Sunday, February 8, 2015

New Blog Website

Continue reading and sharing the journey of healthy living with me over at my new website which launched back in January of 2015! 

Thank you! -Kara {MaineGirl2Runs}

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Winter Break and Meal Planning!

 Loving this Winter Break! Time to Relax! 

     Well, it's officially Winter Break for me!  My school system is closed from Friday December 19th until Monday January 5th!  I started my break, Friday night with a yummy glass of Chardonay in a beautiful glass from Maine.  The glass was sent by mail from a dear childhood friend in Maine! 

     I've been battling a moderate case of achilles tendonitis since early November.  2x weekly visits to a chiropractor for ultrasound therapy, lower back and ankle adjustments, followed by stretching! At home I've been self-massaging my calves and icing! 

     Workouts lately have been more targeted to strengthening my hips, triceps and abs! A ton of core work! 

The last week leading up to Winter Break:

Sunday: Two Mile Run

Monday: 13 Essential Core Excercises for Runners

Tuesday: off, just stretching and icing! 

Wednesday: Played Football during 3rd grade recess!! Impressed the 3rd grade boys by running for a touchdown!  Running around and playing outside is fun excercise! 

- That evening, a visit to the Chiropractor! 

Thursday:  Love this "Booty-Blaster: 5 Band-Based Exercises to Activate Glutes from {Jennifer at} using a Thera-Band! 

Friday: off, getting home from school late and ready to enjoy Winter Break! 

Saturday:  My longest run in a while! 3 miles!
So happy to run! 

This Wednesday, I have an hour long Deep Tissue Massage with a sports massage therapist! 

Loving this Hot Chocolate Protein Smoothie! 
I improvised a bit! I added Sunfood's Raw Cacoa Powder, Sunfood's Sacha Inchi Protein powder, skipped the chia seeds, hemp hearts and coconut oil. Love Califia Farms Unsweetened Almond milk and Justin's Time Almond Butter! 

The "soup setting" on my Vitamix heated up the warm cocoa smoothie! 

     Winter break is all about relaxing!! So "meal planning" is quick and simple, but still healthy!  

Dinners this week:

Sunday:  Trader Joe's Organic marinara with chicken thighs over orzo pasta

Monday: Individual Chicken Pot Pies in Ramekins

Tuesday: Runner's World Cook Book: Chickpea-Pesto Tomato Soup with Grilled Cheese/Bacon sandwiches! 

Wednesday: Christmas Eve- New England Style: Shepherd's Pie 

Thursday: Christmas Day- out to dinner with Husband's family

Friday/Saturday: With my parents in New Jersey! 

     1987, Christmas Morning, Gorham, Maine. I was 12 years old.  Under the tree was a heavy wrapped gift! It was a cookbook that I would come to treasure over the years!  Worn pages, handwritten edits to recipes, and beloved New England recipe favorites! As the saying goes, "You can take the girl out of Maine, but you can't take Maine out of the girl".

Christmas Morning Blueberry Muffins: From my cherished cookbook! 

Merry Christmas Week Everyone!! Any treasured recipes or cookbooks from over the years? 

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Thinking Out Loud Thursday:Time to Relax!

     So, here it goes!  I'm Thinking Out Loud! I decided to jump in and share what's been going on in my life since I lasted posted, way back when. . . on December 1st!


  • Teaching elementary students is rewarding, but the lesson planning and other paperwork can be time consuming!  This time of year, it gets hectic at school with grades due, IEP meetings and other testing stuff.  I come home at the end of the day exhausted!

  • The class has a little friend that has been causing mischief in class!
Where in the World is Elfie!

  • This time of year, is for me, all about remembering family and friends, cherishing the old memories and enjoying "making" new ones as well!  I had a dear, childhood friend from Maine, think of me recently!  She saw a little gift at a store in Maine and bought if for me!
The little things in life can mean so much! Even the postage from Portland, Maine warmed my heart! 

I love this Facebook message that was sent prior to the arrival of the special package:
"Maine girls, always remember Maine Girls"

     Some friendships are lucky enough to withstand time and distance.

Ha! Excuse the Change in Font! By the time I finish typing and posting this blog, I'll have returned home from school!  I started this post, this morning, at 7:00am!   

I am looking forward to relaxing, catching up on running and just enjoying the quiet times at home over Christmas/Winter Break! The "Gift of Time" is so precious and I savor every second!!

Feeling and looking a little Christmasy!! 

A beautiful "Etsy" necklace from a student! 

Hope everyone has a relaxing and stress-free weekend leading into the Holidays and Christmas!  I'll be off from school for two weeks!! 

What's on everyone's agenda for Christmas?? 

. . . Thursday is almost over! Time to leaf through this Athleta catalog! 

P.S {Post Script} I'm hoping for Snow! 

Monday, December 1, 2014

Goodbye November, Hello December and Meal Planning

     I literally wait all year for the month of November.  November, for me, epitomizes the fall season.  Cool, crisp air and the gorgeous vibrant colors that saturate the trees.  I had dreams of running, carefree through the streets. Adding up some solid November mileage, since taking off in October after running the Maine marathon on October 5th. 

     Unfortunately, my right heel and achilles decided I needed to pursue some new fitness routines.  My heel is slightly tender and my achilles a bit stiff at the insertional point.  Not good right now, but things have Not gotten worse.  
     I have a regimen in place to heal and get back to solid road running soon!  I'm seeing a sports chiropractor twice a week for lower back, hips and ankle adjustments. Hopefully, I'll be on the mend and ready for races in March! 

     In the mean time, I've been focusing on more core fitness and strength routines to maintain fitness. Incorporating more pilates/yoga on the mat and using some fun fitness apps and videos on my iPhone and ipad.  I rely on doing these things at home because I love about an hour and half from Annapolis and Washington, DC.  My small town in southern Maryland doesn't offer much variety in gym classes or pilates/ barre studios. 

     I found this easy-to -use, but effective 7-Minute Workout Challenge App for my iphone! 

These are the twelve exercises with descriptions and visual pics! The App has you do each exercise for 30 seconds, with 10 seconds rest! Super easy App that motivates you to get in a 7-minute workout, anywhere! The app tracks each time you complete a circuit! 

     Im also loving the online pilates videos.  I found them through my iPad App Store for $1.99 each.  I downloaded a few videos.  I'm already feeling stronger and more toned in my quads, abs and hips/glutes.  My triceps have been getting a workout too! 

     So, as I say goodbye to November and hello to December, I'm embracing the change in fitness routine.  I'm using the downtime from running to heal my lingering issues with my heel and achilles, as well as, tone and strengthen my core.  Healing is also about nourishing the body from the inside-out. I've been reevaluating my meals and making some changes to my meal planning ideas.  

Here are some Meal Planning Ideas to Start December: I linked up with Laura from Mommy Run Fast

Two of My favorite cookbooks right now:

Giada's Feel Good cookbook
And this Amazing website for two Warm Winter Smoothies-Warm Ginger Pear Smoothie  and the Warm Cocoa Smoothie!
From Giada's Cookbook for Breakfast:
  • Oatmeal with Olive oil
  • Chia Pudding
  • Chewy Granola Bars
  • Mini Carrot Apple Cupcakes
From the Runner's World Cookbook for Lunches:
  • Potato Leek Soup
  • Chick Pea Pesto Tomato Soup
I love to make a ton of soup and then place 1 cup servings into plastic, quart size, ziplock baga and freeze!  The Chick Pea Pesto will freeze well for future lunches!
Dinner this Week:
Sunday: Roast Minestrone Soup with grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches
Monday: Leftover Roast Minestrone Soup with grilled mozzarella cheese sandwiches

Tuesday: Ground Turkey Tacos

Wednesday: Finish Ground Turkey Tacos

Thursday: Baked Potatoes with Vegetables

Friday: Perfect Broccoli Cheddar Soup-Recipe Here

So, there it is!  Welcome to December!  Recharging and refocusing my fitness and health! 

What's on your "menu" for health and fitness?  Any fun and worthy fitness Apps or websites? 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Holiday Season: Cheers to Staying Fit!

As the Holidays Approach, I am "Making a List and Checking it Twice":

  • Taking charge of my health
-Tasty fall salads, a variety of hot herbal teas and tons of refreshing lemon water!

  • Finding new ways to strengthen and tone my body
-Yoga, Pilates and Running of Course!

  • Staying active and motivated to workout and eat healthy

  • A "Less is More" Approach-be kind to yourself

  • Changing up your fitness routine- maybe trying out a gym class a few nights a week, pay as a "drop-in" with no long term committment

  • Holidays are about family and friends, making memories and cherishing the time to relax. 
*** In order to stay motivated and keep myself in "check" over the Hoidays, I have joined the Holiday Sweat Challenge One of my fun fitness bloggers, Jennifer over at Kineticfix got me excited about this challenge!******

Over the Holidays-get in on some fun:

  • Healthy recipes
  • Workouts
  • Tons of Virtual Motivation to stay Accountable and Fit
  • Motivating Emails and Fun Prizes!!
Join in on the fun and Register Here!! SweatGURU!!  Register by November 24th, 2014




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Updates and Meal Planning

Monthly Market Calendar and Meal Planning!!


  Sundays are my time as a mom, runner and teacher to refocus and get ready for the week!  I take the afternoons to lesson plan, workout for about an hour {or go for a run} and get lunches and dinners ready for the week! Weekdays can get so busy, but in order to maintain a healthy and nutritious routine, I love to meal plan and have dinners ready for the week! 

     I love using this simple, but efficient,  printable calendar to map out my dinners and market needs for the month! Yup, the month! I shop two days out of the Entire month for Everything! I save money and time!! During the week I'm able to simply come home from teaching and relax! Staying out of stores the rest of the month saves so much time and money! I have a 26 cubic foot Samsung Bottom freezer fridge! 

Here is my monthly meal plan calendar! 

Sunday: Broth Based Chicken Noodle Soup 

Monday: Broth Based Chicken Noodle Soup

Tuesday: Broth Based Chicken Noodle Soup
******* My Husband, daughter and I eat a Big Pot of soup for a few nights******

Wednesday: Baked Potatoes with Sour Cream and Broccoli
{ A busy night of cheer practice and school stuff}

Thursday: Grilled Cheese with Bacon

 Friday: Scrambled eggs with hash browns 
{ We are out of town Saturday and Sunday}

** Easy meal planning week due to end of week Holiday travel! 

Next week! A variety of different dinners already planned! My favorite meal planning site for inspiration right now is I'm on my iPad this weekend so I can't copy and paste link to website. 

How far ahead do you shop and meal plan? Any suggestions? 

Running and training update! 
{Lately, I have been focusing so much on my corefitness!! Nightly sessions of squats, planks, bridge pose, side plank clamshells with resistance band, Seated Bicycle Twists, and strength based yoga/pilates DVDs.}

Friday, November 7, 2014

Sometimes, Less is More: A Change of Pace

     A little update about motherhood, running, and teaching!    Following my 18 weeks of training for the Maine marathon, I felt like my body needed a break from the constant running each week.  It was tough keeping up each week with running on Wed, Thursday and Friday, with long runs on Saturday.  Having to wake up early on Saturdays and dedicate my time to 2+ hours of running, I was left feeling like I wasn't being there for my daughter. It's interesting, because I always felt like as my daughter got older, she wouldnt need me as much. Well, with a young teen, you actually have to be even more present in some ways.  The young teen years are filled with worry, insecurities and self-doubt. Thankfully, the bulk of my training was over the summer, so I didn't have to worry so much about lesson planning, team leader obligations, parent emails, and being the english/language arts core content lead.  Now, school is back in session and that means I am full time mother, runner and teacher.  I need to be flexible and adapt my running schedule around my other committments.
     So, here I am, exactly one month post marathon.  My body and mind are in a relaxed state.  I am working on fixing some lingering issues with my right foot/ankle and calf muscle.  For months there has just been a lingering, not-so-noticeable tenderness on my inside heel.  I have been faithfully doing my strenghthening and stretching exercises.  I have to admit that I constantly read Angela's blog over at Happy Fit Mama, she has great advice on incorporating yoga and daily strength training exercises into her running routine.  The toughest part for me about committing to core workouts and strength training drills is that I really don't feel the same sweat induced endorphins as I do from running. However, I have been telling myself, "You only get to run, if you put in the work for core fitness and strength training."  Yup, it's so easy for me to just go out and run, but I have to force myself to "earn" that run! 
Some yoga and pilates stuff mixed into my day, along with ankle and hip strengthening drills.  I love the "Bridge Pose, Planks, Side Plank Clamshells with resistance band, and "Seated Bicycle Twists".  I am starting to feel more of a workout in my abs and hips.  I also stumbled across this really great site, A Blog. By Runners. For Runners.  There are really great post on Yoga for runners.  Back to Angela, from HappyFitMama  she also tipped me off to the #HealingHearts Yoga instagram challenge for November! 

Fall running at its best.  Cool afternoons, only a light short sleeve running shirt required along with some shorts and beautiful fall foliage.  Running is easy and relaxed right now.  As I run, I am focused on improving my stride-increasing my cadence and using the strength in my hips to propell me forward. I love this time of year for running, no pressure to race-just soak up the moments I am in right now.
    So, here I am now on November 7th, this blog took two days to write because there is so much going on right now.  I am taking this season of change to -"be patient, quiet my stresses and just focus on one thing at a time".  Less, is More-easy pace.  This is a season of rebuilding and getting stronger.  Honestly, I only have one race on the calendar for December.-The Jingle Bell 5k with my daughter (redhead).  So, this is my "off season".
Who else is enjoying, or getting ready to enjoy-"their off season" of running?
Any tips or advice for adding more cross training or strength drills to your running routine?
Thoughts on Motherhood with older kids and teens?
Happy Friday!