Snow Day Number…I’ve Lost Count

Fancy meeting you here. I know I certainly haven’t been around in a while! Well, as you’ve probably already guessed, I’m snowed in for the millionth time this winter. Hey, I’m not complaining, because it saves me a drive, but I am a little tired of the bitter cold. Snow is very pretty, though. 

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Honestly though, I don’t mind another day at the house, as my weekend was pretty jam packed with fun outings. On Saturday, I drove to Fairmont to my co-worker’s baby “sprinkle.” In case you’ve never heard of this, I’ll explain. A “baby sprinkle” is a smaller party to celebrate second, third or fourth pregnancies and is usually more common when the mother is having a child of the opposite sex of the first. In my co-worker’s case, she didn’t want her little girl to be stuck with a bunch of blue hand-me-downs! The whole thing was filled with great company, delicious snacks and of course, the entertainment of her first born running around with an adorable “I heart my sister” tee shirt. So cute.

After the sprinkle, I hurried back to Morgantown to meet Alex, my friend Mandy and her mom for the WVU United Way benefit dinner at the Alumni Center. The whole evening was a blast and the food was very good. We honestly couldn’t even touch our dessert! After we finished up the dinner, we headed over to Mario’s Fishbowl for a nightcap. 

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Oh, before I forget, let me share a photo of my happy veggie omelet!

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Yum! 

Ok, I’m off to entertain Grace and make my usual attempts to log into my work computer remotely. 

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GOTR SoleMates!

I have been volunteering with the Girls on the Run (GOTR) of Monongalia County for quite some time now, but went through a period where I felt like I wasn’t doing enough. Sure I was attending board meetings and helping with the 5K, but I still felt like I needed to do more. Back in the spring, the discussion came up at one of our meetings about a new SoleMates Program coordinator position that needed filled. I wrestled with the idea for several months before I finally decided to jump right in. Man, am I glad I did!

If you aren’t familiar with GOTR, let me first give you a little spiel about that. GOTR combines training for a 5K running event with healthy living education. The programs instill self-esteem and strong values through health education, life skills development, mentoring relationships, and physical training– all of which are accomplished through an active collaboration with girls and their parents, schools, volunteers, staff, and the community. Basically, it’s a program in which young girls are provided the opportunity to get together and discuss all of the bold words above. It’s a great way to help offset or prevent the growing numbers of body image issues girls are facing earlier and earlier each year.

GOTR is constantly growing and since it’s a non-profit, it’s always looking for new ways to stay funded. That is where the SoleMates Program comes in to play. (Text below is what you’ll find on the SoleMates page of the GOTR of Mon County home page.)

The Girls on the Run SoleMates program provides adults an opportunity to raise money for Girls on the Run while training for the athletic event of their choice. SoleMates set personal goals such as running in a marathon or 10k event to raise money for our local Girls on the Run council.

Whether you are participating in your first or fiftieth marathon, by becoming a SoleMate you are doing much more than achieving your personal fitness goals. By asking friends to support your event training and participation with a donation on your behalf to Girls on the Run, you are showing your true commitment to the values we are instilling in girls everywhere to celebrate their physical and emotional health. Sign up today to be a SoleMates and let your love of running make a difference in the life of a girl.

So far, we have two SoleMates signed up and ready to go. The first is Sera Mathews. I first met Sera at the GOTR/West Virginia University Gender Equality Movement (GEM) 

Yes, those are my arms and yes I cropped my face out of this picture with G.E.M. member Miranda Miller. This was taken at the screening.  

hosted screening of the film MissRepresentation. Sera was interested in volunteering with GOTR, but wasn’t sure where to start. A few nights after our first meeting, I received an email from her expressing interest in the program. Beyond excited, I immediately got her started with the process. Fast forward about a week and a half and I was fortunate enough to “be in the right place at the right time.” I had stopped by our SBASE Camp office in Morgantown to meet our Council Director Laurie to pick up some SoleMates goodies. While there, I met Rachel Byrne, who was also meeting with Laurie about some GOTR business. Giving her a quick SoleMates pitch must have done the trick, because she also emailed me later in the evening about joining the program! Two SoleMates in one month! In January, Sera will be participating in the Run to Read Half Marathon in Fairmont, W.Va. as her targeted race and Rachel will be doing the Pittsburgh Marathon in July. Thanks again, girls!!

As mentioned before, if you are interested in becoming a SoleMate for the GOTR of Mon County, please contact me directly at bailee.r.morris@gmail.com. We’re always looking for new participants and did I mention there’s a goody packet involved? 🙂

My Healthy Tip of the Day: Participate in your local SoleMates Program, of course! If you aren’t in my area, visit http://www.gotr.org and do a quick search to find a council in your area. It’s a great cause and a great excuse to get active!

 

Game Day Eating

For most, football season means mindlessly munching on anything from chicken wings to handfuls of greasy chips at a tailgate. Some eat in celebration and others eat in mourning for a lost game. Whatever the reason, a serious amount of junk usually makes its way into our systems every Friday and Saturday night. (Who doesn’t love greasy food, though?!)

Unfortunately, these kinds of indulgences, plus those holiday feasts from November through December, can really add up at the end of a season. So this year, try some of these healthy spins on classic tailgate and football party foods. I promise, you’ll thank your stars when you don’t have to start the New Year with yet another weight resolution!

Chile Con Queso

· 2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
· 1 medium onion, chopped
· 2 cloves garlic, minced
· ½ cup pale ale, or other light-colored beer
· 1 ½ cups low-fat milk, divided
· 3 tbsp cornstarch
· 1 ¾ cups shredded sharp Cheddar
· 1 10-ounce can diced tomatoes with green chiles, drained, or 1 ¼ cups drained petite-diced tomatoes
· 2 tbsp lime juice
· 1 tsp salt
· 1 tsp chili powder
· Cayenne pepper, to taste
· ¼ cup scallions
· 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro

Directions:

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, 4-5 minutes. Add the beer and cook until reduced slightly, about 1 minute. Add 1 cup of milk and bring to a simmer.
2. Meanwhile, whisk the remaining ½ cup milk and cornstarch in a small bowl. Add to the pan and cook, stirring vigorously, until bubbling and thickened, about 1-2 minutes. Reduce heat to low, add cheese and cook, stirring, until melted. Stir in drained tomatoes, lime juice, salt, chili powder, and cayenne.
3. Serve warm, garnished with scallions and cilantro.

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Per ¼-cup serving: 84 calories, 5 g fat, 14 mg cholesterol, 5 g carbohydrates, 4 g protein

Recipe on eatingwell.com

Meatball (or Mushroom) Heros with Tri-Colored Peppers

· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· 1 small onion, sliced
· 1/2 green pepper, sliced
· 1/2 red pepper, sliced
· 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 1 (12 ounce) loaf Italian bread (preferably whole-grain)
· 8 meatballs or sautéed (or grilled) Portobello mushrooms
· 1 cup Marinara or tomato sauce
· 1/2 cup grated part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

1. Preheat the broiler.
2. Heat the oil in a large skillet over a medium heat. Add the onions, peppers, and salt and saute for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. (If using mushrooms, throw them in with during this step.)
3. Cut the bread into quarters crosswise and cut each quarter in half, being careful not to cut all the way through, so the 2 haves stay connected. Scoop the soft center out of the bread.
4. Put the bread, open-faced, on a baking sheet. Place 1 meatball (or mushroom) and some sauce on 1 side of each piece of bread. Top with some of the pepper mixture. Moisten the other side of each sandwich with a little sauce and sprinkle with the cheese. Broil until the cheese is melted, about 4 minutes.

*This recipe was altered to accommodate a vegetarian diet.

Mountaineer Oatmeal Cookies

· 3/4 cup all-purpose flour (about 3 1/3 ounces)
· 1 cup regular oats
· 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
· 1/4 teaspoon salt
· 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
· 1/4 cup butter, softened
· 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
· 1 large egg
· **3/4 cup chunked dried or fresh blueberries, depending on preference
· 1/3 cup premium white chocolate chips (such as Ghirardelli)
· Cooking spray
· Yellow and blue sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Lightly spoon flour into a measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, oats, baking soda, and salt; stir with a whisk. Place sugar and butter in the bowl of a stand mixer; beat at medium speed until well blended (about 3 minutes). Add vanilla and egg; beat well. Gradually add flour mixture, beating until blended. Add fruit and chips; beat at low speed just until blended.
3. Drop dough by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray. Bake at 350° for 10 minutes and remove from oven. Sprinkle yellow and blue sprinkles on top of the cookies and put back in the oven for an additional 2-5 minutes, or until cookies are browned.
4. Remove from oven; cool on pan 1 minute. Remove cookies from pan; cool completely on wire racks.

*I took this idea from a recipe from Laura Zapalowski, Cooking Light Issue May 2007.

**Use fruit and sprinkles that match your favorite team colors.