Meet Olympian Dara Torres and Win Free EarBuds {Giveaway–CLOSED}

Happy Monday! Have I got a treat for you. I do have a lot to catch you up on from the weekend, but it’s going to have to wait til later in the week.

First, let me introduce you to Dara Torres…

dara torres 2

To those of you who may not know Dara:

Dara Torres is arguably the fastest female swimmer in America. She entered her first international swimming competition at age 14 and competed in her first Olympic Games a few years later in 1984.

At the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, Dara became the oldest swimmer to compete in the Olympic Games. When she took three silver medals home – including the infamous heartbreaking 50-meter freestyle race where she missed the Gold by 1/100th of a second – America loved her all the more for her astonishing achievement and her good-natured acceptance of the results.

In total, Dara has competed in five Olympic Games and has won 12 medals in her entire Olympic career. Her impressive performance in Beijing and her attempt at the 2012 London Olympic Games has inspired many older athletes to consider re-entering competition, including cyclist Lance Armstrong.

Aside from her amazing accomplishments in the pool, Dara has talents on dry land as well. A composed commentator, guest host and strong interviewee, she has appeared on such shows as Fox News, ESPN, CNN, Piers Morgan Tonight, Today Show, Good Morning America, Kelly and Regis, and many others. Additionally, Dara was the first female athlete ever to be featured in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, and in 2009, won the ESPY award for “Best Comeback.” To add to Dara’s accolades, she was also named one of the “Top Female Athletes of the Decade” by Sports Illustrated Magazine.

Now a top-selling author, her memoir, “Age is Just a Number: Achieve Your Dreams at Any Stage in Your Life,” published in April, 2009 and was listed as one of the top 25 best-selling business books by June. Her second book, “Gold Medal Fitness: A Revolutionary 5-Week Program” hit stands in May, 2010 and is now a New York Times Best-Seller.

Olympian, author, mother, and role model, Dara Torres is many things to many people, but above all, she is an inspiration.”

source

Besides all of the aforementioned list of achievements, she has also more recently partnered with a headphone company called Koss.

The line she is working on is called Koss FitBuds and they are the smallest earbuds Koss has ever created. The buds are only six millimeters in diameter, making them 33 percent smaller than the average Koss earbud. The elements are surrounded by a dual-injected, soft-rubberized housing intended to fit perfectly in the female ear. The FitBuds feature a sweat-resistant coating and come in fun colors!

dara torres koss headphones

The FItBuds are:

  • Ideal for active women
  • Sweat resistant
  • Ultra lightweight
  • Extreme durability
  • Covered under the Limited Lifetime Warranty

Source: www.koss.com

dara torres

Giveaway Time!

How would you like a chance to meet Dara?!

I am giving away two entries to Minnesotans or to anyone willing to drive to Minnesota to not only meet Dara, but also take a spin class with her, get a free pair of FitBuds and a free gift bag from Koss!

  •  60 minute spin class taught by local instructors
  • A pair of Koss Fit Series headphones to use during the event and a pair to take home
  •  A gift bag from Koss
  • The opportunity to meet and workout with Dara Torres, a five time Olympian and 12-time medalist.

dara torres

The dates and times for the classes are as follows:

Option 1:

Tuesday, September 17
4:45 pm – 5:45 pm
Eden Prairie

Option 2:

Wednesday, September 18
11:45 am – 12:45 pm
Minneapolis

*Winner will need to inform me of option/location they would like to attend. Exact locations will be revealed to giveaway winners.

Doesn’t this sound like a blast! I plan on being there, too!

Enter to win! 

To enter to win, comment on this post telling me why you would love to win this giveaway. Earn an extra entry by tweeting, “I want to meet Dara Torres! I entered to win at http://wp.me/p2J5VV-2dX.” Be sure to leave an extra comment on my post so that I know you tweeted.

I will announce the winner on Friday, August 30th! Edited: Contest closes at 12:00 am central time zone on Friday August 30th. 

Basil Mint Mojito and a Simple Dinner Idea

Hello, hello!

Are you looking for a cool and refreshing bubbly drink to help beat the summer heat? I have concocted a healthified version of a Basil Mint Mojito!

I wrote a guest post for Hannah over at Clean Eating Veggie Girl. Head on over there and check it out!

basil mint mojito

 

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I have been seriously slacking on any type of strength workouts over here. I am beginning to feel it too. I am going to slowly incorporate back in some weight-bearing strength exercise:

  • Planks
  • Push-ups
  • Tricep Dips
  • Squats
  • Lunges
  • Yoga

I am going to keep it super low-key and not stress about it, but at the same time want to form a habit of doing it so it becomes just an everyday thing I do like brushing my teeth. So that’s that!

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Dinner last night was incredibly delicious and so simple! I sautéed zucchini, onion, bell pepper, and mushrooms in olive oil and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and oregano. Then I plated them over quinoa and topped them with a spoonful of hummus and chopped green olives.

sauteed veggies quinoa and hummus

 

This whole thing came together in five minutes so there’s no excuse not to make it! You could even throw some cooked chickpeas in there to add more protein. I am in love with this dish and may make it again for dinner tonight!

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How’s that for randomness? I hope you all have a fabulous Tuesday and I’ll catch up with you soon!

xoxo

What’s for dinner tonight?

In On the Yoga Action

Last night I couldn’t get enough of this guy.

Moose

Lately I’ve really been into doing some relaxing yoga moves before bed to calm me down and relax my mind and body. Last night Moose wanted in on the action.

He plunked himself down right beside the left side of my yoga mat for about half of the stretching, and then moved himself to the right side of the mat for the rest of it.

Moose yoga

Okay, I’ll be honest, I did more photo taking than I did yoga last night because he was so darn adorable!

melanie and moose yoga

melanie and moose yoga

moose

moose

 

He’s super good at downward dog.

moose

And does a great job with controlling his breaths…

moose     melanie and moose yoga

This guy steals my heart! My little yogi puppy!

Casual Duathlon Training Plan & My Healing Decision

I started writing this post a couple of weeks ago about my plans for training for the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. To be perfectly honest, I was hesitant to agree to do this event from the get go.

My body has been in such limbo land for so long and I had heard straight from the Naturopath’s (ND) mouth, “you need to chill out on the intensity of your workouts.” And she wasn’t joking. This was what she told me immediately after I had just told her about the Insanity Program.

She told me my body is working so hard to heal, and that I am taking the energy away from healing the disrupted and imbalanced areas in my body by making it heal the muscles and tissues that need repair from the intense workouts. After the Insanity workouts, my body was completely out of whack. Almost every part of my body was out of balanced and stressed. I had agreed to slow it down with the intensity of my workouts.

I asked her about running and she said walking and light jogging would be okay, but nothing more than a mile or two (and she didn’t agree to this right away, it took some persuading from me), and leisure bike rides were okay. But mostly, she recommended I stick to walking and yoga for now. I hadn’t signed up for the duathlon at this point.

I was completely psyched about the opportunity to take part in the duathlon. I began training and was taking a very casual approach to training; biking when I could with longer bike rides on the weekends, and was debating on how I would be incorporating some light running into the mix. The debate was coming from my head telling me I shouldn’t be running at this moment in my life, and my heart telling me I can and that I would be surrounded by thousands of inspiring women including some of my wonderful readers!

The debacle continued and I still hadn’t started running when I went in for my next ND visit last week. In the last month I have made some major changes to my health: I completed the Clean Program and followed the elimination diet for about a month, I switched from Insanity workouts and running, to walking, light biking, and yoga. I continue to eat sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, alcohol-free, and caffeine-free (for the most part) for now until I can be more than 100% sure I am back to health. Besides that I was taking all of my supplements and medications just as I should. My ND also had me on detoxifying drops that are meant to balance out imbalances in the body. For one person, that’s a lot of changes in one month’s time.

When I went back this time around, my body was nearly superb. Compared to my whole body being out of balance last time I went in, nearly my whole body was balanced except for a couple of areas. She was blown away at my progress. She told me that everything I was doing was working, and to keep doing exactly what I had been doing. Knowing that this isn’t a forever diet I will need to be following, I knew I could continue to do it. It’s actually not that difficult if you plan ahead.

I had a brain and heart battle throughout the appointment regarding whether or not I should tell my ND about the duathlon. I have established a trusting relationship with her and felt that she needed to know. So, near the end of the appointment I told her that I was registered for a duathlon in September. I told her about my casual approach to training and how really my goal is only to finish, I wasn’t concerned about my time (except for I knew there was a 2.5 hour time limit on the bike ride, but this didn’t concern me).

She was very glad I told her and just as I suspected, she highly recommended that I shouldn’t participate in the duathlon at this time. She said right now, my #1 priority is getting well and completely healing the body. I am so close to being there and she is afraid that any type of overexertion could set me back again. I really don’t want to be set back again. This has been way too long of a journey already. Basically how she explained it was, even if you are mentally going into it thinking that you will just be taking a casual and fun approach to the whole event, your body doesn’t always take it that way. When it is a timed race event, the body does crazy things. Endorphins run, adrenaline runs, digestive processes increase, and the body gets excited. The body can take it as a fight or flight situation like it is fighting for its life and can become very stressed. For someone who has struggled so long to find wellness, putting my body into any state of stress might be enough to tip me off again.

So, collaboratively, we came to the decision that I will not be participating in this years Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon. The hardest part about telling you I am dropping out from the race is knowing that I have talked some of you into doing it with me, and now here I am telling you I can’t do it anymore.

My health is my #1 priority. I want to be well. I hope to have a family some day. I know that deciding not to take part in this event is absolutely the right choice for me at this point in my life. I am hoping to be able to be a part of this event in the future. Not only that, I hope to run another half-marathon. It will all come in due time. Just not now.

I want this to be a reminder to all of you reading this. If you are sick or if your body is in healing mode, it is okay to take a rest from strenuous workouts. When we workout hard, the body works hard to repair our muscles, meaning it is taking away energy from healing other areas of your body that may need it more (for me, its my GI system and Endocrine system).

Even if you physically know you can accomplish something, take a step back and evaluate if your state of wellness can truly handle it.

Our poor bodies try hard to send us messages all of the time, and sometimes it takes an outsider telling you to “slow down” for us to actually listen to what are bodies are really telling us. This isn’t meant to discourage athletes from performing at their best, or marathoners to stop training, because more than likely, these athletes are in a better state of health than I am, I am just saying that it is OKAY to “chill out” sometimes if that is what your body needs. Sometimes it’s what our bodies do need and I know mine is thanking me.

Even though I am no longer participating in this event, I do still plan to continue and promote this amazing event. The discount offer still stands so if you are interested or know anyone who might be interested in participating in this years duathlon, please sign up and encourage them to sign up. I will be your cheerleader! Email me if you have any questions at beautifullynutty@gmail.com

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With all of that being said, since I did start to write a Casual Duathlon Training Plan post, I thought I would still share with you what all what I had written so far.

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As many of you know, I have registered to take part in the Athleta Iron Girl Duathlon in September. Ladies who are local, it’s not too late to register! Check out this post on how to register. I even included a coupon code so that you can get a discount!

As a reminder, the duathlon consists of:

  • 2 mile run
  • 22 mile bike ride
  • 2 mile run

As another reminder, I am supposed to be staying cool and calm with my physical activity level. Given that tidbit of info, I have really need to take a step back and think about my approach towards training for this event.

I want to train enough so that my body feels comfortable covering the appropriate distances, but not train so hard as to put any extra strain on my body or to stress me out.

I have come up with my super casual Duathlon Training Plan. There are no calendars to print off telling you which day to train and at what distance, this is all about listening to my body, getting the training in when I can, and staying relaxed.

My goal for this duathlon is simply to finish.

Biking

The time cap for the 22 mile bike ride portion is 2.5 hours which if I calculated correctly (or if google calculated correctly I should say), would be about a 8.8 mph bike ride. As long as I can maintain a 8.8 mph speed throughout the ride, I can finish in 2.5 hours. My average speed is usually in the 12-15 mph range so I should be just fine.

Over the last couple of weeks I have gotten out during the week for a couple of shorter rides, 6 miles or so, and then on the weekend am slowly beginning to cover longer rides. This past weekend was 10 miles over in St. Paul where the route was fairly level. When I go for rides in my neighborhood, I am always subjected to extreme hills which is good training, but on longer rides, I need to take it slow and gradually work up to longer hilly rides.

biking duathlon training biking duathlon training

My plan is to increase my mileage each week until I feel comfortable with about 20 miles.

Running

I’m still working on my plan for the running training. In my head I keep hearing my ND say “cool it” especially on the running and Insanity program! I feel that if I can comfortably run two miles, that I should be just fine running in the event since the two 2-mile runs are split up by the bike ride in the middle.

I will begin casually walking/jogging until I cover 2 miles at a reasonable pace that I feel comfortable with, and will probably leave the running train at that.

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That is as far as I got on my Casual Training Plan. Again, I hope you all understand why I am doing this. I appreciate all of your ongoing support! I promise I AM doing very well! I am healing!

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Weekend Snapshots

I am coming off of what was one epic weekend. It was an absolute blast having my brother and Ana around all weekend. Our family was able to spend a lot of time together this weekend which of course I just love.

Since it’s Monday and since a good majority of us including myself may be a little tired today, I’m going to keep the rest of this post real simple.

Here are some weekend snapshots!

Thursday night we hosted a small BBQ for our special Colombian guests.

Friday I grabbed lunch with the lovely Katie and Becky at Crave at Mall of America. Love love these girls.

blends crave

I ordered the salmon salad which came with mixed greens, salmon, mandarin oranges, goat cheese and pistachios (I think). Honestly it wasn’t anything to write home about but it tasted good still. I think I was so absorbed in conversation that I hardly remember eating it. Yikes!

crave salmon

Friday afternoon Dana and I enjoyed a short and hilly bike ride through the neighborhood. I am hoping to do a post this week about my casual approach to training for the duathlon.

Saturday morning started off with banana with almond butter and no-sugar added dried cranberries.

banana and almond butter

Then we ran a bunch of errands including a trip to the local farmers market where I picked up these beauts for my mom and dad.

farmers market flowers

And later in the evening we had a Mexican fiesta with the family.

taco salad ana grandpa jeff

On Sunday Dana and I took our bikes to St. Paul and biked 10 miles bike along the Mississippi. I LOVE this area. It is beautiful.

bike st. paul dana and melanie bike

I finished the weekend off with a homemade Mediterranean dinner complete with kabobs, grilled chicken, mixed green salad, and yellow quinoa (recipe to come for the yellow quinoa).

homemade mediterranean dinner

It was an absolute incredible weekend. I hope yours was too!

I’m All About Comfy Clothes

Happy Hump Day/Midweek/Sunny Day!

Recently, I was approached by an incredibly kind woman named Jessica Morris who founded the clothing company, ZeeBee Threads. The decision to begin her own company came after years of overpaying for quality workout clothes. It didn’t seem right to her to have to pay an arm and a leg for a high quality pair of pants, and she wanted to do something about it. So she did. She created a company whose objective is to develop and provide stylish casual clothing options at affordable prices to active women.

The company believes that every woman deserves to wear stylish and comfortable clothing. Those are the two biggest factors I look for when I’m out to buy clothing! Okay, really I’m all about comfort, but it’s a plus when it’s actually stylish too!

As often as I can be, I am Comfy, comfy, comfy! When I’m home, 9 times out of 10 I will either be in some type of sweats or workout clothes.

melanie casual friday   DSCN6721   comfy

But besides feeling comfortable in my clothes, the price tags on the clothes needs to make my wallet feel comfortable too.

Try this on for size: you’ll never pay more than $50 for great quality women’s stylish, casual clothing from this company. They are an online-only retailer, selling exclusively at zeebeethreads.com. They avoid all of the costs of traditional retail which allows them to offer designer quality merchandise at affordable prices.

“ZeeBee Threads is for women who have outgrown major clothing labels selling the newest, seasonal designer trends to a younger generation, don’t have the time to spend hours digging through racks, and want to upgrade their wardrobe at a fabulous value.

Our philosophy is that there are times to dress up and there are other times when dressing down is just as important. Whether it’s running a quick errand, grabbing a dinner with friends or family during the week or lounging around the house, ZeeBee Threadsclothing is designed for “stylish comfort”.” source

I am 100% behind this company, so when Jessica reached out to me and asked me to review some of her products, I was ecstatic. I ordered the Sexy Off the Shoulder Pullover which is $28.95 in case you were wondering, and the Vintage T-Shirt Dress which is $19.95. Crazy good deals!

zeebee threads sweatshirt

zb threads dress

This past weekend while I was away in Northern, MN the temperatures reached high 40’s in the nighttime and ranged from 55-85º during the day depending on where you were. Given the extreme fluctuations, I packed lots of layers. I packed my ZeeBee sweatshirt and wound up wearing it on a hike at Judge C.R. Magney State Park in Grand Marais, MN. The weather was cool when we began the hike and this sweatshirt was just perfect for it.

It is lighter weight than a typical sweatshirt and allows for a lot of movement. The fabric is incredibly soft too. I liked that I felt cute in it, not frumpy like I often feel in sweatshirts.

zeebee threads

zeebee threads zeebee threads

It kept me at the perfect temperature on the hike while the clouds were out. As we maneuvered the trails, the sun broke through and the temperature skyrocketed so I had to take it off. It tied perfectly around my waist and stayed put for the remainder of the hike. Once the hike was over the clouds settled in again, this time with rain, and the sweatshirt went back on again! It was the perfect piece of clothing to have with me.

Here’s another thing that is so great about this particular piece. Besides wearing it for activity, you could also wear it for leisure, and even dress it up a bit. Once the fall weather rolls around, I plan to wear this sweatshirt with a scarf or a long necklace along with some dark jeans. This is where the title of the sweatshirt, “Sexy Off the Shoulder Pullover” comes into place.

zeebee sweatshirt 2

Very sexy! I can’t guarantee that I’ll look like that but you get the idea. 😉

I love that it can be dressed up or down and that it is so comfortable and so affordable! Ahhh! I’m so excited about this company. What’s better yet, I still have another piece of clothing in my closet from them that is just screaming to be worn. You can expect another review from me once I wear that little t-shirt dress!

I would highly recommend you head over to ZeeBeeThreads.com and check out their merchandise. Their products are simple yet sophisticated, trendy, COMFORTABLE and AFFORDABLE. Can you go wrong?! Definitely give their Sale section a browse too! You never know what kind of gems you might find there.

What are you waiting for? Grab that credit card and get shopping! 😉

Disclaimer: ZeeBee Threads has provided me with free product, however the views and opinions I express on these products are honest and all my own.

4th of July Photo Recap

Happy day my friends! I’m still unwinding from what was one incredible 4th of July weekend. Dana, Moose, and I went camping in beautiful Northern Minnesota. We ate great food thanks to loads of food prep, did quite a bit of hiking, saw some spectacular views, relaxed at the campfire, watched local fireworks, and savored the fresh air. Here’s a photo recap of our weekend!

Hiking & Sights

Silver Bay

silver bay

Gooseberry Falls

camping food

Eagle Mountain–the highest natural point in Minnesota at 2,301 feet! The hike was 7.2 miles. I was struggling towards the end of this one but the view was completely worth it.

DSCN6744

eagle mountain DSCN6741

Judge C.R. Magney State Park and Devil’s Kettle

DSCN6789

devil's kettle

Moose camping

DSCN6781

The Campsite on Lake Superior

DSCN6752

DSCN6730

DSCN6753 DSCN6754 DSCN6756

Waiting for Fireworks

DSCN6761

Food

camping

 

Homemade clean food

camping food

Fresh whitefish dinner at Angry Trout in Grand Marais

DSCN6793

grand marais

It was one seriously amazing weekend.

Join Me for My First Duathlon

I have some exciting news.

I will be participating in Athleta’s Iron Girl Women’s Duathlon on September 22nd! It is a 2-mile run, 22-mile bike ride, and finishes with a 2-mile run. Ladies, I want you to join me in the fun!

Iron Girl

About Iron Girl:

Iron Girl’s mission is to empower women toward a healthy lifestyle and you all know I’m all about that! The Iron Girl event experience provides women with a competitive platform and amenities such as: a post-race catered Breakfast Café, performance shirts sized just for women, professional timing, personalized race bibs, custom finisher medals, post-race giveaways and more.

For inspiration, check out their YouTube video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sumgD1j0Uyg 

I want YOU to Duathlon with ME

The Event Details: 

Sprint Distance Duathlon
2 mile run/22 mile bike/2 mile run
Date: Saturday, September 22nd, 2013

Location: Normandale Lake Park

Entry fees: 

$95.00 until August 22
$105.00 until race day
(you must be 15 years old to participate in the sprint distance event) Note there is an additional $12.00 fee for non-USAT members to cover your one-day permit through USAT.

 

Athleta is offering a DISCOUNT off registration for all of my wonderful readers!

Use the link below to register and you will get $10 off registration by using the Coupon Code: BEAUTIFULLYNUTTY or by typing BEAUTIFULLYNUTTY into the referral area.

What are you waiting for?!

For more event information: http://www.irongirl.com/Events/Bloomington/Event_Info.htm#axzz2XoGvimgw

Follow Iron Girl on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/IronGirlEventSeries 

I’m so excited about this event because it is a less intense way for me to challenge myself physically. I’m still needing to relax with the workouts so this will be the perfect event for me! I feel comfortable with the running portion but I will need to work on increasing my bike mileage. I don’t feel any pressure to finish quickly and feel comfortable knowing there is a 2 1/2 hour time limit allotted for the bike portion. I KNOW I can finish the bike portion in that time.

I will be keeping you posted on my training along the way. Break out those bikes and tennis shoes and let’s get moving! Even if you can’t make it to the event, you can still train and carry out the challenge in your own neighborhood!

I would LOVE if you could join me! If you have any questions email me at: BeautifullyNutty@gmail.com and I would love to help you!

 

Disclaimer: Athleta and Iron Girl are sponsoring me in this event and have paid for my registration fee, however the opinions expressed regarding the event are all my own.

Yoga For Healing

In my efforts to chill out from intense workouts as prescribed by the doc, I have taken to a lot of walking; every day I walk for at least 30 minutes either outside with Moose, by myself, with Dana, friends, or on the treadmill. As much as I love to walk, I am in need of more, so I turned to my old friend, the yoga mat. We have an inconsistent relationship with one other but I really do miss her.

ellie review

My friend Kalley actually inspired me to pick it up again when she mentioned that she does relaxing yoga before she goes to bed. I thought that sounded really nice so the next night I pulled out the yoga mat and did just a short five minutes of some relaxing yoga poses. I immediately felt relaxed and fully ready for bed (which was my intention). I slept soundly that night. Last night, I did it again, but this time with a full 30 minutes of relaxed yoga (there’s actually a Yoga on Demand that I followed called Relaxing Yoga). Afterwards I felt cool, calm, and collected and I was really diggin’ this feeling. I slept amazing last night and woke up with no back pain. Now I can’t guarantee 100% that this was all from the yoga, but I do think it helped! I would really like to increase my yoga’ing again.

Now, I tend to have a pattern when it comes to yoga. I will do it for a short while, absolutely love the way I feel, but then completely forget about it. Maybe because I sign up for a road race and then my focus turns to running? I’m not sure. But since I will be cooling it for a while with the intensity, I would really like to make this part of my routine again.

I am officially bringing yoga back into my life. 

I’m debating whether or not to continue doing it in my living room using videos I find on Xfinity on Demand on TV, using Apple TV to follow yoga sessions I find online like on YouTube and such, or joining a yoga studio. The only way I would join a studio is if the classes offered fit my schedule, if it was in a convenient location so I would actually go, and if it wasn’t super spendy. I keep checking out Groupon and LivingSocial and other coupon sites, but haven’t found any yet. Any locals know of any deals happening right now? 

Either way I’m going to get my yoga on; for healing and for health.

I really wish I could be yoga’ing here…

yoga 2

 

Isn’t it serene?! Beautiful.

 

yoga 1

Namaste my friends. Happy weekend to you all!

A Symbol of Hope & Weekend Recap

Thank you all for your sweet comments on my last couple of posts. I have been feeling very sentimental lately (more so than usual) and it is so nice to have this blog as an outlet to share my thoughts and feelings. You are all so supportive and it makes the journey so much easier knowing how loved and supported I am. I know I am on the right track.

I have been noticing this cardinal friend of mine hanging out in our backyard quite often. There’s something about cardinals and blue jays that just makes me so happy. They are absolutely beautiful. Plus, the lilac bush to the left of him is in full bloom and is so fragrant and gorgeous! No wonder he likes our backyard.

cardinal

According to this source“The male cardinal reminds us passion, warmth and vibrancy is available to us – even in under the cloak of winter’s grey clouds.”

A list of symbolic cardinal meanings:

  • Hope
  • Love
  • Cheer
  • Pride
  • Focus
  • Energy
  • Renewal

“Those who attract the cardinal as their totem are naturally energetic, love life, and happily help others where/when they can.

Pretty incredible, right? I’ll take that handsome guy as a positive sign.

This weekend was pretty darn fantastic, albeit it flew by way too fast as they always do.

Lately I have been eating smaller meals frequently throughout the day. I find that this helps my digestive system to feel better because I’m not loading food in all it once and making it overwork sporadically. Eating small meals helps to keep my energy level up too. This works for some people, doesn’t work for others.

I snapped a few food photos throughout the weekend of some of my mini meals. This one couldn’t have been more simple: raw zucchini, red bell peppers, carrots, and quinoa with coconut aminos.

veggies quinoa

On Friday night, Dana and I had dinner at Whole Foods salad bar. I filled up on tons of veggies, quinoa, chicken, lentils and salads. It was a box full of love if you ask me.

whole foods

On Saturday, we ran in the Fill Their Plate 10k run. The proceeds go to fight childhood hunger and I was so excited to be participating in a race that had such an incredible cause.

dana melanie pre 10k

I know I said in Friday’s post that I need to cool it on the intense exercise (no Insanity, and no longer runs), but since I had already registered for this race I had told myself that I was still going to run it, but then after that I would chill out for a while and stick to shorter runs, walks, yoga, swimming, or leisure bike rides.

We are actually getting summer weather here in MN after waiting way too long for it, so our run was actually super sticky and humid, more so than we are used to coming off of our long “Sprinter” (spring/winter). This made the run pretty challenging for us. However, I think I actually may have hit my time goal (an hour or less) that I was hoping for, but definitely not stressing out over. When we ran across the finish line, the timer said 58 minutes and change, but I know we didn’t start right away when the clock started. I’m still waiting for the website to post results, but when they do I will let you know if I reached the time goal!

I was a hot and sweaty and sticky mess after the race. When we got home I made us a pot of coffee and we had a super chill afternoon watching Fools Rush In (first time watching this movie and I really liked it) and sipping on our coffee.

coffee

On Saturday evening we celebrated Father’s Day with Dana’s parents. The weather was MN weird…on the drive over it was raining and storming, but then it cleared up and was a perfectly sunny evening. We spent a lot of time sitting outside on the deck soaking up the sun.

We had delicious steak and shrimp kabobs for dinner with a big veggie salad…

kabob dinner

And I DID have ice cream cake for dessert. I figure it was just one day. Every other day I am refined white sugar free. I am going to continue to enjoy these moments as they come because such is life and I want to enjoy life (just as long as these moments don’t turn into every day occurrences, then I would have to choose my days wisely). 😉

We are celebrating Father’s Day with my family next weekend. I’m hoping to dig out  some throw back dad and daughter photos to share with you then 🙂

Sunday was the usual: coffee, breakfast, and newspaper. I made myself a bowl-o-banana with almond butter, cinnamon and raw organic honey.

banana almond butter

One of my afternoon mini meals: an apple with tuna salad. In the tuna salad: white albacore tuna packed in water and drained, celery, dill pickle relish, mustard, and black pepper.

apple with tuna

 

Although this made for a pretty photo, this wasn’t the easiest way to eat the tuna salad. Next time I will slice the apple and serve the tuna alongside the apple so I can just scoop each individual slice. You live you learn.

We enjoyed the company of two of our best friends in the afternoon. I hope we can make an ATL trip happen in the next couple of months!

Dinner was a household fav: grilled salmon.

salmon grilled onion

Dessert: pineapple whip made with frozen pineapple, a little bit of frozen banana, almond milk, and a touch of honey.

pineapple whip

We had such a relaxing weekend which was just what the doctor had ordered.

What was the best part(s) of your weekend?!