Listen to us on the Husky Podcast! (If you’d want to, that is.)

To read more about the episode and listen, click Episode 28 – “Live Slow Run Far” with Michael and Sophia Miracolo.

You can also find the episode directly through Acast or search for Husky through your preferred podcast app.

When Magnus Ormestad, the downright awesome person behind Husky Podcast, contacted us earlier this spring about a potential interview, we got – in true Mike and Sophia spirit – very nervous. Like super nervous. Who are we to be on a podcast? And what on earth are we going to say? Well, it turns out we had no problem talking for 2 hrs straight, touching upon our respective upbringings, how we first met, life back in New York City, our beloved island Yxlan, running, racing and race struggles, life challenges and philosophies, gardening and vegetable growing – and maybe most of all, the importance of trying to choose a life that (actually) makes you happy. And leading a life sustainable for this planet.

The nervousness wore off pretty quickly after we sat down in the studio, and we ended up having a great time – but we’d lie if we didn’t say those nerves have returned now, when the episode is out. But challenges and fears are meant to be overcome, so here we are – going public with our voices and sharing personal stories and fun anecdotes alike. Some of the stories, we’ve touched upon here or on Instagram already. Some will be brand new. Altogether, they paint a very nice introduction to who we are and what led us to choosing this far-away-from-the-norm kind of life.

Oh, and if the part about competitive racing and race related nerves struck a chord with you, you might also enjoy this piece that I, Sophia, wrote for Trail Sisters: Confronting and Overcoming the Fear of Failure

Other blog posts telling bits of our past include: Thank you Life Part 1 and Part 2, Decompression and About saying no (but really, more about saying yes).

Loaded Veggie Tacos

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When I moved to New York, I learned a whole lot about tacos right from the start. The shredded lettuce, canned corn kernels and chopped tomato add ins of my childhood were all of a sudden nowhere to be seen – instead, the most elaborate combinations were served up and a food concept I had felt sort of “meh” about for a while became a new favorite. I recall this one conversation I had with Mike early on, where I sort of “explained” to him that in Sweden, we approach tacos in a much different way. I went on and on about the standard concept of ground beef, the aforementioned vegetables, the taco sauce or salsa, sour cream and shredded cheese – only to have Mike tell me afterwards that that’s how tacos are normally eaten in America too. Little did I know, back then, that I’d only been taken to these contemporary, trendy Mexican food places, where pickled red onions, thinly sliced radishes and habanero relish had just recently risen to the sky as the “new black” of taco toppings.

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Costs of living and shifting down

The very first thing Mike and I did after we had decided that we were going to move from New York to Sweden and take one year “off” from “normal life” was sit down and draw up a budget for… well, for everything. We listed categories such as monthly costs (inevitable, after all), ski trips (we knew we wanted to go on many of those), renovation of the house we were going to buy and move to, setting up a garden, unexpected expenses, savings we always want to have as backup etc. And then we put a certain amount for each category (the monthly costs-category was multiplied by 12), added them all up and voilà – that was the sum we’d need to pull off the move and the year off. We added up our current funds at the time and calculated how much was left to save up. And then we got to work.

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Black Bean Brownies

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In all honesty, we were kind of like… really? when first hearing about black bean baked goods. Don’t get us wrong (I doubt you would by now), we LOVE beans and lentils. They’re the best. But we also love our baked goods. Cakes, cookies, buns… you know, the whole spectrum. And around here, we tend to lean towards the attitude of “if you’re going to bake buns, bake buns. Not a ‘health-ified’ bun that no one will really enjoy anyway”. I think you get my point. But we also happen to know that from a sports nutrition point of view, having an evening snack with a touch of protein is beneficial. And one simply can’t have too much of all the good stuff in legumes. Enter black bean-based baked goods.

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Lentil Bolognese

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Calling it “bolognese” is… well, not the most accurate description if you would ask the bolognese puritans out there. It definitely doesn’t contain any meat. It doesn’t really taste like bolognese, either (but I honestly can’t even remember what it does taste like? It’s been 19 years now!). But. This is a tomato-based, spaghetti loving, sauce-y, delicious concoction, after all, so what else to call it? It seems like old news by now, but this is yet another dish we LOVE to make a giant batch of, and then eat for leftovers as well as put in the freezer for more dire times. For example, we made a big batch for the ski trip we’re currently on. Ah, what could trump a whole day cross country skiing in the mountains, followed by some sauna time and then a big bowl of spaghetti lentil bolognese? Not much, in our opinion.

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A Garden Year in Review

When I set out to write this post, my outline looked something like this: ok Sophia, just summarize what we did, how it went and what we have in mind for next year. Well, that didn’t quite work out. Turns out I could type up a whole novel on growing kale alone (it’s unclear who would want to read it – think of this more as an indication of my garden enthusiasm), so it’s taken a good portion of self-control (and – ehm – Mike telling me to stop) to get this post ready for publishing. I might have to write a little series instead, because there are just so many things I want to share! Above all, I think, I want to spread the word on exactly how small of a space you can have and still get a decent harvest. On how gratifying and self-fulfilling growing your own food can be. On how easy (some) vegetables are to get going. And how much good you’ll do for this world if you dare sticking your fingers into some dirt and watch the magic happen. This recap will take you from us setting up the garden in August 2017 and planting our first seeds in April 2018 all the way to harvesting snow-covered kale for dinner just this past evening. 2018 has been the best year of my life, in many ways – and in all honesty, I have a little group of plants to thank for a lot of it. And I know Mike agrees with me, even though he thought I turned into a crazy plant lady for a few months there. I hope you’re curled up on the couch, enjoying some precious days off work or school, with a tea cup or piece of chocolate within an arm’s reach. Happy reading!

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West African Peanut Stew

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I know, I know, we do like to put peanut butter in/on just about anything around here. What can I say – it’s just one of many glorious things Michael (and America) has opened my eyes to. As a matter of fact, I think peanut butter has an undeservedly bad reputation – why, really? If you get (or make) unsweetened peanut butter, it’s just ground up nuts with a dash of salt. That’s all. Peanuts pack a lot of protein, good fats (both mono and polyunsaturated), vitamins (especially folate, some B’s and E) and minerals (good amounts of phosphorus, potassium, magnesium and iron, for example). And it’s energy dense. All of the above together make peanut butter a great staple for athletes. And while it’s quite amazing slathered on bread, we use it primarily as an ingredient in energy bars/balls, as an oatmeal topping (oh my, it’s the best) and as an amazing flavor and nutrient booster in savory meals, such as this stew. 

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Thank you, life (part 1)

Blogging! Oh, this will be fun. The plan is for this blog to be about the same things as our Instagram account @intabagreen, i.e. a lot of vegetables and small scale farming, all our running endeavors, and some delicious vegetarian food to top it off. But plans often change direction and become something else (thank you life – you’re awesome), so we’ll just go with the flow and see where this takes us. Read more