A Rainy Run and Spring Cleaning

Happppppppy Saturday! I don’t have¬†a ton of fun photos for you today, but I do have a couple of food photos to share from yesterday.

Once again, I used the NutriBullet to whip up a smoothie. I’ve made this one before. In the mix was: banana, kale, almond milk, chocolate egg white protein powder, peanut butter, and aloe vera juice.

smoothie

Lunch: Quinoa, cheese, and peas. This was actually really good despite it being so simple. Sometimes simple is best. It was cooked quinoa, salt, pepper, shredded cheddar cheese, and peas.

quinoa and cheese and peas

Dinner: My favorite salmon!

salmon

 

 

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I keep forgetting to mention that Dana and I have registered for a 10K race coming up at the end of April! My runs have become few and far between, and I’m going to blame that mostly on the weather. I know, lame excuse. Every time I am out for a run I feel fantastic, and every time I am done I always say I have GOT to do this more often. I wish I could bottle up these good endorphins and release them under my nose when I’m not feeling up to a run.

Now that I have a race to look forward to, I will be hitting the pavement more often again and am really looking forward to it.

Furthermore, the weather is really turning around here which makes it that much more enticing to run outside. Yesterday it was in the 50’s and today it is in the 40’s. The snow is melting super fast and I am loving it. Spring is officially here.

Can you spot the cardinal?!

cardinal and backyard

Dana, Moose, and I headed out for a rainy run this morning. We tried a new loop in our neighborhood and covered 4.7 miles. Despite it being wet, rainy, and a little chilly, it was still a GREAT run! My endurance and stamina felt wonderful and I am confident I will be just fine for the 10K in April.

Since it is rainy, we have decided that today is SPRING CLEANING DAY! I was reading about these cleaning techniques from Carpet Cleaning Knoxville tn‘s website and I am off to dust, windex, vacuum, and mop! Oh, and for those asking where I got my vacuum from, I’d ask them to visit this page, for this page has some of the best electronics I’ve come across. Fun, fun, fun. Kidding, but it will feel really good to do a deep clean on the house.

My hands are struggling to type right now because they are still pretty chilled but my body is so happy. ūüôā

Moose hung on through the whole run but he isn’t quite used to runs longer than 3 miles after the winter months. His back paws got a little scraped up and he was bleeding at the end of the run. It’s time to build up those paws again! We covered his wounds with socks and he is now fast asleep on the carpet. Poor guy!

moose

 

I hope you all have a FANTASTIC Saturday! xoxo

Continue Reading A Rainy Run and Spring Cleaning

A Successful 7k

I am in such a wonderful mood this afternoon after finishing the Get Lucky 7k this morning. I was a little nervous about the actual run because I haven’t been running lately, but as it turned out, it was a GREAT run. I felt like I could keep going and going and going, and that was on NO caffeine.

I ate my usual pre-run breakfast of banana with peanut butter and cinnamon…

peanut butter banana

Dana and I did our best to get “dressed up” for the occasion. I wore a t-shirt from senior year of high school that says “Senior Stars, You Wish.” I knew I kept that shirt around for a reason!

get lucky 7k 2013

Then we dug these hats out of the basement storage from our friends’ St. Patty’s party last year, and I felt a lot more festive!

get lucky 7k 2013 get lucky 7k 2013

This year’s outfits were a big step up from our last year’s Get Lucky outfits…

get lucky 2012

 

The temperature at last year’s run was in the 60’s, and this year it was in the 20’s. Quite the difference!

The course was very icy but I didn’t witness any falls fortunately. It was a cold first few miles, but I still felt fantastic.

At around mile two there was a celtic band playing which gave me a boost of energy, and people lined the course cheering us on the whole way. I loved every second of this race.

I completed the 4.4 miles in 40:31, so 9:13 minute/mile. I was VERY happy with that stat considering my lack of running lately. Now, I am super motivated to get out and start running more. I am still hoping for that warm weather soon, though.

Post-run lunch was a green salad (for St. Pat’s weekend of course :wink:). In this grand mix was mixed greens, zucchini, olives, peas, avocado, sunflower seeds, chicken, parmesan cheese, lemon juice, and olive oil. It was a WINNER.

salad

I am in such an incredible mood today. We have fun plans to celebrate Dana’s birthday tonight with my family, and I am going to go relax a bit before I have to get ready.

Real quick though, here was my pre-race dinner from last night: Tilapia with rutabaga fries and broccoli. Very nummy.

tilapia

 

I hope you all have a super Saturday. Catch up with you soon. XOxo

Continue Reading A Successful 7k

Getting Back into Outdoor Running

Well, I did something yesterday that I haven’t done in a while…went for an outdoor run. The weather around here has been pretty nasty the last few weeks with cold temps followed by snow, so I have been taking my runs (albeit few runs) inside on the treadmill lately.

Yesterday morning I was planning on just that; running on the treadmill. I told Dana my plan and he said okay, but just so you know I am running outside today. Usually the only way I will run on snowy, icy, streets in the winter is if I’m running with someone else, that way if I were to fall, I’d have someone there to help me out. I made the decision to run with Dana and Moose outside.

I got all geared up and wore the same outfit as I did at our January 1st Polar Dash 10K run (photo from the polar dash), except no neck warmer:

dana and melanie polar dash 2013

 

It was 19¬įF when we were out. The first mile was really cold on my face, but not too long after that I was warming up real well.

The sidewalks in our neighborhood were kinda wishy-washy as far as being clear of snow and ice. Inevitably, the uphill sidewalks were the ones covered in snow so I felt like I was running in sand, uphill. Those hills made me feel pretty out of shape.

At mile two, my legs were feeling like a light load of bricks. The cold was getting to them but they kept moving. We completed our three-mile loop and I am happy to say I finally got an outdoor run in again.

I have less than one month until our 7K run and as long as I start running outside a little more often, I should be just fine. Who knows anyway, the weather could be pretty nice mid-March. Last year it was unseasonably warm. You just never know! You have to be prepared for anything.

From here on out, I’m hoping the weather will only improve and get warmer so I can¬†really start to enjoy outdoor runs again! I’m ready for it.

When we got home I did some stretching, core exercises, and my plank-a-day. Then we got busy packing for our trip and working on some more food preparation!

I wanted to bring some dried fruit on our trip to snack on, so I placed apricots, peaches, pineapples, and bananas into the food dehydrator, covered it, and left it on for a long time; about nine hours.

food dehydrated

*I used canned fruit (in its own juice) for this and rinsed them thoroughly and dried them in the sink

For lunch I ate a grilled salmon fillet with zucchini. I ended up adding some honey dijon mustard to my plate because I’m not into plain salmon yet.

salmon

I finished lunch with a microwaved apple…

baked apple

Later in the afternoon before we left to run errands I snacked on a banana with peanut butter…

banana with peanut butter

Dinner was a grilled turkey burger with avocado, SCD ketchup, and mustard, and cooked carrots. Why do grill burgers taste SO much better?! It was delicious.

turkey burger with avocado

Finally at about 9:30 pm, the fruit was done dehydrating. We laid them out on the counter to cool down.

dried fruit dried fruit

And then bagged them up for the trip!

dried fruit

 

We do plan on visiting a local farm/farmer’s market to pick up fresh produce while we are in Turks and Caicos, but it’s nice to have other options too.

When we were in the Boundary Waters last May with my brother Scott and his girlfriend Nicole, Nicole had made a huge batch of dried fruit and I loved it so much that I went and bought a food dehydrator¬†for myself. Dried fruit is one of my favorite treats, but I don’t like all of the sugar and additives that is often added to the store-bought kind (dried fruit has enough sugar on its own), so I try to make it myself the majority of the time. No additives here!

I have lots to do today so I better get to it. Have a great day!

 

Continue Reading Getting Back into Outdoor Running

SCD Intro Diet Day One

 

Hello there friends!

Morning Run

Yesterday morning I actually ran on the treadmill for three solid miles. I haven’t done that in quite some time but figure since I have a 7k coming up in just about a month, that I should probably get on that. Besides from being bored, the run went pretty well.

SCD Intro Diet

There’s no sugar-coating it, the SCD intro diet is not easy, especially for someone who doesn’t enjoy meat.

If you are new to Beautifully Nutty, please check out this post to find out why I am currently on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. This post does not depict a typical day of food intake for me, it is only temporary.

Day one is complete. I felt hungry and lethargic pretty much all day. The good news is, I only have one more day of the intro diet and then I can move on to the next stage of introducing more foods. I really miss my other veggies and fruits.

Here is what my SCD Intro day one looked like…

 Breakfast: Two hard-boiled eggs and grape juice gelatin

eggs

A haircut appointment which was a really nice distraction from my hungry tummy. I really enjoyed the hair wash and the blow dry. It relaxed me completely.

Before….

hair melanie

 

After…

melanie hair

She chopped about two inches off of the bottom, reestablished my side swoop “bangs” and added some light layers. Nothing too drastic but it felt so good to get it cleaned up!

Snack: steamed carrots

carrots

Lunch: plain chicken breast with a light drizzle of honey

chicken with honey

And grape juice gelatin.

grape juice gelatin

Snack: Carrot pancake made with steamed carrots and one egg. I pureed them together in a mini food processor and then cooked the pancake on the stove top. It was a very easy and this snack helped tide me over for a while. 

I snacked on my pancake while listening to a podcast about tips on surviving the intro diet. ūüôā My biggest takeaway was to remember WHY I’m doing it and that is to finally be 100% healed.

carrot egg pancake

For dinner we went over to mom and dad’s. I packed myself a bowl of bone broth with cooked carrots and chicken.

scd carrot soup

 

The soup actually wasn’t too bad, but I would prefer it without the chicken in there. The hardest part of this intro diet is the fact that I don’t like plain meat. I can enjoy chicken in a taco with salsa, or a burger with ketchup, but plain old meat, no, not my thing AT ALL, and you know that if you have been reading my blog for a while.

Also, I can’t find Farmer’s Cheese anywhere, which is the one cheese that is allowed during the intro. Dana and I looked at about six different stores yesterday with no luck.

As hard as they may be for me right now, I MUST remember that this is only temporary and I know in my heart this is what it will take to finally be done with this U.C. I truly feel¬†soooo¬†good in general, but it’s just a matter of healing a couple of “wounds” still.

Also, I want to remember that I am lucky enough to have ANY food to eat. There are so many starving people in our world that don’t have enough food, so limiting myself to these specific foods for a couple of days should be nothing I should complain about.

My usual meals will be back on the blog before you know it, so bear with me as I go through this SCD intro phase.

If you want to learn more about the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, check out my post from this summer: Specific Carbohydrate Diet.

I hope you all have a great Tuesday. I’m trying very hard to stay positive today! I’ll stay positive if you will!

Continue Reading SCD Intro Diet Day One

Back to the Gym & A Happy Cup of Tea

Okay, good morning! How did everyone sleep last night? I slept really well except for some crazy dreams this morning. Our brains are so incredible. They take our thoughts and wishes and fears and turn them into some very interesting dreams. Some seem so vivid and real like the one I had last night, and some are so completely out there you wonder how your brain even came up with them. Or how about when you randomly see someone in your dream who you haven’t heard of or seen in ages?! That always blows my mind too.

But anyway…let’s get back to reality.

Monday

I’m starting to lose my creativity again and falling back into the pb banana breakfast again. I¬†have¬†still been trying to incorporate more smoothies in though. It’s a work in progress. We’ll leave it at that.

banana pb

I was out all morning running errands and hitting up the gym. Oh yea, I seriously went to the gym. It had been a long time since I had been there because I was sick last week and because I have been doing a lot of my workouts in the comfort of my own warm home. I’m still debating putting my membership on hold, but something keeps holding me back from doing it.

At the gym I planted myself on a treadmill directly in front of a TV showing The Price is Right. I began with a light jog, then decided to make this run a HIIT kind of run. I ran for 3-4 minutes at an intense speed, followed by 1-2 minutes of recovery walking, then amped up the speed this time higher than the sprint before, ran for 3-4 minutes, recovered for 1-2, and so on. I did this sprint/walk drill for 3 miles. I was dripping sweat by the time I was done with it.

Next, I moved over to the mats and worked on strengthening my abs. I feel like ever since the January 30-Day-Abs Challenge, I have learned so many great workouts for my abs that really target all areas. This abs workout was the 2nd session of my February Fitness Challenge.

I packed a large bag of carrots to munch on while I was out and about. By the time I got home around noon, I was more than ready for lunch.

I snacked on a few dates with peanut butter while I got lunch ready.

date pb

I roasted broccoli, brussels sprouts, and butternut squash in the oven with coconut oil, salt, and pepper. I really wasn’t feeling the sprouts yesterday but ate a few of them anyway.

roasted veggies

I finished lunch off with a small snack bowl of mixed nuts and raisins.

In the afternoon I had a cup of green tea kombucha and fell in love with the inspirational words on the tea tag.

tea

“Happiness comes when you overcome the most impossible challenge.” We all have challenges and obstacles in our lives, but we must remember that we will get through them as we always do. Also, we always need to remember to enjoy life each day and show love to the people in our lives each day. That will bring us happiness. At least that’s what I took from it. I’m sure everyone has their own interpretation. I felt happy even before I drank my tea just by reading those words.

Dinner was salmon again! Once a week is still salmon week and let me tell you, I am really starting to like this healthy fish. We made it the same way as we did last week with a little butter, almonds, capers, and sesame oil mixture drizzled over the top of grilled salmon with green beans and asparagus.

salmon salmon

I can’t get over how much more I prefer salmon when it is grilled on an outside grill versus inside. It takes any potential fishy taste out of it and gives it a very subtle smoky flavor. I am happy to say the salmon is growing on me!

The rest of the evening was spent in our cozy home watching the Bachelor and celebrating when someone on there FINALLY got sent home (I won’t spoil it for anyone who hasn’t watched it yet). The second person he sent home though however I wasn’t too happy about. BUT, it’s down to the last four now which means home-town dates, and it looks like it’s going to be drama-filled! Again, this show sucks me in every season.

I made myself a snack of blackberries, strawberries, and blueberries with a dollop of FAGE Greek yogurt and honey.

greek yogurt with berries

It was the perfect sweet snack to end the night.

Don’t forget to enter my Intelligent Nutrients Organic Shampoo and Conditioner Giveaway! You have until Wednesday to enter. ūüôā

Have a great Tuesday!

Continue Reading Back to the Gym & A Happy Cup of Tea

A Reminiscent Run

Yesterday was an all-around great day. The day began with a relaxing cup of coffee and banana with peanut butter for breakfast. I suppose I could say I am officially in a “rut” with the pb banana. I haven’t changed up breakfast for a good 1-2 weeks now, but I do still love my pb and b!

Mid-morning I swung by Trader Joe’s to pick up a couple of goodies as well as Macy’s in search of a swimsuit for Turks and Caicos. It’s not that I necessarily¬†need¬†another swimsuit it’s just that I would really¬†enjoy¬†another one. I wanted to look at Macy’s because I still have birthday money there and that would have worked out perfectly, but they didn’t have too many options yet. I did find one on Victoria’s Secret website that I like, but I haven’t been able to commit yet. We shall see.

For lunch I met up with my dear friend Kalley¬†at People’s Organic Cafe¬†per Kalley’s recommendation.
kalley and melanie

Just as I had suspected, the menu was stellar, stacked with healthy and veggieful dishes. I was in my element. She knows me well!

I went with the “Really Greek” salad: organic romaine, roasted tomatoes, quinoa tabouli, marinated chickpeas, cucumber, olives, feta and lemon basil dressing.

people's organic

It was a really good decision (ha-ha). I loved every bit of it.

My lunch with Kal flew by all too quickly. I had so much fun catching up on life, reminiscing a bit about the past, and realizing how far I have come with this beautiful lady; about 13 years! I can’t wait to see her again.

I would highly recommend People’s Organic to anybody who enjoys fresh organic, healthy food. It is slightly pricey but that is only because everything is organic. I promise you it is totally worth it. Besides salads they also have sandwiches, wraps, soup, and amazing looking desserts.

I dressed in my running gear at lunch for a reason…after lunch I had plans to run the streets of the neighborhood where I grew up. I was in dire need of a change of scenery and the last time I ran this neighborhood was last late winter perhaps (?), so I thought it would be a welcomed route.

It wasn’t my easiest run but it sure was a fun one. I reminisced the entire time. Every new street I ran by literally brought back so many memories.

I passed by my old house, Betsy’s¬†family’s old house which was just a block away (which explains my closeness to the family as I was there all.the.time.), and about 5 houses of families I babysat for.

I ran on the sidewalk where I would always tell my mom I was thirsty towards the end of our walks. She would tell me to think of biting into a lemon because it makes your mouth salivate and that would be enough to get me home. I remembered our many walks together; reciting state capitals, showing her my new dance steps, singing songs, we have so many wonderful memories.

I passed by “the elephant tree” named because it clearly looks like an elephant. ūüėČ

elephant tree

I passed by the “picnic tree” where Steph, Betsy, our friend Katie, and I would pack lunches and bike to eat lunch under our favorite tree.

picnic tree

I passed the ice rink where I spent many winters learning to ice skate…

ice rinkEvery single step of this run was literally a run down memory lane. Aside from the fact that it wasn’t my “best” run physically, it was sure a great mental run!

Once I got home, we took Moose to the dog park to let him socialize with some buddies. He was in quite the “loving” mood. We had to keep a close eye on him. If you ever are in need of a good chuckle, go to a dog park. Watching the dogs interact is one of the funniest things.

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After the dog park I completed my third session of the Abs Challenge. We are now on to week 2!

Dinner was a favorite of ours: veggie hash with a runny egg on top. I pulled whatever we had in the fridge/freezer which included broccoli, mushrooms, onion, leftover Santa Fe roll filler, bell peppers, and then topped the sautéed veggies with shredded cheese, tomato, cilantro, and an over-easy egg. Perfection.

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We brought out the snorkel gear last night to make sure everything still fit and was ready to go for our vacation. I feel like it is a lot sooner than the end of February based on my excitement level but considering how time flies, it will be here before we know it.

I am in the process of working on a meal plan for the week since we will be doing our own cooking in our kitchen. Once I get that set up I will share with you all!

I hope you all have a fantastic Tuesday!

Question of the day: Any go-to vacation meal ideas for me that are easy yet healthy and satisfying?

Continue Reading A Reminiscent Run

A Healthy Start to 2013: Polar Dash 10K

I am very excited to recap on my run from yesterday so I am not wasting any time today.

New Year’s Day (yesterday) I got up bright and early to eat my usual banana and peanut butter pre-run breakfast and sip on a half a cup of coffee. I laid out all of my running gear the night before like I always do, I even pinned my number on my shirt and tied in my time chip to my shoe.

My nerves took over temporarily while thinking about the frigid temperatures, and I started to second guess if I had the right amount of clothes and layers on. On the ride over the thermometer read -7¬įF. The last long run we did outside it was 9¬įF outside. That’s a big difference! Dana reassured me that what I had on would be just fine and eventually I came to the realization that yes, I would be fine.
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We picked up my brother Kevin and his friend Jeremy (who ran the half-marathon with us in June) and drove to St. Paul. We parked and took the shuttle over to the starting area.

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We all did the bathroom thing then headed over to the starting line. At this point the temperature had probably crept up to a whopping -4¬įF. You had to keep moving to keep the circulation flowing so everyone was jumping, running in place, stretching, and trying to stay warm. This was the hardest part of the whole race for me. From the time it took for us to leave our car in the lot and head to the starting line was about 25 minutes, and my toes were just not having it. They were starting to go numb. All I wanted to do was start running! I have never wanted to start running so bad!

Once the race began and our wave took off, the toes were still feeling pretty immobile, but at about mile 2 they were feeling fine. I ran next to Dana, Kevin, and Jeremy the whole race (minus the very end when K and J took off) which made it so much fun. Jeremy wore an afro wig and crazy 80’s shorts with a fanny pack and got all the runners pumped up and was highly entertaining. One girl even came up to him after the race and told him she was keeping an eye on his afro the whole race and PR’ed because of it!

Another form of entertainment was seeing all of the runner’s iced over faces. It was especially hysterical when men had big beards because the ice completely forms around the beard and turns it white. We all looked like we should have been in some sort of Christmas movie.

Here’s my frosty hair:

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Between the entertainment and running with the three boys and keeping each other company, the race flew by. Even though the temperature was sickly cold, there was no wind so the run actually didn’t feel too cold. Dana was right, I had worn the perfect amount of clothes and layers. It’s the same thing I wore on this¬†training run¬†except I wore a wicking ¬†thermal insulated head band instead of a hat.

I felt like it was one of my easiest races actually (albeit not one of my fastest).¬†I finished the run in 1 hour and 37 seconds. I was¬†hoping¬†to get an hour or less, but that’s alright. I’ll blame it on the very slow first mile due to a large mob of runners. ūüôā I am still just very proud I finished a race in sub zero temperatures.

This was definitely one of the most fun races I have done too. I couldn’t believe all of the die hard Minnesotans who were out there running and out there cheering for the runners! I am so proud of my state.

Post-race the wonderful volunteers were handing out waters, goodies bags with bananas, salted nut rolls, and chips, and best of all HOT CHOCOLATE! I don’t mean any ordinary hot chocolate, this was like super chocolatey totally awesome hot chocolate. It tasted like heaven in my mouth. What a fun way to end the race!

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Our amazing team: Team Ice Pack.

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A little different from our group picture post half-marathon in June. Ha ha!

Besides the 10K, there was also a half-marathon and a 5K. The Polar Dash was put on by Team Ortho. I have raved about their races and the organization of the races in the past, and this one gets the same credit. The volunteers are so friendly, there is never a moment when you are unsure of where you need to be, they are right there for you if you need them, and they help you have fun and enjoy your races.

The Polar Dash race on January 1st was the perfect way to kick off a healthy new year! I felt fabulous!

We were all very excited to warm up and “thaw” in the car ride home.

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Immediately after walking in our front door I turned the heat up and hopped in a hot shower. I got into my coziest fleece pants and plopped myself on the couch for the majority of the day. I think the combination of the cold run and my body working hard to regulate my body temperature coupled with the fact that I slept terribly the night before set me up for a super drowsy day.

I did manage to dress the pup up in Polar Dash gear. It’s always good for a laugh or two. What a good sport.

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I was extremely hungry for lunch but had no ambition to make anything, so I snacked on some freeze dried salted edamame for some quick fuel and protein. These babies pack 12 grams of protein in a half a cup. They aren’t out-of-this-world fantastic tasting, but I do enjoy them and they are a healthy snack, and especially a good snack to pack if traveling.

salted edamame

Eventually I rounded up enough energy to make myself a healthy salad. It’s nothing you haven’t seen before but it did taste pretty darn good.

salad

A kajillion snacks happened in the afternoon. I had a bottomless pit of a stomach yesterday. I snacked on almonds, craisins, carrots, a banana, almond crackers, peanut butter. My appetite was insane.

Once dinner rolled around we were both still feeling pretty unmotivated, so we opted for easy. I found a can of refried beans in the cupboard, heated them up with some Parkers Farm salsa. I topped the beans on corn tortillas with shredded cheese, corn, tomatoes, cilantro, and some more salsa.

bean tacos bean tacos

So simple and so delicious.

I did manage to prepare a meal for the crock pot that will be cooking all day today. I hope it turns out! I’ll let you know.

Off to work I go…Happy Wednesday (I keep wanting to say today is Thursday)!

Continue Reading A Healthy Start to 2013: Polar Dash 10K

Lentil Fajita Salad

Hola mis Amores! How is everyone doing? I am great. I just finished off a 3 mile run outside with Dana and Moose. It was basically brutal again because of the extremely cold temperatures, but we still finished nonetheless. The plan for the 10K on January 1st is not to worry about time and instead just remember to try to have fun. The goal will be to simply finish.

Now I am sitting on the couch in warm sweatpants, drinking a cup of coffee to warm up and we are going to er-er-er rrreewinnndd to yesterday.

Friday

Mark this on your calendar…I went to the gym yesterday! I eased my way back into the gym routine by cardio’ing 20 minutes on the elliptical, 10 minutes on the stair-stepper, and 5 minutes on the row machine. I then finished with some core work with the Bosu ball.

I MUST get back into strength training again because I know how fabulous it makes me feel when I actually do it.

I am getting back on the healthy eating train for sure. Lunch was a pretty typical Melanie salad full of dark greens, olives, peas, sunflower seeds, asparagus and Newman’s Own Lite Honey Mustard dressing. My fav. There is definitely something about olives, peas, and sunflower seeds on salads that I enjoy very much.

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After lunch I dove into one of the most un-fun tasks of all time….sorting through the sock drawer. It had turned into one giant heap of socks and drove me crazy every time I had to go find a matching pair, so I made yesterday a mission organization sock drawer.

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I did make it more fun by blaring the tunes and dancing around like a little girl.

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I cracked open one of my new cans of Perrier sparkling water. I went with the grapefruit flavor and I truly enjoyed this drink. It was so refreshing, with a perfectly subtle grapefruit flavor, and the can was just my size. This definitely gets a thumb’s up.

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For dinner I cooked up a batch of brown lentils: combine 1 cup of lentils and 4 cups of low-sodium chicken broth (you can use water instead if you would like) in a medium pan on the stove. Bring it to a boil, cover and reduce heat to low, and simmer for about 20-25 minutes. Then drain the extra liquid off and set the lentils aside.

In the same pan I sautéed a half of a large onion and a half of a green bell pepper. I added in some homemade low-sodium fajita seasoning. Once the veggies were sautéed, I added in the lentils, added more seasoning, and let it all warm through.

In the meantime I prepared some quick guacamole: one avocado, one Roma tomato, cilantro, and pepper. I plated up two heaping mounds of dark green lettuce, followed by the warm fajita lentil mix, then some grated cheese, guacamole, and lastly I dressed the whole salad with Parkers Farm Mild Salsa.

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Ya mix it all together and what do you get?

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Lentil Fajita Salad awesomeness!

After dinner Dana and I grabbed a cozy blanket, turned on the Christmas tree lights, planted ourselves on the couch, and watched the movie, “Eat, Pray, Love.” I read this book a couple of years ago and have been wanting to see the movie since it came out. Lo and behold Target had it on sale for $4.50 and I just so happened to walk by the rack and snag it.

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When they make movies from books, 9 times out of 10 I prefer the book (I prefer my own imagination apparently :wink:), but this time I would say I enjoyed both the book and the movie equally. They did a really great job with portraying the characters in the book on film.

Dana and I split a super juicy amazing pear that was the size of a softball.

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It was the perfect and healthy way to end the day.

Question of the day: What’s your favorite evening snack?

Mine is usually a few dates dipped in peanut butter or a small handful of almonds.

Continue Reading Lentil Fajita Salad

Hibachi and Feeling Festive

Merry Christmas Eve Eve! How is everyone’s weekend shaping up?

So, yesterday morning Dana and I geared up for our 6.5 mile run as part of our 10K training¬†plan. Let’s just say my body didn’t quite understand what it was supposed to do with the 9¬įF weather. Clothing-wise I felt I dressed perfectly, but my muscles and actual body functions weren’t quite up to speed.

My running strides had to be so concise and almost “tight” because of the ice and snow on the sidewalks, and my legs literally felt like bricks moving up the hills. My lungs felt like they had never run before either. It was not the prettiest or most comfortable run for me¬†at all,¬†BUT we did finish and it was great prep for our actual 10K on January 1st.

I ate a big bite of peanut butter post-race to refuel for a short bit while we ran a couple of errands, then it was home for lunch:

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In the evening we met up with our dear friends Kate and Luke for a Hibachi dinner at Mount Fuji. They are home from Atlanta for the holidays and I was SO excited to see them!

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Dinner was very tasty and we were thoroughly entertained!

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I LOOOOVEEE this picture below!

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After dinner we met up with some friends and my brother Jeff (!) and had relaxing and festive evening with them.

Now I am off to cut coupons, go grocery shopping (it’s going to be madness at the store), and get ready for a family Christmas party!

I hope you all are having a wonderful day! Catch up with you later gators!

 

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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¬įF 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?

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