Fridge Friday – Fail

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Not a lot has changed in my fridge since last Friday. I think somehow we made do with what was in the freezer and pantry for dinners. Some nights we just snack for dinner or have cereal. I did go to the grocery once and mostly bought drinks, as well as bacon, ice cream, applesauce, grapes, dried pineapple and my new favorite dried fruit, mango. Dried mango is delicious! The only downside is the added sugar; I must find a brand that does not have so much sugar. You might have noticed the same blue casserole dish on the top shelf. It is not the same pan of protein bars from last Friday, but a newly made batch. 🙂 They are so yummy and good for breakfast with bacon and good for a snack after running. And maybe more bacon. What? I’m just trying to up my protein intake! I definitely failed my goal of getting more fruits and veggies in there. Guess we’ll have to try harder!

I found a few delicious sounding/looking recipes on Pinterest that I hope to try over the weekend or next week. I also have a few weeks’ worth of Six O’Clock Scramble recipes to choose from. Side note: If you are not on Pinterest let me know and I will send you an invite. Just think organized eye candy and any do-it-yourself instruction at the click of the mouse. You can pretty much “pin” any picture from the internet onto your “boards” and the URL will stay with the picture for reference. You organize your pins on boards that you give any title, so you can keep like pins together.

So there you have it. Hopefully next week I can share how we have increased the amount of fresh fruits and veggies in the fridge!

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5K – Met My Goal

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This past Sunday I ran a 5K. It was a fundraiser for our school district and also included a 10K and half marathon. In total 2400 people participated! This was my first time running the course and I was a little nervous. I looked at the map to get a feel for it but didn’t really know what the elevation changes would be like. Luckily I found the kids’ PE teacher at the starting line and this was her 26th time running the race. I knew her goal time was 28-29 minutes and wanted to stay with her as long as I could. We worked great together and were able to talk during most of it, her telling me when an incline was coming and giving me a heads-up as to when we should kick it in high gear. She didn’t know I was pretty much already in high gear during the first mile. 🙂 We ran a 9:20 mile and during training I do a 9:40 first mile.

She commented that we were perfect running partners and it was as-if we had been running together all our lives. I was very impressed with her and hope I can run the same pace when I am her age (pretty sure she’s in her fifties, I am 32). I stuck with her for 2.5 miles and was then winded; the second mile was mostly uphill. My legs felt heavy and my hamstrings were a bit tight. It was also warm and I am not a good warm-weather runner.  She wanted to finish strong so took off, while I then walked for fifteen seconds to catch my breath. That last half mile felt LONG but at least it was downhill. It’s one of those courses where you can see the finish line during the last quarter of a mile so you start to sprint and then realize you sprinted too soon. At least, that’s what usually happens to me. I ended up finishing strong though and beat my goal time of 30 minutes by five seconds. If I had not run with the PE teacher I would not have reached that goal. I love having a running partner during races!

While I am happy with my time, I still want to improve and get faster but am not sure how to get there. I need to do some research on that. I also need to do an activity other than running and do some strength training. My plan is to start attending a zumba class because they seem to be wildly popular and I hear it’s a great workout. Anyone out there do zumba? Run a race this month? Have any training advice?

Happy Running!

Tax on Fat?

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Recently Mark Bittman from The New York Times Opinion Pages has been writing about taxing fat in the U.S. It is being done in Austria, Switzerland, Hungary and Denmark. A few days ago he mentioned that Britain’s PM David Cameron is backing a national fat tax. You can read more about that here. You can read more about Denmark’s tax in Bittman’s article here.

Some of these countries also have taxes on soda, sugar, and salt to help pay for health care costs. Obesity in European countries is on the rise, as well as here in the US, as we know, and this is one way they hope to help combat it and also bring in some revenue. Denmark, Austria, and Switzerland have actually banned trans fats.

What I don’t understand is, are they taxing the companies who manufacture the food? I don’t think so, because it sounds like they are taxing the consumer. I suppose it doesn’t matter who they tax, though, because if they tax the companies then they’ll just raise the price of the foods.The I suppose the hope would be that people would stop purchasing those products and therefore force the company to make something with less fat/sugar/salt.

At first I thought this would really only affect processed foods, but something like a steak has fat in it; how do they measure the amount of fat from steak to steak? It also applies to food purchased at restaurants and that is where I think it could be very influential. Who takes the time to read the nutrition facts on meals at restaurants? I’m sure not many and I know I don’t. But I do read labels on foods I buy at the grocery.

We tax tobacco and alcohol; has that decreased the amount of people smoking/chewing and drinking? It seems like fewer people are smoking and that can probably be attributed to more understanding about smoking’s effects on health, but I haven’t read anything about whether or not the number of people smoking has definitely dropped in recent years; will have to do some research. I know Iowa has a hefty tax on cigarettes, I think $1 per pack.

Anyhow, I find this all very interesting and look forward to reading more and learning what effect the tax as on these countries’ obesity rates.

Fridge Friday

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Fridge Friday – wherein I embarrassingly show you what is in my fridge and talk about what is right with it and what is wrong. This is from a couple of days ago and it actually still looks pretty similar. Hopefully some day it won’t be embarrassing. 🙂 That’s my goal.

We recently started using The Six O’Clock Scramble; a website that sends out a weekly menu and grocery list. You can go with what they choose or create your own menu. We just need more meal ideas and it’s handy to have the grocery list created for us. My sister-in-law recommended it and Mamasource.com had a coupon for 1/2 off a 6 month membership, so we’re giving it a try. We still have the ingredients for one of the recipes and they probably need to be tossed. That would be the broccoli and spinach (we ate some of it but now it’s rotting).

The top shelf holds a pan of protein bars that are delicious; I’ll share that recipe eventually. There are also a couple of containers of nasty cottage cheese, baby pickles, margarine, ground flax seed, and various containers of leftovers. In the drawer is mostly cheese – shredded varieties, Laughing Cow, a wedge of gorgonzola. The middle shelf has the broccoli that I don’t know if it’s still good, cut up zucchini leftover from a meal and eggs. The foil has pizza in it for us to take to work the following day for lunch. The bottom shelf is where we keep the drinks – there’s always orange juice, Dairy Ease, water, maybe some regular milk, beer, and apple juice, although you’ll see we’re out of apple juice at the moment. You may have noticed a bowl of brown stuff – that’s coffee grounds. Something was smelly in there a few days ago (I cleaned some old tomatoes out) and I read somewhere that coffee grounds can help eliminate smells. We had some pumpkin coffee up in a cupboard from a year ago (the coffee wasn’t that great so we didn’t drink it much) and I used that. Worked great!

The bottom drawers have apples, baby carrots, lemons and the nasty spinach. The door has the condiments and the wine. We need to get groceries and don’t have much to make a good meal. There’s chicken breasts in the freezer that we just keep forgetting to thaw, but in these posts I’m going to try to keep to the fridge and not venture into the freezer and pantry too much.

Now onto the goals. Eat more fresh fruits and veggies. We do pretty well eating fruits; we all love grapes, apples and bananas. I have a new-found love for dried mango – YUM! Most of the fresh veggies we partake in are carrots, so there’s a lot of room for improvement and I can tell the Scramble recipes are going to help; otherwise most of our veggies are frozen or canned and mostly peas, green beans, and corn. I am not a fan of onions or peppers, but last week I chose a recipe with them and actually ate it and liked it!

One thing we do pretty well is taking lunch to work, usually leftovers from the night before. It saves money and is usually healthier than the options we both have near work. I do so love the egg, bacon and cheese sandwich from Which Wich?, though! Another goal I have is not letting the leftovers go bad. That’s probably going to be the hardest thing with making new meals; we don’t know if we like them and if we don’t, we probably won’t eat the leftovers. I would like to be able to freeze food but that is something I have had little success doing. I must be using the wrong containers because everything gets freezer burn.

Anyone have any freezing tips? What’s the best thing about what is in your fridge right now? The worst? Spill it.

Fall/Winter Running – No Excuses

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Running is not a new thing for me; I have run for exercise and done races (by races I mean mostly 5ks and sometimes a 7 mile) on and off since elementary school. By on and off I mean when I have not been in the process of growing another human or have been caring for a baby. I know, excuses, excuses. As of right now I have been consistently running for over almost 2 years, although I did not do as much as I should have over the winter. I live in Iowa, and it’s just too darn cold to run outside and sometimes it’s just too cold to drive the 3 minutes to the rec center and run on the track (for free). There I go I making excuses, again.

This winter I want to run outside as long as I can without getting frostbite. How do I plan to do that? Well, I bought some pants and a hat with a pony-tail hole. Yep, that’s where I’m starting. I need the warm clothes in order to run outside so I figured I ought to get them now before it actually gets cold. We have had some cold days but right now we’re having a week in the 80s. Once it is absolutely too cold to run outside I will head to the track. I will, I really will.

This is a set I made on Polyvore (SO FUN!). These are the pants and hat I have coming. I have the iPod and similar shoes, as well. I have enough shirts already that I can layer on the top and I have some Smartwool socks. I chose these Continuum Tights by Athleta because they are compression tights – I have found that I love compression shorts because they keep things from bouncing. I think compression will also help keep me warm. I forgot to include the shorts (worn as undies) I like in my set! They are the Nike Pro Compression Shorts, although, I have the 5″ and could probably use the 7″ because they start to creep up on my legs. Not annoying while I’m running but I tug on them when I’m not.

The Run Like A Mother book is on my wish list. It looks entertaining and maybe motivating, so I want to check it out. I just started following their blog, too – anothermotherrunner.com

Do you run in cold temps? Any advice?

Cold Weather Running II

Brook
$80 – brooksrunning.com

Brook
$55 – brooksrunning.com

Brooks shoes
$140 – brooksrunning.com

Hat
athleta.gap.com

Wool/Bamboo Infiniti QTR 1pack
$16 – brooksrunning.com

Numero Uno

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Alright, here we go. Entering the world of blogging when it isn’t necessarily going to be about my kids. I already have a blog that I write which is just about the kids; it’s for family and friends. I have been wanting to write more non-kid related stuff, so here it is. The main thing I want to chronicle is running. Other topics will include food. I love food and I like running, therefore it makes sense to write about both. There will be other things and I guess we’ll know what those topics are when we get there. I feel like I need to start off with some goals/reasons why I’m writing:

1. Write about more than just the kids – I think I established that in above paragraph.

2. Write about running. Why? To make myself accountable; so even if I am the only person who reads this, I will feel like I need to reach my goals in running and physical fitness. Because I wrote it down. And when someone writes something, it’s more permanent.

3. Maybe motivate someone to make positive, healthy life changes.

4. Write about food and the challenges in making healthy choices.

I am definitely no professional when it comes to any of this; I’m just keepin’ it real and trying, with some failure and hopefully a lot of success, the best way I know how. 🙂