About Me

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I am a former career girl and am now a stay-at-home-mom to 2 amazing little girls. Exercise and "dieting" have never been easy for me. But now more than ever, I am determined to adhere to a more active, healthy lifestyle. I am not dieting - just making smarter, more natural food choices. I want to set a great example for my girls. I starting running last year with the Couch-to-5K running program. I've lost over 35 pounds since last year and I want to lose 60 more. I completed my first race (a 5K) in October and I running a 10K by this summer. My long-term goal is ultimately to run a half-marathon in 2012. I've created this blog to put it all out there and most of all - to keep me honest. I include a tested recipe & inspiring workout song on each post. I am also hoping to inspire and be inspired by you! I would love for you to join me for this journey and become an official follower of this blog!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Best-Laid Plans

Plans are good.
Especially when trying to get healthy. 

Weekly meal-plans or at least dinner plans help you get more organized and stick to a menu vs. opting for something unhealthier (pizza, take out etc.) in the moment. 

Exercise / running plans not only help to make sure you get all of your workouts in in a week, they also make sure that you are increasing your endurance on a consistent basis. 

Longer-term plans are great because they can help you stay focused on a particular goal, and make you less likely to skip workout days.

When I started this quest to get healthy and start running in July - one of my longer-term plans was to run a 5K in October (actually this weekend!). I was well on my way, completing the Couch-to-5K plan in early September and running 3 miles every other day in my last couple weeks of running. The problem with plans is that they can't always hold true with reality.... as you can't control everything (no matter how hard you try!). 

I've injured my right leg. I have a bad shin splint and a medial gastroc. strain. Long story: more time off of everything except swimming, 4 weeks of physical therapy. Short story: no race Sunday.

Am I disappointed... VERY! Am I discouraged...NO! I am not loosing nor going to lose confidence or enthusiasm. 

Running has given me SO much in such a short time frame including:
-Confidence / Not caring what other people think 
-The urge to be more active in general
-Greater appreciation of nature
-Help to lose over 20 lbs. since July
-Reduced Stress & Anxiety
-Increased Energy
-Increased Positivity 
(look... don't I look happy in this picture from this weekend... :)

Am I ever going to give it up... no way! I'm hooked! 

The truth is...plans are still important - sometimes they just have to change a little. My plan is still to run a 5K, but now I'm running one on Thanksgiving. I am going to start swimming to keep my endurance up and start strength training my arms. 

That's my revised plan. And it's a good one.


RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK:   Eating small amounts of certain nuts (almonds, pistachios and walnuts) can lower LDL ("bad") cholesterol and your risk for heart disease. They help improve lipid levels and circulation. Make sure to get the raw, unsalted versions and since they are so tasty... I recommend measuring them out (so you don't overdo it). 

Soup Prep...Mise En Place (kind of)
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Healthy "Cream" of Asparagus Soup... YUM!

I was inspired to have a "soup-a-thon" this weekend due to a bad cold virus... and the delicious cream of tomato TJ's soup I highlighted in last week's post. I am trying to not eat very many processed foods so I wanted that delicious, warm creamy soup feeling - but in a wholesome, and natural soup! 

I turned to "The Best Light Recipe" cookbook from the famed America's Test Kitchen. They try a recipe sometime 30 different ways until they find the version that tastes best! I made healthy versions of Butternut Squash soup, Cream of Mushroom soup and Cream of Asparagus. All were delish but Cream of Asparagus was the best of the bunch! I highly recommend this cookbook if you like to cook more complicated recipes. It has a lot of great recipes that don't even seem "light"!
Here's the Cream of Asparagus recipe which as been adapted from the original America's Test Kitchen version. 
-4 medium shallots
-1 tsp vegetable oil
-1/2 tsp salt
-3 garlic cloves pressed through a garlic press
-1 tbs unbleached all-purpose flour
-1/4 cup dry white wine
-1 bay leaf
-1 1/2 cups low-sodium chicken broth (organic if possible)
-1 1/2 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
-1 1/2 pounds asparagus (1.5-2 bunches), woody ends removed and cut int 1/2 inch lengths
-1/2 cup half-and-half
-Ground black pepper, and salt.

First - Combine the onion, oil and 1/2 tsp of salt in a large saucepan. Cover and cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until softened about 8 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.     Second - Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Whisk in the wine and bay leaf; cook until the wine is absorbed, about 1 minute. Whisking constantly, gradually add the broths. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cover, reduce the heat to medium-low. and simmer until the broth is slightly thickened and no longer tastes of flour, about 5 minutes. Add the asparagus and continue to simmer, uncovered until tender, 7 to 10 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. 
Third - Puree the mixture in a blender (tip: do in batches, only fill blender half-way and use towel at top over lid)...until smooth, and return to a clean saucepan. Stir in the half-and-half and cook over low heat until just hot (do not boil), about 3 minutes. Season with alt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. 
Per 1.5 cup serving:140 cal. 5 g fat. 6 g protein, 5 g. fiber... YUM!

The Fruits of My Labors!


  1. I am really enjoying your posts and blog. I just started the C25K program, and am struggling with the FIRST week (for the second go-round). It is inspiring to read another blogger, and know there is a running light at the end of the tunnel. Thanks.
    A fellow chubby blogger :)
    ps. Also love the song ideas and recipes.

  2. I just jumped over here from the RLAM site. Congrats on your weight loss! I've got a good 20-25 lbs to lose since the birth of my 4th...almost a year ago (yikes!) so your blog is really inspiring. :)Best wishes for your recovery and I'll look forward to reading about when you're up and running again! ~K

    PS: This soup looks fantastic! 5 grams of fiber--did I read that correctly?!

  3. thanks ladies! @revisedexpections... yes... 5g of fiber and it is delicious!

  4. Hi! I stumbled upon your blog over at RLAM. Can't wait to get to know you better and read more about your running! I love me some running (and running mama's!!). Great job on your weight loss!

  5. Hey! Saw your blog on the RLAM blog! Good for you, running is the best...and being healthy and confident in yourself is even better, no matter what your weight is! I'm looking forward to reading all about your successes and adventures! Oh, and I can't wait to make this soup and your chili!!! Thanks for putting it all out there!

  6. Okay, just finished reading from July to present and I am INSPIRED! I have had the C25 app downloaded on my iPhone since July and haven't used it. Perhaps now is the time. It looks like you are passionate about cooking and now focusing on healthy foods. Yay! Okay I'm in!