Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weekly Recap

Can you believe it's already the last week in May?  I though April went by quickly, but May flew!! I spent the last weekend of the month doing the same thing I did the first weekend - running a race!

Saturday I raced in the River Run 5k.  This race starts in Wrightsville, PA on the western side of the Susquehanna River.  It runs out and back 1.5 miles across the Veterans Memorial Bridge to the town of Columbia, PA on the east side of the river.

The course starts with a 1/10 mile steep downhill and is then completely flat until you run the same 1/10 mile UPhill to the finish.

It was a bit chilly for a late May race, and quite windy, but the sunshine was plentiful! (the top pic was taken the night before when I picked up my race bib)

This nice, flat course was a record breaker for me!  An average pace of 8:48?!?  My first mile was 8:25!!  This is me - the girl who did a 17+ mile in high school! 

I finished the race in 28:14.  That's an official race record for me.  I did run a 28:11 5k on my own once, but if you notice - the GPS clocked me at 3.2 miles.  So at 3.1 I actually would've been under 28:11 anyway.  


It was a great race!  I was all by myself, so this is my official picture - haha!  Also, that shirt?  I got it for free! The website Today's Miles sells these fun shirts with different mileage markers on them.  If you use the code "RUNFREE" - you get a FREE short sleeved shirt.  You just pay shipping, which is around $6.  Not bad!


Monday - ran 2 miles (was semi-resting, ran a timed mile for 8:35)
Tuesday - strength training, then met Laura for some bleacher climbing and track laps
Wednesday - ran 3.18
Thursday - strength + 30 minutes cardio
Friday - Rest
Saturday - 5K Race + Boot Camp class at the gym
Sunday - 90 minutes walking (5.8 miles) while streaming Scandal on Netflix!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Adventures in Homeowning

Last night, after returning from the gym and eating a yummy dinner (salad with grilled chicken, strawberries, goat cheese, and balsamic), I started doing the dishes.  I noticed the water wasn't getting hot.  It usually does take quite a while for my hot water to come out because the hot water heater is in the front corner of the basement and all of the sinks are on the opposite side of the house - go figure.  But, this was just plain not heating up.

Last summer, my basement had leaked in a severe rain storm and I'd ripped out a bunch of carpet and made sure everything on the floor was in plastic.  In the carpet ripping process, I had bumped the temperature adjustment on the water heater and it was pretty cool - so I thought perhaps this had happened again somehow.

But no - when I went downstairs I discovered this:


Water on the floor + no hot water = something wrong with the water heater.  
I proceeded to drag all of my plastic bins away from the area, cut and tear out more carpet and padding that was wet, dragged that up the stairs and out to the trash. (side note: if you have an UNFINISHED basement, why would you ever put down decent carpet with padding?!? Thanks, previous homeowner) But anyway, I used the trusty shop vac to suck up the water (yes, Isaac, you were right - we DID need that shop vac) and proceeded to call someone to come fix my water heater.  2 calls later, my "regular guy" is coming on TUESDAY. 

In this process, I learned how to empty my hot water heater tank.  (Thanks for helping me with that, Pringle!) So, I resign myself to a few days of cold showers because at least I'm blessed to have a house at all, right? I head upstairs, preparing myself for a fast and freezing shower before bed - I'm exhausted.  
Well, I turn on the shower and guess what?  Since I don't have separate nozzles for hot and cold - there's no water at all.  I end up washing my hair (with cold water) in the sink - and myself too.  

Finally, around 11:00, I get to sleep.  

I wake up this morning, head downstairs, wet vac a little more water that finished leaking out last night and come upstairs to start breakfast.  And I see this:
That's a bat.  Seriously?!  For 32 years of my life, I never, ever remember a bat in any house I've lived in.  So, I hide in the doorway to my basement while furiously Googling "how to get rid of a bat" on my phone.
Do you know what is suggested?  CATCH THE BAT IN A TOWEL.  Um - that?  Not happening.

I grabbed a towel to cover my head - because I had this vision of the bat attacking me and getting caught in my hair - headed outside to grab my broom (yes, with the towel on my head), and proceeded to cower in fear in my dining room (when I snapped the picture). 

I took the broom and smacked the bat.  It did NOT fly out the back door, but rather, landed on the kitchen floor looking a little stunned.  I worked up some more courage and used my broom to whack the bat towards the door again.  This time it seemed to wake up and flew straight out the back door.  

Thank goodness it is Friday!!!! 
(and don't worry, I'll be showering at the gym this weekend)

Lessons in Craving - Part 2

In yesterday's post, I shared with you about my Sunday meltdown.  I actually wrote that post on Monday, and I thought today I'd give you a little follow-up now that it's been a few days.

First, I started reading the Made to Crave 60-Day Devotional on Sunday night. If you've been around this blog for any length of time, you'll know that Made to Crave is my #1 book when it comes to getting your mindset right for getting healthy.

This devotional....oh man.  I love how this has been on my "someday I'll read it" list for so long, but really it was on the "you'll need this at exactly this time" list for God.  He always knows, doesn't He?

I'm 5 days into the devotional and just really soaking in the TRUTH in this little book.  I'm feeling so much more at peace.  You know that phrase "Nothing tastes as good as thin feels"?  I don't think that's true - because chocolate cake with peanut butter icing tastes REALLY good.  But, I do believe this:

Nothing tastes as good as peace feels.  One of my highlights from the devotional this week was this: "Remember, our ultimate goal is peace - physically, emotionally, and spiritually."

It's true.  My ultimate goal isn't a number on the scale or a size to wear or a speed for a mile.  My ultimate goal is to feel peace in my obedience to God in how I am treating my body.  

And nothing - not even chocolate cake with peanut butter icing - tastes as good as feeling that peace.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Lessons in Craving

It was Sunday evening.

I had run a little over 4 miles earlier in that day.  I'd prepped my salads for the week, sides of sliced fruit, grilled chicken breast, and stuffed peppers.  I had attended a graduation party where I had a slice of cake that I'd planned for in my calories. I ate a healthy dinner (grilled chicken, roasted veggies, and goat cheese tossed together).

In short - I had been in control all day.

But somewhere between 6:30 and 7:30 I lost it.  I had been struggling a little for the previous few weeks to maintain my focus.  Most days I was fine, but I was always reaching for "treats" too frequently and feeling frustrated.  Well, it all unraveled Sunday night with a half a bag of chocolate chips, 4 Unreal peanut butter cups, 1/2 of a bar of sea salt dark chocolate.

I stood in front of my pantry searching - What can I eat?? The reality was, I wasn't craving anything in particular.  If I was, I would've just eaten that thing and gotten over it.

I just felt like my stomach was a pit and no matter how much junk I was eating, it wasn't satisfying me.

I made myself a cup of tea hoping that would help.  It didn't.  I chewed gum.  Still - all I wanted to do was eat.

Finally, I just started crying.  Why - why after all of this time, after 80+ pounds lost, after I feel like I've changed so much - WHY AM I STILL STRUGGLING WITH FOOD? Will I never, ever win this battle completely?

Then it hit me - the front of the book Made to Crave - the book I always tell people about when they ask how I did it - the front of the book says:

No wonder I couldn't satisfy my hunger.  I wasn't physically hungry - but I was spiritually starving.

It had been weeks, maybe even months, since I'd last sat and had real, quality quiet devotional time with God.  It had been a long time since I'd earnestly sought Him in prayer, since I'd listened for His voice, since I'd walked with Him in this.

So, standing in front of my pantry - a belly full of chocolate, wondering what I could eat to satisfy me...I could've stared all day.  Nothing in that pantry was going to fill the emptiness I felt.  

I cried out to God.  I confessed that I'd taken Him out of the picture...that I thought I could do it on my own.  I searched Scripture to remind me of His Truth.  I got myself a big mug of Stomach Ease tea, and finally felt satisfied.  It wasn't food I needed.  It was God.  He is so faithful - and the moment I reached out to Him, He was there for me.  He'd been there all along.

"This is not who I am - nor who I was created to be.  Goodbye to my shallow efforts, self-focus, and suspicious fears that I'll never find victory in this area of my life.  I am made for more than this constant battle."
(Made to Crave 60-Day Devotional)

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Weekly Recap

This weekend...

...made a trip to Wegman's (45 minutes away) - so good! 

...tamed the front of my house!

...bought some plants at Lowe's and mulched my back yard!

...got sweaty in aerobics class at the gym - sweated in the shape of an upside down heart! I <3 exercise="" p="">

...whipped up this graduation gift (thanks, Pinterest) and went to a graduation party for a former youth group student!

...ran - I was supposed to run 8 miles, but then I was crazy sore from my gym workout so I decided to back down to 6, then my IT band/knee area was feeling achy so I ended at 4.23

...made single-serving berry rhubarb baked oatmeal from Edible Perspective. YUM!!!

Workouts last week:
Monday - 20 minutes elliptical + 60 minutes yoga
Tuesday - 30 minutes Arc trainer + 45 minutes weights
Wednesday - 2.23 miles run + 1 mile hill repeats
Thursday - 30 minutes Arc trainer + 45 minutes weights
Friday - rest
Saturday - Athletic Challenge class (like a boot camp class)
Sunday - 4.23 miles run

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

What I've Been Eating Lately

Last week's jar salad - Lemon Strawberry

Taco Salad with grilled romaine lettuce

Coconut flour pancakes - topped with PB2 syrup (2 tbsp. powdered PB + 1 tbsp maple syrup + water to thin) and banana

Sweet Potato Nachos - recipe from Peas & Crayons

Caffe Misto and a Spinach Egg White Wrap from Starbucks

Sliced mango and strawberry, pear balsamic "pizza" (whole wheat tortilla drizzled with balsamic, topped with thinly sliced pears and Swiss cheese)

This yummy salad - Spring Mix, strawberries, grilled chicken, walnuts, lemon juice, balsamic

Super Green Pasta - whole wheat pasta, asparagus and spinach tossed with homemade pesto

Egg White Frittata - egg whites, asparagus, greens, tomatoes - cook on the stove until it starts to set up, then transfer to a 350 oven until it's cooked through.  Top with melty cheese!

Bottom of the Jar Oatmeal - from Peak 313

Mexican tortilla pizza - whole wheat tortilla topped with salsa, black beans, corn, peppers, cheese, and fajita seasoning!

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The Misto

When I hear of a beverage called a "Misto", I typically think of this:

That delicious combination of Rita's Italian Ice and custard...

But have you ever seen the "Caffe Misto" on the menu at Starbucks?  

Last night I got a coupon in my email for $1 off of a breakfast sandwich at Starbucks.  I also had earned my free drink with my gold card, so I treated myself to Starbucks this morning.  The thing was, I didn't want to spend a ton of calories on my drink, and I wasn't feeling the heaviness of my usual soy latte. 

I did, however, want something other than just plain coffee.  What I really wanted was plain coffee with steamed soy milk in it.  I did a little Googling and found that's exactly what the "Misto" is!! It's also known as "Cafe Au Lait" at most coffee shops.  It's equal parts brewed coffee and steamed milk - exactly what I was looking for!

Here's the real bonus - it's a calorie saver!!!

Tall Soy Latte: 130 calories
Grande Soy Misto: 100 calories (If you're a skim milk drinker, it's 70 calories)

Yep, that's more drink for less calories!!  It's also cheaper than a latte - around $2.50 for a grande! 

Less money, less calories - more drink, same flavor?!?  This is the best discovery I've made in a long time.

(P.S. - I got the Spinach Egg White Wrap - which is my favorite sandwich there - and only 280 calories!)

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Lemon Strawberry Mason Jar Salad

This week, I'm eating what might just be my very favorite "salad in a jar"!  It's so delicious that the first time I ate it, I actually had the same reaction I do when I eat ice cream - when it was finished, I immediately wanted more.  This has never happened with salad, but frequently happens with food like ice cream and chocolate.  So, this salad is a winner!!

2 tbsp Marzetti Simply Dressed Lemon Vinaigrette (or any lemon dressing you like)
3-4 stalks chopped fresh asparagus (raw - not cooked...it's awesome this time of year since it's in season!)
4 oz. grilled chicken (I marinated mine in a Pomegranate Vinaigrette first - but do it however you like!)
0.5-1 oz crumbled goat cheese
4-5 sliced strawberries
shredded carrots (enough to make a layer)
lettuce of choice (this salad ROCKS with "Spring Mix" or arugula - they have such great flavor!)
1 tbsp sugared almonds (here's a link to an easy recipe for those - I used coconut sugar, and only 1/6 cup, and added cinnamon)

Layer the ingredients in a jar in the order listed (except the almonds) and store in the fridge for several days!  When you're ready to eat, simply dump it in a bowl and sprinkle with the almonds!
Check out my other "Mason Jar Salad" posts here and here!

Shared this at Unprocessed Fridays! Check it out!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Grilled Lettuce

Grilled lettuce - sounds weird, I know!  If you've never tried grilling lettuce before, I am about to revolutionize your salad making world!  

There's a great local restaurant that serves a "Grilled Caesar Salad" here in town.  Since I love it so much, and it looked super easy, I decided to recreate it at home.  For this blog, I made a "Grilled Taco Salad".

You could probably grill any full head of lettuce, but the romaine hearts work really well.  They sell them in bags of 3 at the grocery store.

Cut the lettuce in half. Spray with cooking spray or olive oil.  You can also drizzle it with lemon juice, balsamic vinegar, or any kind of salad dressing.  I find though, that just some olive oil and lemon or balsamic is enough flavor and I don't even need dressing!

Sprinkle on any spices you might like.  For the Caesar, I typically do pepper and garlic salt.  For the taco salad, I have pepper, garlic salt, cumin, and chili powder.

Grill the lettuce for just a few minutes on each side.

Towards the end of the cooking, I like to sprinkle it with a little cheese.  I use Parmesan and/or mozzarella for the Caesar, and I used a Mexican blend for the taco salad.

When it's warmed and slightly wilted, take it off the grill.

Roughly chop or tear with your hands and you can use this lettuce like you normally would in any salad.

(topped with corn, black beans, turkey taco meat, tortilla chips, and guacamole!)

The restaurant I like serves the two halves just drizzled with some dressing and topped with croutons!  It's delicious!

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Race Recap - Turkey Hill Country Classic 10K

This morning I ran my first 10K race - the Turkey Hill Country Classic in Lancaster County, PA.  I'll start by saying that this race was AWESOME!!!  It's run through some beautiful Lancaster countryside, and features a 5K, 10K, bike race, and tons of stuff for kids.  Also, they gave Turkey Hill iced tea and ice cream at the finish.  If you're from PA, you know that is reason enough to run this race!!

The weather could not have been more perfect - right around 60 with clear blue skies and no wind!  My friend, Dawn, was running the 5K (and she PRed under 30 minutes!!), which went off about 10 minutes before the 10K.  I didn't do a lot of research on the course, but the website described it as "challenging, but beautiful" - and it was both!  I'd say about 5 out of the 6.2 miles was up and down hills.  Running through Lancaster farm land and along the Susquehanna River provided a lot of great scenery to look at though!  

One of the fun things about this race was that I got to meet and run with my friend, Melody.  We have been "online friends" for awhile now through a mutual friendship with Michelle, but this was the first "in real life" meeting we've had.  We ran the whole race together, and it was great!  I also got to meet Stacey, who is running "Run or Dye" with Melody, Michelle, myself, and a few others in June!

My goal was to run it in 1:05 - and my watch time was 1:00:58!!  I was so pumped!  That's one May goal already checked off my list!  I have a long term goal to run an under 60 10K, so I'm close!

The race also featured some running events for kids, and my pal Michelle's little guy, Levi, ran his first race!  How cute is that?!?

This race was great - I'd highly recommend it to anyone in the area looking for a race next.  Also, it was only $15!  I'll be doing it again for sure!

Friday, May 3, 2013

Good Resources

Looking for some inspiration for getting healthy or walking the healthy living journey?  Want some places for new workouts or recipes? Check out this list for some of my faves!  This list will also be accessible on the top toolbar of my blog page.  I'll update it as I find new resources!

Books For Getting Healthy:
I wrote a blog listing a few of my favorite titles last year - check it out here!
Slim for Life (Jillian Michaels - Go buy this book!!! It has every tip and trick I use and then some!)
Skinny Rules (Bob Harper)

Blogs I Love:

Mostly Food:
Edible Perspective
Peas and Crayons
Dashing Dish
Queen of Quinoa
The Garden Grazer
Oh She Glows

Mostly Fitness:

Peak 313
She Rocks Fitness

A Little of Both:
Peanut Butter Runner
Through Heather's Looking Glass
Delighted Momma
No Meat Athlete
A Foodie Stays Fit

Favorite Magazines:
Women's Health
Clean Eating
Women's Running
Runner's World

Documentaries to Watch: (most are available for streaming on NetFlix!)

Hungry for Change
Forks Over Knives
Food Matters
Food, Inc.
The Engine 2 Kitchen Rescue
Jamie Oliver's TED Talk (you can watch this one online here)
Fat, Sick, and Nearly Dead

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Honey Lime Shrimp with Coconut Mango Rice

That's an awful long recipe title, but it's the best I can come up with!  Also, you can do each of these recipes separately and serve them with something else.  They're super easy and full of flavor!

Honey Lime Shrimp
2 tbsp honey
juice of one lime
handful of fresh mint, chopped finely
sea salt

Mix the ingredients together and toss with defrosted shrimp.  Cook the shrimp according to the package directions.  Easy!

My plan was to put my shrimp on skewers and grill them while basting with the extra sauce.  Then, it rained and I ended up dumping the shrimp onto a baking sheet and broiling them.  They still tasted awesome!

Coconut Mango Rice
(check out Aimee's version here too!)
1/2 cup unsweetened coconut milk
1/2 cup water
2 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 cup rice (I used black forbidden rice, but any would work)
1/2 cup chopped mango

Bring milk, water, shredded coconut, and rice to a boil.  Cook according to rice directions.  Stir in mango once the rice is finished.