Winter Running Gear

Happy Saturday! I’ve fallen a little behind so the plan is to quickly catch you up to speed annnnnnnddd here we go!

Thursday evening

After work I suited up and hit the road for a quick two-mile run outside before the sun went down. The temperature was in the 40’s so the weather was decent, but the run didn’t feel good to me at all. I really don’t appreciate afternoon runs and neither does my digestive system. I am definitely more of a morning runner person.

For dinner I whipped up a quick banana and egg pancake.

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 banana
  • cinnamon
  • blueberries
  • toppings: apple butter, peanut butter, and banana slices

Then Dana and I headed out for the night to do some volunteering for the Salvation Army. By the way, I am really feeling the holiday spirit lately. I LOVE Christmas!

Friday

Breakfast was a chocolate covered strawberry smoothie.

Ingredients:

I asked for more Jay Robb egg white chocolate protein powder for Christmas. I really really like it. Earlier this week I made another peanut butter chocolate smoothie for breakfast but added kale into the mix and I swear it tasted even better. Thanks again Shannon for the suggestion. NUM.
Fast forward to the evening…there were some major comforts happening around this house. Fire in the fireplace, sweatpants, puppy, hubby, Christmas decorations….

And a meat and cheese platter for dinner which included Nut Thins Pecan crackers (love), amazing havarti cheese which I do believe is my favorite cheese, turkey sausage, and crispy green beans with marinara dipping sauce.

For the beans: I dipped the beans into egg whites, then rolled in almond flour, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. I placed them onto a lightly sprayed pan, sprayed the tops with olive oil, and broiled on low for about 7 minutes until the beans were golden on top. I really enjoyed them! I had to sneak some veggies in somehow so it was the perfect little side.

The rest of the evening was spent addressing holiday cards and watching Glee from last week. It feels so good to get the holiday cards all done and ready to mail. The way we had our assembly line set up reminded me a lot of writing out thank you cards after the wedding. This went a whole lot faster though!

Saturday

Now here we are on Saturday. This morning I woke up at my leisure, ate my usual pre-run breakfast, banana and peanut butter, and layered up for our Saturday run. This Saturday was our 4.5 mile run. We are still sticking to our 10K training plan!

It was about 25°F outside; here is what I wore:

  • Leggings
  • Sweatpants
  • Long-sleeve wicking top with t-shirt over it
  • Fleece zip-up
  • Normal socks and running shoes
  • Fleece mittens
  • Cotton hat

The verdict: I was actually too warm. I ended up running without gloves for the last third or so of the run. I would much rather be too warm than cold though so I was okay with it.

Each run has been a trial in trying to figure out the best apparel and layers to wear for the given temperatures and the way my body reacts. I haven’t quite figured it out yet, but I hope to before January 1st!

My feet and bottom of my pants were soaked at the end of the run, but that’s to be expected after running in the snow.

Overall, it was a good snowy run. That was the furthest I have ever run in the snow before. It was like running on wet sand and was definitely more challenging than running on pavement.

Alrighty, I’m off to run a bunch of errands and get some stuff down around the house. I hope you are all having a great day so far! XOXO

Question of the day: Is there any must-have winter running gear that you’ve found to be helpful?

Comfy Belly Soup

After yesterday’s morning run to test drive my new shoes, the verdict is in. The Brooks are keepers! After 3 trips to Marathon Sports and a lot of patience from the staff, I finally found a shoe that is comfortable, supportive, and lightweight.
I had made the decision to run inside on the treadmill versus outside so that I could test out the shoes and keep them in good shape just in case I didn’t like them and needed to return them.
From here on out, the majority of my runs will be outside so that I can prepare my lungs and my body for the coldness that will be at the 10K I’m running on January 1st.
No more shorts until next year. Sayonara!
Speaking of cold, even though it’s been pretty darn chilly around here, I am still making myself a smoothie now and again for breakfast. Yesterdays was particularly amazing and it was suggested to me by my friend and fellow blogger Shannon.
In this smoothie:
Unsweetened Vanilla Almond Breeze
1 ripe banana
1 large scoop of Parkers Farm PB
1/2 packet of Jay Robb’s chocolate egg white protein powder
Shannon usually includes spinach in hers too but I didn’t have any on hand so I omitted it this time.
The result…a smoothie that tastes like a peanut butter cup. It doesn’t get much better than that. I ate it with a spoon to make it last longer. 🙂 I LOVE the chocolate flavored egg white protein powder.
This bad boy held me over for a very long time. It’s the perfect combination of carbs, fat, and protein.
Moving on to dinner.
On Monday I started preparing for what would be leftover turkey and veggie soup. I saved the remains of the turkey (aka the carcass but I don’t love that word) so that I could try my hand at boiling it to make broth. This was my first attempt at making soup from leftover turkey btw. We didn’t have a pot quite big enough to house our 20 lb’er but I was still able to plunk some of it into a hot water bath.
As it bathed for a while, it softened a bit and I was able to push it down into the water a little more. I let it simmer on low for about 2 hours, then removed the turkey from the broth and placed it onto a cutting board. I placed the turkey broth (covered) in the fridge after it cooled down and it sat there to cool overnight.
On the cutting board, I began working on my turkey; salvaging any non-fatty pieces of meat on the bone. Being that I’m not a huge meat person, this job was a little on the gross side for me, but I made it through. Once I gathered my turkey meat, I gave it a chop, and refrigerated it for the night.
Don’t forget to save the wish bone!
Next, I chopped 1 cup of carrots, onions, and celery, and 2 cloves of garlic, and sautéed them lightly for about 5 minutes. I added 1 teaspoon of sage and some cracked black pepper during the last minute of saute time. I then let these cool and placed them in the refrigerator overnight.
Come Tuesday morning I removed the broth from the fridge. The fat had gathered on the top of the broth and hardened so that it is easier to scoop out. I scooped out the majority of it using a slotted spoon, added in the prepared turkey and veggies, popped in a bay leaf, covered it and let it simmer for an hour. I then added 1 cup of frozen green peas, a dash of garlic powder, onion powder, and salt and pepper to taste. I let the soup simmer for 5 more minutes.
Soup is on! Not the most attractive photo ever; I miss my natural light in the evening!
Such a healthy bowl of soup to comfort any belly. It really adds a lot of flavor to make your own turkey broth. We had a ton of leftovers so I froze the soup in individual serving size bags for another day or for when we’re feeling under the weather. If you wish you could add in whole wheat pasta or brown rice to add a little more “staying power” to this soup. I enjoyed it just as is but did end up needing a snack later in the evening.
I am happy it’s Wednesday. I didn’t sleep too well last night but have a lovely cup of jo by my side as I write who is really helping me perk up. It’s not that I need coffee in the morning, I just really enjoy it and am comforted by it. I look forward to it every morning.
Have a great day my friends! Catch up with you soon.

Some Leftover Goodies

Hi there! Happy Wednesday! So as I was scrolling through some photos from the past week I realized I have some odds and ends, and leftover photos to share still so guess what? That’s what I’m going to do! I can’t leave out these goodies.

Oh goodness it’s a random one today. I hope you’re prepared.

To start, last week I received a package from a company called Jay Robb who specializes in protein powder. I was particularly interested in their egg white protein powder because I am searching for a protein powder that I can add into my smoothies that doesn’t give me tummy issues like whey protein tends to do, and I wanted to try flavored ones.

They graciously sent me a handful of samples including vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry egg white protein powder packs along with a tote and a mixer bottle.

I use half of one package for each smoothie and I really like how it makes my smoothie more—-I can’t think of the right descriptive words, but more frothy and full. So far I have only used the vanilla protein in a strawberry, pineapple and banana smoothie. At first I wasn’t sure if I liked it because I could taste a hint of the powder, but then it grew on me. Also, maybe vanilla wasn’t the most perfect flavor to have added to that particular concoction. I should have tried the strawberry flavor! The more I use the protein, the more I enjoy it.

I am excited to try the chocolate, maybe with a banana and almond milk smoothie?

As far as my tummy handling it…I had no troubles whatsoever which is awesome. I will more than likely be buying this product to have in the house. It’s perfect for men and women, it’s a great option for people who can not tolerate whey protein (even if you can it’s a great option!), and it tastes great.

(Disclaimer: Jay Robb sent me these samples free of charge. All opinions expressed in this post are solely mine)

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Next random bits

My birthday celebration began when I was out in Colombia. The last day I was there Jeff and Ana gave me early birthday presents. That was November 6th I believe. Since then my friends and family have been showering me with cards and gifts, I celebrated my actual birthday in Georgia which was fabulous, I got presents from Dana, and I will be celebrating it with my family tomorrow. Talk about a birthday month! I feel so lucky and so loved.

Dana loaded me up on more workout gear (it’s crazy how quickly I wear through this stuff). I really like this top!

And he got me some more of my FAVORITE Victoria’s Secret T-shirts. Honestly I live in these things. I have ten of them in different colors. They are so comfortable and pretty darn cute if you ask me.

It has been an amazing 27th birthday and it’s STILL not over yet. Geez louise. Who’s the princess here?

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Tuesday Dinner

For dinner last night I made myself a southwest salad with mixed greens tomato, black beans, corn, avocado, and shredded cheese. I topped it off with a drizzle of light ranch dressing. It hit the spot!

I baked up the corn bread for my Thanksgiving day stuffing last night. I made it completely gluten-free and will be sharing the recipe with you post-Thanksgiving only if it turns out nummy. I tested a corner of the bread to make sure it tasted okay and was super pleased with the result.

Off to work for a bit then coming home to get my 20 lb turkey in some brine. I bought a huge turkey with the intention of lots of leftovers, not because I thought 8 of us would polish off a 20 pounder. But hey, you never know! 😉

I’ll also be preparing the cranberries today so that they are ready to go tomorrow and will most likely prep more for the stuffing too. Whatever I can do today to make tomorrow a breeze! I delegated family members to additional sides so everyone is bringing something tomorrow. It makes hosting a lot less intimidating and they were all more than willing to help.

Tomorrow morning I will be running a 5K which I am stoked about. The last race I ran in was back at the end of August at the State Fair. It’s been far too long. I haven’t been running much recently due to some back pain, but I think it will feel real good to get out there tomorrow. After the race I will boogy back home to get the bird in the oven! My first ever experience cooking a turkey. Cross your fingers for me.

I hope you all have a fantastic Thanksgiving tomorrow and can celebrate with the ones you love.

I am thankful for all of you!