Archive | February, 2013

YOU Get To Choose How Your Story Goes

26 Feb


Hi all.  Every day, I do not necessarily feel like working out.  I may be tired, or had a stressful day, and have a lot on my plate that I should be doing (like rewriting the camp papers like I said I would, creating an agenda for next weeks meeting, or laundry, or planning dinner, or…

Is that just me?

I don’t think so.

The same could be said for choosing what we eat each day.  It’s a lot easier to grab something hot and fast through a drive through then to take the time to cook something nutritious and good for you, ESPECIALLY when your day is like the one I mentioned in the above paragraph.


We are the authors of our story.  We make choices in our life every single day.  I know not everything is under out control, but what we put in out mouths and how we treat our bodies can for the most part be our choice.  Our story. 

For myself, when I don’t eat right and when I don’t work out, I lose energy and focus.  While getting to the gym or going for a run sometimes feels like the last thing I want to do – I have not once ever regretted doing it.  Usually when I get moving I feel energized and my whole day seems to get better.  I am more attentive. I am more patient.  Things do not bother me so easily.  I feel stronger and more self-assured.  Working out for me is like taking a magic pill. 😛 

When we make choices, good or bad ones, we are indeed writing out story. 


Where is your story going this week?  If you don’t like the direction, toss that page away and write it again. 

Last week I worked out 5 out of 7 days.  I packed up my gym clothes for in the car so I had no excuses.  I may have started out tired or with a plan to only do 30 minutes, but every time I stayed longer than I thought I would and every day I felt good when I left. 


You Dont Need To Be Working Out To Burn Calories!

24 Feb


This weekend I had taken on a large painting project in our house.  I became so busy with that I skipped out on my gym time Saturday and Sunday.  I felt a little guilty about that but after two consecutive days of painting 5+ house each, I thought seriously…. I am tired, I am sore.. this must be worth something.

I Googled (LOVE Google!) “Calories burned painting walls” and was amazed to find out that one hour of painting walls converts to 320 calories burned on average.  😯  The article stated that not only are you constantly moving your arms, but you are also stretching and thinking about where to go next.

That is sooooooo AWESOME!

Now before you run out and buy your paint supplies thinking you will repaint the whole house… other things we do in our home burn calories as well and here is a little list I found on-line, but certainly this is by no means inclusive…


Note that this chart is based on 30 minutes of activity.

Next time you are bumming out (like I was) about missing a work out because you had to get some house work/projects done…. don’t fret.  Grab your water, turn on some music (or in my case an audio book) and get to it!  😀

If you have any other activities you would like to add to this list along with the calorie burn – please do so in the comments.  It is encouraging to see that our “must get dones” are actually good for us not only mentally… but physically as well.

Schedule A Work Out

19 Feb


How are we doing?  Hopefully well and making some baby steps towards a healthier life style.  😀

How many times have I said that I don’t have time to exercise?  More than I can count that’s for sure.  How many times have YOU said you do not have time to exercise?

It’s easy to let life get in the way…. we have jobs, kids, families, meetings, cooking, cleaning, errands, shopping, phone calls, appointments, commitments, committees, events to support, bills to pay, lists to make, belongings to repair…

is it any wonder in today’s world of over committing that we land in the evening at home, exhausted in front of our lap tops or the tv and can not even imagine putting on your running shoes and taking a walk around the block to unwind or a quick jog, or hit the gym for 30 minutes?


Well… that is exactly what I am going to ask you to do. 

Close your eyes for a minute.

Ok open them, that will not work because you can not read what I am writing.  LATER, after you have read this… take a minute and imagine yourself 3 months from now.  How do you look?  How do you feel?  In this vision, are you stronger?  Healthier?  More sure of yourself?  Are goals that you made to yourself being reached?

If not, why not?

Ir is hard to make a lifestyle change, but if it were easy, we would all be super fit and strong and running or biking to work instead of driving. 😀  YOU are the only one that make the changes in YOU.

Today, look at your agenda book or phone, or wherever you keep your calendar.  I am asking you to commit to scheduling time to work out.  You can find the time… trust me.  It may involve getting up before everyone else and taking 20 minutes to yourself to walk or jog.  It may be a quick commitment between work and picking up kids, and yes, it may even be after dinner when you like to just hang out with everyone,

HOWEVER – making this time for YOU will make you a better version of YOU.  Exercise relieves stress.  You will come back more relaxed and able to handle whatever is next.  Your family will notice the changes, and think of the good habits you will be showing your kids – that taking time to take care of yourself is important. 

Personal Note:  This past week I have been getting back to the gym and I have forgotten how good that feels.  I put in my ear buds – listen to some rocking music and before I know it, 30 minutes has gone by.  This past week I have spent some time on the elliptical and the treadmill.  Tonight on my agenda is Group Power (weight lifting to music)

Dont read this and make excuses of why I have time and you do not.  It’s not true.  YOU can do this.  Maybe it’s not the gym, but maybe it is a work out dvd, or jumping rope in your home, or walking up and down the stairs to a set number of reps. 

Schedule it – don’t cancel on YOU. 😀

How are you doing this week?  How are the 12K Challenge peeps doing?  I would love to hear from you and where you are at with your goals and where you are fitting in time to work out. 


I am linking today to Joy’s Reader workout where she shares work out tips and whats happening in the life of those who read… and work out:


Healthy Appetizers

17 Feb


I enjoy cooking healthy… which is kind of funny, since for the most part I do not enjoy cooking.  😯  I think the difference is that it is fun and challenging to take a recipe that most feel is “high calorie and fat”, and make it not only healthy… but tasty.

I think it is the challenge of it that I enjoy…  After all don’t ever tell me I can not have pizza or pasta or quesadilla’s because they are unhealthy…. we just need to shake it up.

Yesterday, my Wellness Initiative group met up and we were asked to bring along healthy appetizers.  I made two…. hard boiled eggs filled with hummus, and a tasty grilled chicken and vegie wrap.  For Weekend Cooking, I am posting both.

Hard Boiled Eggs Filled With Hummus

This idea came off the Daniel Plan website.  It’s so easy.  Boil your eggs and peel them as you normally would.  Cut eggs in half lengthwise and scoop out the yolks.  Fill eggs with a good for you hummus.  I find mine in the health food section of my local grocery store.  Sprinkle on a little paprika and “wallah!”



Note: Not all hummus is created equal. While super tasty, store bought hummus is high in fat and oils. If you do not have time to make your own (like I didn’t) Wild Garden Brand is not only delicious, but a much healthier version.

Chicken Vegie Wrap


Recently while shopping at my local grocery store, I seen a woman buying egg plant.  I approached her (not in a creepy way) and asked if she would tell me what you do with egg plant.  She shared with me a delicious wrap that she had at a restaurant that was filled with mushrooms, onion, and egg plant.  From that conversation… this recipe was born.

grilled chicken breast but up in bite size pieces

sliced mushrooms

eggplant – peeled and sliced into strips, the cut in half

onion chopped small

extra virgin olive oil

can of black beans

healthy wraps

seasoning to taste

*Note – I don’t give measurements because I just toss it all in a pan, depending on how many I am making.  Use the quantity of vegies and chicken that you like.

Heat up the olive oil in a fry pan over fairly high heat (just enough to coat the bottom of pan you are using).  When oil is hot toss in your vegies – mushrooms, onion, and eggplant and stir fry for about 4 minutes.  Keep moving the pan and/or tossing the vegies with a wooden spoon.  Add your chicken and continue occasionally now stirring up the mixture.  Season as you like, I used sea salt, fresh minced garlic, and pepper.


While this is happening heat up the black beans either on the stove or in the microwave. 

When stir fry is done, spread a layer of black beans on the wrap and then add a generous scoop or two of the vegie chicken mix.  Roll wrap up.

For the appetizers, I cut the wraps into 4 sections, about 3 inches each.  If I were to guess on calories per small section, I would say about 60.  The wrap I used (pictured below) is healthy, large, and tasty and 100 calories per wrap. 

I make these for dinner as well.


Check your health food section of your grocer for a healthier wrap. Not only are these better for you by far – I prefer them to a flour of corn tortilla any day. They have an excellent flavor and also come in flavors like garlic or vegie. Delicious and soft.

Check out other recipes at Beth Fish reads for Weekend Cooking.


Mid Month Check In – What Are You Doing To Shake That Work OUt Up?

15 Feb


Here we are mid February already… a little over two weeks into our first month of the 12K Challenge.  For those participating I would be interested in hearing how you are doing.  Have you hit the challenge goals for this month?  Are you working towards it? 

Stay strong… remember each months goal will increase by a little bit but you will be stronger and healthier for it.  Remember – those of you who are signed up for the challenge did so for a reason… you wanted to challenge yourself, you wanted to be fitter, or stronger, or healthier… or all of the above. 😀

So…. what are we waiting for?

Today I wanted to post about shaking up the work out.  It is hard to get up every morning and do the same thing over and over again.  Not only does it become routine for you – it becomes routine for your body.  This means your body will sort of level  out and you will not be seeing the results you want to on the scale or in the mirror.

This is why it is fun to shake things up in a way that shakes up your work out routine puts a jump start back on your goals and if you do it right… can also be a lot of fun!

I personally have found myself enjoying events that are around the state I live in, fun to participate in and a great way to hang out with friends and make new ones as well. The next one on my calendar is The Get Lucky.  It is a 7k run on March 16th.  Today, looking out the window at all the snow its hard to think I will be doing a 7K in a months time… 😛

But  – here’s the kicker.  By putting an event like that on my calendar, I will train for it.  Knowing that is coming up will motivate me to go to the gym.  I have been doing events like these for a couple of years not and they are super fun… and super addicting. 😀

You probably have events such as this in your area of the world.  Google your state and add the word(s) 5k or mud run or cycling.  Check out the chamber of commerce websites for cities near you.  One website to check out would be, which lists physical events around the world. is mainly Minnesota and Chicago but has some fun events as well.

Please share any events that you have participated in or plan to participate in.  😀

SHRED Revolutionary Diet by Ian K Smith MD (And A Giveaway!)

9 Feb


What do you do when you are working out, eating right and you seem to have hit this wall where you are no longer losing weight but you have still not reached your goal?  Author lan K Smith lays out a strategic plan of how to break through that plateau in his 6 week program laid out in this book.  Through a varying workout plan and switching up your food, Ian shows the way to losing those hard to lose pounds and gain control.


Why did I want to read this book?

I enjoy reading about people who are successful in fitness and I am always interested in learning more on healthy eating and ways to work out that mix it up.  I like the idea of the 4 small meals and three snacks a day (eating something every 3-4 hours), while I have not yet implemented anything from this book into my daily eating or lifestyle, I do think I will as I like the foods that are suggested. 

Another part of this book is that each week is laid out with a where you are at section, what to expect at this point and a day-to-day meal plan with many choices.  I also like that each week has guidelines for helping you with food purchases, what to look for when reading labels and all foods are every day items you can easily pick up at your local grocery store. 

While you may think that the smaller and more frequent meals would be hard to keep up on around your daily life, with a little pre planning these mini meals are easy to take with you.  You also get some surprise “shake up” meals within the plan like grilled cheese and pizza. 

I have read many books on this subject and do not find all of them doable or even likable.  I believe SHRED is a good program for those working on that last 10 to 20 pounds and I also think it would for for those looking for a way to kick off a healthier eating and work out program as well.

I was sent this book for an honest review and also had purchased a copy so I would offer a giveaway to one lucky commenter.  Leave me a comment below on one thing you are doing to lead a healthier life style in 2013.  I will choose a winner using Random.Org on Friday February 15th and then I will mail the book to the winner. 😀

This book was sent for me for review by

Krupp Kommunications, Inc

Eat and Run by Scott Jurek

7 Feb


When you think of this worlds “super runners” Scott Jurek’s name has a good chance of being on that list.  He came on the radar in 1999 when he took first place in a 100 mile run over the old Gold Rush Trails in California and continued to take first in that run for the next seven years.  Scott had broke records,  twice won the Badwater 135 mile  Ultramarathon, and set an American record of 165.7 miles in 24 hours.

So who is Scott and what makes him run?

Scott grew up in a “meat and potatoes family” with a desire to run – but not always a passion for it.  In fact he hated running.  As he grew to adult he went to an all plant-based diet and worked his way to ultra running.  Scott’s story is an inspiration to anyone who has a dream to better themselves and for whatever reason felt it was impossible to reach their goals.



For the last year I have had this desire to learn how to run.  I don’t know why or where it came from other than the fact that runners have great stamina, I admire their dedication and dare I say it looks like fun?   Scott’s story was really impressive to listen to.  His story is engaging, he is down to earth and funny.  You do not need to be some sort of fitness guru to enjoy this book and come out the other side with a lot of knowledge on running and a bit of inspiration to boot.

At the end of the audio he shares some yummy sounding vegan recipes that I plan to try.


Lentil-Mushroom Burgers

1. In a medium-size pot, bring 2 1/4 cups of water to a boil, then add 1 cup dried green lentils, 1 teaspoon dried parsley, 1 minced garlic clove, and 1/4 c up chopped onions. Simmer for 35 to 40 minutes.
2. Combine 3/4 cup chopped walnuts, 2 cups bread crumbs, and 1/2 cup ground flax seeds in a small bowl and set aside.
3. In a separate pan greased with olive oil, sauté 1 cup chopped onion, 2 minced garlic cloves, 3 cups finely chopped mushrooms, and 1 1/2 cups finely chopped kale or other winter greens for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool slightly.
4. Remove lentils from heat, add 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard and 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, and mash ingredients together.
5. In a large bowl, combine lentils, sautéed vegetables, and bread-crumb mixture. Cool in a refrigerator.
6. Using your hands, form patties and fry or grill until lightly browned and crispy on both sides, about 3 to 5 minutes each side. Serve on a toasted bun or on their own.

Makes 12 four-inch burgers.


Holy Moly Guacomole

  • 1 (15-ounce) can early or young peas, drained
  • 1/2 cup mashed avocado (about 1 medium avocado’s worth)
  • 1/4 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
  • 4 teaspoons lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic (about 1/2 clove)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, plus more, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon black pepper, plus more, optional
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon chile powder
  • 1/3 cup chopped cherry or grape tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro, optional
  • Chopped jarred jalapeno, optional
  • Serving suggestion: cut veggies

Place peas in a medium bowl and mash thoroughly with a potato masher or fork. (Or puree peas in a small blender or food processor and transfer to a medium bowl.) Add avocado, yogurt, lime juice, garlic, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/8 black pepper, cumin, and chile powder. Continue to mash until blended.Stir in tomatoes, onion, and some cilantro and/or jalapeno, if using. Season with additional salt and pepper, if desired. Enjoy!Per serving (1/3 cup): Calories 83; Total Fat 3.5 grams; Saturated Fat 0.5 grams; Protein 3 grams; Total Carbohydrate 9 grams; Sugar: 4 grams; Fiber 4 grams; Cholesterol 0 milligrams; Sodium 308 milligrams