Tag Archives: running

Meant to Run?

I think that my body was not made for running. Ever since my last run almost a week ago, my right knee has been very swollen. This happens sometimes and this time I couldn’t ignore it. When I stand up, it actually makes me feel uncomfortable. So I knew that going for a run today was out of the question, even though it was unbelievably nice outside.

Check out the size of my right knee!

I have no idea why my knee gets so swollen. Last time I visited an orthopedist, he couldn’t figure it out so he just drained the fluid. It doesn’t hurt or anything. It mainly just feels uncomfortable because of the swelling. Does anyone know why this would happen?

I am so excited because today was the beginning of my “staycation.” I have mentioned that I have been super busy at work. I decided to take the next several days off of work. I don’t have to be at work until next Thursday. Yay! Since Sundays and Mondays are usually my days off work, that equals about four days off. I really need this time to relax and recharge my batteries. Does anyone else ever take a few days off work just to recharge a little?

I started the day off on a wonderful note. Time off work = more time to cook breakfast. It is my favorite meal of the day after all. ;) I started the day with my Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast. I used Naturally Nutty Honey Roasted Cinnamon Peanut Butter. I also stuffed the bread with fresh strawberries!

Holy yum! This was so good. I loved the addition of the fruit. So good.

I always think that I’m being lazy on my days off when I guess that’s what relaxing is all about. Why do I feel guilty when I’m not doing anything? I mainly surfed the web, caught up with blogs, and caught up on my DVR recordings.

My breakfast actually kept me full for several hours so I ate a late lunch. I made myself some tuna fish (made of low fat mayo and mustard) and lettuce on multigrain bread. Along with the sandwich, I had some chips and salsa.

The salsa was unpictured because I ate it directly from the jar. It totally hit the spot.

The rest of the afternoon was spent napping on the couch with Callie.

Apparently she was feeling a bit lazy as well.

Even though I couldn’t run, I knew that I had to work out. It took me a good half an hour to drag myself off the couch and workout. I was tired and just didn’t feel like it. I had to keep repeating my exercise mantra in my head: “You are just one workout away from a great mood!” It gets me up every time. I’m not going to lie though. The main reason I got to work out was because I had completely caught up with my DVR and I was bored. There are worse reasons, right? ;)

I ended up doing two Jillian Michaels workouts: 30 day shred level 2 and 6 week 6 pack. They both count as my new workouts for this month. I had only done each of them once and that was a couple of months ago. Why am I so afraid of strenuous workouts?  The 6 week 6 pack workout was a killer. I could barely get through it, but I did it. I guess an hour-long workout isn’t bad for someone who didn’t want to do anything in the first place.

Callie wasn’t in the mood for a workout.
Lazy dog. :)

The best part of the day was undoubtedly when my husband got home. He had to work late tonight. When he came home he surprised me with some flowers that he picked in front of his office.

The first sign of Spring! Aren’t they beautiful? Isn’t he the sweetest?

And yes, we put the flowers in a wine glass. That’s just how we roll.

The day ended with a great meal and wonderful quality time with my husband.

I had a cooked hamburger patty with sweet potato fries and roasted asparagus. Of course I drizzled lots of barbecue sauce on them. I’m kind of addicted to barbecue sauce on my veggies now.

After a trip to the grocery store, I am now relaxing with my husband. For the first time in a really long time, I don’t have to work tomorrow. Yay!!!

Time for rest

So I haven’t posted anything since Thursday and I have a very good reason. I had other things to do. ;)

Don’t get me wrong, I love blogging and I love the blogging community. However, sometimes a girl just needs to unplug. Also, my husband came home from his business trip on Friday. Since he was scheduled to leave again yesterday evening, I wanted to spend as much time as possible with him. So I pretty much avoided the Internet for the entire weekend. I didn’t read any blogs and I didn’t tweet or visit Facebook. Spending time with my husband felt really nice. Now I am trying to keep busy until Corey returns on Saturday.

Since Corey was out of town and it was my day off, today was spent relaxing, cooking, and catching up on some DVR recordings. This morning, I slept in until nearly 9:00 am. I never sleep this late, but alas I did not sleep well last night. I was in the mood for breakfast potatoes. I had never made those before and wanted to try them out.

I came up with an easy recipe. I just sautéed some peppers and onions until soft. While they were cooking, I boiled a couple of baking potatoes until they were firm but soft. Then I sautéed the potatoes in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper, paprika, and a little parsley. Yummy!

I made a very filling breakfast bowl with potatoes, a couple of scrambled eggs with cheese and a chicken sausage link that I bought at Publix. I topped the entire mixture with a little ketchup. It may look weird, but it was delicious! And I have leftovers. No way I could eat all those potatoes by myself. :)

Because I didn’t eat breakfast until kind of late, I didn’t eat lunch until late. I didn’t get hungry until nearly 2:00. When I did get hungry, I wasn’t in the mood for something really heavy. So I made a grilled cheese sandwich with some Muir Glen organic tomato basil soup.

It was comfort food at its finest!

After lunch, I was feeling a little stir crazy so I decided to take Callie and go for one of my 10k training runs. It was seriously gorgeous outside. It was actually 53 degrees today! It felt like fall, which is my favorite season. 45 minutes of walking and jogging intervals left both me and Callie tired and ready for some serious rest.

When I got home, I was in the mood for a little nourishment. And I had a craving for a Green Monster smoothie. I haven’t had a smoothie in so long, maybe because it’s been so cold. Believe it or not, today was the first time I used my new blender. I’ve been using the food processor attachment more than anything.

While I was catching up on a few blogs today, I noticed a recipe on Tina’s blog for a Gingerbread Smoothie. It sounded too good to pass up. I pretty much used her recipe, except for the fact that I used nonfat milk instead of Almond Breeze and I added a couple of handfuls of spinach to get a few more veggies in.

This was, by far, the best Green Smoothie I have ever made. I will definitely be making this again. It tasted like Christmas in a glass. :)

Soon it was time to make dinner and I made a very tasty and easy pasta sauce to enjoy. I hope you guys enjoy this recipe. It was full of flavor and had just the right amount of spice. For my first attempt at a homemade pasta sauce, I didn’t do half bad.

Cajun Pasta (serves 2)

1/2 c. nonfat milk
1/2 tsp. cajun seasoning
2 or 3 jarred roasted red pepper strips
2 links of Jennie-O hot italian turkey sausage (cooked)
Cooked pasta

Mix red pepper strips, milk, and cajun seasoning in food processor and process until smooth. Transfer the sauce to skillet with Italian turkey sausage and cook on medium high heat until heated through. Serve hot over pasta.

This was such a good sauce. It may have been a little thin, but the flavors were still there. I served the sauce over some spinach fettuccine.

Late today, it came to my attention that it was National Peanut Butter Day. I decided to celebrate my making some of Jessica’s Peanut Butter granola bars. I used some of my homemade white chocolate peanut butter. There was only one problem: I was out of honey so I used maple syrup as a sweetener. Unfortunately, it didn’t stick enough. They were really good, but when I cut them after they were baked, they were very crumbly.

I think I may chop it up and just use it as regular granola. The recipe still came out really well except for that. Next time I will remember to use honey. :)

Now I am relaxing and enjoying my last few hours of my day off. I’m watching Shrek Forever After.

Hope everyone had an excellent weekend. Do you ever unplug? If so, for how long?

Food Processor Lovin’!

Before I talk about today, I want to give a brief mention about yesterday. I didn’t blog, mostly because I didn’t get home from work until nearly 5:00 pm and by then I was so emotionally drained that I just wanted to unplug for a while.

Last night, Corey and I wanted to go out to dinner. We had a gift card for Outback, which could be used at Carrabba’s. And since our last dinner there was so awesome, that’s where we wanted to go. However, I was starving and the wait was way too long. Coincidentally, we had another gift card to Chili’s. We decided to go there. Not a good idea as it turns out.

We started with some chips, salsa, and queso dip. (By the way, I’m sorry about the quality of the photos. The lighting was awful!)

The queso dip was pretty good. Of course, the chips were way too salty. As my husband said, it was like someone had dumped a salt lick on the chips. He wasn’t exaggerating.

For my entrée, I ordered some crispy shrimp tacos. The tacos came with rice and black beans.

The shrimp tacos were not good. They were way too salty and I didn’t like the flavor of the rice. I tried one or two of Corey’s fries and they were also way too salty. Maybe they did that on purpose so people will drink more. Corey usually drowns his food in salt, so if he says that he thought the food was too salty, then that’s saying something. Neither one of us ate very much of our entrees. In fact, we spent the rest of the night trying not to throw up. Worst dinner ever.

Today I was feeling extremely dehydrated (probably from all the salt). I wanted a nice, healthy breakfast in an attempt to recover from last night.

I took one apple and microwaved it for 2 minutes with some cinnamon and Naturally Nutty Butter Toffee Peanut Butter. After it was done, I added half a cup of the custom granola that I created online, along with some ricotta cheese. It was so delicious! What a great way to start the day.

The rest of the day was spent with rerun after rerun of New Adventures of the Old Christine. I just discovered reruns of this show on Lifetime. It is so freaking hilarious. I had a nice lunch.

It was a hamburger on a white pita (I was totally out of my multigrain bread) with some Alexia Sweet Potato fries. I love these things! Unlike most frozen items, there are only a couple of ingredients and I can recognize all of them! They are very delicious and perfect when you want something quick.

After lunch, Corey and I went to Whole Foods to stock up on veggies and bread. You know, the staples. I was feeling so drained for some reason when we got back. I had to force myself to go for another session with my 10K training app.

I am so glad that we got dressed and went out. It was truly a beautiful day. It was in the high 40′s and the sun was shining. Just about all of the ice had melted and even most of the snow was gone. I really wanted to go for a run for Callie’s sake. Poor thing has had cabin fever worse than anyone. Even with all that ice, she didn’t understand why we couldn’t go for a walk.

It’s amazing the difference that a couple of days of above freezing temps can do. On Monday, the cemetery looked like this . . .

And today it looked like this.

I didn’t even need a jacket! And to think that exactly one week ago, I went for a run and got a headache because the wind was blowing so hard.

The highlight of the afternoon was watching Julie & Julia.

And best of all . . . I made my very own nut butter! I used my brand new food processor and I used Angela’s recipe for dark chocolate almond butter as a guide.

I started with some raw peanuts.

I melted some white chocolate chips.

And I mixed it all together. Took about 15 minutes to fully transform the peanuts into peanut butter. But when I was done, I had white chocolate peanut butter! Yummy.

It tastes as good as it looks. :)

Now I’m relaxing, eating some dinner, and getting ready for Desperate Housewives.

Dinner was baked chicken strips and sweet potato fries. These sweet potato fries were fresh and roasted with olive oil, salt, paprika, and red pepper. Spicy. The chicken strips were made simply by coating chicken with some melted butter and panko crumbs mixed with a little black pepper and salt. It was a tasty meal. And now I’ve realized that I have eaten a lot of orange veggies today.

Unfortunately, I have to work tomorrow so my weekend has been a bit short. Hope everyone had a great weekend. What did you do this weekend?

Running Playlist

As you know, I have recently got back into running. I have even started a training program for the Peachtree Road Race in July, which is a 10K. Of course, I haven’t been able to run at all in the last week because of the snow and ice.

Check out the ice on our street!

The ice is just now beginning to melt and yesterday was the first day that the roads were driveable. I am super clumsy when the roads and sidewalks aren’t covered in ice. There’s no telling how hurt I would get if I ran in these conditions.

I am itching to get back out there though as soon as the ice clears. This week, in order to prepare for my foray into running, I worked on my running playlist. I even downloaded some new music for the occasion.

Here are just a few songs on my running playlist:

Whataya Want From Me – Adam Lambert
Gives You Hell – All American Rejects
Jalapeno – Big & Rich
My Humps – Black Eyed Peas
Toxic – Britney Spears
Just the way you are – Bruno Mars
Undo It – Carrie Underwood
Forever – Chris Brown
Makes Me Want to Pray – Christina Aguilera
Candyman – Christina Aguilera
This – Darius Rucker
Dance, Dance – Fall Out Boy
Paralyzer – Finger Eleven
Faith – George Michael
Valerie – Glee Cast
Forget You – Glee Cast
In My Head – Jason Derulo
Wanted – Jesse James
Hot N Cold – Katy Perry
Teenage Dream – Katy Perry
Bulletproof – La Roux
Eh, Eh (Nothing Else I Can Say) – Lady Gaga
Just Dance – Lady Gaga
Jump – Madonna
Misery – Maroon 5
Love Today – Mika
The Way You Make Me Feel – Michael Jackson
Pocketful of Sunshine – Natasha Bedingfield
Funhouse – Pink
Life is a Highway – Rascal Flatts
Only Girl in the World – Rihanna
Streetcorner Symphony – Rob Thomas
I’m a Believer – Smashmouth
Hey, Soul Sister – Train

As you can see, I have quite the mix of music. Mostly top 40 stuff, but also some Country and some Rock. What do you think of my playlist? Are there any songs that I left out? I’m always looking for new ideas. :)

A day of rest

I love Sundays. It’s a day of rest, relaxation, and some errands as well. :)

The morning started with a breakfast date with my husband. We went to J. Christopher’s to eat. We had a coupon they had mailed us a while back.

I absolutely love this place! They have the best pancakes ever. Of course, I did not get pancakes today because I was in the mood for something a bit lighter.

I ordered a San Bernadino omelet made of egg whites. It had chicken, avocado. cheese, and pico de gallo. It was a very tasty omelet. Next time, I might order it with less chicken and more avocado, but otherwise it was good. The omelet came with some breakfast potatoes and an English muffin.

Believe it or not, I managed to stop myself from eating the whole meal. I actually stopped eating when I was full. Yay!

 

The remnants of my meal

 

Normally when we eat out, I stuff myself silly until I am so full that I feel like I am going to be sick. This is the second meal that I have eaten out and left the restaurant feeling satisfied, but not stuffed.

After breakfast, we had to go to Whole Foods and the Farmer’s Market for some healthy items that I had run out of. I stocked up on plenty of great items. The Farmer’s Market was insanely packed. They were predicting snow, so of course the entire state was in panic mode.

At the Farmer’s Market, I stoked up on lots of healthy goodies.

I bought a few pears, some fresh pineapple, an avocado, cherry tomatoes, blackberries, cashews, peanuts, a yellow bell pepper, some potatoes, freshly ground sirloin, and some hamburger buns that are out of this world. Quite the haul!

After our trip to the grocery store, we came home and bundled up for a run (with Callie of course). It was 30 degrees outside, but I wanted to get in a day of 10K training since I hadn’t run in a few days.

I think the cold was a bit much though. Instead of a full 46 minute walk/run, we ended up doing about 30 minutes. I started feeling like a migraine was coming on. I think it was all the cold air hitting my face and my head. I tried not to beat myself up for cutting my walk short. Something was better than nothing, right?

Corey loaned me his sunglasses and hat to help warm my face a bit. It did help a little. My eyes were hurting from the sun and the wind, so the sunglasses helped.

When we got home, I wanted a warm and comforting lunch. So I turned to my favorite comfort food: grilled cheese and tomato soup.

The tomato soup was a brand that I bought at Whole Foods. I forget the name, but it’s one of the few that I have found without MSG. And it is good! The grilled cheese was made out of standard organic multigrain bread and some American cheese. It was an excellent lunch in this weather.

After lunch, I still wasn’t feeling well so I slept for a large part of the day while Corey took care of some things around the house. I guess Callie was tired from our walk because she napped right along with me.

My appetite wasn’t much to speak of throughout the afternoon (because of my headache), so I didn’t snack that much. In the afternoon, I was catching up on some blogs and my husband brought me a mug of Gingerbread Spice tea. Mmm . . .I love this tea and contrary to popular belief, it’s not just for Christmas. It was very comforting.

When I did start feeling better (and hungry), I wanted to use my brand new food processor to whip up a snack. A couple of days ago, I noticed a recipe for Raw Honey Cookie Bites on Kat’s blog. They seemed like an easy and healthy snack.

And I was right. They were. I think I may just add a little more honey next time because the mixture seemed a little dry. But they were so good and just the right amount of sweetness. Next time, I may play around with the spices a bit. Maybe I could add some pumpkin pie spice? I can’t wait to whip up another batch for me to take to work. They will be perfect for a portable afternoon snack.

For dinner, Corey cooked a rotierrsie chicken. It was cooking in the oven for a few hours and the smell was rejuvenating my appetite.

With the chicken, we had a baked potato and some roasted green beans.

Well . . . I had the green beans. Corey doesn’t like the unfamiliar and the new, so he still won’t eat them. Poor boy, he is missing out. :)

After dinner, I decided to do a workout. I was feeling better and the mood struck me. So I did the Jillian Michaels 6 week 6 pack DVD that I bought yesterday.

I love this workout! There are two levels. I started with level 1 and it was very tough, but effective. It is 35 minutes and a mixture of standing and floor work. I was feeling it in my abs by the time I was halfway through it and the workout kept my heart rate up the entire time. I was huffing and puffing from the warm up alone. I don’t like the name of the workout though. I mean, how realistic is it to develop a six pack in six weeks? But the moves will definitely strengthen my core.

Now I am relaxing with my husband before bed. I am so incredibly excited because it is snowing! Here in Georgia, we don’t often get a lot of snow. So the fact that we are expecting 3 to 5 inches overnight is pretty awesome. I can’t wait to play in it tomorrow. :)

Eat more Veggies

First of all, I would just like to thank all of you for your encouraging words after yesterday’s post. All of your remarks really meant a lot to me. It means a lot to know that I am not alone in this struggle and I have so much support from the blogging community. :)

I did feel much better today. But for some reason, I haven’t been hungry first thing in the morning. Maybe I’m eating too late at night? I didn’t get hungry until 10:00 am (about half an hour before I was to leave for work), so I wanted something quick and light.

 

snap, crackle, pop!

 

Yes, I had Rice Krispies. I rarely have cereal for breakfast, mostly because it’s not super filling. But I figured lunch wasn’t that far away, so I would be fine. I did have a couple of clementines with my cereal though.

I forgot how good clementines are. Sweet and refreshing.

After breakfast, I went to work. It was so busy. It’s the busy season, I guess. Lots of patients! But the day passed quickly and before long, it was lunch time.

I had a sandwich with organic multigrain bread, a hamburger patty, a fried egg, and some spinach. I also put a little hot sauce on it. Weird combination, but it totally worked. I think sandwiches are a great way to get a few veggies in. I put spinach on every single one! Does anyone have any good sandwich ideas?

Snack was a combination of whole grain crackers, carrots, and white chocolate peanut butter.

I have to confess something. I’m not a huge fan of carrots and I only ate a few of them. I think I need more hummus. I like carrots and hummus. Carrots and peanut butter? Not so much. :) The crackers and the peanut butter were a great combination though.

I also had lots of red grapes.

I got off work at a decent time today and I was looking forward to a run! It was day 2 of my first week of 10K training. It was in the 40′s, but I wasn’t cold. The weather felt great!

I’m really proud of myself for working out at all. I was extremely tired, not to mention that I was thisclose to finishing my book, “The Hunger Games” (which I have finished at this time and it’s phenomenal). But I forced myself to put on my running clothes and I’m glad I did. It was a great way to decompress after my long day and it was nice to spend a little one-on-one time with my husband . . . and my dog, of course.

After our run, we were both starving. So we went to work on dinner.

We had a pork chop, some mashed potatoes, corn, and some zucchini that I roasted with olive oil and cajun seasoning. Yummy! Another confession: I have a love/hate relationship with zucchini. I’m really particular about how it’s cooked. I have to force myself to eat it, not because I hate the flavor, but because I’m not used to it. The spices I used tonight were new and I liked them. Are there any vegetables that you try to “make” yourself like?

By the way, how did you like the new yellow dishes and pretty placemat that I used for my food? I bought them at Crate and Barrel specifically so that I could enhance the pictures of my food on the blog. I love them! Expect to see more of them on the blog. :)

Back to Reality

Today was my first day of work of 2011. I haven’t been at work since December 22nd and I had a very nice break. But it was time to get back to life and to reality. It had to happen eventually.

Even though I went to bed at a decent hour, I still struggled to get up this morning. After a week and a half of sleeping in, getting up at a 6:30 alarm was tough. I started the day with a new favorite: egg and bacon sandwich with cheese and hot sauce. I also added some spinach to add an extra nutritional boost.

When I got to work, I had an awesome surprise. My boss left a late Christmas present on my desk. It was a Borders gift card for $100. Woo-hoo!

I have spent half of it in my head already. And since they sell lots of fitness DVD’s too, then I will probably get a couple of books and a couple of DVD’s to add some nice variety to my workouts.

Work was actually very busy today. Since I hadn’t been to work in a while, there was lots of paperwork to catch up on. I had a midmorning snack of a couple of clementines.

A little while later, I had a nice lunch of some leftover chili. Chili just gets better the longer it remains in the refrigerator! :)

I also had a couple of Hershey kisses that were in the office break room.

I guess I should be thankful that too much chocolate gives me a headache. Otherwise, I may have taken a few more pieces. ;)

The afternoon passed by quickly. I ate an afternoon snack of grapes and a couple of handfuls of Peanut Butter Puffins (unpictured).

After work, I had been thinking that I would do some more strength training as my workout for today. However, yesterday’s run left me feeling a lot more sore than I thought I would be. My calves are killing me. I guess a 40 minute jog/walk still takes a toll on my body when I haven’t run in months. I am determined to continue my training so that I can get stronger and more fit.

My calves weren’ t the only things that were sore. I did Jackie Warner’s total body circuit workout on Saturday (New Years’ Day!) and my body is still feeling the effects. My triceps and abs hurt the most. I guess my first workout of the year was a good one. :) So with all those sore muscles, I decided to use today as a rest day. I feel guilty every time I take one and to take a rest day this early in the week makes me feel extra guilty.

Part of living a healthy, balanced lifestyle is to listen to my body and give it what it needs. I shouldn’t feel guilty about taking a day off so that my muscles can recover . . . as long as one day of rest doesn’t turn into five. ;) I am really determined to continue this streak that I’ve been on throughout the year.

I was pretty hungry after work. After yesterday’s rice bowl at Moe’s, I was craving something somewhat similar.

This bowl consisted of brown rice, some hamburger meat, corn, and kidney beans. I added healthy amounts of ketchup and mustard. It was super tasty and filling. I think that next time I may add some sautéed peppers for more veggie power.

And now the rest of the night will be spent relaxing in front of the television and hanging out with my husband. :)