Simple Delights of the Week (#11)

Happy Valentine’s Day!  It’s not only Valentine’s Day week, but was also my cat’s birthday on the 12th.  I was also really looking forward to a ski trip.  I love Colorado and actually hope to live there someday so was thrilled all week.  However, we missed our flight yesterday.  But, that’s okay, I will make the most of the beautiful weather we have in Texas this weekend and will take my ski trip over Christmas later this year.

Here are my simple delights of the week…

Cali turns 5!  I cannot believe my little Cali has turned 5.  She has brought so much joy and love to my life for the past 5 years.  I am VERY grateful for her.  Cali can be a little toot to others (and to me at times), but when she is sweet boy is she REALLY sweet.

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Valentine’s pedicure design.  I got a pedicure this week and the lady doing my toes asked if I wanted a design on my big toe nails.  I rarely get a design so I thought why the heck not.  It would be fun to have a little Valentine’s flair on the toes.  And I loved the end product! The picture does not do the color and design justice, but you get the point…

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Love your body challenge.  This is the last week of the Love your Body Challenge with Tone It Up.  I always love a good workout, but I think positive self talk and body image go a LONG way.  The Love your Body Challenge helped me realize the importance of truly loving your body and finding joy in being a woman.  I would definitely do it again!

Insanity workouts with co-workers. Yesterday and today I did an Insanity workout with new friends.  The company I work for is in a building with several other companies and the building has a gym that we all have access to.  I went down to the gym and got two others to workout with me yesterday.  Today, we had 4.  It ROCKED!  Bonding over fitness is a powerful thing.  Not to mention, I am so sore from doing Insanity two days in a row.  Kick-butt workout FOR SURE!

Hitting the slopes.  I love being on the mountains, hitting the slopes.  This mountain air is fabulous and I savor every minute in Colorado.  Here is me posing with a ski statue in Vail a few years ago…

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What to Eat Wednesday: Walnuts

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Since February is Heart Disease Awareness Month, this week’s “What to Eat Wednesday” is dedicated to a little nut that is good for the heart.  Behold the walnut!

Walnuts help lower cholesterol.  In fact, according to the California Walnut Board, a recent study found that a diet including walnuts had a greater influence on reducing total cholesterol and LDL cholesterol than fatty fish.  Walnuts are also the only nut that significantly contain alpha- linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega 3 fatty acid.  Great for heart health, diabetes, cancer, cognition, aging, and metabolic syndrome!

How do you like them walnuts?  Heating can change the nutritional profile of walnuts (or any nut for that matter) so raw is obviously best, but if you prefer toasting them try baking for just 8-10 minutes.  Toss walnuts into a salad or sample with a handful of raisins (one of my go-to snacks lately).  Shelled walnuts are fun too.  Get out that nutcracker and get crackin’! Since it takes time to crack the nuts, you also get easier portion control that way.

My grandpa’s favorite way to eat a walnut is in a brownie.  I wouldn’t recommend that EVERY day, but if you need a yummy treat this Valentine’s Day go for it.

What’s your favorite recipe that includes walnuts?

Getting over a Mind Truck

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You thought I was going to say something else, didn’t you?  No, I keep things PG over here… (mostly).

So anyway, if you have been reading my blog for a couple months than you know I am training for a half marathon.  Or maybe not.. I really only mentioned it once (here).  But regardless, I am.  And my mileage is supposed to increase these days.  However, my mind is running me over like a truck (hence my new phrase and wanting to avoid the F bomb).  I look at the number 8 or 9 and my eyes roll to the back of my head, the devil on one shoulder has a cloud of sad face emoticons, and the angel on my other shoulder says, “It’s okay.. just do a different workout.”

Luckily, I have been listening to the angel on my shoulder and just do other workouts.  I mean, it’s cold in Texas and has been since November.  When does that happen?  I mean, really? Even my friend up in Wisconsin said this has been their coldest winter in 30 years.  We are all cold and over it!  I enjoy running whenever it is warmer.  Times 10.

I have a little over 5 weeks left until my half marathon.  Am I nervous?  Absolutely!  Am I going to conquer those nerves?  Absolutely!  Am I going to turn the sad face emoticons of the devil on my shoulder upside down to smileys?  Hell no.  It’s a devil after all… so even when they are there I am going to push through.  I believe in myself.  I set a goal and I am going to achieve it.  Even if I have to run it at a slow pace or walk some.

I am going bulldoze through my mind truck.  Here’s how…

  1. Break up the mileage.  Even 4 miles is better than 0.
  2. Change up my running route.  On the weekends for longer runs, I will hit up a new trail or run with a buddy.
  3. Enjoy my cross training.  Insanity DVD’s have to count for something, right?  My heart rate gets up higher than when I run and I am loving me some Insanity these days.
  4. Visualize.  If I focus all my energy on fear that I won’t be able to make it past mile 6 on race day, I won’t.  I need to visualize myself making it past mile 13 AND doing the happy dance after crossing the finish line.
  5. Make like Nike and JUST DO IT.  No excuses.  I can do this and I will.

Are you experiencing a mind truck?  How are you overcoming it?

Sunday Social (#11)

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  1. What is your favorite thing to watch on a girl’s night?  Any girly, romantic movie.  Favorites in the past have been Hitch, How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days, Dirty Dancing, and Shag.
  2. What is your favorite thing to watch on your day off?  This is a tough one because my only days off are Saturday and Sunday, but I don’t watch as much TV on those days as I do during the week.  I will say that I like to laugh my butt off on my days off so recently it has been Workaholics (or any other comedy show on Comedy Central).
  3. What is your favorite thing to watch when you are sick?  Reality television on Bravo.  When I don’t want to think about anything serious, I turn the tube to reality television and find myself tweeting about how ridiculous some of the ladies on Real Housewives of (whatever) are.
  4. What is the last movie you saw in the theater?  The Conjuring at the dollar movie theater on a Friday the 13th.  Haha!  I know more people that hate scary movies than love them, but I absolutely love them.  I mean, some are just horribly made and make me laugh.  But, when a scary movie is suspenseful and well-made, it gets two thumbs up from me.
  5. What are your top 3 favorite movies or TV shows?  Top 3 favorite movies of all time: Grease, Shag, and Dirty Dancing.  Can you tell I REALLY love dancing?  Top 3 favorite TV shows (not really sure if I can put “of all time” for this): Dexter, Breaking Bad, and Big Bang Theory.

Join in on the fun and get social!

Simple Delights of the Week (#10)

simple delights of the week

Winter is still going strong this week.  Texas even got snow and it stuck around for more than 24 hours.  That’s not something that happens often.  And I can’t say I want it to stick around any longer, but I sure enjoyed it coming down yesterday while I was working on a tedious report.  It made me smile in the midst of reporting.  And here are a few other simple delights from the week…

Olympics kicking off.  I am not a huge sports fan.  Well, let me rephrase… I am not a fan of watching sports on TV, usually.  I love going to sporting events, but the TV does not cut it for me.  Except for when it’s the Olympics.  My favorite summer sport to watch is gymnastics, hands down.  But, I don’t really have a favorite winter sport.  I genuinely like most, if not all, of the winter sports.  And with me being a nutrition nerd, I love hearing about how nutrition and workouts helped these athletes prepare for their sport.

Letter to Grandma- Valentine style.  I made my grandma a Valentine’s day card today and will send to her via snail mail.  I am always happy when I write a letter to my grandma or receive a letter from my grandma.  Heck, maybe I am also just a lover of snail mail.  If you ever want a pen pal, let me know.  I find joy in making cards and sending them.

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Albertson’s grocery store tour.  Albertson’s reached out to our local dietetic association to find dietitians in the area interested in giving grocery store tours to people with Diabetes.  I love grocery stores, helping others, and educating about nutrition so I thought I would give it a whirl.  It blew me away!  I met a group of people that are determined to live a healthy lifestyle and balance nutrition/fitness to keep their blood sugar in check.  Some had type 1 and others had type 2, but they all wanted to learn more.  And that yearning for learning lit me up inside.  It was humbling.  And I was happy to chit chat with these people and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Spoken word poetry.  I love poetry.  Always have.  My first poem was written at age 8 I think and it was about my friend’s dog who passed away.  Poetry has always helped me deal with emotions.  This week my friend introduced me to Sarah Kay and I listened to her spoken word poetry titled, “If I should have a daughter.”  It was also a TED talks if you know what those are.  Oh my did I love it.  And now I have added spoken word poetry to my bucket list.  I would love to try that someday.

What are some of your simple delights of the week?

What to Eat Wednesday: SNAP PEAS

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Turns out, your mom was right.  Well, she is ALWAYS right (wink, wink), but especially when she told you to eat your peas and carrots.

What if I told you that peas can take the place of chips?  Would you laugh at me and say, “Yeah right.”?  I know, it sounds like a stretch, but I was recently at Target and saw Snapea Crisps near the veggie aisle.  I was reluctant to grab a bag, but with the price tag being $1.22 and the curiosity striking my brain, I opted in.

I tried a few and was surprised at how good they actually taste.  I am not a veggie chip fan.  In fact, I have had two different kinds of veggie chips and hated them both.  But these were different.  I actually liked them and bought two bags at the next grocery trip.  There are 4 servings in each bag and I wanted my other taste tester to try some.  Matt, a Dorito lover, liked them too.  He finished off the rest of the bag himself.  Junior, our cat-gone-dog, likes to try anything on Matt’s plate so he tried a piece too.  He always loves a Dorito or two, but wasn’t too fond of these Snapea Crisps.  That’s okay though… he really should stick to Meow Mix.

While vegetables in their raw form are the most nutritious, grabbing a few Snapea crisps in place of a handful of chips wouldn’t be a bad “swapportunity” (thank you, Yoplait, for that word).  You would save some calories and fat, while getting a little more fiber.  Snapea Crisps are still processed so I do not recommend these be your only vegetable for the day.  And I don’t like how the product is only made with 70% of all-natural peas, but at least the company is honest and placed the truth on the packaging.  Can’t say that for all companies!

Obviously your best choice would be snap peas themselves and who doesn’t like a good snap pea?  My old roommate used to eat them raw dipped in a tasty veggie dip.  So, if that is your thing, please eat up.  If that is not your thing, consider steaming snap peas for a side dish or sauteing in a chicken or shrimp dish with veggies.  Yum!

Oh and just for the ones who like to know… snap peas are considered a legume and are high in vitamin C, fiber, and vitamin A.  They are a moderate source of vitamin K, B vitamins, iron, and manganese.

Eat well!

Friends are Sprinkles on the Cupcake of Life!

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I consider myself blessed.  Like most of you, I have friends that I could not imagine my life without.  Friends come in many forms and fashions.  Some are family members.  Some are four-legged and furry.  Some are soul mates.  Some are sisters from other misters or brothers from other mothers.  Some are significant others.  Some live far away (heaven included). Some live so close by you regret not seeing them more often.  Some you have known for years and others you have just met.

No matter who your best friends are, one thing is for sure… Friends are simply the sprinkles on the cupcake of life!

I wrote a poem for 2 of my best friends when I was a sophomore in high school (about 14 years ago… WOW!).  I found it the other day and as you all know, I really do love rhyming words.  So, here is my friend poem from 2000.

True Friends

Some people go through the world without any friends at all,

But I was blessed with the best friendship as soon as I found y’all.

We have been through just about everything, learning as we go along,

And we will always be true friends as we keep this friendship strong.

I don’t know what I would do without you two,

But I do know that I am the lucky one for simply knowing you.

And even in the future this friendship we will treasure,

Knowing that nothing stands in our way from being friends forever!

I love it when I find old gems.  This particular poem refers to two of my best friends, Marcena and Molly (my M&M’s!).  I have known them for 28 years now!  I don’t have a biological sister so growing up with these two kept me sane (and kept me from being way too tom-boyish with the two broski’s).

These two girls really do add sprinkles to my cupcake of life and sparkles to my Oscar-worthy dress!

Sunday Social (#10)

Sunday Social

Every Sunday, I do a link up called Sunday Social.  It’s super fun and gets us all SOCIAL!  Feel free to join in on the fun…

4 of your favorite bands you loved in High School:  Destiny’s Child, Backstreet Boys, N’Sync, & SheDaisy.  Apparently I REALLY liked the groups… boy bands and girl bands.

4 go to meals you can cook really well:  Chili, any breakfast dish with eggs, Quinoa salads, and grilled foods like burgers, hot dogs, chicken, veggies, etc.  I like simple things to cook.  If it takes all day and has 50 ingredients, count me out.  I will be burned out by hour 1 and do something else.

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4 necessities to your daily life:  Love, peace, physical activity, and hot tea.  I know they are very random, but love conquers all.  Peace freakin’ rocks and keeps me sane & happy.  Physical activity gets my heart pumping and my brain ready to go.  And hot tea is just soothing.  I am having to reduce the amount of hot tea that  I drink each day to get my iron levels back up, but I still love my hot drinks.

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4 make up necessities you must have if you could only have 4 on:  Eyeliner, mascara, chapstick, and a little bronzer.  And there are definitely days when I do this… I rarely wear too much makeup!  Like Aunt Becky used to say on Full House, “The secret to makeup is to look like you aren’t wearing any.”

4 favorite apps on your Iphone or Ipad:  Twitter, Facebook messenger, Instagram (although I still forget I have it sometimes), and the Bank of America app… I can deposit checks from my phone.  Way cool!