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?


#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?


#Elf4Health and #holidaysweat-Week 1 Recap

Hi friends! Hope you’re having a great week!  Here’s a  look at two challenges I’m participating in at the moment (Click respective links for more info!) So far I am doing pretty well…and am loving the extra motivation!

I took some time off from running after my October Half as I had a pain in my foot that just wouldn’t quit, along with some other reasons, so these challenges came at the perfect time to help me ease back into a routine!

Lets start with #elf4health:

Day 1: Meatless Monday-I started out my day with a smoothie, then had a big-ass salad for lunch and topped off the evening with sushi, margaritas and friends! YUM!

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Day 2: Unsubscribe challenge… fail. I DO need to do this.

Day 3: A New Workout: I went for a walk… I realize this isn’t a “new workout,” but it’s different for me.

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Day 4: Recommend a good book/blog/podcast: I recommended three: The Best Yes, Sacred Marriage and The Lipstick Gospel.

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Day 5: Veggie Smoothie-I didn’t do this. But I recommend Kale or Spinach.

Day 6: Treat Yourself-I headed to the library and picked up some reading material. Easy on the wallet and great for the mind!

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Day 7: Meal Prep-Farmer Ben had to work on Thanksgiving so we ended up celebrating on Friday with his fam…. Needless to say, my fridge is still full… so I half did this?

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Holiday Sweat:

Water Goal: hit daily
Freggie Goal(5-9 servings over fruits and veggies daily): 5 days out of 7… Cant win ’em all!

Monday-2 mile walk at lunch, 1 mile walk with hubby after work and 2 mile run.

Tuesday: Fail

Wednesday: 2 mile walk

Thursday-5 mile run because I slept in instead of turkey trotting.

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Friday-Rest day/Turkey day

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Turkey smoking in progress

Saturday-2 mile run at night (I’m such a chicken!)… It was freezing!

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Sunday-kind of a rest day. Hubby and I did some mall walking when we had an hour or so to kill… I didn’t count this in my points.

That’s all… What are you doing to stay active this month?


Six Things, A List for #elf4health

Today’s #elf4health challenge is to list six things I love about myself.

I always have a hard time complimenting myself, even though I’m a relatively confident person and have been for most of my life. I don’t what it is, but whenever someone compliments me on something—whether it be an ability or physical attribute–I’ve always brushed it off, while simultaneously putting myself down. How silly is that?

Recently I’ve made a conscious effort to simply say, “thank you.” And that’s it.

Needless to say, this list (even though there was a similar challenge last year), has taken a bit of thought, but, here we go!

Six Things I Genuinely Love About Myself:

The crazy lady wearing red lipstick.

The crazy lady wearing red lipstick.

  1. The ability to rock red lipstick. I’m not one of those women who wears a lot of makeup…in fact, most days I barely brush my hair. It’s not that I don’t like taking care of myself, it’s just that I don’t focus on my looks very often. But, when I do take the time to get dressed up and put some makeup on, I love to make a statement. Red is one of my favorite colors and I love wearing red lipstick because it makes me feel confident, bold and classy at the same time.
  2. My legs. They’ve carried me through a marathon. They keep going when my brain is ready to give up. My legs aren’t perfect, but they’re strong and they’re perfect for me.
  3. My (obnoxious) laugh. One of my best friends always teases me about my laugh. Mostly because when we get together, we spend about 95% of the time laughing out loud—cackling! Cackling that probably causes dogs around the neighborhood to go into a barking frenzy…but I wouldn’t trade it. It not only announces my presence, but it also shows that I’m happy and that I have a sense of humor (and don’t take myself too seriously).
  4. My voice. I don’t share this with many people, but when I was a little kid, I had to take speech classes. I could understand what people were saying to me perfectly, but I was unable to articulate my thoughts. I knew what I wanted to say, but I’d trip over my words and just couldn’t get it out. I only went to speech therapy for a few short years (up until and for part of Kindergarten), but I’ll never forget that time. Because of my early struggles with communication, I’ve learned to use my words well. It’s one of the reasons that I love writing–and started blogging. It’s also one of the reasons that I don’t really get nervous in front of large groups-I’m just happy that people can understand me! I guess you could say that once I learned how to speak well, I never stopped!
  5. My Singing Voices one thing that I am sure I do well is sing. I work hard to learn new songs, harmonies and techniques. Some of my fondest memories are associated with choir/a cappella practices or just singing with my sister.  I’m part of the praise and worship team at my church (if you’d asked me 4 or 5 years ago if I would be doing this, I probably would have burst out laughing)… it overwhelms me when people come up and tell me that something I sang really spoke to them or touched them. I’m not a perfect Christian, but one of my favorite ways to connect with Him is through song…and having that come across to others is a wonderful thing.
  6. My Faith. I’ve always believed in God. However, having that personal relationship with Him is still relatively new… but it’s gotten me through a lot…and it’s changed me for the better.

So there you have it…there’s my list…. What are some of your favorite things about yourself?


Oh Hey, It’s 2013-Or “A List for the New Year”

A new year… A clean slate, if you will.

In the spirit of starting anew, I figured it was time to come up with a few things to do for 2013.

I don’t necessarily like the term “New Year’s Resolutions,” so I’m calling it “Noelle’s List of Things to do before December 31, 2013.”  That has a much better ring to it… yeah.

Anyway, this is the first moment I’ve really had to sit and think, as my NYE was spent working 18 hours and helping others have a good time.

I could have done it yesterday, but let’s be real. After getting home just before 3 am and being busy all day, I wanted to do nothing more than hang out in my giant sweats and be a bum….and I did just that.

Some of the things on this list are not very impressive…but others are kind of a big deal…at least for me. They are in no particular order…some are meant to be repeated and others are one-time items.

So, it’s the second of January. Better late than never!

Noelle’s List of Things to do before December 31, 2013:

1. Create a logo for the blog and go self-hosted.

As I’ve gotten more passionate about blogging, I’ve decided that I want this to go somewhere. Maybe not as a full-time thing, but as a creative outlet and something more.  

It’s so touching to hear/see people tell me that this blog is helping them and inspiring them to do more and it just makes me want to make it better. Period.

That means it’s time to get serious. I’ll probably be asking some of you wonderful people for feedback and maybe even some design ideas! I’ve got a lot to learn!

2. Excel in my new position.

I’ve been holding out on you, mostly because I wanted to wait until it was official… but I’m getting a promotion. I officially start next week and I know it sounds corny, but I want to do the best job possible. I’m super excited and a little nervous to start a new chapter and to learn a ton of new information and skills. But I’m all over it.

3. Make 2013 a “Yes!” year.

I always lament that I don’t make enough time to do more fun things. Not this year. I’m going to say “yes” and make time for new adventures. Whether it be taking a vacation, doing something silly or learning a new skill/hobby, count me in.

Just hanging out with Larry, Curly and Moe. No big deal.

Just hanging out with Larry, Curly and Moe. No big deal.

4. Run a half marathon.

No big deal. If I can do 10 miles, I can do 13.1 miles.

5. Take more time to read.

I haven’t been reading as much as I used to and I miss it.

6. Run 26.2 miles.

Maybe a big deal… but I’m turning 26 this year, and what better way to celebrate than running a marathon before it happens?!

I figure that if I put all of these fitness goals into writing, I’ll be more likely to succeed.  This means that the GBN posts will be making a comeback. I’m sorry and you’re welcome.

Also, the half marathon fits into the marathon training schedule… coincidence? I think not.

7. Be more present.

This kind of goes along with the third item on the list. I want to be around and available to my loved ones. I want to share in the joy, love and wonder of every day. I don’t want to work my life away. I want to live it!

I’ve realized in the last 24 hours while my phone has been completely dead–and I still totally enjoyed myself… I spend far too much time online or messing with my phone,  instead of in the real world. I’m going to work on that.

Love spending time with FB!

Love spending time with FB!

8. Pay off at least one big bill–Get better about saving money.

I have student loans, a car payment, a credit card payment and the regular monthly bills… I’m not terrible with money but I never seem to be able to save it–at least not for very long. While I have enough to cover my expenses (most of the time), I don’t usually have (much) extra. I want to change that this year.

9. Do 100 Burpees in a row.

I think that would be bad-ass. Right now I can do about 20-25 on a good day.

10. Do more food-ing.

Whether it be researching, growing, baking, cooking or enjoying. I want to know more about my food.

 Let’s do this.

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Here’s to a new start!

I’m sure this list will grow and change as the year grows on so I’ll be creating a separate tab to keep track. And so you can hold me accountable!

Now it’s your turn! Do you have any goals or items to check off your list this year? Tell me about them! Any advice for me? I want to hear from you!


Notes to Self for Friday…

Happy Friday!

It’s going to be a busy weekend… Here is a look at what’s going on in my brain:

1. This is one of the most unproductive work weeks I’ve had in a long time…which doesn’t make sense because it’s also been one of the quietest.

2. My body is so confused from all of the crazy things I’ve eaten lately. Weird things are happening. Oy Vey!

3. There is so much snow!!! Finally…

4. The snow isn’t so bad, but all the wind is killing me!

5. I’m craving more of this granola. Quinoa…cocoa nibs.. pistachios. So good. Make it!

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6. In case you’re behind on the blog, here is what you’ve missed:

7. I’m still working on the last Daniel Fast post… it’s coming soon!

8. I also still owe you a post on the Food Experiments Championship and the rest of Farmer Ben’s birthday! Stay tuned.

9. I can’t believe 2012 is coming to an end. What a year.

10. I also can’t believe that Dick Clark won’t be around to ring in 2013. How sad.

11. I can’t participate in today’s #elf4health challenge because I don’t own a microwave. Bummer.

12. On second thought… I’m okay with that.

13. I have a really bad habit of putting my foot in my mouth. Not good.

14. I impulsively bought Taylor Swift’s Red cd at Starbucks yesterday. I’ve been jamming out in the car ever since. Latest guilty pleasure? Yes. Am I ashamed? Not at all.

14a. Where was this in 2009 when I so desperately needed it?!

15. One of my Christmas presents was a giant bag of pistachios. Probably my favorite gift. #nuts4nuts. See number 5… I hope you’re getting the point!

16. I know that I caved and joined Twitter (@noellesnotebook)…but I still don’t get the hashtag thing. How do I know if I’m doing it right?! This is the stuff that keeps me awake at night.

17. I have so much to do in the next few weeks. I can’t even deal.

18. I’ve been really bad about logging on myfitnesspal lately. I’d appreciate some help-add me! nre820

19. Looking outside is really discouraging the running part of my brain.

20. My body is really mad at me for being a bum about running lately. Vicious Cycle.

21. 1 Corinthians 13 has been all over my brain lately. There needs to be more love in this world. Seriously. I’ve been keeping these words close to my heart and whispering them to myself when things have been tough.

22. After spending a couple of days in Boston for Christmas, I’ve come to realize that my two teenage cousins are way cooler than me. 

23. They also make me feel old.

24. Farmer Ben and I had a wonderful heart to heart on Wednesday night. One of the many reasons why I love this man.

25. Shout out to my friend NM. Your email made me smile and I am so glad things are looking up. Keeping you in my thoughts and prayers. 2013 is going to be your year. Red lipstick and all.

Happy Weekend!


20 Things

I’ll keep this to the point. My #elf4health task for today is to make a list of things I’m grateful for…twenty to be exact. So here goes nothin’!

1. My parents. They are so different, but they have taught me so many things in their own way. I wouldn’t be who I am today without them. One is quiet and soft-spoken, the other is loud and forceful… I’m a mix of both.

2. My job. I know this is cliché, but there are so many people who don’t have work right now. I am so blessed to have a job and to be able to make a living.

3. My health. Another cliché, but there are so many out there who are not well. I’ve been blessed with a healthy body, mind and soul.

4. My faith. God has a wonderful sense of humor, something he reveals to me all the time. I’m still learning to follow His plan, and I am enjoying the peace and joy that happens when I do!

5. My brother and sisters. They may drive me crazy at times, but we get each other so well. I love that we understand what one of us is saying just by hearing a word or two. I love that we all look alike but don’t at the same time and I love that we’ve been through so much together and have each other’s back.

One of our famous holiday dinners... circa 1990-91

One of our famous holiday dinners… circa 1990-91, brother, sisters and cousins.

6. The past. And more of the past. Everything happens for a reason. People come into your life for a season and then…they leave. It doesn’t make sense at the time, but when you are living in that moment, it was exactly what you needed. Things change, people change. I’m so glad life happened and I am so glad it’s done. I learned so much about life, love and giving your all. But I also learned what I’m worth and found inner strength.

7. Farmer Ben. I love my husband so much. I’m so blessed, each and every day.

ADK Ragnar Relay 2012

ADK Ragnar Relay 2012

8. The ability to cook. And a hubby who gardens. It really scares me that I know so many people who have no idea how to cook. Not everything can come out of a box or a can. I’m glad that I am able to take real, whole foods and prepare them in all sorts of delicious manners.

Corn King!

Corn King!

9. Books. I love to read. I love how much I have learned from reading  and how my imagination has grown from all the books I’ve read.

10. Music. I love to sing, I love learning a new piece and getting lost in the feel of the song. I love all kinds of music and being transported to a different time and place because of a certain harmony, note or riff.

11. Coffee. I don’t really remember exactly when I started drinking coffee… but I’ve learned to enjoy it. And I am thankful for it. Yum.

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12. Eggs. They are so versatile and are delicious no matter how they are prepared.

13. Running. My therapy. I’d go crazy if I didn’t run.

Night Run

Night Run

14. Law & Order SVU. I don’t watch a lot of tv. Ben and I didn’t even have a tv in the apartment until a few weeks ago. We still don’t have cable. But when I do get in some tube time, I almost always watch Law & Order SVU. Quality television.

15. My friends… they rock. I love them.

16. This blog. I am so happy I have this little corner of the web to express all of my deepest thoughts and feelings. And that people actually read them.

17.  Big comfy sweats. I have this pair of black sweatpants… I have mentioned them before. I don’t think I could ever part with them.

18. Clean water. It’s not something I often think about, but we are so blessed to have clean drinking water…and shower water…and just…water.

19. (Good) Wine and beer. There is nothing like a good red zin or a whiskey porter shared with your closest friends or handsome hubby. Bonus points if you add cheese.

Some delicious drinks

Some delicious drinks

20.  A sense of humor. I’m the funniest person I know… at least I think so.

Bonus:

21. The ability to rock red lipstick. No big deal.

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I’m very blessed. This was a great reminder of how much good I have going in my life.  Great challenge, Elle and Lindsay!

What are you thankful for today and every day?