Trending now: All natural

In the latest news, Ben and Jerry's is taking "all natural" off of their label and Log Cabin maple syrup is taking out their caramel coloring since they claim they are all natural. I'm not sure "all natural" is classified by the FDA yet - as I've seen some processed crap and the all natural claim on the same item. Similar to the "whole grain," now "all natural" seems to be the trend. I think it's best to just stick with the fruit, veggies, grains, nuts.. things you know are all natural!

So far this week has been going well with some sacrifices involved. Even though I came up with my set schedule, I kind of had been doing that anyway - the challenge is putting in times for it and making sure I have help to come through with it. Already, I had penciled in swimming for MWF, running for TR and one weekend day with flex workouts in between. Now it is a matter of making sure I have a set time plan for each day. Monday's Jillian kettleballs (which I happened to find on demand) was a great workout - I am still sore!! I used a weight for it. Yesterday I managed 6+ miles in the morning and thought maybe I could get in a couple more to make it to 8 miles - but that was not to be had - basically I get one chance to get in my workout - morning- unless I make it to the gym/daycare.

This morning I gambled and hoped Kara wouldn't wake up while I went swimming and asked Bill to give her a bottle if she did. The only problem is if she woke up between 6:30-7 that is when he gets ready for work. By the time I got up, pumped and got in the car, I was late to swimming and only swam 45 minutes. It was better than nothing and I'll do some kind of strength/abs later (I hope!) Kara ended up waking up at 7, so it would have worked out for me to finish the workout but she isn't on a set schedule yet - when she is, it will be easier.

I've been thinking often about what I will do when it is time to decide about going back to work for the next school year or in 2 years (not sure what I'm allowed to do). In some ways, I think work is easier than this. However, I think of work as work without kids. Work with kids - you work, then come home to kids that you missed all day. I always brought work home and got my tests back the next day or asap. I feel like I would not be happy with my teaching, and feel guilty that I was leaving my kids. I think about this all the time. I miss teaching and haven't been able to find part time work. I worked hard to get the job that I have in a great district. Do I want to give up my job and start over again when the kids are in school? It makes me sick thinking about it. Then when would I fit in the workouts? 5am? Prep periods? I feel like at school I'd have to use every minute so that I didn't have to bring work home. I feel like I could not work 5 days/week and miss my kids - but teaching is also a great job for moms/dads - great hours and summers off. Back and forth... What is the point of life? Work? Family? Kids? Happiness...


I need structure

Thanks so much for all of the comments  - I took many of them and came up with a plan. I decided I need structure.  What is difficult for me right now is the lack of structure because Kara isn't on a schedule yet. I feel like it has been forever (2.5 months) and I'm ready for structure. She goes to bed between 8 and 9 and gets up between 4:30 and 5:30. Most of the time it is close to 5, and masters swimming starts at 5:30 3 days a week so I get sabotaged. Sometimes she's up at 3am - then I am too tired to get up and workout.  We have free daycare at the gym, but last time they came to get me after 10 minutes since Nick wouldn't calm down.  That was last week and I know I have to bring him again and hope it was a bad day, but it is so tough taking him back - he cries every time we start approaching the door to the Y. It's awful! So - I live on structure, which is good and can be bad and right now I don't have structure, but hopefully soon I will. If I can't get in the morning workout, my day isn't as good as if I can!

Here is my plan:
Monday: Yoga/Pilates/Strength or Bike  - morning or use gym daycare
Tuesday: Run - morning
Wednesday: Swim/Strength or track workout and swim on Monday - morning or night track
Thursday: Run - morning
Friday: Swim/Strength - morning
Saturday: Long Run with group
Sunday:Yoga/Pilates/Strength or Bike - class at gym  off (good idea Kaz)
Something to that effect.  I'm going to join the running club - they have long runs on Saturdays and track work on Wednesdays which I will find a way to make because that sounds great! At least once a month I can do some speedwork! As far as diet:

Try not to eat mindlessly - don't wait till I'm starving to eat - be more mindful basically.

Yesterday was pancake Sunday - and I tried The Non Dairy Queen's waffle recipe.
This used peanut flour and I added a little more water since I made pancakes instead of waffles. Now I do want a waffle maker.  I'll get one of them soon!  The topping was coconut oil and amazing grass chocolate powder  - that combo is really delicious!

So far this week - Monday - my dad has one of those bikes w/ computer where you can see the course. I did a whopping 6 miles, it took me 30 minutes. I also did a Jillian kettleball workout on demand - that was great to change it up!! Today (tues) I got in a run in the morning - Kara slept till past 7! woohoo!


Getting fit, finding balance - where to go from here

I'm not sure what direction I want to go in now with training and running. My goals for 2011 are: spring or olympic distance triathlon with middle distance running (10 milers and halfs).  When I'm running more than 20 miles a week, I feel like there is little time for lifting and strength work since I try to swim 2-3 days a week as well. Where will I fit in the strength - and biking? That is my only uncertainty - the bike - for a triathlon.  I always had 30 miles in my head for my weekly mileage goal for running until I had to stop with Kara. Now I have had one 30 mile week since then - last week with the half. I can't decide if I should start building it up again or taking time to focus on other things so that I don't feel burnt out and that I have to make it to 30 miles.  I think the running group may help me to log more miles if I can ever make their training runs.

Alright, 2 months post baby and I'm struggling a bit with body image and I want to be back to my normal (pre-both babies) size and shape. I want my speed back too.  I'm not patient and it's starting to wear on me a bit. I go back and forth from having no time to think about it and days where I'm pretty bummed about it. I figure I need a new focus.  Since I didn't get back into shape or lose all my weight with Nick, maybe I need running to move down in the list and try other things to get my body back and get fit!?  I'm not sure that I love it when I have to fit in a run - it's more that I feel like I have to do it to burn off calories and keep in some kind of shape.  And I love how I feel when I'm done, but surely now when I'm starting out - I feel like I am forcing myself out there many days.  Lifting feels good - as does swimming.  But I feel I want to maintain some kind of running fitness so that I can race in the spring and get back to speed.

Food - I'm eating whole, natural foods. Maybe I am just eating too much of them. Too much fat from nuts? The only way I have successfully lost weight in the past was from drastically cutting calories.  It wasn't healthy and I won't do it again - but I'm tired of being in a place where I'm always trying to get back to where I was! And also, looking at my genetics.. I don't really stand a chance unless I work at it.  Not sure how to change my eating habits in order to help some weight loss to happen!

I I'd love to know how you balance everything out if you are not JUST running.


winner! CSN

Karen! selected by random.org. Please email me! tosha25italia at yahoo


Inspiring & POM Cranberry

This is inspiring - good luck to all of you Kona participants! I'm jealous and I want to be an ironwoman!!  I'm not going to lie, I thought he had boobs at first. I was confused - is it a man or woman? I think it's his fuel in there!


I had the opportunity to try POM Cranberry - it isn't in stores yet - fun! :)
My thoughts: It is refreshing! It is bittersweet - sweet at first but then bitter/tart is the aftertaste (just like cranberry juice). It is a nice twist of POM and Cranberry and full of antioxidants.  Just like any juice, it is high in calories and sugar, so I either water it down or drink in moderation.

Some items I picked up at Trader Joe's - btw, impossible to shop w/ 2 kids - they need car carts (I went alone and my dad watched the 2 nuggets).

Cranberry Apple Butter - looked fall like - maybe spread on bread (3rd ingredient is sugar though)
Peanut Flour - seen around the blogosphere and had to try this stuff out!
Peanut butter - only had no salt. Creamy!
Almond butter - also out of salt - creamy!  No time to make nut butters lately - haven't been to Costco to get the nuts!

How do you like your nut butter - creamy? chunky? salted? unsalted? almonds? peanuts? mixed?

Last day to enter CSN giveaway!


Pumpkin Cornbread

Just in time for fall - some pumpkin!
Using Polly's recipe here inspired by Heather, I made Pumpkin Cornbread. I tweaked the recipe a bit.


1/2 c pumpkin
2 c cornmeal
2 c milk
3 T. chia or flax + 3/4 cup of water - let sit 5 min.
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp guar gum (tried it out since I didn't use an egg- not necessary, I don't think!)
1/4 c agave nectar

Mix all together, bake at 350 for 40 minutes!
Tasty!  The eggs would have made it rise more - check it out if you are into eggs. I'm not too into them.

What are you or your kids going to be for Halloween?
Nick is going to be Tigger and I'm looking for a small size pooh character costume for Kara - hard to find!

2 days post race - yesterday I felt pretty good and ran 6 miles. Monday I swam to loosen up and did yoga and today swam again. I feel good!  2 months + a week out - my weight is about 1 lb away from where I started when I got pregnant with Kara, but I still have about 10 lbs to lose to get to where I should be! I have not had the time to think about it AND have been downing too many nuts and peanut butter jars.  The peanut butter I posted about lasted about 3 days which is SICK!! It was sooo good.  I think if I can drop the 10 lbs and focus on some speed work to get back in shape, I can get back to my times from pre-Nick!

Tomorrow is the last day to enter the CSN Giveaway! Check it out. 

A former colleague, Bill, that retired the year that I went out on maternity started running when he retired, dropped weight, got in shape,  and ran the 1/2 last weekend  and he is training for the full marathon in November! I'm so impressed! He has also joined a running club and it sounds fantastic. I am thinking this might be a great thing for me and thinking about joining.  Do you run with a club? What has been your experience? I signed up for one when we moved back here years ago and never had the courage to show up for the first time so I never went to one run!


Rock & Roll Pics

Met Lizzie at the expo!
Pre-race - Art Museum w/ my sister
Ryan Hall, You are hot!
Elites pre-race
Finished - now get to deal w/ 2 kids for the afternoon. Real fun!

I'm sore today. I'm ready to get back in shape, but kind of just not ready to find the time to do it. Priorities - I have a real lack of free time right now and need something to work towards to get me back in shape, but I also need time to get back in shape. I'll aim for a spring tri, and maybe one small race this fall of less mileage.


rock and roll philly half

Finished the Philly Half Marathon today, woohoo! My time was my worst non-preggers time ever!

2:07:38. Pace: 9:45  

I felt...OUT OF SHAPE! But it was nice to be out there running and a nice day - just HOT. I like cool running weather.   Bill and my parents brought both kids down - mistake! Next race I do, kids can stay home with someone and I will enjoy it more post-race and not have to rush outta there, and ALSO, totally need a sitter the rest of the day to watch the kids. Was sooo exhausted, and you can't rest.  The goods:

  • My sister ran with me from mile 5 to the end. 
  • Thought the bands on the course were ok, but ipod was necessary.  
  • Met Liz at the expo!
  • Ryan Hall is hot!
  • Thought I was going to die at mile 12. Couldn't sprint to the finish at mile 13.  Left it all out there on the course at least!
  • Got a media pass to go to the VIP tent before/after - swwwweet! For examiner writing.
  • Not signing up for another race till I'm in shape and rocking the training for it. 
  • How did I run a marathon EVER?
  • My crotch muscles are very sore
  • Kara woke up at 3:30a the night before- I let her sleep too long through the expo the day before and she was up till 5:30a. So, my day started at 3:30am!
  • Mile 11 or 12 provided Cytomax drink w/ ice in it. It was amazingly refreshing. I wanted a huge glass of it at that point.  I was probably dehydrated - I don't usually drink anything but water.
  • Wore CEP compression socks and my legs felt GREAT the whole time. I have shin splints now, but I think they really helped!
I'll post some pics tomorrow!


Totally addictive!

I saw this at Wegmans today - we just got a Wegmans right around the corner and I haven't been to Whole Foods in MONTHS. It has everything, except 365 brand duplex cookies, which I LOVE.   So I found this peanut butter and I kid you not - I could eat the whole thing w/ a spoon.  It is really really good. The one thing I don't like about it is that you can actually taste the sugar crystals - like sand in there.  But it is ridiculously good. If you are trying to be good, do not buy it!!  I don't know how PB & Co keeps the calories the same for most of their products - especially with the added sugar! What is your favorite PB & Co flavor?

CSN giveaway and update

Have you checked out CSN stores yet? It is similar to Amazon with a numerous amount of products and over 200 stores. They have items such as dutch ovens, waffle makers, the one and only vitamix and much, much more.  

Would you like the opportunity to shop there with $60 in pocket?  CSN stores has offered a $60 gift card to one lucky reader to purchase goods of their choice!  To enter the giveaway, just tell me in a comment what you would purchase with the $60 after you have checked out the site. 

Winner will be selected at random - last day to enter will be September 23rd.

This week has been somewhat tough - Kara has been crying often and I'm not sure what is wrong. We go to the doctor tomorrow to see. I'm very exhausted and haven't been able to keep up with everything. Today I took the day off - normally a running day, but I'm feeling tired and decided it would be a good rest day. I have the half marathon on Sunday, and my legs could use the rest!  Little Kara turned 2 months yesterday.  I'm excited for Nick to come and cheer me on this weekend, it will be the first time he might actually be able to cheer for me and know what is going on :)


A day of clean eating

2 posts in one day? whoa. That's because I started the other post about 3 days ago... and finished it today!

I've been pretty motivated to eat well  - I just feel better when I do. I haven't been tracking calories or quantities, just eating the amount that I think will be filling enough to tide me over. My weakness has been peanut butter but with this hemp fudge I tried today, I think this will help with my addiction.

protein ice cream topped w/ hemp fudge, pb, coconut and maple syrup

Breakfast was oat bran w/ hemp fudge + Protein ice cream (1 scoop protein powder, 1/2 tsp xantham and guar gum, 16 ice cubes, 1 c almond/coconut milk vitamixed). It was a loaded breakfast.  Lunch was this salad  - peppers, zucchini, avocado, a few leftover walnuts, lentil walnut burgers (recipe below), tempeh and multigrain croutons w/ humnut (hummus, nutritional yeast and water on top).

Snack: more hemp fudge and half a luna bar (that might not be clean eating...)
Dinner: Clean Eating Pizza! I need to add in more fruit but all of this was good today!

 Earlier this week I tried out Angela's Vegan Lentil-Walnut Burgers. I did the vegan version with a flax egg, but would use one egg next time to help bind them better - they were crumbly for me. Either way, they were delicious though!  I forgot to take a picture but check out Angela's and try them!

Lentil-Walnut Burgers  
adapted from Oh She Glows and  Martha’s Great Food Fast Cookbook.
  • 3/4 cup lentils, picked over and rinsed, cooked
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, toasted
    1/3 cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp sea salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 egg

Directions: Cook lentils according to package directions - drain and rinse. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and cook at 350F for 10 minutes or until golden brown - cool. In a food processor, process everything except egg, oil and lentils until combined. Now add oil, egg and lentils and pulse to desired consistency. Shape into 4 large patties or a dozen small patties. Cook on the skillet with olive or coconut oil for 3-5 minutes per side or until golden brown. These are delicious!

Clean Eating Pizza w/ half humnut 'cheese' and half mozzarella cheese and eggplant.

 I'm starting to get out of ideas for what Nick eats for dinner. He loved this pizza!  Alot of my dinners are thrown together last minute - veggie burgers and veggies. I don't want to give him the same thing so often, so what are some healthy meals that you serve and your kids love?

what's for breakfast?

 Here's my baby girl - doing decently with her sleeping. She has been making about 7 hour stretches.  I have her on a schedule of morning feed then get back onto a 10-1-4-7 and last feed of the night. If I feed her around 10, she can make it till around 5, or at 9 till around 4 or 4:30. It works out nicely if I feed her at 9 the nights before swimming, because then she's up around 4:30 and I can go to swimming! With Nick, I feel like it took me at least 4 months to make it back to practice so this has been nice for now. Hopefully soon she'll sleep from 9 to 7 and skip that 4:30 feeding! She's been smiling a while now, but I'd still say she's a pretty fussy baby.

In the morning when she is up and Nick is still asleep, I try to get a few things done. I've tried some recipes this week. This is adapted from the Clean Eating Cookbook:

1 c flaxseeds, ground
1 c oat bran
2 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c wheat germ
1 T baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1 c applesauce
1.5 c almond or coconut milk
1/4 c water+ 1 T chia (let sit 5 min)
1 c dried cranberries/blueberries

Make chia egg (water + chia). Mix all flours together. Mix all wet ingredients. Add wet to dry just till mixed, do not overmix.  Bake in mini cups for about 15 minutes or regular cupcake molds for 20 minutes. Makes 24-36 mini muffins.
I also took TJ's pancake mix and added in some good things to it - I skipped the egg, used 1 c. almond or coconut milk w/ 2 c mix and 1 T flax or chia seed + 1/4 c water (let that sit to make the "egg") then added in coconut, blueberries and peanut butter. Yum!!


Another thing I've tried lately - love it when I find things I have in my pantry that I haven't used in a while and find a way to use them - Hemp Fudge?
2 T. TJs hemp protein w/1 T water and 1 tsp agave. This was delicious along w/ some coconut & oat bran (which was too dry, not enough water). Thanks for the inspiration Heather!

Running has been nice this week! I ran easy on Monday and Tuesday, yesterday I got in some speed intervals at the gym with the kids in the daycare there (wooo!)  I'm going to try to get in another 10 this weekend in preparation for the race next weekend! I was able to swim 2 mornings w/ the team so this week has been great. Now I have to find some time for abs and lifting to keep the strength work up.


time to make food

Just getting into some cooking (you can't really even call it that, but ok)...

Lentil Patties from Hangry Pants from a while ago!
1/2 cup oatmeal and 2 cups lentils + 1 egg and 2 T. hummus and 1 T. nutritional yeast + 1 T water
Very easy, a little dry, but tasty and good in a wrap or dipped with hummus


Multigrain Lentil Mashup
1 c lentils, 1 c brown rice, 1 c quinoa - 2 T butter/ olive oil

Happy 19 months to my Nick!

Kara sleeps the night! How to do it again...

Last night Kara slept through the night! From 10:30 to 6. It wasn't a typical night though - usually she eats around 6:30 or 7 then goes back to sleep and it is tough to get her up around 930/10 to feed her again. When I have been doing that, she wakes up every 3-4 hours in the night.  The nights I didn't wake her up she slept 5-6 hour stretches. On to last night - I fed her at 7 and she stayed awake and was very fussy around 9:30. I fed her at 9:30 but she was a mess and fussy and didn't fully eat.  I ended up rocking her and calming her and she went down around 10:30. She woke up probably 2 times in the night but went back to sleep on her own, then was up for the day at 6.  I've been following baby wise so for the most part she is on a 3 hour eating schedule all day - 7, 10, 1, 4, 7, 10. It has been iffy at night - sometimes the last feeding is 830, 9, 930.. and she was erratic waking up depending on the day.
So now, how do I do this again and keep it going?


10 miles + my favorite company

Ya for 10 miles today with a friend from work who is training for her first half marathon! We ran at Kelly Drive and did one loop and an out and back. It was a GORGEOUS day for running. I was not looking forward to it and Kara was up at 1 and 4 this morning (UGH) - I got up around 6:30 and my knees hurt - weird!  Bill watched the kids so I could go out and run. Thanks Bill!

We started running around 7:30 and I think we ran about 10 min miles. I think a gps type thing which breaks down your mile times would help me but I'm pretty low key right now and not even looking at my times. I have a garmin from 2004 and it stinks. I downloaded the droid app called RunKeeper but it kind of sucked (or I don't know how to use it). ANyone use an app for the droid that is good for running?  I was able to talk and run so I wasn't really pushing the pace AT ALL. I like to talk when I'm running through - it totally passes the time!  I think that I zapped all of my friend's energy though, oops! Do you like to talk when you are running? I think it's totally necessary!

I feel more confident now and excited to do the race. I wasn't at all before doing this run and now I already feel like I'm re-addicted. However, I want to get into the tris and give the running a little break after this race.

My favorite company 
What company has food for almost every need? CLIF does !
I had part of a clif z bar pre-run. While running, I had some clif shot bloks and after running I had a clif protein builder's bar. Later in the day I had a clif granola bar. If stranded on an island, and you could pick one company to give you an unlimited supply of food, what would be your pick? 
Mine would be CLIF! What a fun company and website. I feel like if I had the time and resources I would make their products for myself.

Here's what they have and my favorite flavors:

CLIF BAR: original - good for endurance, quick small meal or big snack on the go - chocolate pb
sugar is high though, and calories around 230-250
CLIF SHOT - the blocks and gel, shot roks - during the long run (though I do like GU better), the shot roks are interesting for post run (protein) - I have to be in the mood for them.
Clif Builder's - Protein bars - post run 20g protein!  Cookies and Cream
Clif Crunch - the granola bars - somewhat new - these are amazing  all of them! Great with yogurt.
Clif Mojo & Mojo dipped -  dessert in my view - pretzels and chocolate/sweet and salty but with protein! 
Clif C- like Lara bars but not as dense, smaller and totally delicious! A layer of nuts and a layer of fruit and counts as one fruit! A new addition to the collection.   only tried raspberry and apple - both :)
Clif Kid! LOVE LOVE LOVE these. I have been buying Z bars for a while and now Nick eats them too! They also have twisted fruit - love this for snacks for Nick.  Smores, Honey Graham, Chocolate Chip, Smores, any flavor twisted fruit!
Luna Bars - definitely a favorite for something to grab on the go - Smores
Luna Protein - wasn't a huge fan of these -prefer the luna bar for just one less g protein.

Have you tried the granola bars? Clif C?


Arnold Sandwich Thins; So Delicious Ice Cream Sandwiches

I've recently had the opportunity through food buzz to try Arnold's Sandwich thins - they are like a very thin roll, just like Thomas' Bagel Thins if you've tried them!   Just the right size and very tasty (the bagel thins too!)  Here's what I put on the Sandwich thin above:

Portabello Mushroom Sandwich - this is kind of rough amounts here!

Avocado - a few slices
Roasted Red Peppers - 1/4 c
Roasted Eggplant - 1/4 c
Olive Oil - 1 T
Breadcrumbs - 1/4 c
Fresh Parmesan Cheese - 2 T
Butter - 1 T

Process the peppers, eggplant and olive oil to a smooth consistency. Scrape out the mushroom and mix together the breadcrumbs, butter and cheese and place atop the mushroom. Cook at 400 for 15 minutes or until tender. Serve with pepper/eggplant and avocado.

Also, I saw So Delicious ice cream sandwiches at the store and picked them up. They live up to their name - so delicious!  :) the coconut taste is awesome, they are sweetened with agave, and they are little bites for 100 calories.

I'm starting to get into a routine with 2 kids. The last 2 days have been good and Kara seems to be doing a little bit better. I think bringing them to the gym daycare has been a super bonus!  Running is going ok. The half marathon is in just over 2 weeks and I haven't done more than 7 miles now at one time.  Going to attempt 10 this weekend, but it seems so long!! Motivation for long runs is not there anymore.