Friday Faves

Happy Friday friends! I cannot begin to tell you how happy I am to see this day. The whole week has been pretty great actually, so let’s get down to some of my favorites.
This quote. Every. Single. Word. A few weeks ago, I was listening to the Another Mother Runner Podcast and they had Kristin Armstrong on discussing her essay in their new book, Tales from Another Runner Mother. She read part of her essay that unfortunately got edited out of the book, but I was able to find it on their blog. When Madelyn was born, I had a hard time mentally getting back into a routine. I felt guilty leaving to go on a run or take time away from her to go workout. I shortly realized that on the days I did workout, I was a more patient and energized mom. I realize that she’s only little for so long, but I truly believe that the best thing for your kids to see, is their mom taking time and taking care of herself. No mom should ever feel guilty or be made to feel guilty for taking some time away from her children to focus on herself. When I went back to work, my mom said something that stuck with me “It’s not about the quantity of time, but the quality.”
kristinarmstrongquoteSparkly Soul headbands. I won a free one via an Instagram giveaway!! These are by far the best headbands for my hair. I’ve tried a lot of them, but nothing stays put as well as a Sparkly Soul headband. I wore one while I ran my last Chicago marathon and I never had to adjust it. Pretty awesome.
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Madelyn’s reaction to having her first ever root beer float. Summer is officially upon us in Milwaukee!
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Unplugging for the week. I’m leaving for a trip up north with my girlfriends this weekend and then turning around and heading somewhere else for an anniversary/babymoon with hubs next week, so I’ll be (trying to anyway) shutting down social media and enjoying some time with some of my favorite people. I MAY stop in Monday morning for the results of that baby reveal party!!
Seeing this little face for the first time! I’m so excited to find out whether the baby is a boy or girl with all of our family on Sunday but I cannot wait to hold and kiss this sweet little face!
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What are you loving this week? I’d also like to add that TRICARE is now offering free breast pumps to expecting moms and coverage for breastfeeding supplies!! Winning!

Happy National Running Day

Happy National Running Day, which is followed by National donut day (Friday, June 5th) which I also plan on celebrating as well.

How did you celebrate the day? I headed down to the lakefront with a few of my favorite ladies for a little fun run followed by a burger from Kopp’s which I shared, along with a milkshake, with my peanut. It was the perfect way to kick off “summer”.

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To further celebrate this national day of awesomeness, I partnered up with Kristen from Jonesin’ for a Run to answer some interview questions regarding running.

  1. Why do you run? I run because I can. I run for my sanity after a stressful day. I run to be a more patient wife and mother. I run because I like pushing my body to the limit. I run to set a positive, healthy example for my young daughter. I run to feel strong. I run to set goals. I run because it’s therapy. I run because it’s my passion.
  2. How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? By running 3 miles with my mom and my daughter in tow, and celebrating with a cheeseburger afterward.
  3. How many miles have you run so far this year? 112 miles. Not too bad for finding out I was pregnant at the end of February.
  4. What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year? The biggest thing I’m training for this year will take place early to mid-November. Other than that, I’m just taking it month by month. Next weekend I’m running the Rock n Sole 5k in Milwaukee, Now I will have done every distance of that race which is kind of cool.
  5. Before I leave for a run you must have: My garmin forerunner. Headphones if I’m running alone. Sparkly Soul Headband (I’ve tried LOTS and these are the best) and or a visor/hat and sunglasses. And water. Always water.
  6. Do you have one favorite app to track your runs? Garmin Connect because it syncs up with my Vivofit and I can access it on my phone and computer very easily.
  7. Who is your favorite running partner? My one and only little love bug. And my mom. She keeps me motivated and provides me great conversation.
  8. What races have you ran so far this year? Next weekend will be my first one of the year so far. I’ve been a wimp during the cold winter months. June is usually the start of prime racing season for me in Wisconsin.
  9. If you had to give someone one piece of advice about running what would it be? Just have fun with it. It might suck at first, but fall in love with the feeling it gives you after. I’ve been running for years and I still have days where I feel “off”.
  10.  Describe your relationship with running in one word: Evolving.

How did you celebrate National Run Day? Anyone excited for National donut day?!?! I know this prego is!

Another Mother Runner Book Event

Happy Friday to meeee! I’m looking forward to a nice, extra long weekend filled with food, family and lots of fun. And of course yard work.
We are taking Madelyn to her first Brewer’s game on Monday. She has developed an obsession for Miller Park and the fact that the “Drewers” play baseball there. I hope she’s not disappointed when we get to Miller Park and realizes that it is indeed not the type of park she probably has in mind. We have really low expectations for how long we’re actually going to sit and watch the game. The other day we made it about 25 minutes into Frozen before wanting to move onto something else.
I swear she has ants in her pants. I chased her up and down a hill today and she cried when I told her it was time to leave. She was having the best time. I wish I shared in her love of running hills.
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My mom and I have a fun run planned on Saturday morning, which involves running followed by flapjacks! I know that if I make promises of pancakes after a run in the jogger, Madelyn will be a happy girl, as long as she has her “dip it” aka syrup.
On Wednesday, we went to a fun event at Performance Running Outfitters. They hosted Dimity McDowell from Another Mother Runner. It was a fun and very inspiring book event where Dimity along with two other essayists read from their new book, ‘Tales from Another Mother Runner.’
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It’s a collection of essays from mother runners and the two essayists that were there were absolutely wonderful. Both of their stories and experiences really hit home for me. The first essayist was Amy Bailey from Green Bay Wisconsin and she talked about her journey with running and food and what she does to stay motivated after you’ve logged all those miles and hours of training runs and then it’s just over. She reminded us all that it’s about the journey.
Amy
The second essayist was Heather Johnson Durocher who writes a blog at Michigan Runner Girl. She talked about running and about a dark time in her marriage in which I had tears in my eyes.
heatherBoth women were so real and I could relate to both of them. it’s refreshing to hear that you’re never alone in whatever it is you are going through.  It was a fun a event that kept my mom and me out way past our bedtime but it was completely worth it. We got a fun little good bag filled with running socks, GU, snacks and other fun goodies. Most importantly, the event got me even more excited about running and the community that comes along with it. I might not be training for any running event right now, but I’m still proud of what I can do. I also was reassured that I will slow down and I might even have to stop running altogether and that it’s okay. When I was pregnant with Madelyn, I decided to stop early on in my pregnancy because it felt weird and it was my first pregnancy and I didn’t know what I was capable of.
I’m so excited to read the rest of this book and write up a review on it. I highly recommend their other two books, Run Like a Mother and Train Like a Mother.
What’s your favorite running related book? What keeps you motivated to keep going on days you want stop? Anyone with a good mantra out there?
Also, head on over to Healthy Helper Blog for my featured guest post about barre & running! 

21 Day Sugar Detox Recap

Happy Monday friends! Where have I been you ask? It’s been a very eventful few weeks over here at our house, but mostly I’ve been busy whipping up some fantastic food in the kitchen! I love cooking and it’s nothing new to me, but making my own jerky, almond milk, ghee, and bone broth is totally uncharted territory. Those are staple items I usually buy, but since embarking on the 21 Day Sugar Detox (#21DSD), I’ve been getting a little bit more crafty in the kitchen. I never realized how much sugar they put in EVERYTHING! I could not find one single pasta sauce at Target that did not have added sugar. Cuh-razy!

So what is the 21DSD? It’s a program designed by nutritionist and New York Times best-selling author Diane Sanfilippo, BS, NC. It is, in her own words: “A clear-cut, effective, whole-foods-based nutrition action plan that will reset your body and your habits!” She starts the book off telling about her story and her relationship with sugar, then moves into why sugar is a problem (the refined, nutrient-poor carbs that cary calories but are totally void of nutrition) and how it effects a person’s body. I felt like I was reading an A&P book that actually made sense to me without having to really think about it. The program offers 3 different levels with modifications for athletes, pregnant/nursing moms, pescetarians, and people with autoimmune conditions. Based off of the results from the quiz that I took, I was best suited for level 3 with an energy modification. This meant no grains whatsoever and no dairy.

21dsdbook

What in the Why?!? Why would I ever think to do a sugar detox? Overall, I’m a fairly healthy eater. I try to eat as clean and whole-foods-based as possible and feed my family the same way. I ventured into the world of Paleo eating at the beginning of the summer and it worked out great for me. My skin cleared up without the help of topical solution, I had more energy, I leaned out, and I felt better overall. I kept it up pretty well, until I started logging very long marathon training miles and I thought I needed to “carb load” to keep me going. Initially, it started out only eating grains the night before long runs. I ran my marathon in October, celebrated with a deep dish pizza and beer, and since then I’ve gained back about 5 to 7 solid pounds. My mind knew that I couldn’t keep eating as much as I did while I was training, but my appetite was still in marathon mode. Then the holidays came around and I was consuming cocktails and cookies like nobody’s business.

cookies!HASHTAG, EatAllTheSugar.

The Prep. The key to a successful detox. After reading the guide and looking at the yes/no foods list, I got busy ridding our kitchen of any of the “NO” foods on the list.

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I kept Madelyn’s snacks but threw out anything that we weren’t supposed to eat. I ended up tossing a lot but it felt great to purge all the food that needed to go. I looked through the 21DSD guide and the cookbook and got busy planning meals for the week. For the first and second week I planned out every single meal. Normally, I plan out what we’re going to eat for dinner each week and that’s it. It’s normally fend for yourself for breakfast & lunch, but I knew that if I was going to keep this up and be successful I had to prep some other breakfast items besides just hardboiled eggs.

21dsdchalkboard

On the first Saturday before starting the detox, I cooked up a storm and prepped all breakfast items for the week. The egg muffins are so easy to make a freeze. Pop them into the microwave when you’re ready to eat. I made broth, beef jerky, almond milk, and buffalo chicken egg muffins.

21dsdprepI went through the cookbook and picked out the easiest/quickest meals to make for the week and saved the more time consuming recipes for the weekend. Who knew my oven could even make dinner on Friday nights? I also purchased some beef jerky from Steve’s Paleo Goods and can’t wait to buy some more paleo treats from them. The jerky was delicious and part of the proceeds go toward a wonderful cause. You can read about it here. I love supporting businesses with this kind of mission.

Another thing I did was purchase in bulk. In our first week, we went through so many nuts! The second week we went to Costco and purchased them in bulk and they have lasted us past the detox. So definitely get to a Sam’s or Costco and stock up! It will save you a lot of money and random trips to the grocery store.

I always had a snack with me at work so that when temptation hit, especially the first week coming back from the holidays, I was able to stick with the plan.

The Food. The food was nothing short of amazing. There was ONE recipe that sticks out in my mind that I wasn’t a huge fan of, but I think it may have been user error. I purchased The 21 Day Sugar Detox Guide along with cookbook. The cookbook wasn’t necessary to complete the program but I’m glad I purchased it because it came with recipes like this:

IMG_3213SUNBUTTER BROWNIES for the WIN! 

I only made two desserts in the whole 21 days and both were delicious. I’m looking forward to trying more, especially the macaroons. If you want to see more foodie pics, you can head over to my Instagram feed, I took a lot of them.

Eating Out. I ate out three times in the past three weeks. All three times have been for dinner and I planned out what I was going to eat ahead of time. The first Friday, my in-laws came in from out of town and wanted to go to a German restaurant called, Cafe Bavaria. I asked for the gluten-free menu and ordered from there. I had a bunless burger with all the toppings and asked for a side of sautéed asparagus instead of the salad. Luckily, hubs had to work that night, so he couldn’t have a beer even if he wanted one. The second time we ate out was the following Friday. I ordered my standard chicken salad with all the guac, no rice and no beans.

chipotle

My final meal out was our girls night dinner on Saturday. Just 1 day left before the detox ended, and I wanted a cocktail very badly with my friends. I ended up drinking club soda with muddled mint which was actually very refreshing and ordering a scallops entree and asking for a garlic butter sauce instead of the wine sauce that they originally had come with. I found that at all the restaurants, the waitstaff were very accommodating and really friendly about any questions or requests I had. Don’t be scared to eat out on the detox! Just look at the menu, plan ahead and stick to it. If you’re going to a place that has a bread basket, think of how you’re going to avoid it or better yet, just ask whoever you’re with if it’s okay that they don’t bring it. My in-laws ordered a giant pretzel when we were out and neither of us were even tempted to have any.

The Support. Everyday, I received an e-mail from Diane Sanfilippo with advice, motivation and a recipe to make if you weren’t following the book plan to a T. The 21DSD also offers online support for an additional purchase. I may look into next time around. There is also a Facebook group that goes along with every detox group. I was in the January 2015 group and the people in there were awesome. Anytime I had a question about something, I resorted to the group if I couldn’t find the answer in the book and someone there had it. I was one of the lucky ones who also had her husband along for the ride. I felt bad for so many women who had such unsupportive spouses and families. My mom and my sister also participated and we motivated each other along the way. They were ultra supportive when times got stressful and all I wanted to do was sit on my couch with a  glass of wine and my feet up. Madelyn ended up having to do an impromptu overnight stay at Children’s hospital and my lovely sister brought me all sorts of 21DSD snacks and meals I could eat while I was there. She’s pretty amazing.

Would I do it again?  ABSOLUTELY! And I would recommend it to anyone looking to eat better and feel better overall. Diane goes through a list of short term and long term side effects of sugar in her book and it’s astounding (memory loss, fatigue, mood swings, PCOS, infertility!). Today was 1 day post detox and I ate pretty much like I would have if I were still doing the detox. I did have a handful of animal crackers while I was giving Madelyn her snack today. Not a ton of sugar in the serving, but my stomach hated me afterward anyway. I’m guessing it was the gluten. I had some ginger tea and I felt a little better. Definitely not worth it, especially for animal crackers.

The detox is NOT A WEIGHT-LOSS plan!! It’s clearly meant to reset your body, habits and taste-buds. With that being said, I was hoping that I’d lose some weight along with inches, especially with how much I work out. I lost 8lbs and an inch and a half off my waist. Hubs lost 7 pounds. But overall, I feel great. For the first time in forever, I haven’t had to snooze my alarm clock which is huge for me! I used to be that girl that would have to set her alarm early just so I could get out of bed on time. I still set it for the same time, now I just have more time to get myself together in the morning instead of feeling rushed. I’ve decided to get back to a more paleo way of eating with the exception of my few glasses of wine per week. I feel great eating real food and it’s the first eating plan where I lost weight naturally. I love it and I feel great! I high recommend doing the 21DSD, it will change your body and the way you think about food.

2013 In Review

2013 was a BIG year over here.  Lots of fun & exciting things happened this year and it will be a tough one to beat.  But I have high hopes for 2014 :-)

Here are some of the highlights for 2013.

Bought a house
home

-Surprised my mom with a special military homecoming 

Got a green thumb & started growing stuff

-signed up for my First Marathon & decided to fundraise with Team Salute

-Survived my first deployment away from Madelyn & explored Hawaii and Guam 

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-Drank our way through Michigan Wine Country…we’re due back soon!

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-Celebrated 1 year with our little love bug

-Ran my 4th half marathon and earned a PR

PRZooma

-Completed my dream of running the Chicago Marathon.  I’m still in awe of this race.

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Like I said, 2013 was a big year but I’m looking forward to all that 2014 has to bring :-)

What was the most exciting thing you did or accomplished this year?  

I’d have to say that the Chicago marathon takes the cake.  This race will always hold a special place in my heart.

Turkey Chili

As I sit here and write this blog post, I’m waiting for two dozen cookies to cool off so that I can throw them away.  cookiefailHashtag cookiefail.  I will be the first to admit, a baker I am not.  If you look at the top of the page and scroll over “Recipes”, you will see very little under the desserts section.  Cookie baking has never been my thing.  Cookie eating on the other hand?  Well, that’s a different story.  It’s probably a blessing that I’m not great at baking cookies.  On Monday, I tried out a new cookie recipe and they turned out fabulously!  And on the first try too!  The only problem with them was, they were a little crumbly.  So this time around I added more butter and, well?  Not so good.  For the next batch I added a little less butter and a tad bit more C4C flour and they’re looking much better.

As much as I enjoy being in the kitchen,  cooking is more of my thing.  The star entree of the week has been the turkey chili that hubs requested for Monday.  It was a definitely a chili kind of day…14 degrees?  That calls for chili.  I was browsing recipes online and either we didn’t have the right kind of peppers or it didn’t sound good to me.  So I decided to “wing it” and see what happens.  Verdict? So good, the recipe is worth sharing :-)  I was successful at something this week!

Turkey Chili
Ingredients

  • 3lbs ground turkey meat
  • 1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Chili seasoning
  • 2 Tbsp Cumin
  • 2 heads of garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper chopped
  • 1 green bell pepper chopped
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 3 15oz. cans tomato sauce
  • 2 15oz cans kidney beans
  • 2 15 oz cans pinto beans

Directions
Place ground turkey in a stock pot and brown the turkey.  Season it with italian seasoning and chili powder.  Add in the garlic, onion, and peppers.  Stir until soften.  Add the rest of the ingredients.  Bring to a boil and then place on simmer for about 45 minutes.  You can choose to garnish it with cheese and sour cream if you wish.  We tried a little bit of gorgonzola and it was amazing!

turkeychili

I’m off to finish the rest of my cookie baking!  Wish me luck, I’ll be needing it ;-)

Special shout out!  I’d like to thank the peeps over at For Two Fitness for making me a brand ambassador.  I am honored :-) I am a HUGE advocate for exercise, especially when growing a little bambino (IF okayed by your doctor of course!).  I sported their super cute and comfy exercise tops while I was pregnant with Madelyn and will be proud to put back on my “Sweating for Two” when the time is right ;-) Head over to their website and purchase something for that pregnant person you know in your life or for yourself!

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WOAH BELLY!!!!