Sunday, February 23, 2014

Move Nourish Believe Challenge: Week Three Recap

Week Three: Believe

2/17: Spoil Yourself! - Do something just for you 

today! Take a walk, go to yoga, spoil yourself!

I loved that Monday was President's Day, and we didn't have to work.  I spoiled myself by sleeping in.  My hubby had to work (poor him), and the kids wanted to stay with Grandma.  I hardly knew what to do with myself the night before... but boy did I enjoy those extra hours of sleep! Aside from taking solo shopping days or getting long run hours all to myself, sleep is my favorite activity.

2/18: 5 Mindful Minutes - Do good to your body, 

meditate for 5 minutes and find your zen.

Without a doubt, I know I need more mindful minutes.  And I know that my mindful minutes should be spent reading my Bible or praying.  Yet, so many times I spend doing busy work around the house or zoning out on the computer or watching some mindless episode on Netflix.  Not good uses of my time.  This was a good reminder day for me.  I spent time reading in Psalms and then spent time studying up for my girl's group on Wednesday night.  

2/19: Be Happy - Show us your happy place!

My happy place is home with my kids.  I spent a long time looking through my phone for pictures of a favorite run or of all of us at the beach or on a trail or out visiting someone, and every time I ended up on a picture of the kids at the house, I immediately felt this little rush of joy and longing.  Hands down... I'm happiest at home with my kids.  Ironic that I am a working mom who travels and spends more time away from home than the normal human... but, maybe that's why I appreciate it more.  This was a good reflective lesson.  I know I won't be a stay at home mom, but I know that I am making every effort to make the most of the time I have at home with my kids.  And, I hope they remember those good times the same way that I do.

2/20: Thankful Thursday - Let us know what you 

are thankful for!

Seeing everyone's thankful posts and thinking about what I was the most thankful for inspired me to start a Thankful blog post... but life got in the way, and I haven't finished it yet.  Thursday night, my husband and I went through the kids' memory boxes looking for handprints.  He is getting a tattoo done with all the kids' handprints, and he needed some for the artist to reference.  I spent the whole day listing thankfuls off in my head, but as soon as I saw my boys' kindergarten handprints and photos from their first year at school, I had to post how thankful I was for those memories. 

2/21: Share the love - S/O to your #1 


This last few weeks, I have spent time every day doing some kind of workout, taking random pictures, making sure I had posts done each night.  Never once did my husband complain. Jason is no doubt my #1 supporter. He encourages me in my running goals.  He runs races with me. He helps make sure I follow my training plans. He participates in random health kicks and diets.  He spent all last week bragging about how his wife completed a Level One Gladiator workout (which made me feel pretty awesome).  

Overall, I really liked this week.  I'm the first to look at diet and exercise when trying to get healthier, even though I should know that my heart and mind need to be in the right place to truly be healthy.  I'm thankful that this challenge helped me to remember this.  I'm sad that the challenge is over, but I am excited to have completed each day and remained strong.  In the past I have started challenges and faded away towards the end or not completed at all.  It's a good feeling to have finished each day and given each day a good, solid effort.  I'm excited to keep moving forward and to keep finding new ways to challenge myself each day.  

Monday, February 17, 2014

Solo Monday Morning

Today is a day I was able to sleep in until 9:30!  That, folks, is a miracle.

And it only happened because the kids are with grandma and Jason had to leave for work at the horrific hour of 5 a.m.

This morning, I cleaned my bathroom counter (a rare occurrence).  I made delicious stove top coffee. I hung out with my ducks and chickens and goats for a bit.  I washed the mud and gunk off our running shoes from yesterday's trail run.  I started a few loaves of bread, made quinoa for quinoa cakes, did some laundry, put away some stuff, and found some new Facebook pages to like.  The SITS Girls have a great group, and I am happy to be a part of their network.

Now I'm getting ready to steal my kids back because I miss them.

Today I want to bake and go on an adventure and clean out the duck pen.  All exciting things.

We'll put up a picture later.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Move Nourish Believe Challenge: Week Two Recap

Week Two: Nourish 

2/10: Go Meatless - Skip meat today! Try vegetarian/vegan meals.

I was excited for Meatless Monday, because I always talk about it, and I rarely follow through.  

However... this particular Monday, I had pre-made an amazing smelling red coconut curry with lamb Sunday night for a quick Monday dinner.  This was my second lamb experiment, so I wanted to see if I liked it better in curry than I did as chops.  I can leave a lamb chop.  

But. I powered through.  I picked out the meat, ate the rest of the sauce and decided to have the full meal for leftovers during the week in my lunch.  The rest of the curry sauce was amazing though, and we mixed rice and couscous and sprinkled fresh cilantro on top.  Delish.

The beginning of my Meatless Monday was equally delicious.  

Breakfast - Homemade greek yogurt topped with honey and granola for breakfast.  I was in a bit of a rush, so I had to eat it out of the container driving down the highway.  

Lunch - Kalamata olive and feta salad topped with veggies and raspberry vinagrette.  I also snacked on cheddar kettle chips and raspberry ginger kombucha on the drive back from our work meetings.

2/11: TYLTW! - Take Your Lunch to Work today! Choose a recipe from to inspire your packed lunch!

Amazing Lorna Jane Salad  I made a salad with kale, cilantro, and spinach and packed a baked sweet potato on the side.  It was as close as I could get to the awesome salad recipe on the website.

2/12: Write it down! - Journal your food today and share your WIAW with us!

Oh dear... this was a bad day.  

Breakfast - I started out decent enough with an americano with honey and cream, homemade wheat toast and a banana.  Later on that morning, I had a glass of orange juice.

Lunch - A giant salad with spinach, kale, cilantro and french dressing.  I also had about 1/2 a cup of leftover venison, carrot and potato stew with a dumpling.  Later that afternoon, I had a crazy stress craving for a Squirt - they are not low calorie!

Dinner - We ate at Jason's grandma's house, and she had made chili dogs.  I went low-carb and opted for a bowl of chili with chips, onion and cheese.  

Snacks - This is where I lost my mind.  Wednesday nights I lead a group for high school girls.  It was our "reward" night, so we went to a local restaurant for ice cream.  I caved and had a small peppermint patty cyclone.  It was delicious.  So good that I ended up have two chocolate chip cookies when we got back to the church.  

My self-control slowly went out the window.  I ended the day 400 calories over.  But - this was a great exercise in accountability!

2/13: Smoothie Day! - Happy Thirsty Thursday! Make a healthy smoothie today!

I almost missed this day!  After Jason and I finished our Gladiator workout, I made a smoothie to test out my first ever batch of kefir.  I added homemade raspberry freezer jam and ice cubes. 

Delicious!  And great recovery for my super tired muscles!

2/14: Go Raw Friday! - Choose a recipe from and go raw!

For some reason, every time I check out Lorna Jane's recipes, I end up at the salads.  They all look SO good!  Of course... I never have everything in my cupboards and fridge for an exact replica... so I improvised.  Friday night we had homemade fish and chips.  Jason took some lingcod out of the freezer, and I made an experimental corn meal and corn chip breading.  We made homemade sweet potato fries too.  For extra sides, I heated up corn and made a coleslaw style salad with cabbage, kale, cilantro, and grated carrots.  The salad and the fish went awesome with a homemade yogurt and dill sauce.  

Overall - this was a great week.  I'm definitely going to keep up on documenting meals on MyFitnessPal.  I'm also super impressed with kefir smoothies!  Those will stay in the rotation for breakfasts and recovery!

Sunday, February 9, 2014

CoreCommit and Move Nourish Believe Challenge Recap: Week One

Two weeks ago I signed up for the CoreCommit Challenge with Erica from Sweet Life.  I am having a blast! Never, in my entire existence, have I been this consistent with core workouts.  And the crazy thing is, I am noticing great results!  

Last Sunday, I went for a "slow" five-mile run.  I've been awful with my mileage lately, I am not even close to successfully completing with Winter 100 Challenge... which I also signed up for!  Anyway, my calves were a bit tight, and I walked a little bit, but for the most part I felt great.  In fact, I got back to the house and felt like I could have ran another mile or two... I was so excited.  Then.... wait for it....  I checked my time... 50:something!  My "slow run" was 10 minute miles!  I about did a jig in the cul-de-sac.  My fastest 5k ever was 10 minute miles.  I can't chalk it up to mileage, so I am definitely chalking it up to these core workouts. 

That and self defense class kicking my butt twice a week... :)

So, because two other challenges and a class aren't enough, I also signed up for the Move Nourish Believe Challenge with Lorna Jane and Fit Approach.  We just finished Week One, and I am feeling great!  Here's the recap...

Week One: Move

2/3: Sweat-it-out! -Show us your favorite way to sweat! 

My favorite way to sweat is running.  Hands down.  You can't beat a run.  Even better, a run in the rain... then, no matter how much you sweat, no one can really tell what is sweat and what is water.  I know lots of folks don't get very excited about running in the rain, but I grew up in the Pacific Northwest.  I don't own an umbrella, and I have been known to dance in rainstorms... so, there you have it.  

2/4: Change it up! - Sweat a new way! 

This week we were supposed to pick a workout from Move Nourish Believe and post a post-sweat session selfie.  I was secretly hoping that there would be a Self-Defense class on the website as a choice... but I didn't find one.  I was being lazy anyway, but it all worked out.  We had to cancel class that night anyway because the instructors had to work overtime (my hubs is one of them, so I have an "in"). So I chose SQUATS!!! I never do squats.  Since I had to do 100 sit-ups for my other challenge, I just randomly decided to do 100 squats.  Holy ouch!  My butt was feeling it the next day.  

2/5: Let's get planking! - Plank for at least five minutes today! You can split the planks up.

I am SO. GLAD.  I cannot imagine doing a five minute plank.  One minute - not too bad.  Five?  Death.  At least, it would be this month. Next month, I might be busting out five minute planks every day. 

This day, I did three one-minute planks and four thirty-second planks.  If I did my math right... well, I know I did because I used the stop watch on my phone.  When I'm planking, I count way faster than an actual second, so when I think it has been a minute, it has only been half a minute.  Stopwatches are crucial.   

2/6: Buddy up! - Workout with a friend today!

Jason was my work out buddy.  He teaches the Self Defense class, and that night we had to practice the "push-push-punch" move with him in a torso protector.  I'm not trying to complain, but I think he picked on me a little and pushed back a lot harder.  Oh well!  I got a good workout!  

Then we got home and did core workouts together.  I finished the CoreCommit moves for the day, and he made it to Level One Gladiator.  He asked me to do a set of up-down-planks, and I did them, but I decided I had no interest in being a gladiator.  

2/7: Fave Friday! - Show us your five fitness favorites! Exercises, people, whatever gets you moving and motivated!

My top exercise is running... so everything I picked tied in with that...  My top motivator is my hubby. Jason is the one who makes me run when I'm supposed to and don't want to.  He runs with me and takes shifts on days we run at a different pace.  

Next, I picked runs with family. I love running with my kids.  It's amazing to me that my son is old enough to keep up, and he wants to run with me!  I'm soaking that up while it lasts.  ;)  I also added a picture of my sister-in-law and my daughter in our homemade running tutus for St. Patty's last year.  The kids have a blast going to races with us, and I would rather slow down and run with them on those days than work on a PR.  Plus, I loved that race because my brother was home from Afghanistan, and we all got to run together that day.

For the last three things, I picked "stuff".  You know... the running things you feel like you can't live without?  Even though, I knew absolutely nothing when I first started running and seemed to survive.

Anyway - injinji toe socks are the bomb.  I'm cheap, so I usually get them on sale on Amazon, but I am up to three pairs and wanting more.  I used to run in Vibram FiveFingers all the time, but now I wear them even with regular shoes.  Great blister protection.  

Pink gear of any kind rocks... I love being a Sweat Pink ambassador, so I use that as an excuse to get more pink running stuff.   The latest and best pink thing I own is the Level Flipbelt.  Everyone should have one!  

Vivobarefoot shoes.  I'm sold.  I have three pairs and will buy more for sure.  Although, I'm not faithful... I have many, many other brands.  When I first started running, I just bought shoes based on how they looked.  Now I buy for feel, only buy minimal, and I have multiple brands that I wear on rotation.  Isn't it crazy how things change?  

That's how my week went!

I'm looking forward to our second week!  


Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Hot Chocolate GIVEAWAY!!

Who wants chocolate?  Or, a more important question...

Who wants to run for chocolate?

I know I do.  March is coming up fast, and I'm registered... my hubby is registered... so is my 10-year-old!  The Hot Chocolate race is one of my all-time favorites... if I haven't said that enough, click here and here.

If I have said that enough and you know about the run, or you've read the website info or race reviews on Gametiime and you REALLY want to run for chocolate, then you should!  

And you don't even have to be a runner.  If you can walk, jog, or crawl a 15 minute mile, you're golden. Although I don't think they encourage crawling... in fact, I wouldn't recommend it either.

Not only am I excited because the race is almost here... I'm a little giddy because I can help make someone's dream of running a Hot Chocolate race come true!  RAM Racing has generously donated a race entry for me to give away!  I've never had a giveaway before, so I'm nervous.

Without further ado, here is the giveaway information. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Once the giveaway ends, I will announce the winner on Facebook and Twitter.  Please get a hold of me right away with your email address.  I will email you the code for the Seattle race, but the folks at RAM Racing are so awesome, that they will get the winner a code for a free entry to a city of their choice if Seattle is too far, too cold, too hilly....

You can't beat that!!

So, hurry!  Enter!  Tell your friends!  Start that C25K!  Or scale back and just run 3.1.  Either way, there's chocolate at the end.