Gluten Free Friday....Uh...Sunday

As you have heard in my last several entries, I am on a journey of becoming gluten-free. This will be a transition, for sure. I have start making many changes, like incorporating gluten-free recipes into most of my meals. If I notice a substantial difference in my health, maybe then, I will make the full conversion.

It has already proved itself though. Not physically, but my overall awareness of what I eat has shown itself. I have generally eaten pretty healthy...or so I thought. Then, as I researched more into Paleo and GF, I have noticed that I do not eat nearly enough fruits and vegetables as I should!!! So this past grocery visit was an eye opener. The majority of my foods were purchased in the first aisle.

Here was today's stock pile of GF approved foods...
  • Pinapple
  • Bananas
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Strawberries
  • Lemons
  • Limes
  • Spinach
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Cucumbers
  • Zucchinis
  • Yogurt
  • Eggs
  • Sirlon Steak
  • Turkey
After playing Super Market Sweep at Target, I journeyed to Britner's produce for some CORN!!!

I got enough to have for lunch, dinner, and additional servings to freeze.

That is GF pizza crust, by the way :-)

Anyway, before I get side-tracked about the glory of corn, it is GF Friday! I am just late on this, but I want to share one GF receipe that I have tried & loved every Friday. So far, all that I have tried, I have loved. But we will start with this sexy meal...

Spicy Sriracha Chicken Over Quinoa

  • 1 C dry Quinoa, cook according to package directions
  • 1/4 C Virgin Coconut Oil 
  • 1/2 C Green Onion, chopped  
  • 1/2 Green Pepper, diced
  • 2 LBS Chicken Breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 1/2 C Sriracha (we suggest going less, unless you like to feel the burn!!!)
  • 1/4 C Agave Nectar
  • 1 TBSP Lime Juice
  • Black Pepper to taste
  • Garlic Salt to taste
  • Cilantro to taste
  1. Melt oil in large saucepan on medium heat. Sauté onions & peppers until soft. Add chicken & cook until browned.
  2. Mix together syrup, lime juice & Sriracha in a bowl.
  3. Add the sauce to chicken & simmer for about 8 minutes and chicken is cooked through. Stir through out. Season to taste with pepper & garlic salt.
  4. Finish with cilantro and serve over prepared quinoa.
 Try it out and let me know what you think of this delicious meal!

By the way, I have returned to running again! But that will be a separate post on it's own!

Do you like spicy foods?

 Corn: Diet Friend or Foe?

10 Things For Tuesday...Half Are About Food

1. I am beginning to dig the idea of going completley gluten-free. I have been reading about it nonstop and it just seems perfect for me. Aside from my cereal this morning, I have had zero wheat so far. I think that is pretty good considering I am the bread queen.

2. Nutella & Rice Cakes are gluten-free. Life will be okay!

3. For dinner, we had breakfast for dinner. Usually, this is in the form of an egg pizza and sometimes with toast on the side. You can see my problem here...

While Peter had his pizza, I sacrificed the wrap for a third egg and still had the sauce, cheese, and veggie toppings. Had some walnuts with yogurt on the side.

4. Made some zucchini noodles for the first time. I am excited to have them for my lunch for tomorrow!

5. My leg is starting to give me a break!!! I have not run since last Wednesday. My goal is to start running again this Thursday.

6. I start school next week! I am taking Diversity in Sports and Athletics. It will be my first legit course since I withdrew from classes in 2008 due to bereavement. I did not intend to take 6 years off, but better late than never!!

7. I just finished organizing plans for July and my calendar looks CRAZY!!! I have only given myself free time for when one of my bridesmaids comes to town in a few weeks!

A true friend helps you take your beer bong ;-)
The above was about 5 years ago. I am not brave enough to beer bong anymore.

8. I LOVE building my new business. Now that I have become an Arbonne Consultant, I am learning so much about myself as well as network marketing.  I have also been given several opportunities to help others! You should "like" my Facebook page! ;-)

9. Wedding invitation have been mailed! I guess that makes the wedding date official! Can't change it now! 101 days to go!!!

10. Dove Dark Chocolate has kept me sane at the day job. Those little squares of delight are like velvet!!!

Bread: Friend or Foe?

Experiment time!

Over the past couple of weeks, I have been eating like an oversized hog. With traveling, participating in Ashley's wedding, planning my own wedding, taking on a new job, and now with being a temporary non-runner, my food intake has completely sucked! Through it all, I am now serious about a new food plan and I have recently become intrigued by gluten-free and paleo. Though I do not think that I will ever become a full-fledge gluten/grain-free eater, I do believe it is a good idea to reduce some of it in my diet.

Ever since I can remember, bread has held a special place in my stomach heart. 

 When I was younger, I can recall waking up on a Saturday morning and finishing nearly half a loaf in toast alone. To add to it, when we would have pasta dishes, like spaghetti, having buttered bread with it was a staple at dinner! I never had just one piece either. It may have been 2-3 slices! That was on top of having a couple servings of pasta!!!
In general, my portions were out of control as a kid, but my bread intake alone was outrageous! It is quite obvious that my addiction was strong. I was able to gain some control as I got older, but the cravings have not truly ceased.

As I began reading up on wheat, it seems to be linked to a lot of digestion issues. That's when light bulb #1 turned on. I have NEVER had normal digestion. Sure, I have seen MAJOR improvements since I have upped my water intake and added fiber/digestive supplements, but even still, there are some irregularities that I would love to get worked out.

I also seem to have a permanent bloat in my stomach. 

 It has reduced greatly with my water intake and posture modifications, but again, it never completely went away. I always have had this little pooch that continues to haunt me day to day. Perhaps, bread is the culprit? It seems to be the case according to several articles I have read. I could place the blame on being overweight as a child, but it doesn't look/feel like loose skin to me. The problem is underneath the skin. 

Stomach and digestion issues are just 2 of several linked to eating bread, but other impacts may include migranes, diabetes, depression, feeling sluggish or tired, and much more!

Again, I am not trying to stop eating bread and other grains, but I want to reduce my intake dramatically and see where it takes me. Who knows, maybe it will be amazing and I will want to say goodbye to bread completely or maybe there won't be any changes. We will see.

For starters, I am going to stop having both cereal and 2 pieces of toast in the morning for breakfast. I can easily switch out one of those items for a piece of fruit instead. This morning, I replaced my toast with a banana and I was just as satisfied. 

Also, the sandwiches I love so much can be open-face. 

That cuts out one slice of bread, but does not sacrifice the flavor I want. I did that over the weekend (not on purpose, I just was running low on bread...story of my life) and I did not feel hungry. I was just as satisfied. It was a little messier, but that's probably the only reason a 2nd piece was added.

Anyway, I will keep you guys updated. Fingers crossed that this is worth it. If not, I will let you know that too!

Have you experimented with Gluten-Free or Paleo Diets? Any results?

For those of you who are GF or Paleo, please send me your favorite receipes!

Race Recap: The 5th Annual Nick Adenhart 5K

The first time I participated in the Nick Adenhart 5k was last year. I felt that any race supporting a late-Wildcat from Williamsport High, but also benefited our community directly, was worth participating in! Not to mention, I did pretty well last year! It was definitely motivation to come back!

This was the 5th year the race was held, so it is still relatively new. Despite the "newness" factor, there were many who showed up, both runners and walkers. Though we all may have been there for different reasons, the vibe in the air was positive. Everyone was there to share a great race and enjoy the company of others. 

After a moment of prayer and the National Anthem, a sea of runners began to pour out into the street. I noticed that I have gotten much better at my start pace. Typically, I would shoot off in excitement, which always tends to lead to exhaustion halfway through. I was a little intimidated as the other runners shot past me at first, but I ended up passing a good bit of them later. Pacing yourself and not letting your adrinaline get the best of you is SUPER important!!!

The course for this race differed greatly from last year. Before, the start was just in front of the Elementary School, then you shot out to Route 11, ran through downtown Williamsport and circled back to Springfield Middle School. Then you would run on Britner Ave (my street name!), into the cemetery where Nick is buried, and back towards the baseball field right by the high school.

This year, however, the start and finish line were right at the baseball field and it was almost like the course was reversed. The cemetery was completely avoided (probably out of respect for others), as well as Route 11. Instead, we took a new path through the Byron Memorial Park, then back to the baseball field.
I have run this path many times so it was not anything new to me, though, I find when you are racing, no experience you have with a course is beneficial. I tend to run way faster and everything is 10x more difficult.

When I reached the halfway point, there was a water station. Instead of stopping to drink, I grabbed the water, kept running, and chugged back more air than liquid. I immediately felt a painful bubble in my stomach. I also happened to be climbing a hill at that moment too, so it was a challenge!
As I made my way through the park, I began to feel the sun's heat beating down on me. I was recovering from a sunburn and although sunscreen covered by body, I felt like I was beginning to bake. I was less than a half mile from the finish line, but it felt like miles. I was really hot and the struggle began. I could barely smile when I caught site of Peter, so my finish line photos look like I was grimacing in pain.

 Once I crossed over the line and slowed, I was relieved to be done!

As the remaining runners/walkers finished their race, I stretched in the grass, listening to the announcers draw door prizes. I did not win any, but I still enjoyed watching others jump for joy at winning free Orioles Baseball tickets.

After prizes were drawn, they got to the awards ceremony.

I was awarded 3rd place in my age group with a time of 23:31.

Nick's mom is the farthest to the right :)

Sorry about the delay in recap! Although I have taken a few days off of running, I have been busy with open houses for my home business. However, you should see several updates this week! Should be good ones!

Counting Miles?

I have my race recap completed, but I have a more pressing matter that I want to discuss today.

Remember the calf pain I was telling you all about? Well, I rolled and rolled and rolled last night, but instead of it making things feel better, it actually made my leg super sore today.  I may just be sitting for a period of time, then when I get up to walk, the pain shoots through the outside of my calf. Though it will disappear after a few minutes of walking, it ends up coming back later. I am not sure what the issue is, but it seems to be in the area of my peroneal tendon.

Regardless of the problem, I think this is a sign that I need to take a short break.

Yep. I said it.

As soon as the word "break" comes into play when it is relative to running, I get a bit stressed. I have monthly mileage goals to hit and I would much rather get more than less. But then I got to thinking, "Why am I treating miles like I used to calories?"

Just a couple of years ago, I was OBSESSED with counting calories. It ruined any pleasure that I had of eating. It became a job more than anything. If I did not get that special number by the end of the day, I was miserable. In fact, the misery started long before the end of the day. Sometimes, it would occur just halfway through. If I ate something extra, it ruined my meals for the remainder of the day and I would end up starving myself.

One day, I was so fed up with my lifestyle that I just deleted my calorie counting app. Why was I letting a number dictate how I felt about myself? I was scared at first, but I learned to eat properly. I finally knew what it was to be hungry and to be full. A number was no longer in control...My body was.

So why are miles any different?

One of my goals this year was to beat the number of miles I ran in 2013. That goal is completely useless. What good is it really going to do me? So I deleted it. I don't need a number to tell me how good I have done this year. I have already done great this year. I ran a marathon, got a half marathon PR, and won a couple of age group awards. And there were even periods of time I had to take off to rest pain areas. Did that hurt my performance? No. So what is the point of feeling guilty?

Today I read something valuable to me:

"A concern of taking a week off from running is that you may lose the fitness results you have obtained from your program. The losses you feel are negligible, whereas the benefits could be significant." -
Resting is a part of training. Sure, it is typically only a couple of days out of the week, but why not one week off out of several?

I am done beating myself up over my mileage. My body should never have to force me to stop due to pain or injury.  I should have stopped days ago when I initially felt this soreness. Sure, it has not gotten worse or has disabled me from being able to run, but it has not improved. So it's time to take a few days off and enjoy!

Say goodbye to my monthly mileage counter and yearly mileage goals. Becoming the best runner I can be is not dependent on a number. It is based on my health and happiness. :)

Do you count miles? 

Do you have weekly, monthly, yearly mileage goals?

Do you ever feel guilty for not hitting a number?

Do you take time off from running? Injury or no injury.

Party Animal!

Before I tell you all about my weekend, I want to let you all know that BioSkin has an amazing offer right now! Use the promo code Epic14 and receive 10% off! Their calf sleeves are FABULOUS!!!!

10% OFF Summer Sale

Now, back to the weekend update! :)

I don't know what happened this year, but my "busy" switch has been turned on full blast! I predicted that this would happenat the beginning of the year, but it was beyond what I imagined!

Thankfully, Friday evening was pretty calm. Though, I did spend the majority of my time making my own wedding invitations. To custom-make the design I wanted, I was going to be charged over $300!!! Lucky for me, I have photoshop knowledge and will make the time to design and print them myself. It slashes the cost down by more than half! I did want the conveinence of someone else making them, but I would like to save money for something else (like the wedding cake!).

On Saturday, I woke up for the Nick Adenhart 5k. A race recap for the Nick Adenhart 5k is on it's way. I realize now that I failed to even mention that I was even doing it in previous posts, but you will still get a recap regardless. :)

I will let you know that I did pretty well even though I have been running on a sore leg. Ever since I came home from Tennessee last week, my left calf has began to hurt. It began to hurt on Sunday while we were on our way home. I don't believe it is running related since I had not run since that Thursday. I did notice a bruise near the pain point that my mom's dog inflicted while we were in the cabin however. 

He got spooked and jumped on me randomly. Hopefully that is all though...just a bruised tendon!

After the race, I hurried to my sister's so we could prepare for her wedding reception at a nearby banquet hall. Everything was absolutely beautiful! She handmade many of tabletop decorations because she is uber talented like that. 

And the cake/cupcakes they ordered were beautiful!!

It should go without saying that they were also scrumptious!

I had the time of my life that night! It is not often you get me dancing like an idiot in front of my relatives, friends, and complete strangers. 

Thankfully no photos were shot of these moments of insanity.  Except for this...

We did not depart the festivities until about 2am, but I went straight to bed as soon as I got home. We slept in till after 9 the next morning and was worried that it was going to be too hot to run by the time I hit the trail. Luckily, there was not too much humidity and the path I run is 90% shaded. I planned to only do 13, then I stretched it to 15 midway. Finally decided to only do 14 and run with the dog later in the evening. I can change my mind about my run a bazillion times before it is actually over.
I went back out to the trail that evening with Peter. He was out to run a couple of miles and while he ran on his own, Alpha and I did a slow run.

Alpha did extremely well since he has rarely gone running with us. We ended up almost finishing 2 miles together. I can't wait to consistently take him running with me. I think it would be great for the both of us!

What have you done to save money on a wedding? Did you make your own invites?

What song must play at any wedding reception? 

Do you dance at weddings?

Do you bring your dog running with you?

Recap Coming!

There's a race recap and weekend update to come! But for now, here are some photos from Saturday! :)

Have a great Sunday!

The First Sunburn of 2014!

After a weekend of running nothing but 3.1 miles, I took advantage of my Monday off and ran 13.1. I did not think that it was going to be as hot and humid as it was so early in the day, but no sooner than I stepped outside, my breath was labored by the thick air. Gotta love summer in Maryland!

Regardless of the immediate discomfort, I set out on my run with the intention of doing a half. I ran the roads of Williamsport since I knew that the C&O was going to be muddy and more humid than the open road.

Within the first half, I was completely drenched, chaffed, and hotter than hell. I headed back towards my parent's home and sat in the shade, contemplating whether to do the remaining 6+ miles or call it quits.

Because I am always so stubborn, I set out to finish what I started.

My pace was slower than normal, which I expected. Two of the miles dipped down into a 10+ minute pace. I knew that some of it was because of traveling a great deal in 72 hours and this was also the first time this year I encountered this kind of  heat. I did not guilt myself into making up for the slow times.

After trotting along and praying for a breeze, whether natural or from a car whipping by me, I finally made it through. I plopped myself down just under a tree while choking down some Gatorade. I felt my pulse in my face because of how hot I was. There was no way I was driving until my body temp dropped down a little bit.

I drank a ton of water once I arrived home and took a light nap. I awoke from discomfort on my shoulders. Just the slightest brush against the carpet, there was a stinging sensation. So I got myself up and decided to shower. When I looked in the mirror, I saw that my face and shoulders were a bright red. my first sunburn this year.

I have been good about putting sunscreen on, but totally overlooked it that morning. So I got to return to work today with a red tan. Gorgeous.

I took a break from running today. I think it was a well-deserved rest day. I was also greeted with a present when I arrived home.

You may want to click the picture to read what it says, but basically, I got awarded $25 to Red Robin for being a top finisher in my age group for the Frederick Twilight 5k!!! I know what I am getting this weekend! ;-)

Anyone have to deal with extreme temperatures on their run this weekend? What motivates you to get through it?

What is the worst sunburn you have ever had?

Are you good about wearing sunscreen?

What would you buy at Red Robin?

My Sister's Wedding Weekend

What a weekend!!! After spending more time in a car than not, I am finally back in the comfort of our home here in Boonsboro, MD! I was so happy to see my fur balls and get back in schedule! Though I do wish I could have enjoyed the extremely mini vacation for just a few more days, I had to be back in time for work tomorrow (boo!).

So anyway, let me tell you all about my weekend! Let's backtrack to Friday!

Following a half day at work, Peter and I packed out belongings and hit the road in the Crosstrek!

First, we traveled 3.5 hours to Virginia to stay with my cousin, Kara and her husband, Colby. After having time to catch up, we went to Waterstone Pizza, which served guessed! We spent much of our time talking about Kara and I taking on new business opportunities, as well as Peter and I's running addiction.

After enjoying a great meal, we drank wine and watched John Mulany (who is HILARIOUS) at their apartment, but it wasn't long before us old people went to bed. ;-)

The next morning, Peter and I had to hit the road almost immediately due to potential traffic. I would have loved to stay, but we were due to be in Gatlinburg, TN for my sister's wedding. We quickly got ready, and grabbed breakfast and lunch at Sheetz, topped off the gas tank. We were back on I-81!

It was an easy 5 hour drive until we finally made it to the main strip in Gatlinburg. It had ridiculous traffic! That road had EVERYTHING a tourist's heart could desire. Indoor sky diving, bungee jumping, and King Kong?

It took so long to get through the area, but we finally made it to the Smokey Mountains.

My parents rented a gorgeous cabin in the woods and were so gracious to let Peter and I crash with them.

This place was AMAZING...

The cabin life is something I must have now! I will make it a goal in my life to own a cabin and live the life of luxury in the woods.

Anyway, after just about an hour of relaxing, mom, dad, Peter and I went to grab the bride aka my sister to escort her to her wedding spot in a state park.

The place that they chose was absolutely breathtaking!

They got married right in front of this stream.

It was a beautiful wedding and must admit, I did get a tad bit choked up, but kept my cool.

After the ceremony, my parents, Peter, and I headed back to our cabin and enjoyed some grilled goods and alcoholic beverages. Peter and I also had the opportunity to chill in the hot tub. However, because we did have a long day ahead, we went to bed shortly after.

The next morning, we packed up our belongings and were on the road around 9.

We weren't even in the state long enough to truly enjoy it. We left less than 24 hours after we arrived. But, we have made it a priority to come back. It may not be until next year for our 1st anniversary trip. :)

After 8 hours in the Crosstrek, we made it home safely and almost immediately went for a 5k run. Unlike those who would come home, unpack, and and I throw on our running clothes and go for a run in the most humid conditions. But we made it! It was hard on the legs though since they were immobile for most of the day.

I put on my Bio Skin Calf Skin Sleeves to offer relief!

Ahh, they were great! I craved the feeling of compression for a great deal of the weekend and was happy to squeeze these suckers on. They fit like a glove!!!

Anyway, I have way more to update on, but will do so tomorrow! I can imagine that this was a long post already! :)

Have you traveled recently? Where did you go?

Have you ever been to Gatlinburg, TN? Did you like it? Did you stay in a cabin?

Any weddings you've attended lately?
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