Tuesday, March 29, 2011

I'm alive. I really am. Since we got back in town my husband has been sick and on Friday my brand new 8 yo tried to cut his thumb off. It's been a wild ride around here. I'll be back to regular blogging soon!

Thursday, March 24, 2011

A Walking Chemical

The other morning, before we left my inlaws house, I had the following for breakfast:

1 100% Whole Wheat English Muffin
1 slice of 2% American Cheese
1 serving of Egg Beaters, scrambled
1 serving Hormel Bacon

I washed it all down with a Diet Pepsi. I have no idea how many calories were in the meal, but some may look at that and think "Hmm, that's a fairly healthy breakfast". I beg to differ. And the stomach ache and head ache I had a few hours later confirmed to me that my original thoughts were true ~ it was one big chemical filled breakfast. Bleh....

The English Muffins were made with rancid oils & flours (nearly all breads are) and HFCS ~ no thank you

The Egg Beaters (generic version) were made with "natural flavors" and "other natural ingredients" ~ a euphemism for MSG ~ as well as "color". What the hell is "color" and why is it listed in an ingredient list?!?

The American Cheese is another name for "processed cheese" which uses chemical emulsifiers and artificial colors. Ick.

The Hormel Bacon ~ I've never seen anything like it. My MIL pulled a plastic sleeve out of the freezer with three slices of raw bacon in it. She popped the whole sleeve in the microwave and cooked my bacon right in the plastic sleeve. I almost threw up.

Oh, and my english muffin had some kind of canola oil spread on it as well. We don't do canola oil in this house. At all. It's a rancid vegetable oil and once it's solidified, well, I just dont' want to know what kind of chemicals are used for that....

I would have much prefered home baked bread spread with real butter and topped with a small piece of artisan cheese and a scrambled real egg. On the side a few pieces of bacon from organic pastured pigs. Mmmm....

I wasn't at home so I don't stress about what other's feed me. I can't. I'd drive myself nuts along with my hosts. I graciously accepted my breakfast and finished every bite. But I know that I feel better and I function better when I eat real food. From the earth. Yes, it has a few more calories, but because the food is real and from a farm rather than from a laboratory, it takes less of it to fill me up and keeps me fuller much longer.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

When I first set out to reclaim my health I knew that it would involve more than just getting into physical shape ntrue health includes the physical, the mental, the spiritual and the emotional.
Nutrition and exercise are the easy parts. They are no brainers. Tonight I took a huge step forward with the mental and emotional aspects of my journey. Tonight I went to a support group for survivors of traumatic brain injury.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I'm out if town this weekend (with no laptop). Two nights at my inlaws house and then two nights at the Great Wolf Lodge. Two whole days in a bathing suit and I can't wait! It's not about how I look, it's about spending quality time with my family.
Going to try to sqeeze in a four mile run tomorrow. I'll let you know how it goes.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

"Crack Soup"

A while back I posted about a soup recipe that I'd gotten from the Trainer Momma. I've made it several times now and while I got the recipe from her, like all things in life, I've placed my own spin on it. It. is. amazing. I seriously can't get enough and I've dubbed it "crack soup"

Chicken with Bean & Barely Soup
Adapted from this recipe

1 lg onion, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 (or more) large carrots, sliced

Olive oil

4 c water

12 c chicken broth

1/2 c medium pearl barley

1/3 c dried black beans

1/3 c dried great northern beans

1/3 c dried kidney beans

Cooked leftover chicken (as much or as little as you have)

1 Tblsp Chili Powder

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp oregano

3/4 tsp salt

Saute onions, celery & carrots in oil until soft. Add remaining ingredients and bring to a high simmer. Reduce to a low simmer and allow to simmer until beans are cooked. About 2 - 2 1/2 hours. Attempt to eat only one bowl.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Running, Running, Running.....

I snapped this pic the other day after a 3 mile run in the sunshine. Sunshine, gooooooood. Yesterday was my first "long" run that put me in unchartered territory. 4 miles. GULP. Guess what, I did it. Guess what else, I ran the whole four miles. Yup, didn't even walk once! Now, my slow boat pace probably would've counted as walking in some books, but I just kept shuffling along. I know my speed will increase as my mileage picks up and to be honest, I'm just not that worried about it. I RAN FOUR MILES!!!!!
So, about those goals I set a while back....600 miles in 2011. Recovering from a stubborn injury wasnt' really part of that plan, but a goal is a goal. I'm currently at 16.31 miles for the year. By the time I'm finished training for my half marathon I'll be just over 200 (at the very minimum). That gives me 7 months to run about 400 miles. In other words, almost 60 miles per month. 15 miles per week. I can do it. Especially if I add in a few other half marathons to my list. :D
Some friends of ours have registered for the Las Vegas Half Marathon. We're considering it. How AWESOME would that be? I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Vegan-ish. Who Knew?

About a year or so ago, shortly before I started this blog, I experimented a bit with vegetarianism. It was shortly after I'd read the book "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell. I lasted about a week. I started doing some more research and realized that his book had been debunked on numerous occasions and in my opinion, had a lot of valid points, but also contained a lot of junk science.

I simply can't get on board with vegatarianism or veganism. Why? Because I don't do food "rules". If you tell me something is off limits (meat, dairy, carbs, sugar, chocolate) then I begin to obsess over it and can think of nothing else. It's part of my personality. I also do not believe that healthy eating is as black & white as some of the veggie fanatics would lead you to believe.

It's because of this that I never would have used the term vegan, or any derivitive of it, to describe my way of eating. But then I read an article on Livestrong. And then I nearly fell out of my chair. It's almost as if this article was written about me, specifically. Vegan-ish? Who knew.

I do believe that meat & dairy can be part of a very healthy lifestyle, if the animals were raised as nature intended. I do not eat food lot meat. I buy only grassfed beef or pastured chickens from local farms. I buy my eggs at the farmer's market (or from local farms that supply my local market during the winter). I will only drink milk that has come from grass fed cows.

I try to base the majority of my meals around vegetables and my snacks seem to center around fruit. The kids and I rewrote our own food pyramid the other day and the bottom is covered in fresh fruits and vegetables. They are becoming the main staple in our house, and it all starts with our green smoothies.

I know quite a few vegetarians and I consider a handful of them among my closest friends. It works for them and they are NOT food nazis. We can coexist peacefully. And now I can tell them "I'm like you-ish."

I try to eat mostly whole foods. I don't like processed stuff and if I try to make as many things from scratch as I can. Having said that.....

This is the best bread ever. My friend Ann sent me an email the other day and asked if I'd test her recipe for her. Little did I know she was inviting me into carbohydrate heaven. My kids devoured this. This will become my new go to bread and I'll never had to buy a loaf of rubbery grocery store bread again.

Wheat bread even your kids will eat
makes one 8x4 loaf

1 cup warm water ( 105 to 115 degrees )
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey ( agave or maple syrup can also be used )
2 tsp active dry yeast
3 tbsp melted coconut oil
3 cups whole wheat white flour, less 3 tbsp ( you need to remove 3 tbsp to compensate for the gluten )
3 tbsp vital wheat gluten
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp citric acid ( fruit fresh )
1/8 tsp ginger

In a medium mixing bowl combine water, sugar and honey. Add 2 tsp yeast and allow to bloom for 10 to 12 minutes.

In a separate mixing bowl combine four, gluten ,salt, ginger and citric acid. Let sit at room temperature while yeast blooms. Never use cold ingredients when making bread.

When yeast mixture is ready: melt and mix in coconut oil and flour mixture. Stir to combine.

Knead the dough on large surface for 6 to 10 minutes. The trick to getting light bread is not to use too much extra flour when kneading. You can also use a light spray of oil in place of additional flour. You will know you are done kneading when the dough is elastic and springs back when you press your finger into it.

Let rise in a covered bowl until doubled in size, about 40 min.

Punched down dough and knead dough a few more times. Shape into a loaf and place into a greased 8x4 loaf pan. Cover and let rise again, until double in size.

Bake at 350 for 30 to 35 minutes. If bread begins to brown too much drape a piece of tin foil over it.

That's it. Easy Peasy. I love it. I had another slice this morning slathered in peanut butter and a bit of jam. Still as soft and heavenly as it was yesterday. Yum!! I may omit the ginger in future loaves. It gives the bread a nice bite, but I'm simply not a big fan of ginger. That's all.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Now I get it....

A few weeks ago I ran a mile without stopping. I haven't done if often in my life and I hadn't done it again since.

I read a lot of runner's blogs. One recurring thing I've noticed in all of the veterans blogs' is that they all say the same thing about the first mile ~ it's hard. Then their legs warm up and they find their grove and off they go to have a fabulous run.

I read it. Intellectually I understood it. I just never "got it". It seemed my legs never warmed up. Everytime I ran I was counting down until I could walk again. My legs burned and while I new it was good, and I even enjoyed it, it hurt.

Then yesterday happened. I walked up to the top of my street like I always do. I planned to run my 3.1 mile route along the water like I always do. I hit the timer on my watch and I started running. Like I always do. My legs started to burn and I was thinking of when I could walk, like I always DID. And then I said "f*ck it". I decided that I was going to run for the first mile. There was no reason I couldn't go at least that far. Afterall, I had just done it the other day, right?

I got to the fence post (which is a mile from my street) and I thought "hhmm, I'm not feeling so bad, I can run to the end of the fence." (just about 20 additional yards or so). Then I thought "well, I can run a little further, maybe to our old street." I got there and thought "Well, if I've come this far, I can go the additional quarter mile it takes to get to the park. Then I can walk a bit." I got to the park and a funny thing happened. My legs felt good. Whoa, what??? I was in a grove. So this is what they're all talking about?

So, at the park I thought what the hell....I'm going to run back to our old street and see how I feel. Guess what, I felt great! So I kept going. I got to the fence post...and kept going. In total I ran about 2 and a quarter miles without stopping. I finally puttered out a bit and needed to walk. I'd run about 31 minutes without a walk break. When I was doing the C25K program, the longest it had me run was 25 minutes and I wanted to beat that. I did.

I walked for 6 minutes and then started running again. Again, my legs felt great. I was in unfamiliar territory. I was high. I finally understood what all of those runners had been talking about and I didn't want to stop. I was enjoying my "fix" and I wasn't ready to give it up.

I got back to the street that leads into my neighborhood and I couldn't make myself turn towards home. I just kept running. I ran to the street that leads to the back end of our neighborhood. I was still feeling great and I knew I had that extra distance in me.

I turned onto the street and before me was a hill! My immediate thought was "Oh dear, what have I done?" But I remembered how great my legs felt and how amazing this feeling was so I dug deep and I ran up the hill. Let me say that again, I ran up the hill. Prior to yesterday, I simply didn't do hills. I was intimidated by them. But I OWNED that hill. It's now my bitch.

I ran around the block and before I knew it I was at my street. I wanted to keep going, but I know better and knew to finish while I still felt strong.

I came home wearing an enormous smile. I ended up running 3.5 miles in 51 minutes. My only walking was that 6 minute break in the middle. I didn't stop smiling all day!

I went to bed last night thinking "Now I get it...."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Long Runs

Boy, running outside makes all. the. difference. The sun was shining and I was running by the water. It was heavenly. I ran 3.1 miles today (it's quite handy that to the local park and back is exactly a 5K from my driveway).
I did walk some, but I ran way more than I walked and I finished strong. It was my "long run" for the week (sad, isn't it?) and from here on out, my long runs will be my longest run to date. My next long run is 4 miles and the furthest I've ever gone is 3.7 miles. It's getting exciting!
I had started to doubt whether or not this half marathon would really happen, but after today's run all doubt has been erased. Bring it ON!!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

I Ran

I ran yesterday and that's about the most positive thing I can say about it. I wasn't even planning on going to the gym at all. I didn't want to face the treadmill. Then hubster called and said "have you been to the gym today?" "No", I said. Then he said "you know you're going to have to run at some point if you want to be ready for this half marathon." Yeah, yeah, yeah....but it's true.

I'm intimidated by this goal I've set. I know I'll get through it, but right now coming off an injury it's just plain scary.

So, I packed up the boys and headed to the gym. I intended to run 3 miles, but my legs just felt like lead and I was bored. I hate the treadmill. I lasted 1.81 miles and I think I walked about 80% of it (at least). It wasn't a good run. It wasn't really even a run. But the miles are in and I feel better about that.

Tomorrow I'm hitting the road. Hubs is back in town and I can run outside. Yippeeeeee!!!