Productive Sunday

April 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Well today has been so productive already and it’s only the early afternoon! I love that. James didn’t have to go into work until noon today so we took the opportunity to go to Trader Joes to get our weekly grocery shopping out of the way!

Then, once James was off to work, Toby and I ventured over to get my oil changed (which came with a free tire rotation!). While I waited the 30 minutes to get my oil changed, Toby and I went for a walk and I read more of my book, The Glass Castle. I like using little opportunities like a 30 minute wait to get some more movement into my day. Plus Toby appreciated the exercise. We’re not the only ones that need daily exercise!

Then I came home and made some Kalamata Garlic Hummus! So simple. Just a can of chick peas, a clove of garlic and 5-6 kalamata olives in oil.

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And I put my yummy mixture into a re-purposed container from some store bought hummus. Aren’t you proud Pretty Green Girl?

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Don’t be confused. It’s not Moroccan Hummus. Although that Moroccan hummus was delicious…

And next on my agenda was to make a little treat for my padre since his birthday is coming up! (Don’t worry..he doesn’t read the blog! Still isn’t a big fan of computers 😉 )

Poor padre is allergic to chocolate! So I decided to look toward the baking guru, Veggie Girl, to make him some of her infamous blondies!

What’s so great about these blondies, is they are basically a blank slate waiting for you to make them your own. To mine, I added some cinnamon and almonds.

And some chocolate chips in one corner for James since I knew I wouldn’t be able to send all of these to my dad.

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YUM!

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And putting it on wax paper to bake made it SO much easier to take out. James loved these. Hopefully my dad does too 🙂

 

Okay now a little cuteness factor:

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He was laying in bed when James was trying to make the bed so he was just made up in it. We thought this would make him want to get out. But nope. He was quite comfy.

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James and I have a “date” later to do a deep clean on the apartment. Actually cleaning sucks but afterward it feels SO nice to be in a clean apartment! So that’s something to look forward to 🙂

My goal this week is to make some kale smoothies!! My energy level has been lagging and I’m hoping that those will give me an extra punch that other bloggers have experienced.

What’s your goal this week?

Peaceful Day at the Lake…Kind Of…

April 12, 2009 at 11:16 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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Ahh…what a tranquil, peaceful setting…. 

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings: Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine into flowers, the winds will blow their freshness into you, and the storms, their energy and cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” – John Muir

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“I thank you God for this most amazing day, for the leaping greenly spirits of trees, and for the blue dream of sky and for everything which is natural, which is infinite, which is yes.”  ~e.e. cummings

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I was looking a day filled with this ^  and this:

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But then….we looked away for just a second..

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and the plotting beast took off!!!

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Lurking near the banks…

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And coming back with his kill:

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Guess who’s about to get a bath?

The swamp monster himself! Gotta go!

Oh, How I’ve Missed You…

March 19, 2009 at 2:15 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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I reunited with an old friend today…

 

Running!! 

It had been 17 days and oh I missed it so!!! I went on a short 3 mile run to test out my knee. I stayed in the grass the whole time. My knee was sore during it but I was able to keep running without a tremendous amount of discomfort which is a HUGE improvement!

I have an appointment with the ortho in the morning. Luckily, James is able to come with me which definitely puts my nerves at ease. I really hope it goes well!!!

I don’t have much interesting to show for in the way of dinner since I had leftover stuffed cabbage rolls. Usually I don’t get to eat a lot of leftovers since James has a 24 hour rule (more like 12 hours really…) that says if leftovers are in the fridge for more then 24 hours, he can eat them all.  Needless to say, I was shocked there were a couple cabbage rolls left!! And boy were they good!

I have, however, had a change up in my breakfast! I love having oats in the morning (like many) but my oats have had a little extra company lately…

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Yogurt! I’ve been using TJ’s Plain Nonfat European Yogurt. It’s such a great addition!! The yogurt really thickens up the oats as it cools. I usually stir in about 2 spoonfuls of yogurt into 1/3 cup of oats after the oats have cooked. It does cool down the oats but that doesn’t bother me. I stir in some cinnamon, some dried cranberries and top it with TJ’s high fiber cereal and organic unsweetened coconut.

It kind of reminds me of rice pudding! What a way to start the day!

And my favorite way to end it:

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What is your favorite new addition to oats??

Warning: Domestication in Progress

March 9, 2009 at 10:39 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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Well yesterday was a very domestic day! It included cleaning the apartment, sewing up James’ fave pair of pants and baking some whole wheat bread!

I used a recipe I found through  Itzy’s Kitchen.

This was my first time making a bread with yeast so I was a little nervous! I wasn’t sure how much I should be kneading or how it should look after it had risen enough but it still turned out okay!

Before going into the oven:

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After 30 minutes at 350:

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So good! I’m glad it was half white flour and half wheat because it made it come out kind of fluffy and not so dense. I bet the fact that it was a yeast bread had something to do with that as well

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James (aka the self proclaimed bread addict)  said he would give this bread a 10!! Woo! He even wrapped it up in a paper bag and ate other bread because he wanted to savor this one instead of eating it in one sitting! The highest of all James food compliments.

Then I was relieved of my domestic duties and James cooked me a delicious dinner! He used  this recipe  which he found with the thought of the many tomatoes and avocadoes still in our fridge in mind.

I was in charge of getting it started before he got home from work. This is mostly where the recipe was tweaked because, well, I pretty much always change recipes. I can’t help it! It’s like a tick.

So for the puree, instead of making two separate purees (lentil and split pea) I just mixed everything together in one pot. I also didn’t sauté bacon in it or sauté the veggies. I just chucked it all in a pot, let it boil then simmered it till the beans were soft. Then into the food processor it went!

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It seemed pretty similar to pea soup to me. And I love pea soup so that works out well  🙂

Then I let the master do his work!!

Frozen Mahi Mahi we got from Trader Joe’s:

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The whole meal assembled:

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It’s not very colorful, especially since the avocadoes were on their last leg but it was delicious none the less! We used turkey bacon instead of regular bacon and wowee did it go well with the fish! The smoky flavor of the bacon tasted so good with the mild flavor of the mahi mahi. I liked the mahi mahi more then the tilapia we made a while back. I liked that it was meatier and had a definite flavor. The thicker filet cooks nicer too, in my opinion. James was able to brown up the sides nicely while leaving the inside nice and juicy.

Then today I tortured my dog. Okay not really. One of James’ undershirts was on the floor so I put it on Toby. He didn’t resist! I was pretty much rolling on the floor laughing.

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I don’t think he noticed he was wearing a shirt. He just wanted to play!

Another beautiful day of weather today! Stay here spring!

Now I’m off to go for a swim! I think that will be better on my leg then the elliptical. I hope I can still get a good work out. Wish me luck!

What’s your favorite form of cross training?

 

Edited to add: Check out the giveaway over at Itzy’s Kitchen!!

Bake it Up!

February 27, 2009 at 1:13 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments
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Sometimes I like to make a big batch of something that James can take with him to work for lunch or just eat whenever he’s hungry.

The other night I decided to make him some baked pasta. I thought it would be something he could eat throughout the week.

That was my fault.

I failed to remember that James can eat. A lot.

It was gone in about a day.

At least I know he likes it! And it was ridiculously easy to make.

I used some wheat pasta I got from TJ’s and boiled it until tender. Then I spread it out in a baking dish with some defrosted frozen broccoli and peas as well as some fresh mushrooms chopped up. Then I poured some marinara sauce over it all and mixed it up.

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I sprinkled some part skim pizza blend shredded cheese on top (maybe 3/4 of a c.) and popped it into a 350* oven for 25 minutes.

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and voila! You have a happy guy clamoring to eat up some pasta.

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I’m sure I will be making this many, many more times. (Like our new bowls?? James’ mom gave of an old set of Blue Willow China she no longer uses! I love it!)

When I came home from work today, I did about 30 minutes of Yoga. It felt so wonderful! I really need to start doing Yoga more often. I’d love to do it 3-4 times a week.

Does anyone else with dogs have problems exercising/yoga-ing with them around?? Whenever i get down on the floor to do a move, Toby promptly takes that as a sign that’ it’s time to play.

Here’s me pushing him away with my feet while he tries to bring duckie over:

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This mostly happens at the beginning when I’m in child’s pose  and he comes over and starts head butting me! haha

It’s supposed to rain ALL WEEKEND! On Saturday it says “heavy rain” !! And I can tell you right now there’s no way I’m doing a long run on the treadmill… Let’s hope it all works out.

I got a comment from In My Tummy the other day about which training plan I was doing for my half. Well I kind of fell off the training plan wagon. I got sick one weekend and didn’t run then I just kept revising. Basically, I’m doing one day a week of speedwork, one day of crosstraining, one rest day, 3 days of 3.8-4.2 mile runs and 1 long run.

So a typical week looks like this:

Su M T W Tr Fr Sa
XT Rest 3.8 mi 3.8 mi 4.2 mi speedwork 10 mi

 

XT is usually some time on the elliptical.

For my long runs, my weeks ended up going like this:

Week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
8 miles sick ~ 9.5 miles 10 miles 8 miles 11 miles 12 miles 6 miles RACE!

 

So that’s my plan! Wow this was a longer post then I thought it would be!!

What’s your favorite ice cream topping?? Mine is chocolate chips and strawberries! yummmm…..

Run, Refuel, Relax

February 14, 2009 at 8:56 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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This morning was a nice long 10 mile run. I was a little worried about it since I was sick last week and didn’t get to run but it went pretty well. I ran down to a nature preserve near here (Hemlock Bluff), ran a few miles on the trails, then ran home. Mentally, it was great to have a destination and know that once I was done, I just had to run home (even if that was 4 miles away!). I like doing stuff like that on runs so it seems shorter.

I also listened to some This American Life podcasts which I LOVE! Seriously, if you’ve never heard these, go to their website and listen to some. They’re stories about people in America. The one I listened to today was from before the inauguration and they interviewed a bunch of different people. Some kids that wrote letters to the prez, people in the military etc. The letters from the little kids made me tear up!

When I got home I promptly showered and refueled!

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  • 1/2 c. oatmeal
  • 2 scoops pumpkin
  • some frozen strawberries
  • dried cranberries
  • unsweetened organic coconut
  • TJ’s fiber cereal

So good. A little later I had an apple with PB. I forgot how much I love that combo!

As I mentioned before, James works all day long so Toby is my current Valentine IMG_0795

Love him.

Does anyone know how long is a safe distance to run with a dog? I didn’t take Toby this morning because 10 miles just seems like too much for his little body! The most he’s run with me is probably 6 or 7.

I’m in the process of making a few treats which I will post later 😉

Happy Valentine’s Day!!!

 

Spaghetti or Not and The Challenge!

February 7, 2009 at 11:52 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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This week in NC has been cold…really really cold. Which is why I was SO excited to see that this weekend was going to be in the 70’s!! I was pumped for a leisurely run in the sun today and going to an awesome new spot for my 9 miler tomorrow.

But alas, my immune system had different plans.

I had been pretty run down at work on Thursday and Friday and had a headache all day which is unusual for me – I rarely get headaches. Then last night I got that “I’m getting a cold feeling” and proceeded to spend the entire night awake in my bed with a painful sore throat. Yup. Definitely sick.

But that didn’t stop me from going to the Krispy Kreme Challenge to cheer my boys on!!

 

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The Challenge:

  1. Run 2 miles to the Krispy Kreme Store
  2. Eat 1 dozen Krispy Kreme donuts
  3. Run 2 miles

James & Toby Run

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Insert here: Me yelling my head off and telling him he’s almost to the finish!

Isn’t it awesome Toby got to run the race with him? I was v. proud.

He did not feel well after this race. I’ll spare you those pictures.

When I got home I knew I needed some veggies and all of their immune boosting goodness so I made the Spaghetti squash I had bought last week.

I heated it in a 425* oven for 40 minutes.

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Then the fun part! Take a fork and drag it through the meat of the squash.

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I topped it with some salt, garlic pepper, marinara sauce and broccoli. It was delish.

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I also made myself some Green Tea for all of it’s immunity boosting powers!

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I found this on CNN.com:

Green tea is a rich source of a type of antioxidant called a catechin, and preliminary research has found that a specific catechin — epigallocatechin gallate (egcg) — may give the beverage antigen-fighting abilities. When researchers at the University of Sherbrooke in Canada added green tea to lab samples of the adenovirus (one of many viruses that causes colds), they discovered that egcg inhibited the virus’ ability to replicate. Similarly, researchers in South Korea found that egcg can also stop the influenza virus from replicating. While these studies were conducted in petri dishes instead of human subjects, some researchers believe you can reasonably bank on green tea’s benefits — particularly when it’s consumed in place of colas or other sugary beverages with little nutritional benefit. "Green tea catechins can improve lymphocyte responses and seem to have anti-inflammatory effects," Stephensen says.

Yup. I’m making myself another cup right now 😉

I also read that raw garlic is great for you. I’m going to try to add some of that to dinner tonight!

What do you do when you get a cold??

I’m a big fan of Zicam and Emergen-C. I’m praying I magically feel better tomorrow and can do my long run!! Gah!

Black Bean Burgers and Microwave Chips

January 28, 2009 at 1:08 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 10 Comments
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Boy was tonight’s dinner good!!

We’ve made these Homemade Black Bean Burgers a few times and they always turn out great. Instead of using bread crumbs we used Panko bread crumbs. I’ve also used rolled oats instead of the bread crumbs and that turned out good too. James also wanted me to note that he added a little bit of Worcestershire sauce to the mix. We baked them in the oven since, in the past,  when we’ve tried to make them on the stove they would stick and it was just a hassle. 

They took a little longer to bake since James made 2 instead of 4 like the recipe says (I had half of one and am putting the other half in a wrap for lunch tomorrow! Leftovers are such a good thing)

James also sauteed some onions and mushrooms to put on top

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On the side we had the COOLEST THING!

Chips that we made in the microwave!!!

We got the recipe from the February EatingWell magazine (recipe found here).

James used Red potatoes to make them.

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Sliced up in a bowl with Olive Oil and salt.

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Spread out on a microwave safe plate.

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Out of the microwave (they took longer in the microwave than the original recipe called for and apparently they crisp up as they cool)

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On my plate. I would like a repeat performance please.

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All together! This was so. so. delicious. I ate the burger opened face with ketchup and mustard on top.

We WILL be making this again. Next time I want to put vinegar on the potatoes before microwaving so we can have salt + vinegar chips (my fave!)

Work was good today. When I got home I did some yoga. I downloaded a few of the YogaDownload free podcasts over the weekend. Tonight I did David Farmar’s 20 minutes Sun Salutations. I really want to keep doing this! After sitting for so much of the day, it just feels great to move around a little. Afterward I felt calm and happy. I even danced around a little.

Poor Toby was sick all last night so we didn’t get much sleep. Thankfully he seems to be feeling better (he’s snuggled up on his bed as I type). Tonight will definitely be an early night. 

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Back to our disk of West Wing we got from Netflix today!!

Half Marathon Training

January 25, 2009 at 1:58 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments
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This week I start training for my next half marathon! I am running the ING Atlanta Half Marathon on March 29th. I am really excited about it because some my friends from high school are running it!! It’s a dream come true! I honestly can’t wait.

 

Half Marathon #1 : St Jude, Memphis, TN.

My first half was an awesome experience and my roommate from college gave me a training schedule for it. Basically all I did was run 4 miles everyday, and then a long run on the weekend. Sometimes we would do sprints barefoot on the soccer field (best feeling ever), but that was only when we had the urge and not when a training schedule told us to.

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It was an awesome marathon. Not only was it my first, but it was for SUCH a good cause. The streets were lined with people with motivational/inspiring signs, thanking us for our contribution to St. Jude.  We also ran through cool parts of Memphis like Beale Street, by Sun Studios and  by my college so a lot of friends and professors were out! It was the best first experience I could ask for.

Half Marathon #2: City of Oaks Half Marathon

My next half, the one I ran this past November, I really didn’t have a set out training schedule. I loosely made one up for myself and ended up doing too many long runs, in my opinion, and kind of burning out.

Plus we ended up having to move into our third floor apartment the day before my half (we were supposed to move in 10 days before) so my legs were incredibly tired from walking up and down 3 flights of stairs a million times the day before carrying solid wood furniture etc

 Raleigh Half

It was a really hard and painful run.  The hilly course did not help. The only thing that made it better was that my parents and James were waiting at the finish line. James even met me at the halfway point, which is where this picture was taken!! I was pretty impressed he found it since we were in a brand new city.

When James comes to my races, he always stands a few yards before the finish line and cheers me on and starts running toward the finish with Toby. It always motivates me to sprint that last bit! But in this race, I had nothing left in my legs to sprint. Ah well. There’s always the next one!

Half Marathon #3

Stage 1: The Plan

Speaking of the next one: This time I am basing my training on the Ultimate Half Marathon plan from Runner’s World. It’s a nine week plan. The number of long runs don’t intimidate me and it incorporates speedwork into my training which I rarely do but I know it will help, especially after all the great testimonies about it from Caitlin. Hopefully it is just what I need. I’ll keep you updated on how it goes!

I am trying to plan my long run routes so I can come back and get this guy for the last 4-6 miles:

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This is two toy Toby. He gets very jealous when I run by myself.

I’m currently watching an Audrey Hepburn movie Love in the Afternoon.

Does anyone else love old movies?? I really do. I’m not an expert on them or anything but they’re just so romantic and dreamy!

That’s a terrible description.

Have a good Saturday night!

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