I'm not sure how to explain my absence. Not that any of you really probably even noticed or lost sleep over it. Maybe you just assumed it was the holidays. But in reality it's just that I get to this point in my blogging mind where there is so much I want to say, but none of it connects so it would mean blogging like 100 posts in a matter of days and well, you all do NOT deserve that type of torture. I also tend to dream and think while running, and since I'm currently training for a 1/2 I have a lot more time to dream and think.
At any rate, I read my sister's blog the other day where she did a post of tangents....I suppose that's as good a way as any to put all my randomness into one post. Thanks, Mel! So here goes...
Tangent 1: We had a fabulous Christmas. We went down to Ft. Lauderdale to be with the hub's side of the family. The hubs was sick most of the week, which was a bummer, but other than that we so enjoyed the activities, the weather, and most of all the family.
Tangent 2: Running. It's not something I ever thought I'd be able to do or even like. I was telling a friend the other day, though, that for some reason I really think of running as a hallmark of health and fitness. So, it was important for me to try it out as I journey to become the fittest me I can be. I can remember a little over a year ago not even being able to run to the corner of the block...seriously. I hated every step too. But, I was determined to continue trying. The iPod helped...just being able to focus elsewhere took my mind off the mental challenge to some degree. I also knew that the only way to get better at running was to run. So, I'd fit in a little here or there and before I knew it I was running a mile (one loop in the neighborhood). Then one day I decided to try for a second loop. I didn't make it at first, but I kept trying. Then I added another little loop. Now, I know that most people ramp up their running by doing the run/walk method. Totally professional. I'm just too stubborn. I won't give myself credit if I walk and well....I was determined each time to run further than I had the previous time. By the time November rolled around I was running over 3 miles on a typical day. So, when I heard about the 10K I thought it would be a stretch, but a good challenge. I tried running 5 and did it! It hurt, but I knew that if I could do it I would be able to run the race. I joined our running group and did the last long run with them, and then did the race. Yea! The running group was going to continue to train for an upcoming 15K and I thought...what the heck. Unfortunately it falls on a date that I'll be out of town. So, I opted to push a little further and do a 1/2. Who would have thunk it? So, here's what I have to say to all of you who where me a year ago.....1.) Running isn't a hallmark of health. You can do many other things that may even be better for your body in the long run. But, if it's important to you to try...then do it. It is one of the most challenging, and thus rewarding things you can strive for. 2.) If I can run, so can you. I would reccomend ramping up with the run/walk method rather than what I did (I'm so hard headed), but before you know it you'll be setting new goals. 3.) If I can enjoy running, so can you. That's not to say that I have days where it is harder than others to grind it out, but for the most part I really enjoy that time. I always run outside...no matter how rainy or cold. I just like the scenery. I also always run with music. It SERIOUSLY helps! It is actually such a worshipful time for me. The other day I was running down a back street, fortunately, with my arms raised praising the Lord as I went. Ha! Okay, so if you are out there wanting to run....let me know how I can help or encourage you to get started with a plan.
Tangent 3: Clean eating. I've not really update much since I began, I don't think. But, it does work. I know because of the scale. I know because I wake up hungry ready to eat break-fast, which is how it should be. I know because I'm never really left craving anything in the evenings which used to be my time of biggest temptation (that's AMAZING). I know because I'm regular (T.M.I? Sorry.). I know because when I allowed myself to venture out and eat "other" foods I felt sick, bloated, and instantly regretted the decision. I've not been as strict as the book would recommend, but I follow the principles. Here they are once again in case you are interested:
1. Eat 6 smaller meals/day
2. Each meal needs to consist of a lean protein and a complex carbohydrate
3. Portion size is VITAL.
4. Elimate all processed food....i.e. no lunchmeats, no store bought dressings, etc. It can be done!
5. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. 16 ozs in b/f you eat anything in the a.m., and then keeping pumping the water ALL day until dinner in done.
I've fallen off the wagon some with the holidays and then with PMS to follow (Ha!), but I'm tightening the reins once again, so I'll let you know more as I go.
Tangent 4: I've been trying out some new recipes on the fam. Fortunately I have a very supporting husband who doesn't demand meat and potatos at every meal. I also have kiddos who are willing to try new things and like a lot of healthy foods. They mostly have a hard time with meats, and for that there is always ranch to use as dip:)
So, one of the new recipes I thought I might pass on is from Real Simple , the January eddition. It was called coucous-stuffed peppers.
Brown 1/2 lb. ground beef (I used lean ground turkey). Cook 1/2 C. couscous according to the package directions (you can also use bulgar wheat blends for a healthier choice). Mix the meat, couscous, 4 scallions (I omitted on the hubs b/c he doesn't like onions), 1 C. crumbled Feta (I used Light Lauging Cow cheese, garlic and herb, b/c it's all I had...but I think reduced fat Feta would have been better), and 1/2 C. chopped dried apricots (I omitted b/c I didn't have it and couldn't imagine really like that...maybe next time?). Season with salt and pepper. Stuff into 4 hollowed-out bell peppers and bake at 400 , covered, until tender, 45-50 minutes.
I paired it with a mixed green salad that had toasted almonds, fresh cilantro, and then a homemade dressing made of balsamic vinegar, lemon juice, and garlic. YUM! It was a hit with all of the them! The kids especially thought it was SO cool that the pepper was like a bowl. eWe actually helped me cook this one too by doing the mixing and stuffing. Okay, so below it a picture of the results in case you are visual! Enjoy!
I still have a bunch more posts rolling around in my brain, but I've got to get going for now. More later! By the way...if there are health and fitness questions that you'd like to see address, please let me know. I'm sure you aren't the only one and I'd like to try to supply you all with answers, even if I have to ask elsewhere:)