16 more days= Everything Pumpkin!!

I know its only August but I am so ready for fall. I am ready for cooler temperatures, except I can’t complain, August has been amazing, mid 80’s, cooler nights and we have actually been able to eat outside! But these temperatures are just getting me ready for fall. And with that being said, pumpkin coffee hits the DD shelves in 16 days! You bet, I will be 1st in line, on my birthday, for my 1st pumpkin coffee of the season! Happy Birthday to me!!

Running has been great this week. I got 24 miles under my belt. Running is my thing. It makes me forget everything that is going on around me for just a few moments. Its my peace and quiet. Its where I spend time by myself, thinking, planning and focusing on my health. I never realized how UN-healthy I was although all along I thought I was so healthy. WHY?? Because I was exercising. But I soon discovered just because you exercise does not mean you are healthy. Whole 30+, yes I have re-named this type of lifestyle, because we have taken Whole 30 and stayed on it. We have decided that this is how we are going to continue living our life. I went to the Doctor for my follow up after a physical, and my numbers that were elevated 6 months ago had dropped drastically. The only thing that I have gotten out of this lifestyle is positive results. It takes dedication, time, perseverance, and sometimes you have to just walk away when temptation is too much!!!! HAHA! Food is powerful but I am more powerful. And I am so thankful that I have a husband that is fully supportive and is walking this lifestyle change with me!!

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People ask me. .  . How do you find time to eat healthy. Its really all about meal prep. My husband and I both work full time and the last thing I want to do at 7pm is put together a gourmet dinner. So I take a couple hours on Sat or Sunday and prep as much as possible. We stick to salads for lunches and quick and easy dinners. And breakfast we eat eggs 99% of the time.

I cut up all our greens, arugula & kale, hard boil eggs, roasted chicken, sautéed peppers and onions and steamed broccoli. This makes it so much easier to just grab all the bowls and throw a salad together with all these items.

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I did 2 things in the crock pot. I bought a 4 pound pork butt, added onions and a rub then poured a cup of home made bone broth over top, cooked it on low for 6.5 hours. I love when I can walk in the from work and dinner is literally ready. This was the best pork I have ever made. And you know I always need bone broth on hand so made a crock pot full of it!

Here are 2 of my favorite items I made this past week. . . A stuffed omelette for breakfast and these chicken poppers. Recipe will be at the bottom and you need to make them!! I served with some home made, garden grown, chunky tomato salsa!

 

And when you live down south you have to go to a rodeo!!!! YEEEHAW!!!

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Hope you are having an amazing weekend! Doing something good for yourself this week! Thanks for coming to read! Hope it was a help!!

XOXO

Recipes:

https://goodcheapeats.com/2015/05/best-ever-slow-cooker-pulled-pork/

https://www.onelovelylife.com/chicken-zucchini-poppers-gf-df/

 

 

Running on Whole 30+

Happy Sunday. Its 100 degrees here and I am craving fall!! I am craving it so much that I am sitting here drinking a hot almond milk “latte” sprinkled with pumpkin!

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We made it to day 36 and had a little splurge moment!! After we ate it, by the way I felt 100% guilty while eating it, I really decided that these are things that I can live without. And what is it about donuts?? They just make me happy! Its like they just put a smile on your face. But my real struggle are the apple fritters!! When you find the BEST donut shop around you go. So yes, we had this and an apple fritter!!!

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After this I upped my running! I have really focused on more of my diet the first 30 days of Whole 30 and now I have incorporated lots of miles back into the scene! I mean really that is what this blog is all about! I knew though with changing my diet, the 1st couple weeks, I would really crave carbs. And carbs we have been avoiding. Once I was past 30 days I knew my diet was in a good place. And I am sorry, NOT sorry, for posting a lot about Whole 30. . . BUT it has changed our life!

Three things I made for breakfast this past week. . . Berry and almond milk smoothie, egg white stuffed pepper and tuna patty with a fried egg and avocado.

Three things I made for dinner: Kale and broccolini salad, grass fed beef with sautéed veggies and chicken in the crock pot served over steamed veggies.

After eating that donut I knew I needed to start the week off right so Monday I had a smoothie.  Then I made that stuffed pepper for the next of couple breakfasts. I just took 2 eggs, one whole and one egg white, threw in some veggies and chicken breakfast sausage and poured it all in the pepper and baked it at 350 until cooked. And by the end of the week I had some left over tuna so I made it into a patty, cooked it and threw a fried egg on top with acovado. Talk about a protein filled breakfast.

Dinners this past week were super simple. I had not gone to the grocery so I was throwing things together with what I needed to use up in the fridge. The kale and broccolini salad was my all time favorite. I brought this over to my SIL & BIL’s house and it was a hit. Roasted sweet potatoes with kale, broccolini and red onion. And I roasted it all with coconut and a little olive oil. MAKE IT!

And I ended my week with 34 miles!! This is the most I have run in over 40 days. Yes we are going on day 42 or 43 of Whole 30!! I lost track. All I know is that food plays a HUGE role in exercising. I was running a ton of miles last year but I was eating more calories then my body really needed. It has been really good to finally truly know what my body really needs to run the miles I need to run! And I have to say, I enjoy it more now than I did before. And I loved it before so you know that I am really loving my running now. Like I crave it and its the best feeling. So do not forget to do something healthy and active this week!! And yes, I make myself feel right at home when I am at the gym! They even change the TV for me to HGTV! Gives me lots of good ideas!!

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Hope you all had a wonderful weekend!! Cheers to another week! Can’t wait to sit and chat next time!!

Ciao!

Happy ONE year to my blog!!!

Thank you to each one of you who has stopped by over the past year! I hope that at least one of my blogs has helped you in the past year! A year ago,  I finally took the step to do something that I loved. . . Share with others my running and cooking life! So here is to another exciting year ahead of us!!

Well as you know the past 30 days has been about clean eating. I do not mean just any clean eating but true Whole 30 style!! We are coming to the end of 30 days and so much has happened within our bodies: No more bloating, sleeping better, clothes fit better, we crave to be more active, my running has been better than ever, our skin is so much more clear, we do not crave sweets or processed foods, we have filled our bodies with some of the best nutrients and BEST of all, together we are down 30 pounds! Challenges are beat when done together and I am so thankful that my husband took my hand 30 days ago and said, “together WE can do this”! So if you are looking for a healthier lifestyle please consider Whole 30. Its hard. You have to always think ahead and most of all you have to be prepared. But at the end, I guarantee you, you will feel so much better! I have a passion to share the Whole 30 lifestyle. So thank you Melissa Hartwig for developing a great book and challenge!

Spaghetti squash chow mein with shrimp, Alaskan white fish with pesto served over kale and cauliflower rice and Mexican cauliflower rice. I had learned to replace all my grains with cauliflower rice and my pastas with spaghetti squash!

I think one of the most challenging parts has been breakfast. You can only eat so many eggs and avocado before you feel like you are going to turn into an egg! I think we should have bough stock in chickens during this time! So I had to think outside the box and discovered this amazing Warm banana coconut bowl! Its breakfast but tastes like dessert!

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And then another thing is I always make sure I have some type of snacks on hand. When I leave the house I have been bringing fruit, a Lara bar and grass fed jerky with me! I am like a healthy walking convenient store! Now you know why I always carry a big purse!!

I was very fortunate to have this last week off so I took a little time and spent the night with my best friend and we had some much needed girl time! Always make a little time to care for yourself. I have always been one to care for my skin and the older I get the more important it has become to me. Can I tell you how AMAZING this charcoal mask is. All my skincare and makeup is Mary Kay! If you are looking for a simple regime please consider the Mary Kay line. There is something for all ages and all different skin and best of all,  SO affordable. Do not worry, I do not sell it so I make no commission off this but I do support it and I will always rave about what works!! So girl time consisted of a lot of coffee, chatting and charcoal masks!  If you are interested in any of their products let me know!

I hope you have a wonderful Sunday. Whether you are going to church, spending time with family or just hanging out, be thankful today! I hope you continue to follow me! I appreciate each one of you. And if only one person over the past year was inspired by my blog, then I am so thankful!! XOXO

Recipes:

http://fastpaleo.com/recipe/warm-banana-coconut-breakfast-bowl/

http://fashionablefoods.com/2015/11/03/mexican-cauliflower-rice/

http://littlebitsof.com/2014/10/spaghetti-squash-chow-mein/?utm_content=buffer9a665&utm_medium=social&utm_source=pinterest.com&utm_campaign=WNMbuffer

 

 

 

19 and counting. . .

Sounds like a TV show, right?!?! That is the weight my hubs and I have lost so far together on WHOLE 30! When we started Whole 30 2 weeks ago, we are going on week 3 tomorrow, we had much more in mind then just some extra weight we have been lugging around. We wanted to cleanse our bodies. Yes, we eat clean most of the time but we knew we could get better. It was time to cut out excess sugar, carbs, grains and dairy. So I opened up the Whole 30 book and started the list. What could we eat. I did not focus on what we could not eat, that is just down right depressing! I knew I was going to have to meal plan and prep to make this successful. I even bought items I never had before, like ghee! So in the past couple weeks we have already seen changes: sleep is better, we never wake up bloated, more energy, my miles are better, I crave my exercise because I am really starting to shed fat, our clothes are looser, we are more confident in our skin, our skin is glowing and we have lost some pounds!! Our cravings have disappeared. We have eaten out once and we grabbed whole 30 approved salads. This is the new way of living! Does it make you want to jump on board?!? Maybe it will after you see the recipes I have made. This is a true lifestyle change. Its not a quick fix, its hard but its worth it! And the best thing about it, we are not starving ourselves! We eat REAL food.

Egg roll in a bowl, crock pot chicken served over cabbage mix,  pesto shrimp with spaghetti squash & veggie fajitas served over cauliflower rice

 

Lunches have been salads. At the beginning of the week I cut up all our arugula and kale and put it in a big bowl for the week. Then I just have to throw some in a container and add all our additional items to it! I also cook up a bunch of chicken and have veggies all cut up to quickly throw the salad together. Another thing that I have changed is using bottled dressings and condiments. Home made mayo:

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If you have read any of my blogs you know I have an obsession, a healthy one, with essential oils. Last weekend I got a little too much Vitamin D. I found an after sun spray that I wanted from Nordstrom that was $20. I checked the ingredients and duplicated for less than half!!! I filled the glass spritzer bottle with the witch hazel and added 10 drops of each EO. Not even aloe gave me this much relief! I carried it with me all week and spritzed it on as I needed it!

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I would say 99% of my running is done on the treadmill but on Friday I decided to take it to the track! I packed on the sunscreen, I use blue lizard, and hit the track for 4 miles. If you really want to sweat, run when its 94 degrees out and over 60% humidity!!! Two of my miles were done in these!!! I showed up not prepared!

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Hope you had a great weekend! Please share with me what you did! Have you ever done Whole 30?! If so, I would love to hear your experiences! Hope you have a great week and I will see you back here in about 2 weeks!

Recipes (some I have adapted as needed to be Whole 30 compliant):

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2014/07/eggroll-in-bowl.html

http://peasandcrayons.com/2017/02/pesto-parmesan-spaghetti-squash-with-shrimp.html

http://www.healthy-liv.com/sweet-potato-breakfast-bowl/

https://inquiringchef.com/light-fluffy-cauliflower-rice/amp/

 

Conventional vs. Non-conventional

Before I talk about medicine let talk about a few fun things. . .so I took some time off from running and mixed it up with spinnning classes. I took some classes at Cycle bar. The cool thing about this place is that they incorporate weights in with cycling. I did a full week of intense classes. I definitely saw a difference in my body by the end of the week. I think that just means that I need to focus more on incorporating different exercises and classes in with my running. So that is my plan starting Monday! A few other things about cycle bar: the music is amazing, it really keeps you going, the instructors are motivating, they give you water bottles, a towel and even spinning shoes. They clean them after each person, don’t worry!!! Just some of my water bottles from my week!!!

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Since moving to Charlotte we have not ventured too much into SC but we decided to take a drive to the Zentrum (BMW factory) and then drove into Greenville. Downtown Greenville is gorgeous.  We found a beautiful park to hang out at and ate at the Lazy Goat, phenomenal!!

And I think we started a new tradition. . . Vin and his sister have the same birthday and 6 years apart, funny, right?!!! I thought it would be nice to do something different. We all ventured out to Lake Norman State Park and grilled out for the day. It was perfect! We were right by the lake, had our own private grill and just enjoyed the day! And you can’t go to a picnic and not bring deviled eggs!

Now fast forward to this past week and today. .  . I have been in bed sick since I walked in the door on Thursday night. On Thursday my throat was killing me, like to the point where I could not swallow. I got adjusted and acupuncture before I left the office and I felt immediate relief. But I knew I needed to get some “medicine” in me for some relief. I immediately climbed into bed, got the diffuser going with on guard and lathered my feet with pure frankincense. I was miserable all night long. All I truly wanted was something to take away the pain. See in our house we have chosen to do all non-conventional/integrative medicine. So what does that really mean??  Dr. Andrew Weil says it best “Integrative medicine is healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative.” There are not many people I would like to meet in life but Dr. Andrew Weil is one of them! I know weird. So many people want to meet celebrities and I am over here wanting to meet a doctor!! Check out his website when you have some time. So these have been my “drugs” over the last few days!! I constantly gargled with pink Himalayan salt and warm water to ease my throat pain, ran the diffuser non stop, made a hot concocscion with apple cider vinegar and warm water, this has been my drink of choice morning, noon and night, lathered my feet and wrists in pure frankincense and made a steam room in our bathroom and sprinkled peppermint to help clear my sinuses.

And for food, well not much sounded good to me besides popsicles and pho, extra spices to help clear the sinuses! So that is what I have been living on, for breakfast, lunch and dinner!!

I think I can finally say I am on the mend. Good thing because I am not sure how much longer I can be confined to the house! I am ready to be outside, exercising and back to life. I miss doing the laundry, dishes and grocery shopping, yes my hubby has been doing it all!! He is a KEEPER!!

Hope you have a great rest of your weekend! Let me know what you are doing while I continue to heal!! Hopefully my next blog will be about yummy recipes and some exercise! XO

References:

https://www.drweil.com

 

Carbs vs Carb-less

When I 1st started this blog, I stated that I would not talk about dieting or about being skinny. That is not what life is about. If you are like me, life is surrounded by food. Its then that you have to make the conscious effort to make healthy choices. I am the 1st to admit that I do not always make the healthiest choices. My excuse when I eat something “unhealthy”, I will run it off!! But really food effects my running. So the past few weeks Vin and I have the made the conscious decision to cut some carbs out of our diet. In reality, we really do not need them. I began researching foods, even more then I do already. Then around that,  I meal planned and here are some of the foods we have been eating!! All the recipes will be at the bottom. I challenge you to read labels and know what you are digesting.

One pan Salmon fajitas. I marinated all that together and threw it on a pan and cooked it! Served it over salads as leftovers for lunches. Cauliflower fried rice and steamed asparagus with hard boiled egg and bacon!

Can we talk about the egg roll in a boll instead of the chicken that is next to it! The chicken I just marinated and baked, served with veggies. BUT this egg roll in a bowl was the jam!! We took one bite and said. . . WOW this really tastes like an egg roll. But without the frying of the shell and its gluten free and very low carbs!! That will definitely be a do over this week!!MAKE IT, you will not be disappointed!!

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Baking is truly my thing. I could do it everyday and just give it all away! There is just something about putting on my apron, measuring out the flour and using my big red mixer that brings joy to my heart. So I was filled with excitement when my sweet and dear friend asked me to be part of a bake sale. This is not any bake sale, this was to raise money for a cure. A cure for cancer. Cancer sucks so I will do anything to help find a cure. If it means getting to bake then I am all over it. So I made 1 dozen peanut butter filled chocolate cupcakes and 1 dozen regular chocolate cupcakes! Let’s find a cure!!!!

And now on to running. .  . I had a patient come in to my office the other day, handed me this and said “I was reading the paper this morning and spotted someone I knew”!!! Yup, thats me!!! 13.1 crazy miles!!

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I run to stay healthy! Its my time! And yes, I wear my bibs on my thigh!! Also, do you see something?? I am the crazy northerner that can handle the “frigid” temps here in Charlotte!! HAHA!! It was a whopping 40 degrees and there I am in my tank while everyone else is bundled up!!! Find what you love to do and do it! Its good for you!

I hope you have a wonderful weekend! Its going to be hot here so you will find me lounging by the pool all weekend!

XOXO

Recipes:

http://carlsbadcravings.com/sheet-pan-fajita-salmon-cilantro-lime-butter/

http://www.mostlyhomemademom.com/2014/07/eggroll-in-bowl.html

http://www.familyfreshmeals.com/2013/03/cauliflower-fried-rice.html

 

 

My Partner in crime!!!!

Guess who has been at the gym with me??!!! Yup, my hubby! He even joined me on the treadmill today. Thank God because I forgot my phone to jam out to!! He kept me occupied and took a picture!! LOL I know this might be weird but I always wanted to see what I look like when I run!! So here is a good laugh:-) These past 2 weeks I have focused more on my time than miles. So I have done shorter miles, 3-5 per run, and focused more on my time. I go through phases when I am more concerned about time than distance then when I get into race mode, I am more focused on my mileage. Also, with my little change and running hard it has made me practice my breathing so much more. These past 2 weeks have been great! I am feeling stronger and faster!

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If you have been following me for some time, you know I always like to be prepared. I always have some type of snack with me, in my purse or in my car. Yes, I keep snacks in my glove compartment!! You never know when I am going to get struck by the HANGRY bug! I love to buy the big container of unsalted mixed nuts from Costco and measure out a 1/4 cup and make snack size baggies. We take these to work for a snack and I keep then on hand!

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This past week I made a home made dressing and enchilada sauce. Everytime I make my own condiments, I always wonder why I still at times by the stuff in the bottle. Even the organic condiments have junk in them. So do yourself a favor and make this dressing or even the enchilada sauce! Both are filled with simple ingredients and taste amazing!! The dressing is an avocado dressing. I switched a few of the spices that the recipe calls for, for the ones I had on hand and it came out just as yummy, if not better! You know I can’t follow a recipe to the “T”!

Favorite meal of the week: GF crock pot lasagna! When you look at the recipe it will call for ricotta cheese, I subbed it out and used cottage cheese! A little healthier and still just as good.

I made these home made tuna burgers and we ate them over salad for lunch with the home made dressing. And also, I love to cook with spaghetti squash. Such a great choice and goes with anything. I love that I can pair it with almost anything.

We closed the office on Thursday and I did 2 fun things. You know your a runner when. . . You go and try on different running shoes!! I am sold on the Asics Kayano 23’s but I think I am holding out for the Kayano Lite-show! Anyone reading have a pair?? Please tell me what you think.  And if anyone from Asics is reading this, please feel free to send me a pair to try out!!!!!! I promise I will do a full blog about them! HAHAH! Also, I had a gift card for Lululemon so I went and spent some time there and got a few new things! Love when I wait for their stuff to go on clearance!

I hope you enjoy what is left of the weekend. Spend time with those you love, cook something delicious and enjoy!!!  Vin and I are heading into doing no carbs for a while, we just need to re-boot. So stay tuned for how I am feeling and some great running and recipes!!

Thanks for taking time to read!! XOXO

Recipes:

http://www.crunchycreamysweet.com/2016/04/06/5-minute-blender-enchilada-sauce-recipe/amp/

http://www.cookingclassy.com/avocado-greek-yogurt-ranch-dressing/

http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/tuna_patties/

https://www.loveandlemons.com/roasted-spaghetti-squash-w-chickpeas-kale/

https://www.bettycrocker.com/recipes/slow-cooker-lasagna/23546794-7262-47be-9ca4-e12c900399a1

 

 

 

Cleaning and Cooking. . .

Happy Easter!!! What a beautiful day it has been! My hubby and I went to church and enjoyed such a wonderful service! So thankful that we have found a church that we can call home! These are the times I want all my family to live within driving distance, the holidays. I MISS them like crazy but I know we will all live in the same state one of these years!! Just have to keep twisting their arm:-) MOM I hope you are reading this!!! But we had a beautiful afternoon at my in-laws with the whole family!    And thank God for FaceTime! There was a little petting zoo at church so you know I had to get involved in that! Now I want a little duck!!! And that dish was Lamb!!! Easter dinner done right by my fabulous Italian MIL!!!

Can we talk about cleaning for a few minutes?! Do you love it or hate it?? I have mixed feelings about it! Well, truly deep down inside I want a cleaning lady!!! HAHA!   That is on my wish list! I do love the feeling after my house is clean but the process is SO time consuming! But if I have to do it, I am going to go as natural as possible. So I have started making my own cleaning solution and its wonderful and cheaper!! All you need is: clean spray bottle, essential oil (I used tea tree oil), baking soda, white vinegar and water. I mixed all that together and away I went. I did a DEEP clean this time around which involved cleaning the oven. PLEASE never use the self clean on your oven. It releases so many toxins into your home. I took out the racks and placed them in the tub with hot water with soap and baking soda and let them sit for 2 hours and they came out sparkling!! They look brand new! And for the oven, I made a baking soda paste with water and put that all over the inside off the oven and let it sit for 12 hours. Let’s say, our oven looks wonderful and so does our house!

Ok back to my favorite thing. . .  Cooking!!! Well this past week my hubby did this delicious meal!! Spaghetti squash and his home made sauce! I love subbing spaghetti squash for regular spaghetti! You are getting so many nutrients and no carbs! Cut the squash length wise and clean out the seeds and some of the stringy stuff and rub it with olive oil and spices, flip it over so the skin side is up and bake at 400 for about 40 minutes. When its done flip it over and let it cool then take it all out with a fork! Yes, it comes out like spaghetti!!

Meal prep: roasted potatoes with eggs and avocado, tilapia over salad and veggies and meatloaf cups with roasted potatoes. These are all meals I prepped ahead of time so I would not be stuck doing it when I got home from work. If you have followed my blog for some time now, you know I live on meal prepping. It has saved our budget big time and saves so much time during the week. My hubs and I are exhausted when we get home so I want to make sure that all we have to do is pop it in the oven!! And I stay very basic with meals during the week!!

Now for the most important: RUNNING!!! You know I can’t leave you without letting you know how my miles went!!  Well I had some early morning runs(LOL) this past week!! And I can’t live without this stuff!!!

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And can I leave you with one more amazing food picture and recipe?!!!! This lemon pie was a HIT!!! And I made it with vanilla wafers for the crust instead of graham crackers!!

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I hope you had a wonderful weekend and Buon Pasqua!!!! See you next time for some more fun!!!  Come and chat with me!!!

Recipes:

http://www.the-girl-who-ate-everything.com/2017/03/lemon-pie.html

 

Rewind of my 8k. . .

What an amazing morning!!! I could not have asked for better weather. You know when you go to sign up for a race you never know what the weather is going to be like that day. I have only had rain on one race day! So lets keep it that way! I ate a 1/4 c up of Noosa coconut yogurt and an energy ball. If you have never tried Noosa yogurt, do yourself a favor and pick up a container. Its like a healthy dessert!! And now Costco sells the small cups of it!!! We got to the race around 7:15. I like to be early so I can change into my running shoes and just mentally prepare. The gun went off at 8AM and off I went. Because I do ALL my training on a treadmill I never really know how my body is going to do with outdoor running. So I knew I had 5 miles ahead of me and my goal was to cross the finish line in 49 minutes. I hit some pretty hard hills but I pushed forward with them and crossed the finish line in 47 minutes. This race took us through the older part of Charlotte, called Elizabeth. It was so fun to see all the neighbors out, cheering us on. My miles went like this:

Mile 1: 9 min 26 sec, Mile 2: 8 min 58 sec, Mile 3: 8 min 53 sec, and Mile 4 into 5: 9 min 38 sec. So the last couple hills definitely took my pace down but I was very happy with the end results!!!

That smile was when I saw my hubby at the finish line and I saw my time!!! I was so happy, as you can see!! Post race breakfast: GF Udi’s everything bagel with 1 piece of bacon, scrambled eggs(1 egg & 2 egg whites) topped with a little kale pesto!

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A few of my favorites this week: Kale pesto (I made this just as I normally would if I had basil but I had a ton of kale from my sweet friend and subbed kale for the basil). Such amazing flavor! Kale salad with sweet potatoes and roasted Brussels sprouts. Can you tell I have been on a kale kick!! And what a difference garden kale is from the kale you buy in the store. It is so much better!! And my morning smoothie!

Happy Saturday to you and now go and enjoy the rest of your weekend! Time to go eat some sushi!!!! See you next time!!! XOXO

Would you rather. . .

So would you rather run in the morning or at night?? Those are my 2 options when it comes to running. I can either get up at 5:15 AM or go at 6:30 PM. Both are brutal to me. As much as I love running and I love how I feel when I am done, it’s HARD. Its a commitment. Its something I think about constantly. Some thoughts that run through my mind. . . if I do not get up at 5:15, I have to go after work and then I do not get home until 8PM. That is a LONG day. If I go after work, its like therapy to me. I get to run out all that went on during the day BUT if I run in the morning I feel powerful and like I can conquer the world. And if I do not run at all and skip that day, I feel defeated, powerless and like I failed at something. Everyone thinks, Oh you run that is awesome but there is so much more that goes behind it! If you feel defeated with your exercise, know that you are not alone. But stay focused and know that you are stronger than any voice in your head telling you to give up or just quit or just take the day off from exercising. Do not give in. Push yourself a little harder, it will be worth it when you are all sweaty and done! Always the BEST feeling.

I am gearing up for my 1st race of the year! Sponsored by Lineberger Dentistry. If you need a dentist here in Charlotte, do yourself a favor and go to them!!! The BEST!

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Do you struggle with what to pack for lunches?? Here are a few ideas:

Deli roll ups were a hit this week along with this kale salad! So as much as I love to eat healthy, I am not one to open a bag of kale and eat it. Its bitter and hard. So I made this salad and let it marinate in the dressing over night and had it for 3 lunches this week. I used tahini paste as my base, added lemon juice, fresh garlic and olive oil. Look for the recipe below and make it!! And 4 great dinner meals that graced our table this week. . .

Shrimp & chicken Jambalaya, Philly cheesesteak stuffed mini peppers, Chicken stroganoff served over quinoa and Spaghetti squash lasagna. All were a hit!!!

Have you ever had cottage cheese served over toast?? This hit the spot after a great work out and these energy balls gave us just the boost we needed!!

Saturday was a long run for me=SEVEN miles and after that the hubs and I went for a couples massage!!!  Nothing like an hour massage after a long run! I filled my body with this smoothie: Almond milk, almond butter, kale, banana and dates!

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Well I am going to go and enjoy the snowy day and the fire that is roaring in our fireplace! Have a happy Sunday and a wonderful week!! XOXO

Don’t forget to tell me what you are up to this weekend, any great workouts, yummy recipes or fun activities you have been up to!!!

Recipes:

http://iwillnoteatoysters.com/kale-salad-bowl/

http://www.gimmesomeoven.com/jambalaya-recipe/

http://www.food.com/amp/recipe/philly-cheesesteak-stuffed-peppers-513064

http://therecipecritic.com/2016/09/slow-cooker-chicken-mushroom-stroganoff/

http://cupcakesandkalechips.com/banana-chocolate-peanut-butter-energy-balls/#_a5y_p=3612332