Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Hump Day!  I didn't forget about finishing my other post; I just probably won't have enough time until Friday night. Hope y'all are having a good week!

Monday, November 7, 2011

Seven Random Things

Just got in from my recovery run and thought I'd better get this post done before I have to go in for my next WW shift in a little while. Especially since tomorrow starts my long week at my "real" job.

I'd like to thank Becki at The Middle Miles for giving me this award. Be sure to stop by and visit her site - she's extremely knowledgeable about running shoes. As she says herself, Becki is the Carrie Bradshaw of running shoes ;)

Ok, so now I'm supposed to write 7 random facts about myself and then tag 12 others for this award. Here goes nothing ;)

1. I have lived in Pennsylvania for exactly one year now and still haven't changed my driver's license. Worse than that, I've been married for 2 years and haven't yet changed my driver's license or my social security card. I am the queen of procrastination.

2. I'm terrified of praying mantises. I have no problems with spiders, snakes, or any of the "normal" creepy critters, but I DESPISE praying mantises. I think it stems from a movie I saw when I was little... The Deadly Mantis.

3. I have lived in 10 states in the United States, and even lived briefly in Germany when I was 6. And I'm not an "Army Brat." My mom is from Germany, and other than that we just moved a lot :)

4. I'm way more of a tomboy than a girly-girl. Every once in a while I like to get dolled up, but mostly I'm in jeans and sneakers, and/or running attire. I rarely wear make-up and when I do, it's usually just mascara and lip gloss. I've even been reprimanded at both of my jobs for not being in compliance with the dress code. Hmph!

5. I used to build computers, web sites, and do a lot of graphic design work. I was very tech savvy. Now I can barely remember HTML codes.  And as I'm sure you can tell by my blog, graphic design has gone by the wayside as well.

6. I used to be heavily into gaming. My addiction was this one text-based MUD that I would play for many many hours (sometimes days) straight. I was even known to call out of work if there was an "event" going on in-game that I didn't want to miss.  Sometimes I think about checking if any of my old friends are still playing it, but I know that with my addictive personality I better not ;)
I'll have to do number 7 and my 12 tags on another post since I'm out of time and have to get back to work. Ugh! Never enough time in the day! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Walk (run) for Farm Animals, Confession, and a Couple Recipes

Today was the big day! I was a little worried since I haven't ran in almost 2 weeks, and my diet has been all screwed up after the whole power outage fiasco, but I did it! And I was happy with my finish time considering I walked the first 5 minutes. Had I known I would have been so close to a PR (95 minutes) I would've started the timer AFTER the 5 minute warm-up ;)
Walk (run) for Farm Animals - World Run Day 11/6/11
Speaking of diet, it was bad and I mean really bad. We had to eat out every meal for 5 days straight. I have to confess that on the 5th day I had French Onion soup, with real cheese :(  I went from 112 to 120 in that week. Yes, that's 8 pounds in 5 days!  Thankfully when we got back home that night (Thursday) the power was back on. So Friday was spent shopping/restocking the kitchen with HEALTHY foods, and a lot of time was spent in the bathroom paying for the previous few days. TMI. I won't say anything else about that.

Friday afternoon I went through some of the previous 21-Day Kickstart menus and made a couple of (what turned out to be)  new favorites!  Since the kickstart is free to join I guess it's okay for me to post the recipes. 

Tamale Pie (from 21-day kickstart)

5 1/2 cups water, divided
1 cup polenta 
1 teaspoon salt (I used 1/4 tsp)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 large garlic cloves, minced (I used 3 Tbsp minced garlic)
1 red or green bell pepper, seeded and diced (I subbed a zucchini, shredded)
1 12-ounce package vegetarian ground beef substitute (I used Boca crumbles)
1 tablespoon chili powder (I used Hot Mexican Chili Powder)
1 teaspoon ground cumin (I used 2 tsp)
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (I used 2 14.5 oz cans of diced tomatoes w/garlic)
1 15-ounce can vegetarian chili beans, undrained (I used Amy's organic refried black beans)
(I also added a 7oz can of chopped green chilies and a 4.5oz can of chopped olives)

Measure 5 cups of water into a large pot, then whisk in polenta and salt. Simmer over medium-low heat, stirring often, until very thick, about 25 minutes. Set aside.

 Heat remaining 1/2 cup of water in a large skillet or pot and add onion, garlic, and bell pepper(zucchini). Cook until soft, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

 Add vegetarian ground beef substitute, chili powder, and cumin. Cook over medium heat, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add a bit more water if needed to prevent sticking. Add green chilies and olives, if using.

Stir in tomatoes and chili beans and their liquid. Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350°F.

 Transfer mixture to a 9"×13" baking dish. Spread cooked polenta evenly over top. Bake for 20 minutes. (I baked for 30 minutes then broiled for about 3-4 minutes to get the top golden brown.)  

I divided this into 8 portions, but after I had them all even, there was still enough left for a whole nother serving (minus the polenta topping). Here's the nutrition info if you do 8 servings:

Per serving:
Fat: 4.8g
Carbohydrates: 36.1g
Fiber: 8.7g 
Protein: 16.4g

WW P+ 6

Breakfast Warmers (from 21-day kickstart)
This is super yummy! Like rice pudding meets apple pie :)  Instead of noting the changes I made (which were very few), I'm just posting it as I made it.

1.5 cups cooked brown rice
1 apple, chopped
1/2 cup apple juice
2 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp lemon juice
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Mix it all together and heat! That's it :)

Makes 2 servings.

Here's the info per serving: 
Calories: 292.2
Fat: 1.5
Carbs: 67.3
Fiber: 5.2
Protein: 3.6

WW P+ 8 (totally worth it, trust me!)

Okay, I think that's about it for now. Oh! I got another award (I have no idea how since I'm horrible at this whole blogging thing) which I will do another post on, hopefully tomorrow! And I also apologize for not getting back to some of you with the last couple posts. I promise to do better!  Can I make up for it by posting a pic of my adorable kitty, snuggled up with his favorite duck toy?

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Halloween that wasn't :(

Saturday's snow storm left us with about 8 inches of snow, a bunch of downed trees, and the largest power outage this area has seen. Our power went out around noon on Saturday and it's still not back :(  Luckily, my mother-in-law has a generator that we were able to borrow, so we now at least have heat, TV, and internet (the 3 necessities in life ;))  The electric company is saying it will still be a few days before they get to us and are guesstimating Thursday night, Nov. 3rd at 11pm.

So needless to say I totally missed out on Halloween this year :(  Not only my favorite holiday, but also hubby's and my 2nd anniversary. It's been so stressful the last few days that by the time we got back home with the generator and got it hooked up yesterday afternoon, we were too exhausted to do anything but go grab a quick bite to eat and then come home and pass out (with the dog and cat in between us!).

Would it be wrong for me to wear my Halloween costume to Thanksgiving dinner?

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday, the Thursday edition...

I just realized it's already Thursday and I'm falling behind here again. This has been hell week at work, so I haven't gotten to sneak in any blog time this week :(  I also just heard we're supposed to get our first snowstorm on Saturday! Time to get out the winter clothes...  Brrrrr!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Week in Review, Hair color, and Cookies!

Hiya peeps :)  Not much to report this week.  I didn't get my 2 mid-week runs in because I've been having some minor chest pains. I'm sure it's nothing serious, and at least it's helped me to really cut down on smoking.  Today I was feeling quite a bit better so I did get my 9-mile long run in.

I've been blonde for 2 weeks now. I got quite a few compliments the first couple days, but now it's turning orange (my hair is naturally red), so I've had enough.  As soon as I finish up this post I'll be heading to the salon (aka the bathroom ;)) to see what kind of chaotic color I can come up with next, heheh :)

I managed to whip up a couple really good (easy) recipes over the past couple days.  The first isn't so much an actual recipe- it's just a new way to saute mushrooms.  I heated up 1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil then dumped in about a pound of fresh, sliced mushrooms and shook garlic powder all over them. Once they started to brown I poured in about 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar, mixed it so the mushrooms were all coated, then covered and let it cook on med-low for about 15-20 minutes.  That's it.  I poured the mushrooms over some whole wheat pasta and it was yummy!

But even better are these cookies!! Well not even cookies, but cookie dough balls :)

Cocoa-nutty cookie dough balls:

- 1/3c oat flour
- 1/3c ground pistachios
- 1/3c ground cocoa-roasted almonds
- 2 Tbsp Agave Nectar
- 1 Tbsp Maple Syrup
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4c chocolate chips (I use Enjoy Life mini chips - vegan)

Mix everything together, form into (10) balls, and pop in the fridge. I ate 2 of them before they even made it into the fridge. On my way out the door for my run I grabbed 2 out of the fridge. Wow, are they good! If you make 10 balls, they are 100 calories each.

I better go do my hair before it gets too late.

Have any of you NEVER colored your hair before?  I go through periods where I can't stand my hair and change it frequently, but for the most part I only color it about twice a year.  I do have quite a lot of wigs though ;)

Oh and by the way, have any of you tried the new Salted Caramel Mocha Latte at Starbucks? I had one the other day (soy, no whip) and Oh my! I don't even want to know how many calories were in that thing, but it was DELICIOUS!

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Virtual 10k today, and Week in Review

This has been such a LONG week! I'm having to put in some extra hours at work because my boss is on vacation, and we're so short-handed as it is. Ugh. And where did Saturday go?! I can't believe Sunday is almost over and it all starts again tomorrow! 

Today as I was heading out to the garage (to my treadmill) for my 7.5 mile long run, I remembered I had a virtual 10k to run.  I was going to do 2/:30 intervals but ended up doing 2:30/:30. I did the running between 6.5 and 7mph, and walked at 4mph. This averaged out at about 9:30 minutes/mile.  I finished the 10k at just under 58 minutes which, while not a PR, was pretty good considering all the walk breaks!  My main problem with the walk breaks is that I get tired out way to soon, and then it gets harder to go back to running.  And speaking of which, after the 10k I ended up walking the rest of the 7.5 miles.

I was pretty bad at tracking again this week, but my weight stayed between 112 - 113, other than this morning which was 111.  I did well today (a peanut butter & chocolate chip wrap for breakfast, and my Boca pasta concoction for an early supper) until I overindulged on my latest batch of Happy Herbivore's Chocolate Chip Cookies ;)  Now I just want to lay down and sleep! And as a matter of fact, that's what I'm going to do! Nighty night :)

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Magic Mile, and my first award!

So last night after work I went home and jumped on the treadmill to start week 2 of marathon training. Just a 30-minute easy run, but since I've been having a hard time with intervals, I thought I'd do the magic mile test to see which intervals I should be using. To calculate your "magic mile" you run a warm-up mile and then go "all out" for a mile, but without feeling like you're going to die at the end. The last time I did a magic mile was about a year ago, and it was outside. What a difference from trying to do it on the treadmill! I wasn't sure how fast to set the treadmill so I started at 7 and steadily increased it to 8 throughout the mile. I ended up with just under an 8-minute mile (7:50), but I know I could have done better :(  Last year I ran it in just over 6.  Regardless, since I'm using the treadmill a lot more now, I'm going to use the 7:50 to calculate my training pace. According to the Jeff Galloway website, I should be doing 4/1 intervals, which I will try on Friday's run.

I am proud to be the recipient of the Liebster Award!  The word Liebster means 'Beloved' in German--and a show of love and support is what this award is all about.  The idea is to bring attention to new blogs with fewer than 200 followers. 

The rules of winning this award are the following:

1. Show your thanks to the blogger who gave you the award by linking back to them.
2. Reveal your top 5 picks and let them know by leaving a comment at their blog.
3. Post the Award on your blog.
4. Enjoy the love of some of the most supportive people on the Internet!

A huge THANK YOU to The Vegan Tummy for awarding me this honor! Please visit her amazing blog; you'll be glad you did.

Here are my 5 picks:

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Week in Review

Hiya Peeps :)

Not much to report from this week. I did my first couple short easy runs and today is a 6-mile long, slow run. I started messing around with intervals on Friday's run: I tried 3/1 (3 minutes running, 1 minute walking) and didn't care for it much at all. 1 minute walk breaks is way too much and made me feel like I never even got warmed up before it was time to stop.  For today's run I'm going to try 2:30/:30, but at a slower pace than what my "normal" speed would be.  Tomorrow is not a run day, but I may attempt a "magic mile" just so I know what pacing I should be using for my training.  For those who don't know, the magic mile test is where you run one mile as fast as you can, but without feeling like you are going to die at the end ;)  You would then make calculations from that time to determine race pace, long slow run pace, etc...  I haven't done a magic mile test in about a year, so I'm curious to see if I've improved at all.

On the food front, I've been terrible at tracking this week (again) and am thankful to have stayed between 113 - 114 all week.  I went grocery shopping yesterday and found (what turned out to be) really good Pad Thai meal starters. The box just has rice noodles and sauce, to which I added sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, green onions, and bean sprouts. I portioned it into 4 containers and then proceeded to eat 2 of them, Lol!

I also made another batch of my Jalapeno Hummus and my Super Salsa (see Recipe tab above). Today I'll be making a TVP crockpot taco concoction to batch up for the week, and I also cut up and bagged a bunch of romaine lettuce for quick easy salads.

Oh, last night I broke down and chopped my hair off. Then I dyed it blonde. It didn't come out quite the color it was supposed to (my hair is naturally red so anything I put in it just turns a different shade of red), and I can't decide if I like it or not.  It kinda glows ;)

So do I leave it or do highlights (or lowlights)? Hmm, decisions... decisions...  Stay tuned :)

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Marathon Training!

Today is Day 1 of Marathon training and if all goes well I should be doing my first 26.2 mile-run on Feb 19th!  After going back and forth between two different training programs, I actually ended up settling on a third (one of Jeff Galloway's plans).  I'll be doing shorter runs on Wednesdays and Fridays, and my long runs on Sundays.  I did very little "tweaking" of the program; I only added an extra week at the beginning so that my Farm Sanctuary run (on World Run Day 11/6/11) falls on an 11-mile long run day.  So I guess I'll be doing 11 miles instead of 10 :)

Here's what the Sundays look like:

Week 1:  6 miles
Week 2:  7.5 miles
Week 3:  9 miles
Week 4:  5 miles
Week 5:  11 miles (Run for Farm Sanctuary / World Run Day)
Week 6:  5 miles
Week 7:  13 miles
Week 8:  5 miles
Week 9:  15 miles
Week 10:  4 x 1
Week 11:  17 miles
Week 12:  6 x 1
Week 13:  6 miles
Week 14: 20 miles
Week 15: 8 x 1
Week 16: 7 miles
Week 17: 23 miles
Week 18: 10 x 1
Week 19: 6 miles
Week 20:  26 miles (Eek!)
Week 21:  6 miles
Week 22:  12 x 1
Week 23:  6 miles
Week 24:  29 miles (Really?!)
Week 25:  6 miles
Week 26:  14 x 1
Week 27:  7 miles
Week 28:  Marathon!

If I follow the plan exactly, Marathon Day will be April 15, 2012. That may be cutting it kinda close to my next half-marathon which is April 29th, so there will probably be some changes.  Especially since I won't be running an actual marathon until September.  Do I really need a 29-mile training run?!  What I'll most likely do is either 1) Get rid of Weeks 24 and 25, in which case I would have a full month before the half, or 2) Stop at  Week 20, which will be 26 miles. And at this point, all I really want to know is that I CAN do it!

Any opinions?

Monday, October 3, 2011

Vegan -vs- Insects, and Marathon Training

Happy Monday. I'm in between my 2 Weight Watcher meetings and while I'm waiting for my coffee to finish brewing, I wanted to share something that's on my mind.

Before I get started, I'd like to give a shout-out to This Vegan Life.  I've been non-stop reading her posts for the past couple days now, and they are really well-written and thought-provoking!  She addresses what most people question when it comes to being Vegan.

This brings me to my own beliefs.  After partaking in a survey over at CarpeVegan (another blog I love to read), I'm led to believe that I'm not the only one who may think like this...  I'm referring to insects/bees.  While I get that the bee is "exploited" for it's honey (which I don't even eat; I'm just using this as a point), how many of us really care about exploiting bees (or bugs, or other creepy crawly insects). Who really wouldn't kill a bee if it was about to sting them?  Or swat a mosquito?  Ok yes, bugs and bees are living, breathing creatures, but I don't put them in the same category as dogs or cats, or cows, pigs, chickens, etc...  Do you see where I'm going with this?

I have a really difficult time putting my thoughts into words, which is probably why this blog sucks ;)  but I'm really in a dilemma over this.  My reasons for going vegan are because of animals. Because of ethics. It wasn't about the environment and I was already healthy. My complete change of diet and lifestyle was ONLY because of the animals.  The farm animals.  Not bugs, bees, insects. Farm animals. Animals that are inhumanely treated to become "food." That is all.  So does this make me not vegan? Veganish? Extreme vegetarian? I know people hate the word veganish, but really- I don't eat any type of meat, dairy, or eggs. I'm an advocate for farm animals. I "preach" about the atrocities of factory farming and inhumane treatment of farm animals.  I do what I can to live cruelty-free.

But I will not even hesitate to smash the crap out of a mosquito if it lands on me.

So what does that make me?  How ethical can I be if I don't think of bugs the same way as I do "real" animals.  That's honestly the comparison I make. Insects are insects, not animals.  Sigh.  I should stop before I give myself a headache.

I wish more than 3 people read my blog ;) because I'd love some opinions on this, whether I get flamed or not.  So if any of you 3 want to share this among your readers...

And on a lighter note, I've got my marathon training plan all set up.  I have it tweaked to include the 10-mile run on 11/6/11 and should have me able to run 26.2 miles on or about January 29th! That also lets me be able to take a week's rest and then go right back to HM training for the St. Luke's Half Marathon in April. I'll post a pic of the training log as soon as I get all the dates put on it. Right now they are just hand-written in.

Alrighty then, the coffee must be ready by now...

Sunday, October 2, 2011

And on a lighter note, World Run Day is November 6th :)

My "Walk (Run) for Farm Animals" support page is doing better than I thought (thank you!!!), and with the big day (11/6/11, which also happens to be World Run Day) being just about a month away, I figured I'd go and "officially" register.

Of course, you don't have to register to run on World Run Day, but I want the bib and t-shirt! 

While I was there registering, I again checked for upcoming marathons.  I had it narrowed down between the Flying Pig in Ohio, or the NJ Marathon in Long Branch, NJ.  Instead, I registered for the St. Luke's Half Marathon in April 2012, and have decided on the Lehigh Valley VIA for my first full marathon. The official date for 2012 hasn't been announced yet, but it should be right around 9/11/12.  I figured I'll be stressed out enough without having to deal with traveling and all the added expenses.  The VIA is about 5 miles from my house!

After checking out several training plans, I think I'm going to use Hal Higdon's Novice 2 plan.  I was leaning towards Jeff Galloway's program, but I need to run more than just two 30-minute runs during the week (besides the long weekend run of course).  Then again, I have plenty of time to find/tweak training programs since it's like a year away! Lol!

Oh, and it looks like my sore throat is winning out over running this weekend, but with everyone sick at work, I don't want to take any chances and make it any worse than it already is!  One more day of rest should do the trick :)

World Farm Animals Day

I just discovered that today is World Farm Animals Day.  Finding out about the horrendous treatment of farm animals is what caused me to make the sudden switch to a vegan diet/lifestyle just this past May.  I'm thinking that maybe if more people become aware of how that "food" ends up on your plate, it will stop being looked at as "food" and be seen as what they really are- living, breathing creatures who no more deserve to suffer than you or I.  

This video is short but is EXTREMELY disturbing! However, I will not apologize for sharing it here. I can understand if you don't want to watch it, but sometimes you have to see it to believe it.

If you'd like to help, or learn more, please visit Mercy for Animals. Thank you.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

September Wrap-Up and a Yummy (no-bake) Vegan Cookie Recipe!

First off, I'm not sure about the new blog design and will probably change it again soon. Like today. What sucks is that I used to (like 15 years ago) do web design and coding, and I could throw together a pretty cool site in no time flat. Not anymore. Now I can't even edit the code without all kinds of screw ups :(

So for September, I ran 74 miles which, while not anywhere near the 101 miles I ran in August, included TWO 13.1 mile runs! Once in a training run and then again at the Philadelphia Rock-n-Roll Half-Marathon! While I'm not ecstatic about my finish time, I am super excited to be a half-marathoner! And I can't wait to start training for a full 26.2 miles!  Since I'm not as focused on time as endurance, I'm leaning towards using a Galloway training program which is comprised of run/walk intervals. I'm hoping to get that all sorted out today too.

As for my weight, it fluctuated between 114 - 110 for the month of September. I consider that a huge win since I was really bad about tracking for most of the month. I also ate way too many cookies. Both of the cookie recipes I've been making are ridiculously simple and no-bake! One I followed exactly from the Forks over Knives book, and the other I don't remember where the original recipe came from but I changed it so much that it really became my own ;)

Nutty no-bake Cookies (my recipe):

  • 1/2 cup Emerald Cocoa Roast Almonds, ground
  • 1/4 cup shelled Pistachios, ground
  • 1/3 cup Oatmeal Flour (or just grind up 1/3 cup old-fashioned oats)
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 Tbsp Agave Nectar
  • 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
  • 1-2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract          
  1. Combine almonds, pistachios, oatmeal (and salt if using) in a medium mixing bowl. Note: You can either measure/grind the nuts/oats separately, or measure/dump all of it together into grinder.
  2. In a smaller bowl, combine agave, coconut oil, and vanilla.
  3. Add wet to dry. Mix until dough forms. You might want to use your hands :) *My dough was pretty dry so I added the 2nd tsp of vanilla extract here* Tip: Make a circle with your thumb and forefinger. This is about the size you want to make your cookie balls. Unless you have really big hands or long fingers. Then make them a little smaller ;) My dough made 8 cookies. 
  4. Roll into balls then shape balls into cookies (or just leave them as balls ;)) 
  5.  Put the cookies on parchment paper and put in a gallon-sized freezer bag. 
  6. Put in freezer until firm (about an hour).
  7. Try not to eat them all in one sitting ;)
Nutrition info: 
(Per cookie based on 8 cookies total)
  • Fat 8.6
  • Carbs 7.3
  • Calories 110.2
  • Protein 2.7
WW PointsPlus: 3

Friday, September 30, 2011

Under Construction

I'm about to start redecorating so if you see anything weird here just ignore it.  I will post something once I'm done, hopefully within the hour.  Unless of course, something goes terribly wrong, which is altogether possible.   If that ends up being the case, I'll be back with a link to somewhere else ;)

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

When Pigs Fly?

As I sit here with one lost toenail, another one black and about to go, a pulled hamstring, sore knee and aching feet, I’ve decided to run a marathon!  I’m leaning towards the Flying Pig marathon on May 6, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio, but I haven’t completely decided yet.

It’s been one week and two days since I ran the Philadelphia Rock-n-Roll Half Marathon. Up until the gun went off I couldn’t figure out what the hell I thought I was doing lined up with all those people, crammed into corrals like cans of sardines. For the 48 hours leading up to the race I was a complete wreck. Nerves like jelly, stomach all tied up in knots. Couldn’t sleep.  You see, I’m a total introvert.  Even after losing all the weight (and keeping it off for more than 2 years now) I still have self-esteem issues.  I’m terrified of being around people, especially runners.  I don’t know why, but I feel like a fraud.  Other than when the gun goes off and I can just run, when will I ever feel like I fit in?! 

But that’s just it!  Once the gun goes off I no longer care about anything else.  I am in my zone, doing what I love to do. I will admit that I still prefer to run by myself (and not have to “deal” with other people) but as long as I’m running, I’m happy :)  And now that I’ve conquered the half-marathon, it’s time for a new goal! Mission:Marathon!  Which leads me to the next thing… this blog.

So here’s what I really want to do with this blog:

  1. A training log (food/fitness) as I embark on the journey to become a marathoner.
  2. A journal to sort out my feelings and work on my insecurities.
  3. A connection to those of you who are either going through the same things I am, or that I/you have already gone through (i.e., WW, weight-loss, adapting a plant-based/Vegan diet/lifestyle, etc…).  

I actually began writing a new blog over at Wordpress, but decided that I am just going to stay here instead.  I like that Blogger is connected to Google and I can keep everything somewhat together. 

Over the next few days, I’ll be doing some redecorating and most likely changing the name of my blog (and maybe even buying a new domain) so stay tuned…

Oh, and my new Ghosts came today so I’ll leave you with this:

Monday, September 19, 2011

3, 2, 1... Half Marathon!

So yesterday was a huge milestone for me. It was 3 years ago yesterday that I joined Weight Watchers because my weight was creeping back towards the 200-pound mark (I had previously gotten all the way up to 240 and then lost 100 pounds on my own). Shortly after joining WW, I found and joined SparkPeople, though I didn't really take advantage of all the wonderful tools there until much later.

2 years ago I reached my goal weight of 114 pounds :)

1 year ago I completed the Couch to 5k (C25k) program and never looked back! Since then I've ran 5k, 10k, and 10-mile races. I ♥ Running!

6 months ago I registered for a half marathon. During (what was supposed to be) a 10-mile long run, I kept going and actually ran 13.1 miles on my treadmill. I think I just wanted to be sure I could do it.

4 months ago I eliminated all meat, dairy and eggs from my diet and switched to a completely Vegan lifestyle. I had already achieved a healthy lifestyle prior, so my reasons for doing this were/are completely based on the horrendous treatment to farm animals. I'm now an advocate/activist for Farm Sanctuary, and even adopted a duck named Preston :)

P.S. Without even trying, I've lost another 4 pounds since going Vegan. I have more energy than ever, and have never felt better!

So this brings me to yesterday.  I (along with 24000 others!) ran the Philadelphia Rock n Roll Half Marathon! I think there was only about a 10-minute period where I wasn't grinning ear to ear.

*Note for anyone currently training for a race: As Coach Nancy has mentioned several times- do NOT alter your diet around race day, even in the slightest amount. After grabbing and downing what I thought was a cup of water around mile 6, I was stricken with indescribable stomach pains and had to stop 3 times over the next couple miles at the port-o-pots! Turned out it was something called Cytomax (I think is similar to Gatorade?)- Ugh! I could have had (if not super close to) a sub-2 hour time if not for that! :(

But anyways, I finished strong! And because of all the people and having to weave in and out, my Garmin showed that I actually ran 13.64 miles, and I did it in 2 hours, 16 minutes, 34 seconds! Woohoo! And I got my first medal :) 

Monday, September 5, 2011

FMM and Week in Review


See that?! I ran a HALF MARATHON last Sunday! Woohoo! It was a good week! Smile  I also saw the lowest number EVER on the scale – 111! I have to really watch it now though. I cannot go below 109 or I’ll be out of the “healthy” range. I only wish someone would explain that to my flabby belly- boo!

FMM:  Favorite Things


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers.

1) What is your favorite food?  Peanut butter cookies!

2) What is your favorite childhood memory? This one is tough! I’m gonna go with something kinda silly since it sticks out in my memory: Winning the “Great Pumpkin” in 3rd or 4th grade. My favorite math teacher, Mr. Misterly, had to drive me home because it was too big to carry Smile

3) What is your favorite way to burn calories?  Running. Duh!

4) What is your favorite mode of technological communication? Facebook I guess? Texting, email… I wish I was better at Twittering ;)

5) Who is your favorite actor/actress? Ewan McGregor/Emily Deschanel

6) What is your favorite lip color? Something light pinkish-orangey reddish Winking smile

7) Who is your favorite historical figure? Gandhi

8) Who is your favorite athlete? Todd Zeile <3

9) What is your favorite TV network? I don’t really watch TV other than Dexter, Bones, and The Biggest Loser (which are on 3 different networks!) so I’m gonna have to go with Netflix on this one, Lol!

10) What is your favorite site on the web? Wow, so many to choose from. If I could only pick one, I would have to go with

Ok, you’re turn! Happy Labor Day and have a great week!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Screw you hurricane - I ran a half marathon today :)

Today was (supposed to be) my 10-mile long run. As I watched the the treadmill display change from 9.99 to 10, I lowered the speed and went into cool-down mode. I walked for about 30 seconds and then I don't know what exactly came over me, but I just did not want to stop. I figured I'd go one more mile so I could have a new distance PR (10.25 was my farthest distance prior to today), but then instead of slowing the TM back down I cranked it up a little more and decided to "go for it!"

Honestly, I'm still in a bit of shock. I mean seriously, I am not what one would envision as an athlete. I even still smoke!  But something comes over me when I'm out there running, and it just makes me feel amazing :)

Sweat = Liquid Awesome!

I guess it all comes down to (finally) believing in myself. I believed I could do it, so I did!  I ran a Half-Marathon today! I ran 13.1 miles in 2 hours, 15 minutes, and 37 seconds. I am awesome :)

Monday, August 22, 2011

FMM: The Last Thing


If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: The Last Thing

1) What is the title of the last book you read?  Physically read? Peas and Thank You. Audio book? I’m listening to the J.D. Robb In Death Series. Currently on Possession in Death. Oi! Only 2 books left :(

2) What is the last movie you saw in a theater? Hm. We don’t ever go to the movies so it’s been quite a while. I’m sure it was a horror movie… maybe Saw VI?

3) Briefly describe the last person you saw today. I haven’t seen anyone yet today besides the cat. My husband leaves for work at 4am and knows better than to wake me up that early ;)  And the dog is still in bed!

4) Which store did you most recently shop in?  Barnes and Noble. Paid double the price of what I could have paid on Amazon if I wasn’t so impatient! Ha!

5) Who’s the last person you spoke to over the phone? My husband, about 10 minutes ago.

6) Where’s the last place you vacationed? We are terrible at saving money for vacations, and spend too much on instant gratification types of things. So it would have been our wedding/honeymoon in Vegas on Halloween of 2009.

7) When was the last time you kissed someone of the opposite sex? Last night, before bed :)

8) What’s the last thing that made you laugh? Definitely this:


9) What’s the latest app that you downloaded on your phone? Fooducate, but I haven’t used it yet.  Gonna check out this “Instagram” that I keep hearing about next.

10)  What’s the last kind thing you did for someone? I did my husband’s laundry yesterday. I know, too exciting!

Have a great week everyone!

Sunday, August 21, 2011

What I learned from today’s long run…


But first, This Week in Review:

Yes I’m a bad blogger (again). I just can’t find the time to update this thing regularly. Probably because when I do have time, I spend it reading everyone else’s blog ;)  Not like I really have anything that interesting to blog about anyways. I eat, I run, I work. (And I shop when I can!) So here’s what this past week looked like (oh and again, the picture came out horrible, but I think it’s still somewhat readable):

New grocery items: Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese (french onion flavored) – Yummy!  Wholly Guacamole (classic) – again, Yummy!  And finally, Tofu! Nasoya Extra Firm. Believe it or not – also Yummy!

Oh, my P90X came early in the week, but I haven’t started messing with it yet.  I was kind of hoping my husband would want to try it out, but he’s still too busy with his PS3 ;)

I ran 21 miles last week! Woohoo! All good runs even! Today was another story, but I’ll get to that in just a minute.

On Friday, I went to Barnes and Noble and picked up ‘Peas and Thank You’ by Mama Pea. I love her blog and already had a few of her “recipeas” printed out to try.  And thanks to Mama Pea, I have finally experimented with tofu (see above), and I liked it! Probably because of the marinade and broiling until almost burnt, but it was really good!  I highly recommend this book, but I suggest if you do get it, get it from Amazon because I paid double that at B&N :(

Speaking of Amazon, I ordered ‘The Happy Herbivore’ and ‘Veganomicon,’ and am anxiously awaiting their arrivals!  Lindsay (the Happy Herbivore) has a blog here, and Veganomicon is another of Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s books.  Her blog is the PPK (Post Punk Kitchen), which can be found here.

What I learned from today’s long run…

1. Do NOT eat beans the night before a long run. Really, just don’t. TMI.

2. Do NOT wait until the hottest time of day to head into garage (where treadmill is), which is at least 15 degrees hotter than outside.

3. If you wait until you “need” a Gu, it’s too late.

4. Do NOT wear a non-fitting, non-sports bra. Especially one that is too big.  I spent so much time messing with “the girls” that the bra broke. Granted, it fit much better after I tied it into a knot to keep it on.

5. I am no longer allergic to bee stings. Unfortunately, I had to find this out the hard way.  Yes, I got stung while running.  Yes, it was during the same mile (the 4th, by the way) my bra broke.  It was also during the same mile I had to stop for a minute because I really “had to go.”  

6. The right song can turn it all around. I was considering just calling it a day and doing it over tomorrow. ‘Never Surrender’ by Triumph came on. I did not surrender :)

7. Running really is a mental sport. I had a full-blown argument with myself about not giving up. I thought about the people who have put me down, and who didn’t believe I could accomplish anything.  Umm, before I start going off on a tangent here, let me just move on…

8.  And the most important thing I learned today? 

I finally believe in me Smile

Sunday, August 14, 2011

7-mile Long Run and Week in Review

Happy Sunday everyone!  It’s been a good (but busy as usual) week overall!  I just came in from my 7-mile long, slow run and I’m having a late lunch before jumping in the shower, so I thought I’d do a little post.

I was very happy with my long run, though I don’t think I’m slowing down as much as I probably should be.  If my “race pace” is around 7mph I’m told my long, slow runs should be around 5mph.  To be honest, it hurts my legs to run slower than 5.5 for any extended period of time.  Anyways, here are my splits from today’s run:

Mile 1: 12:05 includes 3-min warm-up walk then 6mph run
Mile 2: 10:50 6mph run w/5mph breaks for 30 sec every .25 mile
Mile 3: 10:15 ditto but increased regular pace to 6.5
Mile 4: 10:40 6mph w/4mph break for 30 sec at .5 mile
Mile 5: 10:10 6mph w/5mph break for 60 sec at .5 mile
Mile 6: 10:00 6mph no break
Mile 7: 9:55 5.5mph but increased to 7mph for last .25 mile

I hate having that warm-up walk in there because it destroys my overall time :( Boo! Anywho, I was pretty much a soaking sweatball when I finished, but I definitely could have kept going for at least another 2-3 miles.

And for my week in review:

Before I do my little calendar screen-shot, I have to give a shout-out to Cranky Fitness! When I first started reading blogs CF was an immediate favorite. After about a 6-month hiatus, Cranky Fitness is back! She just did an awesome giveaway for a P90x system, and guess who won?!  ME! Woohoo!!  Thanks Crabby! And thanks to Paul who is the one actually sending the P90x to me Smile

My weight stayed between 113 – 114, except for Wednesday when it crept up to 115. I blame the Chinese food from Tuesday ;)  And maybe the Peanut Butter M&Ms that somehow ended up in our vending machine at work. I am not one to frequent the vending machine and probably wouldn’t have even noticed these, but one of my evil co-workers pointed them out since she knows I’m PB-OCD!  After the 3rd bag (thankfully not all in the same day!) I read the ingredients and noticed the dairy. Sigh.  Why would I have not thought about that beforehand! I mean, Duh! Milk chocolate = milk. I must have been in denial or something.  Needless to say, I’m done with the PB M&Ms (unless of course there becomes a dairy-free version!).

On Friday night when I got home from work, hubby and I headed out to Musikfest in Bethlehem. It was actually quite fun! We wandered around for a couple hours while he ate his way from one end of the place to the other. I had some potato chips and a whole wheat pretzel. While there, I found out there’s going to be a VegFest in the same area on September 10th! Yippee! I’m really looking forward to that!

On Saturday, hubby and I went grocery shopping and then went looking for somewhere to eat.  He has been wanting to try this place called Pickles so we headed over there, but when I saw the menu, I asked him if we could please go somewhere else. It would have cost me at least $20 to “build” a veggie meal! We ended up right down the street at Italiano Delight where they have a $7.50 buffet. It was fabulous! I had no problem finding meat/dairy-free items and hubby totally gorged himself sick! Lol! It also came with a complimentary side of pasta, so we got angel hair pasta with olive oil, spinach and fresh garlic- it was out of this world! We will most definitely be going back there again!

I think that’s about it. I’d like to thank those of you who have commented on my posts during the week.  I try to squeeze in what I can when I have time on my lunch breaks. I hope I got back to everyone, but if not, thank you! Your comments are truly appreciated!

I’m off to shower and then cook up my meals for the week.

- Do you slow down for your long runs? If so, by how much?

- Do you batch cook on the weekends for the upcoming week?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Three Things Thursday

1. I had my new favorite lunch today! When I got home from work last night I plugged in the crockpot and here's what I threw in it:
     - one bag boca crumbles
     - one can black beans (I blended them first so they didn't "look" like beans)
     - one jar salsa (I use Salpica Cilantro and Green Olive)
     - 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
     - some cumin and hot mexican chili powder
     - 2 ears of corn, cut off the cob
     - a pack of low sodium taco seasoning
     - the juice of half of a lime
     - a handful of cilantro
I set it on low overnight and then portioned it out (5 1-cup servings) this morning before work. I had it for lunch over a bed of spring mix and then topped it with some of my homemade salsa and a dollop of Tofutti sour cream. YUM!

2. As some of you may know, I haven't been able to find a "normal" full-time job since moving this past November, so I've been temping back at my old job since February. We are currently in negotiations to make it "worth my while" to come back as a permanent part-time employee.  That would mean I'd get my benefits and PTO time back (among a couple other little "bonuses")! I should know something within the next month. Please keep me (and my poor little bank account) in your thoughts ;)

3. My running mojo is definitely back - I ran 7 days in a row! Yesterday I finally took a rest day, but tonight I'm looking forward to a nice easy 4 miler, which should finish off my 13.1 miles of the Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half Marathon :)

Lunch break is over now, back to the grind...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Weight-loss, Running, Vegan diet, Shopping, and the Week in Review

It’s been another busy (yet super successful running-wise) week! I worked my crazy-long hours on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday and then when I got home Thursday night my sister-in-law, niece, and nephew were here to spend the night.

I got up early on Friday so I could get my run in before we went to do whatever it was we were going to do for the day, which turned out to be a trip to Cabelas.  My hubby and his sister (and my niece) are hunters Sad smile so they love all things Cabelas.  It actually turned out okay for me since I scored some Under Armour running stuff on sale! It also helps when I can shop in the kids department, Lol! I got a pair of biker-like shorts that are super comfy and a lightweight, short-sleeved running shirt.  We then went to Chili’s for lunch where I had an awesome black bean burger. Seriously, it was so yummy!  We came back home and while the kids were out playing on the 4-wheeler, I was able to get another run in! Twice in one day, yippee!  And instead of taking my rest day yesterday (Saturday) I decided to do some hill/interval work which got me another 5.45 miles in! 

Here’s what the week looked like:

Yeah, that came out horrible but here’s a summary:  My weight stayed between 114 – 115, I tracked ALL my food, and I ran 6 times! On Sunday I did 4.5 miles, Monday 4.75 miles, Wednesday 3.6 miles, Friday 3.4 in the morning and another 3.6 at night, and Saturday 5.45!  I’m going out for my long run today as soon as I upload this post.

I also joined the Hotter Than Hades Virtual Half-Marathon (details HERE):

And I’ve been adding new blogs to my Blogroll like crazy!  I’m a much better reader than writer, and most times when I plan on updating my blog, I end up spending too much time reading others and then don’t have time for my own Winking smile 

I also still don’t really feel like I fit into any particular blog category.  Yes, I’m a runner but I don’t run to “race” and I prefer to run by myself.  Running is just my personal, happy place/pace sorta thing, ya know?  Which is probably why I jumped when I saw the aforementioned Virtual Run!

I’m not really a weight-loss blog seeing as how I’ve already lost the weight.  And while I am a lifetime Weight Watcher (and also work for them), I don’t count points (I lost my weight following the Core i.e. Simply Filling plan). I do still, however, track everything, but I use for that instead of WW.

I don’t really count as a Vegan blog since I’m only 2 months into my Vegan journey and still learning.  And I don’t create recipes; I make the recipes other Vegan blogs post ;)  Unless of course, I happen to get lucky throwing things together in the kitchen, which DID in fact happen yesterday! Look for an upcoming post on my Asian Boca Concoction, hehe :)

But yet, I AM a combination of all of the above!  I’m a (mostly) healthy veg*n runner who rambles about whatever strikes me, which is usually pertaining to weight-loss/maintenance, a vegan diet, running, shopping, and those who follow the same sort of lifestyle Smile

Ok done rambling and not even sure what brought that on, but anyways, I’m off for my run. Happy Sunday!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Little Survey of Me

Survey time! I stole this from Beer, Dogs, and Getting Healthier but there are a ton of people doing it. So you should do it to!

1.            What is your occupation right now? I have 2 currently. I work part-time for Weight Watchers and I'm temporarily back at my old job (Human Services/Social work) full-time, until I can find something local. Part of the reason for my poor blogging habits are because from Tuesday - Friday I'm gone from 6am to 9pm.

2.            What color are your socks right now?  I'm wearing sandals today so I don't have socks on.

3.            What are you listening to right now?  My co-workers discussing a case. I'm on lunch break.
4.            What was the last thing that you ate?  I had my overnight oats for breakfast, and since I forgot to bring my lunch today I had a mini-bag of Orville Smart-pop Kettle corn. I'm STARVING!
5.            Can you drive a stick shift?  Yep, I learned how to drive on a stick shift and much prefer a stick to an automatic.
6.            Last person you spoke to on the phone?  A co-worker. Before that was hubby.
7.            Do you like the person you stole this blog from?  I don't know her but I like her blog! 
8.            How old are you today? Today I'm 29. I've been 29 for the past 12 or so years now ;)
9.            What is your favorite sport to watch on TV?  J-E-T-S! Jets, Jets, Jets!
10.          What is your favorite drink?  Coffee!
11.          Have you ever dyed your hair?  I'm a big fan of doing all kinds of different things with my hair, so yep! Sometimes multiple colors at once, lol!
12.          Favorite food?  Hmm. Either chocolate chip peanut butter cookies or Peanut Butter & Company's Dark Chocolate Dreams.
13.          What is the last movie you watched?  Saw VII
14.          Favorite day of the year?  Halloween!
15.          How do you vent anger?  Either running or kicking things. Or just throwing a temper tantrum.
16.          What was your favorite toy as a child?  A stuffed panda named Ming-Ming :)
17.          What is your favorite season?  Fall
18.          Cherries or Blueberries?  neither actually
19.          Do you want your friends to blog this survey?  Of course!
20.          Where is your favorite place to escape?  The garage - that's where my treadmill is. Of course I would love to say some remote island somewhere far away, but let's be for real. I'm broke :)
21.          Favorite TV Show(s)?  Dexter, Bones
22.          Living arrangements?  A house in the middle of a golf course with hubby, Chase (dog), and Bogey (our cat).
23.          When was the last time you cried?  Hmm.  I really don't remember but I'm sure it was during some sappy movie or something.
24.          What is on the floor of your closet?  A bunch of shoes, some pocketbooks, free weights, halloween costumes and a bag of wigs.
25.          Who is the friend you have had the longest?  I'm bad with friends because I move so often and am horrible at keeping in touch. Gonna have to go with Kim on this one :)  
26.          What did you do last night?  Worked at WW then came home and ran 5 miles
27.          What are you most afraid of?  Praying Mantis's - those things just totally creep me out
28.          Plain, cheese, or spicy hamburgers?  Spicy but no meat in my burger please!
29.          Favorite dog breed?  Although I love my pit, I've never had a better dog than my black lab :)
This is Chase, our pit :)
30.          Favorite day of the week? Saturday
31.          How many states have you lived in? NY, NJ, VA, CO, CA, TX, MO, IL, PA
32.          Diamonds or pearls?  Diamonds
33.          What is your favorite flower?  Orchid

That was fun!!!