Fun Runs!

Last Wednesday night I went to Fleet Feet Sports in Raleigh and participated in a fun run and then got to listen to Matt Frazier from No Meat Athlete.  It was so much fun and he even autographed his book for me.

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Matt is a very inspiring person and I just love his blog.  I’ve been reading it for over 4 years and I take away a lot of ideas that he posts.  I love all the recipes but most of all, I love his tips.  Want to start a good habit?  Matt says to come up with a trigger.  For me I have always wanted to floss my teeth every night but I never could get disciplined enough to follow through for more than a week or so.  Now, my trigger is so ingrained in my head, I hardly ever miss.  Before I go to bed, I wash my face, take my vitamins, and brush and floss my teeth.  That’s my trigger.  I can’t take my vitamins without grabbing my floss too.

If you haven’t checked out nomeatathlete.com, please do.  Its so good!

Getting back to the fun run at Fleet Feet,  I was a nervous wreck beforehand.  Ron wasn’t able to go with me and a friend of mine ended up having another commitment.  I had to go alone.  I didn’t want to miss Matt so I forced myself to go.  I was so scared.  Yes I’m 48 years old and yes I know runners are very friendly.  However, I am horrible in social settings!  I was very close to giving up and going home.  It was bad.

However, once I got in the store, I met Mia.  She smiled and we started talking right away.  Then she introduced me to her friend Jill and before you knew it I felt like I was part of the gang.  On our run I even ran alongside Matt for a little while.  How cool was that!?

Before the night was over, Mia and Jill invited me to The Ugly Sweater fun run at Capital Run Walk.  That run was tonight and boy oh boy was it fun!  My friend, Jordan, who I met when I volunteered at the City of Oaks marathon was there and she was with another friend.  Her friend ended up being someone that I ran Medoc with last year.  I ran with them and loved catching up on on their running adventures.

After the run there were refreshments and the star of the night, a huge raffle!  You got 10 tickets just for coming and participating in the Ugly Sweater fun run.  I didn’t have a sweater but I snagged this cute t-shirt from Wally World.

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Not sure if was the lucky grandma shirt or my new running skirt that brought me luck but I won the raffle!

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Can you believe that!  Brooks are my very favorite shoes and I needed a new pair desperately.

Just as we were all getting ready to head home, Mia started telling me about a glow run at Fleet Feet coming up next week.  Then Jill smiled and said that I might better not come after all.  I was too lucky on only my 2nd fun run ever and my first fun run with Capital Run Walk.  Smile

So what did I learn from all of this?  There really is something to Eleanor Roosevelt’s quote, “Do one thing every day that scares you.”  Look at all the happiness that has come my way just by sucking it up and walking in the door!

Happy Running Friends!

PS.  I forgot to mention that Whole Foods provided the refreshments at the No Meat Athlete run last week.  I hated almond butter!  I know it is so healthy and I have tried a couple of times to like it but I just couldn’t.  However, a very sweet Whole Foods person was serving us our choice of several different snacks.  One was some crackers and avocados, another were some nuts and something else, but the last one was dried apricots and almond butter.  I chose the latter and now I can report that I am a convert!  They are the bomb!  A perfect after run snack!

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Is 11:00 too late for a snack?!  Yeah I think so too but now I’ve got to have some.  Kitchen pantry here I come.  Yummo!

What a Difference a Day Makes!

Yesterday I was in a funk.  I’m not sure what the real problem was but nothing was going right. 

I felt sad.  I couldn’t focus.  I felt fat.  Worthless.  Just plain terrible. 

Today, I felt better and was ashamed of how I felt yesterday. 

I decided that I had to take some steps to help me stay on track and not go down that self pity trail again.

I never go out to lunch.  Practically never.  I am very frugal and take my lunch almost every single day.  It’s usually leftovers, or tuna, a piece of fruit, …. things like below.

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However, today I had to drive to another site and I passed by one of my favorite lunch spots.  I never stop.  But today I did!

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Feast your eyes on the Bruegger’s Bagel Bakery Leonardo da Veggie®

Light herb garlic cream cheese, red peppers, muenster cheese, lettuce, tomato & red onion all on top a crunchy but soft Asiago Parmesan bagel.

And you see that Snapple there.  I never get a drink.  It’s always a cup of water for me.  But today I did.  I got this Snapple in honor of Cheryl Strayed and her book Wild.  Cheryl hiked the Pacific Coast Trail and her book is all about her life and the adventure.  I loved it!  And now, every time I see a Snapple, I think of Cheryl and how much she wanted a Snapple when she got to a wayside store off the trail and barely had enough money to buy one.

My next lunchtime stop was at Whole Foods.  A lot of people make jokes about how over the top Whole Foods is but I still love it.  I was there to get some Cacao powder and some spaghetti squash.  I heard about a recipe for chia seed pudding and I was dying to make it for Mason.  I had the chia seeds but I needed the cacao powder.

While I was at Whole Foods I splurged and got 3 other items.

This little organic date bar for my lunchtime dessert.

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They are my absolute favorite.  You can find them in the bulk bins and this one was only 32 cents.  You’ve got to try them.  So yummy!  (The code 5450 is the number you write on the bag for these dates so the cashier will know what to charge you.)

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I got this $4.99 bouquet of flowers for my desk.  Aren’t they lovely?

And, this hand sanitizer.

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I needed some and I love the spray kind.  When I saw the lavender on the bottle I just had to get it in honor of my new book I’m reading, What Alice Forgot.  I’m only a few chapters in so far and I can already tell this is going to be a wonderful read!  (Alice mentions lavender and romanticized it so much it sold me.)

Then on my way home from work, I continued on in my splurging and strayed into Starbucks.  I never go to Starbucks.  But today I did.  I read Pour Your Heart Into It a while back and Howard Schultz was so inspiring.  My barista  today was talking to me about having only 10 minutes left on her shift and then she was off to her 2nd job.  She loved Starbucks but her passion was coaching volleyball.  Passion.  She exuded passion.  I want that passion! 

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One tall Pumpkin Spice Latte PleaseSmile

Once I was home, I made one of Andie’s favorite dinners.  Spaghetti squash.  Those are real meatballs on top this time.  (We usually do veggie meatballs but we had these on hand from when Lydia wanted meatball subs the other week.)  The okra on the side was a purchase from the Farmer’s Market.  I didn’t bread it this time and just stir fried it in a little coconut oil.  Man were they delicious!  I’m going back tomorrow for some more!

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Lastly, I’m swaying back away from the full marathon again.  I want to do one again but I want to do better.  I know I can cover the 26.2 miles with relatively no problems.  What I know my body isn’t capable of doing right now is running a sub 4:30 marathon and that is my goal.  I’m signed up for 2 half marathons coming up soon and I’m really excited.  I’m going to hold off on a full until I meet these standards regularly.

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There we go.  It’s official.  The goals are written down and on my bulletin board.  Now to put in the work and do it!

I have a file in my email labeled “Inspiration” and I often look through it when I need a pick me up.  Today I found the 45 point email below.  It’s one of those forward me emails that I never forward but I really love getting.

I had tears in my eyes as I was reading it. 

Life is really short.  I embraced it today.  I can’t splurge like I did today all the time but I’m going to try and budget some wiggle room in now and then and try to do more of the things I love.  

Hope everyone has a Happy Week!

 

Adapted from an article written by Regina Brett, 90 years old.

1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

2. When in doubt, just take the next small step.

3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. Change the way you
think.

4. Your job won’t take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and
family will.  Stay in touch.

5. Pay off your debts / credit cards every month..

6. You don’t have to win every argument. Agree to disagree.

7. Cry with someone. It’s more healing than crying alone.

8. Release your children when they become adults, its their life now.

9. Save for retirement starting with your first pay cheque.

10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile.

11. Make peace with your past so it won’t screw up the present.

12. It’s OK to let your children / parents see you cry.

13. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their
journey is all about.

14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn’t be in it.

15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

16. Take a deep breath It calms the mind.

17. Get rid of anything that isn’t useful, beautiful or joyful.

18. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

19. It’s never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is
up to you and no one else.

20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don’t take no
for an answer.

21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy pajamas.
Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

22. Just because you believe you are right, doesn’t mean you are.
Keep an open mind.

23. Be eccentric now. Don’t wait for old age to wear purple.

24. The most important organ is the brain.

25. No one is in charge of your happiness but you.

26. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ‘In five years, will
this matter?

27. Always choose life.

28. Forgive everyone everything.

29. What other people think of you is none of your business.

30. Time heals almost everything. Give time time.

31. However good or bad a situation is, it will change.

32. Don’t take yourself so seriously. No one else does.

33. Believe in miracles.

34. When children become adults…Your job is to love your children, not
choose who they should love.

35. Don’t audit life. Show up and make the most of it now.

36. Growing old beats the alternative — dying young.

37. Your children get only one childhood. Allow them to have one.

38. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved.

39. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere.

40. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else’s, we’d
grab ours back.

41. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need.

42. The best is yet to come…

43.. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up, and show up.

44. Yield..

45. Life isn’t tied with a bow, but it’s still a gift.”

Happy Happy Happy

Just popping in to say hi!  I feel so great and so productive.

I took Kitty to get her rabies shot today at the shelter.  (They were having a free event.)

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Next, Ron, Lydia, and I went to Benson Park for a gorgeous 3 mile run.  (Lydia will not ever let me take pictures of us running.)

Then, we went to Remedy Diner for brunch.

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Ron had “No Huevos” Rancheros.

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And Lydia and I both had a Breakfast Burrito.

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(We each order out own but I only snapped one picture as they were identical.)

As usual, Ron enjoyed some local beers for his treat and Lydia and I hit the vegan dessert menu.

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So papilla Cheesecake for Lyds and Peanut Chocolate Pie for me.

If you’ve never been to Remedy, you have to try it!

Now we’re off to REI.  Ron has a $48 dividend check and a 20% off coupon that is burning a hole in his pocket.

Happy Happy Happy!

Why I became a vegetarian and why I’ve gone back to being a meat eater:

About a year and a half ago, I started running.  I also started trying to eat healthier.  My sister, Rosa, had lost a lot of weight on a Real Food diet just before her wedding and she inspired me to try to eat better.

She didn’t go on this diet to lose weight.  She wanted to try to become
healthier.  The weight loss was a happy side effect.  She taught me a few things
to make and I swear we totally lived on those couple of items for months.  We ate zucchini spaghetti, bean burgers, rice and beans, and humus wraps again and again.

She had been after me to make acorn squash so I thought I’d give it a try.  The only problem was that after I bought one, I didn’t even know how to cut it.
I couldn’t get Rosa on the phone to give me the directions so I decided
to Google it.  That’s when I found the Healthy Living Blog, Kath Eats Real Food.
(www.katheats.com)

Not only did I find out how to make acorn squash at Kath Eats, after going back to that site time and time again, I kept finding many healthy recipes.    Kath’s site led me to
Healthy Tipping Point, Oh She Glow, Daily Garnish, and No Meat Athlete.  I became a blogaholic.  The whole family was trying all different sorts of foods and I was thriving.

Also during this time I was doing a lot of driving and I had to pass many livestock farms.  I could barely pass a truck of chickens or pigs without almost wrecking.  It broke my heart.  And that is what did it for me.  One day I was stuck in traffic right beside a
truck full of pigs and one of them had his leg hanging out of the truck.  He was just laying there on his side and sorta smiled at me.  I became a vegetarian for ethical reasons.  I didn’t want to hurt animals anymore.

I was also very happy about all the health benefits of eating plants but that was not the main reason for my change.  It was the killing issue.

Plants and I became best friends.  I lost 30 pounds and ran two marathons, two half marathons and one sprint triathlon.

About this time, I watched (well sort of watched….I couldn’t watch some of the horrors) the movie Food Inc.  I had never in my wildest dreams realized what was going on in the meat packing industry.  What they do to cows is unthinkable.  And Smithfield’s  Pork processing plant.  Inconceivable!

I also started seeing many reports about the dangers of too much soy.  I had learned to love tofu and I got so scared.

Then I read that it was the meat packing lobbyist that were behind the soy scare and soy was perfectly safe.  I didn’t know what to think!

You can literally find hundreds of arguments on both sides of the fence.  Scads of people touting the benefits of plants and then just as many telling you the benefits of meat in
moderation.  My head was spinning.

You would think that all those movies and articles would strengthen my decision to be a veggie.  But it didn’t.  Each time I would read one article, I’d read another article on the other side of the argument.

I had also tried to give up coffee several million times to no avail.  Then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

ALL THINGS IN MODERATION.

One cup of coffee a day isn’t going to kill me.  And I love it!  There is nothing in this world better than a hot cup of joe on a cold early morning.  Salmon is so very healthy for you.  And so is beef.  I need the iron so badly!

What I’m going to do is continue on with all my vegetarian dishes that I have grown to love and occasionally have meat.  Since I will only have meat every now and then, I can afford to purchase from local, humanely treated, organic sources.  Whole Foods will be my main store but I will continually try to locate other sources.

I might sign up for another marathon and I ‘m so interested in seeing if eating meat makes any difference in my training.

(Should I do this one again?)

I’ll keep you updated on the progress and any new recipes I come across.

Happy Running (and biking and swimming).  Happy Cooking!

Goodnight Friends!

Blackie

We have a very overgrown gardenia bush right outside our kitchen window.  So overgrown in fact that some of the branches are touching the window itself.  I was heading out to do some trimming one day not too long ago only to be stopped in my tracks.  A cardinal was busily making a nest.  I couldn’t disturb her now.

The weeks went by and we saw the eggs.  We knew it wouldn’t be long until they hatched. 

Lo and behold one day there they were.  The mommy and the daddy were bringing the babies bites to eat.

As we sat down as a family for Easter dinner, we were rewarded with seeing the baby cardinals fed again.  They were getting so big.  Ron commented that one of them that was getting very close to the edge of the nest better not fall out or one of our dogs would likely gobble them up.

Later that evening afternoon, Lydia had completed her traditional Easter Bunny Cake.  We didn’t have all the normal decorations for whiskers and the like but it looked wonderful just the same.  She held the cake up and I got my camera. 

 This is when Lydia SCREAMED!

A black snake had climbed up the bush and was circling the nest.  And remember that gardenia bush is VERY, VERY close to the window.  Well needless to say I did what any mother would do when her child was frightened.  I comforted her and explained the circle of life.  NOT!  I high tailed it out of the kitchen like lightening and contemplated finding something very tall to climb on. 

Lydia, however, stayed and examined the snake closely from inside the window.  She told me that he was not sporting a bulge of any kind and was just in the bush waiting.  Could the birds have learned to fly just in time? 

We can only hope and pray!

Several hours later, Ron was outside near his shed.  He had gone to work and was just getting back.  I went to the side window that looks directly at Ron’s shed and opened it and proceeded to recount our epic tale.  I noticed that Ron wasn’t paying attention to me and was looking very quizzical at the ground.  When I asked him what was up, he said, “Two mice just ran by.”  Now mind you, this is still in broad day light.  What in the world could make mice come out in the daytime?

A SNAKE.  We hope anyway.  We never saw the mice again or the snake but it is my hope that is exactly what happened.

THE END!

Hello world!

Hello everyone,

I’ve been an avid reader of blogs since my good friend and neighbor, Lorie, gave me a Pioneer Woman cookbook for Christmas 2009.  Of couse I knew they existed out there, but I never really followed a blog until PW.  Then, early in 2010, I started running and eating healthier.  I googled “how to cook an acorn aquash” and found Katheats.com.  I’ve been hooked ever since.  Now I’m just another green monster drinking, oatmeal eating, running grandma to be.  I’ve always had an interest in photography too so starting my own blog seemed like the right thing to do.

I hope you enjoy my adventures as I strive to find balance in all my life endeavors….one spinach leaf at a time.

Yours truly,

Melissa