Grace Not Perfection

Happy New Year!  I just know 2020 is going to be an awesome year.

Ron and I started the new year off with a 5k.  It was called the Commitment Day 5k and was a super way to kick off the year.  The weather was a little chilly but oh so beautiful.  The course was mostly flat and went through a pretty green-way and also on some sidewalks and roads in Cary, NC.

Ron and Mel Commitment Day 5k

All smiles at the start!

Ron

Coming in Strong!

 

Mel

I swear, I am running here at the finish. I have no idea why it looks like I am walking! LOL

Our times were 38:12 and 39.08 with me scooting in just a little bit ahead of Ron this time.

After the race we came home and I felt so energized all day.  We got the Christmas decorations down and put away and lots of other household chores.

The theme for the race was #onepositiveaction.  It really is amazing how one little thing can set you up for many more positive steps throughout your day.  Making my breakfast and lunches ahead of time is something that I have been doing for years and years and if I I miss this step, my week really can take such a negative turn.  I end up tempted to go to fast food restaurants and even if I do choose a grocery store or a healthier restaurant, I usually eat more and spend way more money.

So, here’s a breakdown of my my breakfast and lunches.

I used to make overnight oats but now, I’m hooked on smoothies.  I was hesitant at first about making smoothies ahead but they really have mostly the same ingredients as overnight oats and I figured they’d work out okay.  I’ve tried it for about a month and the last smoothie is as good as the first so I’m confident I’m going to be okay.  The silly reason I’ve started doing this is that I hate getting the flax seeds stuck in my teeth.  Flax seeds are so beneficial so I don’t want to give them up.  With smoothies, they don’t get stuck!

And here’s my lunches.  It is always a Hugh Jass Salad!

20191231_141832

Peppers, onions, and cucumbers. The apple there is only for one salad. I don’t prep those ahead.

20191231_141839

Celery, beans, carrots, tomatoes

20191231_141853

Spring Mix and Kale mix

20191231_143440

Don’t they look pretty!

20191231_143455

Ready to chop!

20191231_145051

Oops, forgot some herbs!

20191231_145455

Now all chopped up! I’ve timed it and this salad is a commitment in itself.  Takes me about 30 minutes to eat this!

So there you go.  There’s my positive actions that I try to do every week.  I don’t get bored at all and rarely deviate from these basic ingredients.  I do want to add some micro greens to the salads and I need to get my booty in gear and plant some.

My biggest goal of the year is to go SOS.  Salt, Oil, and Sugar free.  I first heard of this method of weight loss from Chef AJ and I do believe it is a very healthy way of life.  I’m a self-confessed salt-a-holic and I’m pretty sure I’m addicted to sugar as well.  Well I did okay on January 1 and 2 but by the 3rd I decided to add just a little Earth Balance to my rice noodles.   Then my hand reached for the salt shaker.  Before the night was over I had 2 handfuls of vegan chocolate chips!  I was sad yes but I didn’t throw in the towel and granted myself grace.  I’ve been hearing about Grace Not Perfection lately and it may be my 2020 mantra!

What positive actions are you taking for 2020?  I pray you grant yourself grace when you need it.

xxoo,

Melissa

The Return to Vegetarianism

 

A few weeks ago in our Run for God class we were talking about nutrition and foods that were great for runners.  I was all excited and really loved our topic.  I told everyone of oats and smoothies and quinoa.  I told them of sweet potatoes, peanut butter, spinach, kale, and hummus.  I told them that I was a vegetarian for 10 months but that now I was a flexitarian.  My good friend and fellow Run for God runner, Jason, asked me if I felt better now that I was eating meat.  I was speechless.  Do I feel better now that I ate meat?  No, as a matter of fact I don’t.

I did give the disclaimer that I wasn’t sure if it was the fact that I was running like crazy during the 10 months that I was a vegetarian that really made me feel better.  After thinking on it more, I’ve realized that what I was eating was the main reason I felt so much better.

So tonight I whirled up my favorite after run snack.  A green monster!  This one had skim milk, vanilla protein powder, one banana, and a couple of handfuls of spinach.  Friends, this smoothie was as good as any vanilla milkshake.  So delicious!

I’m also so excited that I’ll be able to wear my No Meat Athlete shirt again.

Getting back to my old self…..   Smoothies, long runs, and this weekend I can’t wait to run The Flying Pirate 5k and half marathon.

Happy times ahead!

 

 

 

 

I am blown away!

Last Thursday and Friday I worked in Wilmington with an awesome group of people.  At lunch I was sitting in the breakroom eating my meal and two of my friends came in with their’s.  Mike had an wonderful looking spinach salad from the cafeteria and Dustin had an equally great looking salad even though his had mostly iceburg lettuce and no dark greens.  I teased Dustin and told him that a salad was great but that he needed to darken it up a bit.  He reached over and got one of Mike’s spinach leaves and gave it a try and said it was like eating dandelion leaves.

Well, whenever you talk to me about spinach, the conversation quickly rolls around to a spinach smoothie.  I told them both about how I make smoothies all the time and throw a couple of handfuls of spinach in for good health.

Here are pictures of some of my green smoothies:

Then it wasn’t long before I began singing the praises of my pumpkin smoothies:

What blew me away was when I got in on Friday morning, look what Dustin and Mike whirled up!

 They had taken the time to go out and get the almond milk, the canned pumpkin, the cinnamon, the nutmeg, the blender, and the ice.  All we were missing was the frozen banana for some sweetness.

They both tried one and I can’t say that the loved them as much as me but I think they were open to the idea of all the healthy benefits.  Remember….pumpkin is a cancer preventer!

I talk health, happiness, and the love of Jesus everywhere I go but this is the very first time something like this has happened!  So impressed by their generosity and sense of adventure.

The other thing that has blown me away was the super turn out to our Run for God small group that started last night.  I was expecting maybe 15 people but we ended up with 26!  And 6 more that are interested but were unable to attend the first meeting.

I am so happy that God is allowing me to use my passion for running to His glory!

During my testimony time at our meeting, I was telling about how deep in the summer before my first marathon I had an epiphany.  Water was not merely something that I had to drink 8 glasses of for weight loss.  Water was hydration!  Food was not just something that I enjoyed but it was FUEL and I had to choose wisely so I could have optimal performance on my long runs.  Good hydration and good fuel would help me to prevent injury.

The epiphany continued when I realized that reading the Bible and spending time in prayer were not something that I had to do to be a good Christian.  These things were what I needed to help me have a better “run” with Jesus.  They would prevent the enemy from coming after me.  Now I’m not saying that everyone that has a strong relationship with Jesus would live a trouble-free life.  We’ll just be able to have peace and handle the situations better.

We’ll anyway, to make a long story short, today a new friend called me and told me that those words inspired her.    She told me that she Googled food in the Bible and this verse came up:

1 Corinthians 10:31

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”

I was tearing up as she spoke to me.

I praise God for my good health and am so happy that he is using me to His glory.

I am blown away!

Goodnight Friends

6-5-4-3-2-1

6 chilly, sunset miles

5 yoga poses

4 favorite runner’s stretches

3 parts to my healthy green smoothie:  banana, Vega protein powder, almond milk.

2 many sweet potato chips consumed!

1 happy, stress free, servant of the LORD ready to take on the week

 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

 

Here are some great yoga poses for runners.   I focused on these five this evening:  butterfly, wide angle forward fold, cow-face fold, child’s pose, and leg up the wall.

Here’s a great video with runner’s stretches.  I focused on the calf, ITB, inner thigh, and hip flexor.

Oh, and all Ron does for these awesome sweet potato chips is slice them really thin in the food processor, deep fry them, and then sprinkle on salt and rosemary.  They are way too good!

Happy Sunday Everyone!  Hope you all have a great week.

What GOD wants for Christmas

Wow!  What a Spectacular Sunday I’ve had.  Hope you had a great one too!

The best news of the day was I got all the Christmas decorations up and all the boxes put back  in the shed.

Thank you so much to Lydia and neighbor, Brittany, for helping!

And…Lydia and Brittany did a tree for Lydia’s room too.  Isn’t it cute?

Woohoo!  Now I just get to sit back and enjoy it until New Year’s Day.  That’s the Cupit family tradition.  Everything out the weekend after Thanksgiving and then packed back up on New Year’s Day.  Love it!

In other good news, I ran another 33 minute 3 miler.  Tonight’s wasn’t as hard as it has been lately.  And, when I got back in, I even did an exercise video.  I looked for Jillian Michaels’, 30 Day Shred but I think I remember that Andie has it down in Wilmington.  So, Slim in Six it was.  The Start It Up workout is only 24 minutes long.  Being a long distance runner, I’ve gotten into the mentality that I can take anything for that short of an amount of time.  It was hard but doable.  I love that it has the countdown time clock on the side of the screen.  I peeked ahead and the next workout is the Ramp It Up workout and it is 47 minutes long.  That’s gonna be a little tougher.  There’s even a Burn It Up workout but I didn’t look ahead on that one so I have no idea what it’s going to be like.  My goal is to keep with it all through the holidays.

Here’s another of my new Bondi Bands.  Gotta love this one for all us slow runners out there.

Next on the good news front was Ron’s declaration to make every one of Mama Pea’s recipeas in the Peas and Thank You cookbook.   http://peasandthankyou.com/     Hey, I’m all for it.  I’ll gladly clean the bathroom, vacuum, and do laundry while he cooks.

Here’s tonight’s entrée:  Pea Daddy’s Jambalaya

It was out of this world delicious!

For dessert, I whipped up another pumpkin pie monster.

My friends, that’s a 140 calorie jar of heaven you’re looking at.  If you haven’t tried it yet, please just do it.  All you do is take 1 cup of almond milk, ½ can of pumpkin, a couple of handfuls of ice, a sprinkle of ginger, a sprinkle of nutmeg, and a couple of sprinkles of cinnamon and then blend it up.  So indulgent.  So healthy.  So delicious.   (origianl inspiration for this monster here  http://ohsheglows.com/2010/09/27/pumpkin-pie-monster-and-over-baked-apples/)

Now to end with the best news of the day.

I attended my church, Mt. Zion United Methodist http://mountzion-umc.org/  , today and our pastor kicked off the “What GOD wants for Chirstmas” sermon series.  You see, GOD, doesn’t “need” anything and you might think that puts HIM in the impossible to get for gift category.  Not so.  He very clearly tells us what he wants.

“Go into all the world and preach the Good News to everyone.  Anyone who believe and is baptized will be saved.  But anyone who refuses to believe will be condemned.”  Mark 16 15-16 (NLT)

Our pastor pointed out that not all of us can become missionaries in far away lands.  However, we all can pray for the gospel to go out.  We can give support to the ministries that share the good news. And we can carry the message of salvation with us wherever we go.

Our church challenged us to re-think Christmas with alternative giving opportunities.  You can choose from many different organizations.  Here are a few that you might consider:

Samaritan’s Purse  http://www.samaritanspurse.org/

Gospel for Asia  http://www.gfa.org/

World Vision  http://www.worldvision.org/

and

ZOE Ministry   http://www.zoeministry.org/

Since Ron and I have been working on the Dave Ramsey program, we each have what we call our “blow money.”  We each have our envelopes of money that is all our own after we have set aside our giving and all our money that is going to work our debt snowball.  We can use our “blow money” any way we want and we don’t have to feel guilty about whatever we choose.  The only problem for me is that I do feel guilty.  I can’t believe all this “blow money” that I have been, well, blowing!

We have two more paychecks before Christmas and I have decided that I am going to use a portion of my “blow money” to buy a goat ($60) and 6 chickens ($10 ea) for ZOE ministry.  I am so excited I can hardly stand it.

What are you getting for JESUS this year?

Goodnight friends!

Thanksgiving 2011

I did get in a little Turkey Trot around the neighborhood and sported another of my new Bondi Bands.

It’s my favorite one!

I only ran 3 miles but I did a lot of thinking in those 36 minutes.  My fastest times always averaged 11 minutes per mile and today’s was only 3 minutes slower.  However, I just felt terrible.  My legs felt like lead.  I’ve been fighting so hard to get my running mojo back every since last March’s marathon and it’s just not happening.  Why!?  I’m putting in the mileage.  It’s not getting me anywhere though.  What I deduced is that I’ve got to drop these extra 20 pounds that I gained over the summer somehow.  I’ve got to really focus on my cross training as well.

When I got back in, I made this beautiful pumpkin pie monster and did 30 minutes of yoga.

In the mix:

1 cup almond milk, 1/2 can pumpkin, 1 small banana, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and ice cubes

I got busy cooking after all of that and we had all of the girls’ favorites:

Ham, broccoli casserole, corn pudding, deviled eggs, and mashed potatoes

pumpkin and pecan pies

Since it was late in the afternoon before we sat down to eat, everyone was starved and I knew pictures would not be looked upon favorably.  I didn’t even try.

I did get one good shot of Andie, Jonathan, and Mason however.

I didn’t limit myself today but tomorrow I’m really going to count my calories and focus on dropping this weight.  When I lost it last time I wasn’t even trying.  I just ran and it melted off.  This time, something is different.  I’m running but the running isn’t getting any easier and I’m not losing any weight at all.  I might go back to a vegetarian diet too.  Since I went back to eating meat, I’ve gotten really slack.  Remember all those egg and cheese biscuits I used to get if I had to drive somewhere far for work?  Well now they are often sausage biscuits and sometimes even my favorite Cajun filet chicken biscuits from Bojangles.  I’ve also gotten really loose with my Ben and Jerry’s addiction.  Green monsters?  Not once a day anymore.  They are more like once a week.  This.has.got.to.change.

After cleaning the kitchen, Ron and I were classic couch potatoes.  We watched not one but two movies on demand.  The first one was Larry Crowne.  I liked it.  The second one was Captain America.  I liked it too.

Tomorrow will be continuing to clean and do laundry and then decorate for Christmas.

Goodnight Friends!

Real Fast Food

Just a quick post to show you some smoothie pictures.  It’s been a while since I have posted any but this week, I’ve really gotten back in the habit.

I had this one after a 4 miler this week and those frozen peaches were awesome!

Here’s what they look like in the Vitamix.

And here it is all blended up.

Here I am.  One happy runner.

And you want to see a picture of Real Fast Food?  Here you go.

Steamed kale, quinoa, chick peas in spaghetti sauce, all covered with parmesan cheese.  Looks disgusting but tastes so good!

Goodnight Friends!  Hope everyone has an awesome Friday.  I”ll have a surprise for you this Sunday.  Hint…it involves something old and very reliable.