Lately.

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Someone give me a bad blogger award, because that’s exactly what I’ve been the past two weeks — a “bad” blogger.

I do have somewhat of an excuse — I was on one epic road trip with 14 other church friends and leaders last week to Birmingham, Alabama! We went to Church of the Highlands for their annual GROW leader conference. It was an awesome learning experience, and although I could have done without the 15-hour car ride (twice in four days!), it was fun hanging out with friends and growing together!

The highlight of the trip was definitely this video…

GROWOur church was one of the fastest growing GROW-network churches in America, and a film crew came a few months ago to capture a few services and talk with our staff. It was so awesome (and humbling!) to have our video shown at the conference last week…I love my church!

After getting back from Alabama, it was time to restock our cabinets and get back on track. (Even though I packed healthy snacks, there was a lot of not-so-healthy eats as well!) I decided to try out a local farmer’s market for the first time, and wow, was it awesome!

Farmer's market

I scored…

  • 2 lbs. bananas
  • Lemon
  • Lime
  • Four Braeburn apples
  • 1 lb. Brussels Sprouts
  • White onion
  • 2 cucumbers
  • 2 lbs. strawberries
  • 1 lb. blueberries
  • Romaine lettuce
  • 2 avocados
  • Cherry tomatoes

…all for $19.50!

I did have to pick through the produce to find what was fresh, but overall I did pretty well! Honestly, I wasn’t impressed with the strawberries (they were fine to eat, but a little flavorless) or the cucumbers (they were both mushy when I went to cut them), but overall, I’ve been pretty happy! I think I’ll be making this a weekly occurrence.

Although I haven’t done much blogging about my workouts lately, my half marathon training for Rock N Roll Philly is in full swing!

8 milesYesterday, I got out for an early morning run, and it was amazing! Finally, the weather was cool (only 62 degrees when I started running at 5:45 am!), and it definitely worked in my favor. I mastered the art of the progression run — my first mile was 8:59 and my last mile was 7:59. Perfection! I am finally learning to pace myself and start off slow (it’s never been my strong suit).

That’s what’s been happening here lately! Catch ya’ll later!

 

 

 

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Random Thoughts Friday

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I was going to go with “Five Thoughts Friday” because really, who doesn’t love alliteration? However, I think I might have more than five thoughts, so “Random Thoughts Friday” it is. Ready? Okay, go!

  1. It’s hot. Like wake-up-at-5:30-am-to-run-and-its-already-unbearably-hot kind of hot. I’m looking forward to it cooling off a little bit next week!
  2. I’m obsessed with this song. Anyone else?
  3. I love my co-workers! I’m helping my church with our Feed the First State initiative; our goal is to collect 5,000 cans this month to help hungry Delawareans! At work today, I hosted a mini “Feed the First State Friday” and asked everyone to donate canned goods, and they came through in a big way. Yay!
    FTFS Friday
  4. I feel like Pinterest has lost its game. Anyone else with me? I know, it’s a little blasphemous but I’ve witnessed myself (and others) cutting down on the amount of time I waste on this little social network gem.
  5. If I was still pinning like crazy, I’d be pinning this, this, and this. Drool, drool, and yes, please. Anything frozen sounds fantastic right now!
  6. I just made a variation of my chocolate almond nut mini-balls, but used 3/4 c. pitted dates, 3/4 c. walnuts, 1/2 c. almonds, 2 tsp. cocoa powder, and 2 tbsp. unsweetened coconut. I may have eaten more than actually made it to the freezer… #noshame
  7. I made a half marathon training plan this week since Rock N Roll Philly is only a few weeks away! “Training plan” is a very loose term; I basically just wrote out which weeks I need to do which long runs…I started with a six miler this week and am adding a mile every week up to 12 miles. I think I gave myself like a week and a half (maybe two?) of taper? It’s just really awesome to me that my “long” runs can be eight miles, considering I was doing two “short” runs a week of eight miles during marathon training. Crazy how perspectives change, right?!
  8. I haven’t talked about running/workouts much around here lately, but I promise they’re still happening! Nothing too exciting, but I’m consistently doing 5 to 6 days a week (3 days of running, 3 days of cross training; strength 4-5 x per week).
  9. I think I’m running this inaugural 10 miler in Pittsburgh with my sister this fall! It’s only $40 if you register before August 1st, and the website promises it’s a “mostly flat” course. I don’t believe it (I still remember the pain of those marathon hills), but I’m a forgiving person, so I’m gonna go for it and see just what the course is like!
  10. I’m off to dinner with my hubs, so I’ll catch you kids later!

A perfect Saturday morning!

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My Saturday started off by “sleeping in” (yes, I consider 7:03 sleeping in now…), putting on my running shoes, and setting out for a leisurely Saturday morning run. The weather was absolutely beautiful, so I decided to go sans-iPod which ended being an awesome choice! Four miles = done before 8 a.m.!

Running June

 

I showered, whipped up some apple pie pancakes, and then headed out with my friend Leslie for a morning of food shopping! We started off at Whole Foods and then made our way to a local Farmer’s Market, which I was really excited for but it ended up being a big fail in the produce world. (Everything ended up being super expensive — no good!) We finished with a trip to Trader Joe’s where I stocked up on a lot of my typical favorites.

I got home around 12:30, made a quick lunch, and then did some major food prep for the rest of the day — and I have some exciting new recipes to share with you later next week! However, first I want to share a recipe that I’ve been holding on to for a while, and it is a good one…

Vegetable Crab Soup…and as good as it is, it’s quite difficult to photograph well!

Vegetable crab soup

 

Remember when I did some major food prep and promised you the recipe for vegetable crab soup? Well I’m making good on that promise!


Healthy vegetable crab soup
Serves 8

  • 1 qt. tomato juice
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can cream of mushroom (OR 1 cup chopped mushrooms + 2 Tbsp. plain greek yogurt)
  • 1 large bag soup vegetables
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Old Bay to taste
  • 1 can crab (I used Phillips)
  • 1 8 oz. package flaked crab
  1. Combine all ingredients in crockpot and cook on low for 6 hours. Enjoy! (Alternatively, you can combine all ingredients in a large pot and cook on stove until heated through.)

I love this recipe because it’s simple, packed with veggies, and makes a ton! I actually froze half of it to enjoy at another time.

How to level up this recipe:

  • Add additional vegetables (I often throw in a bag and a half of vegetables instead of just a single bag.)
  • This can pack a lot of sodium though, so use as many no salt added or reduced sodium ingredients as possible.

How to level down this recipe:

  • If you don’t like certain soup vegetables, feel free to add in whatever vegetables you do like.

 

 

Exhausted arms + summery oats!

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Good morning! Sorry for disappearing for a few days…last Thursday after work, I headed off to the beach with a friend for a short weekend and tried to completely unplug. Although it ended up raining most of the time we were there, it was still a lot of fun!

I’ve been working with my friend Leslie for the last few weeks to help her train for her first post-baby 5K, and we completed the race on Saturday morning on the Ocean City Boardwalk…she did so great! She originally wanted to finish under 35 minutes, and before the race, I told her she should push for 33 minutes…and she ended up finishing in 31:30! Congrats, Leslie — you did awesome! (Sorry for the blurry phone photo!)

5K race

 

As for my own workouts, I banged out 30 minutes on the elliptical this morning followed by three rounds of this upper body workout…

  • 10 bicep curls (each arm)
  • 10 shoulder presses
  • 10 bent over rows
  • 10 flys (each arm)
  • 15 tricep dips
  • 10 tricep extensions
  • Cardio: 30 jumping jacks, 30 high knees, 30 tuck jumps

My arms are seriously exhausted right now!

I followed up my workout with a great big bowl of chia seed oats with some vanilla protein powder, peanut butter, strawberries, and blueberries…I love the addition of summer fruits in my morning oats!

Strawberry and blueberry oats

 

I’ll see ya’ll tomorrow for WIAW…but before that, be sure to check out the Lean Green Bean. I was featured in her weekly food prep inspiration post on Sunday! 🙂

I think you and my friends should hang out on, on the weekends

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Does anyone else think of the Skrillex song “Weekends” every time they say weekend? No? Just me? Okay, moving on then…

(P.S. I used my iPhone for all my photos this weekend since I was too lazy to pull out my real camera. You’ve been warned that you’re about to enter a post full of blurry photos…)

This weekend was so fun! It started out with heading back to the University of Delaware for Alumni Weekend to meet up with a few friends, and then I ended up meeting with Andy who was with some friends. They had set up Kinect Sports on a huge 13 foot screen and it was so fun to play! Has anyone else tried it? 

Kinect

 

We were there pretty late, so I finally got to bed around midnight and was up bright and early yesterday morning for a run with a friend. I pulled out my new Under Armour top for the first time and loved it! It was loose fitting and kept me really cool on a very hot morning…

UA top

 

After our five miler, I treated myself to a big iced coffee and did some work for the afternoon. Eventually, Andy and I headed up to Philly for a friend’s wedding, which ended up being so much fun! Any party with glow sticks is bound to be fun, right?

Wedding 1

Wedding 2

 

It’s cliche but we definitely “danced the night away!” It was so fun to be reunited with some college friends and celebrate a beautiful marriage for two special people! It was well after midnight until I finally got home, so I brushed my teeth and immediately passed out in bed. When I woke up this morning, I was really tired and sore (I guess that’s what three hours of dancing + a five mile run in one day does to you), so I opted for a short yoga DVD before heading to church for the day. 

Now, I’m doing some major food prep for the week and trying to do some cleaning around the house. 

How was your weekend? What’s your favorite part of a wedding? 

Food prep Sunday!

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How’s your day going? After a pretty busy weekend, I finally had a chance to relax and get some stuff done around the house, including some serious food prep! But first, let’s do a quick weekend recap…

After work on Friday, I headed home and started cooking since Andy’s mom and aunt were heading down for the weekend. I made some turkey burgers with homemade chipotle dressing, roasted asparagus, and fresh strawberries. It was a win all around! We ended the night by making some homemade almond pecan cashew clusters that were a-mazing. Be on the lookout for a step-by-step recipe later this week!

Almond cashew pecan nut clusters

 

Saturday morning, I woke up and had one thing on my mind: running!

I promised myself that I’d take a whole week off after my marathon to rest and recuperate before diving back into any type of activity. Although I walked a few times last week, I did nothing else — no running, no gym, no nothing! I figured I made it six days, so that was good enough for a full rest period! I went out yesterday morning for an “easy” three mile run. I started out at a comfortable pace (8:24 first mile) and ended around 7:56. It felt awesome!

I was back before 8 a.m. so I whipped up some breakfast (egg whites, homemade blueberry banana bread, and strawberries for me), and then took Andy’s mom and aunt up to one of my favorite walking spots. We did two more miles together before heading to our local natural foods store to pick up some stuff.

Walk photo

 

After a quick shower, we went back out for lunch with Andy’s mom, aunt, and other family who joined us. Since it was Mother’s Day Weekend and we figured most restaurants would be super busy, we just hit up our local TGI Friday’s and I decided to have the same thing I had last time I was there — the Sedona Black Bean burger, which is amazing! I need to find a recipe for that…

TGI Fridays

 

The rest of the afternoon flew by, as I was at church all evening for our service and then a small group leader training.

Today, it was back to church for the morning to help out with a few things…I finally left around 4 p.m. and was able to spend the rest of the night cleaning and doing some major food prep for the week. Check it out!

Food Prep_5.13.13

 

Meals for the week:

  • Avocado Black Bean Burgers with roasted sweet potatoes
  • Balsamic Chicken Pasta Salad (I followed this recipe for Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad but used TJ’s balsamic vinaigrette dressing instead of Caesar.)
  • Banana almond butter bars (I cut them individually and froze most of them for easy, pre-workout snacks.)
  • Yogurt “toppings” –> I put together some puffed wheat, sliced almonds, and raw oats to use on Greek yogurt throughout the week

For more food prep ideas, check out the Lean Green Bean Sunday Food Prep Inspiration!

Oh, and happy Mother’s Day to all of the moms and moms-to-be out there!

10 ways to make running fun

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With my marathon only FOUR days away, I’m looking forward to making running “fun” again post-race. Since I’ve been really focused on a strict training plan for the past few months, I’m excited to get back to some of the things that always renew my love for running!

No matter if you’re a marathoner or a first-time 5K’er, running can (and should!) be fun!

10 ways to make running fun

 

  1. Find a new route. Sometimes, all you need to do is try a different route. I have a great, safe park by my house, but when you run it four times a week, it gets old. Be sure to switch it up!
  2. Sign up for a “fun” race. Whether it’s a color run 5K or a costume run, doing something different will make running seem even more fun! I’m really looking forward to the Rock n Roll half marathon that I just signed up for…bands at every mile in an awesome city? Count me in!
  3. Run with a friend. I always thought I liked running alone until I tried running with a friend. When running with someone else, I’m not focused on pace or time; I’m just focused on having fun and enjoying time together.
  4. Remember a mile is a mile. If I end up running slower than I typically do or slow my pace down for a friend, I’ll get frustrated. But, just remember — a mile is a mile, no matter how fast or slow you might go.
  5. Try a different type of run. The Farlek, tempo, Yasso 800s, hill intervals –challenge yourself to try something new!
  6. Treat yourself. You know how I get through long runs sometimes? Oatmeal. Sometimes, I’ll focus my last ten miles on the idea that when I finish, I get to eat a big, hot steaming bowl of oatmeal and peanut butter that’ll taste amazing. No matter what your treat, motivate yourself to the finish!
  7. Do a trail run. I never did trail running before last summer, but I absolutely love it! You definitely won’t be as fast, but it’s challenging and always fun to try a new terrain.
  8. Join a running group (or start your own!). Running with others is a great time to connect while being active.
  9. Try a new distance. Have you done a 5K, 10K, 15K, 10-miler, half marathon, full marathon, and ultra? Even if it’s not a race, tackling a new distance is a great way to keep running fun. (Remember, you’ll always get a PR in a new distance!)
  10. Smile. Yes, I’m serious. It sounds silly, but sometimes when I’m in the middle of a long run or a run I don’t really want to do, I’ll smile. When you think about it, it’s such a gift that you have the ability to run — to be outside, moving, just enjoying the environment. This simple thing can change the whole course of your run!