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!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Making a Difference: Companies and Their Products

     Recently, I googled some granola bars and came across, ThisBarSavesLives.  I read about the company and their product on their website.  The company provides a life saving, nutritious meal, for starving children in over 120 countries, through their partnership with Save the Children,for each Bar sold.

     As a mother, runner and teacher, I eat to fuel and sustain for long hours.  The food choices I make are about my health, but also about the world around me.  If my food choices can provide me with a hearty, nutritious snack and "Make a Difference", then for me- that's what matters!

I ordered the Wild Blueberry Pistachio because, of course, the wild blueberries are from Maine! 

     The bars, ThisBarSavesLives, Wild Blueberry Pistachio, are a naturally sweet, slightly chewy/crunchy blend of fruit and nuts.  The bars are glutenfree, NonGMO and ingredients are organically sourced in the United States. These bars will be great for breakfast or a much needed snack in the afternoon after teaching, but before a run! 

I loved purchasing this wristband too! Each wristband purchased, provides a meal to a child in need and contributes to the Water Project.  The Water Project brings water to countries in Africa. The bracelets are made out of clay! 

Please check out this company at,, This Bar Saves Lives

     My other favorite Bar, I found at the Charmcityrun Annapolis store a few months ago! Charmed Bars are a delicious, chewy, fruity, nut bar that is glutenfree, certified kosher and free of GMO's!! 

   What I love about this company! 
A company founded by two women!  The company is local to Maryland!  One of the women is a former elementary school kindergarten teacher!  Here on the CharmedBarwebsite there is a link to the "Autism Hope Alliance" organization.  As a teacher, it's important to support Charmed Bar because they are "Autism Approved"! 

Charmed Bar has three different, yummy varieties, but their newest- Apple Rageous Nutbutter- is my favorite! 

     I order online and shipping and delivery is quick and easy!  The combination of fruit, nuts and almond butter helped fuel my Maine Marathon run at mile 18! I ran with the Charmed Bar in my running shirt pocket!  When I'm not fueling, mid run with a Charmed Bar, I'm eating one at breakfast with my coffee! 

     Too find out more about Charmed Bar and order some yummy bars, visit their website!

Supporting Companies/ Brands that are Making a Difference! 
     I read labels and try my best to educate myself on the product, the company and people behind the product and how these companies can have a positive impact on the world.  I support companies and their products that strive to Make a Difference. 

     Do you have a favorite company/brand that is Making a Difference? 

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Raising A Teenager: Healthy Snack and Lunch Choices

    My redhead is 13 years old now.  She wants to do well in school, fit in with the rest of her peers and make some decisions on her own.  I do my best, as a mom, to guide and encourage her through the trials and tribulations of her teen years. 

     When my redhead was little, I could really manage and control all her food choices.  Now, she's older and around her friends more often.  Whether my redhead is at her friends' houses or having them over to our house, balancing a healthy diet with teens can be challenging.  One thing I've noticed and been more attune to, is my daughter's need to have quick, go-to-snacks that she can quickly make or grab! Despite the snacks and other food choices she may be faced with outside of our house, when she is home- I want her to have healthy, wholesome choices.  

      My redhead has a very "delicate taste" for things, so I'm constantly trying to fit in lunch and snack choices that meet her taste, yet have my "healthy approval"!  It's tough, at times, because she doesn't want to be known as "that kid" with the organic snacks and environmentally friendly containers! 

Here's what I currently have in our fridge, freezer and pantry:

These taste just like Fritos, but are certified organic and NonGMO verified! {Sage Valley company}

 Organic Valley milk.  I've never bought any soda or juice for Sydney. The rule is milk or water with all meals and snacks at home.

Nutella and Sticks- not organic, but one of my Redhead's favorites.  

Silly Cow Hot Chocolate. Skippy- Natural peanut butter and Endangered Species milk chocolate. 

Quick, microwave snacks- love Amy's and Blake's Naturals/Organic products

Organic Macintosh apples

AppleGate Farm Organic cheese and lunch meat. 

   As you can see, I try to balance the organic choices with some other products that are still healthy enough for a teenager to grab and snack.  One very important tip I try to adhere to is reading the labels.  Know the ingredients and keep it simple. Try to eliminate artificial flavors and snacks with chemical dyes. I also do not cater to a lot of sugary snacks. 

How do you help your teen make healthy eating choices? 


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Gluten Free Peanut Butter Banana Muffins

Yield: 12 Standard Muffins

(Recipe Adapted from numerous trial/error standard muffin recipes)

2- Cups gluten-free flour mix ( I prefer Pamela's Artisan Flour Blend)

1/3 cup Raw/Organic Cane Sugar

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1 teaspoon Baking Soda

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon Coarse Celtic Sea Salt ( It's the only salt I have in my pantry)

2 large Local Brown Eggs ( Local/Pasture Raised Eggs are Amazing)

3 Medium Overripe Bananas

1/2 Cup StonyField Organic French Vanilla Yogurt

1/2 to 1/3 Cup Trader Joe's Crunchy Salted Peanut Butter with Flax & Chia Seeds (Or use your preferred Almond Butter) 

Mixing and Baking Instructions:

1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a  12- cup muffin pan with paper muffin cup/liners

2. Mix together all dry ingredients in a large bowl

3. In a Stand Mixer, add the peeled bananas, eggs, yogurt and peanut butter. Beat all ingredients together for 1 minute.  ( You can also use a hand mixer)

4. Incorporate dry ingredients into Stand Mixer bowl with wet ingredients

5. Using a medium scoop or 1/4 measurement cup, add mixture to the muffin cup lined muffin tray

6. Bake for about 25 minutes, then remove from oven and allow to cool.

Serve warm, or heat up the next day. I smeared some blackberry preserves on the muffins:) 


Saturday, October 18, 2014

The Quilt of Motherhood

My redhead, almost nine years ago, on Old Orchard Beach, Maine

The Quilt of Motherhood:

 Comes in phases
- there is never a moment, when your never really Not needed
- struggling to find a balance between "letting her fly" and keeping her "wings clipped"
-finding opportunities to keep communications and connections strong
- constantly reassessing and evaluating your role as a mother, no matter the age of your child or children
- being open to and willing to see, that with each phase of motherhood comes opportunity for new memories and perspectives
-knowing that you can't stop or turn back time, instead learning to embrace the teen years and guide with love and wisdom
Raising a daughter to admire and respect you; not be jealous of or compete with you

-My relationship with my own mother has ebbed and flowed over the years, like patches of a quilt pieced together over the years, 
-every square and stitch-by-stitch a reminder of the relationship that was built over time, 
-with a careful eye, an unwavering love, and some moments when it might have felt like the stitches holding together those precious squares, just might have come undone

Now, my mother and I sit side-by-side under that quilt, sewn together, stitch-by-stitch, -our relationship over the years, laid out like the squares on a patchwork quilt, 
-each square representing a moment, memories. 
-The edges frayed, but stitches that came undone -now mended, 
-the quilt of memories now holding us close together again

I want to lay the foundation for my daughter
- help her to lay out her life, square by square, 
-keep the stitches of our relationship strong, so that she and I can sit, someday with our quilt draped lovingly over our shoulders. 

Share your reflections on motherhood. How do you "let go a little", without your heart aching, to let your children grow?