Let’s Do the Card!

My four day break is officially ovah. Which is actually fine with me because I had a great couple days off! Friday was my 27th birthday and, as you know, Black Friday. I don’t usually go out to the stores because I prefer not to deal with those crowds and the traffic. So, instead I parked myself on the couch for a hour or two and perused the online deals.

I received some money from my dad for my birthday. I decided to use the money for a new winter coat. I can’t tell you how old my winter coat is because it’s been that long. I’m guessing maybe 5 years old (?). I checked out some different retailers and ended up purchasing this Columbia Women’s Kaleidaslope II Jacket from Amazon. It has really good reviews and looks cute/warm, so I’m hoping it fits!


Now that I’m getting older, I usually don’t have many gifts to open for my birthday, which I am completely fine with. I prefer money to purchase things that I really want! Hubby purchased some presents for me though, which was really thoughtful.

bdaygiftsHubby got me Runner’s High 2014 Day-to-Day calendar which I love! It has quotes every day that are inspiring or funny and related to running. What could be better? He also got my a new Camelbak water bottle. I’ve been using a metal one from Walmart that has seen better days. We have a slight obsession with New Girl, so it was fitting that he got me Season 2 on DVD. We’ve pretty much watched the entire second season in a day.

For my birthday dinner, we went to a restaurant I had’nt been to in a long time, the Stone Cellar Brew Pub in Appleton. It’s a great place for beer lovers, as they brew their own beer and have many varieties to choose from. For me though, I went with a glass of White Zinfandel.

2013-11-29 17.24.28This restaurant uses local ingredients, which I’m always a fan of. They also cater to the gluten free crowd. I decided on the Navarino Farm’s Elk Pastrami wrap with sweet potato fries. I typically do not eat much meat, but this wrap ended up being soooo good. The menu noted the pastrami came from Navarino Farms in Shicoton, WI. Yah for local ingredients!

2013-11-29 17.39.17Saturday morning I tried something I’ve been contemplating for a while- Group Power! It was intimidating at first because I don’t regularly lift weights. Typically, I do body weight exercises for strength training. I have previously done Body Pump, which is the same class just under a different name. Group Power is a part of Body Training Systems while Body Pump is part of Les Mills. I really enjoyed doing something different! The class was challenging, but I took it pretty light on the weights so I could work on my form. I’m definitely going to incorporate this class into my weekly workout routine. Watch out, gettin’ buff over here. :)

2013-11-30 08.32.14Saturday night, hubby took me to see Hunger Games: Catching Fire. I read the Hunger Games books last year, but it’s been a while. I was pleasantly surprised with how invested in the movie I felt. It met my expectations and stuck to the book pretty well. I’ll be interested in how they do the third movie, as the third book was  a lot different than the first two. I enjoyed the first two books much more than the third. There is no District 12. BOOM. I remember audibly yelling “WHAT??” when I read the end of book two.

We took our family photo for our holiday card. One of my favorite Friends episodes is “The Creepy Holiday Card” where Ross and Mona send out their own holiday card against Ross’ reservations. Hubby and I always make a joke of it every year and say “We’re not there yet.” ;)

DSCN1009-1Hope you guys enjoyed a wonderful holiday weekend. Only three more weeks of work before our winter break! I’m guessing it will go by fast. Have a great week and check out other marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats.

Get any good Black Friday deals? Anyone try a new workout lately? Do you send out a holiday card?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Turkey Trot Recap & It’s My Birthday!

2013-11-28 11.26.47Wishing you & yours a happy Thanksgiving yesterday! I hope you took the advice floating around the blogosphere and enjoyed your food and the people around you. As others have said, one meal will not “make or break” you. It’s habits over time that make a true impact. So today, we’re back at ‘er; living happy and healthy lives (not that we ever stopped…). Oh, and it just happens to be my 27th birthday. I’m linking up today with Jill at Fitness, Health & Happiness, Clare at Fitting It All In, Lauren at The Lauren Elizabeth, and Jennie at Diary of a Real House Wife

Yesterday, hubby and I got up early and readied ourselves for the Turkey Trot in Appleton, WI. By “ready” ourselves, I mean throw on some Pro Compression, tights, layers, hats & mittens. Cuz baby, it was COLD outside!

2013-11-28 06.48.10The temperature at the start was 21 degrees with a wind chill of 15. Not actually too bad for a November day in Wisconsin. We elected to do the 5 mile run and had signed up pretty early in September. For only $18 we got a long sleeve shirt and a 5 inch pumpkin pie. This was our first ever Turkey Trot in Appleton and surprisingly, parking and crowds were not bad at all. There were a lot of people there, but it was well organized. I really appreciate well organized events because makes such a difference!

I’ve been nursing an IT band injury for the past couple weeks, so I didn’t have high hopes as I began the trot. I wasn’t worried about my pace, but wore my Garmin to keep track of our mileage. Sure enough, about mile 2.5 I started feeling knee pain spread across my knee cap. Hubby stuck with me (what a guy, I know :)) and we walked the rest of the way. We finished in a little over an hour.


Five Things About My Injury

1) Want to know how to drive a runner crazy? Make them walk while others around them are running. It was only slightly mentally painful (note: sarcasm) to watch others pass me when I know I could’ve easily passed them a couple months ago. I know, I know “compete against myself” blah, blah, blah. :)

2) It’s been mentally tough to go through an injury like this. I just want to run like I used to and I hope, hope, hope to get back to that point sooner rather than later.

3) I feel taking some time off from running and focusing on spinning, centergy (yoga+pilates), core, and possibly group power (weight lifting) may be to my benefit. I still love running and that’s part of the reason I feel I may need a little break. I know I’ll run again, but my body is telling me something. I need to get stronger to be the runner I want and know I can be.

4) It was ironic during the run because I’ve trained my mind throughout my half marathon training to push through almost anything. I don’t give up when running. I’ve mastered that mental toughness needed to push past pain. However, with my IT band issues it seems that mental toughness may be a hinderance rather than beneficial. I could push past the pain, but it’s likely I would only make my injury worse.

5) So instead, I’m focusing on—>staying warm by the fireplace.

2013-11-28 09.47.55Rolling out those calves with my new birthday present. Hubby may have let me open a birthday present early. Opps! Oh wait, we do that every year. :) He got me this Gaiam Pressure Point Massager that I had been eyeing at Target.

2013-11-28 06.19.14If any of you are part of the “crazies” as I like to call them, good luck with Black Friday shopping! I’ll be doing some shopping online in my sweats.

Tonight for my birthday hubby is taking me to a fancy shmancy restaurant that I’m excited to try. Other than that, no big plans for the bday which I’m A OK with. Hope you have a wonderful weekend and get some sweat sessions in!

Do you Black Friday shop? In stores or online? Anyone else Trot? How did it go??

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Crazy for Quinoa

Made it to Wednesday, which means we made it to the end of our short week! Yah! It always easier to get through weeks that are short. I’m looking forward to spending Thanksgiving with my family and celebrating my 27th birthday on Friday. Hubby and I are participating in our local turkey trot tomorrow. It will be a great way to start our day!

I’m linking up today with Jenn at Peas and Crayons for What I Ate Wednesday today. This week I “mixed it up” and tried some new recipes.

greekyogurtBanana Oat Greek Yogurt

  • Dannon Light & Fit Banana Greek Yogurt Blends
  • 1/2 TB chia seeds
  • 1 scoop of peanut butter of choice (I heat it in the microwave to make it a little melty)
  • 1/2 sliced banana
  • Sprinkle KIND Cinnamon Oat Clusters granola and cinnamon on top
  • You could also add cooked (and cooled) quinoa to the yogurt!

2013-11-25 18.12.19I made these Pizza Quinoa Stuffed Portabellas Monday night for the Elf for Health challenge #1 (Meatless Monday). They turned out really well! I enjoy trying new recipes. Sometimes they work, sometimes they don’t, but it’s always good to mix things up! Next time I might add some toppings to it (i.e., more veggies!).

2013-11-24 13.51.33One of my favorite dinners lately has been a Quinoa Veggie Salad. I’m just crazy for quinoa! Even though it tastes like a dirty old tree branch. Such a great commercial haha. It’s filling, full of good for you veggies, and protein! I’m discovering more and more how important it is to have protein at every meal to feel full and satisfied.

Quinoa Veggie  Salad

  • Make a bed of greens of your choice (I use spinach and kale)
  • Cook your quinoa (I usually cook 1/2 cup uncooked at a time, yields about a cup when done).
  • While quinoa is cooking, saute desired veggies in a pan with small amount of EVOO or cooking spray. I used what I had on hand including broccoli slaw, shredded carrots, mini sweet peppers, and broccoli. 
  • Once quinoa is cooked (about 15 minutes), combine 1/4 cup of cooked quinoa with one wedge of laughing cow cheese (any variety). Then mix in cooked veggies.
  • Top your greens with quinoa/veggie mixture.
  • Top with sliced avocado, sunflower seeds, and feta.
  • ENJOY!

This happened last Friday- Papa Murphy’s hawaiian pizza with bacon. I don’t eat a lot of pizza because I limit the amount of wheat in my diet, but sometimes you just gotta have a slice of pizza. And that’s OK! Besides preferring thin crust, it definitely hit the spot last week.

2013-11-22 17-1.47.19I feel proud of myself that I have completed 30.5  miles out of the 40 I set at the beginning of the month for the Pile on the Miles Challenge via Run Eat Repeat. I’ve been chipping away at my goal slowly, but surely. Yesterday I got up early to complete a 2 mile walk/run on the treadmill. Then after work I headed to spin class. I haven’t taken spin in a while and I really missed it! I think it will definitely help my legs muscles and IT band in the strength department.

2013-11-26 18.40.39Last night I enjoyed some peppermint tea and a cherry chip cookie from my favorite local bakery, Manderfields. I buy the pre-made dough and pop it in the oven here (cheaper that way!). My mom used to send me care packages at college and she’d always include my favorite cookies. It’s the little things sometimes. :)

I hope everyone enjoys their Thanksgiving no matter where you are or what you’re doing. It’s what you make of it that matters most!

Any other Turkey Trotters? Favorite meatless Monday meal? Favorite “speciality” cookie?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Rollin’ With My Foamie

We’ve unknowingly settled into a nice little weekend routine around here. Friday nights are for watching Shark Tank (Did you see the cute Grace and Lace boot socks? Adorable!), Saturdays include a morning run, group core, cleaning the house, shopping, and renting a movie (this week it was “Man of Steel”), and Sundays finish off the weekend with group centergy, grocery shopping, and watching the Packers. We mix up our weekends, don’t get me wrong, but usually this is how it goes. And I kinda love it. It’s relaxing, yet I feel I get a good amount of things accomplished.

2013-11-22 10.21.32This weekend was very much like my typical weekend. I had been watching the forecast this week and was anticipating a potential indoor run. However, I sucked it up and bundled myself up to head outside for 2 miles on Friday.

After much debate and testing, I’ve decided to change my running shoe. My beloved Mizuno Wave Elixirs were working, but now with my IT band problems, I feel more support is needed. I’ve read many articles and websites that say otherwise- and I get that. But I really feel each individual person needs to do what’s best for them at that time. So maybe my Mizunos were working for me, but now things have changed and I feel less pain running in the Saucony Guide 7s. I’ve read that too much support isn’t good, but honestly, I just want to run. Whether that means more or less support, I don’t really care as long as it gets me on the road, errr treadmill (most likely for the next couple months).

2013-11-23 08.22.59I took the Saucony’s for a run around the block and then did a couple miles on the treadmill on Saturday. I still have IT band pain and knee pain, but I’m taking walk breaks and only doing what I can handle. I’m going slow, foam rolling, massaging, stretching and icing. Happy to report my knee has felt less sore after a couple miles! Can I go out and run 5 miles? No, not yet, but it’s a step in the right direction I feel. My hubby said he’d walk/run the Turkey Trot with me on Thanksgiving which makes me feel a lot better. Usually, we run at different paces, so we don’t run together. It will be nice to have him by my side for the trot. :)

It always makes things a little more entertaining to watch Shark Tank reruns on Hulu Plus while on the treadmill.

2013-11-23 08.22.29Rollin’ with my foamie.

foamrollingAfter my walk/run I went to group core Saturday morning. It’s only 30 minutes, but it’s pretty intense for those minutes. I love it.

2013-11-23 09.34.38Sunday morning I went to Centergy and am getting excited to do the training in January! I’m looking forward to sharing my love of the class with others. It’s truly an amazing class to take for runners who have tight muscles (Ahem, like me :)).

This week is a short one with Thanksgiving and the day after off. It also happens to be my birthday on Friday, so it should be a good week! Check out other marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats!

Outside or treadmill running in winter? What works for you, more or less support in running shoes?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Five Things I’m Loving This Friday

I’ve contracted a sinus infection and thereby, lost my voice. As a speech language pathologist, it’s kinda a necessary component to have my voice. It was only slightly pathetic to “yell” to my speech kids yesterday and have it come out sounding like a whisper. I’m trying to rest my voice and crossing my fingers it gets better soon! Today I’m linking up for Fitness Friday with JillFive Things Friday with Clare, and Five on Friday with Darci! Go check out all the link up parties!

1) With the holidays coming up {quicker than I expect, as always}, I’m looking to maintain my level of fitness and nutrition. In the past, the holidays have been an excuse to make and eat all kinds of ridiculous sweets and treats and not think about my health. I would gain some weight around the holidays and it never really affected me. The past couple years my outlook on health and fitness has changed immensely. I know I could get through the holidays no problem, but it’s always nice to have a little support. This year, I will be joining the Elf for Health 2013 challenge put on by Lindsey at The Lean Green Bean .

The challenge runs November 25th-December 22nd. Challenge categories include Food, Fitness, For You, and For Others. Each participant will be paired with another “elf” and send twice weekly emails to support each other and share recipes/workouts. You can win some awesome prizes from Mizuno, Nature Box, Bondi Band, and Nuttzo among others. Sign up by today at noon if you want to join! Do it (it’s free)!


2) I am in love with my new workout pants from American Eagle. These are the AEO performance striped crop legging in size S. I saw these posted on Instagram and had to check them out. I love workout capris/pants that have patterns or color to them. Black is so, well, boring. I heard through the grapevine that AE uses the same manufacturer as Lululemon for their workout gear. Not sure if it’s true, but they do feel really nice! They’re on a great sale right now, too!

2013-11-17 07.31.06

3)  I’ve never been a tea drinker and believe me I’ve tried to like it. I took a gamble and ordered some Peppermint Tea from Twinings on Amazon. I’ve read reviews that peppermint tea may help in calming the stomach during an IBS attack (not evidence based), however, that wasn’t my sole reason for purchasing it. I was also looking for a hot, caffeine-free drink for before bedtime. I’ve drank it every night so far this week and am really loving the taste!


4) My dream has come true…I’m becoming a BTS Centergy instructor! I’ve posted about my love for Centergy many times. It’s no doubt something that I am extremely passionate about, so I am very excited for the opportunity to become a practicing instructor! The training is in the middle of January and spans over 3 days..so pretty much like a dream for me! The owner of my gym inquired about my interest a while back, so it will be nice to instruct at a gym I’m already familiar with. Centergy for three whole days! Woohoo! 

5) I was happy to see my prizes I won recently came in the mail yesterday! You wouldn’t know it by my voice (since it was nonexistent), but trust me, I was excited. I picked out the argyle marathon sock from Pro Compression in XS and won a sample pack of Larabars from a #vegrunchat twitter chat (Sundays @ 8pm central if you wanna join!). I usually don’t win much so I’m hoping this streak keeps going! And if not, well, I’m still going to participate because I love chatting about all things running!

2013-11-21 15.51.18Have a great weekend everyone! Take time to enjoy yourself and those around you. I’ll be testing out my knee again, seeing as I’m running the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving. Here’s hoping for the best!

Do you “go all out” during the holidays or keep yourself in check? Black or colorful/patterned workout pants? Anyone else a fitness instructor? Any advice for a soon-to-be?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Mini Crock Pots & Popcorn

2013-11-17 19.38.10Murphy and I would like to wish you a happy Wednesday! My week has been going well so far, except for a cold I’ve developed. I’ve had less meetings after work this week and with Thanksgiving coming up, a short break is on the horizon! Woo hoo!

Today is What I Ate Wednesday hosted by Jenn at Peas and Crayons! My eats this week have been a little more diverse than usual. I’ve been getting fuller a lot quicker for some reason, so I’m not sure what that’s about. Could be some of the new food I’m eating.

Friday night I didn’t feel like cooking (let’s face it- do I ever?), so hubby and I grabbed some food from Q’doba. I don’t go there a whole lot, so I wasn’t exactly sure what to order. Although I studied abroad in Mexico, I’m not a huge fan of Mexican food in general- too many beans and tortillas does not make my stomach happy. I ended up going with the naked pork burrito bowl with lettuce, grilled veggies, salsa verde, and cheese. It was really good except that the grilled veggies made the lettuce kind of watery. The leftovers weren’t so great.

2013-11-15 17.33.54I am in love with my mini lunch crock pot. I received it last Christmas and forgot about it until recently. It’s perfect for taking soup or chili to work. You simply plug it in and your food will be nice and hot whenever you eat! It’s main use it just heating because the food needs to already be cooked. It’s really convenient for taking leftovers to work. I took my leftover baked potato soup (a la Skinnytaste) last week.

crockpotI’ve been on a popcorn kick lately. Not just plain old popcorn though, Pop Crunch Cheddar & Caramel Mix from Orville Redenbacher’s (such a good combo!) and Popcorn Indiana’s Cinnamon Sugar Kettle Corn. YUM.

popcornI picked up some cinnamon chips at my last grocery store run. I never bake with cinnamon chips, so I wasn’t completely sure what to use them in. After perusing Pinterest, I decided on Cinnamon Chip Pumpkin Spice cookies from I Heart Nap Time. They are really similar to the carrot cake pumpkin muffins I make often (just substituting cinnamon chips for mini chocolate chips and adding pudding mix). Make sure to bake the cookies the full 10 minutes. I under baked some of batches of mine and they’re a little soft (more “muffin” than “cookie” like).

2013-11-17 17.38.27Last night I enjoyed a little Centergy. I’m continuing to rehab my IT band with active exercise (thank you for all the advice!!) and am working on getting new running shoes. I think there may be a benefit to getting my feet refitted for running shoes. I’m curious what the other running store in my area will recommend for shoes. I’m definitely not hating the opportunity to look at new running shoes lately!

2013-11-17 07.59.54Keep calm and have a wonderful Wednesday!

Plain or flavored popcorn? Like or dislike Mexican food? Favorite fitness class this week?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Getting Familiar with IT Band Syndrome

This past week I did my best to rest my body from running while still getting my work outs in. I did primarily group core and group centergy. I walked on the treadmill once for 2.5 miles. Other than that, I refrained from any type of running.

Thinking this would help with my IT band syndrome, I set out for 3 miles on Saturday morning. I mentally prepared for needing to walk and decided to alternate walking and running. I made it about a mile before I had to stop and walk due to knee pain. After a week of rest, the pain has unfortunately not gotten any better.

2013-11-16 08.18.50I’ve been doing research, as I know IT band syndrome is common with runners. Here’s what I’ve come up with for potential solutions.

1) Stop running – Although I’ve read some conflicting information. I’ve read to stop, as sharp pain is never a good type of pain. I’ve also read that resting the IT band will not heal it, that I need to actively recover to let the tendon heal by cross training, stretching, etc.

2) Foam roll– Thank you for the many suggestions last week to foam roll. I have the Trigger Point Performance the Grid foam roller and have been using it almost every day.

2013-11-16 09.05.51

3) New shoes– I bought my first “real” pair of running shoes last March and haven’t switched them since. I only have the one pair, so old shoes may be contributing to my injury. I stopped by my local running store and they suggested to get a new pair. My Mizuno Wave Elixirs have roughly 300 miles on them and are starting to wear on the bottom. The attendant suggested to stick with what has been working for me and not try a new shoe if I’ve been happy with the Elixir. Unfortunately, the Elixir has been discontinued so she showed me the replacement, Mizuno Wave Sayonara.

mizunosI ended up purchasing the Sayonara because it’s probably time for a new pair. However, it’s hard to judge the Sayonara because I can’t just go take them for run right now. My favorite part about the Elixir is the flexible toe box. I can wiggle my toes because it’s so stretchy. The Sayonara does not have that same quality and my feet felt a little tight in the toe box. Once I got them home and had more time to think about it, I decided I’m going to “wave sayonara” to the Sayonaras and order the same pair of Wave Elixir 8s online. I would love to support our local running shop, but I need to go with what works best for me and I did find my size online (the store was out of my size at both locations).

My luck just keeps rolling. I entered the Fit Approach Sweepstakes and Friday night I found out I won a pair of Pro Compression socks!! I already own a pair, so I know how awesome they are during and after long runs. They literally feel like someone is giving your legs a hug. I have the marathon sock in neon yellow. I bought a size S/M (7-11 shoe size), but feel that they could be tighter. This time I ordered a XS (4-7 shoe size) in the black argyle marathon sock. I’m so excited to get them! #keepittight

9301468_origI spent the rest of my weekend keeping up my #WeekendWorkoutWarrior routine with group core and group centergy classes.

2013-11-16 09.33.21I also spent some QT with this little guy, Murphy. He just melts my heart when he’s sleepy and curled up under our recliner. Dogs can live forever, right? Because I can’t imagine not having him around.

2013-11-16 20.59.02Have a great Monday by checking out my fellow HLB’s marvelous Mondays at Healthy Diva Eats!

Do you wear compression socks? Anyone else dealing with an injury or ITBS? Any advice?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Four Things Friday

Because, well, my brain is a little fried today and I couldn’t think of five. So, four it is.

I’m starting the happy dance because though it’s been a great week, it’s also been exhausting. After sitting through a conference all day yesterday, I’m feeling a bit restless today. We drove 2 hours to the conference, sat through four presentations, and then drove the 2 hours back. I hate having to sit for so long. But, I did learn some great new ideas for assistive technology, so in the end it’s worth it!OMG--OMG

1) My workouts this week consisted of Core, Centergy, and walking. Yes, it slightly killed me to walk and not run, but I held myself back from testing out my knee quite yet. Though it sucks not being able to run like I used to right now, I’m just happy to be able to exercise. I am planning on doing a short run this weekend outside (3 miles?) and see how it feels. I have been stretching, foam rolling, and doing some hip strengthening exercises. Crossing my fingers it helps!

2013-09-04 17.30.37

2) I got an awesome email last week! I am a new Sweat Pink Ambassador!  Fit Approach was founded by two lovely ladies on a mission to build a healthy community. This healthy living community is supportive and all about being the strong, confident, ambitious women who sweat hard. I’m excited for this great avenue to meet and connect with other fellow bloggers. I’m still exploring and learning the capabilities of the website, but I’m loving it so far! Sweat pink ladies (and guys too:))!


3) Sunday nights are one of my favorite nights because of the weekly twitter chats. If you haven’t joined #Vegrunchat at 8pm (central time) every Sunday night, think about it! I love talking running and veggies, so there’s no better place to do that than on Vegrunchat! I was lucky enough to win a sample pack of Larabars last week! I’ve had extremely good luck so far with twitter giveaways (knock on wood) so I’m crossing my fingers my luck continues. Now come on new Puma outfit!!


4) I loved this article, “Jim’s Last Group Run.” I am grateful to be a part of a running community in the Fox Cities. Fellow local runners have been nothing but supportive here. This article brought a tear to my eye thinking about the comradery of running. How touching to honor Jim in the only way that was really fitting. Run in peace now, Jim.

Have a wonderful weekend, friends. Remember to MOVE, SWEAT, and just be.

Any fellow Sweat pink sisters reading? Coolest thing you ever won? What’s your workout going to be this weekend?


Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Thankful Thursday: Internal Reflection

thankfulthursAs the holidays approach, I begin my internal reflection on what I am grateful and thankful for this time of year. Yes, of course, I’m thankful for my husband, family, friends, & Murph, but there are a lot of other things I’m thankful for too. I am also taking part in Amanda’s 30 Days of Thanks Challenge. Check out her blog at Diary of a Semi-Health Nut.

I’m thankful to finally be comfortable with myself. For years, I struggled with social anxiety (and still do to some degree), always thinking I had to act and dress a certain way for others to like me. I wasn’t comfortable in my own skin for much of high school. Then college came and I discovered- Hey! If I drink I become this really outgoing, social person! The person I always wanted to be! Unfortunately, it only lowered my self-esteem and made me regret many things in the end (Ahem, where did my phone go? I broke another camera?!). Once I got over the “cool” going out and drinking phase, I discovered that I’m happy with who I am. I’m not a social butterfly….and that’s OK! Now more than ever, I want to do things that make me happy. Life is way too short to be doing things to solely please others.

I’m thankful for my upbringing. I feel very fortunate to have had two parents that truly cared about me. I always thought my mom was overprotective (which she was), but I’m realizing now as I get closer to contemplating parenthood, that those acts were out of love and concern. If my mom was still here today, I’d tell her how happy I am she cared so much. I’d also tell her that one day, when I have my own child, I will be just as overbearing.  Thanks, Mom.

296016_879634873096_1201841277_nI’m thankful to not have succumbed to despair after my mom’s passing. There aren’t checklists for surviving after a loved one has passed. I could’ve been overcome with the devastation of losing such an integral part of my life. I could’ve shut out everyone else and self-medicated. Instead, I chose to lean on my family. I understand that losing her is not something I “get over”. It’s something I accept.


My dad and I at my mom’s memorial bench outside of the school she worked at.

It was hard to hear the words, “I’m sorry,” after Mom’s passing because all I wanted to yell out of frustration was, “You had nothing to do with it. This isn’t your fault. There’s nothing to be sorry for.” I also hated thinking that others would feel sorry for me. At the same time, I realize there just aren’t words to be said that are appropriate. Honestly, it was those who said nothing that helped the most in our time of need. I’m thankful that though I miss my mom immensely, I haven’t given up on life. It will be difficult to raise my own children without her, something I never envisioned myself doing, but I know I will do it because I had the best “teacher” to learn from. My mom’s jest for life was unlike anyone elses. I’m thankful to have her memory to pass on to my own kids one day.

What are you thankful for today?

30 Days of Thanks Challenge on Diary of a Semi-Health Nut

Be social & follow grab your kicks!

Food to Eat, Food for Thought

sport-keep-fit-inspiration-good-quotes-sayings-picsWhile I’m out of commission from running for a bit, I’ve been enjoying other forms of exercise. Namely, Group Centergy and Group Core, but I’ve been dabbling with starting up Group Power (similar to Body Pump) as well. I’m not ready for the soreness I know will come. At the same time, I kinda like to be sore because it means I worked my butt off! I haven’t weight lifted (besides body weight exercises) because I didn’t want to be too sore to run and throw off my training schedule. Now that there’s no race in my near future, stay tuned- weight lifting may be my next endeavour. :)

On the food front, it’s WIAW hosted by Peas and Crayons! The hubs and I ate out a couple times last week.

2013-11-08 17.47.33Friday night we went to Gingerootz, an asian restaurant that I highly recommend. I had spring rolls with peanut dipping sauce and part of an Appleton Roll while hubby had the sesame chicken.

Saturday night before the hockey game we went to Grazis in Green Bay.

2013-11-09 17.46.19I had the jerk chicken salad which was really tasty in the moment. However, it left me feeling not so great so I’m adding it to my “not FODMAP friendly” list {along with apples, watermelon, and onions}.

2013-11-06 18.09.49I’ve been doing my best to include veggies with most meals, especially dinner. One of my favorite dinners is a quinoa bowl made with (you guessed it) quinoa, sauteed veggies, a wedge of laughing cow and topped with feta and sunflower seeds. Sometimes I’ll add spicy chicken sausage which is really good too.

2013-11-12 17.39.44Last night I made Skinnytaste’s Loaded Baked Potato Soup. I don’t have an immersion blender so I wasn’t able to get it as soupy as I would’ve liked. It came out more chunky, but still tasted really good! I added broccoli slaw to it and topped it off with shredded cheese, bacon, and green onion.

pumpkinpancakesI’ve been making strides in eating different breakfasts. My favorite this past week was my banana protein pancakes with pumpkin mixed in. A little extra fiber does the tummy good!

Thanks to Danielle at It’s A Harleyyy Life for tweeting this Low Fat Banana Nut Bread recipe from Skinnytaste! Banana bread sounded so good on Sunday and I just happened to have had ripe bananas on my counter. It’s not a traditional banana bread recipe (some healthier substitutions), but still soooo good.

2013-11-10 14.00.06My food for thought today: I think about what I put in my mouth about 95% of the time. I try to eat my veggies and stay FODMAP free, but life gets in the way sometimes and it’s not always possible. I find it especially difficult when I have to rely on others when eating; for example, if someone else picks a restaurant or during the holidays. My family has been mostly accommodating to my food needs, but I realize it puts a burden on them as well. I struggle with maintaining a balance of not being too rigid and taking risks with some foods to wanting to just eat “safe” foods.

Have a wonderful Wednesday everyone!

Do you like being sore after a workout? Who loves sushi? Best kind of baked bread or muffin?

Be social & follow grab your kicks!