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!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Believe - Trust - Change

Believe in yourself, trust the process, change forever. 

This was one of trainer Bob Harper's facebook status updates this week. And I love it - especially coming from him, as I find him super inspiring.

This is something I really need to do, now.

I have hit another bump in the road with running (see running update*). It started to get me down this week, as I've also had a really tough week mentally and could really use that runner's high (there's nothing quite like it.) What frustrates me more than anything is that I don't want to have up to ramp up my running super slowly again a.k.a. "trusting the process". But I will, and although I am a super impatient person, I would rather be able to eventually run for 10 miles than not run at all. 

This week as a diversion to my running absence, in addition to the stairmaster, I started doing a kettlebells DVD routine. I really loved working with the kettlebells, but I could barely walk down the stairs for a few days after I did it (no joke). The below article made me feel alot better about it. If you haven't tried kettlebells - do it! They are alot of fun and you will work muscles you didn't even know you had. I am looking forward to building these new muscles up! 
NOTE: If you are sore after kettlebells check out this article:


Please feel free to leave any feedback via the comments below or on my facebook page that you can link to on the right side of this page.

*Running Update: Unfortunately the shin splint came back in my right leg :(. After talking to a trainer and a "shoe expert" it was basically due to too much too soon. Go figure. Those who know me well know that I have kind of an all or nothing mentality. When starting running you aren't supposed to increase your weekly mileage more than 10% per week, and I was over doubling mine. I am more frustrated about this than I can properly express. So now I am just letting it heal a bit more - I also got over-the-counter insoles for my running shoes from a running store - hopefully they will help too.

Weight Update: I just didn't have it in me to weigh myself this week. I will be back with the next post on the 7th(ish) with a weigh-in update and am hoping to have maintained the 20 lb. weight loss. In that post I will also set a 2-week weight loss goal to get me mentally better back on track and losing more quickly again now that the holiday madness is over and I know where I stand running wise (meaning that I need to work in other supplemental forms of exercise!)

The Black Eyed Peas are my favorite overall group to run/workout to. This is more mellow than the usual ones that pump me up but for some reason this song really does it for me. I love it!
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: Try goji berries. They are up-and-coming superfood. You can find dried goji berries at health food stores. They are supposed to also help with sleep and mental focus! Which I could use both of. 
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Superbowl Buffalo Chicken Casserole!

I originally saw this recipe in Eating Well magazine (Sept/Oct 2010). I had to try it for a few different reasons. 1. I am always looking for make-ahead recipes. 2. One of my guilty pleasures is buffalo wings dipped in blue cheese. (specifically BW3 spicy garlic). 3. It sounded kind of adventurous. It makes SO much. I put in two pans and gave one to my parents. This recipe was husband and parent approved.  Although it's not as good as the real thing - it has alot of flavor and is really hearty. It would be the perfect dish to serve at a Superbowl party!

WARNING: If you do not like Frank's Red Hot and do not like blue cheese, you will not like this recipe!
Buffalo Chicken Casserole

8 servings (they say - I say it's alot more than 8!) Active Time: 45 minutes | Total Time: 1 1/2 hours


This picture was taken before it was baked
  • 12 ounces whole-wheat elbow noodles
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 3 medium stalks celery, sliced
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast, trimmed and cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 4 cups low-fat milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 5 tablespoons hot sauce, preferably Frank’s RedHot
  • 3/4 cup crumbled blue cheese (about 4 ounces)


  1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
  2. Bring a Dutch oven of water to a boil. Cook noodles until barely tender, about 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain, rinse and set aside.
  3. Heat oil in the pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and cook until beginning to soften, about 5 minutes. Add chicken and cook until no longer pink on the outside, 5 to 7 minutes. Whisk cornstarch and milk in a medium bowl; add to the pot along with salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often, until bubbling and thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 4 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in hot sauce.
  4. Spread the noodles in a 9-by-13-inch (or similar 3-quart) baking dish. Top with the chicken mixture; sprinkle with blue cheese.
  5. Bake the casserole until it is bubbling, about 30 minutes. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Per serving : 441 Calories; 12 g Fat (note - this is for a huge serving as I think this recipe makes alot more than 8 servings!)

  • Make Ahead Tip: In Step 2, cook the noodles 4 minutes less than package directions. Prepare through Step 4, cover and refrigerate for 1 day. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, then bake at 400°F for 45 minutes.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Best Friend

Last night I read an interview with a big-time trainer who was asked how he can convince people who have struggled with losing weight to believe in themselves. He said "We have the choice to be our worst enemy or our best friend."

I have self-sabatoged myself for years, like a worst enemy would. I am starting to act like more like a good friend and am working towards a being a best friend to myself - mind and body. I guess my own BFF.

Tonight (honestly) when thinking "should I take the easy route out for dinner and get a pizza?... it's been a hard day, I'm tired, it's so easy and I want that cheesy-carb comfort"....I thought that's not how a best friend would treat themselves and went a different route. 

The trainer's point of view clearly hit home to me, and I am going to think about being my best friend a lot. Not only in food choices but in activity choices. Sometimes if I can get the kids to take a nap at the same time (a super super rare feat in this house), I am going to treat myself like a best friend and do something like catch up on reading or doing something personally productive.

On a separate note, it's been a long time since I've had a real post - and I am glad to be back - these holidays took a toll on me. They were great in terms of great times and fun with friends and family but really bad in terms of the food choices I made (which included things like large quantities of gourmet cheeses, sugar cookies, peppermint bark, and red wine.) Hello - I'm human and was bad :(. 

I gave myself license to go crazy in some regards, although I did exercise religiously and have now been running every other day. I was scared to get on the scale, as I could tell I had gained at least a few lbs. back. So starting in early January I did a short detox of sorts to try to press my "reset" button, and get my body used to eating mainly healthy whole foods again. I'm back and hopefully better than ever - I will have a weigh in update next week (if it's pretty or not) as well as a great healthy make-ahead superbowl party recipe!.

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Because I'm Awesome" The Dollyrots (I think the lyrics are funny, the song is really upbeat, plus if you are having a bad day you can remind yourself that you are awesome. lol)
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: A "smoothie" made with water (vs. dairy or soy milk) is a great, low-calorie way to get some fruit and veggies in. I sometimes have been having one when the kids eat dinner, so I can hold off until a later dinner without eating their scraps or snacking on bad stuff.
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Provencal Soup (modified from a Mark Bittman recipe). Added bonus green smoothie recipe too!
I can not highly enough recommend Mark Bittman's cookbook - The Food Matters, 500 Revolutionary Recipes for Better Living. Natural food, minimal ingredients cooked well. It and he are great. The soup is a great recipe if you want to get more veggies into your diet, and it is also great for a cold day.

Provencal Soup
1/4 cup of olive oil (I used a little less than this)
1 large onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, smashed or chopped
Sea salt and black pepper
1 medium eggplant, cut into cubes
1 large or 3 small zucchini, chopped
2 red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups of chopped tomatoes (canned are fine, include their juice)*
*I used canned because tomatoes are out of season so canned are actually "fresher"
3 cups of chicken, vegetable stock, or water. (i used chicken)
1/4 cup of black olives pitted and chopped
1/2 cup of fresh basil, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese for garnish (optional) 

1. Put the oil in a large pot over medium heat. When it's hot add the onion and garlic, sprinkle with salt and pepper and cook stirring until the onion begins to turn golden, 3 to 5 minutes.
2. Add the eggplant, zucchini, peppers, tomatoes, and stock. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to med-low. Cook, stirring occasionally until the tomatoes have broken up and the eggplant and zucchini are super tender, about 45 minutes. (Awesome MB tip: the soup can be made up up to this point and refrigerated for several days or frozen for months; gently reheat before proceeding). Stir in the olives and basil in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Sever garnished with more basil and parm.

Green Drink
This amount serves 2
(and it's much better if you drink it through a straw and also a festive wine glass helps!)

1 cup kale or collard greens - firmly packed, ribs removed if kale!
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
1 granny smith apple - cored and chopped
1 large ripe banana
2 1/4 cups of water (I like to add a few ice cubes)

Combine all ingredients in a blender and mix until smooth - if it's too thick add a little water

113 calories per serving