My First Half Marathon

It’s time for a recap of my first half marathon experience.

I want to premise this recap by reminding you all that I have been struggling with a colitis battle now for one month or so. A voice in my head kept asking me if I thought it was a good idea to run this race yesterday or not, not to mention the fact that I came down with a 24-hour stomach bug on Friday. Was my body trying to tell me something? I usually listen to my body, but not this time. After all of the training and anticipation of this race, there was no way I wasn’t going to give it my best shot. I HAD to do it. I didn’t care what time I finished in, I reminded myself it was okay if I needed to walk, I just wanted to finish. Period.

The morning of the race I woke up at 5:15 am, hopped in the shower for a quick wake-me-up spritz, put my running gear on that I had placed out the night before, and made myself my usual pre-run breakfast.

I had my usual pre-race jitters. It doesn’t matter if it is a 5k, a 10k, or a half marathon, I react the same way. I give myself plenty of time to use the facilities before a race (and this is if I’m in a flare-up or non-flare up). This is how my body has reacted to nerves for as long as I can remember; before basketball games, before dance competitions, before the Registered Dietitian Exam, etc.

We loaded up the car at 6:15 am and headed to the race.

Upon arrival, we parked, walked to our destination, checked our bags, and headed to the biffy’s (port-o-potty if you will). I forgot to take any pre-race photos and that’s probably because I was totally nervous and more focused on finding the bathrooms before we had to go into our start corrals.

7:15 am rolled around, and it was time to make our way to our corrals. We dropped my brother off in the 8:30 minute/mile area and Dana and I headed back towards the 9:30 minute/mile area. During our other long runs, we averaged a 9:30 minute/mile pace, but we knew that this may be far-fetched today since we had never ran this length before. We gave ourselves some slack and knew we could fall back if necessary, of course.

A woman sang a beautiful version of the national anthem and I tried to use this time to close my eyes and relax. It really was beautiful.

Then the race began. They started letting groups off by start time, and then held the rest, so we were walking in a slow pace to the start. It was a very dramatic moment to me, and it’s the moment that I noticed I had a rock in my shoe. I was about to start running with it when Dana told me I’m not going to want to run with a rock in my shoe. It turned out I had plenty of time to remove my shoe and dump out the miniature rock. Ok, all better. Now, get your music ready. It’s time to rock.

Our corral was set off and it was go time. Immediately I felt the excitement from the cheering crowd holding their awesome signs and from the other runners who were just as excited as I was to be running this race as I was. But I wasn’t about to let this excitement run me into an overly fast pace. We kept it low and slow. In the first few miles, we ran by the 35W bridge collapse memorial site which I had never seen before. We passed the rolling Mississippi River and of course passed hundred’s of energetic spectators and cheerleaders.

We made one bathroom stop around mile 2. Around mile 3 I started to get an awful feeling in my stomach. I thought it was maybe just the jitters and kept praying that it would go away. It felt like my stomach was completely empty and cramping at the same time, and it was bringing me to nausea. I thought that I might just be hungry as I hadn’t eaten for two hours now, so I snacked on a couple of Blueberry Pomegranate Gu Chomps. I also sipped on some water from the water stop and waited 15 minutes or so to see if the pain would go away. Not a chance. It only progressed and got worse.

I kept running up until mile 6, when I told Dana I had to walk. I HATE walking on runs. I don’t like stopping because 1. I find it harder to start back up again and 2. It slows me down and keeps me from reaching the finish line sooner obviously. When I stopped to walk I was fighting to inhale a breath and felt tears beginning to swell. What is going on with me? Then it was time to give myself a little pep talk (in my head of course): Melanie, your body is going through a lot right now with the colitis, the stomach bug, etc. You can do this though, I know you can, but remember that time doesn’t matter today. It is OKAY to walk. No one is going to judge you except for yourself, and you’ll get over it. Take care of yourself and you can finish. I began running again but was only able to run for about 5 minutes before needing to stop again to walk. At this point I made Dana go ahead because there was no way I was going to hold him back like this.

Once I talked him into going ahead, I walked for probably another 5 minutes or so before I tried giving the running a chance again. I was able to run for a long time after that but at a pretty slow pace. I would walk through the water stations and then pick up the running again. I would tell myself that I would run to the sign ahead, or run until I saw some of my family and friends that were there to watch us, and then I could walk but only if I really needed to walk.

When I saw mile 10 I thought okay, one 5k to go. I’ve done how many 5k’s? No big deal. Ha, well, that last 5k seemed like the longest 5k ever (and looking at my time it literally was my longest 5k ever). At about mile 11 we had to run up what seemed like a mammoth hill at the time. I ran up half of it, then walked the rest. I picked up the running again and told myself I cannot stop until I get to that finish line. I am way too close now, and there are so many people watching…and that was enough to keep me going.

I reached a corner where everyone was yelling, “You’re almost there! Just around the corner!” Sure enough, I rounded the corner and saw the finish line. Out loud I said ‘Oh, Thank God’ and I bolted to that finish line. They announced my name as I was running through and I felt such a great amount of pride at that moment. I thought I would get emotional but I think I was in too much pain to get emotional. In fact, Dana greeted me at the finish and it was a good thing because I felt like I was going to fall over. Immediately, a member of the medical team was at my side with an ice pack and water, and that was just what I needed. Well that, and to sit down, stat.

My official time was 2:20 which  makes for an average pace of 10:42 minutes per mile. I am usually a 9:30 minute/mile runner, but not today, and that is okay. I just finished a half marathon. Wow, what an incredible feeling.

We gathered with our family that had come to watch and then eventually conjured up enough energy for post-race photos.

In the photo above: Kevin’s friend Jeremy, Kevi, Me, and Dana.

My body was so unhappy at this point. That smile on my face and standing up there was taking every last bit of energy in my body. After photos, we made the lengthy trek back to our car (about a mile to our car…..blech) and I tried munching on a banana on the way. I felt such a void in my stomach yet everything sounded awful to me. The banana tasted extremely starchy to me but I know it was just an imbalance in my body so everything would taste off right then.

We headed back to our cozy home making one pit stop at Subway to pick up some lunch. At home, I immediately jumped in the shower, put on comfy clothes and settled myself on to the couch with water, Powerade Zero, and a blanket. This was going to be my spot for a while.

My day of eats minus breakfast which you already saw:

Newman’s Own Thin & Crispy Margherita Pizza that we protein-ified by adding some honey ham (and pineapple) making our very own Margherita Hawaiian Pizza. Num!

My favorite food from today: Froyo from Freeziac. I once again went with Cake Batter Froyo and added brownie pieces, cookie dough pieces, crunch bar bits, reese’s pieces, a dash of hot fudge, sprinkles, and one red gummy bear on top.

It was definitely a lazy food day. We were on the couch until about 3pm after watching a movie and taking a short nap. Then we decided to run and get groceries for the week. Once we got home, I returned to my spot on the couch which is where I spent the rest of the evening before bed.

As mentioned yesterday, TeamOrtho did an incredible job of putting on this event. I would love to go over what I loved about how they organized this event, as well as the amazing supporters and their encouraging signs, but I think I will save that for another post (this one is getting pretty lengthy).

Although I struggled throughout this entire race with some pretty awful stomach issues, I still finished. I will forever take pride in knowing that I completed 13.1 miles in the Minneapolis Half Marathon. If I ever decide to run another half marathon, I will run it when I’m not in a current flare-up. The trouble is, when I registered for this one I was completely healthy, but a lot can change in 3 months so it’s difficult to plan for. I know I can complete a more successful half marathon, without the pains, and actually be able to enjoy it a little more than I did this time around. I don’t think this will be my last one, but who knows!

I am so proud of my husband and my brother and myself for completing our first ever half marathon together. I am so lucky that I got to share this incredible moment with such amazing people.

Thank you for our cheerleaders who came to watch us yesterday, and for those who were cheering at home in spirit! Your love and support meant the world to me and my heart melts from all of the love I felt from you all.

Sorry for such a lengthy post, but this was an event in my life that will never be forgotten, and I’m so happy to be able to share it with you all.

I have the day off today to recover and to get a few things done around the house. I hope you have a wonderful day.

Continue Reading My First Half Marathon

Honey Mustard Zing Chicken

This morning I had a real big craving for coffee. I have given up caffeine due to my current health status, because it acts as a stimulant to the intestines and can cause unneeded distress. The only coffee we have at home is caffeinated so I contemplated whether just to make tea again as I have been in the mornings, or to head out in my comfies and get me some decaf coffee. I chose option two. I headed out to Caribou and got myself a medium decaf french roast. I also got 10¢ off my coffee because I knew the answer to the trivia question.

Trivia Clues: “I am a child actor. I’m not home alone anymore.” Who is it?!

I got it home, poured the coffee into my own mug, added cream and stevia, and lovingly sipped away.

I have decided that this weekend I am going to buy decaf coffee from the grocery store. I know coffee is acidic and I probably shouldn’t drink it everyday, but every once in a while it will be a nice treat.


Now, backtracking to last night. I had company! My long time friend, Kalley was coming over for dinner and a chill night. I wanted to make a tasty dinner for the both of us, while still keeping it low-fiber. I scanned the fridge and cupboards and came up with what I’m going to call Honey Mustard Zing Chicken.

In the crock pot (recipe for two):

  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • 4 carrots, chopped into medium rounds
  • 1 1/2 cups reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 Tbsp mustard
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp ginger
  • 1 Tbsp lower sodium soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp brown sugar
  • Salt and Pepper

Simply add all ingredients into your crock pot, cover it, set it, and forget it. My instructions for you all would be to set this in your crock pot on low for 5-6 hours. This little girl on the other hand, accidentally let it go for nearly 12 hours and it came out a teeny bit dry. Still delicious, but yes definitely a little dry. My bad, sorry Kal.

I truly enjoyed this meal and was so happy that I had made a dinner for the both of us that was still tasty, yet kept it low-fiber so it wouldn’t upset my stomach. I kept my portion on the smaller side because I knew there was dessert coming. Kalkal brought us over a new treat to try: Ben & Jerry’s Greek Frozen Yogurt in Strawberry Shortcake.

OMG, we fell in love. This tasted like you were literally eating a piece of strawberry shortcake. It was AWESOME. I would recommend this to anyone seriously! I am usually a chocolate mix-in type of frozen yogurt girl, but I may have to reconsider my froyo decisions in the future because this was the bomb.

The rest of the night was spent catching up on life, laughing about the past, and completely soaking up each other’s company. Thanks for coming over Kallio. Love you so much.

Now, I am off to ponder breakfast. I then plan to clean the house a bit, finish up on laundry, run some errands, and possibly purchase items for our garden. We have plans to plant our veggie garden this weekend and I am stoked. Whoop whoop!

Happy Friday everybody!

Continue Reading Honey Mustard Zing Chicken

Now, U.C. More About Me

Yesterday I had the day off of work to unwind from the weekend getaway (details to come), and to get myself together before heading back to work today. My morning yesterday started off with a quick 3-mile loop around the neighborhood. I still cannot believe I am running a half marathon in less than two weeks. I didn’t run at all last week being I was not feeling very well due to the intestinal issues I’ve been experiencing lately, and I feel slightly behind in the training. But I will be fine.

Speaking of intestinal issues, after the run I showered up and headed to the doctor to finally get some medical help in combatting my current colon issues. It’s time for me to put it all out there and fill you in on my “issues.” Well, one of my issues. 😉 I’ve mentioned before that I get a little embarrassed talking about my health issues, and growing up and even into my early twenties, I was really shy about sharing this information with anyone, even my closest friends. I have accepted that it is a part of who I am now, and that in learning to deal with my health problems, I can in turn help others who may be experiencing the same thing, or knows someone who is.

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (U.C.) when I was 12 years old. It is an inflammatory bowel disease and U.C. means I have ulcers in my colon. Some of the symptoms I experience include bloating, gas, and far from normal and frequent trips to the bathroom. I won’t get into the nitty gritty details because it’s not pretty, but that gives you some idea. I experience a lot of fatigue and feel uncomfortable a good majority of the time. I am always living with colitis, however there are times when I am symptom free, and I was actually symptom-free for more than two years. When symptoms are present, it is called a “flare-up” or “flare.”

Researchers aren’t 100% sure what causes colitis flares, but many believe it is brought on by stress, diet, or the body fighting some type of infection or other illness. Anyway, I am not quite sure what caused this particular flare as I don’t feel very stressed, but I was thinking back to about a month ago when I came down with a little bug. I was sick for about a week. After that, we were in the Dominican Republic where I was eating foods that are out of my norm. I came home and ate a semi-normal diet for about a week. Then we headed to the boundary waters where again, I didn’t eat foods that I should be eating with my current conditions. All of these factors may have played a part in my current situation, but then again, who really knows.

I started medications yesterday, and besides those, I will be doing my best to eat a low-residue, low-fiber diet, and analyzing the stressors in my life, and make adjustments as needed.

This is a topic that I was unsure of sharing because it is so personal, but have decided I want you all to know because as I have mentioned before, my diet will change slightly compared to how I am used to eating, and also I want to be able to share with you what seems to be working/not working in terms of diet and U.C. There are so many people out there living with U.C. and although each person reacts differently to diet and medications, I want to share my story and hopefully help others out there. Once I get this under control, my diet will go back to loads of greens!

Getting back on track…after my appointment, I met the hubs out for lunch at Cafe Latte in St.Paul. It is located off of Grand Avenue and I absolutely adore that area. We rarely go there and I don’t know why because it is awesome. Great people watching, food, and shops.

Now that I am working towards this low-fiber, low residue diet, I struggled a bit with what to order for lunch. I figured soup would be a safe bet (as long as I didn’t get a bean loaded chili) especially considering the veggies involved were very well cooked, not to mention it was freezing inside the restaurant so a warm bowl of soup sounded perfect. I ordered the split pea soup and an Asiago focaccia roll. Both were great. I loved that the soup wasn’t super salty, just fresh and tasty.

I was definitely in the mood for dessert after having to be poked and prodded at the doc, and there just so happened to be a little frozen yogurt shop that had recently opened down the street from Cafe Latte. How convenient.

I could eat Frozen Yogurt every single day. I love it. I tried not to go overly scoop crazy today. I started with a small base of red velvet and cake batter froyo, then topped it with Reese’s pb cup, brownie, M & M’s, cookie dough, marshmallows, and sprinkles. At this point I was okay with the potential stomach feelings to come, because it was so gosh darn delicious and actually, I felt fine afterwards.

The rest of the afternoon was spent unpacking, doing laundry, getting the car washed, buying pet food, developing boundary water pictures, and grocery shopping. This shopping trip was a food-for-Melanie shopping trip. I made sure to buy foods that would be easy for me to digest, low-fiber, and low residue. Here are some of my purchases.

Cream of Wheat, Rice Chex, White Rice, White Pita Pockets, bananas, canned green beans, canned pears, sweet potatoes (will eat without skin), apples (again, without skin), melon, applesauce, mushrooms (cooked), and creamy peanut butter (limited to 2 Tbsp daily). The pantry is also stocked with tuna, and the freezer full of other lean meats like chicken, tilapia, ground turkey, etc. If I have to switch up my diet, I’m at least going to make sure I am eating well and eating foods I enjoy.

Once we got home from errands, we fired up the grill and threw on lean turkey burgers, mushrooms, and canned green beans for me.

I love grilling. It was the perfect grilling weather too; warm with a slight breeze.

Sorry for such a lengthy post. I have so much I want to share yet I don’t ever want to bore you all with this, and I am not going to let it take over my life. I am maintaining a positive attitude which I do believe will help me heal faster as well. Thanks for letting me share with you another part of who I am. This part is not easy for me to share, so this is a vulnerable post for me, but I feel like a weight has been lifted off my shoulders.

Have a great day my friends. Can’t wait to catch you up on my recent trip.

(Btw, Dana helped me with the creative post title.)

Continue Reading Now, U.C. More About Me

Sweet and Creamy Salad

Happy Hump Day!

After my wonderful run yesterday (note the sarcasm), I made myself a giant bowl of Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt although instead of letting it combine overnight, I let it work for just a half hour. I also added strawberries to the mix.

I added a heavy amount of honey to the top and scraped the bowl clean. This was my brunch. I had a goofy schedule at work today so I made sure to pack a few snacks to tide me over through the afternoon: apple, sugar snap peas, carrots, and a string cheese.

For dinner, I used up ingredients we had on hand to make one of my all-time favorite salads.

Moose watched while I prepared dinner. Sorry Moose, I know this isn’t your most flattering angle. 😉

Here is the beautiful colorful plate of healthiness that I put together.


The combination of textures in this salad are so pleasing to me between the creaminess of the avocado, beans, and dressing, the juiciness of the fruit, and the crunch of the onion, it’s just perfect. It’s sweet, it’s creamy, it’s my…

Sweet and Creamy Salad

This salad is sweet and refreshing, and perfect any time of year.


Mixed greens

red onion, diced

fresh strawberries, diced (or frozen if you don’t have fresh on hand)

1 can mandarin oranges, drained

1 ripe avocado, diced

1 can black beans, rinsed and drained

Newman’s Own Lite honey mustard dressing (or your favorite honey mustard)


Place mixed greens on large plate. Top with remaining ingredients. Drizzle with honey mustard. You could bulk up the salad with more protein by adding grilled chicken breast or shrimp.

I am off to work. Have a great day!

Continue Reading Sweet and Creamy Salad

Reunited with the Early Morning Run

First, a recap from yesterday….

I was at a workshop all day yesterday, and by the time dinner rolled around, I definitely felt hungry, but not super hungry. I hadn’t gotten my peanut butter fix in for the day yet and decided that sounded just perfect given my hunger status. If I don’t get PB for breakfast or lunch, why not get it at dinner?

I opted for my classic cinnamon PB2 and banana sandwich, and fresh juicy pineapple.

While I was eating my lame dinner, Dana was off in the kitchen creating a masterpiece. He cooked two eggs over easy, sautéed a handful of mushrooms, and plated his dish as such: toasted whole grain baguette on the bottom, then the mushrooms, eggs, shredded cheddar cheese, and lastly roasted tomatillo salsa.

Check it out…

I am such a proud wife! That looks phenomenal. That is restaurant quality right there. Someday when we open up a cafe, that will be on the menu, you wait and see. 🙂

After dinner we took the bear (Moose) out for a walk to soak up what was left of the beautiful day. After sitting on my hiney all day at work, it felt great to stretch the legs and fill my lungs with fresh air.

Later, we made a quick stop over at Dana’s parents to check out a light fixture and say hi, and then just so happened to “stumble upon” a self-serve frozen yogurt shop afterwards. When I say stumble upon, I mean we intentionally planned on going there and I was more than a little excited about it.

We went to Cherry Berry and I served myself Cookie Monster flavor and Cheesecake flavor, and then topped the frozen yogurt with cookie dough bits, brownie bits, Reese’s peanut butter cups, a few mini gummy bears, sprinkles, marshmallow fluff, whipped cream, and a little chocolate syrup. This baby was on point.

Oh yea…I’ve said it before but I wish I could eat this every day. I’m in trouble because we have two frozen yogurt shop’s coming to our neighborhood soon. Good thing it’s not free or else I’d be in real big trouble. It does tend to add up pretty quick as they charge you by the ounce, so that should help keep me out. Tee hee.

We got home and I pretty much crashed. An evening with a beautiful walk and amazing frozen yogurt is a great night indeed.


Now, onto this morning.

Something happened this morning that hasn’t happened in a pretty long time. I GOT AN EARLY MORNING RUN IN (albeit inside because I’m too much of a scaredy cat to run outside in the dark by myself)! A while back I posted about all the positive’s associated with early morning workouts, and have noticed that since then, they have become few and far between.

This could be for a number of reasons:

1. Now that it’s lighter out later, I feel I have more time after work to be productive and workout.

2. It’s been darker in the morning which is completely un-motivating in terms of getting out of bed.

3. I refuse to run in the dark outside early morning or late evening so I have to face the dreadmill.

4. My early morning runs are usually not as successful as my afternoon or later morning runs (I tend to take it slower in the early am) therefore discouraging me from even attempting.

The run this morning was pretty ugly. I felt like each of my lungs weighed 50 pounds and my side was aching, but nevertheless, I finished three miles and am proud of myself. The endorphins are flowing and I am ready to face the day.

This doesn’t mean I didn’t reach for the large mug for my coffee this morning because I most definitely did….

I’ll leave you with that. Have a great Thursday!

Continue Reading Reunited with the Early Morning Run

More Corn Please


Tuesday morning began with a spin on one of my current breakfast favorites. Overnight chia seed yogurt but instead of blueberries I substituted 1/4 cup pureed pumpkin, and added cinnamon, all spice, nutmeg, stevia, and a bit of brown sugar right before I was about to dig in (because I love brown sugar).

It was like a bowl of pumpkin pie, sort of. I definitely prefer my original blueberry yogurt mix more than the pumpkin, but I would make this one again. It’s fun to try something different anyway.



After work I headed to the gym. I completed 32 minutes on the elliptical while reading Runner’s World. The last 5 minutes I back-peddled to work different muscles which I found to be super awkward until I got the hang of it.

After the elliptical I headed to the weights to work out the triceps, chest, and core.

The gym was pretty quiet when I was there, so I decided to try some new things on the big ball near the mats. Is it called a fitness ball? An exercise ball?

This was a golden opportunity to experiment with new moves since 1. there weren’t very many people around for me to make a fool out of myself in front of, and 2. not a lot of people in the area for me to nail with a runaway ball.

Here is what I did.

I was shakin’ and sweatin’ and feeling good at the end of the ball workout. 🙂 I felt a little silly when trying to get balanced on the ball but tried to act confident like I really knew what I was doing and had total control. I will do it again. I wish I had one at home. They’re so much fun!

I finished off my workout with a quick 1-mile run that I clocked at 8:10 pace, which is way faster than my norm. I am usually a 9:15 to 9:30 minute mile gal. I felt the need for speed apparently.



Dana cut up a fresh pineapple to snack on while we worked on preparing the rest of dinner. The pineapple was perfectly sweet and so juicy and was a great appetizer.

For dinner we had grilled corn on the cob which was INCREDIBLE. I couldn’t believe how fresh and sweet it was being we are not in corn season around here. I am not sure where it came from? I may need to do my research.I can’t wait for more! I love corn on the cob.

We have been making good use of our grill lately. Tis the season. When I say we, I mean Dana, because I usually let him take charge over the grill.

Alongside the corn, I prepared an Italian/Greek, inspired broccoli slaw. I started with a packet of Good Sense Italian Seasoning which I mixed with balsamic vinegar, just a touch of olive oil, and water. I whisked these ingredients together in the bottom of the bowl creating the dressing, then added a whole bag of broccoli slaw. I added a can of drained and rinsed garbanzo beans (aka chickpeas), and topped the salad with feta cheese and tomatoes.

The salad was full of flavor and a fun healthy side dish. Actually come to think of it, that was the gusto of our meal. That was our main dish and the corn was the side? It doesn’t matter who takes the main stage because either way, it was a party on my plate.

For dessert, a cookie dough ball from Sunday’s cookie making episode that I rolled and froze. Pretty tasty!

Fun fact: I usually prefer dough to actual baked cookies.

I finished off the night with some more laundry (seriously does it ever end?) and a new episode of Glee. We also began sorting through a potential bedroom in our basement which is full of wedding stuff: tulle, cards, decorations, invitations, etc. It is an extremely overwhelming room so I am sorting through it little by little to help get me through it.

Off to a work. Have a great day!

Question of the day: Anyone have any embarrassing gym moments? I would love to hear from you./strong>

Continue Reading More Corn Please

Healthier Reese’s Recipe, Now Hide the Sweets

Yesterday morning I woke up not feeling the slightest bit hungry. It may have been the larger than average meal I ate on Easter Sunday, but I was actually surprised I wasn’t hungry being as we ate lunch/dinner, “linner” at about 2:30, and didn’t eat much the rest of the day.

Nevertheless, I knew I needed to eat something before heading off to work, so I whipped up a classic. A heap of blackberries and raspberries, topped with Fage o% Plain Greek Yogurt, and finished off with a drizzle of honey. It was light, refreshing, and a healthy way to begin my day.

Hunger finally set in at lunch time. I had packed leftover pulled chicken mixed with celery, carrots, pickles, and mustard, a big baggie of carrots and sugar snap peas, an apple, string cheese, and a Lara bar. That held me over well until dinner time.

After work I headed to the gym. I began with 10 minutes on the elliptical, then moved to the stair master for 10 minutes, before hitting the weights. I was not in the most motivated strength training mood but knew I would feel good once I was done. I have been saying that a lot lately, huh? Anyway, I focused on legs today but really didn’t get too crazy: some leg presses, calf raises, leg curls, and that was it.

Dinner last night was not very impressive (can you tell it was a tired Monday around here). I snacked on some more sugar snap peas as I deliberated what to make for dinner, realizing that we are running low on groceries. I decided on a wrap similar to a Greek one I had made not too long ago, but this time with a few less ingredients.

Lawash Brand Whole Wheat Flatbread, hummus, feta cheese, and avocado.

Super simple, lots of great flavors, and enough to keep me satisfied for a while. Now, with such a simple dinner, how is it that I manage to injure myself, whereas I can make elaborate dishes involving copious amounts of chopping and go unscathed? I managed to get in a fight with the pairing knife while trying to twist out the pit of the avocado.

The one ingredient I needed to cut in this whole dish, and I managed to splice my finger open in the process. I got a little woozy but Dana kept me calm as I ran it under water and then put pressure on it. He bandaged me up and of course I am fine, but it did hurt and it’s always scary. Dana to the rescue. I can be a little dramatic.

After dinner I had a few million Easter treats. It was my “Fat Monday.” I decided I had one more day to enjoy a bunch of my Easter treats before I put them away in the freezer for a while. They are now zipped away in a ziploc freezer bag in the freezer, in the garage. That’s what we have to do around here to keep our sticky fingers off the candies.


This may seem a little backwards considering I just told you I hid all of my Easter treats, but I wanted to share a delicious recipe with you all for a treat I made last Saturday.

One of my all-time favorite candies are Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, however they aren’t the most figure-friendly candy. I wanted to find a healthier version of these delectable treats without sacrificing the wonderful peanut buttery flavor. I stumbled upon a recipe for healthier Reese’s eggs, I put my own spin on it, and this is what I came up with.

Healthier Reese's Eggs
  • ⅓ cup almond milk
  • 3 Tablespoons chia seeds
  • ½ cup creamy peanut butter
  • ⅓ cup PB2 prepared
  • ¼ cup light maple syrup
  • 1 cup oats
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 ounces of semi-sweet chocolate chips
  1. In small bowl, combine milk and chia seeds and let sit for 10 minutes.
  2. After ten minutes, combine chia seed mix with remaining ingredients except the chocolate chips; mix well.
  3. Shape mixture into small eggs, and place onto baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Refrigerate for 1-2 hours.
  4. Once eggs are chilled, begin melting chocolate chips in the microwave, stirring every 20 seconds until completely melted.
  5. Roll "eggs" in the chocolate, covering them completely in the melted chocolate.
  6. Place them back onto the parchment paper. Decorate with sprinkles if desired, and return to the refrigerator. Allow chocolate to set before serving. Remove from fridge 15-20 minutes or so before serving.


The inside of these eggs are soft yet chewy with the perfect amount of sweetness and peanut butter flavor. The chocolate on the outside of the egg adds a semi-sweet touch that balances the bites perfectly.

Peanut Butter + Chocolate = Soul mates

They may sound a little off the wall being that they have chia seeds in them, but I’m telling you they are awesome! You don’t need a special occasion to make them either.

Give ’em a whirl!

Now, the candy and treats are all stowed away, and I refuse to fall back onto the sugar train.

Anyone eat any delicious treats this past weekend? I would love to hear from you. Sharing is caring!

Continue Reading Healthier Reese’s Recipe, Now Hide the Sweets

Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt Bowl

I had a request from one of my loyal readers for the measurements of ingredients in my overnight yogurt bowl.

You would think I would have learned my lesson to  measure ingredients each time I make a new dish, but no such luck. Usually when I make this yogurt bowl I toss in a little bit of this, and a little bit of that, and wait to see how it turns out. This pretty much makes for a different consistency in the yogurt each time. I like surprises, so it works for me! But, I thought I would figure out more appropriate measurements for all ya’ll, so last night, I prepared a bowl of overnight yogurt, and measured the ingredients. Give this a shot, and let me know how it turns out. 😉

Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt Bowl


2 Tablespoons oats

2 teaspoons chia seeds

1/2 cup almond milk

1/4 cup frozen blueberries

1/3 cup non-fat Greek yogurt

stevia or other sweetener


Combine all ingredients in bowl; mix. Cover and place in refrigerator over night. In the morning, remove cover and eat as is, or add your favorite yogurt  toppings such as fresh fruit, honey, granola, cereal, etc.


I am off of work today and have a to-do list that is nearly endless. I feel highly motivated though so I should be okay. Plus, it’s a gloomy kind of day today which makes it easier for me to be productive inside.

Some of my to-do list:

  • Shop for shower curtain for new bathroom
  • Decide on accent colors for new bathroom
  • Make a dentist appointment
  • Make a couple of phone calls
  • Clean
  • Workout?
  • Decorate shelf ladder that we put up eons ago

I better hop to it! Speaking of hop, Easter is only a little over a week away which means Lent is nearing to an end. I am pretty darn excited to have a big ol’ hunk of chocolate; possibly a Reese’s peanut butter cup. Oh, and did I mention there is a Freeziac Frozen Yogurt Shop opening up near me? Needless to say I am just a little pumped about it. I will be going there once Lent is over and concocting something like this:


A real quick recap of last night

I had mentioned that I had fun workout plans for after work yesterday. After work I headed to the gym and ran 3 miles on the treadmill. That’s obviously not the fun part. I was waiting for my cousin Betsy to show up. We had planned to meet at the gym and go to Zumba together. Now, I have been to three different Zumba classes each with a different instructor, and I realize that each Zumba instructor has their own style, and I respect that. With that being said, I went in to class last night with an open mind.

After the first minute of class, I could tell today’s Zumba experience was going to be, shall I say, “different.”

I really don’t know if the instructor was a certified Zumba instructor or not. Some of the moves she had us doing were completely off the wall, extremely awkward and very repetitive. The moves were nearly impossible to repeat because there was a total lack of rhythm which, as a former dancer myself, drives me crazy. I am the type of person who has a hard time NOT running to the beat in the music because I have been so trained to listen to music in dance.

We were so dissappointed in the class that we only stuck it out for the first half. I understand each instructor has their own style and there were a lot of people in the class, so it could be possible that many people out there do like this style and instructor. I just was not a fan.

Anyway, I was glad I had got my workout in beforehand, because I hadn’t broken a sweat from the first half hour of the class. Looking on the positive side though, I got to see my Betsy. LOVE HER.

After dinner I got home and Dana fired up the grill. On the menu was turkey burgers! Num!

I couldn’t decide if I wanted ketchup or bbq sauce for the burger, so I squirted a little of both on my plate! I also had a big green kale salad on the side.

K, that ended up being a little longer than a “quick” recap from last night. Now, I’m off to tackle that to-do list!

Continue Reading Overnight Chia Seed Yogurt Bowl

Love My Runny Eggs

Today is my last day of work before VACATION! Friday morning Dana and I will be on our way to sunny California and I am beyond ecstatic! I am even excited for the flight over there because I plan to read, eat, and relax. Moose is a little bummed he can’t come with us. He’s always wanted to see LA. 😉

I need to get to L.A. if I'm ever going to catch my big break.

Guess what I did this morning!?

I actually got up early, out of my warm heavenly bed, and got a run in on the treadmill! I have been terrible about getting morning workouts in lately, but I figured this morning was the only time for me to do it because we have a laundry list of things to do tonight to get ready for our trip! Plus my friend who is extremely dedicated to morning workouts texted me an encouraging message this morning to help get me out of bed. She is amazing. 🙂 Thanks a million!

More good news, I didn’t have any knee discomfort today. Whatever was causing the discomfort the other day has completely subsided which I am very thankful for.


Tuesday Recap

I really loaded up my bowl for yesterday morning’s breakfast. Besides the usual fruit, yogurt, and cereal, I also added in a small handful of chopped walnuts and extra yogurt for more “staying” power. This baby held me over until lunch.

Since it was Ash Wednesday, we were supposed to fast in between meals. I found that this is extremely difficult for me because I am a “small meals throughout the day” kind of person versus a three meals that’s it person. I always have breakfast, sometimes a snack around 10 but usually not, lunch always, piece of fruit or small snack mid-afternoon, dinner, and then a snack before bed. Yesterday I stuck with just breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and my body was upset with me almost the entire day. Oh well, it was just one day!

After work I met Dana for Ash Wednesday mass. Day one of no sweets was a good one. My body is seriously unhappy with me after all the sweets I have eaten lately. It is thanking me for a break. I feel out of balance and it’s time to get back in balance.

I went for a walk on the treadmill when I got home. I have been a little lazy when it comes to actually making the trip to the gym, which is only 7 minutes away BTW. I honestly feel that the laziness is associated with the sugary diet lately. It is amazing how quickly you can begin to feel a slide.

Dinner was veggie-filled. I sautéed up a bunch of veggies from the fridge including this little cute eggplant that I had bought at Whole Foods last weekend. It’s just a little babe!

I also threw in leftover fajita filling from last night’s dinner, broccoli, mushrooms, kale,with a little garlic powder, salt and pepper, and topped the warm dish with diced tomato, shredded cheese, and of course, a runny egg. I love my runny eggs.

Delicious and satisfying as always. The rest of the night was dedicated to one last load of laundry, and relaxing while watching Modern Family and Whitney! Wednesday night is our “big” night of shows! No packing was done last night which means tonight will be a fun-filled packing extravaganza. I really don’t like packing. I always pack WAY too much because I never know what I will need!

I am off to work! Have a Happy Thursday!

Continue Reading Love My Runny Eggs

Laugh a Little

Is it seriously Sunday? Where did this weekend go? Holy cannoli!

My morning started off with a light and healthy breakfast: blueberries, blackberries, and yogurt in my cute new mug.

I wanted to keep breakfast light because I was meeting up with my good friends, Kate and Heidi for lunch in just a couple of hours. We met in Mankato and as always, it was so great to see them and catch up. I didn’t snap a photo of my lunch but I had a cup of chili, a dinner roll, and a side salad with raspberry viniagrette. On the hour drive with Kate, we listened to the 90’s station, danced to the Macarena, and giggled like little girls.

Photo: Me, Kate, and Heidi this summer at Chino Latino’s for “Mel’s Night Out”—such a blast!

While I was a away at lunch, Dana had been busy cleaning and painting! We bought a decorative ladder shelf from Target on Friday and the wall that we want it up against needed a fresh paint job. We decided to make the wall an accent wall with some leftover paint we had. Dana surprised me when I got home and had the wall all painted already! Now we just need to let it dry and we can attach the ladder to the wall and start filling the shelves! I am pretty psyched about it. I will be sure to snap a photo of it once it’s finished!

Today was also a day of errands, laundry, and I am hoping a little rest and relaxation tonight. I am feeling very sluggish this afternoon. I need to think about meals for the week as well. I have a guest coming over for dinner on Tuesday night and want to make something extra delicious for her! 😉 As for dinner tonight, I have absolutely nothing planned and it will most likely be a do your own thing, night.


Back track to last night, and you will find Dana and I amidst a date night!

We went to see a comedy show by the guys from KFAN radio. I don’t really listen to KFAN but Dana does, so we thought we would give it a go plus tickets were only $10 a piece.I was just hoping they weren’t going to say a lot of KFAN jokes that were only funny to those who listen to the show. I figured no matter what we would get a few chuckles out of it. I was pretty excited anyway.

We tried snapping a photo together before we left for the show but were clearly having some issues with the lighting hence Dana’s half lit face.

Clearly, very excited. Excited enough to walk like an Egyptian.

So, what did we think? We really liked it! They had six “comedians” in the line-up. Some of them were more funny than others, but that’s to be expected. I definitely laughed a lot which felt so good! We had a few people at our table however who must not have had ANY sense of humor because they didn’t crack a smile the whole show. Now come on, laugh a little, it’s good for the soul! At least we thought it was a great way to spend our Saturday night.

Alright, I’m off to hang with the boys and help with house stuff. Catch ya soon!

Continue Reading Laugh a Little