Saturday, March 31, 2012

It's Foodie Penpal Time!

This was my first month participating in the Foodie Penpals set up by the lovely Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. The rules are as follows -

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents. Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I'm going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

f you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions.
Now for the fun stuff. I had tons of fun shopping and getting my package ready to send out! Then my package came from the lovely Shannon of The Girl's Got Sole

Shannon included yummy treats and one of the big girls favorite things Couscous! The peanut butter pretzel Clif Mojo Bar was my favorite! The Barney Butter was perfect for me now that I'm eating Paleo. We haven't gotten into the Cinnamon Thin cookies yet, but I know the girls will love them. It was great fun and I am excited to participate for April!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Three Things Thursday - The Food Version

I wanted to share a few more tidbits about how I (we) have been eating lately. If what I eat doesn't interest you, skip this post, I promise I won't be offended! But first, I have to say that I got my scheduled run in today, felt really great too, 4.1 miles in 45 minutes in perfect weather.

1. Since I gave up soda I have been craving something to replace the bubbles with, something yummy. Hubs suggested seltzer water and I poo pooed it. But then I tasted it and it wasn't bad. But then when I was at Target I saw these -

Yummy, La Croix carbonated water with coconut flavor. No added sugar, sodium or anything. They aren't sweet, but they are bubbly and I enjoy them. I bought the cran-raspberry flavor to try out today.

2. I still adore my Larabars, I think they are amazing and natural and good when I need something to grab and go! But, some have sugar and some have peanuts, which are both paleo no-no's. Today at Target I was starved and saw a flavor I'd never tried, Blueberry Muffin, and there is no added sugar so I grabbed one to eat with my unsweetened green tea. OMG, it was SO YUMMY!!!

Perfect breakfast on the go!

3. I'm trying to follow this chart when I purchase produce

It is a lot more expensive, but I want the girls (and us big people too) to get the healthiest foods I can! I also found that the organic blueberries were a million times more flavorful than the regular (from the same company).

Bonus - Stopping in to Starbucks when hungry could be a horrible thing, what with all the yummy snacks and baked goods, but I've found the perfect solution 

Amazing and perfect!!

Questions for you -

Do you buy much organic produce? Do you follow the dirty dozen and clean fifteen?

Do you buy organic meat? Grass-fed beef?

Hope everyone is having a great week!

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

What's Eating Me

Nothing like waiting 3 days between posts and then forgetting pretty much everything you had planned to say!! I swear, I sit around thinking up posts and then when I get in front of the computer I go blank. I know that I wanted to talk about my half marathon training plan, my eating and just life in general; so I'll go with those things and hopefully while I'm typing the things that were funny or interesting I had thought of before will pop back up.

Running - I started a shortened version of Jeff Galloway's half marathon training plan for improved time this week. I had to cut the first few weeks since the next half I am running (and still haven't paid for...) is 8 weeks from last Sunday. I really want to get a faster time than Tinker Bell! My A plan is to run under 2:08, my B plan is to run under 2:11 (what I ran at Tink), and my C plan is to beat last week's half, 2:19. We will see how I'm feeling closer to the race and whether I end up modifying those plans. 
I'm also still doing my Blake Lively 4-week workout plan on, I'm on week 3. I am definitely enjoying it! I am not sure if I am going to start another plan when this one finishes or just do Jillian and FIRM DVDs on my cross training days until after the half.
I still am not 100% sure that the Larabars are going to be my best bet for fuel, so I may give raisins or other dried fruit on my long runs to see how that feels. It's hard to think of things to use and I'm not extremely creative in that area.

Eating - I have been eating paleo and no sugar for 17 days. I can honestly say that 99% of the time I don't crave or miss any of the things I'm not eating. But that 1% is rough!! I've always had mildly (and sometimes extremely) disordered eating so it is hard for me not to freak about restrictions sometimes. But I'm really enjoying eating clean and am loving the way I feel. I don't miss soda at all! I've also nearly given up chewing gum, which is huge! I am still chewing when running, it distracts me. We've cleaned up our eating as a family too, I haven't tried to cut all grains or milk or anything out of the girls diets, I'm just trying to make an effort to use very little pre-packaged food and make sure there are at least 1 fruit AND veggie with lunch and dinner and a fruit with breakfast. I'm also making better choices when I shop for their cereals and snacks (those things may not be the best foods, but we aren't ready to turn them upside down). Hubs is doing well on his style of paleo, he is a milk, cheese and peanut butter lover so he wasn't ready to let those go; and that is the cool thing about paleo, you make rules that work for you.
My favorite go to snacks are apples with almond butter, nuts, bell peppers with guacamole and Steve's Original goodies!

The yummiest "granola" bar!!

Amazing Jerky!!

Life in general - We've all been great. It seems like time really flies lately and there is hardly a minute to sit still! I can't believe it is almost April. I will be 33 next month, EEK!! Hubs and the girls planted (part) of their gardens this week so we've got veggies ready to grow, yum!
The girls are all well (knock on wood) and doing well in school. It is testing time right now so there is a lot of that during school, fun.
Not much out of the ordinary going on, just enjoying the coming of spring and time to be outside and play.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

End of the Trail Half Marathon Recap

I was not expecting big things from this race since I didn't prepare, at all, the farthest I had run since the Tinker Bell Half in January was 6.5. I also hadn't run much in the last week since my big girls were out of school the week before so I only ran a bit with them. Add to that the fact that I changed my diet in the last two weeks and was unsure of fuel, pre and during race, it added up to a big nothing.

Packet pick up was yesterday at the local running store and it was a bit of a mess, I got in the line I was told to get in, waited and then was told I had to wait in the other line. Then, I was told they ran out of shirts, which wasn't the end of the world but didn't please me.

The three big girls and I then went and spent the night at my parents house. We had tacos (mine was meat and salsa on greens), they had brownies for dessert and I had a Larabar. We watched Hook and then we crashed. I slept great until 3:30 am and then I was mostly awake until my alarm went off at 5:30. I got up and had a cup of coffee, using my parents amazing Kuerig - I MUST have one, and ate another Larabar. It got things moving and then I headed out to the race site.

Mama took my reflective pre-race picture

I was annoyed that we had to pay the $6 entry fee to get into the park where the race was starting and finishing, I've held events and you usually can get fees waived or included in your permits so those who already paid for races don't have to pay again!! I met up with my friend Michele, after going to the bathroom again, and we hung out in the FREEZING morning air.

Stolen from Michele's Facebook

The race was "chip timed" but there was no pad at the beginning... I'm not sure how that worked. I used my Garmin so I'm not too worried about it. The first few miles I felt amazing and had to keep slowing myself down. It was a really boring course filled with out and backs on country roads. About 7.5 miles in I was DONE! I kept thinking it would be nice to trip in one of the pot holes I had been watching out for so that I could stop. At about 11 miles I started walking 1 minute for every 4 I ran just to keep moving. I was POOPED!! I made it in at 2:19, not a horrible time, but not a time I was hoping to see!! My mom and the girls were at the finish waiting for me so we got some good finishing pictures.

Blowing kisses to the girls

Way back there

Heading in

I got my medal and my finishers hoodie and hat and the girls and my mom were upon me. I was feeling a bit dizzy so I plopped on the grass, which made it picture time!

After that we wandered through the expo and grabbed some fruit and free Starbucks (score!!) and took a picture by the statue that the race gets it's name from.

Bug is wearing my finisher's sweatshirt

I had to share this outtake, because I had just finished saying I saw the hole and wouldn't fall, when I almost fell!

Michele had already left when I finished because she ROCKED, she finished in 1:46! I have to say I was glad to have finished as quickly as I did because they ran out of sweatshirts and hats! I think that is crazy!!

All in all it was a great race and I would definitely run it again!! Even though the course is boring! It's a great price, $56, and too close to home to pass up.

When I got home I took glutamine and an ice bath and I've been wearing my compression sleeves and I'm feeling good. We'll see what the morning brings as far as aches and pains. Tomorrow I'll be back with my plan of action to get a PR at the half in May (that I've yet to actually sign up for...)

DISCLAIMER: I feel it necessary to state, that this race was not expensive so I don't expect all the things they handed out, BUT I do expect that if you pre-register at least 2 weeks in advance (or whatever predetermined date set by those in charge) you should get the things you paid for when it is promised to you.

Friday, March 23, 2012

Friday Five

So my Thursday ended up being as busy as my Wednesday so I didn't get a post in. No big loss, let's get on with the 5 so I can go to bed.

1. I hadn't mentioned it yet but my bug ran a 5k (in the rain!) on St. Patrick's Day and got 3rd in her age group!

2. I rescued a baby goat at work last week, it was so sweet and I wanted to keep it!!

3. I had an order of Paleo snacks that were supposed to arrive today and they didn't make it before we left to comes stay the night at my parents and I'm super bummed!

4. I'm using the blogger app again tonight so if my pictures are in weird spots, that's why.

5. The big one! Tomorrow is half #2 an I'm feeling undertrained and nervous. I know I will finish, but I doubt it will be pretty!

Off to try to sleep now. I'll be back with a report tomorrow (or Sunday)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Wednesday of Death

It has been an incredibly long day today! You know those days you wake up tired? Well, that is how today started. Then I spend 4.5 hours in kindergarten, with a full class and they were NOT on good behavior today! Then mini me an I rushed home so I could get my workout in, I showered and then we went to the big girls school. I graded papers, filled out paperwork to move mini me there next year, picked up little bitty, came home, got everyone changed and went to dance. After dance it was rush home for dinner, baths, clean up, books and bed. I am pooped!!! I am in bed using the blogger app to post from (so cool!) and I'm ready to crash! I'll be back tomorrow with a longer post.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

A to Z Survey

I've seen this all over the web and thought it would be a fun post to do and since it's pouring down rain today I've got a bit of time to do it.
A is for age: I am 32. I will be 33 at the end of next month.
B is for breakfast today: A hard boiled eggs, a handful of almonds and cantaloupe
C is for currently craving: I don't have one, but I am looking forward to my lunch burger (and sad I forgot to bring an avocado to put on it...)
D is for dinner tonight: Not sure yet, hubs and I need to go to the market when I get off work to get more meat. If they have any corned beef left maybe we'll do corned beef and cabbage.
E is for favorite type of exercise: This is a toughie! I think I'll have to say running, but I do love a good circuit too. 
F is for an irrational fear: Clowns!! So so scary!! 

G is for gross food: Raw tomatoes
H is for hometown: Porterville, CA
I is for something important: My family
J is for current favorite jam: I haven't eaten jam in a while, but I'd have to pick homemade pomegranate
K is for kids: 4 - all girls, 3 birth, 1 step. Ages 10, 7, 5, and 4 
L is for current location: Porterville, CA
M is for the most recent way you spent money: I ordered some Steve's Original Paleo Goodies

N is for something you need: No major needs right now. But a good (and cheapish and local) source to buy grassfed beef would be nice.
O is for occupation: Park Ranger
P is for pet peeve: Littering, it makes me insane!!!
Q is for a quote:

R is for random fact about you: I love Jeopardy!
S is for favorite healthy snack: So many! Bell peppers with homemade guacamole today.
T is for favorite treat: Tough one! I think it would have to be a Dirty Elvis Cupcake from a local bakery - Banana cupcake, peanut butter frosting, dipped in chocolate!
U is for something that makes you unique: I live in the same house that my grandma lived in since before I was born.
V is for favorite vegetable: Asparagus
W is for today’s workout: Today is a rest day
X is for X-rays you’ve had: Teeth
Y is for yesterday’s highlight: My workout, Workout #3, Rotation #1 of Blake Lively workout
Z is for your time zone: Pacific

Friday, March 16, 2012

Five Things Friday

Such a great day today!! Nothing out of the ordinary, just in a great mood!!

1. I'm digging my paleo diet! I haven't had a sugar craving and I'm definitely not missing the sugar and carb crash. I've also been eating as much as I want at every meal and not counting calories and I'm down just over 5 pounds in 4 days, woo!! Not that I'm doing this to lose weight, but it's a definite perk! I can't help but love any way of life that suggests I eat as much veggies and fruit as I want and have this as a snack

Orange bell pepper with guacamole!!

And I get to eat lots of eggs and I adore eggs! I did "cheat" this week, we had scrambled eggs with milk in them, although that's not a terrible thing. I also chewed 3 pieces of gum, artificial sweeteners are a no no!! I'm working on getting rid of the gum, but I really enjoy chewing it...

2. Related to #1, I'm trying to figure out how to fuel my half next weekend while staying paleo. If I can't figure it out I'll go to my Clif Shot Blox, I'm not crazy against them. I may try eating a piece of a Larabar since I adore them and they are very natural...

3. I've finally mastered the sock bun on the girls! Yay! It's such a quick way to  make cute hair and keep it out of their faces for dance.

My handiwork

4. I'm loving doing my workouts from 3 a week and they take less than an hour and they are a lot of fun!! It's nice to change things up and I'm super glad that Christina led me to the site!!

5. Tonight it's just me and hubs and he's cooking, yay!, and we are just going to veg, such a nice thing! Gotta watch CSI!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What a Wednesday

I've been in a funk the last few days so I haven't felt like posting and I didn't workout at all during the weekend. Lazy and eating like a pig was how I spent the weekend, I looked and felt like a sloth.

Then Monday came, and I was still in a funk, BUT I cleaned up my eating, I'm giving paleo a go and I exercised! I started 3 things (I know that I should try to make only one change at a time, but I'm a rebel) on Monday -

1. I signed up for the No Sweets Challenge on with Christina and lots of her other readers. Which goes hand in hand with -

2. I'm giving paleo a go. I needed to do something to lower my cholesterol and just clean up my eating in general. Since I had already decided to give up sweets and I had been reading about paleo I decided to just go for it. Today is my third day and I'm feeling great. I am going to admit here (to the WHOLE WORLD, or  my 67 readers) that on Monday I weighed myself and it was a SCARY (for me) number, 139.6. As of this morning I'm at 133.6, I know that a lot of it is water weight, but it shows me that I NEEDED to clean up my diet.

My yummy dinner from Monday

3. When I went to to sign up I started looking through the workout and signed up for a 30 day workout plan. I did workout 1 on Monday and workout 2 today. I'm feeling good. Although, I am a bit nervous about my half on the 24th since my longest run since Tinker Bell was 6.5 last week (EEK!)

Changing the diet and changing up the exercise (along with starting my period yesterday) have made for an amazing mood today!! I'm feeling great! My big girls are on spring break so they are playing outside and I'm going to head out and join them in the sun.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Three Things Thursday

I started a Wednesday Whine post yesterday but it was SO whiny that I had to stop! I am so sick and tired of being sick and tired and having sick and tired kids that I was ready to scream yesterday! I have been house bound since Saturday afternoon. The only time I've left is for doctor's appointments, drop off/pick up for the not sick kids and to buy necessities. Today I am feeling much better! The world is new, we are all nearly well and all the girls are going to school and I'm going to get a long(ish) run in this morning.

1. My big girl is gone for 2 nights/3 days on a school trip. We've known about this for months and I'm so excited for her, but it is still so very weird to have her gone! We are a blended family so I am used to her being gone for a few nights, BUT I always talk to her at night, last night is the first night EVER that I've gone without talking to her, that's weird. I know she's having an amazing time, doing things she wouldn't otherwise be able to do - snorkeling, kayaking, dissecting squid, going on a stargazing hike tonight. I wish I had been picked as a chaperone, but I've got 2 more chances (maybe 3) to go when the little girls get bigger.

2. I've run once since last Tuesday, I'm not really very happy with that, but with being sick I just haven't done it. I ran on Tuesday this week, I only did 2.5 miles to see how I felt and I felt pretty good. As soon as the garage door people get here to fix the broken garage door (what else would they be fixing?) and get done I'm going to hop on the treadmill and do 5-6 miles depending on how I feel. After school buggy and I will run a mile and a quarter to pick up mini me. I'm a bit nervous about my half on the 24th since I haven't done much training, but I guess that I know I can do it so I'll just go out and go as fast as I can and hope I can best my time from January.

3. Random picture drop time, I've taken a few pictures over the past few days to share, so here they are in no particular order -

Mini Me with the Big Girl's science fair project

Bow piggies for Dr. Seuss' Birthday

Cute girl, pre-pneumonia

For Carrie, this is fruit seasoning (it is amazing!!)

Playing sick at mom's doctor's appt

Math whiz

She did these all by herself (she's in kindy so I'm impressed)

That's all I've got going on, I'm going to now relax with my cup of coffee and catch up on dvr'ed shows until they get here to fix my garage door. 

Monday, March 5, 2012

Isn't It Ironic

Now I love Alanis Morisette and I really love the song "Ironic," but I do not enjoy when that irony applies to me! Every time one of the girls get sick I crow about how I never get sick (migraines, minor stomach bugs, or the sniffles don't count here). Well Friday I got SICK!! If you are my friend on Dailymile you might have noticed it's been quiet since Thursday, that's because I've done NOTHING!! Friday I came home from work at the end of the day feeling sick, but not horrible, by the time I went to bed I had a raging fever. Saturday I had to go to work since I had an event to attend, I went home quite shortly after that and just felt HORRIBLE!! Yesterday I felt even worse and didn't go in at all, I hardly moved all day, with a fever hovering around 101.

How I spent my Sunday

Today I feel a bit better, the fever has been right around 100 since I woke up, but I'm still coughing. I have to take mini me to the doctor (second time in less than 2 weeks) because she has it now too. I'm just hoping we all get well soon!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Three Things Thursday

If you're shocked that I'm actually posting two days in a row, you aren't the only one. But being homebound with a sick kiddo gives you lots of time to blog!!

1. Thank goodness we love our pediatrician. Little bitty will be going in for her second time this week and we saw her on Friday for mini me too. I really hate sitting in the waiting room with all of the other sick kids, I just know we're going to catch the plague to go along with whatever else already ails us!!

2. I am SO SO sad that Davy Jones died!! I used to watch The Monkees when I was little and "Daydream Believer" is one of my all time favorite songs. I fully cried about him dying yesterday and then I cried when I saw Mickey Dolenz on Today this morning because he looks so OLD and he was so sad. It's such a bummer! Then Jan Berenstain died this week too, we are major Berenstain Bear book lovers and this is a sad thing for readers!

3. I am so overtired from little bitty coughing all night that I'm a bit slap happy! And why is it that when you are overtired your body tells you you are hungry non-stop? And not hungry for good stuff, for bread and sugar?! What is that? Am I the only one that this happens to? I am especially craving these beauties

They are amazing and I have 4 left in a pack in the cupboard. If you haven't tried these and you like Oreos, go get them ASAP because they are a limited time offering for Oreos 100th birthday on March 6. The desire to gorge myself reminds me that I haven't gotten a workout in since we have been cleaning, washing, vacuuming and lysoling the whole house in order to try to get rid of some of the germs that are floating around. I may make today an impromptu rest day, but I'm so crabby and crazy feeling from being tired that I think skipping my endorphin rush might be a bad idea.

Bonus thought - Since I talked about cleaning I have to say how much I HATE washing the girls sheets, HATE IT!! I already hate laundry, it's my least favorite household chore for some reason, I also hate making beds. Add to this the fact that the girls have bunk beds and I feel as if I am in the third circle of hell (I don't remember much about Dante's Inferno so this may be the wrong circle). Then I get an even bigger bonus, which is that the big girls insist on squirreling away any and EVERY thing they don't want the little girls to touch on their top bunks and I have a huge mess. UGH!! 2 beds made, 2 to go...

Also, tomorrow is Dr. Seuss's birthday so make sure you wear something Seussesque and read some good books tomorrow.

Questions of the day - Do you love Dr. Seuss? Have you read The Lorax? Are you looking forward to the movie?

I adore everything Seuss (except I'm not a huge fan of The Cat in the Hat Knows a Lot About That...) and use The Lorax story a lot at work, but I'm not looking forward to the movie. The Lorax is one of my all time favorite kids books!!

This is the Lorax I know and LOVE!!

The old Lorax is amazing and follows the book, this seems like a silly off shoot. I am sure we will still watch/buy it on DVD, but I won't be rushing to the theatre, which is too bad.