Thursday, December 27, 2012

10 Quick Confidence Boosters

I was looking through some of my favorite articles at and thought I'd share this:

Confidence is easily attainable and makes a huge impact on how others view you as well as how you feel about yourself. Try these instant boosters to put a little spring in your step:

  1. Straighten up. A recent Ohio State University study found that the simple act of sitting up straight and adjusting your posture can significantly boost your confidence.
  2. Note the positives. Look in a full-size mirror and pick five things that you feel good about, recommends Leslie Sokol, PhD, coauthor of Think Confident, Be Confident. Make note of both your physical attributes (eyes, lips, hair, nails, legs, feet, toes, smile) and your style (hairdo, clothing, stance, makeup, shoes, jewelry).
  3. Break a sweat (or not). Go for a quick stroll around the block when you’re feeling down. The simple act of exercise (doesn’t matter how long, how intense or how often) gives you an instant body image boost, according to University of Florida research.
  4. Get a haircut. Although it may seem trite, a new ’do is a quick way to feel better, says Sheenah Hankin, PhD, author of Complete Confidence. Changing your look or just indulging in a little “me” time can up your self-esteem in a big way.
  5. Schedule a girls’ night. In a recent Tupperware survey for their Chain of Confidence campaign, 85 percent of respondents, age 18 and older, said that a supportive network of female friends is more likely to make them feel confident in the long run compared to looking attractive.
  6. Lend a hand. If you want to build your confidence in a big way, volunteer for an organization or group that needs help, says Susan Newman, PhD, author of The Book of No. The gratitude you receive will reinforce your self-worth immediately. Check out or to find an opportunity in your area.
  7. Look on the bright side. Think back to the most recent experience where you think you fell short or messed up, and force yourself to name a few things that went right, suggests Marci Fox, PhD, coauthor of Think Confident, Be Confident. Burned that batch of cookies? Maybe, but did you get to spend some quality time with your kids and finish a knitting project while waiting for the treats to bake?
  8. Make a list. Avoiding things that are stressing you out increases anxiety and cuts down confidence, says Dr. Hankin. Write down anything that may fall into this category, such as calling people back or paying bills. Start with just three things and do them today.
  9. Set a (small) goal. One of the most effective ways to build self-confidence is to break down large goals into small, doable action steps, says Sharon Fountain, president of the National Association for Self-Esteem. For example, if you’re trying to shape up and lose weight, make it a goal to eat at least three servings of veggies today.
  10. Try something new. Tackling something you’re scared to do or something that seems difficult increases your sense of well-being, explains Dr. Newman. A few suggestions to get started: Learn a new language, try flower arranging, take a tango class or register for a night class at a local community college in a subject that interests you.
 Have a great day!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Marathon Training

So, although I haven't really been running regularly (my ankle still isn't quite right) I've decided to start marathon training. I found a plan at that really makes me believe I can do this! It's a 20-week program with 4 runs per week and 2 days of cross-training and strength training. The running is intervals (think Jeff Galloway) which I think my ankle will thank me for ;)  And with starting it today, the upcoming half-marathon I want to do will fall in nicely.  I'm not ready to sign up for a full marathon yet, but I want to know that I CAN do it. Once I get through the training I'll decide whether or not to sign up for one.

I think if you click on this you can see it at full size.
Today I ran 40 minutes doing 4:1 intervals. I played around with the speeds until I settled on 6mph/4mph. It went really well! I'm hoping that after a few weeks I'll be able to start working on speed again. I'd like to make my intervals more like 7mph/5mph. Anyways, I'll try to post progress reports at least once a week.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Banana Bread (from Forks over Knives)

So the banana bread was a success (other than needing a few more minutes in the oven)! As usual, I forgot to take a picture before I sliced it up :(

Here's the recipe:

  • 2-3 ripe bananas, mashed (2 if med-large, 3 if on the smaller side)
  • 2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
  • 3/4 tsp baking soda
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened applesauce
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup non-dairy milk (I used vanilla coconut milk)
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional but worth the extra calories!)
  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Combine flour, soda, and salt in large mixing bowl
  3. In separate bowl, combine bananas, maple syrup, applesauce, milk, and vanilla
  4. Make a well in the middle of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet, mixing until everything is evenly   moistened. Stir in walnuts if using.
  5. Pour batter into non-stick (I used Pam) 8 x 4 loaf pan
  6. Bake for 55 - 60 minutes (I baked for 58 and it could have definitely used at least another 5 minutes)
  7. Let cool for at least 30 minutes before removing from pan, then let cool completely before slicing.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Ten Things Thursday

I never know what to post on here, so how about some randomness?

1. I went back to the gym today and ran for 30 minutes doing 2:1 intervals. I'm amazed at how quick I lost my endurance for straight running. At least intervals shake things up a little bit, hehe. My dislocated ankle may also be partially to blame.

2. When I got home from work tonight I threw together a Vegan Banana Bread (new recipe I found in the Forks over Knives cook book). It should be ready in about 20 minutes, so if it turns out any good I'll post the recipe tomorrow.

3. I stopped at Giant on my way home from work tonight and it's definitely my new favorite grocery store! It's huge, had everything I was looking for, prices were good, and they're open 24 hours! Yay!

4. Our new condo is less than 5 minutes from Tyler State Park, and that's where the Bucks County Half Marathon is, in April. Perfect timing to put together a new training plan!

5. I'm an employee of Weight Watchers and even though I've had the new program materials for over a month, I still haven't looked at them. I'm putting that out here to get it off my procrastination list ;)

6. I put up the Xmas tree and decorated it, but I am just not into the holiday season this year, at all.

7. I love my mom :)

8. I hate driving. Absolutely HATE it. Especially at night, or in traffic. I hate driving.

9. I sure could go for a huge steaming cup of coffee.

10. I think the Banana Bread is ready. Oh, I have to pass the coffee pot on my way to the stove!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Dark before the Dawn

It's been a long, difficult year that started when Chase passed away the first week of January. I couldn't find a job locally (besides part-time at Weight Watchers) so I was driving 2 hours each way back and forth 3-4 days a week to my "regular" job. We got a new puppy, Lucy, who was (is) more than a handful and required constant supervision. This kept me from my regular routine of running, studying, computer time, etc... I know- excuses, excuses. I also gained 10 pounds this year. I was registered to run a half-marathon on October 28th but then I dislocated my ankle. I didn't go to the actual race but I did run (well, more like hobble) the HM on my treadmill so I wouldn't feel like a complete loser. Then to top it all off, at the beginning of November my husband got laid off and we lost our house with less than 30 days notice to move.

But things are beginning to look up! We moved into a new place last week, which I already LOVE! I'm only 15 miles from work so I started back full-time as of today. Lucy is 11 months old now so she's getting a bit easier to handle, and she's already made a lot of new friends here! We're in a dog-friendly subdivision and the main road is a 1.15 mile loop, so we walk that anywhere from 2-5 times per day. Hubby just went on a 2nd interview and should be starting a new job (with a higher salary) on January 1st. And I found a half-marathon in April that's less than 5 miles from our new home :)  I'm also back to tracking my food and being mindful of what I'm eating.

So I'm not waiting for January 1st to make a new start. I'm doing it now! Who wants to join me?

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

It's been crazy busy at work and I've been running as soon as I get home, so I haven't had any time to write. I should be back again on Friday. Until then...

2 more days until I order new running shoes! 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

A Great Run and an even GREATER Veggie Burger!

Even though I had to run inside on the treadmill today, I had a great run! I started slow, but kept increasing the speed until I found a comfortable pace. I was a little shocked that it was under a 10-minute mile pace!

But now onto my veggie burger experiment!

It was a little messy in the making, but the results were definitely worth it! I will NEVER buy another Boca burger again! Seriously, they came out THAT good!

Here's what I ended up using:

  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup baby bella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts, chopped (from canned, in water)
  • 1 (15-oz) can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 Tbsp Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1 Tbsp Liquid Smoke (hickory)
  • 1 Tbsp Grey Poupon Dijon Mustard
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp (hot mexican) chili powder
  • 1 tsp chipotle chili pepper
  • 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped black olives
I followed the instructions from the recipe exactly, but I used PAM spray instead of any oil. Instead of making "sliders" like the recipe called for, I ended up with 7 good-sized burgers. When I entered all the nutritional information at, they came out to 120 calories per burger. Not bad! 

This is hubby's plate. I had mine without any bread, topped with 1/2 of a Roma tomato and some sauteed mushrooms. I didn't have any salad (yet),  but I did have the other half of the (also homemade) sweet potato fries! Yummy! 

And hubby is still raving about how good it all is!  Success!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Build the Perfect Veggie Burger!

I found this on No Meat Athlete (one of my favorite sites- go check it out!) and can't wait to start experimenting! I put my choices in red and will update after I try it out!

The veggie burger formula

  • 1  pound can of beans, drained and rinsed, or 1.5 cups cooked beans (suggestions: your favorite bean!) black beans
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups diced veggies (suggestions: carrots, celery, mushrooms, chopped spinach, chopped kale, corn, chopped artichokes, zucchini, squash, sweet potato)
  • 2 teaspoons + 2 tablespoons oil for frying (suggestions: olive, coconut, grapeseed) no oil, will use spray instead
  • 3 tablespoons liquid flavor (mix and match suggestions: mustard, ketchup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, vegan worcestershire, buffalo sauce, balsamic vinegar, salsa, pasta sauce, marsala, water) liquid smoke
  • 4 teaspoons spice (we recommend combining at least two: smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, italian seasoning, poultry seasoning, montreal steak seasoning, black pepper, cayenne pepper, fennel, oregano, curry powder)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt (omit or reduce if your liquid or spices contain salt)
  • 1 cup dry base ingredient (suggestions: buckwheat, unsweetened protein, bread crumbs, cornmeal, oatmeal)
  • 1/2 cup texture ingredient (suggestions: chopped walnuts, olives, avocado, sundried tomatoes, leftover cooked rice/quinoa/bulgur, parsley, cilantro, basil)
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a pan over medium heat. Fry the onion, veggies, and garlic until softened, about 5 minutes.
Transfer to a food processor and with beans, liquid flavor, spice, salt until combined but still chunky. Pulse in the dry base and texture ingredient.
Form into golf ball size balls and flatten into patties.
Heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium-high heat. Fry patties 2-3 minutes per side until browned and heated through.

Makes about 18 small patties.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Five Mile Friday

I couldn't believe when I looked at the clock and it was already 7pm! Where did the entire day go?! Oh, I know! I slept in until 9am (what a wonderful treat that was!) then went to the social security office. After procrastinating for almost 3 years, I finally went to get my name changed on my social security card! Nothing like needing to get a passport to make me finally get all legalized and stuff ;) From there we were going to go to Motor Vehicles so I could get a PA drivers license, but I didn't have anything with me that has my current address on it. I'll try that again on Monday. Next we headed for lunch at a little cafe that turned out to be very good! I had a black bean burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and salsa with a side of eggplant fries. Yum! After our bellies were full it was time to go home and take a nap, heh.

That's how it ended up being 7pm and I still needed to get in my run, make dinner, do laundry, etc...
I was just going to run on the treadmill, but when Lucy saw me put on my sneakers she started jumping up and down at the door. So we headed out, in the pouring rain. It was wonderful. Running through puddles and watching her play in them. There was nobody on the golf course. Really, it was just a great run! There's a "loop" right behind our house which is our normal walking route. It's 3/4 mile per loop and half uphill, half downhill. I figured if the rain got to be too much or if Lucy got wiped out, we could head back to the house and I'd finish up on the treadmill, but the time flew by, and before I knew it, we were done.

Tomorrow is "food" day, which means Farmers Market, grocery store, and preparing meals for the week. Another batch of Mexican Vegan Chili, Eggplant Casserole, and Veggie Lasagna are on the menu for the upcoming week, along with the other usual stuff- salads, hummus, salsa, etc..

And that's about it. Off to watch a movie with hubby :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Thai Peanut Soup

I made this a couple nights ago and to be honest, I wasn't all that impressed. Today when I actually sat down and ate it, I couldn't get enough!

Thai Peanut Soup

  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp fresh ginger
  • 1 medium head of cauliflower, chopped
  • 1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 3 cups vegetable broth
  • 1 (15-oz) can lite coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup natural peanut butter
  • 4 Tbsp low sodium Tamari (or soy sauce)
1. In a large soup pot, saute onion, celery, carrot, garlic, ginger, cauliflower, and cabbage over medium-high heat in 1-2 cups water until veggies are soft (5-10 minutes). Add lemon juice and cook for about another minute.

2. Add veggie broth, coconut milk, peanut butter, and tamari. Reduce heat to medium and stir until well combined. Cook about 5-10 minutes.

3. You can stop here and serve, but I didn't like the way it looked. So I took an immersion blender to it until it was (almost) creamy.  Makes about 12 (heaping) 1-cup servings. 

Thai Peanut Soup garnished w/cilantro. Not much to look at but sure tastes good!

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Wondering about a Vegan diet?

I saw this on a few different blogs and thought I'd share it here as well. You wouldn't believe how many times I'm asked where I get my protein. I'm definitely going to print this out and hang it in my office!

PeTA may be a bit over the top, but the good they do far outweighs some of the more controversial stuff! 
For me, yesterday was a rest day. I did get a little ST in since we had to go buy and install a new stove ;) Other than that though, I did some grocery shopping and prepping. I made Thai Peanut Soup, which took a bit longer than I expected. By the time it was done I wasn't hungry and it was late, so I haven't tasted it yet. If it's any good I will post the recipe later. The only thing on today's schedule is a 4-mile "long" run and some laundry. Also have to fill out passport paperwork in preparation for our Bahamas cruise in November! 

Friday, August 10, 2012

Finally starting to feel like a runner again!

Up until today I'd really been struggling with my runs. Not today though! After only a few minutes, I found my happy place pace and settled right in :) It was only 4 miles, but I really felt good about them. I think I'll be able to start working on speed in a couple weeks, but for right now I'm just going to enjoy running again.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

3 pounds to go (and a new hummus recipe)!

I was so excited when I saw 119.2 on the scale this morning! It seems like forever I've been trying to get back under 120 (though it's really only been a few months, heh)! 3 pounds to go!!

Today I thought I'd share my new favorite hummus recipe, which is based on this one from KidTestedFireFighterApproved. I have quite a few recipes from that site on my "to do" list! Unfortunately, our stove broke on Monday and I can't get a new one until Saturday or Sunday. So there will be no cooking until then. Thank goodness I had already prepped and made a bunch of stuff last Sunday!

Buffalo Hummus:

1 can chickpeas (drained, rinsed, and peeled)
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1/4 cup Tahini
1/4 cup lemon juice
a dash of salt
1 Tbsp distilled white vinegar
1.5 tsp paprika
3-4 Tbsp Frank's Buffalo hot sauce

Put everything in processor (I use a Ninja) and blend until smooth and creamy. If too thick/pasty add a little water or chickpea liquid to get it to the desired consistency. Refrigerate until ready to serve. I've been eating this all week with either celery sticks or Spicy Buffalo Wheat Thins. Yum!

Now I'm heading over to the gym for some cross-training on the elliptical. Have a great day!

More hummus please, mom!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

1st run for HM training- speed work

I went to the gym today for my run. I like the treadmills at Planet Fitness, but I hate the manual programming on them. Mine at home is so much easier! Anyways, I did a speed-work drill that I still had written down from last year.

5 minute brisk walk
5 minutes at 6mph
4 minutes at 6.5mph
3 minutes at 7mph
2 minutes at 7.5mph
1 minute at 8mph

I actually did .5mph less because I knew I wasn't ready to tackle 8mph yet. I did a 4 minute walk and then went from 5.5mph - 7.5mph. I was fine until that last minute at 7.5mph when I turned into a panting, sweaty mess. I didn't have enough time to do the entire repeat so I just switched around from 6-7mph then did a 4 minute cool-down walk. I ended up with 3.25 miles in 33 minutes. Not too shabby!

Note to self: never take several months off running again because it really does take you back almost to square one :(

Breakfast: Overnight oats w/PB2 and vegan chocolate chips
Snack: Cantaloupe
Lunch/Dinner: Spicy vegan pad thai with a boat-load of broccoli

1.5 cigarettes

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Insert Witty Title Here

Not much to report for today. I really just want to get into the habit of keeping this thing up to date so I can look back on my food and fitness. Maybe this will keep me from making poor choices (i.e. Oreos for dinner).

Breakfast: Overnight oats w/PB2
Snack: a hunk of fresh pineapple
Lunch: Mexican-style black beans w/salsa, Tofutti, and Red Hot Blues
Snack: Buffalo-style wheat thins w/buffalo-wingish hummus (this may be my new favorite hummus recipe!)
Dinner: Snack-pack of Oreos
Snack: HH Chocolate zucchini cake

Today was supposed to be a rest day, but since Lucy was so excited when I got home from work, we went out for a 3-mile walk.

2 cigarettes today :(

Monday, August 6, 2012

12 weeks to Oktoberfest Half Marathon

I made a few posts over at WordPress. I want to like it over there, but I can't do it. Blogger is just so much easier to use, even with it's random quirkiness and issues. So I'm back. I'm also on Day 6 of not smoking. Well, mostly not smoking. I've had a total of 5 cigarettes since July 31st. That's less than 1 per day! Yay me!

My next half marathon is now 12 weeks away. That means my "official" training begins this week. Wednesday to be exact. I'm really not worried about the distance, but I am worried about speed. I'm going to be running with my brother and he runs about a minute per mile faster than I do. Then again, he is used to running 10k and his farthest run to date is 8 miles. So maybe he will slow down a little as the mileage increases. I can hope, right? ;)

Yesterday, we got my treadmill moved from the garage into the house, finally! Now I have no excuses (other than the puppy trying to get on there with me, and tripping me)! I should probably stop calling Lucy "the puppy" since she's 7 months old and 60 pounds now! She does still act like a 3-month old puppy though!

Here's Lucy at 4 months old

Gotta run to the store, and then we are taking Lucy out swimming/kayaking for a couple hours. Back later!

Monday, July 30, 2012

VegLegs: Runs on Plants

I'm having some issues over here at Blogger, so for the time-being you can find me at WordPress as VegLegs: Runs on Plants. Hope to see you over there!

Friday, July 27, 2012

Umm, Hi!

The past 6 months have been rough. Our dog, Chase (only 3 years old) got suddenly sick and passed away in January. We got a new puppy (now 6 months old and talk about a handful! Oy!) 
Here's Lucy at about 3 months old.
I've hardly done any running, and I've gained about 10 pounds. I've been smoking way too much, and I've also had dairy on a few occasions over the past couple months. That all stops now. Back on track and back in training mode. I signed up for a half-marathon in October (with my brother!) and I'm back to logging everything that goes in my mouth. I'm also quitting smoking on August 1st. Cold turkey. 

Oh, I made a new Twitter account since weird tweets kept showing up on mine (when I wasn't even tweeting anything!) so it's now @veglegs (see the gadget/widget thing down to the right).

Alrighty then, that about catches us up :)