Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eat your GREENS!

Over the last two weeks or so I've seen several postings/articles about kale chips.  On a whim I asked Rich to buy a huge bag of chopped kale so that I could try out a basic recipe.  I chose the bagged kale because it is easier than stripping the leaves and then tearing the kale into bite size pieces.  We were not disappointed by the easy prep and delicious taste and have actually made them the last two nights as our "appetizer" while cooking dinner. 

I highly recommend making these as an alternative to potato chips, but since we don't even eat those, they work well as an appetizer or even a side dish to get your greens in. Spinach goes in my shake every morning and now kale is becoming a dinner staple.  YUM. 

Kale Chips
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  • Wash, strip, and break kale into bite size pieces (or buy a large bag already prepared)
  • Toss kale in 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • Spread kale on parchment paper covered cookie sheet
  • Sprinkle with sea salt (could also use seasoned salt)
  • Bake for 10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.  (15 minutes works great for me) 
**Should be crispy and a little brown on the edges, but not burnt. 

Monday, February 27, 2012

Meal Planning

I'm excellent at following a plan once I decide on one and take the time to organize it, but if not, I feel like I am all over the place.  Thankfully I was able to plan out today's meals and hopefully I can pull something together for tomorrow.  Mondays are always busy, so there isn't much time for prep and cooking.  

  • overnight oats with chia seeds, cranberries, walnuts
  • 1/2 apple with cinnamon and 1/2 cup cottage cheese with trail mix
  • mixed greens salad, 2 scrambled egg whites, fruit compote
  • whole wheat tortilla with natural peanut butter
  • dinner--- roasted chicken and veggies?! 
The verdict at Dr. W's this morning is that I have one more week of crutches and then two weeks without crutches, but still wearing the boot.  I'm cleared to swim next week, but I doubt that will actually happen.  Swimming is not my favorite, but I may be desperate enough to at least try it.  If not, I've got at least 3 more weeks of no cardio.  

In the meantime, I am going to be busy working my upper body like it is my job.  Last week I did 3 sets of 4 pull-ups at the end of my back workout, so I'm guessing I can do 7 pull-ups in a single set.  Nice!

Sunday, February 19, 2012


After getting a couple of inches of snow in October, this season has been uneventful.  No snow days, no delayed openings, nothing.  This afternoon we finally got some of the white stuff!  Hailey was really excited when she noticed that the ground was covered.  She has had a cold and my foot shouldn't be roaming around outside so we did not play outside today.  However, watching the snowfall was plenty for me!  These are the only days when I really feel like I have permission to do to nothing at all....well, besides cook:)

Rich used his time wisely by finishing up carpet cleaning that he started last weekend.  Between the dogs getting old and Dixie's diabetes and subsequent UTI's the carpets were disgusting.  We bought a reconditioned Hoover carpet cleaner at Big Lots and it has to be one of the best purchases ever.  The carpets look and feel new and now we are able to clean up spots right when they happen. 

Hailey helped Rich with the carpets and changed clothes at least 8 times this morning alone.  She has been having fun dressing up the dogs, dressing up herself, and driving me crazy with all of the toys and mess.  Not to mention the constant, "Dana, DANA."  I guess it is my version of hearing "MOM" all day long.  Whew.  She is one determined young lady when it comes to getting your attention. 

Tattooed bumble bee fairy with cold feet?!

Maddie taking over the castle.
Poor Roonie dressed in pink.

Chicken Cabbage Apple Soup

This recipe was adapted from the original that was in Cooking Light magazine.  I thought a cold snowy day was perfect for trying out this recipe.  It turned out to be fabulous and certainly a fat burner!  Eating clean may take a little more prep, but it is well worth it.

Lots of chopping!

Soften veggies in olive oil.

Chicken Cabbage Apple Soup (serves 8)
  • 1.5 lbs of cooked shredded chicken (about 12 tenders) 
  • 2 sweet potatoes (chopped) 
  • 2 granny smith apples (thinly sliced)
  • 1 c chopped celery
  • 1 c chopped carrots
  • 3 c chopped onion
  • 6 c thinly sliced cabbage (1/2 head)
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp minced garlic
  • 3 -32 oz low-sodium chicken broth
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic.  Cook until softened (5 minutes).
  • Add chicken broth and diced sweet potatoes. Reduce heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  
  • Increase heat to medium-high.  Add cabbage, chicken, apple,vinegar, salt and pepper.  Cook for 10 minutes or until sweet potatoes and cabbage are tender.  Can simmer for 30 minutes. 
  • Enjoy!!

Banana Zucchini Bread

I saw a picture of zucchini bread somewhere online last week and have been craving it ever since.  After browsing a few recipes, I came up with my own.  Rich's dad always added banana to his zucchini bread, so in honor of Bill this recipe boasts some banana!


Moist ingredients


Banana Zucchini Bread
  • 1 zucchini (grated, or shredded by a peeler if you don't have a grater...whoops!)
  • 1 ripe banana 
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 1/4 c whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1/4 c canola oil (i would have used applesauce, but we were out)
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 2 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • sprinkle of salt
  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Shred zucchini and dry with a paper towel.  
  • Combine all moist ingredients in large bowl (eggs, yogurt, vanilla, oil, brown sugar, and banana) and then add in the zucchini.
  • Combine dry ingredients in smaller bowl (flour, flax, chia seeds, baking powder, baking soda, pumpkin pie spice, cinnamon, and salt). 
  • Slowly add the dry ingredients to the moist ingredients.  Be sure not to overstir.
  • Pour into a greased and floured loaf pan and place in oven for 50 minutes at 350 degrees or until toothpick comes out clean!
  • Spread with a little unsalted butter and enjoy! 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

PB Almond Chia Balls

....or basically a bunch of stuff I mixed up and formed into balls for a power snack:)

Peanut Butter Almond Chia Balls


  • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/2 cup of dates
  • 1/2 cup of almond butter
  • 1/2 cup of natural peanut butter
  • 1 tbsp Dark Chocolate Dreams PB
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp chia seeds
  • 1 scoop vanilla egg protein
  • 15 almonds (crushed)
  • 1/2 cup mini semi sweet chocolate chips

  1. Crush the almonds and chop up the dates until they are fairly small. 
  2. Combine all nut butters, dates, protein powder, chia seeds, and flaxseed and mix thoroughly with hands. 
  3. Add in almonds and chocolate chips and then form into one inch balls. 
  4. Place on wax paper and put in the fridge. 
  5. Grab one for an energy boost throughout the day!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Happy 82nd Birthday, Mimi!

We surpised Mimi with a trip to Topeka's for dinner Saturday night.  Her birthday is actually today, but Sundays always seem to be stressful, so last night's celebration worked perfect.  Rich and I scooped her up from her favorite hang out, Burger King, and took her to meet my parents and Mike.  Thanks to my crutches we didn't have to squeeze into a booth and actually got an entire room to ourselves. 

Mimi had already eaten, but that didn't stop her from having some yeast rolls and chocolate bread pudding for dessert:)  Of course she threw in one of her famous high kicks for our waitress as well;)  We had not seen Mike for his bday or mine, so this dinner covered them all.

New jacket!

Chocolate bread pudding

Mimi and me and Mike

The whole gang.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Still hitting the gym

I've done my best to stay on crutches this week at school...not so good on using them while at home.  Wearing a backpack to trek to the office to fax papers is always fun, as is bringing in my lunch, water, bag, purse, etc. from the car.  Lucky for me, Jennie bends over backwards to make sure that I have everything I need.  And, my mom has worked a lot this week which means she packs my lunch:)

I broke out into an all out sweat with heavy breathing when I made the journey to the conference room this morning for our TLC meeting.  I was only carrying an extra 5 lbs with my macbook in my backpack, but it made a significant difference in my speed.

I've hit the gym every morning this week and have been sure to stay seated for all my exercises.  It has taken some extra thought to modify my routine, but I've gotten in some great workouts.  The guy who opens the gym in the mornings, John, has been very helpful.  He typically follows me through my workout so that we can talk about Crossfit workouts, etc. but now he is my certified "weight picker upper."  I can't carry dumbbells back and forth to the bench, so he brings me what I need and puts them away when I'm done.  I'm not spoiled at all;)  That's what 20 year old guys with mohawks ought to do! Rich doesn't mind it one bit because he is off the hook for an hour:)

My workouts have looked like this:

Monday - Chest/Triceps   
Tuesday - Legs/Abs (I laid on the floor and did every type of leg lift/donkey kick imaginable....oh so exciting.)
Wednesday - Back/Biceps
Thursday - Shoulders/Abs
Friday - I think I may try some full upper body moves like dips and pull-ups, plus some more ab work. 

Here's to some terrible quality gym pics....oh and yes, my crazy face in a few!
Working back with crutches on the side;)

Who's arm is that?!

Yep, those guns are mine.

Another blurry angle

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Double Triple

Hailey and "Spike"
 ......As my Dad called it, or 33 years old for me today!  I celebrated with Jennie and Carrie last night and with my family today.  The only thing that I knew going into last night with the girls is that we were going to Eppie's for dinner.  So I was surprised when we went from dinner to Arch's and then from Arch's to get pedicures:)  I always have tons of fun with these two lovely ladies and last night was no exception. 

I had the Santa Monica salad at Eppie's...Baby spinach leaves, grape tomatoes, chopped dates, corn, goat cheese, and champagne vinaigrette, served with pumpkin bread.  It was YUMMY.  And, then I had some vanilla frozen yogurt with chocolate chips and peanut butter chips.   Delish.  I'm not sure getting a pedicure was the best idea with my broken foot, but I was really excited about getting one regardless of how my foot was feeling.  It's too bad we showed up 20 minutes before they closed and definitely got the rushed treatment.  Thank you all for a fabulous evening!  I can't wait for our next outing. 

Today, we visited with Jess because she is leaving for a 9-12 month program at a residential facility a few hours away.  I know it is going to be tough for her, but hopefully it will be just what she needs.  Jennie was kind enough to watch Hailey during our visit.  I was starved so we went to Chipotle for lunch, Belk to find myself a present (Seven's jean 50% off....score), and then to Arch's again!  While I was trying on jeans, Rich took Hailey to Build a Bear where she built "Spike" the dog.  I'm not sure Spike is going to stay in one piece for long because she is toting him around everywhere she goes.  She "put his heart in and rubbed it and he came to life!"  And, she "gave him a bath, bought him a collar and leash and put baby clothes on him."  He is one loved pup. 

This evening Rich, Hailey, Evan and I met my parents at Outback for dinner.  I got another big salad which was great.  I'm not sure what my obsession is with salads lately, but I'm digging them.  We got the chocolate oreo waffles for dessert which put me over the edge.  I've had four desserts in the course of 24 hours!  Not too sure my stomach is loving me for this, but you only live once.  I got a sweet North Face down vest and a North Face light rain jacket from my parents.  I think I will be living in the is super light and warm.  And, I haven't owned a true rain coat in years, so this one will be perfect!

Chowing down on some chocolate waffles at Outback
"Spike", Hailey, Mom and Dad

Me and Evan


Lovely no make up look....and those burns look wimpy with this shot.
Ouch.  That is all I can say.  I used the crutches for one day (Friday) and ended up with raw burned areas on my sides.  I don't even think I really traveled very far in the hallways because it was such a pain, but they burned me up. Even worse than the burns are the upper rib bruises.  It feels like I was used as a punching bag. I didn't use the crutches this weekend, hoping that these areas would heal.  They aren't quite there yet, but are better than they were initially. 

I am not quite sure how anyone on crutches can accomplish anything.  How can you take the dogs out when you have to hold onto the leashes and your crutches?  How do you vacuum?  clean?  straighten up? wash clothes?  There is no way I can get anything done.  Grocery store?  Nope.  Can't push the cart on crutches.  I'm going to give it the old college try again tomorrow.  Maybe I can use them Mon-Fri and take the weekends off? 

Thursday, February 2, 2012

So, yeah, about that last post...

I started writing during planning today and waited to post it until tonight.  Guess someone is trying to teach me something...

Dr. W called on my way home to tell me that the MRI still showed significant edema where the fracture is on sesamoid bone.  Since it has not healed despite being in the boot twice over the last 18 months we are trying a new treatment.  NO weight bearing at all, so crutches and the boot for me.... for 4 weeks. Sigh.  In addition, I'll be doing at home bone stimulation for 20 minutes each night. 

After 4 weeks, we'll just go to the boot with a pad to make sure the sesamoid doesn't take on any additional load.  He didn't say for how long, but I'm guessing 4 more weeks.  If this doesn't work then we will go to anti-inflammatory and steroid injections before the option of removing the bone entirely, which doesn't sound like much of an option to me!  It sucks that the bone is so small because these are the bones that have a hard time healing. 

To say the least, I am pissed, frustrated, and upset.  All I want to do is RUN...and good lord, I was just getting used to the idea of biking and doing a modified leg workout to keep some muscle tone.  Now, absolutely no weight bearing means not even swimming!  Really?!  No cardio or leg work for two months.  Fan-freaking-tastic.  Oh, and all upper body work needs to be seated.... JOY. 

I did what?!

After waking up with a pounding headache I decided today is the day to return to the treadmill.  The doctor still has not returned my 8 million calls about the MRI, so I decided to just go with how I am feeling.  So, at 5:30 am I hopped on the treadmill and told myself to just do a 10 minute mile and call it a day.  You know... don't push yourself today, ease back into a routine, wait to hear from the doctor, etc.  Ummm, yeah right.

It just so happens that one of the only other girls that actually runs fast and runs for distance was there this morning and she hopped on next to me after 30 seconds.  Real helpful to my goal of taking it easy.  Not.  3 miles and 28 minutes later, I was feeling GOOD, but I knew I should call it quits for the day.  Looking back, I wonder how in the world I could take 7 weeks off and then jump back up there and pound out 3 miles like it is nothing.  I did control my pace so that I was only running 9 min miles, but it really was a piece of cake.  The girl next to me, who I have been jealous of for the last 7 weeks, finished just a couple minutes after me and really wasn't running any faster.  Being so competitive it was hard for me to watch her run while I was sitting out, but to find out that she wasn't throwing down 6 minute miles makes me feel so much better!

Anyhow, we'll see how I feel as the day goes on.  The glute workout I did today probably did not help the foot situation, but I figured if I was already pounding way, why not just keep going? I am going to be super duper sore tomorrow!

Glute Workout
  • 3 x 20 front kick, back lunge 
  • 2 x 15 bridge with 25 lb plate on pelvis
  • 3 x 15 leg press with 50 lbs
  • 3 x 15 curtsy squat with side leg lift
  • 3 x 1 minute plank with 30 sec rest
  • 3 x 20 side plank pulse
  • 3 x 50 bicycle with 8 lb medicine ball twist
  • PLYO 3 x 15 burpees

Wednesday, February 1, 2012


I'm sure you'd never guess from all of the progress pictures, but not only is my back my favorite body part, but it is my favorite part to work as well.  I guess this is because I feel really strong when I work my back and I can see changes quickly.  The problem is that if I don't run after my back workout I get so tight and sore that I get terrible headaches.  Well, you can imagine the predicament I am in right now after taking 7 weeks off from running.  So frustrating, on so many levels.

I have not received my MRI results yet, but it was completed last Thursday.  Give me a break.

Anyhow, back to my back:)  I had a great workout this morning and included a bicep workout as second favorite body part!

Wednesday - Back and Biceps

  • 3 x15 dumbbell shrugs (30 lbs, 30 lbs, 35lbs)
  • 4 x 10 lat pull downs (100 lbs x 1, 120 lbs x 2, 70 lbs x 1)  Yep, pulling down more than my body weight!  woohoo! 
  • 3 x 12 seated rows (1 x 60 lbs, 2 x 70 lbs)
  • 3 x 5 hammer strength pull downs (2- 45 lb plates=90lbs)
  • 3 x 4 body weight unassisted pull-ups
  • 3 x 15 back extensions hold a 25 lb plate
  • 3 x14 hammer curls (20 lb dumbbells x 2, 25 lb dumbbells x 1)
  • 3 x 10 incline curls with 15 lb dumbbells
  • 3 x 10 concentrated curls with 15 lb dumbbells
  • 2 sets of 21's with 10 lb dumbbells
  • PLYO - 3 x 10 push ups with row (8 lb dumbbells)  woof....
Meals for today:

  • Overnight protein oats
  • 1/2 cup of cottage cheese with cinnamon
  • Asian turkey burger and 1/2 baked sweet potato with cinnamon
  • 2 rice cakes with peanut butter
  • Leftover whole wheat ground turkey broccoli spaghetti bake
  • Small cup of Kashi cereal with almond milk