Saturday, October 31, 2009

Pumpkin Cider Pancakes

Sticking with the pumpkin theme from yesterday, I decided to perk up my pancakes a bit this morning with some pumpkin puree. I just threw a few things together and came up with a really great recipe. Actually my husband said they were the best pancakes he has ever eaten and suggested that I submit it to a recipe website.


One of my favorite websites for recipes is All Recipes. So this afternoon I submitted the recipe. The last recipe I submitted (in Dec 2004) never got reviewed or published, so I'm hoping that this one will. The link to my recipe for the Pumpkin Cider Pancakes is here. Give them a try and rate/review them on All Recipes. Hope you enjoy!

Greek Yogurt Giveaway!

Go get your Greek Yogurt! Now! Do it!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Day 2

I'm too exhausted tonight to write much, but I took some great pictures that I wanted to share. We went to the Smoky Mountain National Park today as I mentioned in an earlier post, these are some shots I got.






Tonight for dinner we decided to stay at the cabin and cook out on the grill. I was pretty nervous after seeing the 4 bears earlier this evening on the back porch but they decided not to join us for dinner thankfully. We made: BBQ chicken breasts, grilled mushrooms, peppers, tomatoes and pineapple, creamed corn and leftover rolls from the steak place last night. It was delish! It was just exactly what I wanted and it was much cheaper and more nutritional than going out to eat.


After dinner I was craving something sweet so we drove down the mountain to Downtown Gatlinburg to find something to satisfy my craving. There were all kinds of fudge shops, ice cream shops, candy stores, and bakeries. I almost decided on a funnel cake, but at the last minute I changed my mind and we ended up at Ben & Jerrys. I've been craving pumpkin lately and Ben & Jerrys had Pumpkin Cheesecake Icecream.


It was heavenly! Now if I could just figure out a way to make myself not feel guilty for eating it. I keep going back and forth through my mind between "You are on vacation, relax! You can work it off next week" and "You don't need that and you are not hungry. Have you learned nothing?" I wish I could find a better balance.

I still haven't found any good running spots. I guess I'm gonna be doing some trips up and down the staircase tomorrow to get my cardio in if I don't figure out something quickly. I'd really hate to miss my long run for the week on Sunday, but if I can't find a place that I can safely run with a baby stroller then I'm just gonna have to put it off until I get back home.

But for now ... I'm going to retire to the bedroom with a good book. Goodnight!


Hot Tub + Sangria = Heaven.


Seeing 4 bears where you were just relaxing with your Sangria = super scary but super cool.


I had just gotten out of the hot tub and was drying off when I looked up and saw that! A momma bear and her 3 babies. They came really close to the porch and I was able to get a few decent pictures.


We went to The Smoky Mountain National Park today. We were planning on riding our bikes around Cade's Cove, running our 3 miles for our 1/2 Marathon Training and having a picnic in the park. Things didn't work out exactly as I had planned though. Turns out the road around Cade's Cove where bicycles are allowed is very narrow and its also a road shared with cars ... very slow moving cars. There is no way we could have had fun biking around at 2 mph pulling Lincoln in the bike trailer. It also wasn't a very good place to run for the same reason.

We ended up driving through the park and then heading to the picnic area. We ran laps around the picnic area to complete our 3 miles. I have to say that I was very disappointed. I really thought there were going to be lots of great places for biking and running in the park. I felt like everyone was staring at me the entire time I was running and it was really awkward and uncomfortable. I don't know what I'm gonna do tomorrow when I have another 3 miles to run and then 7 miles on Sunday. We aren't having much luck finding any runner friendly places around here, I'm sure there are some ... I just don't know where to look.

What do you do to find places to run when you are out of town?

Vacation Day 1 - Done!

Tim and I woke up early yesterday morning at 4:30 am to get ready to leave for our Gatlinburg vacation. I wanted to leave home at 6:00 am, but of course nothing is ever on time when you have a baby. We didn't end up leaving until a little after 7:00, but who's counting?

The trip was suppose to take about 6-7 hours driving time, but I knew we would have to make fairly frequent stops to let Lincoln stretch his legs. The last time we tried to travel with him was to Destin, FL (only 4 hours) and he screamed a good portion of the way. I decided this time that no matter what happened I was going to make a conscious effort to be patient with him even if it took us 10 hours to drive.

I could not have been more impressed with the way the trip went. Lincoln slept for the first 2 hours of the trip, then we stopped for snacks and a bathroom break. Luckily we brought our secret weapon that we swore before we were parents we would never have ... a DVD player in the car. With that he was entertained until lunch time.

I really wanted to stop somewhere new and exciting for lunch that I had never been before. But hunger hit me hard and fast and the only thing nearby was Cracker Barrel. I ordered grilled chicken fingers, green beans, whole kernel corn and sweet potato casserole.


Excuse the hair, it was raining.

After lunch Lincoln fell back asleep and slept all the way to Knoxville, only an hour from the cabin. I took some random pictures on the way down out of boredom. Here are a couple shots of the pretty fall colors on the way and our first view of the mountains in the distance.



We finally found the way to the cabin thanks to TomTom our GPS navigation system. I was absolutely in love. I started getting worried on the way up the mountain because there were some pretty shabby looking cabins around, but there were some really nice ones as well. I didn't get any pics of the outside, but here are a few of the inside.





After getting settled in we spent a few minutes in the hot tub, and then got ready and decided on where to go for dinner. We chose The Peddler Steakhouse. It was rated the #1 place to eat in Gatlinburg so we thought we'd give it a try.


Tim and I both ordered the Blackened Tuna with Hollandaise sauce, and I got sauteed mushrooms as my side item. All entrees come with unlimited trips to their enormous salad bar and a basket of yeast rolls. We ordered a bottle of Kendall Jackson Pinot Noir to help us relax after a long day in the car.



I ordered my tuna medium rare and it was more like medium well, but it had good flavor and the salad bar, mushrooms, and wine made up for what the tuna was lacking. I also stole Lincoln's tartar sauce and it was HEAVENLY on the tuna. I've never had tartar sauce that tasted so good!

Unfortunately Tim and I ended up eating most of our meal alone because Lincoln was exhausted and finally had the meltdown I anticipated all day. While one of us ate the other walked him around the restaurant. A waitress (not ours) saw that we were having a really hard time and she came over and offered to walk with him while we enjoyed our dinner. Normally I would never let someone do that, but I was tired, frustrated and hungry and it sounded like a great idea at the time. We were able to finish up our meal and enjoy our wine. We really appreciated her help!

Today we are going to the Smoky Mountain National Park for a picnic, bike riding and my scheduled 3 mile run.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

What's Going On?

I don't know what the deal is lately, but I have completely lost my willpower when it comes to eating. Thankfully so far it hasn't caught up with me on the scale yet, but I'm sure my day is coming. Lately I have been eating anything and everything in sight, especially at work. I was doing so good at being strong and resisting temptation but all of a sudden I've been chowing down on cookie cake, Halloween candy, Chex Mix (OMFG the Chex Mix!!), and pretty much anything else I can get my hands on. I wish I knew what the problem was.

I wonder if I'm subconsciously sabotaging myself because I'm so close to my goal. Hmmm ...

Thankfully I've still been doing great on exercising. The 1/2 Marathon training program is going great so far. Today I did another 4 mile Fartlek, actually it was really only about 3 miles of Fartlek and 1 mile of easy running. I cut myself a break on that one though because I feel mentally and physically exhausted from some situations that I have been dealing with the last couple of days and not sleeping well, and I know thats why I tired out in my run so quickly.

The good news is that fall vacation begins NOW! Tomorrow we will be packing and preparing for our trip to the mountains. I couldn't be more excited! I can't wait to relax in the hottub with a glass (or bottle) of wine, picnic in the Smoky Mountain National Park, run in the mountains, grill out, and just spend time with my family without any other worries.

I don't have any food pics today so I'll leave you with this picture of my son and I snoozing in his crib together. Isn't he the cutest thing you ever saw? I love that boy!


Sunday, October 25, 2009

This is Dedication!

Getting up at 6:45 on a Sunday morning to go run 6 miles in 40 degree weather = dedication.


I tried out a new route today. I've been getting bored with running in the same neighborhood all of the time, so I thought I'd try something new. I parked my car at my mother in laws house and ran in her neighborhood. I drove the route in my car first to see it if would be safe and I saw that it was a little hilly, but nothing I couldn't handle. There was one stretch that was on a moderately busy road, but it was only about 1/4 of a mile or so.

I don't think I'll do this route again, atleast not anytime soon. The hills were hillier than I previously thought and really wrecked my knees, I got chased by 2 packs of dogs, and there was more traffic than I was comfortable with. I guess its back to the drawing board!

I like to think of my runs as being in one of three categories:

  1. I could have run much longer.
  2. I couldn't have taken one more step.
  3. I could have gone farther, but I'm glad I didn't have to.

Today was definitely a 3. I could have gone farther, but I was really happy to stop also. I've never had knee pain before while I was running, but I think those days are over. For the past week or so my knees have been very achey, not excrutiating but just uncomfortable. I thought maybe its time for me to start icing my knees after my runs.


I wanted something really filling to eat for breakfast this morning and I've been really craving oatmeal (specifically oatmeal with pumpkin puree, but I haven't bought the pumpkin yet). I made 2 packets of Maple and Brown Sugar oatmeal and added 1/2 a banana, Agave nectar and 1 Tbsp of chunky peanut butter. I think it was the best thing I've ever put in my mouth! (It was 9.5 points though).


I'm going back to work tonight for 3 more nights, and then we are off on Thursday morning for our fall vacation to Gatlinburg. I'm so excited!!!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Great Pumpkin Race Recap

My alarm went off at 4:30 this morning and I REALLY didn't want to get up. I stretched my legs in bed for a few minutes, and then the next thing I knew the alarm was going off again. I fell back asleep! Thank goodness Tim set his alarm clock also. He didn't want to get up at 4:30, so he set his for 5:00. If he hadn't done that we would have probably slept right through the race.

We got ready and drove the 45 minutes or so to where the race was located. We ended up getting there way earlier than we needed to. It was freezing cold and barely light outside. We picked up our race packs and headed back to the car to warm up before the race started. When it got close to starting time we jogged up and down the road to get the blood flowing and posed for a picture by the Spinners Park sign. Unfortunately we didn't have anyone to take our picture together so this is the best we could do.



This was both mine and Tim's first 8Ks. We were both really excited and nervous. I knew I could run the distance (5 miles), I just didn't know if I could do it in a decent time. Its funny how my thought process has changed over the last couple of months. When I ran my first 5K in September my goal was just to finish, now I want to beat my personal times. My personal goal that I set for myself before going into the race today was to try my very best to maintain a 8 minute mile pace.

Just before the race started we met up with a few friends that we know from Spin Class at the Y. It was nice to see familiar faces.

The gun went off without any warning and caught me off guard. The race route took us through downtown Prattville. There was one monster hill right where the 8K split off from the 5K, but for the most part the course was nice and flat. My only complaint about the course was that there were a few spots where the directions weren't very well marked, and I kept getting confused. At one point there was only one guy I could see infront of me and no one behind me. I started to wonder if I was still running the right direction, and just then the guy infront of me stopped and started stretching his legs on the curb. I pulled out my earphones and asked him if we were going the right way, he didn't know either. Thankfully we were.

I came across the finish line and made a conscious effort to try to notice the time on the clock. As best as I could tell it said 40:54 or something close. Of course I forgot to stop my Garmin again, so my information is a little off from the official race results (as usual), but here's what I got:

Distance - 5.17 miles (Not sure where the extra distance came from.)

Mile 1 - 7:55
Mile 2 - 7:54
Mile 3 - 8:04
Mile 4 - 7:58
Mile 5 - 7:56

After the race Tim and I walked around the Arts and Crafts Show and looked around until the Awards Ceremony started. It was a really good thing that we didn't bring any cash with us because there were Funnel Cakes, Gyros, Kabobs, Roasted Corn on The Cob, Boiled Peanuts and every other treat you can imagine being sold. Normally we don't stay for the awards ceremony but for some reason I thought there was a possibility that I might win an award today. I doubted I would, but I secretly hoped so.

Turns out I did win an award, I placed 2nd in my age division! Yay for my first award!


I've been needing some new running shoes for quite a while now. I bought a pair online a couple weeks ago and ran once in them and just really felt like they weren't for me, so I sent them back. Unfortunately we don't have a running store in my city, but I have heard that McClendon Sports has a very knowledgable staff when it comes to running shoes. I decided to treat myself and go check it out today.

I was very impressed with the woman who was helping me. She looked at my feet, asked me a few questions and brought out 2 pairs of shoes for me to try. I tried them on, she felt on my feet and watched me run across the store and back. The first pair I tried was Brooks Ghost 2, I loved them! My current shoes are Brooks and I have always loved them also, but they run small and I bought a 1/2 size smaller than I should have. The 2nd pair I tried on were Mizuno's. They were bright orange and I really loved the color and the way they looked. I tried them on and they felt weird, but I thought maybe I could make do since I liked the way they looked so much. I ran halfway across the store and knew I couldn't buy them. They felt horrible on my feet.

They aren't the prettiest thing in the world, but meet my new running partners:


Sundays are going to be my long run days with my new training program that I started, and tomorrow I'm scheduled to run 6 miles. I can't wait to break these babies in!

Convincing Myself.

Its 5:20 am on Saturday morning, its barely 50 degrees outside, its dark, and I'm suppose to be getting ready to go run an 8K. It would be so easy just to get back in bed and be all snuggly and warm for a couple more hours. I need to convince myself that I really do want to go run this morning!

Friday, October 23, 2009

Freaked Out About Maintenance.

I cheated and weighed myself this morning even though my weigh-in day isn't until Monday. If what I weighed today sticks around I'm only going to be about 5 or 6 pounds away from my goal weight. You'd think I'd be ridiculously happy about that, and I am in a way, but I'm pretty freaked out and a little scared too.

I've never in my life maintained my weight. I've either been losing weight or gaining weight as long as I can remember. I don't know how to do anything else! I'm curious about how much I'll be able to eat on my maintenance program. I don't want to slack off on my exercise, I'd much rather just eat more!

Most likely it will be a few more weeks until I have to worry about how its all going to work though because next week I'm going on vacation. I'm not planning on being super strict about what I eat while I'm on vacation, but I'm hopefully not going to blow myself out of the water either. I'm planning on staying on track with my half-marathon training while I'm gone also. I hope there will be some great scenic places to run up in the mountains.

So far my eats today have included:

Chobani Strawberry Greek Yogurt with Kashi Crunch cereal.


A ham sandwhich on Arnold's Sandwhich Thins with Laughing Cow cheese, sprouts, onions, lettuce and mustard. Stacy's Simply Naked Bagel chips, and baby carrots.

I also snacked on some Chex Mix (I'm telling you, I'm addicted!), a Gala apple and a Homemade Clif Bar that Tim made (more on that later). Tonight for dinner we are having Pork Tenderloin and some undetermined vegetables.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

My First Fartlek.

What is Fartlek? Well, I'm glad you asked ...

"Fartlek" is Swedish for "speed play" and consists of bursts of speed in the middle of a training run. Essentially, it's an unstructured interval session, the track without the rules. Fartlek gets your legs used to a variety of paces and in the process gives you an enhanced awareness of your ability to keep up those paces at various distances.

I finally started a half marathon training program, like I have been threatening to do for a few weeks now. I found one that I am much more excited about than the previous one I talked about. My program can be found here. I'm adjusting it to fit my work schedule and to add in a couple days of crosstraining a week.

The first run I did was a 4 Mile Fartlek session. Basically you warm up, then run fast intervals and recovery intervals. Its not a structured interval though, no set distance or time. I'd just run easy, and then sprint to the next telephone pole, or to the next mailbox or whatever. I have to say it kicked my butt! I was getting pretty tired by the middle of the 2nd mile, but I was able to stick it out and finish the 4 miles.

My splits were:

Mile 1 - 7:51
Mile 2 - 8:13
Mile 3 - 8:20
Mile 4 - 8:18

I need to find a new place to do my long runs that will be coming up. I get tired of running the same route over and over again, and especially doing multiple laps on the same route. I live on a main road though and there aren't alot of safe places to run on the road near my house. I need to do some exploration for new locations. It just seems silly to drive across town to go running.

This weekend I will be running my first 8K race. I know I can do it, but I'm a little nervous about it.

On a different note: Chex Mix is the devil! I made some homemade Chex Mix a few days ago to get rid of some stuff I had in my house and I cannot stay out of it. I really shouldn't be allowed to have it in my house. I have no self control when it comes to Chex Mix.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Green Plus Bar Giveaway

Click here to find out how to enter for a great Green Plus Bar Giveaway!

Official Chili Trot Results and Leg Cramps

I got my official results from the Chili Trot 5K that I ran this past Saturday. I was very surprised to find out that I finished 11th! That is out of 71 runners. My official time was 25:03. I was the 5th female to finish. Unfortunately I don't know how I did in my age category because the race results didn't have the ages listed.

I've been having strange leg cramps for a while now, and its really starting to bother me. It doesn't happen while I am running, but it happens sometimes after I run if I ran really hard. But for the most part it is happening at night. I've had Charlie Horses in my legs before occasionally, but never anything like this. Its gotten to the point where its happening multiple times a night. Any time I stretch my legs out and point my toes I get a cramp. Most of the time I can feel when its about to start and I can flex my foot real fast and make it stop. Everyone I've talked to says that I need to, "eat more bananas", but I feel like I have a really well rounded diet (including bananas) and I take vitamins every day. Maybe its time to see a doctor about it.

Have any other runners experienced these leg cramps in the night? If so what did you do about it?

I'm planning on starting a Half Marathon Training program today, but honestly I'm not very excited about it. I think with my strange work schedule I'm going to have a hard time sticking to the training schedule. I'm also not very excited about the runs in the first few weeks. I chose a program for intermediate runners, but the runs in the first couple of weeks are only 3-6 miles long. I've heard good things about the program though, so I'm going to give it a shot unless I find another program in the meantime that fits my schedule better.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Oysters Rock My World!

Today we took my mother in law to lunch for her 70th birthday celebration. We went to Wintzell's Oyster House. I have debated for several days back and forth about what I would order when we went. Part of me wanted to try to be really good and get some grilled fish and vegetables or something of the sort, but most of me really wanted the Oyster Sampler Platter.

Ultimately I decided to compromise and order oysters, but to order only 6 instead of 16. I started with Sauteed Crab Claws. I thought I was doing good by ordering sauteed instead of fried crab claws, but I totally wasn't thinking about the fact that sauteed most likely means it will be sitting in a pool of butter. So one strike against me already! I tried to just eat the meat and stay out of the garlic butter.


Then I had a side salad with Light Ranch dressing on the side. Yes, of course it was covered in shredded cheese, but atleast it didn't have bacon or croutons.


For my entree I order a half dozen Oysters Rockefeller with a side of broccoli. I forgot to take a picture of my broccoli, but it was also sitting in a pool of butter. I was really disappointed, it didn't say anything about butter on the menu. I guess thats what I get for not asking.


The oysters were awesome! I definitely could have eaten 16 of them if I had let myself. All of that stuff would have probably been fine if I hadn't eaten about half of my son's fried shrimp and french fries that he wouldn't touch. Oh, and garlic bread ... my god, the garlic bread!

This was the real "the world is out to get me" moment though: Tim went to the restroom and while he was gone my mother in law ordered herself and him Bread Pudding. I told her I didn't want any. Well, when he came back he stopped by the counter and asked the waitress if we had already ordered dessert and she told him yes, that we ordered 2 bread puddings. So he told her to put in an order for him one too! So to my suprise she brought 3 HUGE servings of bread pudding to the table. Talk about a test of willpower! I failed!

This afternoon we took Lincoln over to my grandmother's house to visit with my mom, sister, Aunt and cousin that were in town to celebrate my Aunt's birthday. Of course there was cake and icecream! On the back of the lunch we had, it was really easy to say no to the cake and icecream though. I wasn't even tempted in the least, which I'm pretty sure pissed my grandmother off. She is one of those types of people that takes incredible offense if you don't eat what she provides.

Instead of eating we dumped Lincoln off on the family and decided to go for a run around my grandparent's neighborhood. I intended to run 7 miles, but I kept saying "I'm going to try to run 7 miles". I wasn't convinced that I could actually do it, even though I've done it once before ... especially after that big lunch.

I actually ended up running 8.16 miles! A new personal distance record. I intentionally made myself run at a slower pace than normal so that I could stretch out my run. It also helped that I got absolutely and utterly lost in the neighborhood. I just kept running until I found my way back.

I had planned on not eating again today, but after such a long run I really felt like I needed something. So I made what I'm gonna call "Boca Taco Pita". Basically it was a pita stuffed with a Boca Burger, lettuce, green onions, salsa and sour cream. I also had a side of baby carrots and Fat Free Ranch Dip. It wasn't very photogenic, but it actually tasted really good!


What is your favorite thing to do with a Boca Burger?

What A Difference A Year Makes!

A couple of weeks ago I posted my family picture from October 2008. If you don't recall, this is what it looks like:


We picked up our new family pictures yesterday. Exactly one year later this is what we look like:


The photographer took a picture of just Tim and I without Lincoln, and that picture turned out waaaay better than this one. But I just couldn't see the point in buying a picture that didn't have my son in it. So we only bought these.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Chili Trot 5K Recap

My alarm went off at 6:00 this morning, and I almost decided to blow off my race and go back to sleep. But of course I would never actually do that! So I rolled out of bed and got going. I ate a packet of Quaker Original Grits for breakfast. I figured it was about the only thing I could eat quickly that didn't have much fiber in it.

We got to the church where the race was being hosted and it was absolutely FREEZING. Kelli and Nicole were smart enough to wear long sleeves and pants, but I hadn't invested in any yet because the temperature hadn't dipped below 70 degrees all year long. I wore capri length pants and a short sleeved shirt with a jacket. I seriously considered running in my jacket, but I was afraid I'd start sweating and get it all gross.

We got going just before 9:00, and for the first mile I was really afraid I might fall. I was so cold that my feet were numb and I felt unsteady on them. After the first mile I started warming up and felt alot better although my nose was running and the cold air was burning my lungs. By the third mile I felt great though .. and then of course it was over.

I'm shocked to say that I once again beat my previous time! I hit the finish line at exactly 25 minutes. My previous best time was 26:08. I guess the cold weather made me get my ass in gear and go. My splits were:

Mile 1: 8:05
Mile 2: 7:58
Mile 3: 8:02

I can't believe I ran 3 consistent 8 minute miles. I really am getting faster and stronger!

After the race, Tim and I tasted some of the chili entries in the cook off, ate a hotdog and I may or may not have eaten a chocolate brownie that may or may not have been absolutely delicious. We didn't get to stay for the awards ceremony because Tim had to work this afternoon.

After I dropped Tim off, I immediately went and bought a pair of long running pants and a couple long sleeved shirts. I can't wait to wear them tomorrow morning.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Its Finally Fall!

Thats right, its finally fall in Alabama! I walked outside this evening and it was a chilly 55 degrees. This is my absolute favorite time of the year. I love everything about it: the cooler weather, football, sweaters, pumpkin pie, the colors. Its all wonderful! I think I'm even generally in a better mood in the fall than I am any other time of the year.

To make matters even better there are only 12 days left until our Gatlinburg vacation. I can't wait to get up in the mountains and see the beautiful scenery, relax in the hottub with some wine, eat some good food and just have a great time. I really need it!

Tomorrow morning is the Chili Trot 5K. I've got my playlist all ready and all my clothes layed out. The only thing left to do is figure out exactly where I'm suppose to go.



My friends Nicole and Kelli are running with me this time, and my husband Tim of course. I'm not looking to set any personal records this time, just hoping to have some fun. After the race there is a chili cookoff. I haven't decided yet if I will participate in the judging or not. I had a few weak moments with some Oreos at work the other night that I'm still trying to repent for.

Tomorrow night we have the Fall Festival at the YMCA. I'm not sure what all will be involved but I'm excited to dress Lincoln up in his Halloween costume! Oh ... we also get to go tomorrow to pick up the proofs of our family pictures that we had made a couple weeks ago. I'm excited to see how they turn out.

Sunday we are taking my mother in law out for lunch for her birthday (which was actually today). We are going to Wintzell's Oyster House. I'm absolutely infatuated with oysters. They are one of my most favorite things on earth. I still haven't decided if I'm going to make an honest effort to "be good" or if I'm just gonna say F it. I really want the Oyster Sampler, but I'm sure it will set me back about 1000 calories or more.

The fair is in town this week, but we have decided instead of going to the fair and spending a bunch of money that we don't really need to, that we will forgo it. Instead we are going to take Lincoln to Zoo Boo on Sunday night. Another Halloween costume opportunity! Yes!

So the question of the day is ... should I be good at Wintzell's or should I go all out with the Oyster Sampler? Take a look at the menu and tell me your vote for my entree.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back To Work

I'm going back to work tonight for the next 3 nights. So I will see you guys on Friday for a pre-race post. Chili Trot 5K is coming up this weekend!

Monday, October 12, 2009

My Awesome Deals!

I broke my challenge to go two weeks without going grocery shopping. But I've been doing some research into "couponing", and I found some really great deals. I had no idea that there was more to using coupons than just clipping them and saving $.45 here and there. Apparently you can stack manufacturers coupons with store coupons with BOGOs and sale items and really save a bundle (and sometimes even get things for free). Who knew?!

I spent a large part of the morning on the Southern Savers website researching some good deals, and decided I better "strike while the iron is hot" so to speak and snatch these deals up.

I did my research, made my lists, clipped my coupon and set off for some savings! The first place I went was Walgreens. Now I would have never thought to go to Walgreens for grocery items, but I got a couple really great deals that I'm excited about. Here is the loot ...


I got two packs of Huggies diapers, 4 cans of Progresso soup, and 2 cans of Campbells soup. The normal price for all these items at my store would have been: $38.10. Diapers are expensive, in case you didn't know!

The diapers were on sale for $9.99 each, I used 2 - $2 off coupons and got $4 in Register Rewards. So each pack only cost me: $5.99.

For the Progresso soup I used a Walgreens 4 for $5 coupon, and stacked it with a $1.10 off 3 coupon. Each can only cost me: $.97. They are normally about $2.25 each!

The cans of Campbells Soup were Buy One Get One Free. I also used a $1 off 2 coupon. Each can normally costs $1.69 and I got each one for: $.35!

All in all I saved $17.15 at Walgreens.

After Walgreens I went to Publix. Publix has one of the best coupon policys around. They accept competitors coupons, they double coupons under $.50, and they stack manufacturers and store coupons. You can also buy only 1 of their BOGO items for half price instead of buying 2. Here is my loot from Publix:


2 Pillsbury Crescent rolls, Wet Ones, Lysol Spray, 4 Clorox Wipes, 2 Publix Wipes, Colgate Toothpaste, Betty Crocker Mashed Potatoes, Quick Oats, Knorr Pasta Sides, Salad Pockets (Pita Bread), 2 Chex Mix, Muir Glen Organic Tomato Soup, Publix Coffee, Hunts Diced Tomatoes, PAM, 4 bags steamable vegetables, and Huggies Overnights.

I won't go through all of the prices of these items, but here are a few of the best deals I got.
  • Betty Crocker Potatoes (normally $1.69): BOGO + .40 off 1 coupon (doubled) = $0.04!
  • Chex Mix (normally $2.50 each): $1 off 1 Target Coupon + $.50/2 (doubled) = $1 each
  • Huggies Overnights (normally $10.49): $2 off Coupon + $3 off Publix Coupon = $5.49
  • Wet Ones (normally $2.59): on sale for $1.50 + $1 off 1 Coupon = $.50!
  • Clorox Wipes & Publix Wipes (normally would have cost $19.94 for all 6): B2G1 coupon + buy theirs, get ours deal + sale price = $6 for all ($1 each!)
  • Publix Coffee (normally $.299) = $.01 with Weekly Ad coupon
  • Lysol Cleaner (normally $2.69): BOGO + $.50 off Coupon (doubled) = $0.85!

I saved a total of $42.91 with BOGOs and coupons at Publix!

It definitely took some time and energy but with the amounts I saved I feel like it was definitely worth my time.

Oops, my bad.

A few days ago in my post When Nutrition Labels Fail You, I orginally said that the product pictured with the incorrect information on the nutrition label was Stonyfield Farm Oikos Greek Yogurt. The product was actually Chobani yogurt.

I received an email today from a Stonyfield representative correcting my mistake and asking me to change the information on my blog. She was very pleasant and even offered to send me a few coupons in the mail and assured me that their yogurt that states serving size: 1 container only has "one serving per container".

So I stand corrected.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Healthy Food is EXPENSIVE!!!

Yes, I'm still alive!

I'm 50/50 on my goals that I set for myself this week. I haven't weighed myself at all since last Monday morning, so tomorrow morning's weigh in will be a complete suprise. I feel like I did well this week though. My eating was really good, I stayed within my points for the week, and I exercised 6 days. So no matter what the scale reflects I know that I did good.

I wasn't able to completely follow through with my 2nd goal for the week though, which was to track all of my food on my Spark People account. I did really well most of the week while I was off work, but I wasn't able to keep it up with the crazy weekend I had. Working 12 hour shifts really doesn't leave time for anything else besides sleep, run, work ... repeat. I'm not disappointed in myself for not following through on this one, I tracked everything in Weight Watchers atleast so I pretty much know where I stand.

One thing I have been working on lately is a plan to help me save money and pay down my debts. I haven't quite gotten the plan completely in place, but I'm working on a budget and I've been clipping coupons and reading some websites and blogs about money saving tips.

I'm shocked at how much money I spent on groceries last month. I added up all my grocery trips and the total came out to a god-awful ridiculous amount that I'm too embarassed to even repeat because it's literally that shocking. I've definitely got to get that under control! I think once my two week ban on grocery shopping is over, I'm going to start doing my grocery shopping once a week when the new sales ads come out. I'm going to plan all my meals ahead of time for the week based on the items that are on sale at the stores I shop at.

I even made a coupon organizer complete with printed categories labels. Lookie ...


Do you shop with coupons? What kind of money saving strategies do you use?

Friday, October 9, 2009

When Nutrition Labels Fail You.

Anyone see anything wrong with my Chobani Greek Yogurt nutrition information? Serving Size: 1 container. Servings per container: 2. Awesomeness!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Homemade Hummus

I hated hummus when I first tried it. I'm not exactly sure when or how it happened but now I adore it! Tim and I both eat alot of hummus. The problem is that hummus can be pretty expensive, especially when you eat it like we do. There are only a few ingredients necessary to make your own hummus and its really easy and inexpensive to make at home.

Last night before bed I made a big batch. Its a Weight Watchers recipe that I adapted for the ingredients I had on hand.

In a food processor combine:

  • 2 cans of Garbanzo Beans
  • 5 cloves of garlic (I like alot of garlic!)
  • 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • 3 Tbsp Tahini (I used peanut butter, couldn't find my Tahini)
  • 6 Tbsp Lemon Juice
  • 1 tsp curry powder
  • 1/2 cumin
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

Blend all ingredients for about 2 minutes or until really smooth. It makes 14 servings! (1/4 cup each). I wish I had some roasted red peppers to put in it, but I didn't. Next time I will try that for sure though!


In other news, I got my Amazing Grass in the mail today! Yay! I love getting treats in the mail. Its so exciting! I wasn't expecting it to come so quickly, but they shipped it Priority Mail at no extra cost. One thing I already like about Amazing Grass is that their shipping prices are included in the product price, so you don't pay anything extra for shipping when you order online.

We ordered 4 sample packs to try because we couldn't decide on which one to get.


I'll let you know my verdict after I try them. I did make Lincoln a smoothie with the Kidz SuperFood in it and he sucked it down!

Do you like hummus? What do you eat it on? What's your favorite flavor? Have you ever made it from scratch?

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Goals for The Week

First of all, there is something that has been on my mind that I want to discuss. For all you Biggest Loser fans, last night on the episode when they had to order all of their food out, did you notice that they said to make sure their fruit didn't contain any: bananas, melons, or grapes? I keep thinking that maybe I misunderstood what they were saying. Surely they don't have them on such a strict diet that they can't eat certain fruits! Or do they?

My personal philosophy on fruits and vegetables is that, I didn't get fat eating them and they aren't going to make me fat now. Unless of course, you fry them or saute them in butter. I don't normally count points for fruits and vegetables that I eat raw or cooked without additives.

Every week I like to set a couple goals for myself. My weeks start on Monday (as far as weigh-in goes), so I'm a little late blogging these but thats ok. My goals for this week are:

  • To only weigh on weigh-in day.
  • To track everything I eat on Weight Watchers and Spark People.

I signed up for Spark People several months ago, but I stopped using it because I felt like it was too time consuming and redundant to track my food on both Weight Watchers and Spark People. One thing I did like about Spark People though that Weight Watchers doesn't have is that you can track all of your nutrients. You can actually see a breakdown of your calorie, carb, fat, and protein intake and measure it against the recommended daily amounts. You can track any other nutrients you are interested in as well.

Lately I've been really interested in not only losing weight, but also healthy living. By this I mean that I'm more interested in the nutritional value of what I'm eating than the Points value. So that is why I wanted to start using my Spark People account again. So far I'm doing really good at staying in the correct ranges for calories, carbs, fat and protein.

My other goal for this week is to only weigh on Monday. When I was younger I was completely scale obsessed; I would weigh when I first woke up, after I went to the bathroom, after I ate, after I exercised, anytime I went into the bathroom. You get the idea. I think this stems from growing up in a househould with someone that had eating disorders. My mother struggled with anorexia and bulemia when I was a child. For that reason its really important to me not to be scale obsessed anymore. I usually want to weigh myself every morning when I wake up, but I realize that there will be normal fluctuations from day to day and that weighing on a weekly basis is much more reliable.

My eats for today included:

Kashi GoLean Crunch with Vanilla Oikos Greek Yogurt

A Gala apple, my fave!

Leftover spaghetti squash with meat sauce, and a side salad.

1/2 of a Green Monster (Yep, thats yesterday's pic again)

Steak with mushrooms, green beans, roasted cauliflower, and
a twice baked potato.

I also had a handful of Quaker Quakes Mini Rice cakes, a Crab Delight snack, and a piece of garlic toast. It really seemed like I ate alot today, but I came in at 1450 calories.

I ran 6 miles this afternoon, and it was extremely hard for me today. I don't know if it was because I ran in the afternoon and I normally run in the morning, or if I was just having an off day. I literally felt like I couldn't have taken one more step though, and I felt all weird and dizzy afterwards. I think my body needed the extra calories tonight because I felt much better after dinner.