Monthly Archives: February 2010

A Tough Run

I got off work this morning at 7:00 and got about 4 hours of sleep before I woke up in a panic. I’m not really sure what that was all about, but every now and then I’ll shoot up out of the bed afraid that I’ve missed something, or I’m late for something. When that happens there is no going back to sleep.

Sundays are my long run days, but on the 1 week out of the month that I work Thursday, Friday and Saturday night I have a tough time getting going for my Sunday run. Today was no exception. I didn’t feel incredibly tired even though I only slept 4 hours, but I just wasn’t feeling like running today. I’ve been getting really bored lately with my running routes. Unfortunately there aren’t alot of great places to run close to where I live since I live off of a main road. I really need to find some new spots to shake up my routine a bit.

I finally decided just to suck it up and do my 9-miler in my neighborhood because I knew it would be the quickest. I eventually dragged myself out the door and got going, but it was not easy. I knew I’d feel better once I got going though. WRONG! I looked down at my Garmin … 1.18 miles … oh god, this is gonna suck. I willed myself to keep going, I could have stopped right then and walked home.

I turned left, I turned right, I went down every side street on my normal neighborhood route to try to extend what truly is a 4 mile route into a 9 mile route. I got bored very quickly. Too many turns, too many cul-de-sacs, too many walkers to wave at as I pass so that I don’t feel rude … do I make eye contact, or just keep going? These are all the silly things that plagued my mind as I ran today. My knee started aching at mile 6 … ugh still 3 more miles to go.

I finally decided to start heading back home. I did some quick calculations in my head and figured that I should be just at 9 miles by the time I got home. When I finally reached my street and I was at 8.3 miles I knew I was going to fall short since my street is only 0.3 miles long. Sure enough as soon as I hit my driveway my Garmin clicked over to 8.6 miles. I could have turned around and headed back down the road and finished off my 9 miles, but I didn’t have any drive left in me, my knee was killing me and I couldn’t bare to have to run up the monster hill to my house again … so I quit.

I’ve only been running for a little less than a year, but I have never once quit short. I knew there would come a day when I would have to stop shy of my intended distance. There have been plenty of times I wanted to, but I always motivated myself to keep going by reminding myself that I’ve never quit before and I wasn’t going to start that day. Today, I quit.

I did 8.6 miles in 1:14:40.

When I stopped running and walked into the house I suddenly realized I could barely even walk, my knee was hurting so bad. Then I realized I should have quit alot sooner. I iced my knees really well and did some good stretches, but I’m still feeling very achey. I learned a lesson today that sometimes you should listen to your body and not ignore what its telling you.


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A Strong Run

I woke up at about 5:30 this morning and couldn’t go back to sleep. Lincoln insisted on sleeping with us last night and he kicked me all night, finally I just decided to get up. I had such a productive and quiet morning. It made me wish I got up earlier every morning.

I decided to cook up some sweet potatoes that I’ve had sitting around for a while. I mashed the sweet potatoes and added them to pancake batter. I thought I’d surprise the family with pancakes that didn’t contain spinach for once.

I had two pancakes and two veggie sausage links. They were so yummy! Tim said they were the best pancakes he’s ever eaten, thats hard to believe though considering he says everything is “the best thing he ever put in his mouth”. Lincoln seemed to agree though, he ate a whole one.

My pancakes contained:

  • 2 VERY LARGE mashed sweet potatoes
  • 2 cups Bisquick
  • 1 1/2 cups milk
  • 1 Tbsp Cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup ground flaxseed

The recipe made 9 large pancakes. I love to freeze them for later and reheat for quick breakfasts.

While the sweet potatoes cooked I took the opportunity to finish the latest book I’ve been reading, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks.

I’ve never actually read any Nicholas Sparks books before. Actually, I’ve never been much of a reader at all until the past year or so. Ever since I got my Kindle life changed! I’ve been devouring all the books I can get my hands on now.

I haven’t seen the movie, but the book was amazing! I’d definitely recommend it.

Lincoln and I ran some mundane errands after breakfast including: grocery shopping, filling up the gas tank and going to the post office. I mailed off my registration for my next race, a 10K on March 6th. I’ve never actually had to mail a registration before, I’ve always done it online, but for some reason this one wasn’t on active. Believe it or not this will be my first ever 10K. I’m excited, I think 6.2 miles will be a perfect racing distance and … no matter how I do I’ll PR 🙂

Lunch was Tofu Stir Fry with brown rice.

Like my old school plate? Its actually my grandmothers; I keep forgetting to give it back.

Lincoln and I took a delicious nap together this afternoon, which I rarely ever get to do. I definitely needed it after waking up extra early this morning.

After naptime I ran 5 miles on the treadmill. It was getting too dark to go outside. Normally I hate my treadmill runs, but for some reason this one was awesome. I let my mind wander while I was running and I kept imagining running the Disney Marathon next year with my friend Bailey and Tim. I thought about how great its going to feel to meet such a seemingly unreachable goal. Who would have ever thought a year ago that that 260 pound, pack a day smoker would be planning on running a marathon?!

My mind wandered more and I thought about all the things in my life that I’ve done that have taken extreme amounts of courage, strength, and determination. I thought about:

  • Completing nursing school
  • Losing 115 pounds
  • Quitting smoking
  • Running 2 Half Marathons and many other races
  • Saving a life
  • Becoming a vegetarian

I’ve never thought about all of those things collectively, and when I did I was amazed at what a strong person I can be. It made for a great run!

I finished 5 miles in 42:23.

Dinner tonight was a Sweet Potato Burrito with Black Bean & Corn Salad.

I think this is one of my most favorite meals ever! I could have easily gone back for a 2nd burrito, and I considered it, but I stopped myself and asked myself “am I still hungry? do I need more?” The answer was no. So I stopped. Yay! I’ve gotten a star everyday on my calendar so far since Sunday for no binges!

I’m off to spend some time infront of the boob tube. Have a great night! I’m sorry to say I’ll most likely be MIA again until Sunday, its back to work time tomorrow night.


Filed under Food, Motivation, pictures, Recipes, Running, Thoughts

Food Philosophy

Breakfast this morning was extra specially delicious! I had some leftover veggies that I needed to get rid of so I made up this concoction:

A whole wheat breakfast burrito. My burrito contained:

  • broccoli
  • onions
  • mushrooms
  • zucchini
  • 1 egg & 1/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • Cheddar cheese

First I sauteed the veggies in a little olive oil.

Then I poured the Egg Beaters and Egg on top and topped with cheese.

I scrambled it all up a bit and wrapped it in a whole wheat tortilla. I had salsa on the side for dipping, but I actually liked it better without the salsa.

Since today is the last day of the Pledge to Be Veg challenge, I have spent alot of time today thinking about my food philosophy. I’ve considered the pros and cons of being vegetarian over the past 30 days, and debated to what extent I’ll continue this lifestyle.

Some of the things I have enjoyed about my vegetarian diet over the past 30 days are:

  1. Knowing that no animals were killed to provide my food.
  2. Experimenting with new recipes.
  3. Exploring new vegetarian friendly restaurants and dishes.
  4. Maintained my weight without counting calories/points or additional exercise.
  5. Learning about nutrition and finding alternate sources of protein, B12, and iron.

There were very few things that I found as negative aspects in the past 30 days, but here they are:

  1. Went to a pizza party with no vegetarian options (cheese wasn’t provided).
  2. Made my family uncomfortable during family dinner at my grandmother’s house (she cooked 2 of each dish, one with meat and one without).
  3. Constantly being asked, “why did you decide to become vegetarian?” and “where do you get your protein?”.

The cons that I faced were easily remedied. In the first instance, I simply did not eat pizza and when I left I stopped by Salsaritas and picked up a veggie burrito. In the second case, I felt bad that my grandmother went out of her way to make two different versions of each dish. I let her know that I appreciated it, but that I could have found plenty of food otherwise. And thirdly, I think its normal for people to be curious about something they consider different, especially when they have always known me as a meat-eater.

Where do I go from here?

Tim and I have both decided to continue our vegetarian diets to varying degrees. We agree that we have not missed meat, and that we can’t imagine ever eating chicken, beef, or pork again. Tim has decided to continue eating fish. I don’t plan on eating fish, although I’ve previously stated that I can’t imagine giving up sushi. I feel that fish are living creatures just like other animals that feel pain and suffer just as much as cows, chicken or pigs. I have also realized that there are excellent sushi rolls out there that don’t include fish.

I have not completely decided whether or not to eat mollusks. I feel like they are more like advanced plants than animals. They have nerve bundles instead of brains and don’t think or feel like other animals. Therefore I don’t feel a moral or ethical urge to not eat them. Some say that because these creatures have “eyes” that they are animals, and that you can’t be a vegetarian and eat them. I care less about being labeled as vegetarian than I do about making my own decisions and understanding why I made that decision. Basically, I don’t want to refuse to eat something simply because “I’m a vegetarian”. One day perhaps I’ll be proven wrong, or I’ll learn something I didn’t know and I’ll change my mind on this point, but for now I don’t have any problem eating mollusks.

The Vegetarian vs. Vegan Debate

I have no intention of becoming vegan at this point. I understand the reasons why people do, but at this point I don’t have the time or the energy to devote to planning vegan meals. I also feel like being Vegan would severely limit other aspects of my life. I feel that its reasonable to expect that I can find vegetarian friendly meals to eat in almost any scenario no matter where I am, but I don’t feel the same about veganism. I think it would be extremely difficult to consistently find vegan meals to eat while out in public, at friend’s houses, at family dinners, etc. But I do want to take some steps to reduce my milk, egg and cheese consumption at home.

My dad raises a few chickens on his land and my family eats their eggs. The chickens on my family’s farm are fed healthy diets, have room to move freely and aren’t caged. They do live in a large pen, but they have PLENTY of room. I will try to use only eggs from my family’s farm whenever possible. I usually get a few dozen eggs whenever I see my family, but that isn’t always possible.

I will use dairy-free milk at home whenever possible. I’ve really enjoyed trying almond milk and I recently bought some rice milk to try. This would be one easy way to reduce the amount of animal products we use at home. However, I have a one year old son and I will keep giving him cow’s milk until he’s older.

I started off becoming interested in vegetarianism because of the movie Food Inc., but after I did some research I learned that there were so many good reasons to be a vegetarian. I could list them out, but I really like this video.

So that’s that.

Lunch today was a yummy hummus, sprout and cucumber sandwhich with a bowl of V8 Butternut Squash soup.

I’m looking forward to a good run today. Hopefully I’ll be meeting up with my friend, Bailey, for a run in the park later. Having runner friends rocks! I wish I had more of them.

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Filed under Food, pictures, Pledge to Be Veg, responsible eating, Thoughts, vegetarian

Blogger Break Day

Sorry for being MIA yesterday! I had a lot of things around the house that I really needed to work on before my work-week starts. Only 2 days left before I have to go back to work 😦

Lunch yesterday consisted of leftover Lentil Loaf, Sour Cream and Onion scalloped potatoes and turnip greens.

I was a sweet wife and let the hubby have the leftover Indian food from the night before. What can I say? It was my one good deed for the day.

Mondays are usually rest days for us, but we decided we’d like to go to a Spin class since we haven’t been in atleast a month or more. Tim and I both fell in love with Spinning when we first started exercising. We’d go to the YMCA and do spin classes every Tuesday and Thursday and we’d usually do back to back classes on those days. I would always get the crockpot going sometime around lunch time so that when we got home we had a home cooked meal waiting for us.

Yesterday was no exception. Tim gave me a recipe for Red Beans and Rice that he wanted me to make for dinner and I adapted it for the slow cooker. I’ve been really digging cooking with dried beans lately, they are sooo cheap and it makes so much food! I soaked the beans overnight and then I used this recipe as a guideline (of course leaving out the meat items). I got everything going in the crockpot about 3:00 and put it on high for 4 hours.

Tim ended up having to work late and wasn’t able to go spinning afterall. I dropped Lincoln off at his Gran’s house so that I could go to the Y alone. I told her I was making Red Beans and Rice for dinner and invited her over (Tim’s family is from Louisiana). She declined, but gave me a can of beans that she swears are the “best red beans you can find or make” just in case mine didn’t turn out.

I hit the elliptical machine for an easy 35 minutes before my Spin class started, my heartrate never got above 135. I usually like to keep it above 150 for cardio workouts. But it was a nice easy workout and I was able to read some of my newest book, Dear John by Nicholas Sparks. If you’ve ever considered getting a Amazon Kindle, but haven’t because of the price … I assure you it is worth every last dime.

I’m always surprised, as a runner, how difficult Spin classes can be. My heartrate never gets where I’d like it to, but my quads sure do feel the burn. I always think of runners as having very strong legs, but I’m always knocked back a bit when I do a really hard spin workout or lots of lunges/legwork and then I’m sore the next day. It must be a different group of muscles at work. Either that or my body has just memorized how to run so efficiently that it really isn’t putting forward any muscle effort, muscle memory I guess. Or maybe I’m just making shit up! Who knows!?

Either way … After the elliptial and spinning I was HANGRY! I ran to the grocery store to get some french bread and green onions to go with dinner and headed home to get the rice going. When I walked in the house smelled soooo delicious! I ran over to the crockpot, lifted the lid, spooned up some beans and tasted them … and spat them out. They were hard as little rocks! Oh well, thank goodness for Plan B. I heated up the can of beans from my mother in law instead. You win some, you lose some.

I continued cooking my beans for an additional 6 hours and now they are delicious. We might just be having Red Beans and Rice two nights in a row. Would that be so bad?

Today is the last day of the Pledge to Be Veg challenge. I’ll discuss later where I’m going to go from here and review some of the meals I made in the last 30 days. But for now my little man is calling for his mommy 🙂

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Filed under pictures, Pledge to Be Veg, Spinning

Zoo Picnic, Long Run and Indian Food

I really wanted today to be a nice family day. The weather was absolutely beautiful so I planned a picnic for the zoo. When I first started getting healthy I would go out to the zoo almost everyday and push Lincoln in his stroller as fast as I could around the perimeter of the zoo. I got pretty burnt out on the zoo doing that, so its been quite a while since we’ve been.

I forgot my camera today, but our picnic included:

  • Homemade hummus with veggie strips and pita bread.
  • Grapes
  • String Cheese
  • Kashi Dark Chocolate Granola Cookie

It was a healthy and filling lunch.

Lincoln loved playing on the playground, chasing the choo choo train and seeing all the animals. It was exactly the relaxing time I needed today!

After our zoo trip we headed out for our long run. I ran 9 miles in 1:18:27. I’ll spare you the split breakdowns today. It felt good to get a nice long run under my belt after the tough week I’ve had.

The first 4 miles flew by, then around mile 5 my stomach started cramping a little bit and I knew I needed to go to the bathroom, but I figured I could make it until I was finished. At several points I thought I wasn’t going to make it and I was going to have to go to the bathroom in the woods. TMI, I know. Just when I thought I couldn’t take it anymore the pain would ease off a bit and I would feel better. I was able to complete the mileage, but just barely.

All in all it was a sucessful run.

I thought alot about my problems with binge eating today, and I came up with an idea that seems quite juvenile but just might help. I bought a pack of tiny stickers, and I decided that for each day I don’t binge I will put a sticker for that day on my calendar. I’m proud to say I got a sticker for today. Can you find it? Its quite small.

I promised Tim that since we didn’t get to go out for Indian food last night, we would go tonight instead. Our city has exactly one Indian restaurant, India Palace, and we’ve never been there before. I have always enjoyed Indian food, but it upsets my stomach every time I have it so I don’t very often. Its probably been close to 5 years since I’ve had any.

For an appetizer we ordered Veg Pakora (Fried Spiced Veggie Fritters).


We also ordered some Garlic Naan to go with our meal.

Tim ordered Aloo Gobi Masala (Potatoes and Cauliflower cooked in Indian spices).

And I had Navrathan Korma (Mixed vegetables cooked in a mild creamy sauce).

All together now …

Tim thought his Aloo Gobi was the winner, but I felt like my Korma was far superior. His meal almost melted my face off! I prefer the milder spices.

I made sure to pay attention to my hunger cues and not to overdo it. I had about 4 of the appetizers, 1 piece of Naan, and a very small serving of each dish with rice. It was the perfect amount! I left feeling satisfied but not uncomfortable. And now I have leftovers for lunch tomorrow 🙂

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Filed under Eating Disorders, Food, Long Runs, pictures, Restaurants

Birthday Party Fun and NEDA Week

Yesterday Tim, Lincoln and I drove to Birmingham to celebrate my best friend’s son’s 2nd birthday. On the way we decided that since we couldn’t decide between Greek or Indian for dinner, that we would have Greek for lunch and Indian for dinner. A perfect solution!

For lunch I had:

A falafel wrap with a greek side salad. Yummy!

Jackson’s birthday party was Spongebob themed.

I was afraid there wasn’t going to be much that I would be able to eat at the party, since I knew there was going to be alot of crab dip, shrimp, etc. I was wrong! There was food everywhere!

That evil white chocolate fountain almost sent me into a diabetic coma! Between the Bahama Mama’s, the chocolate fountain and the cake I was feeling pretty sick. We decided that perhaps Indian for dinner wasn’t happening afterall.

The kids had a great time jumping, running, and playing ball.

It was the perfect day for an outside party!

Once we left the party I was really feeling down on myself. I completely binged at the party although I knew I wasn’t hungry. Every so often I do that, and I feel completely depressed, bloated and sick afterwards. I also start thinking self-hating thoughts.

This morning I decided I needed a healthy, cleansing breakfast. I made a smoothie in my pretend VitaMix again. It contained:

  • cherry tomatoes
  • clementine
  • spinach
  • cantaloupe
  • flax seed
  • carrots
  • V8
  • water

It wasn’t bad, but it was chunkier than I would have liked. Atleast I know I got some good vitamins in. 🙂 I also had a small container of Blueberry Oikos Greek Yogurt for protein.

After breakfast I sat down at the computer to do my morning ritual (check emails, bank balance, read blogs, etc). I read Caitlin’s Blog at Healthy Tipping Point and realized that today starts National Eating Disorder Awareness Week. I found this while I was perusing the site:

BINGE EATING DISORDER (also known as COMPULSIVE OVEREATING) is characterized primarily by periods of uncontrolled, impulsive, or continuous eating beyond the point of feeling comfortably full. While there is no purging, there may be sporadic fasts or repetitive diets and often feelings of shame or self-hatred after a binge. People who overeat compulsively may struggle with anxiety, depression, and loneliness, which can contribute to their unhealthy episodes of binge eating. Body weight may vary from normal to mild, moderate, or severe obesity.

Sounds like someone I know. Now I just have to figure out what to do about it.

Caitlin challenged her readers to list 10 positive things about themselves that have nothing to do with appearance in the spirit of NEDA week. Here is my list:

1. I changed my life through diet and exercise and didn’t use drugs, surgeries, or other means.
2. I’m a good mother.
3. I respect all people and accept them regardless of their religion, race or sexuality.
4. I’m a good cook.
5. I’m a good nurse.
6. I like to try new things and it has really opened up my life to new experiences.
7. I make sure to take time for myself everyday.
8. I can honestly say that I can do anything I put my mind to. I have been sucessful in everything I have attempted in my life.
9. I quit smoking after smoking a pack a day for 8 years.
10. I’m funny. 🙂

Try this exercise. Post your 10 positive qualities in my comments section.

Tim and I are taking Lincoln to the zoo today. I’m going to pack us a healthy picnic 🙂 Later today I have a 9 mile run scheduled. I can’t wait!


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Filed under binge eating, Eating Disorders, Food, Friends, personal history, pictures, Special Occasions

This or That?

I woke up bright-eyed and bushy tailed at 6:30 this morning, while the rest of my family slept.

We are going to Birmingham today for a birthday party. I thought since we were going to be in Birmingham, we’d go out to dinner at a place we don’t have in our town. Greek or Indian? Hmmm. Unfortunately we don’t have much of either one in Montgomery. I think there is one Indian place, but I’ve never been there and I don’t know of any Greek restaurants in town. Of course I’ve been perusing both menus this morning because I’m one of those that likes to plan ahead and know exactly what I’m gonna order when I get there. Strange?

Looking at those menus made me HANGRY!

I knew a nice thick bagel was the only thing that would do, but sticking with the indecisive theme of the day I couldn’t decide what to put on my bagel.

On one half I had almond butter with honey and the other side had strawberry rhubard preserves. I think the almond butter side was the winner! I don’t really like almond butter as much as I had hoped I would (or maybe its the brand), but it was delicious with the honey drizzle.

I’ve got 4 hours of driving ahead of me today and a 2 year olds birthday party, so this is probably going to be an exhausting day!

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Filed under Food, pictures, Restaurants