New Drinking Game

I think I’m going to encourage everyone to start doing a shot every time I miss a Running to Rome goal. Once again I’m about 20 miles shy of where I needed to be for the beginning of May. I could blame the fact that I moved last week, or I could own up to my own lack of planning. So this is me owning up.

In other, more successful news, I’m unpacked, have a bed frame for the spare room on the way, and have two very settled girls waiting for me every day when I get home. As some of you may or may not have known, I recently had to move into a pet-friendly apartment complex to accommodate my fuzzy roommates. The place is twice the size of my last and has a washer/dryer! I can finally stop going to the carwash for change every other week! The only hiccup I seem to be encountering in the new place is its lack of decoration (and my lack of motivation). You see, I was encouraged to avoid putting holes in the walls for pictures and such due to the complex’s weird patch fee. (I feel like its $25 per wall they have to patch!) Luckily I have a ton of those little plastic hooks that actually support quite a bit of weight. Now I just have to settle on a couch cover color and then I’m on my way to surfing Pinterest for ideas.

What’s a good color for a beige and peach living room?

The couch I have now is blue and cream, which Alex seems to like; however I despise the plaid-ish pattern. Here are some options:

 

I think a beige or light brown would be cute too, but I would definitely need tons of accent pillows.

Anyway, tomorrow I start back to running club, which I’m welcoming with open arms. I’m hoping I can do at least 4 miles to leave me with only an extra 16 to catch up on. Here’s to hoping!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: I recently saw a bumper sticker on Pinterest that I thought would be a perfect reminder for my fresh start back to running.

That ice cream does look killer though…

Officially Moved

I’m going to keep this brief, but I am officially moved into my new place. I have several things to take care of, but for the most part, the unpacking process is going relatively smoothly. The girls have adjusted, which is great; however they’ve become ultra, super-duper divas from all of the pampering they have been receiving. Lesson learned!

In other news, I haven’t been able to get any running in, which is a major bummer. The good news is that I’m within walking distance to my gym now and plan to spend some time there this evening. It’s weird how moving means I physically stop moving. (I also blame sore muscles from moving boxes. Hey, at least it was a sort-of workout!)

I promise I’ll get back on track with everything (blogging, healthy eating, running, etc.) soon!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Exercise before eating. Even a ten minute walk can decrease your appetite and prevent you from over eating.

TTT: Things I Won’t Drink

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Tomato Juice. I’ve never tried it and probably never will, even though everyone I know loves Bloody Marys. Tough!

Red Bull. When I was younger, I was introduced to the Jager Bomb. This “classic” bar favorite was something I assumed would taste great and make me feel even better. WRONG. After that retched substance (the Jager) finally left my body the next day, I vowed never to touch the stuff again. A few weeks later, a friend of mine popped open a Red Bull, nearly sending me to a nearby bush. It was then I realized that Red Bull was the culprit that made me horrendously ill…well that and forever the smell of wing sauce.

Mellow Yellow. Maybe it’s the fact that I spent most of my youth watching my uncle spit his tobacco into a Mellow Yellow bottle that made me want to vomit at the sight of this pee colored drink, or maybe it was the actual fact that it was a pee colored drink. Whatever the reason, this drink has never touched my lips, nor do I ever plan on letting it. I’m sorry if some of you out there are a fan, but this stuff makes me cringe!

I apologize if any of these drinks are a personal favorite of yours.

In other news, I arrived home after my run to find that my Stella & Dot earrings had arrived!!

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Hooray! I’ve had my eye on these bad boys for quite some time!

Before I wrap things up, let me ask you: Are there any drinks you refuse to touch?

My Healthy Tip of the Day: If you can’t face doing 30 minutes exercise a day, break it down into 3 ten-minute bursts.

WIAW: Indian Food


Breakfast: Toast with jelly and cottage cheese

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Snack: Yogurt with cereal

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Lunch: Leftover homemade Indian food – tomatoes, chickpeas, cauliflower, spinach, and tikka masala sauce

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Dinner: Pancakes!!

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Check out this chocolate one I made:

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I enjoyed these pancakes while watching the film adaptation of my Book Club’s past read, Sarah’s Key. The movie was just as good as the book. In fact, it’s rare that I find a movie that spot on with the book! A lot of it was in French, a language I only wish I could speak, but it was definitely a 5 star flick.

My Healthy Tip of the Day brought to you by the Mayo Clinic: Substitute whole-wheat toast or whole-grain bagels for plain bagels. Substitute low-fat, multigrain muffins for pastries.

TTT: National Grilled Cheese Day

In honor of National Grilled Cheese Day, here are my three favorite grilled cheese sandwiches:

1. Classic. Two slices of bread with one (or two) slice of Kraft American cheese. You can’t go wrong. Serve with chips, a pickle or tomato soup. Yum!!

This commercial made my mouth water EVERY time.

2. Fancy. I once had a pesto and tomato grilled cheese and loved it just as much as the classic version.

3. Memory-filled. Thick, crusty bread with mozzarella cheese. When I was little, I would stay with our neighbors in the summer while my parents were at work. They lived in this super old house on a big farm with tons of animals. Heaven, right? They were very earthy and actually chose not to have running water or electricity. It was at this house that I think I grew to appreciate the simple luxuries in life. Anyway, I distinctly remember eating a thick grilled cheese at their house with white, melty mozzarella cheese and a Pepsi on the side. I loved going to that house.

WIAW: Breakfast

Before I tell you about the food I’ve consumed, I’d like to share something that I’ve noticed for quite a while now. I’d like to first preface this by saying that I am in no way against marriage, engagement, weddings, etc. I think it’s awesome that people want to celebrate their union and I encourage everyone to believe, “To each his own.” However, I’ve been recently observing women all of ages identify themselves with their marital status. For instance, on Twitter, I saw at least two random profiles that put “fiancé” at the top of their About Me section. Again, to each his own, but how does this define someone? (The same could easily apply to men!) Also, rumors of my supposed engagement have been flying rampantly in the past few months and the reaction when I tell each person that I’m not is exactly the same:

Person: Are you engaged?!? [Looks at my hand.]

Me: Oh, no I’m actually not. I’ve been hearing that a lot lately though.

Person: [Disappointed tone] Oh. So…what else is new?

Me: Well I am in a relationship.

Person: Uh huh. So how are your cats?

Me: They’re great. I mean, we’ve been together for four years. That’s a long time! Longer than some marriages!

Person: Uh huh.


Never mind the fact that I work full time, live on my own and own my own yacht. (That’s a lie.)

I kid you not; this is the reaction. It’s unintentional, I’m sure, but it’s almost like when you’re in college and you find out all of your friends are pledging and you aren’t. You’re out of the club. Anyway, I guess this is the take away:

Don’t let a ring define you or your relationship. If you’re engaged or planning on it, that’s wonderful. Show off that hunk of metal and be proud. Just don’t let it define you. Your significant other should be a huge part of your life, if that’s what you want, but it shouldn’t be everything.


WIAW

Breakfast: Chocolate Covered Strawberry Oats

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Snack: Banana

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Lunch: Cucumber slices with hummus and a leftover Easter egg!

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Snack: A pink lady with cereal and almonds

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Easter Basket!

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Dinner: (NOT PICTURED) Italian eggs with two pieces of toast and a whole lotta Honey Bunches of Oats

Food Challenge

I saw this Food List Challenge on Julie’s PBFinger blog and thought I’d give it a whirl. I had always assumed I was somewhat adventurous when it came to food, but clearly I was WRONG! I placed the foods in bold that I have tried, however it is rather puny (36/100).

FOOD LIST CHALLENGE

1. Abalone

2. Absinthe

3. Alligator

4. Baba Ghanoush

5. Bagel and Lox

6. Baklava

7. Barbecue Ribs

8. Bellini

9. Bird’s Nest Soup

10. Biscuits and Gravy

11. Black Pudding

12. Black Truffle

13. Borscht

14. Calamari

15. Carp

16. Caviar

17. Cheese Fondue

18. Chicken and Waffles

19. Chicken Tikka Masala

20. Chile Relleno

21. Chitlins

22. Churros

23. Clam Chowder

24. Cognac

25. Crab Cakes

26. Crickets

27. Currywurst

28. Dandelion Wine

29. Dulce De Leche

30. Durian

31. Eel

32. Eggs Benedict

33. Fish Tacos

34. Foie Gras

35. Fresh Spring Rolls

36. Fried Catfish

37. Fried Green Tomatoes

38. Fried Plantain

39. Frito Pie – MUST TRY

40. Frogs’ Legs

41. Fugu

42. Funnel Cake

43. Gazpacho

44. Goat

45. Goat’s Milk

46. Goulash

47. Gumbo

48. Haggis

49. Head Cheese

50. Heirloom Tomatoes

51. Honeycomb

52. Hostess Fruit Pie

53. Huevos Rancheros

54. Jerk Chicken

55. Kangaroo

56. Key Lime Pie

57. Kobe Beef

58. Lassi

59. Lobster

60. Mimosa

61. MoonPie

62. Morel Mushrooms

63. Nettle Tea

64. Octopus

65. Oxtail Soup

66. Paella

67. Paneer

68. Pastrami on Rye

69. Pavlova

70. Phaal

71. Philly Cheese Steak

72. Pho

73. Pineapple and Cottage Cheese

74. Pistachio Ice Cream

75. Po’ Boy

76. Pocky

77. Polenta

78. Prickly Pear

79. Rabbit Stew

80. Raw Oysters

81. Root Beer Float

82. S’mores

83. Sauerkraut

84. Sea Urchin

85. Shark

86. Snail

87. Snake

88. Soft Shell Crab

89. Som Tam

90. Spaetzle

91. Spam

92. Squirrel

93. Steak Tartare

94. Sweet Potato Fries

95. Sweetbreads

96. Tom Yum

97. Umeboshi

98. Venison

99. Wasabi Peas

100. Zucchini Flowers

Go ahead and give this food challenge a try to see how you stack up!

I Have Issues

Well this Easter weekend came and went almost as quickly as my cavity-free teeth did. On Saturday, I decided not to wait until sun down to indulge in some major chocolate gorging and ended up making myself sick in a matter of 30 minutes. I recuperated just in time for dinner, which was followed by another round of indulgence. (Hello, brownies with peanut butter chips.)  When Sunday morning came, I knew I’d have to refrain from starting off the day with another pound of chocolate, so I did…until the car ride home. I hit the dark chocolate eggs harder than [insert inappropriate Chris Brown/Ike Turner joke here]. By the time I got home and settled, I was four slices of pizza in (got home late and didn’t want to cook) and looked like I should be fully dilated. Ayi-yi.

Fast forward to this morning when I arrived at work to find my wonderful coworker/friend had put together an AMAZING Easter bowl for me. Good. Lord. So, starting this evening, I am going to be on my best behavior. I am going to eat my veggies and do my push-ups. I am going to drink lots of water and stretch properly for my LONG run tomorrow. I’m thinking 4-5 miles is a must to work off these sugar buns.

Have you ever indulged to the point of sickness?

To my defense, I have always maintained that I have a chocolate problem. I do not try to hide it and I am not ashamed. Some people run to live, but I run to eat. No shame here.

aww yea candy - Best Of The Awwwww Yeah! Meme.

Oh and sorry for the lack of Three Things Thursday last week; I was preparing for my trip to Kentucky to visit my family. Congratulations again to the University of Kentucky for their big win last week. Much like West Virginia, you can’t walk into a restaurant or store without seeing a sea of university colors. I think it’s one of the many reasons why, although a Mountaineer, I do have a little blue blood in my veins.

Had to do it. Made me laugh too hard not to.

Hope you enjoyed your Monday!

WIAW: Italian Veggie Bowl


I’ve had an extremely busy week (I know, excuses, excuses) and really haven’t had a chance to snap pics of my meals, so I’ll leave you with photos of a dinner I’ve repeated twice this week.

The Italian Veggie Bowl

If you can believe it, I just finished off the spaghetti squash I prepared last week. I threw it in a skillet with mushrooms, zucchini, chickpeas, tomatoes, and a ton of garlic.

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For good measure, I tossed in some Laughing Cow cheese and some Oliverio’s peppers. YUM!!!

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I've found that the nastier something looks, the better it tastes.

For those of you who aren’t familiar with northern West Virginia, Oliverio’s is well-known restaurant that originated in Clarksburg, West Virginia. Here’s a little history:

THE OLIVERIO FAMILY TRADITION

IN 1932, IN HER SMALL KITCHEN AT THE BACK OF HER RETAIL STORE IN CLARKSBURG, WV, ANTOINETTE “MA” OLIVERIO PERFECTED HER RECIPE FOR PEPPERS IN ITALIAN SAUCE. HER SON, FRANK, TOOK HER RECIPE OUT OF THE KITCHEN AND INTO THE BUSINESS WORLD.

IN 1972, HE BEGAN CANNING PEPPERS UNDER THE OLIVERIO LABEL. TODAY, HIS SON MARK OLIVERIO AND DAUGHTER DEANNA MASON CONTINUE RUNNING THE BUSINESS THAT WAS A LABOR OF LOVE FOR THEIR FATHER.  THREE GENERATIONS LATER, THE OLIVERIO FAMILY HAVE COMBINED THEIR LOVE OF GOOD FOOD WITH THEIR RECIPE FOR SUCCESS. IN SHARING THEIR FATHERS DREAM, THEY ARE ALSO CONTINUING THE LEGACY OF ANTOINETTE, WHOM THEY CREDIT WITH INSTILLING RESPECT FOR HERITAGE AND LOVE OF FAMILY. OLIVERIO PRODUCTS ARE MADE FROM A FAMILY RECIPE USING ONLY THE FINEST INGREDIENTS. TODAY, THE PEPPERS ARE USED IN RESTAURANTS AND LINE STORE SHELVES THROUGHOUT THE EAST COAST.

This stuff is deadly. I’ve known people to eat it with pasta, on meats or simply with a piece of hearty Italian bread. If you like Italian style peppers and you’re ever in my area, stop by any grocery store and pick up a jar!

Anyway, this veggie dish was out of control good and was worth being the WIAW entry!

Running Arms

On Friday, I performed a site evaluation at Cheat Lake Elementary School to ensure “participant safety and proper protocol/criteria for Girls on the Run of Monongalia County. I, along with other active board members, visited at least one site this month. It sounds super official, but it was really just a way for us to reconnect with the program. While observing the running portion of the practice, I noticed one of the coaches advising the girls not to use “washing machine arms”. She imitated the motion and then showed them the correct way to move their arms while they run. I was shocked to learn that I use washing machine arms!

After she finished speaking with the girls, I walked over and asked her to once again demonstrate the correct way to move my arms. She explained that the side-to-side motion requires more energy, which is not something you can afford to lose while running. She also said a good rule of thumb is to try the motion sitting down.

The video above shows the proper way to move your arms and stabilize your core. If you do “washing machine” style, you’ll bounce all around. This hand-to-ear motion, as seen above, is the best way to stabilize breathing and preserve energy during your run.

Sunday I put this theory to the test. While on my 4.5 mile run, I noted how I felt when I was running without thinking about form and then noted how I felt when I practiced hand-to-ear running. The difference was unreal! My breathing, which had always been my biggest downfall, had calmed to almost normal, and my shoulders didn’t get stiff. I felt my energy focus shift to my legs and I actually felt the forward propelling motion runners are always talking about. It was amazing how such a small adjustment could make such a huge difference!

My Healthy Tip of the Day: To better improve your breathing and overall energy while running, try to keep your hands at waist level, right about where they might lightly brush your hip. Your arms should be at a 90 degree angle, with your elbows at your sides. You should rotate your arms at the shoulder (not at the elbow), so they’re swinging back and forth.