Paddy, my 4 year old, asked to make dinner. He said he wanted to make soup. Since I just received a free full sized sample of Knorr Homestyle Stock from smiley360.com, sounded like a good plan. Turned out it was not only a good plan, but an easy and tasty plan! The stock concentrate was simple enough to use that we were able to just pop it into the boiling water and dissolve. If there's a question of how it tasted, just check out the last 2 pics. Here's Paddy's delicious, and healthy, soup recipe!
1 tub Knorr Homestyle Stock Chicken
3 1/2 cups water
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 cup chopped leftover roasted chicken
1 cup frozen mixed vegetables
1/2 cup chick peas
1 cup ditalini or any small pasta (though we ended up with more like 2 cups, we like pasta)
Add the remaining ingredients and heat through
Serve and enjoy!
Some experts will tell you that stretching warms up muscles, improves blood flow, prevents injury, even makes you stronger. Some experts will say that stretching doesn't do any of that. There have been recent studies that show stretching before a run has no benefits. Regardless, it does improve flexibility, and stretching just feels good. Stretching can also be a nice way to ease into your day and loosen up those muscles that have been resting all night.
Click HERE for some easy morning stretches from LiveStrong and get your day started right!
I run. I run races, on occasion long races, like 13.1 miles. I run the whole thing. I thought that I'd always be able to say that. But...I walked.
In January 2011, I had some ligament damage in my left ankle (so it was actually a mild sprain, whatever) and had to take a week off and slowly rebuild my mileage. No biggie. I had been running less than a year and my long run was only 5 miles. Easy to build up to that again. The real problem was that it started to become an issue again when I began training for the Rock 'n' Roll USA half marathon in DC. I saw my doctor, who is also a runner. So he understood that I was determined to do the race; and he gave me some pointers to get me through. He made some suggestions as to what we'd do after. Basically, I knew that I was pushing it and this race would be it for 2 weeks. Maybe I didn't realize how much I was pushing it.
Let me just start by saying that I have the most amazing and supportive running buddies EVER! We were doing this for fun...so they were slowing down for me. I'm a runner, just a slow runner. We started out strong. Doesn't everyone? Well, my running buddies are also pushy (in a good way). So we were truckin'. And there may have been some playful name calling, resulting in lots of laughs, and lots of love. I'm pretty sure we spent the first 5 doing a sub 10 (I trained at a 10.5 minute per mile pace). I may have complained, but I was secretly kind of happy that I was doing it. However, if I admitted that, we would have gone faster! And I knew that I couldn't keep that pace the whole time. I started feeling some discomfort after 8 miles, but it wasn't long before discomfort was pain. I can run through some pain...And I did.
Just before mile 12, I couldn't take much more. I did what I thought I would never ever do. I walked. And I felt the knot in my throat. White pain radiated from under my ankle, up my leg, and down my foot to my little, tiny, pinky toe. Every time that left foot hit the pavement, I gasped to keep from crying. But that was nothing in comparison to the hit my pride was taking. I hadn't run that many races, and only one other half, but I had never walked. I know there is no shame in walking, but I thought that 10 years from now, I'd be able to say, "I may be slow, but I've never walked." [Even writing about it, I can feel that knot creeping back into my throat and the tears threatening behind the back of my eyes.] Just after the 12 mile marker, Pete said, "You ready?" My troops rallied and I was running again...Slowly, carefully, and flanked by my pals, but running.
When we could see the 13 mile marker, I knew I wouldn't beat my Philly time, but I also knew that I was going to finish. With the finish line right in front of us, I grabbed Katie's left hand and Pete's right. We put our clasped hands in the air and crossed. Katie immediately grabbed me under the arm and pulled the weight off my left foot. The pain was so intense that I could feel it through my gut...Which is unfortunately evident in some pictures. But I finished. And as it turned out, my finish time was almost identical to Philly.
The Philly Rock n Roll half is completely 100% flat. I did it in 2:18:53. The DC Rock n Roll is not flat...not even a little (OK, maybe the first 4 miles, that is 4 flat miles out of 13.1). I did it in 2:18:54. So, considering that DC was hilly, and I walked...I guess I did ok. Just one second more. I won't lie, it's still a hard pill to swallow, but I'll choke it down.
When my friend was bummed that she walked in her marathon, I told her that she should be proud because she finished something that most people would never even attempt to start. Now I remind myself of the same thing. In 6 months, I have run 2 half marathons in less than 2 hours and 19 minutes each. How many people do you know can say that (don't answer if you hang out with a lot of runners)? And I have gotten to do it with the love, encouragement, and support of some pretty amazing people. Maybe I did walk, and yes it stings, but I still ran...because, I run.
Thank you to everyone that made this drive a success!
As many of you know, I am running the Rock 'n' Roll DC half marathon to support Girls on the Run - DC. I have committed to raise at least $450 for this amazing organization. Leisure Fitness has offered to supply my supporters with an incredible gift! If you recall, I had the opportunity to visit the headquarters, and learn more about what they are really about. And if there was any question about their dedication to wellness above all else, their generosity with the Body Shape Kits sure answers it.
The kit includes:
- Heart Rate/Pedometer Watch
- 2 Multi-Program Exercise DVD's
- Balance Ball and Pump
- 2 Hand Weights
- 2 Resistance Tubes
- 2 Resistance Rings
- Personal Program Planner
- Exercise Guide
As a thank you for your tax deductible donation of $25 or more, Leisure Fitness will gift to you a Body Shape Kit that can be picked up at a local store.
Just a few days until the family and I head to DC for the Rock n Roll half. I want to thank everyone for the support in my quest to raise funds for Girls on the Run - DC. It's getting close and I'm getting excited. This will be my second half marathon, and I'm still questioning how I got here. It's been a long road...Actually, it's been a lot of long roads, and a few pairs of running shoes.
It's such a good feeling to have gotten to this point. But what feels even better is watching someone else headed in my direction. While I was packing for the trip, I was texting with a friend who is finishing up the couch to 5k program. She took advantage of the beautiful weather we had today, and hit the pavement for her longest run yet. My excitement for the race turned into excitement for my friend who had discovered her inner runner. That's when I received one of the best compliments ever! She thanked me for being supportive (though I think she may have meant pushy). What put me over the edge was that she said she owed it all to me. Now of course she is the only one that can take the credit, but boy, did that make me feel great.
I was so lucky to have an incredible mentor to keep me motivated and running (or drag me across the finish line) and another that made sure I surpassed my goals...Yes, I'm talking about my 4am running buddies. I always felt blessed to have this encouragement and inspiration. It's an amazing feeling to be able to do that for someone else. No, I haven't been running for years and years and I'm only on my second half marathon, but I was still able to share my love of running (and the hate I had for it when I started), and encourage someone that may not have become a runner.
So I say spread the love! If you lace up a pair of NB's, Brooks, Mizunos, Sauconys, or Asics and hit the pavement, ask a friend to join you. Someday they may be thanking you.
Of course they work, or they wouldn't be so popular. They work, you'll lose the weight...while you're on it. But who can exist on coffee and gin and tonic alone? I'm mean, it's not the eighties anymore.
I don't know how many times I've heard, "I think I'm going to go back on the such and such diet. That really worked for me before. I lost a lot of weight." OK, that is wonderful. My question, if it worked so well, then why are you fat? Could it be because once you went off the such and such diet, you went back to doing exactly what had you gaining weight in the first place? And just because a doctor endorses it, doesn't mean squat to me. Doctors are not supreme beings. They get caught up in the hype too, especially when they're getting royalties. As far as I'm concerned, every diet that isn't a healthy, well-balance diet, is a fad diet. The fact is this, if you don't make permanent changes, you won't change permanently.
I realize it's hard to be fat. I know. I've been fat. When you're fat, you just want to be skinny...Right Now! But think about how long it took for you to get fat. It didn't happen overnight. It was one bowl of ice cream at a time. So then, doesn't it stand to reason that you should lose it the same way? Reason would also dictate that small, simple changes are easier to make and easier to make stick. We all know that healthy diet and exercise really do work. There is not a doctor in the world that would dispute that. I'm not talking about going out and running 5 miles and then eating nothing but salads. Clearly those are not small changes. Try cutting all of the processed/takeout foods from your diet for 4 out of 7 days (at first, then 5, then 6, yes of course you get to keep a cheat day, I'm not inhumane). Take a walk for 20 minutes every other day...or better yet start the Couch to 5k (wink wink). When you get comfy doing the little things, do a little more. Take your time and ease into a new routine...A new healthy routine.
Stop focusing on the number on the scale and focus on how you feel after a healthy meal and a little exercise. If you start thinking in terms of "healthy" rather than "skinny", you'll get a lot further, feel a lot better and end up being thinner as a freebie.
For those that need a little support or have a little support to offer, we'd love to have you join Running A Healthy Family's Fit Friends group on Facebook. No gimmicks, no fads, no special diets...Just good ol' fashioned healthy eating, exercising, and maybe some jeans that are getting a little looser.
At a certain point, if you're not feeding your body enough calories, it goes into starvation mode and holds on to every precious k-cal, right? And when you're metabolism slows down like that, you usually don't feel so good. The same is true during endurance sports like running, swimming, or biking. If you only rely on stored calories, eventually your body says, "Hey, she's using up the reserves and not replenishing! Don't give up any more!", and you get drained. Say I burn an average of 100 calories per mile that I run (average, because it depends on the incline, the speed, the terrain, if the wind is blowing in your face...which really sucks), on Sunday I ran 12 miles, that's 1200 calories. Below is my formula:
Pre run - Triple Threat Power Bar +230 cals
Miles 1-4 -400 cals (so now I've already burned what I've eaten and some reserves and I'm starting to slow and have 8 miles to go)
Clif Shot Energy Gel +100 cals and I'm back!
Miles 5-8 -400 cals
Clif Shot Energy Gel +100 cals
Miles 8-12 -400 cals
That's 430 calories consumed and 1200 calories burned, leaving a 770 calorie deficit (which I did help fill with a tasty 24 oz Wawa coffee...whatever, I earned it). Basically the idea behind the Beans, Bites, Gels, and Chews, is to get/keep your energy up, like kindling, to keep your body consistently burning fuel. Now, of course, everyone's formula is different. Someone who has been distance running for years probably isn't going to need as many gels as I do, because their body is used to it and knows when it's next "meal" is going to be. And not everyone uses the above forms of energy. Some runners like dried pineapple or tootsie rolls instead. Personally (and yes, I realize how ridiculous this is going to sound considering I'm running 12 miles), I feel like all of that chewing is too much work.
To be honest, I didn't get it at first either. Until after my first 8 mile run and I actually felt that "oomph" after taking my first gel. Good luck on your adventure and finding the right formula for you!
*I'm not an expert. I'm just explaining to the best of my ability. I encourage everyone to do their research and find out what works for them. And don't for get to hydrate!
Baseballs, Basket Balls, Wiffle Balls, Soccer Balls, Foot Balls, Beach Balls, Ping Pong Balls, Super Bouncy Balls...If you have kids, you've got one or more. But, do you have a big round Balance Ball?
Legs - I don't know anyone that loves their thighs and/or butt. If you do love yours, please comment...with a picture ;). Anyway, there are some great ways to use the balance ball to work your thighs. The easiest is laying on the floor with your legs in the air and the ball between your knees contracting your inner thighs. For your rear legs, and just your rear, lean forward over the ball until your resting your pelvis on the ball with your palms shoulder width apart on the floor in front of you and your legs out straight behind you. Do sets lifting each leg (without arching your back).
There are probably hundreds more ways to use your balance ball, but these are a few of my faves. What? You don't have a balance ball? GASP! OK, it's really not that big of a deal, but it is a pretty inexpensive piece of exercise equipment, that doubles as a giant kick-ball for the kids on "Daddy day". Oh and if you don't want to spend the loot on it, you can donate and get one for FREE, along with a bunch of other cool exercise equipment and a tax deduction. Just click on the Body Shape Kit!
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