Paragon Family Restaurant Indianapolis In skillet
Paragon Family Restaurant (Indianapolis)

Paragon Family Restaurant (Indianapolis)

Recently I was in Indianapolis for a wedding. Since my new goal is to go to a new diner in every state, it was a perfect time to try a diner in Indiana. There aren’t a lot of diners in Indianapolis, but I managed to find one. While it doesn’t have “diner” in the name, it’s still a diner. The Paragon Family Restaurant looks, feels, and tastes like a diner.

Paragon Family Restaurant Indianapolis In

Paragon Family Restaurant Atmosphere: B
The Paragon Family Restaurant is located on the corner in a small strip mall. There is plenty of parking. The inside of the Paragon Family Restaurant has two full rooms with plenty of booths and tables. It lacks a regular bar to sit. They don’t have advertising placemats, but instead, the entire table top is filled with advertisements. It’s a pretty cool way to save paper.

Paragon Family Restaurant Coffee: B
The coffee at the Paragon Family Restaurant was brewed hot and fresh, and I have no complaints. The waitress refilled it often. There was nothing particularly good or bad about it.

Paragon Family Restaurant Indianapolis In coffee

Paragon Family Restaurant Food: A
The Paragon Family Resturant menu has several options like any diner. They serve all-day breakfast, plus lunch, and dinner. A few Paragon Family Restaurant menu items that stuck out to me were:

  • The skillets served with cheddar cheese, topped with 2 eggs
  • The sandwiches served with american fries
  • Omelets served with American fries, toast
  • Pancakes and several griddle options served with 2 eggs
  • Poached eggs topped with hollandaise sauce served with home fries

It wouldn’t be my first choice if you are trying to eat healthy as it’s typical of a small town, diner.  Paragon Family Restaurant Indianapolis In skillet

I decided to order the Mexican Skillet. It came with green peppers, onions, jalapeno peppers, chorizo, eggs, sausage, topped with cheese. It also came with either two pancakes or 2 biscuits, and I chose the biscuits.

Paragon Family Restaurant Indianapolis In skillet

The food itself was good but filling. I haven’t had a Mexican skillet in a long time, but it was filling.  I like spicy foods and appreciated how spicy it was without being overpowering. The biscuits were good too, and they were some of my favorite diner biscuits.

Paragon Family Restaurant Service: A
The waitress was friendly and kind, and the food came out fast. It was a great experience.

Paragon Family Restaurant Cost:
For my skillet and coffee, the coffee it was $14.

Overall Thoughts/Summary of the Paragon Family Restaurant:
I liked the Paragon Family Restaurant, and if I were in the area, I would go back. It’s a great option with plenty of choices.

Atmosphere: B
Coffee: B
Food: A
Service: A
Cost: $5-12

Paragon Family Restaurant Overall: B

You can see all diner reviews here.

Questions for you:
Have you tried a breakfast skillet before? Did you like it?
Do you like spicy food?


Pleasantville Diner NJ omelet
Pleasantville Diner

Pleasantville Diner (Pleasantville, NJ)

While driving home from the Bungalow Beach 5 Miler,  I wanted to stop at a diner. It was a perfect day to go down the shore, and if you know anything about shore traffic, then you know the Garden State Parkway is the busiest road in the country during peak time. Why does this matter? It means many people going down the shore are looking for a spot to stop, and breakfast places are crowded. While driving down a backroad, we passed the Pleasantville Diner, a diner I had never heard of. It didn’t look crowded, so we made the spontaneous decision to stop there instead.

Pleasantville Diner NJ

Pleasantville Diner Atmosphere: A

The Pleasantville Diner has a large diner sign outdoors with a red roof and smooth exterior. It’s how it caught out attention. The inside is shiny and metallic, filled with plenty of booths, tables, and a bar. There is a small dessert case with specialty desserts.

Pleasantville Diner NJ

Pleasantville Diner Coffee: C

The coffee at the Pleasantville Diner was ok but not the best. It was lukewarm so I was disappointed with that. It wasn’t the worst coffee I’ve drank, but I’ve had better.

Pleasantville Diner NJ

Pleasantville Diner Food: A

The Pleasantville Diner menu has all of the regular diner options and more. There is a bit of a Mexican Food flair, and they have a lot of Mexican specialties like chiles, tacos, and enchiladas. I decided to order a Mexican omelet because I’ve never had one. It came stuffed with meat, cheddar cheese, and onions. It was one of the thickest omelets I’ve had, and I have no complaints. The potatoes had a sauce on them which were delicious. I would order it again.

Pleasantville Diner NJ omelet

Pleasantville Diner Service: A

There was a single waitress in the entire restaurant, who was also the hostess. Since it wasn’t crowded, this wasn’t a big deal, and she took care of everywhere. She was one of the best waitresses we’ve had because she took care of everyone, and if she were stressed, you would never know.

Pleasantville Diner Cost: $

For my omelet and coffee, the cost was $10.

Overall Thoughts/Would I come back to the Pleasantville Diner? 

I enjoyed the Pleasantville Diner, and it was an excellent find. I probably would have known about the diner had we not been driving on the road. I would go back.

Atmosphere: A

Coffee: C

Food: A

Service: A

Cost: $8-12

Pleasantville Diner Overall: B

You Can See All 249 Diner Reviews Here.

Questions for you:

Have you ever drove by a restaurant and thought it looked good?

What is your favorite Mexican dish?


Vital proteins collagen
Does Collagen Help Post Workout Recovery?

As many people know, I’m a Vital Proteins Ambassador and have been using Vital Proteins Collagen for over a year now.

Each month, Vital Proteins sends me products to try, and I share my favorites or answer questions people have.

I’ve already been using Vital Proteins for over a year, and I find I genuinely recover faster and feel better than if I don’t.  Usually, I have one serving twice a day.

Since this is primarily, a “workout blog,” many people have asked how it helps with recovery. Keep in mind these statements are not evaluated by the food and drug administration and these products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

Vital proteins collagen

What Makes Collagen Peptides Different?

Vital Protein Collagen Peptides have the added benefit of providing 18 g of collagen protein.  I’ve personally found my body recovers much better when I have protein after a run or workout. Vital Proteins are also dairy free.

Why Take Collagen?

Until I learned more about collagen, I had no idea it was the second most abundant substance in the human body. (after water).

Collagen is found everywhere in the body. The purpose is to provide the body with strength, structure, and elasticity.

With the natural process of aging, our bodies become less efficient, producing collagen.  This leads to slower workout recovery time. By adding collagen, you can help speed up the process.

One of the essential jobs of collagen is to keep our bones and connective tissue in optimal working conditions. For runners and people that work out, this is imperative. Like rest, you cannot train hard without recovering hard.

How Can Collagen Help Running Performance? 

New research shows collagen can help decrease joint pain often associated with high impact exercise.

Long-term strenuous exercise, like running, leads to collagen degradation in the body. We naturally lose collagen as we age but running and other high impact sports can quicken this.  It’s not an overnight occurrence, and the degradation of collagen is a slow process.  It usually takes years.  Like a stress fracture, it takes time and isn’t an issue that just ‘pops up”.  That is why anyone running for years may have the same collagen issues.

Collagens Promotes a Healthy Response to Natural Inflammation:

Running stresses your body, which causes inflammation. Taking Collagen or any protein directly after a workout helps to promote inflammation and speed up the repair of connective tissues that are damaged.  I feel and recover better on days I do have collagen within 30 minutes of working out.

Promoting Joint Health:

In the running world, it’s not uncommon to hear runners and athletes talk about “bone on bone.”  This means they’ve lost the cartilage in their knees.  Losing all of the cartilage in your knees is from years of wear and tear on your body and joints.

How does Collagen Help Joints?
  • Increases lubrication around joints to make more mobile
  • Helps to increase bone density (A BIG ONE FOR RUNNERS!)
  • Reduces inflammation around joints and improves healing of connective tissues

Which Collagen Products are Best for Recovery?

While products like “the beauty glow,” have collagen and protein, they aren’t the best if your goal is to recover faster.

A Few of my Favorite Vital Proteins Products for Recovery are:

The Original Vital Proteins Collagen Peptides:

The Orginal Collagen Peptides are unflavored and can be added to anything. The collagen peptides are digested and absorbed by the body quickly for maximum benefits. Besides helping recover, they also help improve joints and ligaments, and tendon health. Of any collagen product, they are the most versatile and can be added into almost anything with no extra flavor, including hot or cold liquids, coffee, smoothies, and baked goods.

Vital Proteins Bone Broth:

Bone broth was one of the first products I started taking from Vital Proteins. Bone broth is filled with amino acids.  These amino acids prevent the breakdown of muscle tissue, repair leaky gut, improve sleep quality, and help regenerate cartilage.  Important for runners, bone broth also contains calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

Vital Proteins Collagen Whey:

The Collagen whey is my favorite product, and I try and have a serving most days. In addition to the collagen, the Vital Proteins Collagen whey contains 26g of grass fed whey protein concentrate and 5,105mg of BCAA.  If you are looking for a protein powder, the Vital Proteins Collagen Whey supports recovery and mixes well into smoothies.

Vital proteins collagen

Vital Proteins Collagen Water:

It’s one of the newer products, and I wrote about Vital Proteins Collagen Water last month. I like how many different flavors of collagen water there are, plus it’s portable. If I’m running from somewhere other than my house, it’s easy and packed. Of any of the products, the collagen water is the easiest to pack and bring with you.

Vital Proteins Collagen water

In summary, I’ve found I’ve recovered faster and stronger after hard workouts by taking Collagen. Thank you Vital Proteins for allowing me to continue to be an ambassador.

Questions for you:

What do you eat or drink after working out? 

Have you tried collagen before? 



Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review
Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review

The Hoka One One Carbon X is the most requested shoe review I’ve ever had. Keep in mind, I’m not a Hoka athlete (or “sponsored” by any running shoe brand) so just because a shoe comes out doesn’t mean I immediately get a pair. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Luckily our local running store carries them. The Hoka Carbon X came out in early May during the Project Carbon X with Jim Walmsley in Folsom, California. Ultramarathoners and elite runners debuted the shoe while chasing the 100k and 50-mile world records.

The Hoka One One Carbon X is designed to be ultra-cushioned while still be very light and a responsive ride. It’s intended to be a distance shoe for half marathons, marathons or ultras.

Quick Stats:
Drop: 5 mm
Weight: 7.2 oz
Category: Road racing or soft groundHoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review


Like the Cavu (my favorite shoe),  I appreciate how the upper is light and simple. It’s just a single layer of breathable mesh. I wear anywhere between a women’s size 10-11 wide and the women’s 10.5 fits well. There is minimal structure to the upper, so your foot floats around. Your running shoe should always have space. Most “racing shoes” fit much more narrow, so this is the first racer that has plenty of room.

One thing to keep in mind is there is no heel counter. Your heel might not feel as secure as other shoes, but I’ve run just over 50 miles in the shoe and haven’t had an issue with sliding.  It does take patience the first time you put the shoe on. There is still the back eyelet that you can use to secure your heel more into place if you find it to be an issue.

Hoka One One Carbon X Shoe Review


This is what I was most curious about. Would I feel the carbon plate like the Nike Vaporfly? The ride is smooth, and you feel the cushion but also feel the propulsion of the carbon plate.

If you’ve never run in Hoka before, Hoka uses a “Meta-Rocker”. Most Hoka models are low heel to toe drops (usually between 1mm-5mm). Think of the Meta-Rocker like a rocking chair which helps a smooth transition from heel to toe during the gait cycle. Hoka breaks down the Meta-rocker into “early stage” and “late stage”. The Carbon X is an early stage meta rocker which means it’s designed to be a fast shoe.

In the Carbon X, there is Profly foam both above the carbon fiber plate and below (think of it like a sandwich). Profly foam is Hoka’s lightest and most resilient foam. The Carbon fiber plate curls under the lateral toes to spring you forward.

If you love the Hoka Clifton, this is a very different feel. If you’ve been running in the Hoka Bondi or the Mach, it will feel more similar but faster. The transition is smooth and rolls right through the gait cycle.

I’ve run tempo runs, easy runs, and workouts. Do I feel faster in the shoe? Yes. Would I race a 5k in it? Probably not, but I would be more likely to do a longer race or approach half marathon race day in it. I am curious to see how the Carbon Rocket compares.

Finally, to reduce weight in the shoe, there is minimal traction. On a typical day with no moisture on the ground, this is fine. When it’s rainy or wet, I’m not sure how the shoe would respond without sliding (just like the 4%).


Debut shoes can be tricky. Sometimes, they are fantastic, and sometimes they miss their mark. For me, I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s the best for a 5k but do believe for a half marathon or above it’s an excellent option for race day. I do feel faster when I run in the shoe. Like the Cavu, I appreciate the minimal upper with less seams to irritate the foot. I’m curious to see how the carbon plate stacks up against the Vaperfly.

Current Rotation:

Easy/Daily Runs: Hoka Bondi 6Topo Magnifly 2Hoka Mach 2,

Speed Work: Topo Fli-Lyte 3, Reebok Float Ride Runfast ProNike Streak Lt,

Long Runs: Mizuno R2Hoka Cavu 2

Races: Nike Fly, Reebok Run fast Pro

You can see all current shoe reviews here.

Finally, have you subscribed to the LOLZletter? It’s a free newsletter that comes out each Monday. This week I talked about getting the most out of your running store.  In the newsletter, I share running industry trends and things relevant to the sport. There are often giveaways as well as discount codes.

Questions for you:

Have you tried the Hoka Carbon X?

What shoe do you like to race in? 

me bungalow beach 5 miler
Bungalow Beach 5 Miler (34:14)

I always enjoy races in Atlantic City. There is plenty of parking and usually flat and fast. Last year I ran the Bungalow Beach 5 miler, and I knew I wanted to come back this year too.

I arrived around 7:10, and after getting lost in the Tropicana, I made it to the start line. The packet pickup line was long, and it delayed the start of the race.

Instead of starting around 8, the race delayed until 8:15. After the race went off, I found myself in the 5th woman.

Last year I won, so it was hard to absorb, but I’ve gotten better at racing where my fitness currently is.

I hit the first mile in 6:43. Around 1.5 miles, we went off the boardwalk and looped around the street. I made my move to pass a woman. I passed her, attempted to look strong, and moved forward. We got back up on the boardwalk around mile 2.

The next 3 miles were a straight line towards the end. One of my favorite parts of AC is I always seem to know a lot of people racing. During the next couple of miles, I got to see friends going the opposite way and cheer for them.

I ran between 6:50-6:55 miles. I felt like I could keep going but struggled to pick up my legs and move any faster. It’s a problem I’ve had lately. I can’t seem to break out of running 6:50 pace. I just trucked along.

Around mile 4, someone yelled, “don’t let her beat you.” I assumed it was too another female. Since I was in third, I didn’t lose my podium spot. I mentally tried to run faster, although I don’t think I did.

The finish goes over a pedestrian bridge into the sand, and me trying to hustle on soft sand is comical. I crossed in 34:14 and as 3rd female. It turns out the person behind me was another male.

I cooled down for a couple of miles and enjoyed my time on the shore. When I picked up my race award, I found out I won an ice scraper from the sponsor: Lexus. Useful and also random.

me bungalow beach 5 miler

Questions for you:

What’s the most random race award you’ve won?

Have you ever run on sand? 

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