Monday, January 28, 2013


I always laugh at posts about failed attempts at recipes found on Pinterest.  So far, I've had great luck following recipes that I find online.  Tonight, though, I experienced my own depressing recipe gone wrong.

First, I must reference the dish that I was attempting to recreate.  I found the recipe for Cheesy Sweet Potato Crisps and thought they sounded like a yummy (and healthy) side.

Here's what they were supposed to look like:

Don't they just look delightful???

Well my first tip off to impending doom should have been the 45 MINUTES that I spent grating the stupid sweet potatoes.  My fingers even turned orange in the process.  Apparently I own the world's smallest grater.

Then, I followed the directions EXACTLY, which meant attempting to squeeze all the water out of this pile of potatoes and spraying the cooking rack and sheet with oil.

After 35 minutes of baking (in an attempt to make these babies nice and crispy), I finally couldn't wait any longer and attempted to remove them from the cookie sheet and onto my plate.

I ended up with this mess...


My hope was that maybe they still tasted good after all that time and effort.  By this point, Steve was home and he was pretty excited as well.

The verdict?  They were DREADFUL.


We both began to gag and almost threw up after attempting to eat a few.  I can't even describe the flavor.  It makes me feel like vomiting all over again.

To make matters worse, the Old Bay-seasoned tilapia we were supposed to have with it was also watery and gross.  At that point I gave up.  In the 6 years or so that I've been cooking for Steve, there are very few dinners that I've messed up.  Tonight, this took the cake.

Steve is out getting Subway right now...

Saturday, January 26, 2013

The Low From Which We Are Grown

The snow and slush outside made me tempted to stay in my bed all day, but I fought the urge and headed to the gym instead.  This was my first trip back since my surgery, and also my first attempt at running in months.  I walked for 25 minutes on an incline to warm up, and then I ran a mile without stopping.  I was really happy, but also frustrated at the same time.  It felt good to run again, but I started to think back to last year at this time when I was running 8 and 9 miles without an issue.  

Starting over SUCKS.  

But I also realized that I have a lot to be thankful for.  I'm thankful that a simple procedure was able to fix my leg.  I'm thankful that after just a couple weeks of recovery, I'm able to start back to being fit.  I'm also thankful that my body still allows me to do pretty awesome things, as long as I'm dedicated enough to push myself and stay motivated.

I found this quote today, and I absolutely love it.  I think it really highlights why we need to go through the tough times, and why we can actually rejoice and be thankful for them.  

“And so, I walk through the valley and I am not afraid for I know that the valley is where we go to learn, to grow, and to transcend all we once imagined ourselves to be. We are so much more than our own limited thoughts could ever comprehend. The valley is where we let go and is the point from which we rebuild. We must not let sadness or disappointment keep us from rejoicing in the low from which we are grown.” 
― Jennifer Hall

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Little Splurge

My entire life, I've always been a bargain shopper.  I like buying good, quality brands, but I refuse to pay full price.  When I shop, I get a huge thrill from scrounging through clearance and sale racks to find the best deals.  What can I say?  I'm my mother's daughter.

What happened yesterday almost killed me.  I paid (gasp!) FULL PRICE for a pair of running shoes.  I never thought this day would come.  It physically pained me to hand over my debit card.  But I had to do it.  I went to my favorite running store, Point 2 Running Company, bound and determined to replace my worn out, beat up Asics.  I had planned to pay around $80, knowing full well that I would get great use out of them.  I tried on two pairs of Asics, my usual, and they both felt good.  But then the saleswoman convinced me to try a pair of Mizuno Wave Inspire 9.

My life was changed then and there.  I did the obligatory lap around the store, and my feet felt like they were light as air.  It was like I could literally bounce off the floor.  I loved them.  And then I had to ask the fatal question...

Me: "Do I even want to know how much these cost?"

Saleswoman: "They're $115.  But the Asics you just tried were both $150."

Excuse me?  I'm going to pay over one hundred dollars for ONE pair of shoes???  I've never paid that much for one item of clothing in my life!  I continued to pace the store, and even did a quick look online with my phone.  Sure enough, they were $115 online as well.  At least I knew they fit great, and I was buying from a small business instead of a massive cyber warehouse.

So I did it.  I splurged.  And after walking three miles in them today, I'm so glad that I did.  They are officially the most comfortable shoes I've ever worn.  I'm really excited to get back into running now that my leg is healing, and these shoes make me even more motivated.  It might seem silly to someone else, but this splurge felt totally worth it.  It's money well spent to help me get healthy and be the best version of myself.  You can't put a price on that.

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

New Year...New Post!

My first post of 2013!  Woop woop!

I returned to work today and felt so tired and foggy.  After sleeping in for days, it was tough to get up at 6am.  I powered through my day though, successfully ate only the food I packed, didn't snack on any junk, and came home to make a healthy dinner!  Starting the year off right!

I made one of mine (and Steve's) favorite recipes.  It's so simple, perfectly Paleo, and we always have enough leftovers to take for lunch the next day.  Enjoy!!


Friday, December 28, 2012

Game Night!

My husband and I had a great time tonight at our neighbor's.  We organized an impromptu game night after our handy-dandy neighbor (who has helped us so much in the past 3 years of home ownership) helped Steve put our new bedroom furniture together.  We got to talking and decided to get together for dinner and some cards.  I was already planning to try a new chili recipe, so it worked out perfectly.  I love when plans just magically come together.  I especially love walking just a few short steps over to my house at the end of the night.

Here's the recipe that I tried...  It was delicious, super easy, and we have lots of leftovers.  Perfect recipe in my book!

Bear's White Chicken Chili 
(courtesy of The Recipe Club)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

I'm back!!!

I'm returning from a hiatus for three reasons...

Reason #1 -  I finally graduated from UVA!!!  I now officially have a Master of Education degree in Curriculum and Instruction, with a focus in Reading.  After 2.5 long years, my life is returning to normal!  I'm also loving my new job as a Reading Coach for my district.  It's definitely different from teaching, but so far it's been a great experience.

Reason #2 -  My leg is messed up, but I'm finally having a procedure done to fix everything.  I discovered after months of pain in my left leg, and a visit to a vascular specialist, that I have a varicose vein that is not pumping blood properly.  It's causing pain behind my knee and in my calf whenever I do strenuous exercise.  The aches have all but wiped out my running, and I've basically just been walking and doing yoga.  I'm trying to stay fit and upbeat, but it's frustrating.  I'm so glad that after the procedure, I'll be good as new within a week!  I can't wait to try out some new classes at my gym and get back to running.

Reason #3 - A friend of mine wrote a blog post recently that I commented on, and he said I should include my point of view in my blog...if I had one.  Turns out, I do!  I've just been too busy to write in it!  Don't worry, friend, I'll get around to that post...  ;)

Now that I have a bit more free time, and I'll be active again, I'm excited to return to blogging.  Since the new year is approaching, I thought I would set some goals of what I would like to write about.  So here's goes my list of "resolutions"...

1.  Blog once a month about a new workout experience.  
     - I really want to try new classes and push myself to improve in strength, endurance, and flexibility.

2.  Blog twice a month about new healthy recipes that I try.
     - I'm continuing to try new Paleo and limited-carb recipes, and I would love to pass them along!

3.  Blog once a month about new books, restaurants, experiences, etc.
     - Basically, I want to write about something fun at least once a month!

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Wiggle and Jiggle

Today was my moment of truth.  After running the half last weekend, and then basically enjoying whatever food I wanted this week, I decided it was time to get focused again on my overall health.  I weighed and measured myself to see where I stood, and I was happy and disappointed at the same time.

Weight wise, I lost 4 lbs since starting to train.  That also means I've lost a total of 9 lbs since this time last year.  Consistency.  I like it.

Inches wise, I barely lost anything.  I lost an inch from my hips and an inch from each thigh, which is definitely great, but not much to brag about.  And I've also noticed that my body is just overall, jiggly.  I know that's probably TMI, but it's true.  I tried on a two-piece swimsuit the other day and shuddered.  Mostly because I'm freakishly pale right now, but also because things that should be more toned are not.

This brings me to today.  My decision to return to weightlifting to build muscle and lose inches, while also running, going to Zumba, and practicing yoga once a week.  I know I need a balance of cardio, strength training, and stretching to be in overall great shape, and running basically took over my life and made cardio my only focus.

So what's my plan?  Well thanks to my friend Liz and her helpful fiance, David, I have new workout buddies to keep me accountable and more knowledge of what to do in the "scary" part of the gym.  (I always avoid the weight area like the plague)  This is the schedule I hope to keep up throughout the week:

Sunday - Lift Legs, Abs, and 30 min of light cardio - ie: elliptical or walking on an incline

Monday - Morning Yoga 

Tuesday - Lift Arms, Abs, and 30 min of light cardio

Wednesday - Run 2-3 miles 

Thursday - Zumba!

Friday - Rest day 

Saturday - Long run (4-6 miles)

The only problem I see right now is the running.  My knee is still very sore from the race.  I ran a mile today and it hurt the entire time.  I plan to substitute walking for running for a few weeks to give it time to heal.

In regards to my eating, I will be sticking to a mostly Paleo/Primal plan.  I love the way it makes me feel, and I definitely notice a difference when I start to slip from it.  I do add in a few non-Paleo foods (Greek yogurt, sweet potatoes, beans, dark chocolate) for some variety and added benefits, but otherwise I still stick to lean meats, eggs, nuts, seeds, vegetables, and fruit.  I'm excited to hear that some of my friends are looking into this plan as well.  I hope they love it as much as I do!

So here's to great health everyone...  The summer sun will be here soon, and I plan to be ready!!