grand Cru is a Spring Gate partner and caters many of their public events, but is also available for private events hosted in the winery’s cafe.

sbhh spring gate

Great live music was brought to us by Hank Imhof, another Spring Gate regular.

sbhh spring gate

Big thanks to Spring Gate Vineyard for their wonderful and competent staff, setting the tone for a terrific night.

sbhh spring gate

And of course THANK YOU for coming out on a cold winter’s mid-week night. Whether it was your first or your 10th event, we’re always thrilled to have you.

sbhh spring gate

Last but never least — thanks as always to Bart Kaminski, our official photographer, for capturing photos from the night. Be sure to check out the full album on our Facebook page — tag yourselves!

CATEGORIES: Harrisburg, LivePA, SBHH, Wine

Brew News – January 2015 Edition

2015 has gone off with quite a bang for the craft beer industry. It’s been a turbulent month with a legal battle, a notable acquisition, and of course new beers. To be fair, it’s been hard to keep up with everything that’s been happening in the craft beer world as of late, but worry not – I’ve got the quick skim of the month’s biggest stories.

Lagunitas Files Against Sierra Nevada, Then Changes Their Mind

sierra nevada hop hunter

Law suits in the craft beer world are nothing new. This one, however, had a lot of people up in arms. Sierra Nevada introduced three new beers this year, one of which is the Hop Hunter IPA, which features wet hops steam distilled right in the fields giving you that fresh wet hop flavor year round. It also featured the big, bold, black letters IPA in the middle ground of the label, which Lagunitas had a big issue with.

The problem isn’t the use of the letters IPA, which are used across the board and can’t be trademarked. According to Lagunitas, the issue was the kerning and stylization of the letters as they felt it was too similar to their current branding. In the end, the law suit was dropped after massive public outcry against Lagunitas. Many consumers vowed to boycott their products in response, both before and after they dropped the law suit.

I’m going to just keep drinking both brands, they can save the drama for their mamas.



Weekend Roundup 1/29

It’s been another busy week for the books. Last night kicked off our 2015 Happy Hour season with a great event at Spring Gate Vineyard. I’ll have a full recap on that, along with great photos to share, coming soon.

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Today, I’m headed on a field trip to Lititz, hopefully returning before any impacting weather. This weekend, Andy and I are going to Washington, D.C. to visit family and check out some cool spots, including DC Brau. We’ll return in time to pick up some wings and hunker in to watch the Super Bowl from the comfort of our couch.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend? 


Winter Running: 5 Things that Send Me to the Treadmill, Every Time

I hate the treadmill.

I find it terribly boring, and it makes me not really enjoy running so much. However, I recognize there are times when it’s either treadmill run or no run. And in that case, I will almost always chose the treadmill.

winter run

As my friend Steve and I always say, “What’s worse than running?”

“Not running.”

That being said, here are a few cases in which I will always succumb to the treadmill.

1. Wind. The wind is my #1 nemesis. If there are winds above 20-25 mph in the winter, I am on the treadmill. It’s totally frustrating to run into winds at that degree because you really don’t go anywhere. It’s like I can feel the windburn before I even step outside the door. I recognize I will not have an enjoyable run if I am suffering the whole time.

2. Freezing rain, sleet and/or ice. I have a pair of YakTrax, which I highly recommend, to run in snowy and icy conditions. However, if it’s freezing rain and sleeting at me, I don’t particularly feel safe running in those conditions. I’d rather drag myself to the treadmill instead of ending up with a broken limb or hypothermia.

3. Negative temperatures. I will run until it’s in the single digits, but once it drops below zero, I usually hit the treadmill. I’ve had a few runs in sub-zero temperatures, and they have never been a positive experience for me. If it’s so cold, your body actually hurts, it may be time to go indoors.

4. Unknown place. I love to run while on vacation, but there are also some trips that don’t allow for a leisurely post-breakfast jog. In December, I was in Atlantic City for work, and while I had originally planned to run outside while there, I quickly realized it wasn’t the best idea. I’d have to be finished running before dawn, I didn’t know the area and AC doesn’t have the best reputation. I have no problem running before dawn on my normal routes, but it made me nervous to consider the fact that I’d probably get lost and be wandering around New Jersey at 5:30 a.m. Off to the treadmill it was.

5. Speed Work. Um, so I don’t really do that much speed work. (Just like my swimming days, I don’t need to swim fast, I need to swim far. I guess it would be nice to do both, huh?) However, last winter, when I was seriously training for Boston, and we were living through the polar vortex, I did all my speed work on the treadmill. It is much easier to nail your paces and keep track of everything when you’re on the machine. So, maybe I should do some Yasso 800s or something soon, instead of running the same pace and staring at the wall.

It requires a lot of mind games and tricks for me to stay on the treadmill for an extended period of time. Here are some tips I posted last year for running on the treadmill. What sends you to the treadmill?

CATEGORIES: Fitness, Running


RECAP: Hershey Bears taken to overtime

The Hershey Bears were coming into Saturday night’s game against the Binghamton Senators looking for their fourth straight win with a chance to stay  the top dogs in the Eastern Division going into the All-Star break, and the win couldn’t have come in a more fitting way.

Connor Carrick, one of three Bears going to the All-Star game in Utica on Monday, put an exclamation point on the halfway point of the season by getting the game-winning goal in overtime.

hershey bears

After three chippy periods of play, where the Bears controlled the puck for the majority of the game, the teams were tied at two. Both goalies were able to make key saves and the penalty kills for both teams came up huge when they needed it.

This was the second straight overtime game between the two teams, but the Bears were just a bit better in this one and were able to pull it out 3-2.

The Bears took the opening faceoff and controlled the pace of play for the majority of the first period. They had a flurry of chances including a power play halfway through the period, but they weren’t able to break through and eventually were playing from behind.

Just shortly after killing the penalty Binghamton had their first chance. The puck dribbled out from behind the Hershey net right to Buddy Robinson, who was able deke his way around Bears’ goalie Peter Grabauer and slide it passed for the opening goal.

Hershey thought they scored the equalizer when the puck trickled behind Peter Mannino but the play was blown dead, much to the chagrin of the Bears faithful.


CATEGORIES: Hershey, Sports

4 Recipes for Craft Beer Comfort Food

As I write this, snow is falling outside, and I have no interest in leaving the house at all. When the weather is frightful, and you’re starting to feel like a homebody, comfort food is inevitable. Sometimes there’s just nothing better than cuddling up with a home cooked meal. Cooking with craft beer (and I do mean drinking some in the process) is easy and fun.

Ready for your new favorite dish? Check out these craft beer comfort food ideas.

Milk Stout Brownies

Yep, we’re going to dive right in with the ultimate comfort food: chocolate. Stout brownie, cupcake, and cookie recipes exist all over the internet, most featuring Guinness. Ditch that Irish Dry Stout for a chocolate or milk stout instead. They add a better depth of flavor to your recipe. I recommend using Left Hand Milk Stout, Lancaster Brewing Chocolate Milk Stout, or Southern Tier Choklat. This recipe features a bonus feature – Cointreau whipped cream to go on top. This should have you feeling the warm and fuzzies in no time.

Short Rib Black Bean Beer Chili

Photo Credit: The Beeroness

Photo Credit: The Beeroness

On a cold winter day I can’t imagine anything better than a nice warm cup of chili with a dallop of sour cream on top. Superbowl Sunday is approaching as well, and chili is always a great football crowd pleaser. Chili isn’t hard to make, in fact most of the process involves sitting around and waiting. How convenient, you’ve got football to watch (or basketball at my house), housework to finish, and emails to send. Most chili recipes can also be easily adapted to your crockpot as well. For this recipe, I recommend a nice coffee stout such as Pizza Boy Brewing Sunny Side Up, Elysian Split Shot, or Troegs Java Head.

English Porter Chicken Tikka Masala

Photo Credit: The Beer Bitty

Photo Credit: The Beer Bitty

This recipe is going to take a little more effort than the rest, but it will be well worth it in the end. Chicken Tikka Masala is my favorite Indian dish, and I’m amped to try this recipe myself. I usually buy pre-made tikka masala sauce to save time, but one of these days I’m going to take my time and make it at home myself. Yes, you’re going to have to do some prep work and marinating in advance, but it will be well worth it when you’re pairing it with an IPA. The recipe calls for an English Porter – I say all porters will do as long as they don’t have added flavor like coffee. I recommend using Samuel Smith’s Taddy Porter, Deschutes Black Butte Porter, or Sierra Nevada Porter.

Beer Mac n Cheese

beer mac n cheese

Would a comfort food compilation be credible without macaroni and cheese? I think not. My girl Janine was the first to turn me on to IPA mac n cheese a few years ago and I couldn’t believe how much more flavor it adds. I’m not a huge fan of the bread crumbs on top, and prefer my mac n cheese to be very creamy. This recipe calls for Flying Dog Doggie Style Pale Ale specifically, but feel free to use your favorite. I’m thinking Free Will Brewing Citra Pale Ale, Yards Philadelphia Pale Ale, or Oskar Blues Dale’s Pale Ale will all work well.

CATEGORIES: Craft Beer, Food/Drink

Weekend Roundup 1/22

Tuesday night ended up being the big party night of the week for us — of course it was the Inaugural “Celebration,” and we had a surprisingly good time cutting a rug with people from across the state.

Thanks to Julia Hatmaker for the photo!

Thanks to Julia Hatmaker for the photo!

Of course, last night’s HAPPY HOUR was postponed due to snow. We’ll be back at Spring Gate  Vineyard NEXT Wednesday, Jan. 28. Hope to see you there!

Today I’m off to Lancaster for some research, then tonight a Harrisburg Marathon Board Meeting, then we’ll cooling it ’til a secret chef’s table event on Saturday night.

Of course, in the morning, I’ll be on air with Bruce Bond from 9 a.m. ’til noon to start the day.

Sunday, I almost zero plans. One plan was canceled, but another took its place, so I’ll be hanging with the Brewers of PA on Sunday evening.

Need more inspiration? Tune in tomorrow morning during the 7  o’clock hour to Glenn & Bob on The River 97.3 for “Sara’s Weekend Picks.”

What are you doing this weekend? 


CATEGORIES: Art/Culture, Craft Beer

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