Back to the Gym :)

Well I am back in the groove. After taking some time off from the gym over the holidays, I am back! It was a bit of a challenge to actually go after work. I was SO tired from not sleeping well for the past few weeks and spending 10 hours with the twins. Last night as I pulled into the parking lot it was packed! Then I remembered that it was the beginning of January so of course many new faces would be there.
I ended up getting back on track with my 5k training. The Color Run is a month away and I really want to be able to run the entire way and be faster than I have been lately. My best 5k time ever is 31 min. I know that is not stellar, but I am not a fast runner. No matter what I do I can not seem to break that 10 min mile. So hopefully with a massive amount of weight loss this year I will finally be able to run that pace for more than a few minutes. The last few run/walks I have done I have had about a 13:30 min mile pace. I still get frustrated at that number. I have many friends who run much faster than that and at times it makes me annoyed when they think they are slow when they run faster than a 10 min mile. So if that is you, sorry, but that is just how I feel. Probably something I need to get over. However, when I am able to run a consistent 10 min pace I will not feel I am a slow runner anymore. I don’t have any ambitions to run like the olympic runners, but a 10 min mile pace is my first goal this year!
Yesterdays workout was 35 min and I accomplished 2.41 miles. This included a warm up and cool down. My first mile was 13:30, and my second mile was 12:50. So slowly improving. Then I lifted weights. I did some leg lifting and a bunch of abs. By the time I arrived home I was ready to pass out. Dinner and a shower needed to happen, and I needed to do laundry. Such an exciting evening.

I really want to start working out in the mornings when I can. Especially the days when I don’t have Zumba or yoga. It would be nice to have a little more time in the evenings to get projects and normal day to day tasks around the house finished. Lately it seems like I have such limited time at home that is not sleep time. I need to reorganize my kitchen, redo my office, and the closet in my office, and put away all the Christmas presents and decorations. So many days I wish I had a house keeper who could come help me. Working 60+ hours a week and trying to stay on top of working out, household chores, shopping for healthy food and cooking, cleaning, spending quality time with my husband can be exhausting at times. Add no sleep to all that and I am ready for another vacation.

Happy for the health challenges for today!
Elf 4 Health: Eat at least 3 food groups at every meal
Clean Start 2013: Track water intake

Well hope everyone has a great day!

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

2013 Goals

Happy New Year friends!  Hard to believe that another year has come and gone.  In the words of my Great Aunt Doris, “Time just goes faster the older you get.” She is a wise woman 🙂

For 2013, I have decided that there are 13 goals I would like to achieve.

1. Clean eating.  Incoorpoate more gluten free eating into my diet.
2. Participate in at least 12 races.
3. Add 2 new recipes a month to my cooking
4. Read the entire Bible through and increase my prayer life.
5. Read one book a month from my massive collection of unread books.
6. Be off all medications and medicate with natural products/clean eating.
7. Start juicing at least 3 times a week.
8. Complete a triathlon.
9. Reach my weight loss goal.
10. Break a 10 min mile.
11. Make new friends.
12. Write at least 3 blog posts per week!
13. Do at least one activity a month that helps me relax (pedicure, massage, extra sleep, etc)

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Well there you have it.  Goals that cover many areas of my life 🙂
Now that they are out there in cyber space I can have accountability with them!

Hope everyone is enjoying the beginning of 2013!!

Be Blessed

~E~

Thankfulness every day!

In this society we are surrounded by wanting to have the biggest, the best, the newest, the fastest, and even when we have those things they are never enough. Yes, there are material items that I appreciate, but knowing that my true happiness does not come from ‘things’ is a good thing. 
Remembering and listing what I am thankful for is a habit I was in on and off over the years.  Yesterdays challenge from Elf 4 Health was to list 20 things to be thankful for. 
Most of these things I find myself taking for granted more often than I would like to admit.  I hope that this inspires you to also think of what you are most thankful for!

Here is my list 🙂 After #1-3 there is no real order to them.
1. My salvation, mercy and grace from God.
2. My husband and family
3. Good friends, near and far!
4. Clean water- from my experience on trips around the world I know that this is a luxury that we should NEVER take for granted.
5. Fresh food that adds to a healthy lifestyle
6. Other people who I have met through Elf 4 Health and other blogs who offer advice about health and share the same passion of health that I do.
7. A job that brings me joy and a steady paycheck as well.
8. A church family
9. Mercy– without this program I may not be alive today.
10. The ability to learn and the persistence I had to finish graduate school.
11. A home that is warm in the winter, and cool in the summer
12. Sunshine!
13. The ability to run, lift weights, participate in workout classes.
14. Airplanes and cars so I can travel to see those friends and family who do not live close by.
15. Music- Brings inspiration to my life, and has been a large part in my healing
16. Necessities that people in other parts of the world, and even this country don’t have (washer/dryer, dishwasher, fridge, computers, internet, email,
17. Books. I love reading and learning.
18. The doctors who saved my life from cancer and natural remedies I can use to keep me healthy.
19. Sleep and a comfy bed to sleep in.
20. That I am alive and I can make a difference in someones life!

There are so many other things, people and memories I am thankful for.  What a blessing to have so much to be thankful for.
So here is my reminder to: BE THANKFUL EVERYDAY!!!!

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Learning to love ME!

Well some of you know my story…and some of you may not.  The main point of today’s post is that we had a great Elf 4 Health challenge from Lindsay and Elle. Today it was about revealing 3 things we love about our body.  I have to admit that when I first read it I wasn’t sure what I was going to write.  I figured I could go with the typical eyes, smile, and hair that I have used several times before, but for me I knew I needed to dig a little deeper. 
This week I have had a few good friends have to return to treatment for eating disorders.  It has made me think a lot about how far I have come and also how easy it would be to slip back. 
Having struggled with eating disorder issues for more than 20 years, I can say that the last 4 years in recovery have been full of ups and downs, but more ups that downs, so I know I am going in the right direction.  Learning to love my body and appreciate what it can do certainly has its challenges.  I know I am not alone in that.
So with this challenge I really took it to heart to think about this body I have been assigned by God and how I have learned to appreciate and love parts that I used to hate. 
So I really do like my eyes, but not only for obvious reasons.  Before I went to treatment, my eyes had from light hazel brown to a very dark brown, almost black.  As I was in treatment, and began to gain healing, my eyes began to grow lighter and lighter.  Even on tough days I can look in the mirror and see that my eyes are still light brown and they are a constant reminder that I have come a long way.  I am not where I want to be yet, but I will get there.  It took many years to get in the darkest place of my life, and I am far from that place and I am forever grateful for that. 
I am learning to love and appreciate my leg muscles.  My legs have always been muscular, and I never liked them.  Now, 30+ races later (7 of those being half marathons), learning to love my muscular legs is beginning to come easier.  Considering the abuse and torture I put my own body through, it is a miracle that I can even run at all these days, much less multiple races that include half marathons! 
One other part of my body I am learning to love is my entire shape.  Since I met my husband he always commented on how beautiful I was, and how he loves me shape.  It has not always been easy for me to hear or receive, but the more I hear him say it, the more I have begun to believe it.  Not just because he has said it to me each and every day over the past 3 years, but because learning to appreciate my body has taught me that I am beautiful.  I may still struggle to have great days everyday, but I know I have come a LONG way, and I will keep making progress.  My days are no longer filled with obsessions that had to deal with eating disorder thinking, but focused on ways to keep treating my body right and learning new ways to be healthy.  Taking new fitness classes, cooking new meals, learning about healthy living that is not completely focused on weight is so refreshing. 
Yes, I am still on my journey, but I have learned that this journey will last the rest of my life.  I am able to take each day and learn to love it more and more!

Thanks again Elle and Lindsay for this challenge! 

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Efl 4 Health beginning of round 2!

Round 2 Well I was matched with my new elf, Carli! She is wonderful! So far we have been able to email several times, keep each other accountable on twitter, and this morning I saw she sent me a super cool e-card!  Even though we both seem to be SUPER busy, she has been on top of it 🙂

Day 1- Drink and track water!
So today’s goal was to drink an oz of water for each lb.  Not to go into how much anyone weighs, but considering that, every person needs a different amount of water.  The once recommended 8 ounces of water a day is a good start, but probably not enough, at least it is never enough for me.  I usually try to get 10-12 cups a day, but I knew I could step it up.  A few weeks ago I saw this little helpful list that has helped encourage me even more to start my day off with water!
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I had a few comments about being over-hydrated, and although it is possible, I have never had an issue with that, and today I was not over-hydrating either.  It is far more common to be dehydrated.  Honestly the water challenge, in which I drank about 240 oz of water over 15 hours, it was the first day I can remember in my life that I did not feel thirsty AT all!  It was kind of nice.
In case anyone wants to know more about over-hydration, you basically have to drink more than the usually recommended 12-24oz/hour.  It is also more common to over-hydrate if you are working out hard, running for long periods of time or other strenuous activity.  It all comes down to balance between water and electrolytes in the body.  If you want to read more, check out this great site!

There are SO many pros to drinking water:
1. Lose weight
2. Natural Remedy for Headache:

3. Look Younger with Healthier Skin
4.
Better Productivity at Work
5.
Better Exercise
6.
Helps in Digestion and Constipation
7.
Less Cramps and Sprains
8. Less Likely to Get Sick and Feel Health
9.
Relieves Fatigue
10.
Better Mood
11.
Reduce the Risk of Cancer
For more information on these amazing reasons to drink water, click here!

One con I run into is that I have to use the restroom often!  :0

Day 2- Clean out/organize your fridge/pantry
I don’t have a lot of words for this day, but Lindsay has a fabulous post on some really great pantry staples.  I don’t have all of these on hand, but many of them are in my own tiny pantry 🙂
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Hope you are having a fabulous week!

~E~

Elf 4 Health recap on round 1!

Well the last 2 weeks have been full of lots of fun with all the different challenges that Elf 4 Health has brought! Just a little recap of all that I was able to do for the challenges 🙂

Day 1- Meatless Monday- I did my healthy eating without adding meat to my meals.  Breakfast (yogurt with fruit) and lunch (black beans and veggies) were not a problem, but I usually have some sort of lean meat with dinner, so I chose a different protein source with dinner!  I made really yummy chocolate chip pumpkin french toast and had some eggs and blackberries on the side 🙂IMG_3132

Day 2- Send a handwritten card- This was easy for me.  There have been several people on my heart lately who have been going through some tough times, and so instead of just texting or emailing them, I made each one a card, and sent some encouragement their way.  I mean, who doesn’t love mail that is not a bill?!?
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Day 3- Try a new workout today. Thanks to my wonderful Elf Maria, I was introduced to some new great workout routines. The one I chose to do, in addition to my already planned workout was a plank work out by Purely Twins.  You can look at the workout I did HERE! I have to say that even though it was only 12 minutes, it was KILLER!  The few days following that workout I was SO sore!  I am definitely going to be doing that workout again and soon 🙂  Thanks again Maria for the wonderful idea to do a plank workout!
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Day 4- Get up 15 min early and meditate
Some of you may no I am not a stellar morning person.  I can get up early if I absolutely have to (for a flight, a race, to help a friend, or a special event), but it is really not my favorite thing.  So I set my alarm a few min early and when it went off instead of hitting snooze 3 times, I laid in bed and did some deep breathing exercises and prayed.  I have to say it was a really nice way to start the day.  When I finally did get out of bed I felt a bit more awake and ready to face the day!

Day 5- How many different colors can you eat today?
This was a really fun challenge.  I love to eat a variety of colors already, so I had fun planning out my day based on colored food!  It is amazing just how many colors you can eat in a day.  This was all from breakfast and morning snack that day!
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And lunch time!
IMG_4480Can we say YUMMO?!?!

Day 6/7- Clean out your closet- In the past 2 weeks Wayne and I actually cleaned out our closet and reorganized SO much in our house I don’t have any pictures, but we had several bags of clothes that were either given away or thrown away (not in good condition to give), and one HUGE box.  I am really proud of my hubby for being such a good sport!

So week 1 had a lot of fun challenges and it kept me on my toes!
I also did many great workouts and I was happy I was able to stay on track with my 5k training 🙂

Week 2

Day 8- Track your fiber
Tracking my fiber was easy since I use MyFitnessPal to track my intake and workouts!  I haven’t really ever paid that much attention to it, but never seemed to have any issues with a lack of fiber.  When I here of fiber, one of the main things that comes to mind is all bran.  I had to do a little research to find other foods that have good fiber in them 🙂
Fiber_Rich_Foods_ChartI found this information HERE
I looked back over a few days in MyFitnessPal and saw that I usually have 20-30 g of fiber a day.  My goal for this day was to get more than than 🙂
IMG_4569You can see that by the end of lunch time I had already reached 30 grams of fiber.  By the end of the day I reached 50 grams 🙂 I am proud of myself for stepping out of the box to get more fiber.

Day 9- Make a salad and your own dressing
This challenge was really fun for me.  I have been doing some experimenting with making my own dressings the last few months.  I have yet to find a dressing in the stores that I like and isn’t horrible for you, and also doesn’t cost an arm and a leg.
So I took some really simple ingredients that made a dressing my husband raved about the entire meal!
Plain yogurt, an avocado, salt, pepper, garlic powder and lime juice.
I mashed the avocado and mixed in the small container of yogurt.  Then I added the spices and lime juice to taste.  You could also add other spices, and I am sure I will next time I make it, but I wasn’t being very adventurous that night.
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I added it to a salad of amazing chicken that my hubby makes, and it was SO yummy 🙂
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Day 10- Pack a snack and bring one along for someone else
In my day to day life, I don’t really interact with any grown ups, so I was thinking of who I could share a snack with.  It ended up being a bit of a crazy day with hubs and I both working long days, and then we went to church. After church we had a few errands to run.  It would have been so simple to just grab some Chick-fil-a, but instead I brought us a little snack of an apple and granola! We avoided the temptation to eat fast food, and I made us a quick and simple dinner when we got home.

Day 11- Lift weights
I did not get a chance to go to the gym today since I worked a 15 hour day.  So instead of not getting in on this challenge, I used the twins as my weights! They each weight 20 lbs, so they were the perfect size!  I did lunges, squats and some calf raises while holding one or both of them 🙂
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Day 12- Go makeup free
Pretty much ever day is make up free for me! Being around kiddos all the time is easy to just throw on sweats and have fun with the kiddos.  This day we did a fun walk outside and enjoyed all of the natural beauty 🙂
Lindsay did a great post with all the beautiful makeup free women who were able to do the challenge!
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Day 13/14- Make a meal/workout plan for the following week
This challenge wasn’t really too much of a challenge since I LOVE to be organized, and I am a HUGE planner!!! So here is what my week looks like in my planner.  Now, even thought I am a planner, I do know that life happens, and so some of these days I am sure are going to be changed around a bit, and THAT’S OK!
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Well that is the end of my recap!  I am so thankful I am able to be part of this amazing group of elves!  Thank you again Lindsay and Elle for all your HARD WORK in putting this together! And another shout out to my great elf from round 1, Maria!!

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

Elf 4 Health!

Hello friends,
It has been a while since posting, but I wanted to fill you all in on a super cool group challenge I am going to be apart of this holiday season.  It is called Elf 4 Health!
It has been put together by two amazing ladies, Lindsay and Elle! There is a new challege everyday, and the awesome ladies have also paired each of us up with another elf.  The challenge has 3 rounds, and it isn’t too late to join the fun by signing up for round two here!

Meet my wonderful Elf, Maria! We had some technical difficulties getting connected at first, but now we are all good! I was able to look over her blog for a little bit today, and it is very fun and inspiring!  I am excited to get to know Maria better over the next few weeks, and I hope we will be able to help and encourage one another with all the fun challenges that come our way 🙂

Yesterday was meatless Monday and I ended up doing pretty well! Had some fruit and toast for breakfast, PB&J for lunch with peas, carrots, & mango and for dinner I made some amazing pumpkin waffles with chocolate chips and an orange!

Today the challenge is to send a handwritten note!  I am ALL over that 🙂  I will be using some of my already made cards from Esma Card Company, and send to a few friends who are on my heart!

Well I hope you are having a wonderful day!

More to come soon 🙂

 

~E~

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

August Foodie Pen Pals :)

Well it is that time of month again to reveal what my awesome foodie pen pal sent me this month!

My FPP was Natalie from Florida.  She sent a wonderful package filled with great items that were tasty in my mouth and tummy. 

When I opened the box everything was wrapped in pink and purple tissue paper! My favorite colors 🙂

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Sadly when I opened the box the jar homemade granola that Natalie made had broke.  But I was able to salvage some of it and it was SO yummy!!!ImageImage

 

How can you go wrong with dark chocolate?!? In my book you really can’t 🙂
I am weird about coconut, as I like the flavor but I am not huge on the texture, but in this case I really enjoyed the mix with the dark chocolate!Image

I am a huge fan of quinoa and I can not try this type! I have gotten my husband to like it as well, so YAY for a gluten free protein!Image

This has the most amazing smell! I can not wait to get a chance to try it.  I am hoping this weekend will be just such a time 🙂Image

I am such a fan of coconut water! It makes me happy to have one flavored with one of my favorite fruits.  It just made me feel like I was on a beach for just a few minutes!!Image

I pretty much dug into this bar right away as I was so hungry and it was really good!  I am always on the hunt for new (to me) gluten free bars I can have with me for my on the go crazy life!

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So here is the package (minus the granola) 🙂

Thanks again Natalie!!!

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If you want to see what I sent to Shannon, there is a great post here!

And if you are interested in seeing more about FFP and what it is all about check out this information from the founder, Lindsay!

 

~E~

By Pink and Purple Lemonade

July Foodie Pen Pals :)

(This was supposed to post yesterday, but I had some technical difficulties…hope this works…)

Here we go again, another month of foodie pen pals!  It was another great month to be a part of such a great group!

I sent out a little package to Melissa and she wrote a lovely post about what I sent. You can read about it on her site, Treats with a Twist! I am glad you enjoyed the package Melissa 🙂

I received an amazing package in the mail from Melinda over at Kitchen-Tested.com! She took to heart what I could and could not eat and even included a beautiful little note 🙂

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The box was filled with many wonderful items to add to my kitchen!

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Quinoa Flour- I am so excited to have this! I have been on the lookout for new flours to try, so this was just perfect. There is even a scone recipe on the back that I can not wait to try!
Organic Amber Agave- I have used this on my waffles (since I don’t use syrup), and it was amazing! I have used it in some tea as well. Just a nice hint of sweet without over-doing it.
Ginger Chips- I had never heard of these before, so it makes it even more exciting to try. I am thinking about using them with the scones. Doesn’t a ginger scone sound amazing?!?
Cornbread Muffin Mix- As soon as I saw that box I added turkey chili to the dinner menu for the week.  I used the cornbread mix to make mini muffins. Perfect to go along with the chili.
Home Free cookies- Between my husband and I, the box only lasted a few days! They were delish 🙂

Here are the mini muffins! Yummo 🙂
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Thank you again Melinda for your sweet package!

If you think this sounds like a fun group to participate in, you are right! To find out more, click here to learn all about it!

Foodie Pen Pals!

Ok, so this is something that is a bit off topic for the normal content of the blog, but I am still going to post this!

About two months ago I was flipping through a new friend, Jane’s blog and she talked about Foodie Pen Pals. That took me over to another cool blog, where I first got to see who this Foodie Pen Pal creator was. So with Jane and Lindsay giving me inspiration, I joined in all the fun!

June was my first month to participate in it.  I was hooked up with sweet Susan and was able to send her a fun foodie package with some yummy treats. 

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This is what Susan wrote to me after she got her package:

“What a difference you made in my day !!!!  I arrived home hot and tired from running errands to find my very first foodie pen pal box waiting on my porch ! I could barely wait to open it, tossing my keys and purse aside and opening the box to find your choices for me !  Let me just say, I was delighted !

I have never tried a “Luna” bar before, but it was the perfect afternoon snack and so yummy.  This morning I had the crackers, organic berry jam and nut spread with a glass of hot tea. The crackers are so crunchy (and healthy) and perfect paired with cheese and jam.  The nut spread was creamy and perfect with apple slices.  It won’t last long either as my mother will be visiting soon and I hope I manage to save a little to share with her. It all felt very decadent as I savored every bite.  What great ideas you had when pairing these items together.  Moreover, I visited websites for all of the items you chose and have even linked to a couple of them.
 
I am so glad I found out about foodie pen pals and decided to join in the fun !  Thank you so very much for your thoughtfulness in choosing items for my foodie box.  It truly brightened my day, helped open my eyes to other healthy food choices, and was enjoyed thoroughly !!!!

You rock !”

Thank you Susan for your kind words, and again, I am so glad you enjoyed your package!

The next day I got the most wonderful package from another awesome gal, Kelsey.

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Let me tell you, Kelsey knew just what to get me!  I loved that everything in my box was new to me.

An amazing dark cacao bar, almond butter cacao truffles, orange honey and amazing homemade treats!
I just finished the last nibbles of the dark cocao bar as I started typing this post!

I thought I had more pictures, especially of the amazing treats, but I can not seem to find them at this time.  I will have to get my camera out when I can later this weekend to see if they are on there. 
Let me tell you, even though you can not see the cookie bar treats they were delicious!! My husband, along with a house guest and I devoured the tin within a few days of it’s arrival!  It was really great to taste a bar like treat that was made with super healthy and good for you ingredients!!!
You can find the recipe Kelsey used here
She made a few modifications such as using maple syrup instead of coconut sugar, she added pecans and she used grass-fed butter. Let me tell you, I don’t know how they could have tasted any better!!!

I have used the orange honey on top of my Trader Joe’s gluten free waffles and it is amazing! Great way to get a healthy start to my crazy days!

Thank you again Kelsey for your wonderful box!!! It was a great first Foodie Pen Pal box to receive!

This was a really fun experience and I am already getting ready for Foodie Pen Pals July edition!

Thanks again Lindsay for setting all this up!