Thursday, May 31, 2012

Arm Day!

Yesterday was a pretty lackluster day in the gym.  I got my chest workout in, but it was rough.  Today was the complete opposite. I was up and ready to rock.  I did 20 minutes on the treadmill, but instead of doing speed intervals I did incline intervals.  I ran at a 6.5 steady pace, but every minute I switched from .5 incline to 6.0 incline....basically running hills.  Nice and sweaty!

I followed up the incline workout with an arm workout.  After reading the latest Oxygen, I decided to add in some additional arm exercises to my normal routine.  

Arm Workout

  • 3 x 12 skull crushers (30 lb EZ bar)
  • 3 x 10 alternating dumbbell hammer curls (25 lb dumbbells)
  • 3 x 10 dumbbell curls lying against an incline bench (20 lb dumbbells)
  • 3 x 10 cable one-arm triceps extension (30 lbs)
  • 3 x 10 cable overhead rope extension (60 lbs)
  • 3 x 10 bicep curls with rope (60 lbs)
  • 3 x 15 bicep dumbbell curls

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

My Plate of Sunshine

Okay, not really and not really that exciting, but it was perfect for my hungry belly!  I worked legs this morning and did an incline walking workout as well as a one mile run.

The fridge was not hitting on much this evening so while Rich went grocery shopping I scoured the kitchen for something different, but healthy for dinner.  I finished off all of the spinach and greens for lunch.  I didn't want to eat leftover chicken because that will be lunch tomorrow and all the other meat was frozen.  What to do? What to do?

One thing is for sure, I hate throwing away food.  So I washed up two heads of cauliflower, boiled them up and made cauliflower mash.  While they were boiling I threw together a roasted squash recipe on the fly and scrambled some eggs.  What was missing from my plate?  GREENS.  I guess it is okay since I eat them all day long, but it felt so weird to eat a plate of yellowness!

I added a bit of leftover spaghetti sauce to my eggs for color!

Mashed Cauliflower

  • 2 heads of washed and pulled apart cauliflower
  • 3/4 cup of almond milk
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • Wash and pull apart cauliflower.  Put in large pot and cover cauliflower with water. 
  • Boil for 20 minutes.
  • Drain and then smash with potato masher.  
  • Add in remaining ingredients and mix until well combined. 

Roasted Yellow Squash

  • 4 medium sized yellow squash, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed
  • 3 tbsp egg whites
  • 2 tsp coconut oil (as liquid)
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  • Wash and slice squash.
  • Put all ingredients into ziplock bag and shake until squash is thoroughly coated.
  • Spread out on cookie sheet (sprayed with non-stick) and place in oven for 15-20 minutes. 
  • Enjoy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Memorial Day Fun!

First, let us thank all of the fallen heroes who lost their lives in combat, all of the veterans who laid their lives on the line for us, and all those actively serving to protect us.  This is what today is all about!  Take a moment of silence today to remember those who are no longer with us or their families.

After hitting the gym for a back/bicep workout and some HIIT on the treadmill, Rich and I picked up Hailey from Grandma's house and headed home.  What did we find when we got home?  Some little kiddos in Hailey's pool!  Our neighbors' grandkids were playing in their sprinkler when they noticed the new pool.  They asked E if they could come over to play and that's the end of that story.  Hailey burst into tears when she saw them in "her" pool, but quickly changed her attitude and introduced herself, got lathered up in sunscreen, and jumped in to join them! They had a good ole time splashing around!

New friends!

Amelia is 2 months younger than Hailey.

"I got ya!"



Uh oh!

Ameila, Hailey, and Alana

Three amigos

Someone else was getting in on the action!


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hot and Humid

The entire weekend has been hot and humid.  Since we have Hailey, we decided to cool off in a new pool.  We hit up a sale at Target this afternoon and then enjoyed the new purchase.  Rich was the lifeguard on duty, although I don't know if drinking Miller Lite is allowed on the clock.

We set up a hard plastic swimming pool for Jack to enjoy as well.  I'll get some pictures of him going crazy in his pool tomorrow. I plan on getting my tan on tomorrow and then jumping in the pool as well!

Super duper excited


Nice job trying to hide the beer, honey. 

Growing Like Weeds

This weekend we had to tame the out of control garden.  The rain that we got over the last couple of weeks along with plenty of sunshine has caused some serious growth!  We added bamboo poles to the tomatoes and beans to see if we can get some upward growth so they don't crowd the smaller plants like the lettuce.  I think it would be prudent to remove some of the squash, but for now we are wrapping them up a bit to see what happens.

We harvested one of the sweet onions and enjoyed it on our turkey burgers last night!

Harvesting at dusk.


Jackal McSchmackal enjoying the yard...he's getting used to the Furminator! 
Miss Maddie Moosie will turn 13 years old on June 6th!

Someone is always along for the ride. 

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Got a headache?

Then get out and exercise!  There are very few occasions when this doesn't work as a remedy for me.  Rich and I decided to take both Saturday and Sunday as rest days because last week was downright exhausting.  You know you need some rest when your body doesn't seem to be recovering and you are falling asleep at the wheel!

I slept in until 6:00 this morning.  I guess you can consider that sleeping in for me, but it wasn't nearly long enough for my body.  As soon as I wake up I'm like the Energizer Bunny....mornings are definitely where it is at for me.  I start washing clothes, prepping food, and cleaning anything I can get my hands on.  However, today by noon I was fading fast and feeling rough.  After not having daily headaches for such a long streak now, this week they emerged again and I've had one just about every day.  I knew all it would take to get rid of it was a nice run or some heavy lifting, but I wanted to stick with my rest day and geez I was pooped.  

Once the clock struck 5:00 pm I knew my time was limited and I wasn't feeling any better.  The gym closes at 6:00, so I had Rich watch Hailey and I booked it to the gym.  It's a good thing it only takes 2 minutes to get there!  I did a quick 20 minute HIIT routine on the treadmill, hit up my shoulders, did some sprints and abs in between it all and was out the door AND headache free AND full of energy at 6:00 pm.  One hour cured what had plagued me all day.  Thank the Lord! 

Thursday, May 24, 2012

CrossFit Games

Although I've never attending a CrossFit gym, I have done some of the workouts or at least parts of them at our gym.  I would LOVE to attend a session as soon as my foot is cleared for these sort of workouts, but that may be a while.  Shhhh....I ran three miles this morning;)

Over the weekend I watched some of the CrossFit Games while we were at a birthday party and I had a hard time paying attention to anything else going on around me.  The competitors are AMAZING and these are the sorts of events that I would love to compete in. I've looked at some of their stats and some of these chicks can do upwards of 60 pull-ups....holy smokes!  I know they aren't the same kind of pull-ups that I do, but still...60 is no joke.  You really do just have to check out their stats and look at their physiques.  Incredible, I tell ya. 

Anyone want to attend a session with me? :)  


Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Golden Raisins...

Probably should fix the layout, but not really that motivated today. 

They have made their way to the top of my cravings list lately.  Along with mixed greens, chopped walnuts, chopped avocado, and balsamic dressing!  I eat at least one of these huge salads a day.  I've started keeping the ingredients in my fridge at school and making my salads at lunch time.  This way I can pile on whatever I am feeling that day!  I was out of shredded chicken today, but that is another staple that just can't get out of my lunchtime routine:)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Strawberry Banana PWO Shake

After doing a shoulder/bicep workout this morning, I was craving something different in my PWO shake.  We had a lot of fresh strawberries taking up room in the fridge so I put them to use rather than the old standby, frozen mixed berries.  For the first time in months, seriously at least 6 months, I didn't have enough spinach to put in my shake.  The was so weird making it without any greens!  The end result?  A smooth delicious PWO shake. 

Strawberry Banana PWO Shake (makes 2 servings)

I tossed all of the following ingredients into the Vitamix.
  • 2 scoops Vitol Egg Protein (Vanilla ice cream flavor)
  • 2 tbsp milled flaxseed 
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 6 large strawberries
  • 1 whole banana
  • 1 cup of ice
  • 15 raw almonds


Friday, May 18, 2012


Each month I anxiously wait for latest Oxygen magazine to arrive in my mailbox. There is fantastic advice about clean eating, exercises, and motivation.  RIP- Robert Kennedy, the founder, who passed away not too long ago.  He made a huge impact on the world of fitness!  Erin Stern, one of my favorite competitors, was on the above cover in February.  

I'm not quite there yet, but I think changing up my ab routine and trying to keep the diet clean is working. This is contrary to the measurements that I got done this morning....gained 1/8 to 1/2 inch in several areas...maybe muscle? maybe the creatine?  hopefully not fat!  

After eating my cheat meal---Mi Rancho's Chicken Fajita Burrito:)  

Thursday, May 17, 2012

To creatine or not to creatine?

I'm all about taking my protein and multi-vitamin and occasionally some pre-workout, but I tend to shy away from other supplements because I don't know how they will affect me.  Rich has taken creatine on and off over the years and I have always gotten on him about it, but that was mainly because I didn't know much about it.  He would swear to me that it made a difference in his muscle size and ability to sustain his workouts, but I didn't want to hear it.

After years of this back and forth, I started reading more and more articles that explained the benefits of creatine, even for women.  It still took me a while, but I gave in and decided to give it a try a few months ago.  I did not do any loading, but did add 3 mg a day to my PWO shake.  After a week or so I started to notice some changes.  I was able to push a bit harder at the gym, but more drastic than that my muscles were growing.  Unfortunately, the creatine also made me feel really bloated pretty much all of the time.  No, I wasn't just bloated at my midsection, but pretty much everywhere.  You can tell in some of my more recent back pics.  Where my sports bra meets my ribs there is an inch or so of water weight.  

The great thing about the bloating is that it does indeed disappear once you stop taking it.  I've been off of it for 4 days and I'm down 4lbs.  I weighed in at 114lbs this morning, which is least I've weighed in the last 6 weeks of being on creatine.  I was hanging steady around 118-119lbs while taking it.  

For now, I'm planning on taking a few more weeks off to see what happens.  I think it makes sense to stay off of it during the summer because no one wants to be bloated in a bikini!  The fall and winter would be ideal for putting on some additional size.  

I am a believer that using creatine does help with weight loss, just as the following excerpt from explains:

Weight Loss

Many women are afraid to supplement with creatine because of the risks of weight gain, but some studies have found that creatine can lead to weight loss in women because it offers the same benefits for women as for men, without the added fat gains. Women can use creatine to work longer and harder in the weight room to build muscle. This means they will be burning more calories at the gym and even when they are at rest, because muscle burns more calories than fat. Burning more calories throughout the day will lead to weight loss as long as women follow a sensible diet.

This is what I take. 
Here are a few articles about women and creatine if you are interested:

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

This little toe of mine

I visited UVA on Monday to get a cortisone injection around my sesamoid bone.  I wasn't sure why the Imagining Department called me for my reminder last week, but quickly realized once I got there.  The procedure had to be done under x-ray with contrast in order to make sure the needle got to the correct location.  The thought of getting an injection on the bottom of my foot made me a little uncomfortable, but I was fine until the nurse who was walking me back gave me the usual 20 questions (what is your name, DOB, procedure, etc.) and then proceeded to say, "Woof, that sounds painful!  I guess I shouldn't really say that to you."  Thanks, lady.

Once I got into the imagining room I was greeted by FOUR doctors.  I guess they all wanted to see my purple nail polish!  That's what happens at teaching hospitals I suppose.  Actually, they all ended up being very personable and did a fine job with the injection.  It took a while for them to figure out an entry way for the needle and they ended up deciding on going in through the side of my foot at the base of my big toe.  It wasn't a walk in the park, but it wasn't terrible either.  I could do without the pressure that makes your joint feel like it will explode when they put the cortisone in, but other than that it was okay.  

I'll have to confirm with Dr. W, but I should be taking two weeks off and then starting on a return to run plan.  I think I'm going to sneak in some non-weight bearing leg workouts during the next couple of weeks so I don't lose all of my progress.  Boy is it hard not to do HIIT in the mornings after I got used to doing it!

Stir the pot

I tried a new to me core exercise yesterday and I LOVED IT!!

From Men's Health
You get into a plank position with elbows on the stability ball and then slowly "stir the pot" by moving the ball in circles.  Try doing 10 clockwise circles and then 10 counterclockwise circles!  I broke a sweat doing several of these sets.

I also tried these instead of the ab wheel:  stability ball roll-outs.  They weren't as difficult on the lower back and really engaged my core.

Now, go get your six-pack on!

What are your favorite core exercises? 

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Sunday Views

Other views from our Sunday!

Our pretty rhododendron! 

Robin's nest in our redbud tree....babies are coming soon!

Handsome boy

The middle child

She looks so young to be 11 years old....sweet girl. 

Love her!

Beef and Broccoli and..

...cauliflower, carrots, and brown rice.  In the crockpot at 4:30 am yesterday morning and all ready for our busy evening!  Who am I kidding?  It was actually ready by 9:30 am, could have been our breakfast, but luckily it stayed on warm all day and waited for us to get home.

I was inspired by Little B's recipe for clean eating beef and broccoli.  The votes are in and everyone wants me to make this again soon!  We finished up the leftovers for dinner tonight....this one didn't last long in this house!

Crockpot Beef and Veggies


  • 1 lb of lean beef (I cut it into small could probably buy the "stew" beef)
  • Large package of frozen California mix (broccoli, cauliflower, carrots)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 cups low-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp pepper

  • Put all ingredients except frozen veggies in crockpot and set on low for 6.5 hours. 
  • When it is time for dinner, cook frozen veggies and then mix in with beef in crockpot on high for 30 minutes. I also cooked up a large batch of brown rice during this time.  
  • Fill your plate with brown rice and then top with beef and veggies!

Popeye Would Be Proud

Sunday we harvested our first crop from the garden!  We had two square feet of spinach to harvest, so Hailey and Rich went to town while I worked with the dogs and the invisible fence.  Tank and Dixie have it down, but Jack still gets a little too excited and runs out of the yard unintentionally.

I think Hailey had more fun harvesting than she did planting. However, I was shocked when she wanted to eat the spinach leaves after I washed them off.  She took each one by the stem and chewed the leaf off, leaving a pile of stems on the counter.  We made some English muffin pizzas with a side of spinach for dinner, but this time she dipped the leaves in some ranch:)

We are replanting spinach so that in a few weeks we'll have more!  Lord knows we eat our weight in spinach around here.....probably 4 cups a day and that much or more in mixed greens.

Check out that growth!

Everyone was in on the action.  And yes, that is Jack's hair in the background....more on the Furminator later!!


Did I mention the great location of this garden?  At the base of our screened porch!

Our little urban farmer

Get you some!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Protein Crepes

Ready for a healthy protein filled breakfast?  These things are to die for!   I love me some pancakes, but even with the gluten-free ingredients I tend to get bloated.  Not the case with these crepes!  I think I may have a new favorite breakfast food.  I downed 6 of these before our track meet so I could get by without food for 5 hours.  They pretty much did the trick!  

Protein Crepes

  • 2 scoops Vital Egg Protein
  • 6 whole eggs
  • 1 1/4 cup of oat flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tbsp oil (I think I could try applesauce instead, but maybe next time...)
  • 1 tbsp Stevia
  • Pre-heat griddle to 375 degrees.   Meanwhile, heat strawberries and a little agave extract, splash of vanilla on the stove.  Let them simmer while preparing the crepes.  
  • Slowly mix all dry ingredients and then add in wet ingredients.
  • Whisk for 1-2 minutes or use a handheld mixer.
  • Spray griddle with non-stick spray. 
  • Pour 1/4 cup of batter on griddle and cook for 1-2 minutes. Flip when bottom is slightly brown.
  • Top and/or fill with strawberries and enjoy!

Creek Study

Perfect day for studying macroinvertebrates


So cute!

Lots of baby frogs
Each year during our study of watersheds, we spend some time at the creek catching macroinvertebrates and other creek creatures to determine the water quality.  The kids LOVE it and so do the teachers!  Some of them have had plenty of experience playing in their backyard creeks, but most of them have not had this opportunity before and they can not get enough of this up close look at nature.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Monday, Monday

Yes, it's Friday not Monday, but I'm already thinking about Monday.  Monday afternoon I get to  have to get a cortisone injection for my sesamoid stress fracture.  Dr. W has decided that he is okay with the bone not healing as long as it is pain-free.  So, we are going to shoot this sucker up and see what happens.  I did not have a great experience when I got an injection in my wrist, so the thought of a needle going in the bottom tender area of my foot is not too appealing!  I will need to take two weeks off from running afterwards and then reevaluate the situation.  

Guess who will be running her butt off Monday morning before the injection?! 

Thursday, May 10, 2012


I've eaten the same 10:00 am snack for the last 10 days or so AND I still can't get enough. It's simple. It's easy. And, it's yummy...contrary to what Carrie or my students may think!

1/2 cup of low-fat cottage cheese sprinkled with cinnamon and an apple

As soon as I get to school my mind is on this snack and when I can fit it into my morning instruction.  My students are always intrigued with what I am eating, but there have only been a few that think cottage cheese with cinnamon is a good choice;)  

They can think what they want because I can out run them (at least with long distances) and show them up on the pull up bar.  I offered the track team a way out of sprints last week.  All they needed to do was perform more pull ups than me.  Only one kiddo was let off the hook and that was because I was feeling generous...he got 9 chin ups which surpassed my 8 pull ups.