Friday, November 30, 2012

Holiday Cheer + Post-Wednesday Slump

Well, hey there, everyone!  It's been a while!  I had a really long day on Wednesday (gone from 6:30am to 8:00 pm), I didn't sleep well at all on Tuesday and Wednesday night, and so all I did on Thursday was lay around all evening and go to bed early.

Joe and I got our Christmas tree yesterday, and we spent the evening tonight decorating.
I'm a very sentimental person, so I really cherished decorating our first Christmas tree as an official family!  The first ornament we put on the tree was this one that my grandparents gave us while we were there for Thanksgiving.
I guess I should get a picture of us to put in there.  Or, we could just leave this random couple in there.  That's special :)

I love the Christmas season, but it's been really hard to get in the spirit living in Florida.  I associate Christmas with colder weather, and for some reason these highs in the 70s just aren't putting me in the mood.  Hopefully the tree, the rest of the decorating we'll do this weekend, and the Christmas radio station I found today will bring me some holiday cheer where the weather is lacking.

Today's Training
Friday is usually my rest day, and I continued that today as I'm running my first 10k tomorrow morning!  I didn't want to run or do any strength training the day before the race, as I'm going to try to run a mile, then walk .1 miles, run 1 miles, walk .1 miles (etc.)  I'm looking forward to it, and I'll let y'all know how it goes tomorrow!

On a related note: Is it just me, or is it so much easier to work out at the beginning of the week, and so much harder to motivate yourself after work on Wednesday?  
This is me Wednesday through Friday
I don't know what it is, but that happens to me every single week. I know I need to get my workouts done before I get home (sitting down on the couch = death sentence to my workout), but it is so hard to get myself to the gym when I am just ready to get home.
Weekend Plans
-Complete 10k tomorrow and the WOW Week 2 Circuit workout and an easy 2 mile run on Sunday
-Host an SEC Championship watching party on Saturday for some of our friends (Go Dawgs!)
-Get the whole week for school planned and ready to go
-Finish reading The Happiness Project for PBFinger's Book Club 
-Have some time to RELAX

After writing all of that out, this sounds like a pretty busy weekend, doesn't it?

Question of the Day: Any ideas to stay motivated for working out during the second half of the week?  
I can certainly use them!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Treadmill Tuesday + Snacking Success

Whoa, lots of alliteration in this posts' title!  What can I say, it's on of my favorite literary devices :)

Today's Training
The plan was to head straight to the Y after school, but after leaving at 4:30 due to a math department meeting, I went straight home.  That's usually the kiss of death to my after-school workouts, but I was determined to get my run in for the day.

I followed this treadmill workout, but cut the times in half since I only wanted to run for about 35 minutes.  Since cutting the times in half led to a 32:30 workout, I added 2:30 to the last running section.

I did this workout before, and I'm really surprised at how well I did with the speeds on this!  Now, I was still a sweaty hot mess at the end, but I didn't want to quit!  I love seeing the improvement since the first run I went on :)

HBBC Update:  I earned 3.35 points for my run, plus 1 point for 7+ servings of fruits and veggies (salads at lunch really help) for a total today of 4.35 points!  I plan on completing this weeks' Workout of the Week by using this circuit workout that I came up with:
I'm looking forward to it!  I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow :)

Diet Tip of the Day
Each time we have a department meeting at school, there are ample sweets available.  I always grab a cupcake even when I have my usual Nature Valley Peanuts and Dark Chocolate Protein Bar after school.
Seriously, who can resist this?
I planned ahead today, and I brought my protein bar, as well as a bag of baby carrots, to the meeting and ate them instead of the sweets.  My planned snack helped me stay away from the sweets but still satisfy my growling stomach!

Well, I'm pretty brain dead right now, so that's all I've got for the day.  Tomorrow, I'll talk about the second sermon in the Climate Change sermon series I'm listening to.

Question of the Day: What's one food you have a hard time resisting?
I'd say my #1 temptation is baked goods (easy way out because I couldn't decide between brownies and chocolate chip cookies).

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sassy Run + Climate Change + Eat More Freggies

I don't know about you, but it was REALLY hard to get up and go to work this morning!  I could tell my students weren't feeling it, either.  Surprisingly, I had a good day and think I actually taught my kids something.  Always a plus!

Today's Training
I ran 2 miles today to and from the gym.
Bottom number=pace at the moment I hit "stop" on the timer
I'm pretty sure that's my best time on this Monday run.  Good for me!  I'm going to attribute it to the album I was listening to during my run.
Anyone remember this album?  One of my favorites when I was in middle/high school.  I was feelin' sassy during my run, especially during "Bootylicious" and "Survivor."  I was that girl that was singing and dancing while running.

I also attended BodyPUMP tonight.  My least-favorite instructor was leading today, so I just kind of went by the rhythm that I know we were supposed to be doing.  She was better than usual, but still messed up a few times.  Oh well, no judgement!

HBBC Update:  2 mile run + 1-hour low impact BodyPUMP class (4 points) = 6 points.  I also easily surpassed 7 fruits/veggies (henceforth FREGGIES as some of the HBBCers are calling it), so I got another point!  7 total points for health and fitness...not too bad!

Faith Find
Yesterday on my 6.5 mile run, I started the next sermon series from North Point Community Church.  This sermon series is called Climate Change and is from Jeff Henderson, the lead pastor at Buckhead Church which is another church that shares sermons with North Point Community Church.
The first sermon was very interesting and talked about the fact that we all bring a climate to each and every relationship in our lives.  The climate of each relationship predicts the forecast.  Jeff talked about how we often focus on the climate of the other person, but he challenged everyone to think about what climate they give off.

His challenge for the week was to ask 3 people in different areas of your life, "What's it like to be on the other side of me?"  He said if people wanted to go further, to ask God what it's like to be on the other side of me.  The rest of the series was going to deal with the responses people got to the answer of that question.

What an interesting challenge!  I'm going to do it (even though I already listened to the second sermon in the series), but I'm still debating who to ask.  I'm also kind of nervous about the results, so I'm going to pray about it tonight/tomorrow to prepare myself for the information I receive.  I generally don't take criticism well, but I think this exercise is a great way for some self-reflection and seeing if I'm putting off the climate that I think I am!

Diet Tip of the Day
One thing I've been working on is making sure I eat at least 7 servings of fruits and vegetables each day as part of the HBB Challenge.  At first, I thought this was going to be very easy.  I was surprised when this took a lot of effort in order to do so.

Here are some suggestions to help you increase your fruit and vegetable intake:
  • Planning-It takes meal and snack planning to make 7+ servings of freggies.  This helps you make sure you get what you need at the store, as well as have an idea about how you're going to reach this goal.  There's no way you're going to increase your freggie intake without setting that goal and planning to reach it.
  • Food Prep-You're going to have to slice some fruits and cut up some veggies on the weekend if you want to be able to make eating fruits and veggies easier for yourself throughout the week.  That way, you can just grab a pre-made bag of apple slices or throw some diced tomatoes on a salad in the morning before you head out to work/school/wherever you go during the day.
  • Smoothies-Make yourself a smoothie, and you're getting 3-4 servings of fruits and vegetables AT LEAST (depending on what kind of smoothie you make).  While I tend to make a lot of fruit smoothies, green smoothies are a great way to combine fruits and vegetables.  Sadly, my blender broke last week, so no smoothies for me for a while.
  • Eat a salad for lunch or dinner-A salad is a very easy way to get 3-4 servings of vegetables (and sometimes fruits) in one meal.  A cup of leafy greens, a handful of a few diced vegetables, and a source of protein create a healthy, tasty meal that can also be surprisingly filling!
Those are some ways I try to increase my fruit and vegetable intake.  Hopefully those are helpful to some of you!

Question of the Day: What do you do to increase the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day?

Share some tips for everyone in the comments!

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

After a few days in Virginia with family, it's nice to be back in Florida!  My grandparents live in a very small town in southwestern Virginia, and it was nice to get away for a few days, see family, eat a lot, and go to a Virginia Tech football game.  Sadly, I don't have many pictures, but here's a little recap.

Thanksgiving day!  Since both of my parents' parents live in the same town, we do Thanksgiving meal with my dad's family at lunch and my mom's family at dinner.  Yes, that is a LOT of eating!

Lunch consisted of turkey, a mixed veggie casserole, corn, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green bean casserole, and a roll.  Everything was delicious, especially the mixed veggie casserole!  My aunt Susan makes it, and I don't know what she does but I always go back for more!  My grandmother got some red velvet cake for dessert (it's my favorite!), so I had a slice of that for dessert.

After lunch settles, my dad's side of the family heads to the local park for the annual Older Siblings vs. Younger Siblings family football game.  Joe joined the Older Siblings team this year and experienced just how competitive this game can get!  Unfortunately, the Older Siblings 2-year win streak came to an end when the Younger Siblings beat us after 4 overtimes.  My uncle at all-time QB didn't throw any interceptions, which led to a tie as each team scored each time we had the ball.  While we didn't win, I had a blast as always!

Dinner at my mom's parents consisted of turkey, sweet potato casserole, green beans, stuffing, creamed potatoes, and a roll.  I went back for seconds on sweet potato casserole...I'm obsessed with sweet potatoes right now!  My mom's mom always makes from-scratch cakes and had my favorite: Sock-it-to-Me cake.  It's like a cinnamon coffee cake, but it is TO DIE FOR.  Our tradition at my mom's parents house is to go around the dinner table and say what we are thankful for.  Pretty standard, but it's always good to share with everyone.

Overall, a happy Thanksgiving as always!
Adorable little treat from one of my students!
A day of leftovers.  To be honest, I much prefer the vegetables served on Thanksgiving than the meat/bread.  I loaded my plate at both houses with the leftover veggies and was quite content all day.  We caught some football games, played board games, and just enjoyed spending time together.

I'd been waiting for Saturday for a long time.  As a die-hard Virginia Tech football fan who attended every home game since November 2004 (until this season), I was SO EXCITED to head up to Blacksburg, VA for the Virginia Tech-UVA football game!

It was a high of 35 degrees with a wind chill in the 20's, but I could have cared less.  I was happy to be back in Lane Stadium cheering on my Hokies!

Our tailgate, while we were sitting in the van, consisted of Subway breakfast flatbreads and Subway subs after the game.  I had my mom bring baby carrots so that we had something healthy to munch on as well.

The Hokies won the game 17-14 (thank goodness!), and I got to see some of my favorite people (yes, that's you Amanda and Krista!!).

We got back to my mom's parents house, and my grandmother had a huge pot of homemade vegetable soup on the stove.  It was AMAZING.  I'm telling you what, it was full of vegetables and was incredibly tasty.  I asked her how she made it so that I could make it later!  We hit the hay early so that we could wake up at the crack of dawn to get to the airport.

...and that brings us to today!  I started the day at 4:40 a.m. in order to get to the airport, and spent the day traveling, running errands, doing laundry, running 6.5 miles, and catching up on the blog!  All thanks to this wonderful cup of Dunkin Donuts coffee to get my up and running for the day.

Now that Thanksgiving is over, I'm ready for the Christmas season!!  I was so happy to see this Christmas themed coffee cup and can't wait to get the house all decorated sometime this week :)

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving, traveled safely to/from your families, and is looking forward to the next holiday season.  Check out my recap of the HBBC Week 1 if you want something else to read.

Question of the Day: How was your Thanksgiving?  Share something fun you did with me!

Post-Holiday Run + HBBC Week 1 Recap

While I didn't get in a run while I was at my grandparents, I made it a priority to complete my long run for the week when we got home today.

I needed to do 6.5 to keep up with my half marathon training.  I set out with a route in mind, and at about mile 2. 5 I was ready to be done.  I went a different way in order to cut my run down, but at about mile 3.1, I decided to power through and finish the 6.5 miles.
I finished in 1:10.18, and I'm very pleased with that!  It's an average pace of 10:49, and for a run that I wanted to cut in half, I'd say that's pretty good!

Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge-Week 1
While I didn't exercise Friday and Saturday, I did get in my 7+ fruits and veggies on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.  Here's my weekly log for the challenge:
33.5 points for the week isn't too shabby!  Add in the 3 bonus points I earned for some pre-challenge social media posts, and I've got 36.5 points so far.

Week 2 goals:
-Eat 7+ servings of fruits/veggies for 5/7 days (ideally, it'd be 7/7, but I'm giving myself some wiggle room).
-Go straight to the gym after school on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday.
-Complete at least 3 runs this week for my half-marathon training schedule.
-Complete the WOW for Week 2

I'm really enjoying this challenge, as it provides great motivation to stick to an exercise routine.  It's also great to have so many people involved that keep me accountable via the Facebook group and by looking at their points.

Well, I've got to get some more planning done for the week.  Enjoy the last of your holiday weekend, and have a great Monday!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Weighted Wednesday: HBBC Workout of the Week Circuit

Well, even though I woke up at 6:30 on my day off, I've been very productive today!  I cleaned our kitchen, bathrooms, and living room so that we have a clean apartment to come home today, I dropped off some mail, bought a sewing machine, packed, and went to the gym!  Just woke up from a nap, and now we are getting ready to head to Virginia to see my family for Thanksgiving.

Today's Training
I parked at the gym, then ran around the lake by the gym twice for a 1-mile warm-up.  Then, I completed the HBBC Workout of the Week (WOW) and included some other exercises in this circuit created by Katie at Fit Butt Fabulous
I did all the exercises right in a row and took about a 90 second break between sets.  Let me tell you...if you want to sweat, do this circuit!  After the jump squats straight in to a plank and mountain climbers, I was literally dripping sweat onto the mat.

Weights used: 25 pound bar on the bent over row, 5 pound hand weights for the shoulder raises, and a 10-pound weight for the plie squats.

My muscles didn't feel too much work during the circuit, but my core feels like it is toning as I type.  I LOVE that feeling, and I really enjoyed this workout.

Check out Amanda's video of how to do the Curtsy lunge, push-up with rotation, and the Stars (a new favorite of mine).

This workout earned me 3 points (1 for the mile, 2 for the weighted workout that took me 30 minutes to complete all 3 sets).  I should fit in my veggies and fruits today (4 servings so far!  Apple in my oatmeal, an apple for a snack, and 2-cup salad for lunch) after dinner and a snack later, but I'll post that later.

That's all I've got for you for today.  I most likely won't be able to blog while I'm away, as my grandparents live in a small town and still have dial-up internet!  I will do a full update when I return, including what exercises I was able to do while up there!  My goal is to go on a 3-mile run either tomorrow morning or Friday morning (or both!)

Question of the Day: Tell me some things you are thankful for!
In no particular order: I'm thankful for God's love for me, housing, food, my job, my family, my husband, my friends, my students, and, in general, my life!

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! Safe travels, and enjoy the time with your families being thankful for your blessings!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

(Terrible) Treadmill Tuesday

First off, I wanted to share a giveaway that you can enter!  Click here to enter to win some compression socks from Kids Running Wild.  I keep hearing how great compression socks are for recovering and soreness, so hopefully I'll win!

Today's Training
As you may have noticed from the title, this Treadmill Tuesday was a little rough!  I went directly to the gym after school (goal met!), ran 3 miles in about 30 minutes, and did a five minute cool down.  Sounds good, right?  Well, here's the "terrible" part:

1. Apparently, I forgot to pack a hair tie.  AGAIN.  This time, I didn't let it deter me and ran with my hair down.  I looked like a wet mop when I was done!

2. I didn't eat my protein bar after school as my snack, and when I left, I didn't grab it.  My stomach was growling, and all I had in my purse was a chocolate bar.  I ate 3 pieces of the chocolate bar to tie me over, but that was not the best pre-workout snack!

3. The gym has a row of about 20 treadmills.  I was probably at Treadmill #9 in the row, and there were some people using Treadmills #17 and 20.  That leaves #1-8, #9-16, and #18-19 completely open.  So why, then, does a man come and get on Treadmill #8?!?!  I'm sorry, but isn't it unspoken rules to leave a machine between you and another person if it's possible?  It really shouldn't be that big of a deal to me, but it makes me feel uncomfortable for some reason.

The combination of those three really threw off my run.  But hey, a bad 3-mile run is much better than no run at all!

HBBC Points today: 3 points (1 per mile I ran) + 1 point for having at least 7 servings for fruits and veggies (apple in oatmeal at breakfast + dried tropical fruit for a snack + salad (2 servings), green peppers and guacamole for lunch + enchiladas with vegetables in them and broccoli on the side).  Also, I met both of my goals for the day!

Goal for tomorrow: Complete the HBBC workout of the week (WOW) in a circuit, potentially run (depending on how my shins feel), and have 7+ servings of fruit and veggies.

Faith Find
I saw this eCard on Facebook today.  These are usually hilarious, but this one, while still funny, kind of reminded me of my issues with the holiday season.
I know, right?
I was appalled at the fact that Christmas commercials started the day after the election.  All these commercials do is encourage people to spend, spend, spend and buy new things for the holiday season. (Target's commercials make me the most angry)

I was even more disgusted when I found out that Black Friday sales are beginning at 8pm on THURSDAY.  What?!?!? It's called Black FRIDAY, not Black Thursday.

Thanksgiving is a day where we are supposed to pause and be thankful for our lives, our loved ones, our situations, and our possessions.  We share a meal together, we spend time with family, and we reflect on our blessings.

Now, retail stores want to make retail workers come in ON THIS DAY, miss time with their family, so that they can sell things??  This is just going to turn in to another day that many people dread because of how much they have to work.  Come on, retail industry, keep Thanksgiving sacred!

AND they are turning Christmas, the holiday where we celebrate the birth of our Savior (you may not believe that, but that's why the holiday came about),  in to just another way to market products and make people more greedy.

I just wish that our society would recognize that there are some things that are sacred.  Leave the holidays alone.  Let people be able to spend time with their families or just have a given day off work.  Let Christmas be celebrated AFTER Thanksgiving.  Encourage acts of kindness for others rather than make everyone feel that they have to spend thousands of dollars in order to have a good Christmas.

Ok, I'm done with my rant.  Question of the Day: How do you feel about the Black Friday sales on Thanksgiving Day?  Do you wish they would save the Christmas commercials until after Thanksgiving?  Or do you want that season to come as soon as possible?

Don't be afraid to share your opinion.  Even though you can clearly see how I feel, I'm an accepting person :)

Monday, November 19, 2012

HBB Challenge: Day 1

Today is the first day of the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge!  I'm looking for to a little competition to help me stay motivated to work out, eat healthy, and stick to my half marathon training schedule during the holidays.  I'm going to combine the Today's Training section of my blog with the points I earned for the challenge.

Today's Training
Mondays mean time for BodyPUMP!  Just like last Monday, I ran to/from the gym.  Before class, I ran once around the lake nearby for an added warm-up, then on the way home ran to a different entrance of my apartment complex for a total of 2 miles.
How do you take a good picture of your Garmin?  I clearly fail!
That says 20:16 for my time.  You can see my 2.00 miles and 10:09 average pace.  I'm happy with that!

BodyPUMP went very well today!  I think I've finally found the right amount of weight for each body part!  It's tough with the weights beign in KGs when I'm used to pounds.  I did up my chest/shoulder weight today, and I am sure to be feeling those tomorrow!

My workout today earns me 6 points in the HBBC challenge! (2 for the miles I ran, plus 1 point per 15 minutes of class = 6!).  You can also earn points for eating a minimum of 7 servings of fruits and vegetables.  Unfortunately, I didn't quite get there today!  We're out of salad materials for lunch (and not getting any more this week due to Thanksgiving travels), which greatly decreased my veggie intake for the day.

Challenge goal for tomorrow: Go straight to the gym after school for Treadmill Tuesday and get my 7 servings of fruits and vegetables.

Faith Find
Atlanta's Christian radio station 104.7 The Fish posted this photo on this Facebook page today.
What a great perspective!  I know that things get tough in life, but just think about that heart monitor.  Your heartbeat is displayed with peaks and valleys, so shouldn't life be that way, too!  

This really came at a very appropriate time.  Many people in my hometown are dealing with the sudden loss of a young man, and I feel as though they needed this reminder.  Please pray for those people who knew Reid McGarity: his family, friends, teachers, classmates, and everyone else who his life touched.

If you are going through a tough time, remember that God is always with you.  It may not seem like, but you're still breathing.  That's your sign that He's there, and He'll bring you through.

Diet Tip of the Day
Joe was craving McDonald's tonight, and since he was in charge of dinner, that's what we got!  I had him get me the Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken on top.

I had about all I wanted of the salad--I tried to save enough for lunch tomorrow--but wasn't quite full.  We had a green pepper in the fridge and I wanted to eat that before it went bad.  I sliced it up, ate about half of the pepper today, and put the other half on top of the salad for lunch tomorrow.
I <3 green peppers!  Fun fact: Joe HATES them.
A diet tip I will suggest in trying to increase your fruit and vegetable intake: Do some prep work the night before!  I sliced up that pepper for tomorrow, and I'm also going to slice up an apple to add to my breakfast tomorrow morning as I watch Dancing with the Stars.  

Question of the Day: What are some things you do to encourage yourself to eat healthy?

Tomorrow is my last day of school for the week, so I'm very likely to actually complete my workout (and maybe even a little bit more!).  Have a wonderful Tuesday!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Book Review: The Pact

My Sunday was spent reading.  On the weekends, I love to brew coffee and read right when I wake up.  It's my thing!
Old picture, but that's my view on Saturday and Sunday mornings
I told one of the ladies that works in the library about reading and enjoying Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher, and she suggested I read The Pact by Jodi Picoult.
I'd read a book by her before (House Rules...highly recommended!), so I though I'd give it a shot.  The book begins a 17-year-old couple, Chris Harte and Emily Gold, arriving at a hospital after an apparent double suicide attempt.  Chris and Emily were born 3 months apart and have grown up together, due to their parents being very close friends and the fact that they live next door.  Emily dies after arriving at the hospital, and Chris is left to explain what happened to his and Emily's parents, as well as the police.  After a bit of investigation, the police take Chris in to custody for the alleged murder of Emily Gold.  The book follows the aftermath of Emily's death, as well as the trial and its effect on all parties involved.

 The drama at the beginning of the novel drew me right in.  I was engrossed and invested in the story, and I really enjoyed how Picoult switches between "Then" and "Now," giving us the back story on Chris and Emily's relationship, while also giving each character a voice in the current situation.

I got a little bored in the middle.  Chris was just sitting in jail awaiting trial and his family, Emily's family, and the attorney were all trying to get the pieces of the story/trial put together.  You could feel the stress and anxiety of the characters, and as someone who is very empathetic, it was making me uncomfortable!

But, as soon as the trial began and the "Then" sections of the book were talking about the day before/of the double suicide attempt (last 200 pages of the book), I was sucked in!  I couldn't put the book down today as twists and turns kept me guessing about how the trial would end and what really happened on the day of Emily's death until the very last page.

I love Picoult's style of changing the narrator of the story, because I think it gives you a great insight into each character and their side/perspective of the events in the novel.  Overall, I enjoyed The Pact and would recommend it to anyone interested in murder mysteries, love stories, and someone who is looking for an interesting fiction read!

Next up on my reading list: The Happiness Project by Gretchen Rubin for Peanut Butter Finger's book club.  I'll have plenty of time to read during our Thanksgiving travels!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

6 miles + Slow Cooker Cheesy Chicken and Rice + Loopholes

Y'all, I am horrible with keeping up with my exercise schedule/blog from Wednesday evening on.  I just let the stress of the school week get to me, and I put everything else on hold for some rest and relaxation time.  My goal for next week is to actually go work out right after school on Tuesday and see how I like it!

On to today's post...

While today has been pretty low-key, I've had a great Saturday!  After a fun night at our favorite country line-dancing bar, Joe and I woke up with lots of energy and laughs from last night.  I got to watch the Virginia Tech game with another Hokie, and we pulled out the win!  Now, I'm just hanging out at home watching the other college football games (and blogging, of course).  I am a happy gal :)

Today's Training
Today was a 6-mile run in my half-marathon training schedule.  I was REALLY excited to go running today because my Garmin Forerunner 110 with heart monitor arrived in the mail yesterday!  I couldn't wait to try it out.

I got kind of nervous before running, as this is the longest distance I've done at one time.  My goal was to finish the 6 miles in 70 minutes (I knew I could for sure do that!), and I decided that I'd run 0.5 miles then walk for a minute.  Here's how I did:

That's an average pace of 10:45!  I loved running with the Garmin--it's very easy to use and much easier to read than my iPod timer on my arm.  I felt GREAT during these 6 miles, which really comforts me for the future long runs I'm going to have to complete.  Now it's time to throw some ice on my shins and get ready for next week!

Diet Tip of the Day
On Thursday, I tried a new slow cooker recipe I found via Pinterest.  Can you tell that I love that site?  The original recipe is from this site, but here's what I did, along with the review.

Crock Pot Cheesy Chicken and Rice

  • 3 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can of Whole Kernel Corn
  • 1 cup of shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 onion, chopped
  • 1 box of Zataran's yellow rice (will need butter to prepare using the directions on the box)
1. Put the chicken breasts and onion in the slow cooker.  Spoon the cream of chicken onto the chicken breasts/onion.  Cook for 3-4 hours on high, 7-8 hours on low.
It looks like this after 8 hours on low
2. About 45 minutes before you are ready to serve the meal, prepare yellow rice as directed on the box (takes about 20-25 minutes).
3. Once rice is prepared, shred the chicken breasts in the slow cooker.
4. Drain corn, then add corn, prepared rice, and cheddar cheese to the slow cooker.  Mix everything together, then heat on low for about 3-5 minutes.

That's it!  This meal was yummy and filling, but for some reason it was lacking the flavor of the yellow rice and cheese.  I think it's because I didn't drain the slow cooker before adding the corn, rice, and cheese.  Next time, I'll probably drain about half of the liquid to bring out the flavors I was missing.  Also, this recipe makes enough for 3 generous helpings, which could easily feed a family of 4 with another vegetable as a side dish!

Oh, and this recipe is husband-approved :)  Tasty, easy warm meal that will definitely be added to our dinner rotation.

Faith Find
On my 6 mile run, I was able to finish the two sermons I had left in Andy Stanley's Christian series.  While the last one was a summary of the previous sermons and a challenge to live them out, the 7th sermon of the series really hit me.
It was called "Loopholes" and discussed the fact that we can find a Bible verse to support/refute just about anything that we agree or disagree with.  Christians find loopholes in the rules spelled out in the Bible, but Andy Stanley said that followers of Jesus do not look for loopholes in the command "Love one another."

One thing that Andy said really hit me: "What if God looked for a loophole to get out of loving you?"  WHOA.  Who would want that?  So why, then, do we look for loopholes loving others when the One who loves us does so despite all the loopholes that He could find!  This really hit me as a great reminder that our love for others is a response of God's love for us.

Question of the Day (to ponder--this is very personal, so don't feel like you need to comment to answer this): What rule(s) do you try to find loopholes for?
To be honest, I look for loopholes on the whole gossiping thing.  I rationalize it as stress release, but I don't know that there's a Bible verse encouraging judging/talking about others to relieve your stress.  It's  something I constantly try to get better about.

That's it for today.  Time to pick up my book again (I'm reading The Pact by Jodi Picoult and I'm at a point where I really want to know what happens)!  Enjoy the rest of your weekend, and I'll be back tomorrow for the usual stuff!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Tortilla Chips + Answered Prayers

Hey, everyone!  I hope you've had a fabulous Wednesday.  I had a pretty great day at school today, caught up with a good friend of mine on the phone, and now I have a glass of wine while watching ABC comedies.  Can't complain :)

Diet Tip of the Day
This summer, my aunt, who shops at Whole Foods quite often, introduced me to sweet potato tortilla chips by Food Should Taste Good.

I found them in Wal-mart last week and decided to pick those up, along with some 100-calorie guacamole packets.

I brought that for lunch today, and boy, was it delicious!  These chips barely taste any different than regular tortilla chips (if anything, they taste better!), and the guacamole was quite filling for 100 calories.  I highly recommend these chips!

Faith Find
I've prayed about it, and I really do feel as though God is calling me to give to the Christian radio station I listen to!  I'm excited to give to a ministry that benefits so many across Central Florida, as well as others who come to visit the area.  I'm not saying this to make myself seem all holier-than-thou and all high on myself (I can be quite the opposite, actually), but I just wanted to share that I did hear an answer to my prayer.  It's quite a great feeling to know that God is speaking to you, which can be so hard to realize sometime.

Today's Training
My shin splints have returned :(  I was planning on strength training (Weighted Wednesday seems like such a distant memory!), but I decided to take a rest day so that my shins can heal.  They already feel better and ready for a run tomorrow!

Training goals for the rest of the week: 35 minute run tomorrow (going to go as soon as I get home from school), Strength training on Friday (going to use a workout from Run, Eat, Repeat designed for runners), and a 6-mile run on Saturday.  Looking forward to it :)

Question of the Day: Any healthy food you've tried lately that you love?
I'd love to hear about them!!

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Treadmill Tuesday HIIT Workout + Thanksgiving Ham + Abundance

Hey, everyone!  I don't know if you caught it earlier, but I posted about why I run.  If you read that post, you can find out a way to win a cool running t-shirt from ZOOMA.

Diet Tip of the Day
With Thanksgiving right around the corner comes cooking traditional Thanksgiving meals.  Joe's classmates and teachers are having a Thanksgiving meal, and Joe signed me up to cook a ham up to bring a ham for the festivities.

This is my first ham, and I really didn't know what to do!  Joe purchased an 8-lb. Smithfield ham that came with a glaze, so I'm just following the instructions on the label and hopefully it turns out fine!

Here's the finished product:
Joe went to carve it, and the meat just feel right apart.  No knife needed (which means, one less dish to clean)!  He sampled a few slices (and gave a few to Wewii, too) and said it tasted great.  Hopefully it won't dry out overnight in the fridge and stay tasty tomorrow for his lunch!

For those of you interested in another way to cook a ham, my mom usually gets a small pre-cooked ham and put it in the Crockpot with a 2-liter of Coke poured over it for about 2 hours on high.  After it's done, she slices it, put a little bit of the Coke over it, and puts it in the fridge and serves it chilled.  I don't really like ham, but everyone who has eaten my mom's ham just loves it!

Today's Training
Treadmill Tuesday is back on it's correct day!  Yay!  Here's the workout I did that I found from Annette @ Fitness Perks' blog:
I subtracted 1 from each of the running intervals since I'm not really going for speed while training, just the endurance to last for 13.1.  I went 3.68 miles in the 45 minutes, and I went the highest I've ever gone on both the speed and the incline settings.  I'm proud of myself for sticking to it despite being a sweaty mess during the entire workout.  I feel great after it!

Faith Find
The daily devotional I read each morning is talking about abundance this week (they change devotional themes each week).  Today's devotional was based on the verse Mark 12:41-44, which reads:

41 Jesus sat down near the collection box in the Temple and watched as the crowds dropped in their money. Many rich people put in large amounts. 42 Then a poor widow came and dropped in two small coins.[a]
43 Jesus called his disciples to him and said, “I tell you the truth, this poor widow has given more than all the others who are making contributions. 44 For they gave a tiny part of their surplus, but she, poor as she is, has given everything she had to live on.”

I was again struck with the importance of not just giving out of abundance, but making giving a priority.  I read that in the book Weird, I heard it during the sermons at church (they are in the midst of their commitment campaign), and I'm reminded of it again in my daily devotional.  Gee, I wonder if God is trying to say something to me!

The Christian radio station I listen to is in the middle of their fall fundraiser, so I feel as though I'm being led to give to that ministry.  I'm going to spend some time in prayer today over that today as to what all of these messages mean.

Also, if you pray, would you lift up a prayer for one of my students?  They told me today that they are struggling with an eating disorder, and I figure she can use all the prayers that can come her way.  Her parents know about it, and she is getting help, but I really pray that it will actually work and that she will find worth in herself and know that she is loved by God no matter what she looks like.

Question of the Day: Have you cooked a Thanksgiving ham/turkey?  Any recipe you'd like to share with a first-timer like me?

Why do you run?

Thanks to the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge, I was introduced to a new blog, Run to the Finish by Amanda.  Today, Amanda posted about why she runs.  It was spawned from this video made by a few ZOOMA runners about why they ran the race that day:

I wanted to share with you why I run.

In college, one of the sororities sponsored a 5k each year as a fundraiser.  I decided during my junior year of college to try and complete this race.  I ran with some of my sorority sisters, and I had a good time.  I was never consistent about running, but I always enjoyed the runs I went out and liked the challenge it provided.

Since then, I've gone on runs every now and then, but I never would have considered myself a runner.

In September, a friend of mine posted about the Disney Princess Half Marathon in February 2013.  I looked at the race information and thought about how awesome it would be to run through the Disney parks, and the medal you get for finishing is so cute!  The coolness factor of this race made me want to sign up for the race.

The more I thought about it, though, the more I wondered why I really wanted to run a half marathon when the last race I ran was about 4 years ago.

I figured it out: I wanted to prove to myself that I could do it.  I've always kind of wanted to be a runner and eventually run a marathon, but I felt like I wasn't fast enough or wasn't as "good" at running as others. I run to show myself that I AM a runner and that I CAN run.  It doesn't matter how fast/slow I go, it doesn't matter how far I go, what matters is that I GO!  

I also wanted to prove to myself that I can motivate myself to set a goal and stick to it.  I am famous for having a great idea, being so excited about it for a few minutes/days/weeks, and then not following through with it in the end.  Running this half marathon will prove to myself that I can have a goal, I can be excited about it, and I can follow through to completion.

So there you have it!  My reasons for running.

Find out how you can win a t-shirt from ZOOMA for sharing why you run by clicking here.

Question for you: Why do YOU run?  If you aren't a runner, why do you work out?

I'll be back later with my regular post for today :)

Monday, November 12, 2012

Running to the Gym + Buffet Buster

Today was a school holiday, and boy was it relaxing and productive!  I got so much done today, and even had time to relax, as well as work out!

Before I share my post for the day with you, I wanted to let you know about the Holiday Bootie Buster Challenge put on by Run to the Finish.  I just signed up, thanks to a post from Katie at Peace Love & Oats, and you should too!  It looks like a great way to extrinsically motivate yourself to stick to your exercise/healthy eating routine throughout the holiday season!  Shameless Plug: If you decide to sign up, put my name down as referring you.  If 5 people use my name, I can win some compression shorts (and who doesn't love free stuff?!?).

Now, on to the rest of the post:

Today's Training
Once again, I went to BodyPump at the YMCA.  The Y is only .65 miles from my house, so I decided to run to/from the gym.  There's a park right next to the Y, so before the class, I ran a loop around the pond (only an additional .5 miles).

My muscles were definitely pre-fatigued heading in to the class and I found that I wasn't able to do as many pounds.  But, it really did feel good to run there and run home, as well as get in my weight training!  I plan on making this my regular routine on Mondays.

Diet Tip of the Day
Once again, Joe and I took advantage of a free meal for veterans and headed to Golden Corral.  We went around 7:00 (after Bodypump) and thought we'd walk right in and go to town on the buffet.  Boy, were we wrong!  The line stretched the length of the building, and we wound up waiting about 40 minutes to get seated.  We discovered that this was one of only 2 Golden Corral's in our county, which makes the line make more sense.

The diet tip for the day is how to eat what you want at a buffet, but not completely overindulge.

I started with a decent-sized salad of spinach and mixed greens topped with tomato, carrots, green peppers, hard-boiled egg, cheese, and those crunchy things.  I figured I'd start with something healthy before going for the rest of the food.  (No picture because we doubled up with another party in line to get seated faster and I didn't want to seem weird...#bloggerproblems)

I found that after my hefty salad, I really only had room for one more plate (and some dessert, of course!).  I highly recommend getting a good-sized, satisfying salad to begin with, then only choosing those foods that you know you must have for your second helping.  That's what I did, and I am full and satisfied, but not overly stuffed (as is usually the case for me at the buffet).

It's getting late, and I need to get myself together for school tomorrow!

Question for the Day: What's the one item you HAVE to have when you go to a buffet?
For me, it's the soft-serve ice cream with rainbow sprinkles.  I just love it! :)

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veteran's Day Fun/Run + Chocolate Chip Cookie Brownies

For those of you who don't know, my husband Joe is a veteran.  He was in the military from 2003-2008 and did two tours in Iraq as a Navy Corpsman (in other words, a Marine medic).  I am very proud of his service to our country and really enjoyed spending today with him (our first married Veteran's Day!)

Diet Tip of the Day
Applebee's offered free entrees to veterans today, and we have one .2 miles from our apartment.  So, Joe and I went for a short walk to get his free dinner tonight.

We ordered 2-for-1 Blue Moons, mozzarella sticks, and the Three Cheese Chicken Penne, all to share.  Not only does this really save money ($14), but I ate just enough without stuffing myself!  As much as these food are not the most healthy (what?  fried cheese isn't healthy??), at least we shared them and each only had half portions of each.

I highly recommend walking to a nearby restaurant before dinner, as well as splitting an appetizer/entree so as not to stuff yourself when going out to eat.  I know I always do that between bread, delicious entrees, and tempting appetizers, but you still get all the tastes you want without overindulging!

Today's Training
After not getting my planned three runs in this week, I have every intention of doing at least 4 runs this week, starting today:
My "long run" on the training schedule last week was just a 3-miler.  I was really happy with my timing here!  I ran for the first 20 minutes of my run, then did the usual 3:1 run/walk ratio.  My 3-minute runs were at a much faster pace than usual.  I can tell that my training is helping, and I'm really excited about my progress!

This week's training schedule:
Monday: BodyPUMP (including a run to/from the gym <1 mile away)
Tuesday: Treadmill Tuesday (going right after school)
Wednesday: Strength workout
Thursday: 35-minute run (outside, right after school)
Friday: Rest
Saturday: 6-mile run
Sunday: Easy 2 or 3 miles + Core

Faith Find
The new sermon series our church started is "What Should I Believe?," and we'll be talking about the prophecies of the Old Testament and the events of the New Testament.  I'm really excited about this because, as the minister said this morning, we often neglect the Old Testament and really just study the New Testament.

The verse from today was Isaiah 48:10:
"Only I can tell you the future
before it even happens.
Everything I plan will come to pass, 
for I do whatever I wish."
It's a good reminder that God is in control, and that he does have a plan for our lives.  I know I need to pray more for His will to be done in my life, rather than praying for things to go my way.  I'm excited to read and learn more about verses in the Old Testament, many of which I haven't read or studied before.

Bonus: Dessert Recipe
On top of the salmon I cooked last year, I made one of my signature desserts

Chocolate-Chip Cooke Brownies


  • 1 box fudge brownie mix (I like Betty Crocker's mix, which requires 2 eggs and vegetable oil)
  • 1 package chocolate cookie mix (Betty Crocker's requires 1 egg and 1 stick of butter)
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Prepare brownie batter and cookie dough as directed.
  3. Pour brownie batter into a 13x9 pan.
  4. Press the cookie dough into the brownie batter (I usually use 9 good-sized spoonfuls).
  5. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the middle of the brownies pass the toothpick test.
I found this recipe on the back of a Betty Crocker brownie mix a few years ago, and these are always a hit!  They are so easy to make, and they combine my two very favorite desserts!

I hope everyone had a great Veteran's Day and that you took time to thank those veterans around you.  Enjoy your day off tomorrow (if you have one)!  I know that I'll be catching up on school work, heading to the beach, running some errands, and getting my workout in.

Broiled Salmon with Rosemary + Saturday fun

Happy Veteran's Day!

I'm very thankful for the brave men and women who have served/are serving our nation and protecting our freedoms.

I wanted to share what Joe and I did yesterday!  We had lots of fun, and I tried a new recipe that I wanted to share with everyone.  But first, a recap of my day.

I actually slept until 10!  I've been waking up very early each weekend, so I was really excited when I was able to sleep in yesterday.  We cleaned our apartment (it REALLY needed it), I went to the grocery store to prepare for dinner/cash in on some buy 1, get 1 deals at Winn Dixie, and ate lunch:

Mixed green salad with tomato, onion, green paper, carrots, cheese, and tuna
After putting the groceries away, Joe and I went bowling with his Campus Guides group!  He gives prospective students to Palmer Chiropractic tours and answers questions, and so I got to join in on their social.
Me in action
Joe in action 
Palmer-Florida Campus Guides
 While I am TERRIBLE at bowling, we had a lot of fun bowling, talking, eating, and laughing with the rest of the group.  As you can probably tell, the Campus Guides are very outgoing and quite hilarious people!

When we got home, I started cooking dinner.  I wanted to cook something other than chicken or beef, and I found this recipe on Pinterest.

Broiled Salmon with Rosemary

  • Up to 4 salmon filets
  • Olive oil spray
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tsp chopped rosemary
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • Salt and Pepper
Mix lemon juice rosemary, garlic, salt, and pepper together.  Brush each salmon filet with mixture.  Spray broiler pan with a light layer of olive oil spray, and broil filets for 4 minutes (1/2 inch thickness).  Add 4 minutes for each additional 1/2 inch thickness.

I served the fish with creamed spinach (SteamFresh microwave version) and some buttered mashed potatoes.  This recipe got RAVE reviews from the husband!  I believe at one point he said, "I don't even want to put my fork down to take a sip of wine, this is so good!"  The fish was very juicy and flavorful.  I definitely think this recipe will become a regular around our house :)

After dinner, we watched the UGA game.  After the 3rd quarter (the Bulldogs were up 31-0), we put on the movie "That's My Boy" with Andy Sandberg and Adam Sandler.  We were entertained, but it's your typical Adam Sandler movie.

So that was our Saturday!  Time to get some planning/grading done, go for a run, and read.  Back later with the usual content for today.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Playing catch-up: Treadmill Speed workout

Boy, oh boy, has this been a busy week!  After school meetings = delayed dinner, delayed dinner = delayed workouts, and delayed workouts = no blog posts (because I want to wait to share my workouts before blogging!).  So, that's where I've been this week.  So, here's an update from the week!

Wednesday's Workout
When I got back from a meeting yesterday at 6:30, I was ready to throw in the towel for the day.  Then, I read Julie at PBFinger's post that linked to this article about sticking to your evening workouts.  Great tips to stick to the workout, and starting next week, I am committing to going to work out/run right after school (or at least before dinner time).

My postponed Treadmill Tuesday run was a speed workout and looked like this: 
(Add/subtract 1.0 to each speed to cater this workout toward your running/fitness level)
My workout wound up lasting for 31 mins, 30 seconds (I didn't repeat the 7.0 speed going in to the 2nd repetition), and I went 4.0 miles, including my 5 minute warm-up and 5 minute cool-down.

This workout had me SWEAT-ING!  But, I was proud of myself because I ran the whole 31:30 without stopping.  

Diet Tip Question for the Week
As someone committing to living and eating healthy, I have the hardest time eating clean.  I love vegetables and fruits, and I love the way all-natural food tastes (if you don't know what clean eating is, check out this article).  But, there are two main set-backs.

1.  Eating clean is EXPENSIVE.  I tried getting ground turkey one time, and a pound was $8, as opposed to getting 3 pounds of ground beef (albeit the 80% fat version of ground beef) was $9.  As a family living off of a teacher's salary and student loans, Joe and I do most of our grocery shopping at Wal-mart to get the lowest prices.  We certainly skimp on freshness and quality by doing this, but I just feel like it's what we have to do right now.  I'm not saying this to gain sympathy at all.  I'd like to hear from you--what are some cost-efficient tips for eating clean?

2. I have a really hard time resisting cravings.  I know one way to do this is just not having those types of foods in the house, but that's easier said than done (especially when you're hungry while you're grocery shopping).  There are many healthy snacks that I enjoy eating, but sometimes a handful of Cheetos is just much more appetizing than a handful of carrots!

So that's what I'm dealing with.  Please, leave your clean eating tips in the comments!  I need them, please :)

Faith Find
On Sunday's run, I listened to another sermon in the "Christian" series from Andy Stanley at North Point Community Church.  This one was called "Angry Birds" and addressed how to demonstrated both truth and grace.  I think I may have skipped a week, because Andy mentions the previous week talking about truth and grace, but I think he talked about judging...  Oh well, I'll figure it out.

Anyway, Andy Stanley goes through the story of the prodigal son as Jesus' instructions to us of demonstrating truth and grace.  He focuses first on the prodigal son and how what he did was the biggest insult to his father.  But, when he returned, his father didn't care about all his transgressions, but he welcomed the son back in to the fold with a celebration.

Then, Andy Stanley flipped and started focusing on the other son, the older brother who stayed with his father and worked hard while the prodigal was off squandering his father's wealth.  The older brother became angry about the fact that his father threw a party for the return of his sinning brother and asked why he hadn't been celebrated that way when he was working hard for his father.  Stanley focuses on the fact that the father says the older son has always been with him.

When a sinner repents and turns toward God, Heaven rejoices.  But many Christians get angry about the fact that they've "done God's work" throughout their lives, and someone else who comes along later gets the same reward (eternal life).  Instead of getting angry, Stanley suggests that our hearts need to rejoice in repentance and break over sin (both of others and of ourselves), as demonstrated in the story of the prodigal son.  This sermon resonated with me, since I know that I need to focus more on being convicted of my sins, truly repenting of them, and asking for forgiveness.

Back tomorrow with the usual daily content.  I've got to turn on the TV and watch Virginia Tech take on FSU!  Let's go Hokies!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Happy Election Day!

Happy Election Day!  

I hope everyone exercised their right to vote today.  So many people have fought so hard to earn/protect our right to vote (military, civil rights activists, etc.), so the least we can do is use it!
I went to the polls after school and only had to wait about 15 minutes to vote.  There was some drama at the polling place while I was there!  An older man apparently got frustrated (it was quite a long ballot, and you filled in the bubbles like a Scantron test) and threw his ballot in the trash.  The people freaked out, and the man refused to sign something that said his ballot wasn't counted!  That was quite interesting.

On to the usual content...

Diet Tip of the Day
I really love how restaurants are starting to put calorie counts next to their menu items.  I ate at Panera tonight with a friend of mine from camp (so good to catch up with you, Emily!!) and definitely used the calorie counts next to the different items to select my meal.

For example: when deciding on soup, I opted for the 50-calorie Chicken Noodle over the 150 calorie Broccoli Cheddar.  I love cheese, but you can never go wrong with chicken noodle, especially with 100 fewer calories!

I've also noticed this at McDonald's (Joe's go-to fast food place) and at restaurants like Red Lobster that have an under 500 calorie menu or Outback that has dishes you can ask to be made "light."  Great idea for restaurants to encourage those that are a little more calorie- or health-conscious to still eat at their restaurant!

Faith Find
Beth Moore, a women's minister through Living Proof Ministries, posted this post about praying for our future president without knowing who it is.  Readers have been posting their prayers, based on what Scripture says a leader should be/do.

I think it's really important that we pray for our nation's leaders each and every day, but that isn't something I've been good at.  I've been reading the prayers posted in the comments and have been using them during the day.  I'll pray about 5 of them each time, and I will continue to do that throughout the election and in the weeks leading up to Inauguration Day.  I'm going to try and add our nation and its leaders to my daily prayers after that, as well.

Join me in praying for the man that will be elected today to lead us for the next four years!

Today's Training
I was all ready to head to the YMCA after voting (the polling place is right next door), and as I was walking in, I realized I didn't have a hair tie.  Now, I don't know about you, but I cannot run with my long hair down!

I know that's a really lame excuse for not running, but it just can't happen.  I overheat, I become more of a sweaty mess, and I feel weird when I have my hair down.  I know somebody out there can feel me!

I'm bumping my 35-minute run to tomorrow.  It's going to be a busy day, but I am committed to 3 runs this week!

Time to get back to watching election results.  What is it about turning the states red and blue is so darn entertaining?  I just can't turn it away!

I hope everyone has a great election day, and please, no matter the results of the elections, pray for our country and treat everyone with respect and decency!  It'll make everyone's lives better :)

Monday, November 5, 2012

Lean Green Turkey Wrap

Getting a bit of a late start today due to meetings after school and papers that needed to be graded tonight!  Because of that, I'll save the Faith Find of reviewing the second sermon I listened to yesterday for tomorrow.  I want it to be thoughtful and do the sermon justice, and I just can't do that right now.

Today's Training
Even though I was running late, I made it to Bodypump!  I love the class because you get a full body workout in an hour.  The music makes the hour pass quickly :)  

After being super sore last week (this gym uses weights in kilograms, and I didn't know the conversions and wound up lifting about 10 more pounds that usual!), I adjusted my weights (now that I know the kilogram conversions) and feel like I got just the right amount of a workout.  We'll see how I'm feeling tomorrow to see if I actually did a good job.

Diet Tip of the Day
I tried something new for lunch today!

Here's how you make the Lean Green Turkey Wrap:
  • 1 whole wheat tortilla
  • 4-5 slices of Turkey
  • Handful of baby spinach
  • Small handful of sliced cucumber
  • Small handful of diced onion
  • 1 100-calorie Marketside guacamole pack (found at Wal-mart)
  • A pinch of shredded parmesan cheese
This was a really tasty lunch!  I decided to name this wrap in this way because just about everything in it is green, but just about everything on the wrap is incredibly good for you!  Plus, lots of flavors, it's quite filling, but still light at the same time!  I highly recommend it, and I look forward to making one for the rest of the week (or until I run out of tortillas).

Question of the Day: What's a new meal you've tried lately that you love??  Please share so the rest of us can enjoy, too!

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Sermon Summary + 5-miler + Hawaiian Chicken

Hey, everyone!  Did you enjoy your extra hour of sleep last night?  I'm really not liking the fact that it's already pitch black outside and it's only 6:21!  Oh well, it'll make me do my running outside earlier in the day, which is just fine with me!

Faith Find
Yesterday and today, I listened to two more sermons from North Point Community Church's sermon series "Christian."  I'm going to summarize the major point from the sermon I listend to yesterday, and tomorrow I'll summarize the one from today:

Yesterday, I listened to "Insiders Outsiders," which discussed the way Jesus followers should deal with people that are also Jesus followers and those that aren't.  It referenced 1 Corinthians 5 where Paul is addressing the church in Corinth and telling them to judge one of their members who was committing a horrible sin.  I've always thought that Jesus said not to judge, but Andy Stanley suggests that the Bible tells us not to judge the "Outsiders" and leave that to God.  He also says that the "Insiders" or the followers of Jesus in your small group/church/circle of faith should judge each other by holding each other accountable. 

The reason behind this distinction is that the "Insiders" have made the commitment to follow Jesus, so those people should be held to that standard.  "Outsiders" may not know what Jesus says to do, so why should they be judged on that standard?  Andy Stanley uses the language that Paul uses in his letter to the Corinthians by saying that instead of judging those non-followers of Jesus, we should "win them" by sharing the love of God with them.  It made me think of that "you attack more flies with honey than vinegar" expression, and that's exactly right.

Today's Training
I set out for my longest run yet, a 5-miler!  I was quite nervous, but knew I needed to get this done if I'm ever going to be able to run 13.1 miles. 
My iPod/timer died when I was about 4.3 miles in, so I added my warm-up/cool-down walks to my route and used the time when I left and time when I got back to estimate my pace.  I think if you just counted my run, I would have averaged a 10:30 pace, with which I'm very pleased!  I felt really accomplished after completing my run :)

A few related notes:
  • I bought a Garmin Forerunner 110 yesterday on, and after today's iPod timer issue, I can't wait for it to get here!
  • I signed up for my first 10k on December 1st in New Smyrna Beach.  It'll be the longest race I've ever done, and I'm excited to see how that goes.
Diet Tip of the Day
I have a recipe to share with you!  I found the original recipe/idea on Pinterest, but I tweaked it a little because I couldn't find the Hawaiian barbeque sauce the recipe called for.  So, here is my version of Slow-Cooker Hawaiian Chicken:
This picture doesn't look very appetizing, but it's GREAT!  Promise!
  • Up to 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 20-oz can of crushed pineapple
  • 1 bottle of Lawry's Hawaiian marinade
Put the ingredients in your slow cooker and cook for 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low.

I served the chicken over brown rice with a side of brocolli.  It got rave reviews from my husband, and I really enjoyed, too!  The chicken was very tender, and the marinade mixed with pineapple provided a really interesting mixture of sweet and tangy tastes.  This will definitely be a repeated recipe!

I can't believe it's Sunday evening already.  Have a great start to your week!  Back tomorrow evening after round 2 of Bodypump at the YMCA.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Earning my Breakfast + Volunteering

Happy Saturday morning!  I started off my morning with a cup of coffee and a good book and this guy laying at my feet.
I've mentioned him before, but this is Wewii.  Joe and I are long-term pet-sitting him for one of Joe's friends.  The dog's name was originally Weezy, but Joe didn't want to call him that (he got him before we got married).  Since the dog is about 5 years old, Joe decided to call him Weewee since it's close to his real name.  He also decided to spell it in a strange way...which is how we got to Wewii.  This guy has had a pretty tough life and has pretty severe separation anxiety (and gets destructive when we leave).  Overall, though, he's a good companion and makes me feel safe when Joe isn't around!

Ok, enough about the dog.

Today's Training
I was heading to an all-you-can-eat pancake breakfast to support the girl's basketball team at my school.  I realized it was 2.5 hours away and I wanted to do an easy run, so I decided I'd run there and have a relaxing walk back.
My final destination
I got there in 25 minutes, which was good considering I took many, many walk breaks.  Word of Advice: Don't go for a run with 2 cups of coffee and only half a glass of water in your system.  It's quite challenging.

Once I got there, I waited in line for a while, and I was really ready to eat (and have a glass of water).  Luckily, the food was worth the wait.
I was so hungry that I dug in before taking a picture
Mmmmmm cheese grits.  I also had a sausage because I knew I needed some protein.  After downing my food, I relaxed for a little bit before getting a cup of ice to-go and heading outside to enjoy the view.
The walk back took me just under 38 minutes, and I listened to the next sermon in the series from North  Point Community Church that I've been listening to over the past few weeks.  I'll summarize that one in tomorrow's post!

Faith Find
On Halloween, the SCHS Key Club signed up to help at a church's carnival.  As the sponsor, I have to be at all events, so on top of my already-busy week, I knew I had to spend time volunteering on Halloween evening.  Before going, I was getting excited about seeing all of the kids in their costumes and helping them play games.

When I got there, we had a hard time finding a place to help.  The woman in charge of the kitchen gave us assignments and needed someone to wrap up hot dogs.  I let the Key Club students help out with the games and decided I'd stay and wrap hot dogs.  As much as I wanted to be outside in beautiful Florida evening playing with kids, I knew that this was not a job I wanted.

I felt as though I was rewarded for putting others before myself.  While I was wrapping hot dogs, I felt the stress and worry of my week just melt away.  I had a lot on my mind before getting to that event, but afterward, I felt so renewed and relaxed.  

I always love volunteering, but I just felt incredibly rewarded after this particular volunteer experience.  I plan to look for additional opportunities for myself to volunteer on a regular bsisi,a nd I look forward to attending other events with my Key Club members.

Question of the Day: Do you volunteer?  If so, where's your favorite place to volunteer?

I love working at food banks and serving meals at homeless shelters.  I'm not sure why, but those are just always really enjoyable experiences for me.  I especially enjoy interacting with the people I'm serving, like I get to do when serving others food at homeless shelters.

On a side note...
There has been a lot of controversy over the New York City Marathon this weekend.  After the destruction of the city caused by Sandy, people all over the nation were upset that the mayor of NYC and the organizers of the marathon kept the event on in light of all of the resources being used on the out-of-towners/runners of the race as opposed to helping those in need in the city.  The event has since been cancelled, but I think a lot of us not in the New York/New Jersey area to fully understand the devastation they've experienced.  

Let's come together as a country and support them in their time of need.  If you like to donate to the Red Cross to support their relief efforts, please do so here.  You can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10 to the Red Cross, which will show up on your next phone bill.  Also, here is an article from Forbes magazine that lists different needs of shelters in the NY/NJ area that you can donate to.

Please consider doing something to help out, if you can.