Friday, January 31, 2014

Funny Race Signs

Purely for your viewing pleasure.

When I'm racing, I love to see a good sign.  It only adds to the joy of being out there.  Especially if it's sarcastically funny or there's a cute little kid holding it up who has no idea what their sign says.  I can't help but give them a high five on my way by.  These are some hilarious examples.

Perfect example.  This sign wouldn't be as funny if a grown man/woman was holding it.

Hope you also smiled a little...but without the pee.  Have a great weekend ya'll!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Eat Like a Mongolian

A couple weeks ago a light bulb turned on in this dim brain of mine.  

     On a "this crazy Mom needs to get out" whim, I grabbed Sheena (who posts on Monday/Wednesday) and we went for lunch.  AND because I'm cheap I flipped through my coupon book to see where we could go for the least $.  

Winner -  HuHot Mongolian grill

It was Awesome!  
(Do cool people still say that?  Do cool people even say cool?  I think I just aged 10 years)

How it works...

*Grab a bowl*pick a meat*pile on the goods*add yummy sauce*grill it up*

     I know I'm supposed to say that the best part is that you can eat some tasty stuff that is pretty healthy but the actual best part is you can go back as many times as you want.  All you can eat baby!  Believe me, I piled it high.  Even the grill master couldn't help but smile and acknowledge my giant food tower.  However it was full of veggie goodness so I could stuff my face pretty much guilt free.  Now if that isn't food freedom, I don't know what is.

Back to the light bulb...

     As I was plugging along eating my HuHot bowl I realized that if I could replicate it at home, success at achieving my goals for March would be that much easier.  Eating MORE food but with A LOT less calories is my kind of meal plan.

First attempt...

Here's what I've included in my food arsenal.  Cabbage, jicama, bean sprouts, soy sauce, coconut milk, tofu (which I haven't actually tried yet but I'm gonna pull up my big girl pants and give it a shot...eventually), and this rice vermicelli stuff.  More on this below.

I needed a healthy noodle and this stuff looked the part.  Plus it was on sale so I went for it.  

It has 209 calories per serving but I found that a little goes a long way.  I actually get double the servings out of the bag making a single serving only 100 calories, 0.4g of fat, and 1.1g sugar.  Not too shabby.

These noodles have to soak in water for a couple minutes so I started by breaking off 1/6 and getting them going..

Next I grabbed a palm size portion of pork.  I buy these in bulk when they go on sale, cut them into palm size pieces, bag em and stick in the freezer.  Makes it more likely I will eat healthier if I make it easy on me.

I slice it very thin and in half so it looks like I have a lot of pork.  I just threw it in my deep fry pan dry.

Then in no particular order I added the goods.  Here are the vermicelli noodles.

Then the jicama.  This oddly named veggie has a similar taste to water chestnuts but I like it better. No fat and not much sugar so again, almost no calories.

Next came the bean sprouts, about 15 calories per handful.  No fat or sugar.  Pile it on!

Last I grabbed a couple handfuls from my bag of mixed cabbage which included some carrots too.  No fat, 10 calories, and 1.5g sugar per handful.  Love it!  Look at that pile!

However, this stuff wouldn't taste very good without some sort of sauce/seasoning.  When at HuHot I used a Ginger sauce and broth that made it all heavenly.  Then I indulged and sprinkled just a little coconut on the top after it was grilled.  Good heck my mouth is watering right now.  Anyways, I loved it all so this is what I did for my homemade concoction.  

Since my full meal with the pork added in was only 300 pretty darn healthy calories,  I wasn't worried about adding a little with the sauce.  Here is what I added to the first shot of a tasty sauce.

1 Tbsp Soy Sauce
1/2 tsp ginger
1 Tbsp coconut milk

This only gave me about 30 more calories and 1g fat.  It wasn't bad but I couldn't taste the coconut very much.  So I called in the big guns.  Say hello to my little friend.

Torani Coconut Syrup.

We've gotten to know each other over a mug or two (or 50) of DP.  However, since my recent cut back he's been filling a little left out.  Time to revive the friendship.

Obviously if you go crazy with this stuff you'll by dumping in a lot of sugar.  If you only add 1 Tbsp then it only adds 45 calories (which are NOT the good kind but it bribes me to eat the GOOD kind) and 11g of sugar.  I'll happily use that 4% of daily value of sugar to eat a great meal.  It's not a horrible thing and it makes all the difference.  In the future I'd like to try a coconut extract.  I'll let you know when I do.

So there ya go.  Finished product = 345 calories, 10g of fat, and only 12g of sugar for one giant meal that keeps me full so I don't snack my way to dinner or bedtime.   Pretty dang good if you ask me!  My new model for a healthy diet...

Eat like a Mongolian!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Use Honey for A Natural Moisurizing Spa Treatment

Super easy natural spa recipe that I love!!
Don't judge the no makeup face or bushy eyebrows ;)

Hydrate and soften
This time of year my skin needs some extra hydration!!  So aside from guzzling my water (with an occasional coke) I use this treatment.

What you will need:
2-3 tsp raw honey.
Hair restraints
20-25 minutes to yourself
Hot water and a wash rag

Start by pulling your hair back and putting on a headband so you don't get any stragglers.  Use your fingers and apply a thin coat of honey to your entire face and neck.  It may bead like rain on a window. Leave on for 15 minutes while you enjoy a moment to yourself to just relax!  Take about 5 minutes to take your fingers and pat along your skin lightly with tapping motions.  Play your face like a piano!!  This is actually really fun and feels so awesome!!  Finally rinse using a very warm, wet cloth. Or just hop in the shower, but take your shirt off before you start the mask.  Your skin will glow from the increased circulation! Follow with a moisturizer if needed.  This is great for all skin types but especially great for dry, sunburned, windburned, or any other form of environmentally damaged skin.

All sticky!!!  How is that for a close up, selfie!!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

My Kitchen Ate My Self Control

Getting back on track with your new year’s resolutions

I was ambitious this year.  I bit off WAY more than I could chew on resolutions this year.  But I had a plan, I had a note book, I had pretty printables, I had plans to take over the world.  (Hold on there Pinky.)  Well I did.  

And then we started remodeling the kitchen.

And that budget, and losing 10 pounds, and getting on top of emergency preparedness, and reading 100 books, and making all those healthy home cooked meals went right out the window.  Cleaning plans got buried as everything that was in my kitchen went elsewhere.  So much for that right?
As it turns out I am not off the hook so easily.  There is actually a lot to be gained from those “old” resolutions.  Here are four reasons I need to recommit right now.

1-Studies show that highly successful people are people don’t give up on goals over failures lapses.  They label them as lapses and keep going.  It turns out that perseverance is worth far more in life that perfection.  (Who knew?)

2-Trying new things is really good for your brain.  It forces the brain to build new pathways and is a natural releases of all those happy brain chemicals.  OUR BRAINS LOVE NEW CHALLENGES AND EXPERIENCES.  But even though I have lapsed on those goals in the pursuit of a kitchen from this century those old pathways are still there, making it easier for me to make progress by recommitting today.

3-The best way to be successful in a goal is to reflect of what worked or for that matter didn’t on the last go around.  I know that using trackers works, especially if you think they are “pretty” and you enjoy using them works well for me.  I also know that I should have picked my timing better.  Just because it was the New Year and millions of other people were choosing now to embark on a new challenge does not mean it was the right time for me to do so.

4-Recognizing that you have blown it is progress- Ok so this one is a little out there, but in the process of learning a new habit you need to be aware of when things are not working.  These key moments ESPECIALLY if you have them WHILE you are blowing it are an important part of making change.  A vital step that says the wiring in your brain is actually changing in the way that you want.  Now there are two tricks for this one to actually work.  First- Is to keep pushing through this stage and coming out the other side. And Second- Do not beat yourself up for having “blown it”  (this one is a very mindful approach to change) When you hit a road block take note that you are not on the path that you desire, reflect on the things that got you off the path.  Don’t beat your self up and dwell on the lack of success setback. Instead be aware, adjust m and begin progressing once more in the direction you had intended.  Ask yourself “what can I learn from this for next time”

With this in mind I am recommitting to my New Year’s resolutions twenty or so days later.  With a still unfinished kitchen, a deeper appreciation for a working dishwasher, and a stronger sense of where I want to go.  

Other pictures of printables I am using to keep myself on task this year!

The research for this post was taken from "This Year I Will....How To Finally Change A Habit, Keep a Resolution, or Make a Dream Come True," by M.J. Ryan

Monday, January 27, 2014

How Do I use Essential Oils

I get this a lot, you have purchased your oils and now what...  Here are some
ways you can use your oils:

  • Aromatically:
    • Diffuse - a good diffuser will get the particles in the air, the best is a cool air or ultra sonic nebulizing diffuser.
    • Fan or Vent - put a bit of oil on a cotton ball or tissue and attach it to your air vents, this works great in vehicles.
    • Hot Water Vapor- put a few drops in hot water and inhale.  You can even put a towel over your head as you do this to amplify this.
    • Perfume/Cologne - use your favorite scents to wear as a perfume and give you added benefits throughout the day.
    • Direct inhalation - this is probably one of the simplest forms, just hold an open vial close to your face and inhale.
    • Vaporizer or Humidifier - I add a few drops to my humidifier when the kiddos are sick and it works wonders to help out.
    • Cloth or Tissue - put a drop or two on a tissue and keep it for when you need an extra boost.
  • Topically
    • Direct application - "Direct application is applying the oils directly on the area of concern.  Because essential oils are so potent, more is not necessarily better.  To achieve the desired results, 1-3 drops of oil are usually adequate."1  Be sure to dilute your oils with a carrier oil.
    •  Massage - stimulate the muscles and skin using oils and a carrier and the oils will enhance the benefits of the oils
    • Reflex therapy or foot zoning - rubbing oils on the area of the foot that connects to the area of the body that your trying to help is a great way to use your oils.
    • compresses - To make a compress fill a bowl or sink with water approx 2 quarts and add desired oils.  Stir the water then lay a towel on top.  Once the towel is soaked, wring it out and place the towel over the area needing extra help.  For a hot compress add a hot water bottle, and for a cold cover with plastic wrap and put another towel on top with even ice.
    • Baths - I love adding a few drops of oil to my bath, you can also add them to some bath salts and then add those to your bath.
  • Internal
    • Capsules - make sure your oils are okay for internal consumption before you ingest them.  You can put a few drops in a capsule and take it just like your vitamins.
    • Beverage - add a few drops of oil to your water or tea.  I love adding a bit of grapefruit, orange or lemon to my water for an extra kick.
    • Cooking - so many areas here to add oils, but remember they are very potent so really add a little at a time.
  • Household Use
    • Cleaning and disinfecting.  I love using my oils to clean, I have added them to my dishwasher to help with hard water, I have added them to my laundry, and many other ways.  
Be sure to continue following for recipes and DIY projects you can do at home with your oils.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

A Treadmill For Your Fingers

If your legs just aren't up for the challenge, maybe your fingers will be.  LOL!!!

Friday, January 24, 2014

Treadmill Tricks

So this happened yesterday.

The stars aligned and for the first time in months I hit the ROAD running for a few miles. 
It was great.

So what that I was still sporting the hair from playing basketball the night before.  The beauty of running outside is that no one will see you.  
Wait....scratch that.  
The actual beauty of it is that I don't care!  Plus, you can't smell yourself outside so double bonus.  (I've never been accused of being vain.  The opposite however...)  

The Usual Scenario - My baby goes down for a nap, Tiger plays the Wii (hey, he's working on hand/eye coordination), and I head to the tread.    


On Wednesday I played 40 minutes of basketball (church-ball style) and the time flew by!  I was distracted from the running by a ball and several other ladies that wanted it.  I was also distracted by the comedy that ensued since I grew up playing everything but basketball.  FYI - if you stick out your tongue, it doesn't really help you shoot better or dribble all fancy like.  Pretty fun to try though and as the story of my life goes, I can run.  My hustle seemed to make up for lack of skill.

10 minutes on a treadmill however and I'm completely bored.  The trick of the trade is to apply the same kind of distractions.  Mix it up a little or make a game out of it.  Here are some things that I do...

Pyramid - I created this high-tech chart to demonstrate...because I'm cool like that.

After an easy  5 minute warm-up (and by easy I mean slower than normal) run hard for 1 min then an easy recovery jog for 2 min.  Then run hard for 2 min. and recover for 2 min.  Work your way up the pyramid next by running hard for 3 min and recover for 2 min, then end with running hard for 4 min.  After your 2 min. recovery do the same thing backwards working your way down the pyramid.

Important - your HARD run is not a sprint.  A good estimate is your 5k pace.  If your still not sure then start with a 6 mph or 10 min mile and then adjust accordingly.

Intervals - I do these often.  After I've gone for 2-3 miles and I start my intervals.  If I choose to go by distance I'll rotate running hard for .10 miles with an easy .10 miles.  If by time I'll do 1 min hard, 1 min easy.  I can usually get 1 to 2 more miles in this way by distracting my bored brain.

Strength Training Segments -  After a warm-up jog, run for 5 minutes then hop off and do 1 - 2 minutes of strength training.  This can include push-ups, sit-ups, free weights, wall sit, plank, etc...  Then back on the treadmill for another 5 min.  Repeat as long as you want.  Variation - you can also slow down the treadmill and do walking lunges or side squats.

Music - Music not only helps me zone out, but it helps my stride turnover.  All my music is upbeat and makes me want to move.  Personally it's a must have.

And if I'm lucky enough to get on the treadmill by 9:00 a.m. this is my go to mind distraction show.

Thank you Michael Strahan.  I find this big guy hilarious.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

They Really Are Watching!

My treadmill has a bad rap. 

It's not his fault.  I just prefer the outdoors.   When I'm using Mr. Treadster it is a last resort and means it's cold outside or the air quality is so bad my lungs think I took up smoking.  As a result, I often start my treadmill work with a bad attitude...not good.  I'm working on it!  But something happened this week that has Mr. Treadster back on my good list.

Translator - for privacy sake, I'm going to call my kids by their Gma's nicknames.  

Oldest daughter:  Sunshine
Next daughter:  Princess
Oldest Son:  Tiger
Baby:  Marbles (he has HUGE eyes)

Sunshine is a lot like me.  Sometimes it's great and we have a lot of fun.  Other times...not so pretty.  I'm working on that too.  (A lot of self-help going on at home).  Her competitive streak started young and now that she is in the fourth grade, the fire has already been burning for a few years.  She is in the fourth grade and at her school, the 4th and 5th graders get to compete against other schools in a mile race at the end of the year.  This race is EPIC!  My husband ran it 25 years ago and still brags about his fifth place finish.  It might even be worth adding to a resume if your interviewing for a job in this area.  

They have already started training for the race by running laps in the gym and for Sunshine, things are getting pretty serious.  She often comes home and reports that they are adding more laps but not to worry, she was still the first one done.  Then things turned very serious when last Monday she decided it was best if she started training on the treadmill..."like you Mom".  

Now my kids have ran several times on Treadster.  It's quite common after I finish a run for each of them to take turns running for a few minutes while I stand right next to them monitoring their safety.  I loved that they wanted to follow my example.  But Sunshine wanted to take matters into her own hands and have me sit afar off (stubborn and headstrong like her...uh...Dad) so I clipped the shut-off pull on her and off she went.

 I was seriously impressed!  Not sure how she would feel on a treadmill I suggested a limit of not going above 6 mph until the end, then she could sprint at an 8 mph.  She ran a mile without even breaking a sweat and told me it was too easy.  

Lesson: Don't limit your kids!  
(She ran another mile that night 2 minutes faster.)

Not wanting to feel left out Princess and Tiger wanted in on the action. 

Princess is tiny.  She prefers dancing and all things girly and there isn't a competitive bone in her body.  However, she thought it also was a good idea to get started on her training (2 years early) and if she could run in her dance clothes, then why not.  She also blew me away by doing a mile, no problem.

Tiger also has this desire to be first at EVERYTHING.  He and Riley often fight their way up the stairs because they both think the first person to get to the top somehow has won the prize.  Of what I don't know.  Princess just follows behind and sings her way to the top.  It's comical.  None-the-less, Tiger also ran his mile so he could be just like his sisters.  Again, this Mama was all smiles.

For the past week Sunshine has ran several miles, each of them faster than the one before.  I now regard my treadmill as a respectable training partner and I'm grateful he graces us with his presence.  I'm changing my attitude because these little tykes are watching!

Now my 5 year old gets to earn his Wii time...Treadster style.

(Tomorrow's post - tricks to make treadmill time fly faster)

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Green Smoothie Basics

I have to be honest, I am a terrible eater, I am addicted to sugar and I don't love my veggies.  Yikes, can't believe I just admitted that.  However, I have to find ways around my bad habits and cravings to trick my tongue into believing we are having a treat.  So one of my go to "treats" is a green smoothie, and me the veggie hater loves them!  I get asked a lot what I put in them, or how to make them so I thought I would give you all the run down and basics of how I make a green smoothie.

First off you want to have a liquid so everything will blend, I usually choose from the following and use about a cup: (I will also add in the juice of about 1/2 a lemon)
  • Water
  • Aloe Vera Juice
  • Berry flavored aloe vera juice
  • Coconut water
  • Almond Milk (usually this is rare for me)
Then you want to choose your greens and/or veggies, I usually choose from the following, and use 2-5 fist fulls:

  • Baby Spinach (this is my favorite, and usual go to green, because it has a more mild taste)
  • Kale (this is a strong taste and one I have to build up to)
  • Mixed greens
  • Beet Greens
  • Cucumbers
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Beets
If I haven't pre-made and frozen a bunch in advance I will usually mix these together to get my greens/veggies a really good blending.

I then add my fruits to sweeten things up and cover the veggie taste, I usually use about a cup of frozen fruit of any variety, my favorite is the tropical blend, but I have used all kinds of frozen fruits, and I sometimes will throw in an apple, pear, banana or anything else that I might need to get used up before it goes bad.

I then add in some healthy fats from the following, just a bit here, I usually do a TBSP of most of these, think thumb sized portion, but I will do a bit more avacado:
  • Chia seeds
  • Ground flax seeds
  • Almonds
  • Walnuts
  • Coconut oil
  • Avacado (this makes it really creamy and delish!)
I then mix it all together, and believe it or not my youngest is always fighting me for some!  This is perfect for me in the mornings, or if I get a sweet craving during the day.  Be careful and measure as you can add up quick calories with smoothies. 

If I am doing strength workouts or following The Zone, trying to keep my blood sugar level, or playing game on diet I will add in a bit of protein as well, I have done greek yogurt or protein powders, I really like the one from DoTERRA, and the one from, or I will pair my smoothie with a boiled egg or something so I am giving myself a well rounded meal.

My go to favorite is
1 cup Berry flavored aloe vera
3-4 fist fulls of spinach
2 tsp Chia Seeds
1 cup Frozen tropical fruit mix
1 scoop Vanilla DoTERRA Trim shake.

What smoothies have you put together that you really enjoy?

Here are a few items I like

Monday, January 20, 2014

The Spark

I have a huge love for all kinds of books but mostly the kinds where I can learn and or improve myself.  I know I am such a nerd!  Here is one of my favorites that I wanted to share with you.

For the Kindle Actual Book

This is such an inspiring book, and has great tips and tricks for getting healthy and setting great habits.

"Elephant trainers tether a baby elephant by a thick rope to a stake hammered into the ground in order to limit his range.  Whenever the elephant tries to escape, he is quickly restrained by the bond, and he learns that he does not have the strength to break away.  As the baby matures, the trainers reinforce the boundary set by this rope.  By the time the elephant is an adult he is massive, weighing several tons and capable of enormous feats of strength.  But now the trainer could tether him by a slender thread and he still would not try to escape.  The elephant has grown so accustomed to being restrained that he has no idea of the strength he possesses to free himself.

All of us are conditioned to live within a limited perception of our own power to transform our lives - moving through our days with invisible tethers that hold us back from becoming who we really are.  But while the elephant submits to its restricted boundaries, we possess the freedom to set the scope of our own dreams.  We're free to move out of the dusty circle where we've stood, stuck and discouraged, and into a new terrain that offers a landscape of vast potential."1

I hope this story is as motivating to you as it is to me!  If you enjoy a great motivational, and transformational  health and fitness book, this is a great read.

The spark, Chris Downie, Hay House, Inc.  2009

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Stir Up Some Calm

(Part Two)

Ok, so in my last post I shared a "recipe" for using a cup of coco and a few quiet minute to regain your calm.  Part of the goal in the coco drinking was to take some time to get in the present, breathe, and savor the world around you just a bit.  It worked great for me at work when I could slip away for 10 minutes or so.  But I know a lot of people who can't do that, and stay at home moms are at the top of my mental list. 

So today's "recipe" is focused not as much on calming down as it is shifting your mood.

My favorite "pick me up song" is "Suddenly I See" by KT Tunstall.  I don't know why it makes me so happy, it just does.  I also love "Get the Party Started" by Pink.  Happy, up beat, and oddly motivating.  Both are on my cleaning play list.  (Yep, I totally have a play list for cleaning my house, and I swear by it)

What songs lift your mood?  Or get you motivated?

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Do Not Wash Your Hair In The Shower

I found this on facebook and felt it was my duty to pass this warning along to all of you.  DO NOT wash your hair in the shower!

It involves the shampoo running down your body when you shower with it.  Waring to us all.

I cannot believe it has taken me this long and I haven't figured this out on my own.When I wash my hair the suds and shampoo run down my whole body, and the label is printed quite clearly.  FOR EXTRA BODY AND VOLUME!!

No wonder I have been packing on the lbs and adding to the curves.  I got rid of that shampoo and I am going to start showering with dawn dishwashign soap.  It's lable is clearly marked stating "DISSOLVES FAT THAT IS OTHERWISE DIFFICULT TO REMOVE."

There you have it the new plan of action.  Haha

Hope you have a great weekend!

Friday, January 17, 2014

At Least You're Not On the Couch

NOW is a great time to find a race (or two, or three, or ten) to get your motivation in gear.  Don't think about it, just do it.  If you wait too long then self doubt creeps in and tries to talk you out of it. You can do anything!!!  Especially if you give yourself adequate time to prepare.  Just Google races in your area and go for it!

Next step...find a proper training plan.

Runner's World still remains the Bible for me in running.  They just plain out do their competition. Their training plans are no exception.  It is easy to customize a plan just  for you according to distance, time, and experience.  Click here to take a gander.

I've been running for more than half my life but I still create a plan for myself.  If I don't, I tend to go out too fast and too long and cause myself some avoidable injuries.  I also like to print off my schedule or write it on my calender.  It fuels my sense of accomplishment to see training days checked off.  Plus my simple mind likes visuals.

Here's something good to remember if the training gets rough.

You can do it!



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