Thursday, April 11, 2013

Sweat and a few tears

So, it's been awhile since I've posted, again. But, I have HUGE news that I wanted to share with the few blogging buddies that I have left. Here it is....I finally did it! For years now I've wanted to complete a half marathon and I finally got the nerve to sign up and go for it. It took 18 weeks of hard training, a LOT of missed sleep, Sunday morning long runs, a new pair of shoes, and,of course, a sparkle skirt; but on February 17 I completed the half marathon in the National Marathon to Finish Breast Cancer. It was scary, awesome, painful, empowering, and amazing. I cannot even begin to tell you what crossing the finish line felt like. For that moment, I felt like I could do anything. My friend from work and I decided to run the race together and we trained together, meeting every other Sunday morning for a long run. The shorter runs we did on our own. When race weekend came, we rode to Jacksonville, Florida, went to the race expo for our shirts and race bibs, and went out to dinner. It was also MUCH colder that when thought it would be, so we had to run to pick up some sweats to wear at the start of the race and throw off on the course. The race officials then collected all the discarded clothes and donated them to local charities. On race day, we woke up at 3am, got a quick breakfast, and headed to the bus to the start. After what felt like forever, we were off! It was such an amazing race. The course took us through a beach community where people were outside of their houses cheering us on, onto the beach for a mile and a half, and then ended up at the Mayo Clinic. We ran alongside cancer survivors, people who were running for an ill family member, and people with recent diagnoses. Everyone was so supportive, positive and upbeat. Unfortunately, my running buddy had a knee injury that flared up and I hurt my hamstrings, so we hobbled from mile 8-13, but we finished, and that was the only goal. For just a moment at the finish line, I felt like I could do anything. There was a lot of sweat and pain, and even a few tears. Now that i've finished one, I have the bug! Now that I KNOW I can do it, I'm going to pick a race and set a time goal and do it again. If anyone out there has flirted with the idea of doing a half marathon, do it. You won't regret it!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Green Mountain Coffee Wellness Collection!

Hi all!  As I've shared before, I'm a bzz agent, so I often get discounts on products or free samples in exchange for trying new products and sharing my thoughts.  If you are not a buzz agent, check them out.  It's an awesome program and gives you great opportunities to try new things!

Recently, I was asked to join the Green Mountain Wellness campaign, and I was pumped. I mean, free coffee, does it get much better than that?  My bzz kit arrived last week, and, I was excited.  Green Mountain Wellness Collection is available in K-cups for the keurig and comes in two blends:

  • Focus Blend contains 50mg of L-Theanine per serving
  • Antioxidant Blend is a good source of antioxidant vitamins C and E

  • Fortified coffee, what a fabulous idea, right?  The coffee is medium roast.  I have to admit, I was a little bit skeptical......  You know that smell that hits you as soon as you walk into a vitamin or supplement store?  I was really afraid the coffee was going to taste like those stores smell.  But, I was SO wrong.  This coffee is great!  I prefer my coffee strong, really strong, so I brewed mine with less water than usual.  My first cup was the focus blend, which was good, slightly weak for me but still pretty tasty, and there was no hint of that vitamin taste.  The focus blend definitely got me through a tough afternoon of work.

    This weekend, I tried the antioxidant blend, this one is my favorite!  It's a little stronger than the focus blend, but without being overpowering or bitter.  A bit of cream and a splenda made for a perfect cup of coffee.  I even ended up brewing another cup in the afternoon, which I rarely do on weekends.

    All in all, the Wellness Collection makes for a great, healthy cup of coffee.    And, the even better news is that Green Mountain coffee is fair trade, which is important to me.  I'll definitely be adding it into my regular rotation of coffees, although I do prefer darker roasts.  It's available for purchase at and  If you want to try some, try this coupon code: GMCBEWELL for $3 off of any K-cup purchase.  Try it and enjoy!

    Wednesday, October 17, 2012

    Paleo Tamalie Pie....and 4 people noticed!

    So, i'm chugging along with this Paleo(ish) diet. It's really not all that hard, which is awesome. I'm satisfied, eating less, and eating MUCH healthier. Now that i'm in the swing of things, though, I'm going to need to work in some more fish into my diet. For some reason cooking fish scares me, how dumb is that? I also may be the only person in the world that doesn't dig salmon or other "fishy" fish. Yesterday, after a horrible lunch that consisted of a charred burger patty without the bun and one slice of tomato (the waiter couldn't seem to remember to bring my ever), I went home and made Paleo Tamale Pie from Paleo Table. Let me tell you, it was SO good. SO, SO, SO good. Slap your momma good. Even my non-Paleo(ish) husband loved it (but I did lay out some sour cream and cheese for him to doctor his up with!) If you are trying to eat Paleo, Paleo(ish), or just more whole foods in general, check out Paleo Table. She has some great recipes. Here's the tamale pie recipe:

    1 lb grass-fed ground beef
    1 Tbsp coconut oil
    1 small yellow onion, chopped
    1 sweet pepper, cored and chopped (I used red, but any color will do)
    1 2.25-oz can black olives
    1 14.5-oz can diced tomatoes with green chiles
    1 7-oz can green chiles
    1 Tbsp coconut or apple cider vinegar (optional)

    Spice Blend:
    1 Tbsp chili powder
    1 Tbsp ground cumin
    1 Tbsp onion powder
    2 tsp oregano
    1 tsp paprika
    1 cup warm water

    1 cup almond flour
    1/2 cup water
    1 egg

    Preparation: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Cook ground beef in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Drain fat, if necessary. (I find that grass-fed ground beef requires no draining.) Combine spices in a small bowl. Add water and whisk together. Add spice liquid to cooked ground beef. Stir to combine and simmer over medium low heat until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 10-15 minutes. While taco meat cooks, saute onion and peppers in coconut oil in a medium skillet until onion becomes translucent, 5-10 minutes. Add onion mixture, olives, tomatoes with their juices, chilies with their juices, and vinegar to the seasoned beef. Stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes. While meat simmers, combine egg, water, and almond flour in a small bowl. The mixture should be thick, like cornmeal. Transfer meat mixture to a deep-dish baker or a medium (8x8 or 9x9) baking dish. Scoop almond dough over the top. Bake for 10-20 minutes or until top is lightly browned. NOTE: Do not overfill the baking dish. If your dish is pretty full, set it on top of a baking sheet in the oven to catch any drips. Believe me, you will have a mess on your hands otherwise!

    In other news, I ran this morning! Woot! Only 2.33 miles, and I only ACTUALLY ran a mile of it, but, baby steps, right?! But even more exciting?! No less than 4 people mentioned to me that I look like I've lost weight yesterday! It's so motivational, especially since I'm not weighing so I don't know how much/if i've really lost. But, my clothes are looser, my rings are looser, and people are talking. Yay! Keep on keepin' on.

    Friday, October 12, 2012


    Hi all! Again, it's been too long since I've posted, what can I say? Life just gets in the way, I guess. Hopefully, now that I'm back on a more structured way of eating, I'll be more apt to post. For awhile there, my failure at this weight loss thing was getting me down and I didn't think I had anything worthy to say. :( But, an update! Two weeks ago, I started to follow a Paleo(ish) way of eating. Basically this means no sugar, grain, dairy, or legumes. I say paleo(ish) because you are really supposed to consume only grass-fed meats, but I cannot afford to feed my family only grassfed, so, I'm doing the best I can. What prompted this change was a lot of reading up on diets for people dealing with chronic pain. For over two years now I've been dealing with chronic shoulder pain. 16 doctors, 2 surgeries, and lots of tests later, I have no diagnosis and no indication of what to do to make it any better. After reading up on the subject, it appears that sugar, grain, and dairy cause inflammation in the body and reducing or eliminating them can cause a reduction in pain. Worth a shot, right?! Basically, I'm eating a lot of meats (mostly lean), vegetables, fruit, and nuts. Although the first few days were pure hell, it's gotten SO much better. I find that I am MUCH less hungry, I eat less, and I do feel a little better, energy wise. It's interesting to see how these changes are you going to work. HOPEFULLY, the pain will reduce, but, no such luck yet. It's still early. The amazing thing is how I have so few cravings. Before, I was always wanting chips or fries or a cupcake, and now, I just don't crave those things. I mean, don't get me wrong, there are days that I'd shank someone for a piece of chocolate, but, all in all, the cravings are gone. Love it! Have I lost weight? I don't know. I think so. I didn't weigh when I started, which I know sounds pretty odd. However, I will let myself be ruled by the scale, and I can't let that happen. So, I weighed at my last doctor's appointment, and I'll weigh at my next one, in December, until then, I'm going on how I feel...which is pretty darn good! My pants are looser and so is my ring, so that's a good sign. That's my update. Has anyone out there tried paleo? What did you think?

    Thursday, September 6, 2012

    UNREAL Candy...the "unjunked" candy

    Recently, through, I had the opportunity to try the UNREAL candy.  It's candy that has been 'unjunked,' meaning it has no hydrogenated oils, corn syrup, artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives.  Being a bzz agent, I'm given products to try in exchange for me sharing my experience.  It's pretty cool, if you're not a bzz agent, check them out!

    After a particularly tough transition during the first week of school, I wanted to get my boys a little treat.  That being said, I try not to give them too much "junk," so I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try the  UNREAL candy.  I picked up the candy coated chocolate pieces and surprised the boys at pick up.  They were so excited to try it!  My little guy pronounced them "more beautifuler" than their "junked" counterpart and my oldest said that they were really yummy and tasted "more like real chocolate."  Although they were reluctant to share, I got a few bites and they were tasty.  What surprised me the most was that we all ate less of them than we would of the 'junked' candy, and all felt satisfied and as if we had been treated to something special.

    Obviously, even "unjunked" candy shouldn't be a daily part of a healthy diet, but occasional treats have a part in a healthy life style and the UNREAL candy is a way to indulge without so much guilt.  Give them a try!

    Thursday, August 30, 2012


    What can I say?  I'm struggling.  Hard.  I'm completely out of control and I don't know what or how to get back into control.  I KNOW what to do to lose weight, it's the doing it that I can't seem to handle.  It sounds weak and sad to type, but it's the truth right now.

    Tuesday, August 7, 2012

    Write and Release

    Drazil over at "It's just Me, Drazil, and Sheniqua" is one of my favorite bloggers.  She's probably one the of the bravest bloggers I read.  She faces her issues head on and she's kind enough to share her journey with us. She's really inspiring, if you don't read her, check her out!  Today she did a "write and release" post where she wrote her fears and anxieties as away to release them.  Seeing as I'm dealing with a mountain of fears and anxieties right now, I'm stealing her idea.....

    The following things, in no particular order, are turning my world upside down.  I find myself constantly fighting back tears or the urge to scream and just rail on the I'm writing and releasing instead.

    My baby starts kindergarten in two weeks.  My baby.  I'm so nervous and anxious for him.  I hope he gets a good teacher, makes friends easily, and does not have a tough transition.  His older brother's change to K was less than ideal, and by that I mean that he cried every. single. morning. for 4 months.  I had to walk away every morning while he screamed for me.  Therefore, I cried every. single. morning. for 4 months.  Oh, how I wish I could put my kids in a bubble and protect them from the world.

    My husband is going through a tough time at work.  He's frustrated and stressed and scared and I don't know one thing to do about it.  Every day he just looks more deflated and I can't stop it.  If I could, I'd put him in a bubble too.

    This weight loss thing isn't going well.  It isn't going poorly, either, the problem is that it isn't going at all.  What if I am fat forever?  It is so frustrating to KNOW the answer.  Eat less, move sounds so simple on paper, but I can't seem to put it into practice.

    I'm so scared that the doctors will never figure out what's wrong with me.  What started with minor shoulder pain 2 years ago is now pain all over my body.  I feel like a crazy person.  Test after test shows nothing is wrong, but something IS wrong.  Two years and 16 doctors and all I know is that I hurt.  What if there isn't an answer?  What if it keeps getting worse?

    Finances are tougher than usual.  We are blessed beyond belief because we just bought the house of our dreams, but now money is tight, at least for awhile.  Of course the pool pump shorted and my husband's car needs work, I need work clothes, it's back to school time, and our appliances are on their last legs...All of that added in with the fact that I do not handle money issues well, it makes me think of growing up and my parents fighting over money.  Just thinking about it makes my heart race.

    My grandmother's death has done a number on  my family.  My grandfather is sad and lost and clinging to my mom and my mom is feeling smothered.  I have tremendous guilt about not being able to be with them more.  Some days it hits me so hard that she's really gone and I literally double over.  I miss her.

    Work is not stellar.  I like my job and I love my friends here, but I feel like it's time to move on.  Waking up one day and realizing I never tried anything else would be a big mistake.  The problem is, my job now is very mommy friendly and I work in a field that is not at all mommy friendly.  Everyone that I know that has left here either came back, or desperately wants to.  I'd love to find a job that I adore, that challenges me in new ways, but that also allows me to go to the school play or on a field trip now and again.  I feel constantly torn between the professional me and the personal me.  Of course family wins, every time, it always will...but there has to be a better balance.

    Phew... There they are, the major sources of stress.  Hopefully the write and release will help.