Archive for April, 2010

Tummy Troubles

The last thing I’ve wanted to talk about for the last 2 days is food, hence my lack of posting. I’m going on 48 hours of icky tummy syndrom that’s made it impossible to keep food in my stomach for longer than 20 minutes. At first I thought it was dehydration because it started toward the end of my 4-mile run on Tuesday. I started chugging water and that only made me feel worse. Long story short, I have no idea what’s wrong. I feel fine and then as soon as I put something in my stomach I feel like crap. I think I’m on the uphill swing because I was able to eat a protein bar before my run today with no ill effects. The bad thing is that I have no food pics to share because I thought you’d get tired of seeing plain toast. 🙂

Enough whining. It’s too nice of a day for that. I just finished a fabulous run that left me feeling fully in control and prepared for Saturday’s 5k. I’m aiming to beat my time (36:12) from my last 5k two weeks ago and I KNOW I can do it. I just know it. Another reason for my great mood is that I was down 1.8 at weigh-in before the run. Woo to the hoo! I really feel like I’m headed in the right direction to getting my body back after baby. I feel stronger and I can notice positive changes in the overall way my body looks. I still have a ways to go (about 45lbs) to get back to my goal weight, but I’m encouraged by the progress I’ve made so far.

I’m proud of myself for focusing on fitness this time around instead of just that number on the scale. When I originally lost the weight a few years ago, I didn’t work out AT ALL until after I’d lost 55lbs. The weight was coming off fairly easily just by eating less so why did I need to exercise? My reality check came when I hit my plateau and couldn’t take off any more weight. That’s when I joined a gym. I started out by taking step classes 2 days per week and gradually worked my way up to working out for 1-2 hours every evening after work. Lo and behold, adding activity helped to bust my plateau and I made my goal weight six months after joining the gym. Besides being where I wanted to be on the scale, I noticed a huge difference in muscle tone and my energy level. I also started to focus more on eating the right foods instead of just eating less of the not-so-healthy stuff. Thus began my passion for a healthy lifestyle. I liked losing weight, but I LOVED the way I *felt* when my main goal was getting healthy. It just so happens that eating right and exercising go hand in hand with both.

Mmmkay. So, that was a pretty long post for not really having anything in mind to write about when I sat down to post. I hope I didn’t bore you to tears. Hopefully I’ll have some food pics to share with you tomorrow. Enjoy the rest of your Thursday!


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My friend Linda and I have attended the Dayton Metro Library book sale for the last 3 years and it’s something I look forward to every year. This year was even more fun than usual because my friend Mandy and my sister-in-law were able to join us. We all love to read so it was fun to shop and chat about books, all at the same time. Without realizing it, we spent nearly 4 hours perusing the tables. There were LOTS of tables. This is just a small glimpse of the setup:

Mother of the year right here. Peanut was at the book sale with us, but I didn’t snap even one picture of her. Yes, I took pictures of books and random strangers, but not of my own child. Thankfully Mandy was all over her camera and got some great pictures. Check out her blog for some adorableness. I’m talking about Peanut, not the photo with me in it. 🙂 Too bad I was too obsessed with the books to think about getting a picture of Mandy and I together. 😦

I haven’t counted the books I bought, but I’d say it’s in the 30-40 range, all for just $14! I very rarely buy books except at this book sale so I was excited to have found some things that were on my wish list.

After the book sale, Linda, my sister-in-law and I went to PF Changs for lunch. We were STARVING so I treated the whole table to lettuce wraps as an appetizer. For my main meal, I had the lunch portion bowl of Moo Goo Gai Pan with brown rice and egg drop soup. I looked up the nutrition information later so that I could track my Weight Watchers points. Want to know what I discovered? The lunch bowl is actually considered TWO portions. Really? You get one cup of egg drop soup which is obviously one serving, but then the meal itself is designed to serve two people. I don’t get it. Can someone enlighten me to this logic? I knew I was splurging a bit on calories and had them budgeted. I was just disappointed with the marketing. The menu makes it sound like you’re selecting a reasonable portion but then, like most restaurant dishes, you end up getting way more than a healthy portion. I guess it could have been worse. Yes, I should know what a healthy portion looks like. Yes, I should have looked it up BEFORE I went to the restaurant. I just get tired of confusing marketing tactics that target people who are trying to choose something healthy.

*steps off soapbox*

Peanut and I’s weekend didn’t end there. After the book sale and lunch, we met my mom at a hotel outside of Dayton for a scrapbooking retreat. Yes, boys and girls. I’m one of those crazy scrapbookers. My mom and I got into the hobby when I was a junior in high school and we were immediately hooked. I do some scrapbooking at home, but most of my projects get accomplished at the various scrapbooking events (usually called “crops”) we attend several times each year. Working on my albums at these events is fun, but I attend more for the quality time with my mom and socializing with the other lovely ladies. This particular crop was a 2-day event so we stayed the night in the hotel and got back to work on our scrapbooks on Sunday.

I like being out and about, but it’s always nice to come home. Peanut’s eyes lit up when she saw my husband and again when she spotted the dog. I was happy to see them, too. My husband spent the weekend watching the NFL draft which is something that induces giddiness in him each year. Still, I think he was glad to see us when we returned.

While we were gone, he also watched an episode of Guy’s Big Bites. It’s his favorite show on Food Network. He was so excited about the recipe that he’d seen and I ended up making it for dinner last night because ingredients were pretty basic and we had them all in the house already.

Coyote Quesedillas.

I didn’t specifically make the blackening spice shown. Instead, I just sprinkled the chicken breasts with cumin, onion powder, garlic powder, paprika & cayenne pepper while they cooked on the grill pan. I used fat free refried beans and 8-inch whole wheat tortillas instead of 10-inch flour tortillas.

We skipped the two topping recipes because my husband doesn’t care for corn and black bean salsa and we didn’t have chipotle peppers handy for the drizzling sauce. Instead, we just used reduced-fat sour cream, jarred salsa and fresh cilantro.

If you like Mexican, you NEED to make these. So good! In fact, they were so good that I tweeted @ChefGuyFieri to rave about the recipe. My husband requested that the recipe go in our “make regularly” file. That’s what he says when he REALLY likes something. As Guy Fieri would say, “Winner, winner, chicken dinner.” 🙂

Do you watch cooking shows? If so, what’s your favorite?

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Baby’s First Earth Day

Besides Christmas, Earth Day is my absolute favorite holiday. I know a lot of people don’t even consider it a “real” holiday, but I do! Mother Earth has so much beauty to offer. I mean, stop and think about it. Nature is truly awe-inspiring. While I wish we could all slow down and appreciate our planet more every single day, I’m glad there’s one day every year that’s dedicated to appreciating what we have in our world.

I had planned a lovely picnic in the park for Peanut and I. When we got there, however, there were those horribly ugly orange flags warning us to keep off the grass because it had just been sprayed with pesticides or fertilizer or some other biohazardous chemical in which I’m pretty sure I didn’t want my 6-month old shouldn’t be rolling around. So much for enjoying a public green space on Earth Day. Oh, the irony.

About that time my cell phone rang. It was a friend calling to see if Peanut and I wanted to join her and her 9-month old son for lunch at Applebee’s. Not as green of a lunch as what I’d hoped for on Earth Day, but I was really hungry and it seemed to be a decent solution to our picnic problem. I ordered the Garlic & Herb chicken from the Weight Watchers menu. Not fine dining or extremely creative cuisine, but it was a filling portion that tasted decent and only cost me 7 points from my daily points allowance.

After lunch, Peanut and I headed for the grocery. Our fridge and pantry have been looking a little bare lately. Okay, so they’re never really bare. I stock canned, dry and frozen goods like I’m preparing for the apocalypse. It’s just that my husband has been complaining that there weren’t many things to eat that didn’t involve preparing a whole meal. 🙂

We didn’t get home and the groceries put away until almost 4pm, but I was determined to give Peanut some outside time to explore before the day was over. We threw a blanket out under the tree in the yard and she discovered grass, leaves, sticks and trees. Of course she wanted to put everything in her mouth. I had to be on constant alert and assure that she used all of her senses except taste.

Ready for the cuteness I promised you:

We walked around the rest of our property and took some pictures:

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Is it seriously Wednesday already? It seems like I *just* woke up on Saturday morning. It’s been go, go, go since the 5k with entertaining, shopping and visiting. I didn’t forget about you, bloggies! As promised, I’m back with my race report from the 5k on Saturday. Gold star to you if you finish reading this whole post because it’s LONG. 🙂

I’ve run 5ks before, but for some reason I was all jittery and butterfly stomached for this one. I think it was part excitement and part pressure that I was putting on myself. This was my first race post-baby (not counting the disastrous race 3 days after I was cleared to run again) and I had one very definite, very concrete goal: I wanted to run the whole thing. I didn’t care how long it took me to run it, but I was NOT going to walk.

I was a little preoccupied with getting Peanut up, packed and loaded in the car so I didn’t get to snap a picture of the gorgeous morning. The race was only about 5 minutes from our house so I wasn’t up to see the sunrise, but the morning could not have been any more clear and perfect for a run. My husband drove us down to the park where we met my sister-in-law and got checked in. For being a small race, the event was VERY well organized and the race crew was extremely friendly.

The half marathon stepped off at 9am on the dot. About 5 minutes later they called for the 5kers and everyone made their way to the start/finish line. My stomach completely bottomed out when I saw that there were only about 30-40 participants. One thought immediately came into my mind: “I’m going to be last.” I got really panicky all of a sudden and thought about bailing. I shared my concern with my sister-in-law and she told me to just do my best. Honestly, that statement should have made me feel better, but it felt more like pity coming from someone who is as fiercely competitive as she is. One thing that helped me loosen up was that all the competitors were very friendly. The whole lot of us stood there chatting and laughing while we waited for the start. One couple were owners of a local bike shop and gave me some great advice about what to look for when buying a running stroller.

For the last minute before the race, I closed my eyes, put in my headphones and just kept repeating my Baz Luhrman running mantra: “The race is long and, in the end, it’s only with yourself.” I got goosebumps in the 10 second countdown until the start. When they yelled “GO!” my whole mindset shifted. I felt calm and relaxed and just started running. I kept pace right behind my sister-in-law for the first quarter mile or so, but quickly realized that I couldn’t sustain that pace and settled into my own rhythm.

There was a volunteer yelling out times at the 1-mile mark. I was at 11:23 and completely fine with that. I felt really good so I decided to push a little bit harder on my way to the turn-around. My sister-in-law passed me on her way back and gave me the thumbs up and told me that I wasn’t even close to last. While that shouldn’t have mattered but, not gonna lie, it made me feel good.

I rounded the cone at the turn-around and headed for home feeling pretty good. That lasted for about another half mile. With one mile left to go, my breathing got difficult and I was having trouble getting it under control. I slowed my pace a little, determined not to walk, and kept plugging along.

The bike path where we were running has mile markers so it was easy to know where I was. I’d told myself that when I hit the 0.5 mile mark I was going to bust a move and push as hard as I could to the finish. Unfortunately, I was still struggling a bit when I got to that point and facing a bit of an uphill section. I told myself to keep running and putting one foot in front of the other, but decided I wasn’t ready to sprint.

The finish line banner was hanging from a bridge overpass. I spotted it as I rounded the corner about .25 miles out and decided it was time to make my move. I have no idea where that extra gas came from, but it was there. I bolted like lightening! I picked up the pace even more when I spotted my husband, sister-in-law and baby girl waiting at the finish line, cheering me on.

My official time was 36:24. My heart rate monitor (which I started & stopped as I hit the line) said 36:12. Either way, I was beyond thrilled. That’s only a few minutes off the time of the last 5k I ran before I got pregnant. I think I was a bit shocked, too. 40 minutes was sort of the time I’d had in my head as a realistic expectation of what I’d be able to do.

Peanut gave me a huge smile that melted my heart when I got to her stroller and my husband gave me a giant hug. The whole rest of the day he told me how great I did and how proud he was of me. That was really nice to hear. He also took this post-race photo of me. I am being VERY brave and posting it here even though I look like complete crap. Please remember that I just had a baby 6 months ago. Oh, and if anyone knows of a good hairdo that keeps your hair out of your face without exposing the fivehead, I’d really appreciate some tips. 🙂

Also very nice was this beer that I drank after I’d gotten showered:

My in-laws came over for a cookout around noon. My husband insisted that I relax while he did all the grilling. I did get the task of setting up the buffet. I got caught up in my task and forgot photos again. My husband made chicken & shrimp kabobs, grilled baby bella mushrooms and some yummy bread. My mother-in-law brought pasta salad and my sister-in-law made some healthy cream cheese bars that were HEAVENLY. Recipe and review of those to come because I am going to be making them very, very soon.

The rest of Saturday evening was really low-key. I read while Peanut played in her ExerSaucer and my husband played Madden. I love evenings like that.

Sunday morning my husband asked me the thing every woman likes to hear first thing in the morning. Get your mind out of the gutter! 😉 I meant that he asked me: “Do you want me to make breakfast?” Of course my answer was yes! I was treated to a delicious omelette made with turkey bacon, sharp cheddar cheese and leftover baby bella mushrooms. Nom.

I’m planning a special Earth Day event for Peanut tomorrow. Check back tomorrow, probably late afternoon, for a photo recap. I promise adorableness. 🙂

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Starting Seeds

Hey ya’ll! What’s shakin’. I’ve been super busy lately, but nothing exciting enough that you’d care to read about it. My eats have been repetitive and boring lately, too.

One exciting thing that happened last weekend was that I started my herb garden from seeds! I heard that they’re predicting the final frost around Mother’s Day. I counted backwards from then and decided that I’d better get my behind in gear if my cute little seedlings were going to be ready to go into the ground then. The weather was beautiful last Sunday so, after a trip to the local hardware store (coolest. place. ever) for supplies, I got down to business and got my hands dirty.

seed starting tray (the lid is underneath), seed starting mix, gardening glove & seeds

Here are the herbs I planted:








I also planted some Zinnias. I love these flowers, but had tons of trouble finding them in the nurseries last year so I decided to give them a go myself.

Fingers crossed that these seeds do better than my first attempt two summers ago. I didn’t do much research before that debacle so I’m hopeful that doing my homework pays off with this batch. I promise that I’m not turning UFC into a gardening blog, but you will probably see lots of progress pics of our outdoor endeavors as the summer goes on. That is, if anything survives. LOL

On another happy note, I weighed in at Weight Watchers a day early this week (so yesterday) and I was down 2.6! I was beyond thrilled. After last week’s big loss, I was half expecting a gain. That obviously wasn’t to be. My total post-pregnancy weight loss is now at 17lbs and counting.

I’m SUPER excited for my 5k on Saturday. I did my last pre-race run yesterday and I feel like I’m truly ready. My main goals are to 1) not walk at all and 2) finish in under 40 minutes. My pace with the stroller is around a 14 minute mile and without it’s around 12. I’m running sans stroller so I know that’s totally doable. Now I just have to decide on the most important things…a playlist and what to wear. 😀

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Good morning, bloggies! Guess what? It’s FRIDAY!!! Who’s excited? I know I am. It’s going to be a busier than usual weekend for us, but all fun stuff.

Starting the morning off with some great news, I was down 3.8 at Weight Watchers weigh-in yesterday! Woo to the hoo fo sho! It was a huge boost to my confidence after two weeks of small gains.

In my running news, Peanut and I went to visit my parents in my hometown on Wednesday. I’d intended on using their treadmill, but it ended up being out of commission. I took to the streets (well, sidewalks) of my old neighborhood and did 2.5 miles in 28 minutes to complete C25k Week 8 Day 2. Obviously I’m still not fast, but my pace was a little quicker than it is when I’m pushing the stroller.

I’ve eaten mostly leftovers for the last few days so I didn’t take pictures. Tuesday night was a fun dinner. My husband got home early and we grilled out.

chicken & vegetable kabobs + foil-packet asparagus

I dumped all of mine into a bowl with some leftover brown rice and tossed it all in just a little bit of dijon mustard. I also added a couple of cherry tomatoes.

My husband loves BBQ sauce and received this as a gift recently:

Unfortunately, he wasn’t a fan. He said it had too bourbon-y. I found that funny because the sauce came from this place, a bourbon distillery. LOL I’m not a big BBQ sauce fan, but I did take a taste. All I could taste was vinegar.

I hope everyone has a lovely weekend! I’ll be tweeting from my phone tonight during Food Revolution. 9 EST. Be there or be square. 🙂

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I don’t mean this kind of rebound:

While we’re on the subject…congrats to the Duke men for winning the NCAA championship last night! I’m not a big basketball fan, but I do tune in during March Madness.

I’m really talking about rebounding after a disappointing workout.

I had a bad run last Friday. I’m talking HOR-RI-BLE! I set out to run the same route I’ve been doing for a week or so, but just past halfway I was complete toast. My legs felt like Jell-O, my feet felt heavy and I couldn’t slow my breathing no matter how hard I tried. When I looked down, my heart rate monitor was reading a little over 200. Being in the 190s when I run isn’t uncommon for me, but I’ve never seen a number that high. I decided to walk a little to calm my body down. When I tried to pick up a run again, I immediately felt exhausted. I walked the rest of my running route, then doubled back around to cool down. The whole time I was mentally beating myself up and questioning my ability. “Why couldn’t I run that? I did it just fine two days ago.” This one subpar run had me doubting whether I could ever really get back to where I was pre-baby.

One thing that kept me from completely berating myself was knowing that I’m not alone. Just last week, Caitlin posted about the first race in which she bonked. The week before, Allison posted about her less-than-stellar marathon training run. Granted, these ladies are running a LOT further than I am, but I admire both of them (through their blogs) and asked myself WWHLBD (What Would Healthy Living Bloggers Do)? Did they quit running altogether? Nope. Did they use that fluke run to define themselves as runners? Nope. They’re both still running…and kicking booty!

I very easily could have slipped into a funk over my lackluster run. Instead, I started my “rebound” as soon as I got home.

  • Positive Self-Talk: We are our own toughest critics, but we can also be our own biggest cheerleader. When I walked in the front door, I vowed to only say positive things to myself about the workout. I applauded myself for getting out the door and exercising in the first place. I mentally thanked myself for getting outside and enjoying the beautiful weather. I commended myself for how far I’ve come in the 7 weeks I’ve been back to running. “Remember when you couldn’t even run for a minute?”
  • Retrace Your Steps: While I was showering after my workout, I tried to think of anything I’d done differently that day that could have had an impact on my workout. The four things I identified were 1) not drinking enough water throughout the day; 2) eating lunch about 30 minutes before running instead of my usual snack before, lunch after schedule; 3) running in the late afternoon rather than late morning; 4) first day of 80+ degree temperatures rather than the 60ish I’ve been running in lately. I didn’t set out to find excuses for hitting my wall. Identifying these things just gave me an awareness of how my body might react to certain variables.
  • Look forward, not back: A funny thing happened when I started being nicer to myself. I started getting excited about going on my next run. The “bad” run was over. Done with. Finito. Dwelling on it would accomplish nothing. I laid out a complete workout outfit on top of my dresser (including my running shoes) for the next time. Because there would be a next time. I was NOT giving up.

That “next time” came yesterday and guess what happened? I rocked it! Not only did I run the whole route, I actually added an extra .25 miles or so to the end. I took hydration and eating schedule into consideration and ran at my more usual time of day. Those might have helped, but I know that setting out with a positive attitude was the most crucial key to my success.

Post-run lunch was a humdinger of a salad:

~organic greens
~cherry tomatoes
~1/4 cup Sabra Hummus with Roasted Pine Nuts
~1oz. President fat free feta cheese

The star of dinner was the spinach & asiago chicken sausage I reviewed yesterday. I cut the three leftover links into rounds, then cut those in half (to form crescents) and reheated them in a skillet with a little extra virgin olive oil. + a jar of spaghetti sauce + a handful of mushrooms = delicious spaghetti sauce! My husband raved about it’s deliciousness.

(Sorry for the blurry pics. My camera battery is going.)

Have you ever had a disappointing workout or race? What did you do to rebound?

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