Tuesday, January 29, 2013


As mentioned in previous post, I've fell back in love with my local library. Specifically checking out various cookbooks. The problem is I try these and love them, but return the book. The blog seems the easiest place to store them. And, let's be honest, get them on my pinterest board...where else is a girl suppose to look for meal ideas these days?!

I don't think I've mentioned, but I've become vegan. Although, a very loose vegan. So, I checked out a vegan cookbook to see how this could be done...if it could be. I'm on day two and so far love it. Okay, to be honest, I haven't really been vegan at all these two days. I refuse to throw away good, healthy food because I switch up my diet. Once all the yogurt and eggs are out of the house, I'll be a strictly vegan cooker.

Last night Stir-Fry 101 was on the menu...

1 tablespoon coconut oil
1/3 onion, sliced
1 cup broccoli florets
1 cup diagonally sliced carrots
1 cup cooked or canned chickpeas
1 cup sliced red bell pepper
1 cup sliced bok choy
1 cup trimmed snow peas
1/4 cup stir fry sauce

Heat oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook for 3-5 minutes or until soft. Add the broccoli, carrots, and chick-peas and cook, stirring often, until the carrots are almost tender (about 5 minutes). Add the bell pepper, bok choy, snow peas, and sauce and cook, stirring often, for 1-2 minutes.

Confession: I never follow a recipe to the t. It's really more of a guideline than strict directions for me. This mean when I decided my grocery list was too long I nixed the snow peas. And, when the green bell pepper was half the price of the red one, I switched. Also, I didn't measure anything. It's stir-fry how can you really screw it up?!

It was delicious! What really made it was the stir fry sauce from Trader Joe's! Oh man get this next time and use it on everything!!!

This time I remember where I got it from as it's the only cookbook I have right now, Cooking Vegan. I'm thankful for this book that makes going vegan seem almost simple.

Monday, January 28, 2013

Deck of Card

Being a marathoner and half marathoner, I don't know much about exercise outside of running. Whenever my schedule says "cross train" I'm at a loss of what to do and generally end up walking and/or on the bike at the gym. Then I saw Bob Harper's deck of card workout on the Biggest Loser a couple weeks ago and it seemed like a good idea to try.

Here's the how to:
- Assign a different exercise to each suit.
- Shuffle
- Flip over one card at a time and do the amount of exercise of that card
  (kings, queens, jacks = 10, aces = 11)
- Try not to die

- I had to take a break in the middle the first time I did this.
- I cheated and by the end could barely do half a push up and used my couch for the burpees
- I decided it's not actually "cheating" if you are doing the movement to the best of your ability.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Nacho Black Bean Burger

I'll be honest up front... this post as more to do with me getting this recipe on my pinterest board in order to use later, than sharing it. Recently I've rediscovered my love for the library. This love resurrects itself about every 4 years when I re-learn that I don't have to buy books in order to enjoy them. And, who would have thought to check out the library for cookbooks?! What a genius move...I rarely, if ever, want a cookbook...I mean... who uses them anymore since we have the world wide web?!

Okay, probably a lot more people than I realize. But, why spend $25 to get a few recipes?! So I get online, search cookbooks, and place a hold. They magically show up at the front desk and I run in and check them out in about 2.2 seconds! Before returning, I snap pictures of any recipes that I want to try later. GLORIOUS!

To be fair, I've already forgotten which cookbook I stole this recipe from. It was someone from the Food Network. This and one other recipe were the only one's that looked remotely worth while. When I say this one is worth while, I say TRY IT! It's awesome!

2 cups cooked black beans
1 small onion
1 cup finely crushed tortilla chips (I used Doritos)
1/2 cup salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
4 hamburger buns (I used english muffins - it's what I had)
olive oil
greek yogurt (for serving)
cilantro (for serving)

Use a food processor to finely crush the Doritos, set aside for later. Use the food processor to "mash" the black beans and chop the onion. In a bowl, mix beans, onion, Doritos, salsa, cheese, beaten egg, salt, and pepper. Let sit for about 10 minutes in order for the Doritos to absorb some of the excess water.

Shape mixture into 4 patties (I actually halved this recipe and had enough for 3 good size patties). In a heated pan with oil, cook each patty until golden brown, flipping once.

Serve on bun with greek yogurt (instead of sour cream), salsa, and cilantro.

Serves 4
10 WW points (includes english muffin)

On track

I'm a blog failure...I weigh in on Wednesday and am just now, on Saturday, getting around to posting my success.

I believe I was down 1.6 pounds which brings my yearly total to just over 4 pounds!

Saturday, January 19, 2013

100 pound challenge

2011 was a great year! One in which I had success losing weight. It was the first time I really put my mind to losing weight and for the first few months it was actually pretty easy and was on track to lose 100 pounds that year. Obviously that didn't continue and I didn't meet that goal... not even close. 

An entire year has gone by and I've not gained ALL the weight I lost in 2011, but I've come pretty close. I've gladly said goodbye to 2012 and am looking towards a successful 2013!

Today I started the 100 pound challenge! 

In 2013 I'm committing to losing 100 pounds!

I've learned a lot about myself since 2011. A lot about why I failed before. A lot about God. I'm taking what I've learned and committing it to memory... I'm sure you'll hear more of this I'm sure. 

Weight Watchers. It's how I lost weight before so I know it works. They have the app which is awesome.

Keeping God and glorifying Him at the center of all this. Yes, my goal is to lose weight, but I will only do this by bring God glory. 

Having this ever before me...if you followed me during my Chicago Marathon training, you saw my chalkboard count down. This morning I was thinking of ways to keep this ever before me and a new count down began...

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

2012 Picture Review

Met my niece.
Sent a friend off
Traveled to Austin, TX where God changed how I saw community and mission.
Traveled to Memphis.
Learned about soccer and cheered for number 11.
Completed the Springfield, IL half marathon

Saw 6 friends get baptized.

turned 30

Completed the Indy Mini
Traveled to Haiti

Traveled to Chicago with great friends
Completed the Color Run in the midst of a 16 miler
Traveled to Hait again where the women of the church prayed I'd get married within the year.

Helped launch The Journey Southern Illinois
Completed the Chicago Marathon
Celebrated this guys' 90th Birthday!
Got my first tattoo
Celebrated this litte girl's 1st birthday

Even with all of these great things that happened, 2012 felt more like a year of struggle. Some years have been much worse when I think about all that has happened; nothing monumental or life shattering happened. However, the overall tone of my year was one of internal struggle, processing past issues and circumstances, and spiritual battle. I don't remember a year that I more looked forward to the New Year... a clean slate, a fresh start. Here's to God capturing and renewing my heart once again in 2013.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Meal Planning Stress

I'm not good at asking for help... for a couple of reasons. First, it means that I'm failing at something, which is unacceptable to me. And, second, it means "bothering" someone and asking them to take time from their schedule to help me. These are both horrible lies, one that I believe that I'm perfect and since God is the only being who is good, right and perfect, I'm believing that I am in fact God. As well as, I'm believing the lie that people don't love me enough to want to help; want to spend time refining me and making me closer to the person of Jesus.

With this in mind, my friend and I came up with a beautiful plan. She'd help me with meal planning and I'd run with her. I'm thinking she got the lesser end of this deal!

I HATE meal planning! I've tried to sit down and make one before and gave up after about 30 minutes of looking at recipes and writing a grocery list. But, goodness, I was spending WAY too much money on groceries and eating out. And, surely there's a better way!

So, a few weeks ago one Sunday morning, there I sat at my friend's dining room table, cute weekly meal plan/grocery list paper in hand. I sat there with nerves awreck as she gleefully exclaimed how much fun this was and talked about all the different weekly challenges we could do. I nervously smiled and exclaimed "I HAVE NOTHING FOR LUNCH! WHAT CAN I EAT FOR LUNCHES?!!!??!!"

I've accomplished four weeks now and let me tell you... it's getting less scary. Because of the holiday's this past week I was on my own and I DID IT!

Here's what I've learned:
1. check your schedule - on nights where you know you are going to be busy, plan simple meals and/or pre-cook the night before.
2. check the weather - no one wants to eat soup on a 70 degree day!
3. allow for flexibility - I have a general plan, but I'm okay with changing it up through out the week.
4. know what you need - Not only do you need to know what you need at the grocery store, but what you need to survive a week. This took a week for me to figure out, but I now know I really only need to cook two meals a week. The rest of the week I eat left overs or simple sandwiches.