Monday, December 31, 2012

Happy New Years Eve! (And my juice fast progress)

I cannot believe this year is already over!! I think this year has gone by faster than any other year!
I've had an awesome year. I ran 2 half marathon's, something I never thought I could possibly do. I've lost 30 lbs., changed how I eat, and decided to live healthy!
 I know next year will be even better. I will run at least 13 half marathon's- some virtual. I'll lose the rest of this weight (20 more lbs.), and get in the best shape of my life!
  I just signed up for 4 races for next year! I signed up for the Triple Crown, in March and April. It's a 5k, a 10k, and a 10 miler. Then April 20, I've signed up for a half marathon in Carmel, IN. I have a friend that lives there, so that'll be fun to spend some time with her!

  Today is Day 5 of my juice fast! It's going excellent! I've lost 8.5 lbs.!! I'm now at a weight that I haven't been at in over 5 years!
This one was excellent! Almost tasted like a smoothie.


I've also been 'eating' some of this!
It's chicken noodle soup, with the noodles strained out. I consider it just chicken broth, but so much better! That might not typically be allowed, I know it has a lot of sodium, but I just have to do what's right for me, and having this soup every day gives me something to look forward to and it warms me up!! 
 I feel good though! I don't feel tired or hungry! It's kind of hard to explain, but I just feel CLEAN. :)
16 days to go!

 In the meantime, I've still been cooking for my family. Last night I made one of my fave dishes.
King Ranch Chicken. It's a rare treat, because it's not healthy at all. It was tough smelling it, but I survived!!
 
Tonight I'm making this: Loaded Baked Potato Soup

WHY?? Why do I do this to myself? I guess the same reason I can't stop watching the Cooking Channel! 

I hope you all have a fabulous NYE!

What are you doing tonight?
Do you have any races scheduled for next year yet?

Saturday, December 29, 2012

My 21 Day Juice Fast

Good morning, lovely's!

  Today is Day #3 of my juice fast! I was excited to get on the scales this morning and see that I've lost 5 lbs. already! (Go here to read about my juice fast)
The first day was really rough. I had a headache all day (possibly from giving up the caffeine), and was SO tired. I mostly just laid around and slept off and on all day! 
The 2nd day though, I felt totally normal! Headache was gone and all of my energy was back. This morning I feel great too! 
There are SO many juice recipes out there, and I'm having so much fun finding new ones to try!
Celery, carrots, apple, 1/2 lemon and cucumber. Yummy!

2 oranges, 4 carrots, 1/2 beet, 1 apple. YUM! I was really nervous about the beet, but it was actually good!

Cranberries, orange, apple, spinach and romaine lettuce.
Disgusting! I won't be making this one again. I believe it was the lettuce that ruined it.
I haven't felt hungry at all, I just WANT to chew on something! Several times I've almost grabbed something to eat, not even thinking about it. But I stop myself just in time!
 I juice 2-3 times a day, I have some chicken broth once a day (heated up with salt and pepper), and then I also bought some juice from the store, but I make sure it's 100% juice, with no sugar. And I drink a lot of water!
 So far it's going great! I'm not really looking forward to New Year's Eve though. We're having some friends over, and I know there will be some yummy food. But I'll stay strong!
 As far as working out, I haven't done any form of exercise in almost a week!! They say that you can still exercise and even run while on this fast. My excuse is that J has been off work all week, and my boys are home on Christmas vacation, so that has just thrown off my exercise schedule! 
 I would love NOTHING more than to go for a 15 mile run right now. (I know, you thought I was going to say icecream, didn't you?! Surprisingly, I haven't had any icecream cravings yet, which is shocking!!)
But...it looks like this outside right now! Which is still no excuse, I know. I believe I'll just get on the lovely treadmill today, instead!

So, there's my juicy recap for the first couple days! ;)
Have a fabulous weekend!!

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The BEST Christmas present ever!!

I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas!!
I know you're just dying to hear about mine, so here ya go! :)

Christmas Eve my honey and I went to this really cool retreat/camp center, and just walked around, and explored, and just had time alone together.


These are covered wagons, with 8 beds inside. Ahh, to be a kid again!

These Teepee's also sleep 8.

Then on Christmas my boy's Mother had them in the morning, and we got them around 11. We had a great Christmas with them!
They LOVE their Daddy!
Christmas evening we went to my honey's Dad's house.
Heading out on Christmas Night!
I got some nice things, including a $50 Kohl's giftcard. (Yay, I can buy some more running clothes!!) My MIL got me some perfume, which I returned for a running hat and gloves. :)

 And now, for the BEST present ever!!
My Christmas present from my honey is a CRUISE TO THE BAHAMAS!!




Can't wait to use this room!! (Sick, I know)
We'll be going on the Carnival Fascination in February, for 4 nights and 5 days.
I have NEVER been so excited about anything!! This will be the first time either of us has ever been on a cruise, so it'll be even more special.
So, my goal is to keep on running, begin my 3 week juice fast today, and wear a bikini for the first time in my life on our cruise!!

Have you ever been on a cruise? Any advice for me?
What was your favorite gift this Christmas?

The winner for my Tropical Traditions Giveaway is David L. I have sent you an email!

Monday, December 24, 2012

Holiday weight gain and a juice fast

Merry Christmas Eve!
 The good news...on Saturday my honey and I started and finished our Christmas shopping! 
LOVE my new boots!! They can also be turned down, so they're not so tall.

 The bad news... I've gained 5 lbs, and it's not even Christmas yet!!
I'm just sickened by it!
The only thing it could be is because I haven't run as many miles per week since I hurt my foot. I'm still running Mon, Wed, and Fri, 3-5 miles each time, and doing my Slim in 6 strength training dvd. But my Saturday runs have only been about 5 miles, and they are normally at least 10. My foot is all better now, but it seems like lately my weekends have been SO busy and I don't have an extra 2.5 hours to run! I want to, I hate that I haven't been able to do it, so I don't feel like I'm making excuses. It's just the way life is at the moment!
 My eating has stayed the same, so that's the only reason I can think of for this weight gain. Ugh, it's so depressing. 

 Have you ever watched the documentary Fat, Sick and Nearly Dead? It's about Joe Cross, who was overweight and unhealthy. He decided to go on a juice fast/cleanse for 60 days. He lost a lot of weight, was able to go off his meds and became healthy. He and a lot of other people who go on a juice fast say the first few days are the hardest, but then they have more energy and feel better than they ever have.
 Starting on Wednesday, I'm going to begin this juice fast! I'm only going to do 21 days though. 
I see lots of fruits and veggies in my future! I can't wait!!
Have you ever done a juice fast?

Don't forget to sign up for my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway! Ends Wednesday!
Merry Christmas!!

Friday, December 21, 2012

Holiday Baking! Almond Butter Granola and Peppermint Chex Mix.

Happy Friday, friends!!

  I want to show you a couple things I baked this week. I LOVE baking. I don't do it as often as I want to, because the things I like to bake- I can't eat! (Well, I can eat them, I just have a hard time stopping after one piece or bite!)

I found this recipe for Holiday Peppermint Chex here. It's SO easy and SO good!


  • 6 cups Rice Chex® or Chocolate Chex® cereal
  • 1 bag (12 oz) white vanilla baking chips (2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup coarsely crushed peppermint candy canes (14 miniature, unwrapped)
1. Line cookie sheet with foil or waxed paper. Place cereal in large bowl.

2. In microwavable bowl, microwave white vanilla baking chips uncovered on high about 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring every 30 seconds, until chips can be stirred smooth. Stir in half the crushed peppermint candy.
 3. Pour over cereal; toss to evenly coat. Spread mixture in single layer on cookie sheet. Immediately sprinkle with remaining candy. Let stand until set, about 20 minutes. Gently break up coated cereal. Store in airtight container.
 (I used 1/2 cup crushed candy, I wanted a little more peppermint. I also added 1Tbs coconut oil to the chocolate chips.)
Then I made another batch, using semi-sweet chocolate chips, instead of white chocolate chips.
These were so good, and highly addicting!

I also made Almond Butter Chocolate Chip Granola, from My healthy happy home.

1 1/2 cup Old Fashioned Oats
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup coconut
2 tbsp Almond Butter
1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
3 tbsp honey
1 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup chocolate chips
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Mix all ingredients until combined well and the mixture is clumpy. Scoop onto a baking sheet and pack down into a large, flat pile. Bake for 10-12 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from oven and allow to cool.



I also made a double batch! For my 2nd batch, I used this amazing cookie butter, instead of the almond butter. It was pretty much fabulous!!

 Now, I better get to my Christmas shopping! I have not done ANY of it yet!! We like waiting until the last minute. :)
 I hope you all have a Merry Christmas! 
XOXO

Don't forget to sign up for my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Giveaway! Ends Wednesday!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

2012 Race/Running Recap

Good morning! My friend, Laura, at Mommy Run Fast, posted a recap of her year in running, and provided some questions for us to do the same.
 Here is my running and race recap of 2012!

Best race experience? I would have to say my first Half Marathon. When I signed up, I didn't think it was possible for me to ever run more than a 5k, but I wanted to push myself. So, I followed a training plan, and I DID IT!! A month later, I ran my 2nd Half. Next year I will be running 13! (Some virtual)

Best run? A 14 miler a couple weeks ago, my longest run yet. Again, it's just the feeling of accomplishment after pushing myself, and doing more than I thought I could do.


 

Best new piece of gear? My Brooks Pure Flow!
 
This was the first pair of shoes that didn't give me blisters and were comfortable. The first time I wore these, I got a 7 minute PR on my 5k and a 19 minute PR on my half marathon!
   

 Running ups? Same answer in the previous question- getting new PR's!

Running downs? Injuring my foot, and taking a week and a half off. I know that's not a huge amount of time, and I'm very thankful it wasn't longer than that. But it still felt like an eternity to me!

Best piece of running advice you received? There are so many! I guess the most important would be to not compare myself to others. When I read about other bloggers who have 25 minute (or less) 5k's, let that encourage me, not discourage me. And also to remember that not every run will be a good one- and to be okay with that.

Most inspirational runner? There's no way I could choose one. Honestly, it's all of my blogging friends. Reading your blogs encourages me to keep going!


If you could sum up your year in a couple of words, what would they be? Awesome. Thrilling. Exciting.

Next year will be even better!
 If you've written a recap from the year, let me know, I'd love to read it!
Also, don't forget to enter my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil giveaway! Ends Wednesday!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil Review and Giveaway!

About 6 months ago, when I decided to start eating healthier, I replaced my shortening and vegetable oil with the generic brand of coconut oil. I'd heard that Tropical Traditions was the best brand out there, but had yet to purchase it from them. So, I was very excited when they offered to send me some, in exchange for a review!!
  I was NOT disappointed! There are SO many uses for this. Of course, it can be used as a healthier oil to cook with, bake with it, add it to smoothies, make homemade beauty products with it, and it's even a great natural moisturizer!
 My honey loves mushrooms, so I made these for him, using the coconut oil.
I also found a recipe on Pinterest for homemade Lemon Sugar Scrub, and made that using my Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil!
There are hundreds of uses for this!

Tropical Traditions is America's source for coconut oil. Their Gold Label coconut oil is handcrafted in small batches by family producers, and is the highest quality coconut oil they offer. You can read more about how virgin coconut oil is different from other coconut oils here: What is Virgin coconut oil?

You can also watch the video to see how Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil is produced.
 
 Tropical Traditions also carries other varieties of affordable high quality coconut oil. Visit their website to check on current sales, to learn about the many uses of coconut oil, and to read about all the advantages of buying coconut oil online. Since the FDA does not want us to discuss the health benefits of coconut oil on a page where it is being sold or given away, here is the best website to read about the health benefits of coconut oil.
Would you like to win 1 quart of Tropical Traditions Coconut Oil? 
Enter below! Open to USA and Canada
 



a Rafflecopter giveaway

 Tropical Traditions provided me with a free sample of this product to review, and I was under no obligation to review it if I so chose.  Nor was I under any obligation to write a positive review or sponsor a product giveaway in return for the free product.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

My thoughts...

This morning I got to run for the first time is 10 days.
I wanted to run at least 10 miles, but only did 5. My foot started hurting, so I decided to be smart about it, and stop before it got worse. I don't want to take this many days off ever again.

I watched the tragedy in CT unfolding yesterday. But I was distracted all day and had a lot going on, so didn't really have a chance to let everything that happened soak in. Of course I was on the verge of tears all day though.
 This morning as I was running, it was lightly raining, and I just let the tears flow. My heart is just broken. It's hard to even process what those babies went through. As my tears mixed with the rain, I felt like heaven was crying with me.
 I'll never understand why. But I know God is good, and I just pray He comforts all of those families affected by this.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Update on injury!

It's Friday!! Today I'm the featured blogger on Fitblogger!! 
Check it out!!

 Yesterday I went to the Dr. about my knee and foot. My foot has still been a little sore, although no longer swollen, but with my knee, I still feel something moving in there, with every step I take!
  Before I left for the Dr., I told my honey "I know this is just a waste of time, because he always says nothing is wrong!"
  Well, guess what the Dr. said? Nothing is wrong!
They did X-rays on both, and nothing is broken or out of place or anything at all! I'm just fine!!

  While I'm VERY happy about that, that leaves me wondering then what is wrong?? I told my honey I'm never going to the Dr. again. It never fails, every single time I go (which isn't that often anyway), they always say the same thing, "nothing is wrong". What a waste of time and money!

  So, since everything is fine, I'm going for a VERY LONG RUN tomorrow! The weather is supposed to be perfect!

I also got a new car yesterday!!
When I first saw it, I couldn't decide if it was the ugliest car I've ever seen, or the cutest thing ever!
I've since decided it's pretty darn cute!!

Have a FABO weekend, my friends!

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Chocolate Bars Winner and Christmas Survey!

 First of all, Congrats to Tricia K. for winning the Lily's Chocolate Bar Giveaway! I've sent you an email.

Here's a fun Christmas Survey I found!

1. Eggnog or hot chocolate? Light Eggnog

2. Colored lights on tree/house or white? White

3. Do you hang mistletoe? I've never even seen a real mistletoe!

4. When do you hang your decorations up? The weekend after Thanksgiving.



(Last year)


 5. What is your favorite holiday dish (excluding dessert)? Sweet potato Casserole. (That's not a dessert, right?)


6. Favorite holiday memory as a child? My family doesn't celebrate Christmas, so my first 'official' Christmas was at age 21!

7. Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? I don't, but my boys do!

8. How do you decorate your Christmas tree? 
Like this!


9. Snow? Love it or dread it? I HATE snow. Yes, it's pretty, but that doesn't make me like it!

10. Real tree or fake tree? Always fake, but next year we'll get our first real tree!

11. What is your favorite holiday dessert? Anything besides pumpkin pie!

12. What is your favorite tradition? 
Just watching my boys open their presents!



13. What tops your tree? A big bow!

14.Do you prefer giving or receiving? I prefer giving, although I love receiving too! I love shopping for my honey and friends and family!

15. What is your favorite Christmas song? 
Anything by this man! My favorite is 'I'll be home for Christmas.'

16. Candy canes? No thanks. Although they're pretty!

17. Favorite Christmas movie? I haven't watched many Christmas movies, but I do love this one!!

18. Do you have a Christmas morning tradition?  My honey goes and picks up my boys from their Mother, and as soon as they get here, we open presents!


 
19. Do you prefer to shop on-line or at the mall? ON LINE! I only go to the mall if I'm being forced!

20. What is on your Christmas wish list? Some tall, brown leather boots!
Or any running skirt from these people!
I need these too!
And that completes my list! :)
One last picture, one of my faves! Jonah giving Daddy some good lovin!

Answer some of these questions, or link back to your blog, if you already have!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Brussels Sprouts and other things

It seems like lately a lot of bloggers have been talking about and posting pictures of brussels sprouts...
The last time I ate them,  I was a child. My mom would cook them and we would mash them up with butter and salt. I remember that I didn't hate them, but I didn't like them either. But that was the last time I had them! I have a friend who was at a neighbors house once, when she was a child, and was forced to eat them. She said she turned green, ran outside and threw up in their yard!!
 But, I decided I need to try them again. So, I found a recipe for roasted brussels sprouts, with salt, pepper and garlic. This is how it ended up. 
They look yummy, right? Well, they WERE NOT! I seriously almost gagged, and I even tried several bites! I had to burn several candles to get the smell out of my house!
I posted the pic on my facebook page, and got a lot of suggestions. Some people said they were burnt, some people suggested adding bacon, craisins, walnuts, parmesan cheese. Someone said to roast them with almonds, mushrooms, honey and balsamic vinegar. But the majority of people said do not roast them, steam them instead. 
  I know I should probably give them another chance, but I don't know if I can...

Then I made this, and my fam loved me again. I roasted the cauliflower, then mixed it with a little sour cream, salt, pepper and shredded cheese. Then put it back in the oven for 10 minutes. Yummo!

 As for my foot, I've been able to take off the boot, and now just wear some KT tape wrapped around it.
I'm going to the dr Thursday moring!
 Tomorrow will be a week since I've done any running, and it's KILLING me, not being able to! I've still been doing my Debbie Sieber's, Slim in 6 strength training, and today I will get out my spin bike and use that for about an hour. I can't wait to run again!!


  So, what do you think, should I give Brussels Sprouts another try? Any good recipes for me?



Friday, December 7, 2012

I don't want to be injured...

...but I think I am. This is the day I've always dreaded!
 I read other blogs about runners being injured and always felt so bad for them and thought that I just can't imagine taking weeks off from running, like they have to do. 

Well, after this run on Saturday:
The left, outer part of my foot started hurting. I always usually ignore aches and pains, that's just part of being a runner, I thought. Monday I ran 3 miles, still aching foot, but not unbearable.
Wednesday, still sore foot, but I had 5 miles scheduled, and I had to do it. 
 Well, I made it 4.5 miles and couldn't go on any longer. Every step was a THROBBING pain. I know I shouldn't have even gone for that run, but I can't NOT run!

  I googled my symptoms, and self diagnosed myself with Peroneal Tendonitis. The Peroneal tendons run along the outside of the ankle, just behind the fibula bone. It occurs from overuse, trying a new activity or increasing your activity, which irritates and inflames the tendons, causing them to enlarge and swell.
  
 So, I have been wearing this pretty thing. (It belongs to my stepson, so a little small for my foot!)
 It has really been helping a lot, but it's still painful to walk. 
The good news: Patients usually recover fully, with no surgery, but it can take considerable time, and you have to be patient to allow the tendons to heal. This can take several weeks!!

  And another thing...my knee on that leg is also messed up, and has been for several months. It used to be real painful, but now it doesn't hurt much anymore, I can just feel something moving around in there, with every step I take- which feels really creepy! 

  I will be going to the Dr soon, I promise!
But tomorrow I was planning on running 15 miles!! I have to do it. I'm terrified of getting out of the habit of running. I have ran consistently since July. My only days off have been my scheduled days off. Even after my half marathon's, I only took the following day off.
I'm scared I'll gain all the weight back that I worked SO hard to lose. 
I'm scared I'll lose my love for running.
I'm scared I'll go back to being the overweight, unhealthy person I was. 
  The irrational part of me says to just push through it, it's better than going backwards! But I know that's stupid.
 I'm going to wait until the morning, and see how my foot is feeling. Maybe I can at least get a few miles in!

 Have you ever thought running was supposed to be good for you, but instead you're falling apart?