Monday, March 12, 2012

So Fit, So Fine: Weekly Recap

Last week was probably one of my best weeks work-out wise in a long time. More x-training any during any of my half prep and I just felt STRONG.

M: 45 minutes of Spinning. Hadn't been in years and was SO proud of how hard I pushed myself. Took my Garmin along for my HRM and used it to push myself in the zone.

T: 30 Day Shred

W: 30 Day Shred + Spinning + Pilates (Felt like a BAMF)

Th: 4 mile run (my first run in the rain!)

F: 2 mi run + Spinning + Pilates

S: 5 mi run with Jon and his cousin. 10:47 pace aka my fastest EVER

Sun: 3 mi hike in the Hocking Hills

Total milage: 11 miles! Woo!

It was a really great week exercise wise, even if I ended up eating too much and gaining 1.5#. Oh well. I can at least tell a difference in my arms from all those Pilates push ups!

Friday, March 9, 2012

Back on the Track.

Winter has been rough for me and being healthy. I LOATHE the treadmill and yet couldn't really bring myself to run outside on dreary, slushy days. So, by the beginning of February, I was beginning to feel pretty icky and to see my clothes start tightening up... Not good. Enter slightly better weather and a need for new jeans. I started to get afraid if I went to the store right then to buy new jeans that I'd end up with the next size up and thus start that subtle cycle of weight gain... You know the one, the one where your jeans are tight, you buy the next size up and they fit great until they too get tight... And so on and so forth.

So, instead, I hopped back on the bandwagon. I'd been squeezing in a few 3-milers here and there, but I started to get more consistent AND I finally started logging into that My Fitness Pal account I'd made on a whim a year ago and never really used. Plus I started doing the 30 Day Shred. And it felt GOOD. And the inches started to fall off-ish. Even though Jillian is mean and my old jeans kept dropping out of the line-up due to wear one by one.

Thankfully, next Saturday is jeans buying day. But, just to be safe, I went ahead and trotted over to Old Navy to see where I stood on the getting new jeans front... and much to my surprise I fit into a size BELOW the pair that was starting to get tight. A size SIX. I don't think I've EVER worn a size 6. Now I'm sure that this 6 in Old Navy is probably an 8-10 elsewhere, but I don't care. I've had this exact same pair of jeans in a 16, 14, 12, 10, 8... and now, when I go to the Outlet on Saturday, I'll be buying them in a 6. Pretty sweet feeling.  See? I even took photos to prove it. Yeah, there's a bit of a muffin top going on there, but nothing that a week or two of pilates won't fix. So exciting!


Anyway, hopefully I can get back into blogging a bit more now that I don't feel as guilty about not running, not watching what I eat, and only focusing on reading in grad school. The rest of this year looks interesting for running--I have till the end of the month to bite the bullet and sign up for my first marathon... who knows what 2012 will hold. 

So anyway, here I am, just letting you know that I'm finally back on track... and it feels pretty good.

Monday, February 20, 2012

4 Weeks Till Freedom

It's that part of the quarter again... crunch time. I feel like all of grad school so far has been a constant uphill battle. I'm trying to maintain a healthy balance, but, man is it hard!!! Unfortunately, running has been taking kind of a back burner lately with me averaging 2-3 runs/week of about 3-4 miles each. Not too impressive, but it is what it is. Do any of you have problems keeping your mileage up if you aren't training for anything specific? I know I do... and I haven't found any good races to train for yet that aren't WAY to expensive because I waited too long... Womp womp.

In other healthy news, last week I kicked my own butt in gear and signed back up for My Fitness Pal and can now report that I'm down 5.2lbs and have tracked for a whole week! I'm kind of skeptical about it being really 5.2lbs since I don't remember if my original weigh in was RIGHT when I woke up last Monday, but I know for a fact that I've at least lost 2.7lbs as I weighed in at 170.5 a few days later and at 167.8 this morning! :)

Jon went out of town for the weekend, so I took that chance to start doing the 30 Day Shred. I'd started (and abandoned) it once before, but this time I'm in it to win it. So far, I've just completed Day 4 and BOY am I still sore. But, that means I'm changing right?

As far as eating this week, I have two recipes from Kelly's Healthified Kitchen on tap that I HIGHLY recommend:
Chicken Cordon Bleu Casserole (might add spinach?)
Honey Lime Enchiladas
I've made both recipes before and they're delicious. :)

Anyway, have a great Monday!!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Morning Life Saver: Breakfast Pockets

To get back into the swing of things, here's a new favorite recipe Jon and I have been making in 2012. Our friend Amber tipped us off to this great idea, and, with a few healthy modifications, we've been making batches weekly or bi-weekly and freezing them. They're so good that we have been eating these for breakfast every single day. We even heat them up on weekends instead of our Sunday pancakes!

Anyway, here's the base recipe, based off the original that can be found here.

  • 1 1/2 tblsp yeast
  • 1/2 c warm water (110 degrees)
  • 3/4 c skim milk (110 degrees)
  • 1/2 c apple sauce (with a tiny splash of oil)
  • 1/4 c sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 3 1/2 c flour (Approx. half wheat/half all-purpose)
    Base Filling Starter (we also add whatever veggies we feel like)
  • 1 lb bulk sausage, or some bacon, or ham... whatever meat you want (or no meat too)
  • 1 c onion, chopped
  • 1 1/2 c frozen hashbrown potatoes, thawed
  • Half container of egg beaters (equiv. 7 eggs)
  • 3 tblsp milk
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp garlic salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 2 c cheddar cheese, shredded
  1. In a bowl, dissolve yeast in the water.
  2. Add milk, oil/applesauce, sugar, egg, salt, and 2 cups flour; beat until smooth.
  3. Add enough flour until it makes a soft dough but do not knead. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 hour.
  4. Filling:
  5. Cook the meat  and onion over medium heat until browned. Drain. Add whatever veggies you want. We usually do spinach, mushroom, pepper, etc. Then add hashbrowns, eggs, milk, and spices. Cook and stir until set. Sprinkle with cheese and keep warm.
  6. Assembling the pockets:
  7. Preheat oven to 350°.
  8. Punch down the dough and cut into 16 equal pieces.
  9. Roll each piece into 7 in circle on a floured surface (Note: I don't have a rolling pin, so I just try and stretch it with my hands... Less pretty, but seems to work just fine!). Top with 1/3 c filling, fold, and pinch shut. Bake for 15-20 minutes. 
 Our first attempt getting ready to go in the oven.
Future attempts have been prettier. ;)
    To freeze:
  1. Allow to cool on the baking sheet. Once cooled, place in the freezer until frozen. Store in a ziploc bag in the freezer for 3-6 months. To reheat, the original suggests you place it on a paper towel and microwave for 1 1/2-2 minutes. To get a crispier pocket, Jon and I throw them in the oven when we get up (without waiting for the oven to preheat to 350º again) and then go about our business getting ready for 30 or so minutes and then grab them on the way out the door nice and warm and crispy. You can also speed up the oven process by putting them in the microwave for 30-45 seconds first. 

DELICIOUS and infinitely customizable.  The first time we made them it was kind of an ordeal in our tiny kitchen—a little messy, but each time we make them, they get a little bit easier. Plus, they seem to be catching—we've already passed this recipe out to a bunch of our friends who now love them too! Enjoy!

PS- They're relatively cheap too! Without meat they run about $0.76 per pocket and around $1 with! :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Missed me?

So, I haven't written since Thanksgiving. That's kind of embarrassing. Like a lot of health bloggers, my time away also kind of coincided with a departure from being super healthy. As the name of the blog states, while I was away, I've done a lot of eating and reading, but not so much running. I believe my miles to date for 2012 is 19, with 6 of them bring from today and yesterday. I'm a wimp in the cold as far as running its concerned, and I'm afraid to run in the dark alone, so winter has been tough as a runner. Excuses, excuses, I know. I see plenty of runners running in much harsher conditions, I just need to suck it up.

Also, this quarter has had me stressed out from day one, so I've felt like I've been playing catch up since classes started, which isn't a good feeling. Honestly, in the past few weeks, there have been quite a few moments where I've asked myself if grad school really is for me, but, so far, I'm gritting my teeth and sticking it out. Not sure what else I'd do—and I'm sure quitting would make me feel like I've let myself down, even if it's turning out to be something different than I expected (not sure why I expected anything different though!).

Otherwise, the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012 have been great. I've tried a ton of new recipes like eggbeater breakfast pockets, homemade bread, pizza balls, and homemade red velvet brownies that put the red velvet cupcakes I made for Jon's birthday to shame. I also got a new slow cooker for Christmas, so it and I have been getting to know one another.

Unfortunately, a mix of lame excuses for not running and stress baking have combined on my hips in the form of 5 pounds, so my clothes are fitting tighter... Not good. I've  needed new jeans for awhile now, but I refuse to go shopping for them till my current jeans fit more comfortably again. I'm convinced that's how weight creeps up on you—gain a little, buy new clothes where you just barely need the next size up, they feel good... cycle repeats.

Anyway, I'm back now and am slowly trying to hop back on the bandwagon.

Friday, November 25, 2011


I haven't posted a running recap in... 2 weeks?  This is mostly because I was embarrassed to admit that I've only run maybe 2x in those two weeks. I've been really stressed with school and friends and though I know I should have fit in some runs, I just... didn't. That said, yesterday, I was thankful that Jon and I woke up yesterday morning and went for our first run together in about a month.  Three easy miles around Jon's parent's neighborhood in Montgomery, AL. Not only did I keep a decent pace after my hiatus (11:17), but it's also warm enough here to run in a tank top.

Aside from that run, I'm thankful for:
1. Being able to run at all and continue to see improvement
2. My entire family
3. Jon, who's such a great partner
4. The welcome and love I feel from Jon's family too (thank heavens I won't have terrible in-law problems someday!)
5. My amazing friends all over the globe
6. All the support everyone has given me in the past year through all the tough times and the awesome ones
7. Having a "job" even if it means I'm going to want to crawl in a hole and hide for the next two weeks
8. The sale last week via CraigsList of the mobile home in Athens that we lived in before moving to Cbus and that we still owned
9. How much happier this holiday season will be for me versus last year
10. How optimistic I am for the next year. I'm a really lucky girl.

I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! Check out our spread:

Not the healthiest meal, but at least a majority of it was veggies!!!

I even learned how to make pie!!!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Epic Dessert Creation: The Recap

Let's just start by saying that cake-baking don't come cheap.  I think I spent at least $45 on butter, cream cheese, eggs, etc etc etc.  Still cheaper than ordering one, but still.

Since we had company in town, I divvied up the extravaganza into two days: Friday or the baking of cakes and cupcakes and Saturday for the frosting and presentation.

And now, let the photo tour of my baking extravaganza begin!

Project One: Operation 4-layer Cake and Dexter-esque Cupcakes

Greasin' my $0.97 pans

Using Melania's tip to fold the parchment paper and make a circle via the "snowflake method"

Rookie Error #1: Misunderstood directions, so I put parchment paper ALL over the pan, not just the bottom

Batter.  Since I'm unmarried and do not own a stand mixer, note the epic splatter on my microwave.  This repeated with every new mixing session.

Chocolate Batter

Finished, unnecessarily curvy cake layers #1 and #2 (there were 4 total)

Irregularities that will make icing fun... and that could have been avoided.  #CakeRookie

The cocoa/food coloring paste looked like blood.  
And stained my fingers.  
And then reminded me of the opening credits on Dexter.

Replacing buttermilk with regular milk + 1 tbsp of lemon juice.  Who knew?

Finished cupcakes.

Operation Baking : Completed.  

Project Two (the Next Day): Let's Frost that!

First time I have used my Tupperware manual food processor. 
Tough at first with the whole cookies, but worked great.

Cookies and cream frosting... Would you like some cake with your frosting?

Amber helps prepare my new cake stand

And voilà!!!


Jon was impressed.

Overall, this bout with dessert making has taught me a few things:
1. The sheer amount of butter, sugar, and cream cheese that goes into baking
2. Don't bake the cake-y parts the day before (they'll dry out)
3. Put parchment paper down on your cake stand before icing
4. It's going to be awhile before I perfect desserts.  TOO much sugar.  My body isn't used to it and Jon and I could certainly feel our poor food choices the following day on our run!

Still, I'm proud of my pretty desserts and I'm really happy that Jon really appreciated them for his bday!  

Do you guys make any fun desserts?  When you bake, do you try to lighten the recipe, or do you indulge on the buttery/cream cheesey goodness from time to time?