healthy |ˈhelθē|adjective ( healthier , healthiest )in good health: : feeling fit and healthy.• (of a part of the body) not diseased : healthy cells.• indicative of, conducive to, or promoting good health : a healthy appetite | a healthy balanced diet.• (of a person's attitude) sensible and well balanced : a healthy contempt for authority.• figurative in a good condition• desirable; beneficial• A conscious choice; A life-long commitment.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap That Wasn't

Last year I had the privilege to participate in the Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap. I had a good time, and of course its for a good cause, so when I got an email inviting me to sign up again, I jumped at the chance. Being one with little patience, I immediately looked up a recipe for the cookies I wanted to bake, and then headed to the grocery store that night to cook them. 4 dozen cookies later (1 for me, 3 for the swap), I packed everything up and tossed them in the freezer so that they would be fresh for shipping.

It wasn't until a few days later that I got an email saying that I wasn't eligible to participate because I didn't have enough recent food-centered posts on the blog.

So that's cool. I didn't get a refund of the money I donated (only 4$, but still kind of silly since I wasn't allowed to partake) and I sure as heck didn't get a refund for the money I paid for the ingredients to bake the cookies that were in my freezer.

Needless to say, I was popular with my patients that week. I brought in the cookies and shared them among co-workers and among the patients on the units.

I thought I should share the recipe regardless. Because you know, I like to post about food once in a while. ;)

esspressocookiesEspresso Double Chocolate Chip Cookies (source)

Ingredients;

  • 4 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 cup cocoa powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1 teaspoon baking soda

  • 2 tablespoons corn starch

  • 4 tablespoons instant espresso powder

  • 2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • 1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, softened

  • 2 cup packed light-brown sugar

  • 1 cup granulated sugar

  • 3 tbsp ground flax mixed with 1/4 cup water for flax egg

  • 1 1/2 packages dark chocolate chips

  • 1/2 cup walnuts


Cooking Directions;


  1. Step 1


    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper; set aside.


  2. Step 2


    In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, cocoa powder, salt, corn starch, and baking soda; set aside. In a small bowl, stir together espresso powder, vanilla, and a tablespoon of water; set aside. Mix flax with water and set aside.


  3. Step 3


    Cream butter and sugars together on medium speed until light and fluffy. Add flax egg; mix until incorporated. Add espresso mixture; mix well, scraping down the sides of a bowl with a spatula. At low speed, add flour mixture in small batches, mixing until just combined. Stir in chocolate chunks and walnuts.


  4. Step 4


    Form 1 inch balls and place about 1 inch apart on baking sheet. The cornstarch prevents the cookies from flattening out too much, so they turn out nice and puffy, almost brownie-like. Bake until cookies are set, about 18 minutes. Remove from oven; let cool completely before removing cookies.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Acceptance Update

Welcome to DECEMBER.

Seriously, where did this year go? I can't even believe that I am writing this post and that it is the END OF THE YEAR. I need to start thinking about a word for 2014!

2013. The Year of Acceptance.

Truth: I started 2013 at a real low point in my life. My self esteem seemed non-existent, I was gaining weight, I was apathetic towards everything (including my relationships with my loved ones), and I just had this awful feeling something bad was going to happen.

Truth Number Two: Something bad probably would have happened if I hadn't gotten help.

I started seeing a counselor at the End of January. I saw her three times in total. That was all I needed. My friend Annette suggested a book for me to read called "Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers" and that really was the catalyst for my change.

I read the book, I did the homework, I reflected, I journalled, I made my mental health a priority, I made my relationships a priority. At the end of a 2 month period I felt back on track with the life I wanted to live. I had rediscovered my strength and my worth.

Since that time, honestly and truthfully, I have felt very good. I no longer stress about overeating, about skipping a workout, or about the possibility that I might be a shitty parent one day.

I have come to terms with the re-gain of weight, and I can see that it stemmed from old habits, emotional instability, and poor coping skills.

I have strengthened the relationship I have with my body, I treat it with the respect it deserves and I practice positive self talk. The negative thoughts are almost non-existent, it is refreshing and freeing. :)

I have grieved the loss of relationship with my biological father, and my biological mother. I am at a point of peace with the fact that I didn't have an ideal childhood, but I have come past that with triumph and strength and no one can take that away from me.

A list of Truth's going forward from here:

  • I am strong, emotionally, physically, and spiritually.

  • I am loved, by my husband and adopted father, my sister, and my friends.

  • I am beautiful and unique, both inside and out.

  • I am a good person.

  • I am smart, funny, and mature.

  • I have a body that has done so much for me despite my lack of consistent care: It has run more miles this year than any in the past, it has lifted heavier things than I ever have before, and it has taught me that other peoples ideals aren't my own, and that is Ok.

  • I will be the best mother I can be one day when I have kids, I will be in charge of making my relationships with them, not my history.

  • I don't think I have a happy weight. But I can have a happy lifestyle.

  • I am healthy, and I make healthy choices.


2013 started out as a struggle, but it is ending the happiest I have ever felt. I am so incredibly lucky. I don't know how next year could ever be better than this one!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

I survived Vegas

Well. Hello there.

This post is a little late coming out. My apologies about that. But the thing is, when you run a half marathon without training... it takes a wee bit of a toll on your body. Haha. But really. Today is the first day since last Sunday that my back hasn't felt like I had slipped discs. It was p-r-e-t-t-y ugly there for a few days, and I was letting my inner Grandma shine through as I hobbled around at work.

So. Lets back up a few days!photo-92

VEGAS!

Loads of fun. We stayed at our time share and we were thoroughly impressed! It had a full kitchen and laundry facilities in our suite, a jacuzzi tub, the most comfortable king sized bed, and it was south of the strip so it wasn't super busy around where we were! We were also a 5 minute drive from Whole Foods and a 10 minute drive from Trader Joes. Heaven I tell you. Pure heaven.

sonogWe actually had to buy a second suitcase so we could pack all of the food back into the country. We bought So Delicious Nog (so freaking good), International Delights COOKIE FLAVOR (I die.), 5 Salad Dressings (hah!) - 3 Goddess (my absolute favorite), a Buttermilk Ranch from Whole Foods, and a Creamy Hummus Dressing from TJ's. We also brought back some bars, lots of chocolate, and the best Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups ever created, also from TJ's. We also bought 4 jars of Biscoff Spread (the TJ's we went to sells out of Cookie Butter by 10am every day. That is pure madness.) and 1 jar of the chocolate swirled Cookie Butter. Also purchased: Nutzo and a plethora of Justin's Nut Butter packets.

Foodie Heaven.

We went to a Cirque du Soleil show - the new one at Aria called Zarkana. It is acrobatic focused and was really good. I think we both liked Ka better because we could actually follow the story line, but I am starting to think that Ka is the exception because I have now seen 4 Cirque Shows (Ka, Zarkana, Mystere, and Allegria) and Ka is the only one where I actually knew what was happening in the story line.

tee

The weather was also PERFECT for running. Like gorgeous. Not too hot, not too windy. My absolute favorite running weather.

I guess like 30,000+ runners participated in the Rock'N'Roll on Sunday night. Thats pretty crazy.

photo 2-9I was heat 25 (there were over 30), so I had to wait about 45 minutes after the starting time until it was time to cross the finish line. The race was pretty well organized and there were lots of volunteers and spectators along most of the route.

My one complaint: I didn't pack GU, or buy any GU because it was advertised that they would be giving it away at the water stations. Um. Yeah. Never happened. So I covered 13.1 miles without any running fuel besides 2 cups of Gatorade and was feelin' the wall from about Mile 10 on. Up until that point though I felt REALLY good and I think my time would have been decent had I been able to fuel the race properly.

stripI basically walked 2 of the last 3 miles because I just didn't have anything left in me.

strip3I finished in 2:48:08, which is my slowest time to date, but considering I walked about 30-35 minutes, I think I did a-ok.

strip2What matters is: I finished and I got a pretty sweet (but heavy!) medal, which makes every race worth-while.

medal

We went shopping in the Outlet malls on Sunday and drank Iced Almond Milk Lattes from Whole Foods one last time. We also ate at Panera which was fabulously fatty. I had the Broccoli Cheese Soup and Grilled Cheese with a side of Chocolate Chip Cookie. Worth it.

panera

Got home Monday night to a fresh batch of snow. From +20 to -20 just like that. Sadness.

But! I did get a sick new tattoo!

tattI am getting it colored in 2.5 weeks, which I can hardly wait for. I won't lie, this tattoo hurt really bad. I was shaking during certain parts of it (the very highest leaves and the leaf closest to my right shoulder), but considering it took 2.5 hours, I didn't do too bad. It also turned out beautifully. I can't wait to see the finished product.

Why a skull with sunflowers? Its quite simple, actually.

Live a Sunny Life.


Talk to you soon!

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Jillian Michaels Body Revolution Week's 1 & 2 and a Playlist

I did it! I finished Week's 1 and 2! And just in time to go away for my half marathon!

I actually enjoyed doing the workouts. They were the perfect amount of time and despite doing each 4 times, they didn't get redundant. I decided to sub-out the cardio workout for a Turbo Fire HIIT one day and then Soccer on the other days, which worked out well. I plan to continue doing this as I will be doing the Soccer thing twice a week.

I appreciate that the workouts were modifiable, both to make it easier and to make it (much) harder.

I started using my new Polar FT4 to track my calories burnt during the workouts and I averaged about 260 calories each time, which isn't too bad considering the workouts are 30ish minutes long. I expect they will get much harder!

I am taking Thursday to Monday off from the program, with the Half Marathon being on Sunday. I also will be walking, walking walking, in Vegas! Tuesday will be back to it with Week 3!

I wanted to share the Half Marathon Playlist that I put together. I like to run to upbeat, top 40's songs, so this stuff is all pretty current. I will probably have 1 ear bud in, 1 out, as I expect the race course will be pretty rockin' ;)

Rockin & Rollin Playlist
Lady Gaga - Applause
Skrillix - Bangarang
James Blunt - Bonfire Heart
Ellie Goulding - Burn
Selena Gomez - Come & Get It
OneRepublic - Counting Stars
Katy Perry - Dark Horse
Selena Gomez - Love You Like a Love Song
Glee Cast - Make You Feel My Love
Katy Perry - Legendary Lovers
Eminem - Monster
Lady Gaga - Poker Face
Katy Perry - Roar
Lorde - Royals
Selena Gomez - Slow Down
Zedd - Spectrum
Katy Perry - Walking on Air
Calvin Harris - Thinking About You
Selena Gomez - Undercover
Avicii - Wake Me Up
Zedd - Clarity
Capital Cities - Safe and Sound
Calvin Harris - I Need Your Love

See ya from Vegas ;)

Sunday, November 10, 2013

2 New Goals

I have two new crazy goals I want to share with you all!

Being that this blog is healthy-focused, I figure that every post I write should be done while I am walking on my treadmill. I have a walking desk set up, and I always seem to forget about it, so I am now making the public statement that from here on out, all posts will be written only when I am walking! Hopefully that doesn't mean I fall off the face of the blog world haha :)

I want to run 100 1/2 marathons. Why 100 you ask?! Great question. I don't actually even know myself, but it would be a pretty cool statement to make.. "Oh you know.. I've run a hundred half marathons." BAD ASS. So far I have run 4... and it will be 5 on November 17th. I considered making the full marathon count as 2 haha, but I decided against it. Long ways to go, but thas ohkay ;)



Speaking of the half marathon I am going to participate in on the 17th. Yeah, I haven't trained for it. Like AT ALL. HAH! Oops. Mucho Fail-O on my part. Should be interesting, but I don't expect to beat any records, I might even set a record as slowest time to date!

Just a quick update: Jillian Michael's Body Revolution is going good! I plan to do updates when I am done each 2 week segment and post pictures at the end of each 30(ish) days. My program is a bit modified as I am using my soccer days as Cardio and taking a few days off around the half marathon, so it will extend it a bit to probably a 94 or 95 day program. I am really committed to going all the way with this one :)