My truth about running.

I spent some time watching the Live camera on the Boston finish line on Monday.  It was a much different experience than the year before, when I was glued to the TV and on the phone hoping my friends who had run the race were okay.

This year, I was tracking 2 of my cousins and a friend and was hoping to see them cross the finish line.  Running the Boston marathon is a BIG deal.  And I hope I can do it one day.  Just gotta shave large amounts of time off my race pace.  ūüôā  But watching all those people cross that finish line got me thinking about running.  And why I’m compelled to do it.

Here’s the truth about running for me.

It’s not always easy.  Or fun.  In fact, more often than not, it’s HARD.  And it hurts.

But there’s something about running that cleanses the soul.  Clears the mind.  Squashes the stress.  And makes life feel just a little bit (or sometimes a lot) better.

Running is a lot like parenthood.  90% of the time it’s hard.  And painful.  And sometimes you’d rather not do all that hard stuff.  But then there’s the other 10%.  The days where you feel like you could run forever.  And you feel great.  And strong.  And “light”.  And that 10% of running euphoria makes the other 90% worth fighting through.  

I love to run.  But I didn’t always feel that way.  I remember one of my college roomates was an accomplished marathon runner and I used to think she was crazy.  Why on earth would anyone want to run that far and hurt that much?  And then I ran one.  And I understood.

There’s something pretty profound about pushing your body to its limits.  And forcing your mind to be stronger than the pain.  The feeling that comes after a race (and even during) is why all those “crazy” people run long distance races.

And I don’t run every day.  My main source of exercise when i’m not training for a race is either Insanity, T-25, or Body Pump.  But when I really need some good think time and soul cleansing, I run.

The hardest part about running for me, is the first 5 or 10 minutes.  Even though I enjoy running (usually when I’m done), it’s often hard for me to get myself going.  And sometimes, I can tell within the first 5 to 10 minutes what kind of run I’m going to have.  “This one is going to feel good”, or “I’m going to hurt the entire time.”  But once I’ve determined how far I’m going, I always just do it.  Good or bad.  I do the miles.

If you think you weren’t cut out to be a runner, read the book “Born to Run”.  You might change your mind.

Oh, running.  It’s not just for criminals.

 (All images were found on Pinterest)

White Bean Chicken (or Turkey) chili

I never thought I’d be one to have a blog where I post recipes. ¬†But since fixing food for my humans consumes a huge portion of my life, I think good, healthy recipes deserve a space on my blog. ¬†Every once in a while at least.

If you haven’t checked out Mel’s Kitchen Cafe blog, you probably should. ¬†Awesome, almost always easy, and usually not time consuming recipes. ¬†It’s my “go to” recipe site.

And with that, I give you this little gem that has become a part of our winter meal rotation.

White Bean Chicken (or Turkey) Chili

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 2 (14.5 ounce) cans Great Northern Beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 cups cooked, diced chicken (or turkey)
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 3/4 cup salsa (I use Pace Chunky Medium)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
  1. In a medium saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the remainder of the ingredients, except the mozzarella cheese. Heat over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the soup comes to a simmer. Add the mozzarella cheese one handful at a time, stirring to let each addition melt before adding the next. Stir to combine and make sure all the cheese has melted and serve.
It’s good. ¬†Trust me. ¬†And healthy. ¬†Bonus. ¬†I’ve made it with turkey and chicken. ¬†Tastes great either way. ¬†And once I was out of mozzarella cheese, so I ripped up a bunch of string cheese and put that in there. ¬†Took a little longer to melt, but it still worked. ¬†I’m brave in the kitchen like that.

Best spinach protein shake!!

I am not a “juicer”. ¬†And I have never been able to jump on the “green smoothie” bandwagon. Every one of those I have tried have NOT tasted good to me.

But this one. ¬†This one is good. ¬†And I don’t own a Vitamix or a Blendtec (is that what it’s called). ¬†I just use a regular old blender and it works fine.

This is what I drink after a good workout.
It’s an adapted recipe from the book Fit2Fat2Fit¬†(which is a really interesting book by the way).

Protein Spinach Shake

2-3 cups of spinach (I just grab a few handfuls and shove them on the bottom of the blender)
3/4 C almond milk (or you could use regular milk)
1 scoop vanilla whey protein (I get a big bag of this at Costco)
1/2 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter (I use Skippy natural)
1-2 cups of ice (this makes it cold, obviously, and thicker)

Mix it all up!

Looks nasty. ¬†Tastes gooooood!!! ¬†(Like, good good, not “healthy” good. ¬†Trust me)


Focus T25

My latest exercise routine has been Focus T25.  It’s the same guy who does Insanity.  And I love it.

It’s a hard workout.  But it’s only 25 minutes.  Every time.

I always feel better after I exercise so I try to do something at least 5 times a week.  And with two little boys under my feet the whole time, 25 minutes sounds a lot better than an hour.

Found this gem of a picture on my phone.  Carter must have taken it.
And of course my knees are only down cause there’s a little person sitting on me.  Of course.   (Pushups are not my strength.  I plan to fix that eventually.)

You can usually find these DVD’s for sale by someone other than Beachbody for a lot cheaper.  I got mine on KSL (Insanity, T25, and P90x).

Getting Healthy. Part 4. TIPS

To read Part 3 of “Getting Healthy. ¬†Exercise” click here.

Here are some things that helped me while working on getting healthy.

1. ¬†Use weight as a gauge, but NOT as an “end”. ¬†It truly isn’t about weight as much as it is how you feel. ¬†Muscle weighs more than fat. ¬†So if you’re gaining muscle, but losing fat, you’re doing great.

2.  Drink more water than you think you can handle.  It helps hunger, but also helps flush all the crap out of the body.  And makes you pee a lot (only disadvantage).

3.  Leave a water bottle out where you can see it.  And drink everytime you pass it.  Take water in the car with you.  Have a bottle of water on your desk at work.  Keep it in your sight throughout the day and drink, drink, drink

4.  Eat smaller meals, more often.  I ate 5 meals a day, about 300 calories each.  To calculate how many calories you should be eating a day, click here.

5.  Exercise smarter, not necessarily longer.  I recommend some form of interval training.  But you have to work hard.

6. ¬†Find a way to be accountable. ¬†I’m self-motivated when it comes to exercise. ¬†I wanted to lose weight and be healthy. ¬†That was enough accountability for me. ¬†But if you need more, tell a friend or family member what your goals are and have them ask you about it every so often. ¬†Or find a workout buddy. ¬†I like to exercise alone, but some people do better in groups. ¬†Just make sure you’re all there to work hard and not socialize. ¬†ūüôā

7. ¬†Try to exercise at the same time every day. ¬†I realize this can be tricky especially if you have kids. ¬†I have 4 kids under the age of 9. ¬†And my youngest was only 8 months old when I first started my exercise/eating program. ¬†There’s a way to do it. You may have to be creative, but if you really want it, you can figure out a way to get it done.

8. ¬†Don’t feel guilty for the time it takes to exercise. ¬†This may sound silly, but if you’re a mom, you know what I’m talking about. ¬†The ever present mom guilt. ¬†I often felt guilty for exercising. ¬†Because it does take a big chunk of time. ¬†But. ¬†My kids get to see me do it. ¬†And know it’s important to me. ¬†And it’s sending a VERY important message to them that exercising and eating right are an important part of creating a great life.

9. ¬†Try not to get discouraged. ¬†If you don’t see pounds melting off like they do on the Biggest Loser competitors, don’t get down on yourself. ¬†I only lost about 1 pound a week. ¬†Sometimes a little less, sometimes a little more. ¬†Just stick with it.

10. ¬†Don’t weigh yourself obsessively. ¬†My rule of thumb was to only weigh myself once a week. ¬†Sometimes I even went two weeks. ¬†As long as I was consistently feeling healthier and stronger, that was good enough for me. ¬†If you have a lot of weight to lose, the scale can be a helpful indicator if you’re moving in the right direction. ¬†But. ¬†It can also be discouraging if pounds aren’t coming off as fast as you think they should. ¬†Don’t give up!!

11. ¬†Plan ahead for your meals. ¬†I don’t have a lot of spare time throughout my day. ¬†I rarely sit down and am usually running around from one thing to the next because someone allllllways needs me. ¬†Always. ¬†So if you don’t have your meals figured out ahead of time, you’ll eat crap, or even worse, you won’t eat. ¬†You HAVE to eat consistently to keep your metabolism going.

If I can do it, you can do it. ¬†I promise. ¬†Make it a priority. ¬†Be consistent. ¬†Celebrate even the smallest of success’s. ¬†Be positive. ¬†Work hard. ¬†And get healthy!!!! ¬†


If you have a WHY, you can figure out any HOW.  


Good luck and STICK WITH IT!!!

Read Part 1, Part 2, and Part 3 of Getting Healthy.  And my history with weight here.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me. ¬†I’m happy to help wherever I can!

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