Monday, January 28, 2013

Miles and Game nights!

In alignment with keeping on my diet for the most part till February - the weekend was filled with more game nights and healthy eating for the 3rd weekend in a row. Friday night I went to the gym unexpectedly and ran 4 miles + stretched for one hour... yup ONE WHOLE HOUR. It helps that I had someone to talk to the entire time, but man did I feel limber after that. 

Unfortunately I was running way behind in the "get ready and make a healthy snack" department- so I decided to just whip together my almond butter fudge again. This time I opted for crunchy almond butter and added in almond slivers.... still addicting like crack, only this time it has a bit more crunch to it. I love chunky almond butter and will do this from now on! (don't forget the parchment paper to lay in the dish- I had a brain fart this time and it made it hard to scrape out) 

For the 2nd week in a row we decided to play Settler's of Catan-- if you like strategy, this game is amazing. Everytime you play it, the game constantly changes (the pieces and such, not the rules).
 It can be a quick game, or take hours on end- just depends on the how long it takes the first player to earn 10 victory points. Proud to say, I won again.... BOO freakin YAH!

Saturday I decided to attempt a long(ish) run for my out of shape self. Original plan was to go about 7 miles, and hopefully be under 10 min pace--- thought both were achievable and not doing too much too soon. First I didn't look at my watch too much which led to me completely underestimating the distance of my out and back and picked up an extra mile.  2nd- the run was ABSOLUTELY miserable. I made it 1 mile before I had to walk, then pretty much was only able to go about .5 mile of running before walking again... the entire time. My lungs were not ready for this, and despite my awesome stretching the night before, my hamstrings were uber tight. 

Although my running time was about 1hr 15min, I bet I was out there for 2 hours. I was so famished at the end that I raided my purse and luckily had an emergency peanut butter chocolate lara bar; I devoured it in 5 sec and felt like a new woman  and decided I could prolong my recovery shake till I got home and headed into the gym for some quality hot tub and sauna time- Glorious!

Rest of day was running errands and killing time. Unexpectedly came home to an apartment full of ladies with food galore and game playing--- I forgot the roommate said she was having friends over for game night, so round 2 of relaxing night in with good food and games. (and saving money!!!)
After a few rounds of "celebrity" I broke out my Cards Against Humanity M got me for Christmas- and good times ensued. 

 Have you ever played this?? It is HILARIOUS and NOT for someone who is easily offended.  Quick explanation is that its basically like Apples to Apples---only wrong... sooo sooo wrong. The reader chooses a black card as the topic and all the players have 10 white cards to choose which one they think is the most hilarious / fitting. Whoever is the reader on that turn, chooses which they like the best. Here is a little example I found on the internet to give you an idea- the words in BOLD would be what a player threw down to complete the saying

I've seen better combos (my favorite was "For lent, I am giving up ____" I threw down "picking up chicks at the abortion clinic"--- classy. If you like laughing and inappropriate word play- you'll love this game. 

Sunday I rounded out the weekend with an easy 4 miles--- I actually felt decent on this one and made it 2.5 miles before I had to walk. This is HUGE for me because I've ran everyday since wednesday and have had to continually walk after 1 mile... finally (maybe) getting some endurance back?

I think its hilarious that since wed I have ran 24 miles and it hasn't been a full week yet. I am lucky normally to get in 20 miles during the week. Aside from losing weight, its looking that this ultimate reset really allowed me to be more disciplined with workouts.. yay! I'm going to count Wed- Wed as my 'week', this will enable me to have my first 30 miler week in 6 months (I had a 32 miler week in July)!

How was your weekend?
Mine was low key, running, game nights, and good food. 

Do you ever do game nights?
This is something new for 2013- every weekend we have done one, the past 2 weekends were both Fri and Sat. 

Friday, January 25, 2013

Ultimate Reset Follow- Up

I don't want to write continual posts on this, so this will be just one long one wrapping everything up... Grab a cup of coffee because this could take awhile...

Wow I can't believe I actually survived the Ultimate Reset. If you ever youtube ultimate reset you will see a lot of individuals testimonials after day 21 and how it was the hardest thing they've ever done and they learned so much, blah blah blah... I have no vested interest in Beach Body so I'm not trying to sell anyone on anything, but let me tell you, everything they tell you was 100% true for me.

If you're just joining, here is explanation of what it is, why I did it, and week 1 results: HERE.

I'm here to tell you right off the bat, everything was ENTIRELY worth it for me- I lost 11lbs, can finally start to see my abs better, my skin cleared up, I get more restful sleep, I have more energy, and my mood is always 'perky'. It wasn't easy, so lets get the hard part out of the way at first--

Emotional Roller-coaster:  They warn you in the book to pick a time that is not stressful or you have a lot of events going on as well as to start on a Wednesday so when you hit the hardest part (days 3-5, it will be the weekend and better easier to deal with your emotions)  Silly me I started the day after I broke up with M. All Tuesday night I was crying my eyes out so that when I woke up on Wed my eyes were swollen shut, I had a raging headache and wasn't allowed caffeine, and I had zero motivation to prepare meals. I felt so lonely having "lost one of my best friends" that my drive just wasn't there. (unbeknownst to me at the time he really did want to remain friends so thankfully I still have him in my life, so that part got better)
Once I got the hang of it after a day or so I went from:  "this is great" to "i hate my life" to crying at how I'll have no life for 3 weeks to  finally "I can do this!" All these emotions were in the first week, so its safe to say that hands down week 1 is the hardest as you get the hang of all the meal preparation, timing of your meals, and to be honest, being a hermit.

Meal Preparation / Timing: The difference with Ultimate Reset vs. other programs, which in my opinion made it harder, is the timing of everything. I know I recapped before but a brief run down:

Pills in morning with full glass of water 30 min breakfast
Pills in afternoon with full glass of water 30 min before lunch
Wait at least two hours after lunch to take alkanize (powder mix in water and drink to help neutralize ph)
Wait at least 30 min if you want a mid afternoon snack
Wait at least 2 hours, take your pills with full glass of water, then wait 30 min for dinner.

I'm excellent at taking pills, but this required a lot of planning for the day--- If I knew I would be at office later then I had to adjust my whole day- having lunch a little earlier so I could do my snack a little earlier so then dinner wouldn't be too late. I had to rush home from work and immediately start preparing my meals.

All your meals are planned out for you exactly along with the recipes. I constantly had to look a few days ahead at the recipes and go to the grocery store to stock up on ingredients that I apparently missed the last time--- I probably went to grocery every 3 days or so.

One mistake I did that I will pass along if you decide to do this: When I first got the book I went through all the meals and made a grocery list (didn't look at the recipes- mistake #1)--- what I didn't realize is that when you purchase ultimate reset you create a username and password which allows you to log into the website and have access to more information. On there is ingredient list of EVERYTHING you'll need as well as how much. I overbought on so many items because I didn't need that much-- this would be a huge time and money saver to utilize this list.

There were 3 things I didn't like: One meal called for salmon (i don't eat fish so I did chicken), there were several meals that called from tempeh- I tried it once--- cried my eyes out, tried it again with seasonings and finally threw in the towel deciding that any other recipe that called for tempeh I would use another protein source. Lastly was seaweed- twice you were to make nori rolls--- i just skipped the seaweed and ate everything inside the rolls in a bowl. It also called for seaweed in your miso soup- left that out too. Aside from that I was pretty diligent about following as best as I could. As time went on I was more flexible with myself. One meal called for a certain type of squash, I couldn't find it anywhere so I looked up benefits of the said squash and saw that a sweet potato had a lot of same benefits so I went with that.

Social Aspect: As stated above, everything was about timing and meal prep, so  the entire 3 weeks I never did anything during the week except go straight home and start dinner. I was lucky on the weekends by having friends who were actively doing the whole 30 so we had game nights with compliant snacks- it was such a change of pace to hang out with them and not have a beer in hand (one of the guys is my drinking buddy). I don't know if I could have survived the weekends without them so I highly recommend having some type of social support.

No Exercise- the old saying is true "you don't know what you had till its gone"---- MAN did I miss exercise. There were so many beautiful days where I just wanted to leave my desk and go for a lunch run, but I couldn't. I went stir crazy and eventually it led to me making the decision that anytime in future that I had a workout planned and wanted to skip, that I would remind myself of the feeling of when you are forbidden to work out. (so far it's helping)

The last hard part goes without saying- Discipline: I think one of my GREATEST strengths is that I am very well aware of my weaknesses and what I need to improve on. Discipline and consistency are two attributes I am continually trying to get better at. If I have someone telling me exactly what I need to do (this is for anything, eating, training, work, etc) than I will be an excellent follower.... leave it into my hands, thats when I fall apart. Hands down this is the #1 reason why I decided to go this route for getting back on track with diet vs. any other. I knew the fact that all my meals were planned to a T and all I had to do was make them would work well for me, and it did. With that being said it was great. What was hard was the ability to say 'no' and not cheat because it's "just one time". Where I work is relatively healthy (voted #1 healthiest place to work in Nashville!), however we also like to have fun. At least 3x a week there were treats being passed around and I had to have enough will power to say no. It was hard at first, but once I was seeing results it made it easy. I consistently reminded myself that its only 3 weeks.

Now on to the fun stuff that I absolutely loved:

Creativity: I started to get a hankering for sweets, but since I can't have them I stalked pinterest to find clean eats that didn't have a million ingredients that were pricey (umm almond flour and coconut flour- why so much?) I found that the more time I spent in the kitchen, the more I really enjoyed making things and finding different healthy combinations that were REALLY tasty! Instead of chocolate, candies, or cookies- I've found that what satisfies my sweet tooth is spoonful of almond butter with shredded coconut on top... it's like crack, seriously.

Constant Energy- No not the jittery kind where you feel like your hearts about to explode. I'm talking constant alertness and not hitting that afternoon lull where you're reaching for a pick-me-up of caffeine or sweets.

Better Sleep:- It actually took me longer to fall asleep since I wasn't tired, but when I did sleep I was dead to the world. When my alarm would go off I wouldn't hit snooze and actually get out of bed right away since I was well rested--- this was HUGE for me

Portions / Eating smart: I've found (and this is still true today after being off this regimen for 3 days) that my portions are a lot smaller. Although I still get hungry, it doesn't take me a large amount of food to get full. I attribute this to eating a lot of nutrient dense food-- people forget that the whole purpose of eating is to get vitamins, minerals, antioxidants from our food--- when we eat processed 'junk' that is devoid of nutrients, we have the ability to eat more because our body isn't satisfied yet as it is waiting for the 'good stuff" This alone is what is wanting me to keep up this way of eating.

Regularity: Everyone's favorite topic! This one didn't happen overnight- infact I was surprised that even during the cleanse part of this regimen that I wasn't going to the bathroom more. It wasn't until about 1.5 to 2 weeks in that I started going multiple times a day. The human body is actually designed to go to the bathroom everytime you have a meal--- yup that means 3x a day, yet some people struggle with going once a day. Once my digestion cleared up I have been consistent at 2-3x day easily- its such a great feeling to know my system is all working properly!!

Last but certainly not least--- WEIGHTLOSS: I'm going to start right away with I know i'm not fat. I'm tall and I'm proportioned, however it's still weight on my joints. I can range between 155lbs - 170lbs, and to the unsuspecting eye, you might not notice a difference... to me naked in front a mirror though, there is a huge difference.  I had great success the first week, was stagnant the 2nd, then lost the rest the 3rd week. I'm confident that if I didn't start to make my clean sweets I probably would have lost more, but I'm happy with results thus far. I will say what is weird for me- I wear size 30 waist, but in actually where you measure across your belly button is a bit wider on my body.

Starting Measurements:                                                        Ending Measurements:
Weight: 170lbs (highest in 3 years!)                                             158.5lbs
Bicep: 11 in                                                                                    10.5 in
Chest: 37 in                                                                                    34 in          
Waist: 34 in                                                                                    32 in  
Hips: 44 in                                                                                      40 in

So if you do the math, in 3 weeks I lost 11.5lbs and 9.5 inches. Waiting the extra few days until my 'time of the month bloat' had subsided allowed for another .5lb and 2 inches! (I hate that I balloon up like that)

Although I don't like them, here is my before stomach shot (my most problem area)

After shot- Clean eating helped with flattening everything down, but exercise is what is going to help with decreasing actual width of my stomach (which is mission #2) 

It's funny because when I look in the mirror the changes look huge, however looking at these comparison photos, its more like 'meh'

This process was nothing earth shattering, but definitely changed my perspective on food, working out, and just how MY body operates. Let's hope I'm able to keep up most of these changes. 

For the time being I'm finishing the month out with no dairy, meat, sweets, alcohol. I have introduced my keurig coffee back in, protein shake, and eggs. Once February hits I'll slowly work on re-introducing meats and the occasional sweet and alcohol. Dairy is something I don't do on an everyday basis- I use almond or coconut milk for cooking / coffee and every so often add shredded cheese to salads or eggs- this will be something I'll try to hold for awhile and see how things are going by the time my first race hits on Feb 23!

If anyone has any additional questions that I may not have addressed, feel free to ask away!

Don't forget, today is last day to enter Valentine Exchange- To all those who entered, I'll be emailing out your Valentine over the weekend

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Triple Thursday

1. Yesterday was my first day of working out in 5 weeks. Decided to do yoga, running, and bootcamp throughout the day. Yoga was difficult, but I felt much more loose afterward and then today the pain set in. As far as running...I wish I could say it was , however it was more like this . In the 5 miles that Brian and I did, I had to stop and walk 6 times. We averaged around a 9:20 pace and I was huffing and puffing the whole time. After a week or so I'm hoping this dissipates. Bootcamp was okay, however  my knee decided that I had to leave early so I actually listened. (i'm learning here)

2. We had our biometrics today- it's official, I'm 5'10, not 5'11. Proud to say that this was my best testing yet in the 3 years I've been with my company- clean eating pays off. Tomorrow I will be posting my afterthoughts on Ultimate Reset, results, and what the plan is for now going forward.

3. Last night I was grocery shopping at Kroger and there was a HUGE clearance section due to remodeling. I found this precious gem and decided that it was definitely worth $1.69 to have as a treat. The most important question here is why have I never heard about this awesome combination???

Do you get biometrics done at your work? What do you dread on getting results back?
We do ours every winter. My bloodwork is always excellent, but I consistently fear stepping on the scale. First time I was happy to do so. 

What's your favorite cereal?
Cinammon Toast Crunch is one of my faves, which is why I was so excited about this one. Also can't turn down golden grahams, and reese puffs. Its a good thing I don't normally buy these or I'd be in a sugar coma. 

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The most AMAZING day and Giveaway winner.

Yesterday was an AMAZING day. In order of importance....

 First and foremost my new baby niece Gwenyth Grace was born. I was going crazy all day because I accidently left my cell phone at home, so had to resort to facebook to find out she was born and to see photos. She is the first grand daughter / niece in our family and I cannot wait to meet her :) 

Second, it was the last day of my Ultimate Reset-- woo woo. Lucky for me I started that special time of the month earlier this week so I'm still a little bloated, but as of right now I'm down 11lbs and 7 inches. I'm going to check again tomorrow / Friday when my bloating finally subsides to see if numbers change, then I'll post a photo. I'll do a whole follow up post on the reset later in week, but for now, let's just leave it at it was the best decision and 

To celebrate being able to work out I already went to yoga this morning, will go for a lunch run this afternoon, and round out the day with bootcamp. I also had my first cup of coffee today- golden french toast- YUM. I have my biometric screening tomorrow at work, so the diet will still be the same today and then tomorrow I might be daring and add in some eggs and we'll go from there...

Lastly, I finally joined the Nashville Sportsleague and registered to play kickball this spring!
I've played the past 3 seasons on the work league at lunch, and will continue to do so, however I need to get out and meet more people in the area and thought this was the perfect way to do so. Often times the league sells out quick, so I was excited that I was able to find a spot for Tuesday nights! 

Winner for the Blue Zones Giveaway is 


Please e-mail me at  in the next few days on where you would like me to send your book

Don't Forget---  FRIDAY, 1/25, is the deadline to Enter the  Healthy Valentine Exchange

There is already a good turn out and I'm anxious to match people up this weekend! 

Anything exciting happen to you yesterday?

What are your thoughts on yoga?
I made the mistake of telling the instructor (one of my friends at work) that my hips were super tight and I need to strengthen them... sure enough we focused A LOT on opening the hips up and stretching them. It sucked at the time, but now I feel like a million bucks.... well almost. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

I got weak hips and I cannot lie...

" I got weak hips and I cannot lie,
This knee pain is getting worse and I can't deny..."

What's sad is I had a whole rap written out but it was more embarrassing than my dance moves so I decided to delete it, you're welcome. 

So my right knee pain is not going away- frustrating, however I think I may have answered the million dollar question of what the heck is going on considering I haven't ran in 5 weeks now. 

I had a chance encounter with a PT on saturday and after multiples tests she confirmed I have weak hips, a much tighter right hamstring,  and my right leg is longer than my left... who knew you could be a mess without working out?

Weak Hips:

It's not uncommon for a runner to have weak hips as running doesn't fully engage them. Majority of runners with knee pain are caused because the hips aren't as strong as they need to be. It's REALLY easy to test the general strength of you hips too.  Basically you lie on your side (in my case with leg of bad knee up) and lift your leg up in scissor position. 
She pushed down and I was told to restrain her as much as possible--- I failed miserably and my leg dropped when she pushed it-- the shame. 
In addition to the standard clams, she gave me some other moves I can do with a theraband, so I forsee a lot of those in my future. 

Tight Hamstrings:  Both of mine are tight which makes sense since I get an F in the subject of stretching, however my right hamstring is much tighter compared to left. I've done this multiple times where you stand with your feet together and bend at the knees--- I can never go very far ( result of weak hamstrings) but my left one  was able to bend SIGNIFICANTLY farther; this shows 2 things- 1.) my right hamstring is tighter than left, and 2.) My right leg is noticeably longer than my left. 

Right leg longer: She had me lay down on the ground and compared placement of my hips then proceeded to measure my legs- right leg is measurably longer than the left. I remember I did a post on this in March of 2011 here where the chiro told me I had short leg syndrome. Several months after that diagnosis I saw my orthopedic surgeon uncle and he did an extensive look at me and said my femurs were the same size, so anatomically I'm normal, its just my left side always tightens up which makes it appear shorter since I don't stretch it out. 

Soooooo after 2 years of being told one thing, then the next, it all boils down to when I work out, I don't properly work my left side and overwork the right which affects that whole part of my body-- IT band, my hip, hamstrings, then it affects my knees. All the injuries I've had over last 2 years is always on right side (at least I have one good side). Due to being sedentary for so long, there hasn't been any stretching on my part and everything has tightened up to the point where my knee is now affected. 

Solution- S-T-R-E-T-C-H-I-N-G after my runs, foam rolling, and I will finally introduce yoga into my weekly schedule. It all sounds so simple, yet easy to forget to keep up. TOMORROW is my first official day I can work out and I plan on going to the 7am yoga class at work--- gah that's early but I have plans for 2013, and an injury isn't one of them. Lastly, I decided 2013 will not be the year of the marathon for me- instead it will be the year of flexibility, proper mechanics, and SPEED. I need a solid (injury free) foundation before I can tackle the marathon properly. I'm not one of those that just wants to finish the first one, I want to run a certain time and I don't think I can pull that off right now plus I refuse to train for a marathon in the Nashville summer again (horrible decision last year)

Do you deal with persistent injuries?
What seems to work best for avoiding injuries?

Friday, January 18, 2013

5 for Friday

ONE-  I normally don't do too many races outside the half marathon distance, (outside of relays) but this year I signed up for 5k foam fest (similiar to a mud run, but yet with foam) If you live in Nashville area or are wanting to potentially travel here I will be giving away race entries for the May 4th event sometime in March. The other "no need to worry about pace" run I signed up for is the Tap n Run 4k the following weekend, May 11. Costumes + beer + ridiculously short distance, I'm in! These two races + my Wyoming half Memorial Day weekend with my favorite racing ladies = one great month thus far!!

TWO- Counting today I have 5 days left on the ultimate reset. I really don't mind the food aspect now, but I'm itching to be able to workout again. Wednesday is my first day I can do activity and I already have a lunch run set up with Ashley. I'm nervous that I'll be gasping for air within 5 minutes, but from what I'm told of others who completed the Ultimate Reset is it actually helps with your stamina as it makes your body more efficient during workout. I don't think this may be the case with the very first workout back, but definitely after a week. Side bar: down 8.2lbs so far!!!

THREE: I've been on a cooking spree lately. I've found great comfort in spending hours in the kitchen re-creating or tweeking clean or paleo recipes I've found. Last week my absolute FAVORITE find was Paleo Almond Fudge
Last night I made coconut fudge bars (dates/ cacao powder/ ground almonds as base), and although I haven't ate one yet because they are for our Wine @ 5 today, I'm counting on them being tasty- Paleo AND vegan friendly --- will post recipe next week. 

FOUR:  My right knee is in excruciating pain. It literally feels just like how my plica problem felt during running this late summer / early fall, only right now I'm not running or doing any strenuous activity at all. You know how when you have a bad bruise and then you touch it and you flinch because its extremely tender? That's how my knee feels ALL the time- whether I walk, just sit there, lie down to sleep, my jeans rubbing against it... everything.  I'm so confused as to what caused it or if its anything serious. I'm slightly hoping that once it gets more mobility with exercise, the pain will lessen.... but that may just be wishful thinking 

FIVE:  Two things going on right now in "Because I can land" - Bluezones Book Giveaway ends 1/21, AND
submitting your name for the Healthy Valentine Exchange ends 1/25!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Healthy Valentine's Exchange

Can you believe Valentine's Day is less than 1 month away? Where does the time go?  Remember when you were a little kid and you had to decorate a shoe box all fancy for your Valentine's Day Party and the other kids would drop little cards in your box?? I miss the simplicity of those days...

This year I'm bringing it back! (well sort of) I  decided to host my FIRST "Healthy Valentine Exchange" for the blog world to give me (and you) something different to look forward to this holiday!  No shoe box decorating required though... unless you want to?

Rules are simple and pretty much the same as other virtual exchanges you may have participated in the past. 
Email me at Lisarun2 (at) gmail (dot) com the following:
First and Last name
Favorite distance
Fun fact or anything you want your valentine to know about you :)
and if you' have a fellow blog- include your URL.
Price cap - anywhere from homemade to $15

I'll accept all entries up until Friday, Jan 25 and then I will match everyone up to their Valentine and re-email who your person is. What you get your Valentine is up to you, card, socks, stickers, gu,  etc, but try to be creative and think outside of the traditional box of chocolates as we know that our work places will already  be filled with fun treats. 

Thats it! Simple. Look forward to hearing from all of you and for once in quite some time, having a Valentine to send out haha. 

Do you have any favorite Valentine traditions when you were growing up?

Monday, January 14, 2013

Paleo Almond Fudge

So I like how it was 72 and humid on Saturday and I was sweating in the stores while shopping...

tank top time!!

 and yet today its a balmy 29 degrees... brrr. My solution: coffee fake out- aka steaming hot water in a mug.... why had I not thought of this sooner?
Downside is I've already had 3 people reprimand me because they know I'm not supposed to be drinking coffee-- guess they want me to succeed as much as I do :) 

On Friday I was asked if I would be willing to host our  bi-weekly "wine at 5". Wine at 5 come from the 9 principles of longevity that was mentioned in my Blue Zones Giveaway post. About every other Friday we have a get together at work and do a wine @ 5 (only we do 4) where 2 individuals host it with several bottles of wine and healthy snacks. Considering I still have strict eating limitations I thought it was the perfect opportunity to test different recipes in the kitchen so I can partake in the fun (minus the alcohol)

I teammed up with another co-worker to help co-host and she just happens to be doing paleo for the month of January, thus we decided lets do a paleo theme! 

Currently I'm vegetarian right now, but on Wednesday it switches to being a vegan ( none of my meals have called for eggs for awhile, so not much change) - therefore I thought it might be tricky to think of something everyone can enjoy as well as myself. My co-worker is bringing baked chicken wings and another protein dish, and I decided to test out this raw ranch recipe I've had for a few years, as well as on a mission to find an easy, few ingredient paleo dessert. 

While sifting through recipes on Saturday, I decided to see if I could find a Whole 30 compliant dessert since I was going over to a friends house who him and his gf were doing that for a month .... didn't you get the memo... January is the month of different eating plans, obviously. 

After HOURS on pinterest I finally hit the jackpot--- almond chocolate fudge that I found on Foodbabe's site :sidebar: there are so many paleo sites, I'm confident I could go strictly paleo and never feel deprived!
IMG 3109

Is your mouth watering yet? Mine is. Spoiler alert, mine does not look that pretty. Now originally I bought all the ingredients it called for as seen below:
  • 4 tbsps of unrefined coconut oil
  • 1- 1.5 cup of almond butter
  • 1.5 tbsp of 100% maple syrup (grade B if possible)
  • pinch of sea salt (I use himalayan salt which is better than sea salt)
  • 4oz of dark chocolate
I did make the recipe with above ingredients and maybe 1 oz of chocolate, and then I made another one without the maple syrup and protein powder so I could allow my friends to enjoy. Photos of adding ingredients are from first batch

Combine coconut oil (i did way too much), almond butter, syrup and salt in bowl 

Mix together. Once everything is blended and creamy you can add in any fillers- I bought a plain brown rice protein that I added, in my 3rd batch I added coconut, and in my future batches I'll probably add chocolate or almonds. 

Line your dish (this is great for 8x8) with wax paper- pour in dish, spread evenly and add your chopped up chocolate on top and freeze for at least 2 hours. (i left some untouched by chocolate for friends) 

When you remove cut into small sections and ready to serve. 

Keep in mind that the more coconut oil you add, the more it will 'melt' after its removed from freezer, so best keep it refrigerated till its gone. 

This taste like almond joy crack! I had so much on Saturday night I was worried it was going to throw of my weightloss for the week--- guess what... it didn't! When you're eating it you forget how healthy it is. 

I love how simple this recipe is and how all it requires is a bowl and large spoon to prep. Now you can indulge and not worry about your waist line :)

Do you have any healthy recipes that taste too decadent you to be true?

Blue Zones Giveaway!

There have been a few studies published that have shown that our longevity as humans is only determined 20% by our genes, while the rest is environment and lifestyle. Ever heard of Blue Zones? National Geographic was able to pinpoint the 5 cities (see below map)  where the people who reside there produce the most centenarians.

Dan Buetnner and his team traveled to each of these 5 cities to see what the common denominator that they all shared were, and upon their research they found 9 different principles referred to as the  Power of 9

1. Move Naturally
The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.
2. Purpose. The Okinawans call it “Ikigai” and the Nicoyans call it “plan de vida;” for both it translates to “why I wake up in the morning.” Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy
3. Down Shift
 Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. What the world’s longest-lived people have that we don’t are routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.
4. 80% Rule
  “Hara hachi bu”  – the Okinawan, 2500-year old Confucian mantra said before meals reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80 percent full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. People in the Blue Zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then they don’t eat any more the rest of the day.
5. Plant Slant
  Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat—mostly pork—is eaten on average only five times per month.  Serving sizes are 3-4 oz., about the size of deck or cards.
6. Wine @ 5
 People in all Blue Zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly.  Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all weekend and have 14 drinks on Saturday.
7. Belong
 All but five of the 263 centenarians we interviewed belonged to some faith-based community.  Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.
8. Loved Ones First 
Successful centenarians in the Blue Zones put their families first. This means keeping aging parents and grandparents nearby or in the home (It lowers disease and mortality rates of children in the home too.). They commit to a life partner (which can add up to 3 years of life expectancy) and invest in their children with time and love (They’ll be more likely to care for you when the time comes).
9. Right Tribe
The world’s longest lived people chose–or were born into–social circles that supported healthy behaviors, Okinawans created ”moais”–groups of five friends that committed to each other for life. Research from the Framingham Studies shows that smoking, obesity, happiness, and even loneliness are contagious. So long-lived people’s health behaviors have been favorable shaped by their social networks.

From this he wrote a book appropriately called "Blue Zones" which outlines the experiences in all the cities as well as going more into depth on the above 9 Principles. 
Right when I came to work at Healthways in 2010, it was announced that we were teaming up with Dan Buettner to not only adopt those principles into our work culture, but also r to create different pockets of Blue Zones in the US and called it the Blue Zone Project. It's still in beginning stages as it takes 3 years before really seeing a result (currently have Beach Cities and Iowa underway), but its definitely an area I would be interested in pursuing down the road with the company if an opportunity presented itself.  
I've taught a few quick information sessions on the Power of 9, and it really is all about making sure all aspects of your life is fulfilled to making a healthy lifestyle. You'd be amazing at how many people have no purpose in their life. Personally when I was first introduced to Power of 9 I felt overwhelmed as I didn't know what my purpose was, and that is how I fell back into running... another story for another day. 
In the process of gathering my stuff at work to switch desks I found that I had an extra copy of the book untouched, so what better way to put it to good use than to do a giveaway with all my healthy readers since it has a major impact on the way I view a healthy lifestyle??

Entry is simple:
1. Be a follower of my blog and tell me so in the comments.
2. Leave a comment of something you do that fits into one of the 9 principles 

Winner will be chosen via 1 week from today 1/21/13

Good luck! 

Friday, January 11, 2013

I drive like a Cullen...

Now that the weather realized that Nashville is NOT part of the Pacific Northwest and the rain can go elsewhere we finally had a gorgeous day- 70 degrees, sunny, slight breeze, no humidity- perfect running weather--- oh wait, ya I can't run right now.

This whole "not being allowed to exercise" is SURPRISE, really making me WANT to exercise. You know when you tell a kid NOT to do something and that's all they want to do now, kind of like that.  I guess this is a good thing considering I had zero motivation in December, so now that I can't, I have all the motivation in the world.

So after sitting at my desk for hours on end staring outside I decided to go on a walk with one of my good friends

Within minutes my mood was better. I think I've been in a slump due to this no exercise. Even when I take breaks from running, I still go to bootcamp and get in some cardio-- I guess Elle Woods was right because I'm in a much better mood!

For all those fellow twilight fans out there, I saw these 2 stickers on the back of the car and had to get a photo
When the bangs don't want to cooperate, you rock the Snooki bump- and yes, I'm wearing workout clothes to work because Fridays are "Fitness Fridays" and we can do that. I do own real clothes too. 

Is it sad that I know exactly where in the first movie this was said?!? No i'm going with it's because I have an impeccable memory. 

Aside from the no exercise, my nutrition is going great. I got the hang of all this meal prep, and for the most part I love everything I'm having to make. I'm down 7lbs now so I think that really does help enjoy what i'm eating because I know I'm doing what is healthy for my body. 

I'm so lucky right now to have a few friends doing the Whole 30, so they are experiencing the same difficulty of social woes- can't go out to eat (you can but its extremely difficult), can't drink, on a stricter schedule with food etc, that it makes having fun on the weekend difficult. We have a game night planned tomorrow night- games and only health plan approved food. They can have meat and unfortunately I'm a pseudo-vegetarian this week, so hopefully there isn't a bunch of that lying around tomorrow. 

When you are following a strict eating regime, what social activities do you find best compliment what you are trying to accomplish with your health?

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Three For Thursday

1. I finally got a solid foundation for the first half of 2013 race schedule, always room for changes, but what I have so far is under the upcoming race schedule tab. As of right now my first race to kick of the states is March 2nd in Vegas!

2. Over Christmas break my brother Andy shared the amazing Retail me Not website. Any company you just type it it in and it will show you any coupons. For kicks and grins I wanted to see if I could get a discount on the Publix Georgia half, low and behold walah!!! 
I tested it out with a bunch of different products and was able to get coupon codes for all. Move over, I might have found a new favorite site! 

3. Results are in for finishing my first week of the Ultimate Reset . I really don't want to post photos of my belly as they are extremely unflattering, but I guess that's the  point right? Unfortunately I was solo in the taking photo department, so not the best quality which adds to its awesomeness

Can you say B-L-O-A-T-E-D!  Proud to say my lines are uncovered now, but I'm going to wait till after 3 weeks to post a final photo, can't wait. 

On to the numbers 

Starting:                                                                         Week One:
Chest: 37"                                                                      35"
Bicep 11"                                                                       10.5" (i don't need to lose any inches here!)
Waist: 34"                                                                       33"
Hips: 40"                                                                        40"
Weight: 170 (I haven't weighed this since moved to TN!!)   165.5

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Wordless Wednesday

Turns out, 2012 sucked more than I thought

State #6 GA- one of most memorable states because of this:
(pain of face because I blew out IT band at mile 11.5 and had to walk/ hobble/ run to finish) 

Which earned me this non-exciting medal

Which led me to redeem the bling with this:

Georgia Round 2- better bling, and girls weekend with Elizabeth, Kim, Jess, and hopefully Alma and case de Elizabeth. 

Redemption bling, Redemption race outcome! 

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Ultimate Reset

Last Wednesday I started the Ultimate Reset to basically jump start the year and reclaim a lot of the old good habits I had when it came to healthy eating. Since then I've had a number of people ask what is it, how I like it, results thus far, so here is the breakdown 1 week in:

Why I decided to do it / how I heard about it:
Sometime in mid-november my eating habits slowly  started to change. I was craving restaurant (sit down or fast food) all the time and out of sheer laziness convenience, I almost always gave in. I noticed my weight was starting to creep up, pants weren't fitting the same, and the ultimate tester, my face was getting fatter.  I wasn't able to run as much as I'd like due to work being busy and it getting dark so early in central time zone so the decrease in mileage (whopping 27 miles for December) didn't help.

P90x, turbofire, insanity and many more workout programs are all put out by the same company, Beach Body. It just so happens that one of the girls I went to high school with is one of the top coaches within all of Beach Body (top 10 out of 97,000), so my facebook feed is always getting filled with transformation photos, testimonies, and new updates from the company itself. Shortly into December I saw her post a story of one of her coaches that wanted to quit the ultimate reset after 2 days, but she convinced her to stick it through and the coach had AMAZING results at the end of the program. I was intrigued so I read all about it, watched quite a few testimonials, and decided that I would purchase it to start after the holidays so I could get some discipline again with my eating.

What is it?
Beachbody Ultimate Reset Program

It's a 3 week system that in a nutshell focuses on different clean food and supplementation to help you get your digestion and body back in balance.  "Our targeted supplements detox, alkalinize, oxygenize, mineralize, optimize, and revitalize to restore your body to the highest level of health" .Each week is broken down into 3 different phases:

1: Reclaim: Idea here is to reclaim your body by preparing it for change. You slowly start to remove stress on digestive system and help get you body back to a healthy pH balance--- in this phase you gradually remove red meat and dairy from diet. 

2. Release: As the name suggests, you are "releasing" toxic compounds that are clogging intestinal track which block proper nutrient absorption. In this phase once the harmful substances are carried away, your body should feel lighter and energy should begin to increase. This week is strictly vegetarian. 

3. Restore: Last week you restore your body to maximum efficiency by introducing essential enzymes and probiotics as well as helping your body get the most nutrition from the foods that you eat. This week is mostly fruits and vegetables with a few whole grains. 

While on this 3 weeks you are supposed to stick as close as you can to the meals they suggest (they give you  all ingredients listing you need and exactly how to make it). There is no caffeine (bye bye morning coffee), no alcohol, and no sugar, and no artificial ingredients--- all clean eating. 

 Now here is the ultimate kicker... there is NO WORKING OUT ALLOWED. Yup you read that right. At first I was thinking--- how is this supposed to help but then they explained:. 

"The reset is already giving your body a serious internal workout. It's important to allow your nervous system to remain in a relaxed state, and to refrain from asking your body to repair muscle tissue at the same time it's cleansing and releasing toxins"

I've tried to work out while cleansing and its not fun, and although the cleanse is only week 2 of the 3 week system, I wanted to do it as close to perfect as I was able, so my running shoes remain holed up in my closet.

What does a typical day look like:
Well today is day 7, aka last day of my first week (big hoorah!) so it will change slightly, but the basic run down is this using yesterday as an example: 
  • wake up and add "mineralize"  to a 12-320z glass of water. Surprisingly it does not make the water salty (Mineralize is basically himalyan salt... which if you haven't read the benefits of himalyan salt, you should really google it. I was able to pick up an extra bottle at TJ Maxx so I can keep up this good practice when I run out of mineralize after the reset.
  • I then add 10-15 drops of oxygenize into my mouth - you can add it to the above water, but the solution is slightly salty so I'd rather just go directly to mouth 
  • Lastly I take 2 caplets of Optimize- systemic enzymes and herbs, flavonoids and amino acids which will all help with body's natural inflammatory response. 
  • I have to wait 30 minutes before I can have breakfast. I repeat this step before lunch and dinner as well. 
  • breakfast varies between a plate of fruit, oatmeal, steamed kale with pinenuts, eggs, toast, baked tempeh etc. Yesterday it was baked tempeh ( I didn't do that and did 2 eggs instead, oops) 1 slice of whole grain toast, 1/4 slice avocado, 1/2 cup steamed spinach or kale
  • Lunch- Quinoa salad & micro green salad (spring mix with lots of veggies + homemade dressing) 
  • 2 hour after lunch I have to take an alkanalize packet, aka powdered seaweed, and mix it with a little bit of water--- this is the worst part of my day and I almost gagged the first few times doing this. The purpose of this one is to neutralize excess acid, improving alkalinity, and supporting immune system.
  • dinner- Roasted root medley (carrot, yam, beet, onions - baked in oven) 1/2 serving of Zucchini Cashew soup, and 1 serving of millet. (this was BY FAR my most favorite meal yet!) 

Week 1 Results:
  • First off I want to say that in the first week you're just preparing your body, you typically won't see a lot of changes / weight loss/ increased energy till the 2nd week, but I've had results in all aspects!
  • I took measurements and weighed myself on day 1 and I'll re-measure tomorrow, but I couldn't resist the peaking at the scale. In 6 days I've lost 4lbs!
  • I was nervous about the no coffee in the morning, but honestly I haven't been tired at all except when its time for bed. 
  • I notice that I sleep much more soundly and when my alarm goes off I am up and not hitting the snooze!!
What I like so far:
  • The program stressed on complete body awareness- although I'm not great at focusing on my breathing, I'm extremely focused on conscious eating and hydration. Although I'm intaking less calories, I'm not starving. I noticed I get full much more quicker which definitely helps with portion control.
  • In the booklet you receive they break down every little thing you can eat, portions, and recipes. I've made some fabulous dishes that I know I'll keep in rotation after this is over. 
Source- because i'm bad at taking photos of my own food 
  • This could be a pro/ con depending on how you look at it, but you are FORCED to spend a lot of time preparing your meals and really planning out your schedule. This has helped me personally with being disciplined in leaving work at a descent time so I can start on dinner / lunch for the next day. 
What I don't like so far:
  • I had seen from a bunch of testimonial videos that this is the hardest thing a lot of people have ever done... it sounds so silly, but I'm not starting to see it. I had a mini breakdown on friday night when I tried to make tempeh and it sucked and tasted like fish sticks. My whole dinner revolved around that tempeh and I couldn't eat it. I had to make due and manage which left me starving by bedtime.
  • A lot of people I told this to asked "why didn't you just make something else" Each meal is specifically designed with certain nutrients to work in conjunction with one another. This isn't like the Whole 30 or paleo or something where you just get a list of foods you can and cannot have- this is "here are your meals, makes these meals." (Since friday i have learned to give some more leeway, but considering that was day 3, I wanted to do it right) 
  • I'm not a fan or nor will I eat seafood- period. There were 3 meals I had to modify- salmon (I did chicken), and nori seaweed rolls (2 meals had this and I just made everything that was inside the rolls and eat that) I feel that not liking seafood is a common dislike, so I would have liked to see an alternative there. 
  • Flexibility- This is the other part this is REALLY challenging. Its easy to prepare when you are home, however I had a surprise trip back home this weekend for mom's 60th. I had to pack 4 water bottles to hydrate along the way (which resulted in 3 potty breaks in 5 hrs)- I had to pack part of my meals to make sure to have, and although I made it okay meeting with my gf for lunch (we did a mongolian grill so I could do veggies and brown rice), dinner with family saturday night was difficulty. The family decided on Outback Steakhouse (pretty sure there isn't much healthy food there)- aside from defaulting to the only non seafood healthy item- grilled chicken and steamed broccoli, I had to be tormented by the appetizers sitting in front of me--- bloomin' onion and loaded cheese fries. Out of sight out of mind works really well for me.... sitting in front of my face does not. I eventually had a few onions but stuck my guns and Eric felt sorry for me since I couldn't eat that much and gave me some more of his broccoli haha. During that dinner I kept arguing with myself that I should quit, that I wasn't able to fully enjoy myself with all the temptations.... I think thats when I hit the break-through and realized that my emotions were getting tied to food and I needed to break that. 
So there you have it thus far--- 1 week in, not ready to quit yet, but will be so extremely giddy when is over. I'm anxious / nervous to start the cleanse to see what that brings about. 

Friday, January 4, 2013

2013 Goals

Is it bad that I have been dragging my feet on what I want to accomplish for 2013?? Normally I'm excited to have a clean slate and create goals, but the last month or so I've been in a slight funk where I just want to be lazy...

Last year was the year of growth for me- I figured out how to go outside my comfort zone with pace and distance, ran 2 ultra relays, and even signed up and trained (although didn't run on race day) a marathon. I got out of the rat race at work and set my sights on a new role I wanted and got it!

What 2012 SERIOUSLY lacked was discipline - in all facets of my life. Full weeks would go by where I didn't run (in the last 4 weeks I've ran 3 miles), my eating got out of control, frivolous spending, and just not doing all the side projects I wanted to get done because I'd waste my time on meaningless items (tv, movies, internet)

For the next 6 months I decided to focus on one word which in turn will help me get to where I want to be- and then evaluate end of June as to how I'm doing:

Seems simple enough- when something becomes a priority we tend to accommodate our life to make that task / goal happen, however I'm really bad at this. I realized that during all marathon training I never ONCE ran over 32 miles in 1 week--- although I gave priority to the long run and was diligent about my weekends, I didn't give priority to my body and conditioning it appropriately, thus got  injured. 

Number 1 priority- losing weight and then maintaining it. How cliche right? For all those shorties out there, I'm 5'11, that alone means I have more weight to move around, regardless if I "look okay for my height" Naturally I just require more energy to move my body and when the weight creeps up even 5lbs, its a huge difference on my speed and ability. 

How am I going to get there:

  • On Jan 2. I started the Ultimate Reset by Beachbody. I'll do a more detailed post on it next week, but its a 3 week phase system- reclaim (prepping your body), release (cleanse/detox), restore (putting the good stuff back in- pre and probiotics). This is REALLY forcing me to focus on food as it tells you what to eat for each meal (plus its great for controlling portions) 
  • After the reset is finished, I'm going to make it a point to limit how often I go out for meals due to laziness and better stock my kitchen so I can prepare meals more easily on a whim. I've gotten out of habit of cooking and I can honestly say I haven't personally cooked any meat since last spring. 
  • Right now I can't exercise at all while on the reset except for walking and basic stretching (exercise places stress on system, especially when it has to repair itself after a workout, so instead of having your system focus on that, its strictly working on your cleanse and digestion- again more detail next week)
    • since I can't workout, this is going to make me get back into swing of things with enthusiasm come late January. I only ran 27 miles in December due to lack of motivation, so I'm hoping now that its taken away that won't be an issue. 
  • Consistency- I'm pretty good now with going to bootcamp at least 1x week as I promised myself, and if I'm lucky 2. What I'm not good at is running. Ashley and I agreed that when I can start running, everyday Wednesday we will meet up for a lunch run which will probably range from 3-5 miles. I'm going to make it a point to get in at LEAST 3 runs a week- I have to start small. 
  • Mileage---My highest mileage week last year was in the 30s, which is pathetic, so starting in February I'm going to make it a point to have 1 heavy week a month- 30s/ 40s just to keep my mileage up so I'm not always "just getting by" in races. I truly feel that miles on the legs does translate into getting faster.
  • Marathon--- Ever since reading recaps of Eugene last year it made me want to run there and eventually do a marathon- I believe it was shortly after that when I signed up for Air Force Marathon. Unfortunately with this no exercise for 3 weeks, when I'm done that leaves me 14 weeks to prep for Eugene. When I trained for Air Force I did 15 weeks and only stuck to the long runs planned out, so it might be possible, however I'll have to see how running feels after no miles on the legs for 5 weeks straight- eek.
    • If I don't do Eugene as a marathon, I probably won't run one this year. Training for a marathon in the summer in Nashville temps was the stupidest thing I could've done. I would have to get up at 4:30am just to get 80s/ low 90s run in and I'm not going through that again. 
  • States- I have 14 states left- right now I only have 100% plans to knock out Wyoming and Virginia and the rest of the states are in limbo right now- I'd like to get as many out of the way as possible (think double headers) so by this time next year I can be planning for 50th state- Hawaii for sometime in the winter :) 
Social / Family
  • I belong to zero groups that allows me to interact with others around my age- majority of the people I hang out with in Nashville are all work folk, thus its a very small circle. Often times I fall victim to loneliness eating- going to a restaurant so at least I have interaction, grabbing a pizza or other unhealthy food and unwinding with a movie---  I need to join something that will allow me to meet others and get out more vs. staying in and repeating my same mistakes
    • I've been debating on attending some hash harrier runs as I'm told they are a lot of fun with awesome people- added bonus, will help with my mileage. 
    • we also have a young professionals group for Williamson County- slightly intimidated to go, but they do all sorts of events so I need to at least check them out. 
    • Local races--- very familiar with the who's who in blog land, but actual nashville-land, not so much. I know this is a long term goal when I finish 50 states, but would like to get more involved in my own running community. 
    • For existing friends need to plan either a weekly or monthly get together  that doesn't involve going to bar and drinking - although that is welcome too :) 
  • My "loneliness eating" is really bad on weekends when I'm bored and have nothing to do-- I go back to home always 3x a year- Easter, Thanksgiving, Christmas and then i'm lucky if I get in any other time- need to be better about not going months on end without going home or seeing family and choosing a weekend with nothing planned to make the trip.  This year my parents are coming to Virginia with me and then we have a family vacation planned the following week (all in June) so its starting out to be a lot more family time then I've had since college. 
Nothing to do with weight, but still important:

  • Contributing to my 401k (Yes I know, almost been at job 3 years and haven't been doing it) 
  • Currently I have $100 from every paycheck automatically deposited into savings, will up it an extra $50 to get $100 more a month- thus an extra $1200 a year
    • not touch my savings- if I can't afford it, don't get it. 
  • I FINALLY removed my credit freeze off my report (identity theft in 2010)- all my credit cards are expired or closed so I'm going to open 1 with my insurance, USAA, just to have an open credit to bring back up my score (once I get a house I won't care about my credit as much)
  • Pay 25% of car off for 2013. 
  • The difficult part with financial that I haven't figured out is living situation. Unfortunately I've been bouncing around every year to different apartments and roommates- just want my own place, but then it would literally double what I currently pay and that isn't helping me with my saving--- TBD on what goes down in May.
I'm sure goals will change as they more often do, but even if I accomplish half of this, I'll be happy! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Rest of Holidays

January 2nd and back at work--- major bummer. I'm still not ready to do my 2013 goals yet for running, so while everyone else in blog land is doing their posts, I'll just recap the rest of my holiday break

  • Was able to spend the 27th with entire family! (Sis in law is due in a few weeks and couldn't make the drive down for Christmas day, so we came to her)

  • Went outdoor ice skating--- haven't been ice skating in a few years, but haven't done it outside since I was 15--- hands down I will take an outdoor rink over indoor arena any day of the week. I promise I wasn't falling, that only happened once and that is when Mark dragged me down with him. 


  • Took a trip down memory lane and ventured to my old running grounds, Charleston Falls. I had never been in winter so it was like a whole different park 

  • Found out one of my best friends from middle school passed away suddenly on Saturday morning. Death of a friend is always hard- add to that her age (28), our history, what she left behind (2 babies- one 4 months old + husband who is deployed in Marines) and her disturbing facebook post the night before and it was just weighing heavy on me. It wasn't until our drive back to Nashville the next day that it hit me and I just started crying relentlessly and eventually had to have M take over driving
  • Went to see the lights at Opryland (a Christmas holiday MUST if you are ever in Nashville) My pictures don't do it justice, but trust me, its AMAZING!!
inside Gingy's house (there is  shrek exhibit and they have a whole room devoted to making gingerbread houses and meeting Gingy)

  • Spent NYE at a friend's pajama themed party. Turns out-- we won best pajamas! I found out late last night, so I'm not sure of the prize, but it doesn't matter, bragging rights is enough for me. 

Matching Paul Frank pj set and cow socks with a head on them

close up of pattern

  • Lastly before taking Mark to the airport we ended our relationship. Nothing "went wrong", due to distance and a few other things, it was just for the best. I know its weird to put on my blog, but considering this is how we met, it only seems appropriate that I document the end here as well. After I changed my facebook status I had a large number of friends one by one call or text to see if I was okay- in this day and age of technology its rare sometimes when people actually REACH out vs. just leaving a comment, so it meant the world to me to have that many people in my life care about me .
Today I  started Beach Body's Ultimate Reset---- 21 days of clean eating with a cleanse thrown in there and NO WORKING OUT- eek. I'll dive in deeper on my next post. 

Hope you all had a Happy New Year!