What’s Next? Fitness Goals in 2015

Hi Friends! It’s Saturday! Can we talk about how amazing it felt to sleep in?!

Today is our church’s youth Christmas party, so this afternoon, I’ll be busy making a ridiculous amount of mac and cheese and hanging out with some teenagers who are way cooler than me.  
Moving on, today’s #elf4health challenge is to set (and announce) a new fitness goal…so I figured we would discuss goals again.

The New Year is one of my favorite holidays because of the feelings of expectation and being able to turn over a new leaf. Making a fresh start is always exciting…and sometimes terrifying. I have to say that I have been very blessed in my 27 years with many “new beginnings.” That being said, I very rarely make resolutions any more. Goals, yes. Resolutions, no.

As I mentioned yesterday, 2014 was not the year of fitness. And that’s okay. But, I’m ready for another go at it!

So knowing that I’ve had this challenge coming up and keeping in mind everything that I’ve learned over the last few months, it was tough to settle on a goal (not resolution) for 2015.
 
This is what I came up with:

1. Marathon # 2. It didn’t work out this year, but I am ready to commit to it in 2015. I’m not sure which race I’m doing, so I’ll keep you posted.

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After Marathon 1, 2013 Adirondack Marathon

2. Coaching Certification. This is something I’ve secretly thought about for some time… I’ve been searching for a way to better serve others. Running has opened up so many doors for me and brought me so much joy and I want to share that!

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So I will be working to become a certified running coach in 2015! I have the certification narrowed down to two programs… any advice on this is welcome! Stay tuned!

3. Life is too short for cheap chocolate. I try to live by the 80/20 principle… But lately it is more of a 70/30 ratio. So this is my new reminder.

There is a candy drawer in a co-worker’s office and for whatever reason, I have been making way into it a lot more often than I care to admit…and you know the ridiculous part? When I eat the chocolate in this drawer, it’s not all that satisfying!

Please do not misunderstand, I am NOT giving up chocolate, or even depriving myself, but I want to get back to being more intentional with everything I put in my body.

I know there are foods that make me feel terrible. And others that make me feel not so great. So why am I wasting my time eating something that doesn’t do it for me when I could be enjoying something else that satisfies me and doesn’t have a lot of weird junk in it?  Exactly.

Your turn: what are your fitness goals for 2015?


Confessions: On Running (Or Not Running)

Can we talk about how 2014 was not anything I imagined it would be? To say the year did not go as planned would be a giant understatement.

Yesterday, we talked about how Farmer Ben and I had a lot of change…and a lot of stress…and then even more change. Some of this was for the good, and some was not. My faith, among other things, was definitely tested this year, but as a result, it is stronger than ever.

A quick recap:
Ben left a secure job and went in as a partner to open a restaurant. And then, we left it. At the time, it was a really tough decision, but it turns out that it was for the best.

Today, let’s talk about fitness in 2014. Or…how there was a lack of it.
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On the Fitness Side of Things:

· I was excited to run marathon number 2. But, with restaurant responsibilities (on top of my regular job), I was working too much. As a result, I could not make time for training. I had to prioritize-running or relationships—and sleep.
· I was planning to hit some elusive health and fitness goals this year, including14 races and losing those last 10-15 pounds… Instead, I ended up working a ridiculous amount of hours, being overly stressed and only doing 9 races (which I am still pretty happy with)…and I gained 10 pounds (that literally hurt to type).
· I finally ran a half marathon-in a pink tutu (Thanks to my dear friend Kristy for running with me!).

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Plattsburgh Half with Kristy

· I wanted to run faster. This didn’t happen.
· I ran 2 more half marathons this year, both of which I did not train for (I don’t recommend this).

In all honestly, I can’t say that I really trained for any of my races this year, at least not with any sort of consistency. Yes, I was still running but without intention. As a result, I wound up with a pain in my foot that caused me to run even less (it’s mostly healed now).

Instead of hitting these fitness goals, I was barely able to get out and run a couple of days of week… or do anything else outside of work! On top of that, I was constantly feeling guilty for not “doing it all.” Social media did not help my guilt.

But, in the grand scheme of things, it wasn’t the end of the world. 

I guess my point is this: Even though it kind of feels like 2014 was a major bust, I was able to re-evaluate, find rest, and regroup. Like I said yesterday, Farmer Ben and I tried something and it didn’t work. But we learned from it.

The same thing goes for my running goals; I had to decide if my fitness goals were more important than my relationships. And in the end, they are not.

NOTE: I’m NOT saying that fitness is not important, because it is. However, when it stresses you out and consumes you, then it is a problem

This year, I could NOT find a balance between the two. In all honesty, work took over my life for much of the year. As a result, I had to let some things go. For a time, it was my running goals, and in the end, I let working (more than one job) go.

I really, truly love to run. That hasn’t changed. But this year, it stressed me out more than it helped me…there were days when I was close to tears because I had to choose between going out for a run or spending a few precious moments with my husband (I realize this seems dramatic, but totally true). My insane schedule—that I had created—would not allow for both. If (and when) I missed a run, I would panic…and then, I would over-do it on the next run.

So I stepped away from it…The biggest (and most difficult) choice I made was switching from the full to the half marathon at Wineglass. This sucked… Still, it was the best decision for my sanity well-being. When I took the pressure off, I was able to go out and enjoy the run and it went back to being a stress reliever, instead of a stress inducer.

Yes, I continued running but I wasn’t attempting and failing at training. Yes, I still ran that third half marathon–but I didn’t put any pressure on myself to race it. To my surprise, I actually had a respectable time (for me) and I enjoyed this race the most out of the nine I completed this year…probably because my family was waiting for me on the course and at the finish line. Balance.

In the end, by letting my running goals go (for a short time), I was able to rediscover my love of the run and find peace balance.

Now, it’s time for a new year and new goals!

Let’s chat, what surprises did 2014 hold for you? 


Confessions: A Hiatus Explained

Oh Hi!

I’ve been meaning to write this post for some time, but I haven’t been sure what to say.

You probably noticed that I briefly disappeared from this little corner of the internet (And by “briefly,” I mean a two month hiatus) and when I came back, I made no mention of said disappearance. It may seem strange because I blog about my life, but in “the real world,” I am actually a pretty private person.  

That being said, the reason for the hiatus is this; Ben and I had a lot to deal with and I wasn’t ready to discuss it, especially not in this space…but, because I am big on being open and honest (at least on the internet), I owe you an explanation.

Long story short, Farmer Ben and I left the restaurant. It was a great opportunity and learning experience, but it turns out, it was not the right place for us. We wish everyone there the very best.

While I still had my regular job, Farmer Ben started job-hunting.

Not gonna lie, parts of the last two months were extremely stressful, but it was also a time where God forced us to slow down, deal with some things and take care of ourselves. We were both completely burnt out, over-worked and not living to the fullest extent (or at all). So, God stepped in. During this time, we said “no” to a lot of things (including blogging). Some of them were really difficult to give up, but it was for the best.

It was a period of prayer, re-evaluating our priorities and soul-searching.

I must add, God took amazing care of us! It is crazy how many “God-things,” occurred. Perhaps the biggest area was in our finances. Yes, we had savings, but money was still tight. However, we always had just enough. We always got a little bit extra at just the right time–without any real explanation. He knows.

Anyway, Ben started working at a different restaurant a few weeks ago. It’s a complete change of pace for him but he is up to the new challenges. So far, he is liking it, especially the schedule!

As for me, for the first time in a long time, I am only working one job. I’ve thought about picking up another job to kill some of my free time (and okay, I do miss the extra money), but honestly, I don’t think that I am supposed to….at least not right now. In the meantime, I’m open to something new. What that is, I’m not sure yet.

So what else have we been up to during this hiatus?

·  We moved into a new place. It’s a cute little mini-house and we love it.
·  We bought some new and new-to-us furniture (my mother is the queen of finding a good deal).
·  We did the Adirondack Ragnar Relay (with minimal training).
·  We took a road trip and attended a good friend’s wedding.
·  We took another road trip and I ran my third half marathon (again, with minimal training).
·  We spent time with family and friends…including some new friends!
·  We read a lot of books (and I started a book club!).
·  We drank a lot of wine.
·  We drank a lot of coffee.
·  We rested.

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From the wedding we attended

In the end, we’re doing pretty well and are truly blessed.

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Shereadstruth.com

So, that’s where I’ve been. Let’s catch up, what have you been up to??? 


#Elf4health and #HolidaySweat weeks 2 & 3

Hi friends!

My apologies for being a bit behind on these updates… let’s catch up! Full disclosure: my participation has only been so-so.

#elf4health

I’ll come right out and say that Weeks 2 & 3 were kind of a bust. I’ve been pre-occupied with work and had an awful cold that has kicked my butt for the last two weeks… but here we go:  

Monday-12/1-Handwritten note: I still need to do this and try to make a point to do this on a somewhat regular basis.

Tuesday-Eat the rainbow: Yes, Done. I’ve been really good about eating my veggies lately.

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Wednesday-Go Makeup Free: this is most days, so it wasn’t really a challenge for me.

Thursday-Buddy Workout: Fail. Nothing more than walks lately.

Friday-Operation Beautiful Note: Nope. I did send some encouraging emails/texts though!

Saturday-= Pantry Purge: This is an on-going process in our house. Farmer Ben and I have a lot of food in our house, but we’ve been making a conscious effort to clean out our cabinets. Some things have been tossed, some given away and we’ve been baking/cooking up a storm to give ourselves some cabinet space.

Sunday-20 things gratitude list: Okay, I didn’t physically write out a list, but I did get to share so much that I am thankful for at my book club last weekend, so I’m counting this as complete.

Monday 12/8-Fastest Mile Challenge: To be totally honest, I haven’t done much running as of late, so this is on the to-do list.

Tuesday-Pay it Forward: I took care of something for a friend of mine. I can’t say what because I don’t want to be found out.

Wednesday-Pack a Healthy Snack: I typically bring some kind of healthy snack every day. I don’t remember what it was on this day…probably energybits or something with my homemade nut butter.

Thursday-Take Some You Time: I had an unexpected snow day (seriously, this NEVER happens at my place of employment) so I ended up having breakfast with Farmer Ben, going for a walk and grabbing lunch with two friends. Then I went home and spent the evening with Farmer Ben. Win all around.

Friday-Circuit Workout: Fail. I barely made it to work on time and then I spent the rest of the day prepping for my book club meeting. After a hot toddy, I fell into bed.

Saturday-3 food groups per meal: Yes, I did this. My book club meal was (hand-grated!) mac and cheese with whole wheat pasta, veal chorizo, mushrooms, onions and red peppers, a big salad and roasted pumpkin with a maple chipotle & fig balsamic vinaigrette. This was on repeat for dinner.

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Sunday-12/14-Clean Out Your Closet: As Farmer Ben and I only have one closet in our new place, this has already been done a few times over… I also did some frantic cleaning before my book club on Saturday.

#HolidaySweat:

As I mentioned above, running hasn’t happened much lately as I have been under the weather (and, okay, I admit, lazy). I’ve done some walking, which is something, but I know it’s NOT enough.  This week is my week to get back on track…I’m finally starting to feel better and can almost breathe normally again.  
However, I have hit my freggie (fruit and veggie) and water goals almost every day.

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Pumpkin Smoothies

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Let’s Chat: How’s your fitness/health this season? Doing any challenges?


Current Obsessions and Farmer Ben

Hi Friends!

Hope you’re having a great December! I wanted to stop in with some randomness today….

I have a lot of obsessions. Does that mean I have an addictive personality? Probably.

Here are some (mostly food related) things I’m too into right now.

1. Homemade Vanilla. I took a cue from Joy the Baker and starting making my own (the first batch was bourbon vanilla). A while back, we had picked up a bottle of fancy-schmancy bourbon vanilla at Homegoods or TJ Maxx…last night, I happened to glance at the price tag-$12 and the normal price was $17 for an 8 oz bottle! Gah! I just started a batch of Jameson Vanilla… the whole bottle of Jameson is somewhere around $25 and vanilla beans are around $1 a piece. Plus, if you get cute little bottles, these would make perfect presents for the foodie in your life (Note: there is a 6 week infusion period, so if you start a batch now, it would be perfect for Valentine’s Day!)

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Freshly bottled

2. Maple Syrup. Yes, I live in Upstate NY, so I’ve always appreciated (real) maple syrup…but lately, I have really taken the plunge. I’ve been using it as a replacement for regular sugars in recipes (like these carrot muffins) and adding it in my coffee smoothies or hot tea.

3.  Ninja Blender… Farmer Ben and I got a Ninja Blender as a Christmas/house-warming present (did I mention that we moved in November?) and I cannot tell you how much I love it. We’ve had it just over a week and I have used it almost every day. I’ve made two kinds of nut butter, pumpkin smoothies, carrot muffins… the possibilities are endless!

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Finished coconut peanut butter

4.  Healthy Skoop products. Remember when I did that review for their B-Strong protein powder? Well, I liked to so much that I decided to become a skoop retailer. Did you know that for every serving of Skoop sold, a serving of fruit and veggies is donated to a school lunch program? Pretty awesome, right? You can check out my shop here. AND, if you use the code cheers25 you can get 25% off your entire order from now until January 4.

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5.  Homemade deodorant…I sweat a lot… And a lot of natural deodorants don’t really work. But, I’m determined to find one that does. I used this recipe (is that the right word when applied to deodorant making?) I’ve only been using it for a couple of days, so I will keep you posted on the pit situation. To date, no crazy rashes or burning, and Farmer Ben doesn’t mind sitting next to me, so that’s a good sign!

Speaking of Farmer Ben, he turns 32 today! Happy birthday Darlin’, I love you!

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Ragnar ADK 2014

Your turn: What are you obsessed with (eating) lately?! 


Oatmeal (Bourbon) Scotch-Scotch-Scotchies

Oh hey… we’re doing another recipe post… That’s okay, right?

As I mentioned yesterday, Farmer Ben and I did some baking on Sunday!

I realize that I am going to lose almost all of my “healthy baking” street cred by admitting this… but one of the best cookies I make is the oatmeal scotchie… You know, with those artificial-everything-butterscotch chips? Yeah, those… I only make these cookies a few times a year, but when I do, they are a huge hit. I’ve tried to track down a better butterscotch chip, but have you seen the price on some of the alternatives?! Woof! No thank you. Any suggestions on a better brand that isn’t $100/lb?

Anyway, because I’m already using something unhealthy, I’ve made a few tweaks to the classic recipe.

1.       Whole wheat flour

2.       Less sugar/all brown-sugar.  2a. Coconut sugar-it’s got a lower glycemic index than regular sugar and trace minerals (just make sure no one has an allergy if you bring these to a party).

3.       Flax seed meal. It adds a layer of nutty-ness.

4.       Bourbon… not healthy, but doesn’t bourbon make everything better?

Again, these are pretty tasty. And, because the recipe yields around 4 dozen cookies (depending on size), they are great for a crowd (I usually keep a secret stash at home for Farmer Ben). No, these are not the prettiest cookies… but once people taste them, it’s tough to stay away.

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Farmer Ben struck again....

Oatmeal (Bourbon) Scotch-Scotch-Scotchies  

Adapted from the Nestle Butterscotch Chip Bag.

What You’ll Need:

·         1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

·         1/4 cup all-purpose flour

·         2 Tbsp. flax seed meal

·         A pinch of salt

·         ½ tsp. cinnamon

·         1 Tbsp. cocoa powder

·         1 tsp. baking soda

·         2 sticks butter, softened

·         1 scant cup coconut sugar

·         2 large eggs

·         1 tsp. Vanilla

·         ¼ cup bourbon

·         3 cups oats

·         1 package (11 oz) Butterscotch Chips

What to do:

·         Preheat oven to 375 degrees. *

·         Combine first 7 ingredients in a medium sized bowl and set aside.

·         In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar (I use a pastry blender, but can also be done with a mixer).

·         Stir in eggs, vanilla and bourbon (I switch to a rubber spatula at this point).

·         Slowly stir in your flour mixture.

·         Mix in oats and butterscotch chips.

·         For a super bourbon taste, cover mixing bowl and place in fridge for a few hours (*if doing this, wait to preheat your oven).

·         Spoon dough onto un-greased cookie sheets and bake for approximately 9 minutes, 11 minutes if you like a crisper cookie.

Enjoy!

What’s your favorite Christmas Cookie?


Carrot Pear Muffins

Hi Friends! Happy Monday!

I don’t know about you, but all of the sweets hanging around the office are really starting to catch up with me. That being said, Farmer Ben and I had a day off together yesterday and decided to do… a lot of baking.  Typical

After making some boozey cookies, I wanted to make something quasi-healthy. We had some yogurt and a pear in the fridge that we had forgotten about, so I perused the internet to find a recipe that I wouldn’t feel guilty while baking eating.

I ended up using this recipe… kind of (I am really bad at following directions). I am also super lazy and put all of the ingredients into one bowl. Yes, ONE bowl.  

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Note: These are NOT sweet muffins. They have some sweetness, but I would classify them as more of a breakfast on the run OR a snack, especially if you add a dollop of nut butter.

 If you’d like them sweet, I would up the amount of maple syrup to 1/2 or 3/4 of a cup.

The siggi’s website has a lot of really great recipes, if you’re looking for something different, check them out!

Carrot-Pear Muffins with Skyr

What you’ll need:

About 2 Cups grated carrots (I threw mine in the ninja)

1/3 cup maple syrup (the REAL stuff, please!)

1/3 cup olive oil

1 splash vanilla extract

2 eggs

½ cup plain yogurt (I love siggis plain skyr)

1 cup Whole Wheat Flour

1/3 cup All-Purpose Flour

2 Tbs Flax seed meal

2 Tbs Hemp Seeds

1 tsp. cinnamon

¾ tsp. ground ginger

1 pinch sea salt

1 pear, chopped (an apple would also work well)

What to do:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. Line a muffin tin with cupcake liners or grease really well.

In a large bowl, mix all of your wet ingredients (including carrots, excluding pear).  Fold in your dry ingredients until well combined.  

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One bowl mixing

Mix in chopped pear (Note: the batter is going to be pretty thick, don’t worry).

Pour into prepared muffin tin.

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Bake for about 20-25 minutes (or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a muffin comes out clean).
Let cool and enjoy!

What are you baking these days?

Disclaimer: I am a siggi’s Culture Club Ambassador, but all opinions, per usual, are my own.

Interested in being a siggi’s ambassador? Send me an email for some info.


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