Friday, September 20, 2013

Loving my BibFOLIO from Gone For a Run!

I received a package from Gone For a Run recently and was pleasantly surprised to review what I found in it! Yes, I was expecting a BibFOLIO in it, but not a BibFOLIO like this!

There are two rings (not shown) that
you attach to the top!

This BibFOLIO is made from hand-finished wood and is very easy to attach your race bibs into. It measures 9.5" X 8". You can even personalize it with your name or message. I especially loved the cute, inspirational running bag it came with!

Personally, I have never saved my running bibs (until now), but I also did not have this functional, organized BibFOLIO. It would look perfect as a conversational piece sitting on a coffee table. Also, I find it extremely motivational and inspirational when I view it! It would be especially great to see on those days when we don't feel like completing that run we know we need!

If you would like to view more of the products that Gone For a Run has click ~here~. They have so many great products that I can't wait to order something else! Hint: We will be having a Gone For a Run Giveaway soon, too! My Christmas Wish list includes a running medal hanger and a pony tail hat in case any of you have the direct line to Santa.

Until next time...I am Gone For a Run!


Thursday, September 19, 2013

Parenting Is Hard, Stop Judging Already

I came across, in my opinion, a brilliantly written blog post about parenting. I posted it on our Facebook page but you can also check it out here. Anyway, it talks about how parents are sometimes put in difficult situations with a child having a meltdown during which the situation is often compounded by people staring or even making unnecessary comments. Parenting is hard, no one is perfect at it and all children are different so what works for some may not work for others. Really, that's it. Broken down in the simplest explanation. Yet, still there are people who have a difficult time grasping that while at the same time believe they know exactly the best way to parent a child. Those people often don't have children of their own.

Not all people who choose not to have children do this though. I have very good friends who are happily married without children and I have never heard them utter a word. We joke about kids but they are never rude or thoughtless about it. I value them greatly.

I have been a mom since I was 17 years old. I have been through a lot of rude stares. Then, it was undoubtedly due to my age and the assumption that I had no clue as to what I was doing. I found out that at 29, when I had my second child, I still had no clue what I was doing. I just kept doing my best. With my second and third child the stares weren't about my age but instead they were due to whatever bad behavior my child was exhibiting at the moment. Meltdown in the grocery store? Oh yeah. Hitting another toddler at the park? Sure. Crying in a restaurant because I refuse to let them get up and run around the table? You bet. Crawling down the middle of the aisle at church while dressed as an angel during the Christmas pageant??? Abso-freaking-lutely. That. Happened.

Some of the worst behavior I've ever witnessed though isn't from my children or anyone else's. It's usually from adults, often other moms. In fact, other moms are sometimes the worst. Don't believe me? Join a moms group. These are people who have been where you've been and still behave badly. It's nuts.

YIKES!!!! I think she ate the small child from whom she stole that hat!

It all started about 3 months after I became a stay-at-home-mom. I found a local moms group to join because I needed to have a conversation with someone who didn't poop their pants six times a day. I was pregnant with my third child at the time. I even talked one of my friends into joining with me so we could go to playdates together. Her argument against it was because these groups always had a bunch of drama. I made her join anyway.

It started out pretty good. We met a few other moms who were nice and friendly. Then all of a sudden part of the group split off and started a new group. So I told my friend that we should join that group too so we can meet more people and do more stuff, plus a few of the moms I had met were in this other group. So we applied to join. (Yes, you have to apply to join most mom groups so they know you're not some weirdo out to steal children... or possibly a spy.) Anyway, we applied and were accepted into the group by one of the members. A day or so later we each received an email asking how we got into the group and who we were because it was a 'closed group' and we weren't supposed to be in it. No, I'm not making that up. We said we applied because we knew this person and that person and we were let in. Well, turns out we weren't 'okayed' by the right person. See, this is where we found out that there was a huge drama-fest going on between some members of the two groups. We ended up getting kicked out of the second group because although we were just up for 'Margarita Night' some members thought for sure we were spies. You know, because 'moms groups' are hardcore when it comes to stealing craft ideas or stain removal tips. Again, not making this up. A few weeks or so later they let us back in which wasn't weird or awkward at all.

During this time, my friend would call me everyday saying, "I told you so. These women are all nuts!" We had a lot of laughs. We both stayed in the first group and ended up making some wonderful friends. That's how I met Danyelle.

I also met several of my other close friends through that group and I will be forever grateful. I witnessed a lot of mom on mom hate crimes in that group but I also learned the value of having other women around who are going through parenthood right along with you. Just like it's great to have a buddy or group of buddies in running, it's really important to have that group of moms or dads who understand first hand what it's like to clean up puke at 3am when all you really want to do is cover it with a towel and call it good.

So, moms, dads, remember to be kind when you see the mom or dad with the kid in full on meltdown. Remember that a kind smile instead of an irritated stare will help them to get through what is already a very difficult time for them. Remember that some moms really just want to go out for margarita night with no ulterior motives.

Now when I see people stop and just stare at the struggling parent, I stop and stare at them. And whether your kids 'never acted like that' or not, a smile or kind gesture is always the best way to go. We have no idea what anyone else might be going through on their journey. Kindness doesn't cost a thing but it has tremendous value.

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Back In The Saddle Again

Confession time. I gained 10 pounds between July 5th and September 4th. My oldest daughter left to move to California on July 5th. I had just finished a 16 day juice fast the month before and was feeling healthy, energetic, and just plain incredible. As soon as she was on her way I went to lunch and ate mashed potatoes. I spent the next two months comfort eating which for me means a lot of french fries, mashed potatoes, trips to DQ for a hot fudge sundae or blizzard, and delicious mocha espresso drinks. I was running regularly but we all know you can't outrun a bad diet. I made a few attempts to make better food choices but it didn't last long. Finally, when I ate my way into a muffin top, I realized enough was enough.

I started a new workout and nutrition program on September 4th. It's close to home and very convenient for me. I'm getting a great full body workout twice a week at the gym during a group circuit class. It's similar exercises to what I did in the Spartan training class but we also use machines. So far I like it, it's a great workout. I miss aspects of the Spartan class though. I especially miss the people and trainers but it is a much longer drive and just not as convenient for me.

I'm also journaling my meals. This is really important for me. It's easier to say no when you have this kind of accountability. Unless, the pumpkin festival is in town... Last week was pumpkin fest which is like the World's Fair here. Pumpkin everything you can imagine. My favorite though is the pumpkin ice cream! Yes, I ate some. Yes, I wrote it in my journal. Instead of eating it every day of the fest, I just ate it the one time. That is some serious progress right there.

Why am I telling you all of this? Because I want all of you to know that I'm not perfect. Not in anything I do. I have seriously cleaned up my eating for myself and my family in the last year and a half but I still  have difficult moments. I've cut out all of the junk food, soda, meat, and most dairy in the last year and half. It doesn't make it into my house. But, I still have times when I go for the fries instead of the steamed broccoli while dining out. I'm sure there will be more times to come when I really miss my daughter and try to cope with some sort of ice-cream-oreo-cookie-goodness. If that happens I will keep in mind that a great workout can make so many things better.

Not being able to run right now is really difficult for me emotionally. I had to miss the Pumpkin Classic 10k last Saturday. I just have to say, that sucked big monkey balls.

The workouts help with not being able to run though. So, I'm back in the saddle now. I'm feeling better physically and mentally. I've already dropped some of the weight I gained. The rest will come off as well because I know what I need to do and I'm going to do it. Mainly, I want to continue to feel good every day. I like having all of my energy back.

For everyone out there who has thrown in the towel and thought about just giving up on eating clean and working out, DON'T. Sometimes we all go through things in life that make it harder and we slip. I slipped my way into ten extra pounds. Does that mean you are lazy or lack will power? I don't think so. I think life happens sometimes and as humans we sometimes deal with it in the worst ways health-wise.  Get up, dust yourself off, and get back to it. That's what I'm doing. We are all worth it.

Peace, Love, Happiness!


Friday, September 13, 2013

My two favorite Organic Clean Recipes!

Eating healthy, clean, and organic doesn't have to taste bad, in fact it tastes good! The key is finding what works for your family. These two recipes are weekly staples in my house. Give them a try! 

Organic Honey BBQ Turkey Meatloaf

*All ingredients below are organic.
1 lb of ground turkey
1/2 cup of oats
3 egg whites
¼ cup of honey
1 garlic clove
1 tsp. of pepper
¼ cup of ketchup

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Spray pan with non-stick olive oil spray. Mix all ingredients above in the same pan you are cooking the meatloaf in or mix in a bowl if you are putting it in muffin tins. Hint: This is a great way to batch cook while providing portion control for the week! Form into loaf shape. Dab ketchup and honey on top of loaf and off to the oven it goes for 50-55 minutes!
Brinklee excited for her healthy snack!

For any dog owners: If you are using whole organic eggs like I do, you can cook the yolks for fido! It is a great way to not waste and is a wonderful treat for your pup. It helps them achieve a healthy coat!

Clean Eating Organic Crockpot Sesame Chicken

*All ingredients below are organic

4 boneless skinless chicken breasts
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup light soy sauce
1/2 cup diced onion
1/4 cup reduced sugar ketchup
2 tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes 
4tsp cornstarch dissolved in 6tbsp water
Sesame seeds – (You can omit. You won’t even miss them!)

Put chicken in crockpot. In a small bowl combine honey, soy sauce, onion, ketchup, olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Pour over chicken. Cook on low for 3-4 hours or until chicken is cooked through. Remove chicken from pot but leave sauce. Dissolve cornstarch in water and pour in crockpot. Cook on low about 10 more min until thickened. Cut chicken into bite sized pieces and return to sauce till heated back through. I also add peppers and broccoli to bulk the meal up at this time. Serve over brown rice or noodles.

I hope you enjoy these tasty recipes! Bon Appetit!


Monday, September 9, 2013

Neon Vibe 5k

Our crew before the run!
Saturday I spent most of my day stretching, foam rolling, and putting my trigger point kit to good us. All because I really, really, really, wanted to go to the Neon Vibe 5k. It all helped and thanks to some wonderful friends who offered to walk it with me, I was able to go and enjoy a very fun event.

Neon Vibe is like a color run but it's at night and the colored powdered everyone gets to throw one themselves or each other glows under black light. People dressed up in fun outfits, wore glow-sticks all over, and some even had light up accessories. Like my friend, Becky, in the picture below.

Becky with her green light-up dreads. Standing next to me is my friend Shelly who is training for her first
Full  marathon, Chicago! She had an 18 mile training run earlier in the day and still came out to walk with me.

The race at night so the trail was marked with lighted cones and then the color areas where race volunteers douse the runners with more powder were lit up with black lights. It was fun. I recommend you wear clear or yellow lensed glasses though to avoid getting powder thrown in your eyes.

After the run, there was a DJ and a very hopping dance floor all lit up with black light! Neon beach balls were being tossed around by the crowd, neon liquid was randomly sprayed into the crowd of dancers, and even neon hula hoops were present. It was fun just to watch let alone join in.

My friend, Christina and I. We were separated before the race started and didn't meet back up until it was over.
It was pretty chaotic. I recommend ropes around the wrists like you see on pre-school field trips. ;) 

Definitely a great time had by all and I hope to go again next year!

Peace, Love, Happiness!

Thursday, September 5, 2013

My Foot Hurts!

It's been one week since my last run and I'm going CRAZY!!!! I've dealt with shin splints, runner's knee, even some weird pain that was in the ball of my foot just under my toes, but I've never had pain so severe that it kept me from running. Until now.

The heel of my right foot has been bothering me off and on for a couple of months but never anything more than a mild irritation. But then I started 1/2 marathon training and that mild irritation has become a full fledged pain in the foot. It's in my heel and goes through the arch. I know what kind of issue it sounds like, you probably know what it sounds like. However, no one is allowed to even breathe 'that which shall not be named'.  (coughplantarfasciitiscough)

I ran last Thursday and by that afternoon I could barely walk on it. Friday was not any better and I decided I should probably go see a doctor about it. Then, Saturday morning I woke up and it felt really good. I have been wearing my running shoes around the house and any time I leave the house. My flip-flops miss me and I miss them. Tuesday morning I walked 3 miles and it felt okay but then Tuesday afternoon is was bit tender again.

I'm trying to rest it as much as I can but let's face it, I can't just sit around eating bon-bons and watching soaps all day. I'm not that stay-at-home-mom, and frankly, I don't know anyone who is. So, staying off of my feet just is not a practical option. Last night I worked out at the new place I just started going to. I did a full body circuit workout and felt fantastic. Except, I wanted to run afterwards. I could almost taste it. Today I can taste it and it tastes bitter, like my mood.

I seriously want to claw someone's eyes out.

I'm giving the foot until Sunday and then I will bite the bullet and get an appointment with the doc. I'm scared to death that a 'no running' order will be issued. Even though I'm already preparing myself to accept not being able to run the 1/2 marathon, I am not prepared for 'no running'.

Did I mention I have the Neon Vibe 5k this weekend AND the Pumpkin Classic 10k next weekend???
I'm screaming inside my head right now.

More resting, stretching, and praying today.

I'm going to go and look at a picture or five of Joe Manganiello and ditch this bad mood!

Oh, yeah, feeling better already!  ;-)

Peace, Love, Happiness!