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!

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Notes on Running

It's been awhile since I've written about running, one of the major components of my journey, so I thought I would take some time to provide you with some of my latest notes on running...

As some of you know I've battled on and off with shin splints. Right now I am in a much better place with them because I started working on changing my form. Basically running with much smaller strides and being conscious of keeping my body in a straight line and pushing completely forward vs. also side to side.  Although I've only had time to look at a few parts of it so far, I am using Jeff Galloway's original "Book on Running" as a loose guide. This form change is taking me awhile to get used to, but has been helping me tremendously. I still am loving running! And running every other day! I am truly truly hooked. 

Gina Mooney, who I was introduced to through the "Another Mother Runner blog" (read her interview here), is an amazing mother of 5 who went through the same thing I am right now in terms of weight loss and beginning running (although she's much further down the journey than I am!). She also suffered from shin splints early on and hers turned into a stress fracture. She's helped me greatly and suggested the Galloway book to me. You can also check out her blog here.
Next Day Leftovers as Sandwich - delish!

I've lost a little over two more pounds since I've checked in with you last! woo-hoo!

I am taking a brief 2 week early summer hiatus from the blog. I will probably have some updates to the facebook page during that time, but won't see you back here until mid-June. I have a lot going on so I am just hoping to maintain all my recent loss over that time and not gain!

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Mercy" Duffy (thanks for reminding me to re-add to my running playlist Randi!)
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: Update your cool down song playlist. My current favorite song that I look forward to putting on as soon as a run is over is Aqualung's "Bright Than Sunshine", I also like Pearl Jam's "Just Breathe".
THIS WEEK'S RECIPES: "Clean" BBQ Chicken & Delicious Fresh Cole Slaw (the winner of these two is the slaw by far, so good!). Both recipes are based on recipes I found in April/May's Clean Eating Magazine and slightly modified.
BBQ Chicken
The nice thing about this recipe is you make your own sauce so you can control the amount of sugar, salt and other stuff that is in most BBQ sauces. It was really pretty good and easy but I am not going to run to make this again - I may just look for a cleaner, lower sugar bbq sauce.  (but the slaw that pairs with it below is very good and is going to be my go to summer slaw!) 
Serves 4
-4 4oz boneless skinless chicken breasts (pounded thin)
*I forgot to pound them and it would have been MUCH better if I did!!
-black pepper
-1/4 cup tomato paste (no salt added if you can find it)
-3 tbsp balsamic vinegar
-2 tbsp pure maple syrup
-2 tsp worcestershire sauce
-2 garlic cloves minced
-1 tsp onion powder
-3/4 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
-2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
In a medium saucepan whisk together the following ingredients: 1/2 cup water, tomato past, vinegar, maple syrup,  worcestershire, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper flakes. Bring sauce to a boil on medium high and boil for about 3 minutes or until sauce reduces to about 3/4 cup. Remove from heat, stir in oil, divide sauce between 2 small bowls and let cool. Then sprinkle black pepper on both sides of chicken breasts. Place chicken on grill and cook for 3 minutes on medium high. Turn chicken over and brush some sauce over top and cook for 3 minutes. Then again turn chicken over and brush with the remaining sauce in the same bowl you just used and cook for 1 minutes. Finally turn chicken over and spoon the remaining sauce from the other bowl over the top and cook for 1 more minute or until no longer pink.
Light & Delicious Slaw
Serves 4
-3 cups of cole slaw with carrots
-1/4 of additional shredded carrots (optional)
-1/2 cup of celery thinly sliced
-1 banana pepper, seeded and diced 
-2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
-1 tbsp safflower oil
-1 stevia packet
-1/8 tsp red pepper flakes (add a little more if you like spice)
-1/4 tsp sea salt
-1/4 tsp fresh ground pepper
Combine all ingredients and toss well. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

I served the above with a slice of grilled multigrain bread sprayed with a little cooking spray and rubbed with garlic. 
Here is the nutrition info for 3 oz cooked bbq chicken, 3/4 cup slaw, and one piece of multigrain bread.
313 calories, 11g fat (only 1.5g being saturated), 24g carbs, 5g fiber, 29g protein, 8pp+

Sunday, May 22, 2011

No Regrets

I think the hardest things for me on this journey is getting rid of the all or nothing attitude. For the most part I have done it, but there are still some times (which are almost always at social outings) that I give myself license to splurge. And once I start.... I often too easily justify more splurging at the given event. Namely in the form of too many appetizers or red wine.

The difference is that now --- I don't beat myself up over it. I know who I am, and where I am going  - it is just going to take me a little longer to get there than the people on The Biggest Loser and who are on fad diets. And I am ok with that. 

Since I've checked in last, I've lost 2 more pounds. Slow and steady.........................

Hope everyone has a great week!!!

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Hello" Martin Solveig & Dragonette - such a happy upbeat song... definitely one to get and keep you moving!!!
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: Get your greens in and have a smoothie! (see recipe below)... I often like to have one when my kids are having lunch - they are occupied so I have time to whip it up.
THIS WEEK'S RECIPE: Frisee, Fresh Mozzarella & Prosciutto Crostini & Bonus Recipe: A Refreshing Green Smoothie

Nothing beats a great appetizer that you can bring to someone's house and everyone loves! This one is great because other than toasting the bread it requires no actual cooking, so it is great for the summer. Appetizers should be eaten in moderation - so you can totally have one of these and not feel guilty. It is originally based on a Giada De Laurentiis recipe (what's not to love!) but I lightened it up slightly with removing some of the olive oil (but I actually like a bit more of the vinaigrette on it than the original recipe calls for so it probably all evens out!). I brought this to a friend's house for dinner this weekend and it was a hit.


  • 18 diagonal slices (1/2-inch-thick) baguette bread
  • olive oil cooking spray
  • 1 head of frisee (can sub curly endive), separated into 2-inch strips
  • 2 large balls fresh water-packed mozzarella cheese (7 oz), drained, cut into 18 thin slices
  • 18 paper-thin slices prosciutto
  • 1/4 cup Red Wine Vinaigrette, recipe follows


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Put bread on baking sheet and spray with olive oil baking spray. Bake until the crostini are lightly brown on the outside and slightly crisp, about 15 minutes.
Wrap 1 curly endive and 1 slice of cheese with 1 slice of prosciutto, allowing the tops to extend 1-inch over 1 long side of the prosciutto. Arrange the crostini on a platter. Top each crostini with a prosciutto roll. Drizzle the vinaigrette over and serve.

Red Wine Vinaigrette:

  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
Mix the vinegar, lemon juice, honey, salt, and pepper in a blender. With the machine running, gradually blend in the oil. 

Refreshing Green Smoothie
1/2 of banana
6 slices of frozen peaches
1/2 of granny smith apple (skin removed)
2 celery stalks
1 cup of firmly packed spinach
And the secret key ingredient: 1 tbs freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 cup of water

Blend and enjoy! If you like it to be icier/colder - you can use a frozen banana or sub some of the water for ice chips. I find that it works best if I blend the spinach first with the water then add the other items in.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

1,000 Words

I don't mean to sound vain but, don't you hate when you see a bad picture of yourself? Or more specifically, a picture that is not how you see yourself?

There's not much more that can slap me in the face and make me feel badly than when I see  a picture of myself that I didn't think I looked like anymore. Or I thought I was thinner than.

I was starting to feel better about myself. I had recently gone dress shopping, as I had some things I needed to go to and what I had available to wear were too big and/or really old. I felt good when I went shopping as unlike the past, a lot of what I tried on this time "worked". And I bought a few dresses in one size down. 

Heels would've helped 
Some were also out of my usual comfort zone. They were short (for me) and I didn't have to wear something over some of them. I would normally wear something over as an extra layer of coverage, and what I often feel like is protection.

Before I left for one of these events, I had my babysitter take a picture of me for the blog before I went out. Mainly because it was a dress that was much shorter for me, so I wanted to start showing some progress and documenting my weight loss. And when I saw the picture the next day I was really disappointed. I am still sharing it (as this blog is about being honest through this journey), but I thought I looked better than this picture and still have a long way to go. I also saw a few Mother's Day pictures where my face looked much puffier than I thought it did. 

I am still working hard, running every other day and have worked last week's arm routine into my weekly mix. I do think I set my goal for May a little too ambitiously. I just have to work a bit harder on food planning.

SONG THAT KEPT ME RUNNING THIS WEEK: "Hate to Say I Told You So" - The Hives
RANDOM TIP OF THE WEEK: I'm skipping this and giving you 2 veggie recipes instead :)
THIS WEEK'S RECIPES: Ginger Bok Choy, & bonus Easy Green Beans with Goat Cheese Vinegar 
Ginger Garlic Bok Choy
1 bunch of large Bok Choy, or 3 bunches of baby Bok Choy
2 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp fresh ground ginger
1/2-1/4 tsp of red pepper flakes (reduce or remove if you don't like things spicy)
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tsp canola oil
Splash of chicken broth
1/4 tsp of toasted sesame oil (or 6-8 drops)
*The key to cooking bok choy is to separate the leaves from the stems so you can cook them different lengths. Also you cook quickly at a high temp so it still has good crunch and isn't soggy.

Directions: Cut the bottom off the bok choy stalks. Wash well (sometimes silt/can get caught in the stalks). Separate the leaves from the stems. Cut the stems into 1/2" pieces on an angle. Heat oil on high in a large sauce pan. Add cut up bok choy stems and splash of chicken broth. Cook only for about a minute tossing well . Add garlic, ginger and red pepper flakes. Cook for about another minute more. Add leaves (if they are large you may need to cut in half), add soy sauce and add toasted sesame oil. Toss and cook about 30-45 seconds so leaves are slightly wilted. 

Easy Green Beans with Goat Cheese Vinegar 
I was sick of the same old same old plain green beans so I tossed a few things together one night this week, and it was yummy. A little cheese goes a long way!
8-10 oz fresh or frozen green beans (I used frozen green & yellow).
1/4 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1.5 tsp dried oregano
1 oz goat cheese (I used a pre-measured 1oz medallion in order to not go over board.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Directions: Cook beans according to directions. (I like them slightly undercooked). Add goat cheese to beans while they are hot - it will melt and turn into a sauce. Add the remaining ingredients and toss together. Enjoy :)