I’m Baaaack!!

August 17, 2011 in Exercise, Nutrition, Recipe

Well, I’m back from a wonderfully long weekend of running and little sleep!  I had such a great time running the Epic Relay race!  I’ll give you a quick recap of my weekend…

Friday:

  • Woke up at 4:30 AM to get ready for the race
  • 7:15 AM–Ran my first leg (7.39 miles) and I felt so so so good!  I averaged an 8:45/mile pace including a couple quick hydrating and Gu stops.
  • Took a short (but very refreshing) 1 1/2 hour nap on a church lawn in a sleeping bag.
  • 6:30 PMish–Ran my second leg (4.67 miles).  It was my shortest, but ended up being my hardest leg.  It was pretty hot outside and was mostly uphill.  Blah.  Oh, I think I also averaged an 8:45/mile pace.

Saturday:

  • 2:00 AMish–slept on a dirt parking lot in a sleeping bag for about 3 or so hours.  It was freeeezing (about 38 degrees) and I wasn’t prepared for that!  All of our sleeping bags and pillows were wet when we woke up.  Needless to say, this was not the highlight of the weekend!
  • 5:30 AMish–woke up, quickly got the truck packed and got ready to run our last legs.
  • 6:00 AMish–Ran my last leg (5.44 miles) and it was great!  I loved running at sunrise…very very rejuvenating!  My IT Band was buggin’ and I had a few sore toenails, but other than that I felt great.  I was ready to be done though!  I think I averaged in the low 9s/mile pace on this one.  I held back a little because I wasn’t sure how my body would hold up!
  • Our entire 12 person team finished the race around 4:30 PM!  It was great!

We had such a fun time!  We ran 205+ miles in 33 hours!  I got a total of about 9 hours of sleep the whole weekend long!  It was awesome!

The team members who rode in the first “van” (which was actually a truck)….we had such a fun team!

Van 1 team Epic Relay

Kev and I just before I started my first leg (I was the first runner too!) Our team name was “Stayin’ Alive”….hence the lovely costumes.

Kev and I at the Epic Relay

Our entire 12 (13 with our alternate) person team at the finish line! Woo Hoo!

finish whole team Epic Relay

I really had such a fun time, but I’ve had a little bit of a hard time recovering and getting back into normal life!  I think the sleep deprivation took a greater toll on my body than the running!  I am barely sore today, but I am still draggin’ from lack of sleep!! 

I must be getting old!

BUT……………I am back on the wagon today with a vengeance!  It feels so good to be “in control” again.  I can’t say it’s easy, but it’s awesome.

I thought I would share what I ate today….

Breakfast was a typical Veggie Egg Scramble.  I love this breakfast because it’s fast, easy, healthy and only ~150 calories!

veggie egg scramble

4 egg whites + bell peppers, onions, green beans, salsa and fresh tomatoes from our garden! Yum!

Lunch was this…

fruit, veggies and crackers

Red grapes, Multigrain Wheat Thins and carrots, cucumbers and cherry tomatoes from the garden

and this…

Cheese Crisps

Cheese Crisps! Looks weird, I know! But, they are awesome!

The cheese crisps are so simple….you just cut up a string cheese (I used 2 string cheeses because I shared with my kids!)

Cheese Crisps precooked

Then you just put them in the microwave for about a minute, or until they get a little brown.  Let them cool for a minute and enjoy!  Very yummy!  Oh, and that entire lunch was only about 280 calories!

My afternoon snack was my Microwavable Chocolate Cake that I love so much!!!  I didn’t take a picture, but I made it without chocolate chips and I topped it with a little whipped cream in a can!  It was about 145 calories and just what I needed!  Yum!

I also had another small snack later on…

CarbRite Diet bar

I had 1/2 of one of these (100 calories). These are yummy. This kind is my fav (Toasted Coconut). I’ve also tried Peanut Butter, but I don’t like it as well.

Dinner was Grilled Chicken, Salad and fruit.  I had a busy night and Grilled Chicken is always my go-to meal when I want something healthy, but I don’t have a lot of time.  I also used the easiest marinade on the planet…

Sun Dried Tomato Salad Dressing

Ta Da!! Salad Dressing. I really like to use light Italian dressing, but this is what I had on hand. It was yummy too!

I just threw the chicken in a giant Ziploc, poured some vinaigrette in the bag and let it marinate for a few hours.

Chicken and marinade in ziploc

Then I put it in a baking dish and put it in the fridge….

Chicken and marinade in a pan

When Kev got home from work, he grilled it up and I made a quick salad to go with it (Romaine, Iceberg, Tomatoes, Cucumbers, Cheddar and almonds!)  We also had some strawberries and watermelon on the side.  Light, healthy and yummy!

chicken, salad and strawberries

Well…that is all.  I felt really good about my diet today.  I did feel a little hungry at times, but never too bad.  It actually wasn’t too hard.  I may eat a lot of these same things tomorrow!  I really don’t think eating healthy is hard if you plan ahead and choose yummy things to eat!

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Getting Ready to RUN!!

August 11, 2011 in Exercise, Nutrition, Recipe

I have to make this quick because I am a crazy lady.

We are getting ready and excited to run our relay race this weekend!  Woo Hoo!!  It’s called the Epic Cache-Teton Relay.  It’s a 12 person, 200+ mile relay race from  Logan, UT to Jackson, WY. 

It should be fun!

I am the 1st runner so it will be fun to kick it off!  I am running a total of 17.5 miles.  My longest “leg” is first (which I’m very glad about); it is 7.39 miles.  I just hope I feel good and strong and that my body cooperates!

Oh, this relay race also happens to fall on my husband’s 40th birthday and our 15th wedding anniversary!  Party on!  I will post some pics when we get back!

So, you probably won’t hear from me until Sunday or so….

Oh, I am sorry to report that because I have been INSANE this week trying to prepare for our race (plan for babysitter, food, clean house, pack, laundry, etc.) and live my everyday crazy life….I have been a little bit of a slacker.  I am on “survivor-mode”, which is just doin’ what I gotta do to survive.  So, I haven’t been a pig, but I’ve just been eating what’s simple, convenient and available.  I also haven’t been working out because I’ve wanted to “save” my body for the race.

But, as soon as I return and recover from this race, I will be on FI-YAH (a.k.a. fire).  I am going to recommit and kill it.  My life should significantly slow down soon too (fingers crossed).  Yay.  School is will be starting soon and I’m craving the scheduled life.

Anyway, I thought I would post a quick, yummy, easy dinner I made this week.  I doubled the recipe because we have a lot of kids and I like to freeze stuff.  I will post this like I made it (doubled), but you could easily half it as well.

Chicken Tortilla Soup

  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Whole Kernel Corn, drained (or I just used a small bag of frozen corn which ended up being a little too much.)
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Chicken Broth
  • 2 (10.5 ounce) cans Cream of Chicken Soup (I used Campbell’s Healthy Request)
  • Chicken; cooked and shredded (you could just boil/bake chicken breasts and shred them, use rotisserie chicken or even canned.  I just used some leftover cooked, shredded chicken that I had in the freezer.)
  • 2 (15 ounce) cans Black Beans (drained and rinsed)

Rinse your black beans well!

Rinsing Black Beans

  • 2 (10 ounce) cans Diced Tomatoes with Green Chile Peppers, drained
  • Seasonings:  Cumin, Chili Powder and Garlic Powder (to taste…don’t be shy!)
  • Toppings:  Avocado, Sour Cream, Cheese, squeeze of lime (optional)

Here’s all the “stuff” sans the chicken, seasonings, and toppings….

Chicken Tortilla Soup Ingredients

Open the cans of Corn, Chicken Broth, Cream of Chicken Soup, Black Beans, and Diced Tomatoes with Green Chilies.

Pour everything into a large saucepan or stock pot.

Add the Cooked Chicken and seasonings and simmer over medium heat until everything is heated through. 

This picture looks a little scary, but It’s so yummy, I promise!

Chicken Tortilla Soup

Top with desired toppings.  Enjoy!

Here’s my yummy bowl of soup topped with avocado and served with a side of homemade “pita” chips! Yum! My kids and husband love to add cheese and sour cream too.

Chicken Tortilla Soup Avocado pita chips

Here’s the yummy recipe for homemade pita chips that I LOVE!!  My kids love them too!  They are very difficult to make…so watch closely…;-)

Homemade Pita Chips

  • Whole Wheat Pita Bread (I used Oroweat’s Sandwich Thins this time because that’s what I had on hand)
  • Olive Oil Spray
  • Seasoned Salt

Love these things! You can buy them anywhere! I buy them at Walmart or in bulk at Costco and freeze some!

Sandwich-Thins

Lay the Pita Bread (or Sandwich Thins) on a cookie sheet.

Spray lightly with Olive Oil Spray.

Sprinkle with Seasoned Salt (I’ve also made these with cinnamon and sugar too!)

Misto and seasoned salt

I use parchment paper, but it’s not necessary

Sandwich thins on pan

Broil for 3-5 minutes (until lightly browned).

Flip the pitas over.

Spray lightly with Olive Oil Spray (do not add more seasoning).

Sandwich thins flipped

Broil for 2-3 minutes more until sorta kinda crisp.

Cut into wedges with a pizza cutter.

Enjoy!

I seriously LOVE these!  I could eat them all!  YUM!

Oh, and since I made so much soup, I froze it in individual containers!  Easy, fast, healthy lunch!

Chicken Tortilla Soup ready to freeze

I gotta go!  I’m literally running out the door to head out for our relay race endeavors!  Wish me luck!!

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Running woes and yummy yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake!!

July 31, 2011 in Exercise, Nutrition, Recipe

So, Kevin snapped a picture of me as we headed out for our run this morning…

me getting ready to run!

I am sorry to report…I do not look like a Rock Star. ;-)

I am pretty much your average, ordinary (poofy at times) Joe.

BUT…and that is a big BUT (pardon the pun)…

…that is why I started this blog.

I am on my way to getting in the best shape of my life.

I’ve always loved healthy food and exercising, but I’ve also always loved (lots) of chocolate chip cookies and other yummy things.

So…I realized I am not getting any younger and the time is NOW for me to take a hold of my life and my health and become what I WANT to be.

So, I will keep on plugging away…keep on eating the healthy food I love…keep on denying myself the crappy food I love too (for now)…and keep on exercising as often as I can.

I hope to motivate others to live a healthy, active life as well.

Then we can all become not-so-average, extraordinary Joe’s together!

That sounds like fun…so let do it!

K?

**************************

So, that’s my pep talk for the day. ;-)

Let me tell you about the run we went on this morning…

It was very very very hard.

Probably one of the hardest runs I’ve done in a long time.

It pretty much sucked….and I came home feeling defeated. :-(

I don’t want to discourage anyone out there, but I also want to “keep it real.”

Yes, I’ve heard there are people out there who love running ALL the time and feel great doing it ALL the time!

I am not one of those people.

In fact, I haven’t had a really great run in a long time and it’s making me MAD!

Auuughhh!

I still love it though….I must be an addict.

Kev and I had intentions of running 5 or so miles this morning and then 5 or so miles tonight so we could prepare for our relay race that’s coming up in 2 weeks.

We headed out this morning much later than we intended to (story of my life), so it was pretty hot.

We also went to bed very late last night (also the story of my life!), so my body was pretty much hatin’ it before we even left.

The whole time I ran, I felt very sluggish and heavy.

Yuck.

I ended up walk/running the last 2 miles.

Lame.

So, needless to say, our run tonight did not happen.

Also lame.

As a runner, it happens sometimes.

I love love love when I have a great run;  when I feel the runners “high”.

It is so awesome. 

Every time I head out on a run, I am seeking that runner’s high that I love so much…when running feels so effortless and your body and mind can relax and escape for a while.

When you feel like you can just keep running…and running…and running.

It’s the best.

I’m thinking I need to chill.

I have been living the life of a madwoman lately…staying up all hours of the night and never taking time to relax.

I am feeling very very run down.

So, take a tip from me…go to bed at night and take time for yourself to chill every single day!

K, enough about that!

I hope to have a happier running report next time.

***************************

On, to happier things.

I have been enjoying a very yummy protein shake lately.  It is quickly becoming my favorite!  It almost tastes like a treat…almost.  So, here it is!

Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Protein Shake

1 C. Almond Milk (can sub Skim Milk or Water)

1 scoop Chocolate Protein Powder

1/4 banana (preferably frozen and sliced)

1 T. Natural Peanut Butter

1 T. Cocoa Powder

Pinch Xanthan Gum (optional)

2 handfuls fresh baby spinach (optional)

Ice (more or less depending on the consistency you like)

Mix almond milk, protein powder, banana, peanut butter and cocoa powder in blender.

Chocolate-PB-Banana-Protein-Shake-Ingredients

chocolate PB banana protein shake pre mixed

(Optional) Add Spinach and mix well.

Baby-Spinach-1024x802

I pretty much add it to every protein shake.  You cannot even taste it I promise!!!

However, if it freaks you out…you can omit it!

Add xanthan gum (it helps to make it creamy and smooth!) and mix well. 

Add ice and mix until desired consistency.

Chocolate-PB-Banana-Protein-Shake

Enjoy!

So so so yummy! 

This shake is GIANT and it is about 300 calories.  I would count it as a meal or if you half the recipe, it becomes the perfect pre/post workout snack or just a great snack anytime!  It is very filling as well!

I chose to pair it with one of my other favorite snacks, Colby’s Kettle Corn!

Colby's Kettle Corn

It is the bomb…seriously.

In fact, it is so good that I have to portion it out and then eat it.  I cannot eat it straight from the bag or I would eat the WHOLE thing!  It is only 88 calories for 1 1/2 C. serving!  Yay!

Not a bad snack.

Protein shake and kettle corn

Oh, and here’s a little random TIP,

I had 4 bananas sitting on my counter that were quickly becoming too ripe.  I sliced them up and froze them for protein shakes.

frozen bananas for protein shakes

I bagged one whole banana in each bag.  Then I can just eyeball what I need and add it to my shakes!  Easy!

Enjoy!

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