pancakes are jerks

First and foremost, today is my grandma’s birthday!

gr kate and my sister - I adore this picture!
gr kate and my sister – I adore this picture!

Happiest of Birthdays to a wonderful woman!  Seriously, everyone she meets loves her oodles and oodles.  I just got lucky to be her granddaughter.  People are jealous.

I have some odds and ends to share…

1) My stomach decided to stage a violent protest today.  Last night I made some brownie overnight oats.  It’s been on my must try list for some time and I was motivated last night so I made it.  These were some highly anticipated oats, my friends.  It made two servings and when I tried some today, I found them pretty rich.  I wasn’t sure if I totally dug them or not and then was only able to manage 1/2 of the serving before I put it back in the fridge.

before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness
before I delved into what I was hoping was chocolatey breakfast goodness

It wasn’t long before my stomach starting picketing.  Now, I can’t be sure the oats were the culprit.  They did have a fair amount of milk in them (I used evaporated milk since I was out of almond milk – I use it for cooking).  I hurt for the rest of the day and I still can’t be sure if I feel better because my stomach is sore from the manic cramping.  The question… do I try the oats again to make sure it was them?  Or do I throw out the batch?  I’m conflicted.  (I got the recipe here)

2) I ran/walked 5 miles on the tready on Saturday.  I had a wicked dizzy spell in the middle of it so when I jumped back on for another 5 on Sunday I stuck to walking.  Still a bit woozy so I’m thinking I was dehydrated?  Yesterday I planned on a few more miles but gave into the siren call of my couch.  I still managed 3 walking miles for the day.

3) I made pancakes this weekend.  I was craving them and after the run I wanted a GIANT pancake.  Naturally, I chose a small frying pan and filled that sucker with batter – I wanted a super thick pancake.  I’m sure you might want to face-palm me right now because you guessed it – this bad boy took FOREVER to cook!  Oh my gosh!  20 minutes later it still had a gooey center, so I started scraping the done part off in order to try to cook it in mashed up pieces.  It was a pancake massacre… that still had a soft-batter center.  Thankfully butter, syrup and ham helped to hide the not-quite-done-parts.

this is a great illustration of my pancake sadness… and confusion

The thing is, this is the second time my pancakes have been mini-disasters.  The first time, fine, I tried to put together my own batter with flour and some odds and ends.  Not happening.  But this time I used a box mix!  The rest of the batter still didn’t cook very well even though I made them smaller/thinner.  I used Krusteaz gluten-free mix.  At this point I’m sticking to the Bisquick gluten-free pancake mix – those were more successful.  It was a bit tough on the ego to mess up pancakes, hence my firmly placing the blame on the pancakes themselves.  Jerks.

I thought I had more.  I guess I don’t.  But please weigh in on my question:

Try the oats again in order to not waste food in case they weren’t responsible for the loads of pain I suffered today?

tasty energy bites – I need one stat

Today I’m feeling all kinds of out of sorts and lethargic.

Here is what I’ve done so far to battle these feelings:

1.  Drink a 32 oz coffee (not super either diet approved)

2.  Took a 20 min nap during lunch.

3.  Drank 7 oz of hot chocolate (I’m losing track as to whether or not this is diet approved)

4.  Walked around outside.

5.  Was somewhat successful in being productive today.

None of these helped.

I’m still debating whether or not to do some miles on the treadmill.  I’m guessing it will aid in my feeling blah but the energy it takes to just change my clothes sounds like too much.  Then there are the two eggplants sitting in my fridge that are on their last little eggplant legs and I don’t want to lose them.  They need and want to be eggplant patties!  How about the fact that it is FREEZING outside and my body temp won’t regulate itself.  Of course… running would help this.

this looks like a good compromise

*Sigh*

Instead I will post this recipe for these very tasty energy bites.  Yesterday, we had a presentation from a nutrition education counselor in our meeting.  He brought us said yummies and I was a bit skeptical at first.  I should not have been.  Seriously, make these and eat them – your tummy/taste buds will appreciate you!

Energy Bites:

1 cup Old Fashioned Oats (I bought gluten-free)

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/2 cup of honey

1 cup of coconut flakes

1/2 cup ground flaxseed

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1/4 cup dried cranberries

1/2 cup mini chocolate chips

1 tsp vanilla

Mix it all in a bowl.  Let the mixture chill in the fridge for 30-45 mins.  Once chilled, roll into bite size balls and EAT THEM!

Store them in an air tight container in the fridge.

***I bought dried blueberries instead and will use some pecans as they don’t seem to bother my stomach.  I haven’t decided about the honey – it’s a no-go on FODMAP so maybe I will 1/2 the amount called for?  I didn’t have any troubles yesterday so not sure yet… my life is full of such decisions!

Tomorrow is another day!  With the power of these treats I will prevail!

surviving the holiday part 2

I hope yesterday’s post wasn’t too debbie downer.  I typically feel extremely guilty when I can’t/don’t feel as joyous as it seems everyone else is around me.  My hope is by putting it out there it helps me and others  accept it and work with it rather than fighting it.

and then it gets better again – nick miller just gets me!

I figure my action plan for not succumbing to holiday depression is going to be ever-changing.  It dawned on me there is no way I am going to be able to know how I will feel 5, 10 or 15 days from now.  Typically, I like to face things as they come BUT I thought I would give having an outline a shot.  Kind of like running, you know?

1.  I organized a cookie exchange at work.  So far there are 12 or 13 of my co-workers participating!  I’m looking forward to getting some new recipes and doing a bit of baking.

2.  I’m avoiding the holiday weight gain freak out – well to the best of my ability.  In a completely unscientific science experiment, I weighed myself the Tuesday before Thanksgiving.  Then I weighed myself on Sunday.  Guess what?  I didn’t gain an ounce.  I definitely fall into the hype of “don’t gain weight during the holidays” and start to panic followed quickly by guilt and then their bestie self-loathing shows up.  Sounds super healthy, right?  How am I going to do this?  Stick with my training for Dopey, keep eating normally, putting the scale away again and giving swimming and Jillian Michaels a shot.  Oh and I am going to try not to eat all of my feelings!  I also refuse to let holiday goodies have power over me – if I want a cookie, then I will eat a cookie.

3.  Christmas isn’t the end all be all.  I hope this doesn’t sound harsh but I have the Dopey Challenge to look forward to in Jan!  Last year it was also a trip to WDW and the year before it was a trip to New York.  I think having something planned for January is a good thing for me.

4.  Heading back to WA to visit the fam.  Can’t wait!  Slumber parties, coffee, lots of laughs – it will be a grand ol’ time!

5.  Purging more stuff and moving other items to storage.  My apt is too chaotic.

6.  I’m making a few fun Christmas presents this year.  I’m excited for them – pictures right after Christmas!

7.  Keep in mind a bad day doesn’t mean a bad life.

8.  I’m not going to set myself up for failure.  This means no plans to make cookies for everyone I work with and their extended family, or collect all the supplies to decorate my apt with homemade pinterest-y things or say I’m going to do the runstreak when I know I won’t be able to stick to it.  Looking at all of the supplies for cookies or decorations or tweets about the runstreak just reinforces how I didn’t get it done.  Basically, I don’t want to make promises to myself I don’t intend to keep.

one of my most loved quotes ever!

9.  Watch a ridiculous amount of Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, Love Actually, Easy A, Pitch Perfect – whatever movies make me laugh and I really enjoy.

10.  Ummm… hmmm… what else?  Basically, I’m going to take it easy and simplify my holiday.  A good chunk of shopping is already finished, I’ve been careful about committing myself to extra activities and I’ve carved out time for myself.

Overall, I like this action plan.  I want to add other fun items but don’t want to make an all out “bucket list”.  These fun things will include going to the Hobbit when I get home with my family, celebrating my friend’s birthday this weekend, meeting my friend’s new baby and who knows what else.  Whatever it is, I am determined to put things in perspective that may be challenging and enjoy what the season brings.

speak it manny!

worth reading for the pic at the end

My motivation is low today.  I have 15 miles to run and all I can think about is how much I would rather sit on my bum on the couch.  But I can’t.  Tomorrow is a fun day with friends and I won’t have time to get it done before I leave.

oh right - this is waiting for me
oh right – this is waiting for me

Don’t I have a hard life?

I also have a truckload of laundry to do, my apartment is messy and I’m even bored with pinterst.  Yet, I’m still not off my hiney.  The rainy weather (and disgusting humidity – what happened to my lovely cool fall temps?!) certainly isn’t giving me any type of boost!  I need to watch the following a few more times:

But I ate pizza last night in order to carb up for today so deep down I am DETERMINED to finish these stinking 15 miles and stick it in the books as a success.  Even if it hurts like hell and takes me a 100 hours to finish.  I just haven’t decided when I am going to put this into action!

Thursday I did finish 5 miles and not even halfway through the first one I wanted to quit.  I didn’t and at 1.64 (yes, I checked) I started getting into a groove.  Thank goodness.  The five miles weren’t as terrible as I first thought they would be and I ran the whole thing and ALL OF THE HILLS.  Trust me, there are some long ones around here.

I got my Aspaeris capris yesterday!  I tried them on and I love them!  I can’t wait to run in them and I’ve already decided to wear them for my next half, which is in two weeks.

this just made me laugh

My dear friend Kara over at Jersey Up made bread recently.  She has taken to making a lot of homemade staples and I am very intrigued.  Check here for the recipe.  I like the idea of making my own bread – it just seems so accomplished!  However, it’s like all of the other things I’ve written on here that I would like to make: laundry detergent, knitting something, ornaments, a quilt and who else knows what I’ve listed.  While these are still on my list of things I would like to try, I’m thinking letting go of some of the guilt at NOT doing them is in order.  Certainly I could make the time to do these things (I watch far more tv than I probably should) but I am choosing how to spend my time and I need to be okay with this.

people are weird

I’m a work in progress.  The boredom I’m feeling today has started to be a regular thing and I’m guessing it’s only a matter of time before I start using my time differently.  Restlessness can be very productive!

That’s all I’ve got for today.  I’ve got a couple of hours to build up enough steam to power through the above listed miles so that’s what I intend to do!

And because I like you, here is further proof that people are quirky birds…

sexy dude

15 thing friday – totally not on the ball this week

Today has simply been too much.  Well, the whole week has been actually.  It’s currently a little past midnight and I am sure I won’t finish this post tonight as I took a “nap” at 10:15 pm so I need to do something.  It will be a two-part-er.  I don’t know if this is clever or just plain lazy but there you go.

1.  As many other bloggers have probably mentioned, spring seems to be on strike here in MI.  Rain and snow mix today that led to this weird blizzard concoction.  I wasn’t terribly impressed.

-1

2.  TAXES.  These are making me glum.  I have no problem paying my taxes – I happen to like living in the good ol’ U.S. of A and feel taxes are part of that.  HOWEVER, trying to submit them has been a huge hassle.  Like many slacker Americans, I waited until the golden hour of 4:45 pm on Monday (ahem, tax day) to do these bad boys.  I was stressed since I did them on my own for the first time ever.  Then came the whole PIN part.  Right, like I actually know what pin I used last year.  Nor did I have any idea what my AGI was.  Both of these are necessary to submit so I tempted fate and just submitted them with what I thought was the correct PIN.

3.  Two days later they were rejected.  Bummer.  I had to re-submit them by April 20th.  Naturally, I remember at 11:33 pm April 19th (tonight) and still couldn’t manage to come up with the correct PIN or find any paperwork from last year.  So I am mailing them in old school bright and early in the morning.

4.  Please sweet IRS, don’t audit me.  I did it all correctly so I don’t see why you would but it makes me nervous so please take pity on me, okay?

5.  Also today, I called my doctor all excited because it’s time to taper off of the old meds!  Yay!!  Finally – I will have my brain back!  Unfortunately, I had misunderstood and this phone call was only so we could UP THEM ONE MORE TIME!  Seriously, there was a few minutes there where I was speechless.  So, they are being increased but luckily they took pity on me and after one week I can start to taper off of the old.  I’m holding onto that part.

6.  I actually drove a car today!  Not mine but still!  I haven’t driven a car for 8 weeks!  I must say, I didn’t do half bad!

7.  Last Saturday I went to a Mom to Mom sale with friends who are moms.  I was the first person to buy something.  Yes, I realize this is odd.

not a diaper bag - just a great carry everything bag for work.  it's from thirtyone
not a diaper bag – just a great carry everything bag for work. it’s from thirty-one

8.  I have been OBSESSED with nesting as of late.  I spend way too much time on Pinterest and have saved a ton of stuff on IKEA under the heading, “Mega Shopping list”.  I don’t plan on buying all of it but here is the number one item on my list:

I like this one a lot but am worried there isn't enough room to pull the drawers out on each side in my room
I like this one a lot but am worried there isn’t enough room to pull the drawers out on each side in my room
here is my other option - but I wish this one didn't have a headboard... I guess I am being too picky
here is my other option – but I wish this one didn’t have a headboard… I guess I am being too picky

I can’t wait to store stuff under my bed!

9.  I am also looking at rearranging a few things to open up the space in here.  Perhaps it’s the “spring” time of the year or just that I have lived here now for a while but my apartment needs to be a happier looking place.

seriously spring - it's time to let go... winter will come back to you...
seriously spring – it’s time to let go… winter will come back to you…

10.  My dear sister sent me the world’s best vanilla and a new running skirt!  Both are from Costco – the skirt was $10 smackers and the vanilla is crazy cheap for the amount you get.  She is such a good sis that she sent me two sizes of the skirt so I could see which one fit better.  She knows me oh so well!

11.  It’s now Saturday!  I managed to file my taxes electronically – YAY!  I didn’t have to change out of my sweatpants!

12.  I am making this cake today!  I’ve been drooling over it for the last week and half.  Can I just say that strawberries are truly a temperamental berry?!  I mean c’mon – they rot in practically hours!  Get it together strawberries!

I am constantly lured in by your beauty, strawberries
I am constantly lured in by your beauty, dear treacherous strawberries

13.  This made me laugh entirely too hard earlier this week

a560d888802b7a10fe2ea9e752a4dc9a

14.  Hey there Socrates – you are one smart dude

b79e42f289f942fbd4174fe3f5587ee515.  Just a reminder…

405172c941d4ccabd0e7a250da4f5757

15 thing Friday – let’s get down to business

Are you singing the theme song from Mulan?  No?  How ’bout now…….

15 thing Friday isn’t my brainchild… instead we have RunningOfftheReeses for this lovely bloggy concept!

1.  Happy Spring!  I know, I know… it’s snowing outside and REALLY cold but at the end of the last two days it was sunny!  I’m pretty sure Mother Nature is completely trying to buy our love for all of the snowy shenanigans

-2

2.  The Gonzaga Men’s Basketball team tried to kill me yesterday… yeah, that score was too close

Thursday, March 21, 2013 – 4:45 pm ET
Final 1 2 T
Southern #16 31 27 58
Gonzaga #1 « 34 30 64

3.  I tried to explain to people that I still wasn’t feeling that great and one person said, “but you are drinking coffee.”  Ummm… that’s because coffee is a necessity.  Fact.

4.  Seriously – I was a little overwhelmed by all of the Triscuits choices:

-1Completely daunting…

5.  Buzzfeed’s are the best!  This one deals with the best college food out there and Gonzaga is on the list!  They feature the COG chocolate chip cookie.  Yep, it’s true – my hips and bum remember it well.  What is a COG cookie?  First of all, COG stands for, “Center of Gonzaga” – at least this is the rumor (it’s not true!) and this is our cafeteria.  The cookies ROCK!

6.  Pretty much, this has been my diet for days now.  Oh add in a sugar-cinnamon bagels.

basically the only things that sound good...
basically the only things that sound good…

7.  I can’t wait to make this Amish cinnamon bread in the next couple of days.  Yes, I am very much obsessed with sugar-cinnamon at the moment.

8.  Last Friday, my dear friend had a gender-reveal party since she is preggers.  I’ve been saying for months now it’s a boy.  Guess what?  I was RIGHT!  This isn’t the first time I’ve been right.  I was right about my friend’s baby girl, too.  I’m like a baby-guesser-whisperer!  I think I should make a business out of this

-3

9.  The universe wants me to have a big soft pretzel.  I feel like everywhere I go, someone is eating this delish treat.

10.  You know how there are times when you are thinking, “Man, all I want is food made in a MUG!”  Yep, I heard your cry and apparently so did other people because here are a ton of recipes!  Actually, most of them look tasty!

11.  My new meds are causing some weird side effects.  I talked to my big sis about it and she sent me this text.  She’s the best!

-1

12.  Did you know cow’s have best friends with other cows?  I LOVE this fact!

13.  Have you seen this lunch meat commercial?  I thought it was some kind of movie trailer at first!  Then I just started laughing!

14.  I saw this really cool daybed on pinterest and I would really like it for my couch.  It adds some storage, a place for a guest to sleep and is just cute!  Here are two models:91b0d1189d89692c32bad10934de2a6e5e0e8207830dd96a0d9912174ea8072e

15.  The GOOFY CHALLENGE!  Okay, so I’ve been hearing some rumors that Walt Disney World is adding some craziness to their marathon weekend.  Here’s the deal – they already have a 5k, which will be on Thursday, now possibly adding a 10k on Friday and then the half on Saturday and the full on Sunday.  It would be called Dopey something (I can’t remember).  The Goofy Challenge has been around for a bit and it’s doing the 1/2 on Saturday and the full on Sunday.  I’m definitely signing up for this one.  But what about the Dopey?  The clincher?  It’s $495 smackers.  I know.  But the Goofy Challenge is $305 so that’s not cheap either.  And I am not doing the Chicago marathon… ugh – look at me!  I can talk myself into anything… what should I do?

5d439c11cfcaa812b99002e723ec6d8f

*Really, I want your opinion!  Spill your thoughts!!

treats for my tummy and my feet!

So I realize there are 100’s of posts out there right now talking about how grateful they are and I will do that.  Tomorrow.  I’ll do it in pics so then you won’t have to use your tired, overstuffed brain too much!

Today?  Probably just a few ramblings… like many, I am super grateful to have a few days off.  I’ve done a better job than in past years taking time off that I need but having a real life structured break is simply kind of awesome.  I took this afternoon off and I plan to do the following: bake, run and  bake some more.  Turns out, I got lazy and will just be baking these three things over the next few days.  Let me show you what I will be baking:

1. Pumpkin pie.  Yes, boring but still ever so tasty.  A classic.  I hated pumpkin pie for YEARS!  Then one day I actually tried it and I’m fairly certain I fought my dad for the last piece.

2.  Pumpkin pie MUFFINS!  Yes, can you see the theme?  These are muffins with pumpkin pie INSIDE!  I know… food heaven.  Actually, the nutrition stats aren’t terrible and the recipe has a lot of healthier alternatives.  170 for a muffin?  Not too shabby when you are splurging!

these look sooooo delish!

3.  Ummm… okay, these are in no way shape or form good for you… they are Cinnamon Roll cookie bars.  LOOK AT THIS PIC!  I’m kind of obsessed with cinnamon rolls.  I love them.  If it were possible to simply make one then I would be a happy camper.  I am going to make these but have plans to give many away.  Or eat the whole pan… who knows!

I might be slightly excited to make these!

Click on the top two pics for the recipes!

I’m super excited for my run tomorrow  – why?  These babies came in!

love

Last week (!! crazy mad shipping Mizunos, you rock!) my dear friend Meagan won a pair from FasterBunny.  When she logged on, Mizunos gave a second pair to give to someone else and that someone was ME!  Yes, I felt incredibly special.

thanks M – you are the bomb! btw, we need a new running pic!

After some very thorough research online and through twitter (it’s very scientific!) as well as a quick visit to my local running store, I decided on the Inspires 9.  They were really comfy and I am looking for a shoe with a bit more cushion, a bit of stability and of course some flair for my longer runs.  I can’t wait to run in these!

I would say the only odd thing is they feel sort of big.  As I mentioned, I tried them on and in normal shoes I wear a 7.5.  In many running shoes I wear an 8.  In both these and my Brooks PureCadence I wear an 8.5.  I ran up and down the sidewalk today and they feel pretty good.  Tomorrow will be the real test.

Okay, have I bored you enough?  Happy Thanksgiving eve!

i’m a bit boring sometimes…

I tried to embed a countdown for both the 25k as well as the Ragnar Relay but I couldn’t figure it out – errr… sometimes technology taunts me!  It looked really nifty too – it has a day, hours and seconds countdown!  I’m going to keep trying but if you have any suggestions, I am open to them.

Happy Fat Tuesday!  I don’t remember ever really celebrating Fat Tuesday back in WA.  I seriously think the Midwest and Michigan in particular uses any excuse to have a party.  This isn’t a judgement just an observation and it makes me laugh. I have started to acclimate although I still feel like I’m a bit behind!  Tonight I wanted to make a celebratory snack for my staff so I decided on festive rice krispie treats

these are caramel and vanilla marshmallows - what will they think of next?!

I mixed these with chocolate rice krispies and they turned out well!  But I do like regular marshmallows with chocolate rice krispies better.  I also put some vanilla frosting on them and some green, purple and yellow sanding sugar to jazz it up.

my lighting is so poor! but they were fun!

I’ve also decided to cut the 5 mg melatonin in half.  I did sleep better last night and wasn’t as zombie-ish as Monday but I also fell asleep on the couch at 10:15 pm.  I won’t be able to get that much sleep tonight so hopefully the half will help.

And tomorrow I am trying a PiYo class!  It’s being offered in my building for free and I have always been really interested in trying it.  I’m running tomorrow as well so it will be a full evening of working out.  By tomorrow night I know I won’t be as excited (I’ll be too tired!), however, I’m going to push on through.  Especially now that I have announced it!

Hmmm… short post this evening… and kind of boring – sorry about that!

a long run & other business

This morning I popped out of bed at 9:15 am – I had 45 mins to get ready, eat a lil’ pre-run breaky and then meet my friend at the Kal-Haven trail for a run.  “Popped” might be a bit of an exaggeration since last night my neighbors woke me up no less than 4 times.  Oh yes, 12:45 am, 1:30 am, 2:30 am and finally my favorite, 3:30 am.  To say I was frustrated is an understatement.  But I didn’t want to be late and didn’t have enough time to think about how running 6 miles might be a bit more than I was ready for.

chilly!

How do I dress for this?!  My brother’s girlfriend, Sabrina is from France/Cambodia and she said she didn’t understand why we have the actual temperature and then have “feels like”.  Both my sister and I laughed about this too as it really is a pain!  It was cool this morning for sure and it took awhile to warm up along the trail.  I am fairly certain we ran 6 miles.  This was a tough run for me – fitness-wise, I was not ready for 6.  I had to stop a few times to walk for a minute or take a breather.  Part of me felt discouraged by this but then I noticed that we did it in about an hour and five minutes(?) so I think we had a decent pace.  My garmin refused to find a satellite (soo frustrating!) so I don’t have the exact numbers but at least I made it out there.  Seriously, could I have picked a better day for a long run?

Kal-Haven Trail

Wasn’t it a beautiful morning?  I didn’t use any filters on this either so this is the real deal!

Lately, I have been playing the “I used to” game a lot.  I used to be thinner, I used to be faster, I used to have more endurance, I used to have more motivation, I used to run at least 4 days a week, I used to be able to knock out four miles like it was my job.  These “used to” games are very detrimental to achieving success!  Not to mention, they totally beat me down when I should be proud of myself for starting again; especially when I KNOW what kind of pain and soreness are waiting for me ;)  In some ways, I think I am healthier.  I no longer let my weight determine my mood for the day, I really do know what I am capable of and I eat better/more.  In order to sustain my old weight I had to eat very little and then always felt bad when I splurged.  This is no longer the case and while I want to lose a few pounds, I am not interested in going back to freaking out about food!  That being said, check out these beauties!

so yummy and so easy! recipe below :)

I gave one loaf away and will give some of the other one to friends.  This banana bread recipe is really easy and so tasty! I also rewarded myself for actually finishing the run this morning (as opposed to laying on the trail and hoping a team of mice would take me to my car.  Hey – it would happen in a Disney movie!) with this gem

iced caramel mocha nonfat with whip cream? yes, please!

I’m not sure how or why this drink has stolen my heart but it has.  I make my own on most days and only let myself buy a coffee drink once or twice a week.  It doesn’t fare too terribly in calories against my homemade ones either.  Speaking of which, I switched to unsweetened vanilla almond milk a few months ago but suddenly it is gone from all of the shelves at grocery stores.  WHY?!  Unsweetened has 40 calories per cup as opposed to the 90 calories that the regular business has.  Where have you gone Almond Breeze???

I want the unsweetened kind Almond Breeze! C'mon!

But I have jumped on the greek yogurt bandwagon.  I wasn’t sure what all the fuss was about but I bought the Dannon version the other day and I really enjoyed it!  I can almost make believe it’s an ice cream or something (I said almost!)!  I also really like that it’s filling and works as an afternoon snack quite nicely

do you like my microwave as a background? my bro would be so proud!

I have yet to try some of the more popular brands but right now this is what my budget likes :)

The other night I read this really horrible article about secret ingredients in common foods we buy at the grocery store.  I almost threw up about 3 times and now I am paranoid concerning what is hidden in my food.  I mean, it almost makes me want to move to a shack in the woods and become a modern-day pioneer.  Buuut, I do like a good hot shower, Target and oh yeah, that tasty aforementioned coffee drink – DAMN!  But that doesn’t mean I have to eat people hair (I’m not lying) or other junk right?  I’ve copied the article here but part of me wishes I still lived in a magic bubble of ignorance.  So, if you read it, don’t say I didn’t warn you!

REALLY gross article!

Now, I’m reading labels like it’s nobodies business but I don’t see the nasty things listed.  Phewww!  UNLESS, what if they don’t have to list it?!  AAKKK!  Yes, I’m still freaking out a bit!

Tonight I am making delish mexican dish – recipe and pics to follow.  Until then here is the Banana Bread recipe!

Banana Bread – from Stephanie Ashcraft‘s “101 Things to do with a Cake Mix

2 bananas, mashed

1 banana cake mix

1 small box of banana instant pudding

3 eggs

1/4 cup of applesauce (I use unsweetened)

1/4 cup of vegetable oil

1/2 cup of water

3/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

3/4 finely chopped nuts – I have never added

preheat oven to 350*

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Fill greased (and grease those suckers REALLY well!) bread pans 3/4 full.  Bake for about 30-45 mins or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

I also sprinkle some raw sugar along the top before putting it into the oven

eat!

 

 

so sweet potatoes and mind games

It was a long and exhausting week… The last two weeks have been an emotional roller coaster for me.  Part of me has been so frustrated that I can’t pull myself out of this “funk” and the other part realizes that considering everything that has happened in my life lately, I’m doing pretty darn good.  On Thursday, I really felt like I had reached a new low though. It wasn’t anything particular that happened but I was glum.  At this point, I knew I needed to start pulling myself out of this hole.  I put a call into my doctor and have an appointment on Monday.

But I really didn’t feel like going out last night.  I had an invite to what undoubtedly was a fun shindig but pajama pants and a date with this guy were all I could handle

doesn't he look thrilled to be spending the eve with me? I'm very entertaining company

However, yesterday I actually went for a run!  I am so very happy I made it off the couch and it really did take every ounce of willpower to get out the door.  The good part was I managed 4.09 miles in 43.50.  Not really the fastest pace ever but miles 1,3,4 were all under 10:30 pace.  Mile 2 includes “fitness hill” which I am still unable to run up completely.  Considering I haven’t run in a week and a half, I was proud of myself.  I was definitely pushing it, which also felt good.  I think I have been wussing out lately (beyond just not getting out the door) during my runs so I was pleased that I could do more than I thought.

Part of my inspiration came from this post and this post from Hungry Runner Girl.  She talks about how we play mind games with ourselves and how we are much more capable than we think in terms of exercise and performance.  I know I don’t believe in myself enough.  I don’t give myself credit for the training I have accomplished or believe that I am indeed an athlete!  So yesterday, I decided to prove some of these things to myself!  (Btw, HRG is an AMAZING runner (!) and a super sweet person!  Check her stuff out!)

Tomorrow I have a 5 or 6 mile run planned with my friend, Emily.  We are going to hit a relatively flat trail, which will be nice considering my usual route is filled with hills.  Sometimes it’s nice to feel like you are making progress, even if it is kind of falsely acquired.

Today, I have been buzzing around my apartment, running errands and baking.  I made some mouth-watering banana bread (recipe tomorrow) and my absolutely favorite, “So Sweet Potatoes”.

with their powers combined, these ingredients are fab!

A co-worker first gave me this recipe on Thanksgiving a few years ago – her family has it every year.  At first I kind of snubbed my nose at it, I have never been a fan of sweet potatoes in casserole form.  Then I took a bite.  It was all over.  Now I make it once or twice a month and top it with a bit of lite cool whip and oh man, is it GOOD!  Plus, the sweet potatoes are super nutritious right?!

here it is! All baked up with some brown sugar, nutty topping!

While I was cleaning today, I came across a Whole Living magazine (Jan/Feb 12 edition) I borrowed from my office.  There was an entire article on willpower, which as I have lamented about lately, has been a real problem for me.  The article was really interesting in that it pointed out that willpower is like any other muscle that needs to be exercised.  It is also possible to completely tire your willpower out!  This definitely made me feel less like a total loser.  While I didn’t make it out the door to run until Friday, I was very productive all week at work.  It’s nice to know I actually had willpower and it went somewhere!  As mentioned, willpower can be exercised and built up by slowly challenging it more and more.  Again, this gave me hope.  I know I have the willpower and motivation in me to run regularly, feel good about myself and be healthy but since this was the first to go during crisis, I need to build back up to it.  The article had a lot more information to it so I highly recommend looking at it.  I definitely paraphrased ;)

Looking forward to recapping my run tomorrow!  Here is the recipe… you should make this very soon!

So Sweet Potatoes

2 cans (14 oz-ish) sweet potatoes – drained     1/2 cup sugar     1/2 tsp salt     2 eggs

1/2 stick of butter     1 tsp vanilla

Mix this all together and put in an 8×8 pan sprayed with non-stick spray

topping:

1/2 stick of butter     1 cup brown sugar     1/3 cup flour     1/2 cup chopped pecans

Mix this all together and sprinkle on top of the sweet potato mixture

Bake at 350* for 35-45 mins

***I use light butter or margarine as I think it tastes better than with butter and this recipe can be doubled and put in a 9×13 pan