How We Celebrated 1 Year

As you may recall, Sunday was our one-year wedding anniversary. But since M was scheduled to work 12 hours that day, we celebrated a few days early with a day trip to Cincinnati to visit the Cincinnati Zoo and have dinner at the Cheesecake Factory (which is always a special treat for us). Here are some pics from the Zoo:

LOVE the giraffes!

LOVE the giraffes!

Bet you didn't know....

Bet you didn’t know….

A lot of the animals were sleeping when we were at the zoo, including these lionesses.

A lot of the animals were sleeping when we were at the zoo, including these lionesses.

Including our delicious cheesecake with a sweet note from our waitress!

Soooo good!

Soooo good!

But I still wanted to do something special on Sunday, so while he was at work, I braved the torrential downpour and headed to Whole Foods where I bought some crab cakes from the meat department (two different kinds: one jumbo lump crab cake with breadcrumbs, the other gluten free with peppers for a different flavor) and some green beans with swiss chard from the hot bar. I wanted to create a meal that would remind us of our wedding and our honeymoon–I enjoyed lots of crabcakes in South Carolina, so that’s where those came in, and then I baked cornbread muffins with honey to remember the cornbread served at our reception. I also bought some salad mix and made my pumpkin butter vinaigrette, and served a Moscato wine. Needless to say, it was delicious:

Dinner, minus the salad and cornbread muffins.

Dinner, minus the salad and cornbread muffins.

Then, as tradition holds, we cut into the top layer of our wedding cake. I have to admit, we were a little nervous about eating the cake that had been sitting in our freezer for a year now, but it was still pretty darn good! Just a little dry, but the cream cheese filling was still smooth. But just in case, I bought a couple of gourmet cupcakes to celebrate.

Remarkably, even after a year this tasted pretty decent! (I've had "fresh" store-bought cakes that tasted worse.)

Remarkably, even after a year this tasted pretty decent! (I’ve had “fresh” store-bought cakes that tasted worse.)

Then came the gift I got for M. The first year is traditionally a paper gift. We’ve saved ticket stubs from different events and places we’ve gone to ever since we started dating more than four years ago. So I took quite a few of those ticket stubs and handouts and wanted to make a better way to display them. I found a canvas frame at Michael’s that I thought was perfect, so I spent a couple of weeks working on my project. First I painted the canvas black, then I Modge Podged the ticket stubs (just like when I made my running bib display). For the photo I chose the first photo we had taken with each other. Perfect!

Then, since we’ve had such a crappy, rough first year, I decided I wanted us to toast to the next year being good luck, so I bought a couple of scratch off lottery tickets and a PowerBall ticket. (Unfortunately all three were losers, so let’s hope that’s not indicative to the next year’s luck…)

The "memory frame" and lottery tickets was my creative contribution to our anniversary celebration.

The “memory frame” and lottery tickets was my creative contribution to our anniversary celebration.

Unfortunately the tickets were all busts...whomp whomp. :-(

Unfortunately the tickets were all busts…whomp whomp. ūüė¶

It was a great way to celebrate the first year, even if it wasn’t the most romantic in some ways, or taking a trip like we wanted to do. We have the rest of our lives for that!

Your turn: How have you celebrated special moments on a different day?

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Goodies in a Box–Kona Kase Review

A few weeks ago I got the opportunity to review the July Kona Kase (sorry it’s taken me a while to do the review). I’m always excited to get these types of packages in the mail because I know they’re going to introduce me to all types of healthy goodies that I’ve never seen before.

Inside every Kona Kase is a fun, inspiring quote, which I always love to share. Here’s the quote for July:

“You’ve got to get to the stage in life where going for it is more important than winning or losing.”

–Arthur Ashe

And here’s the line-up from the Kase:

photo-17

 

Perky Jerky: This is turkey jerky marinaded in special ingredients that include Guarana to give you a little kick to wake you up. Both M and I liked it (and I’m not a big jerky fan).

Health Warrior Chia Bar: I’ve seen some bloggers eating these, so I was excited to try the chia bar. I ate half before and half after a CrossFit workout for a little energy boost. The one downside–chia seeds get stuck in my teeth.

Caveman Cookies: These were two small cookies individually wrapped and made with all-natural ingredients. They weren’t really sweet, but still have a nice nutty taste.

Barbara Llewellyn Granola: OMG This was soo good. The granola had sliced almonds, sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, honey, oats…such a perfect, crunchy combination that I enjoyed in my Greek yogurt bowls.

Garuka Bars: These bars had a great texture to them that helped you feel full. One bonus to these snack bars is that a percentage of each sale goes towards gorilla conservation. You can also get 10% off your first order by entering code “KONAKASE” on their website.

Pro Bar Chews: All natural energy chews? Sign me up! These were a delicious orange flavor. I had some before a couple early morning CrossFit classes and loved them.

Do these treats entice you? Sign up for a Kona Kase by hitting their website!

Plain Ole Mac & Cheese? Puh-Lease!

I’m a mac & cheese kid. I’ll admit it–I love the stuff! I grew up on the blue boxed mac & cheese, but I’ve come to consider myself a mac & cheese aficionado. I even made sure we had some real yummy mac & cheese at our wedding, not just generic stuff.

Now that I’m a grown up, I’ve started to appreciate the flexibility that mac & cheese, as a dish, has. I’ve made it with spaghetti squash, quinoa, and whole wheat noodles. I even threw together a quick recipe one night, when all I was craving was mac & cheese, with some pretty healthy components.

photo-12

Cheesy Whole Wheat Mac & Cheese W/Veggies

1 cup whole wheat macaroni noodles
Fat free milk
Cottage cheese
Shredded cheese (I used a colby jack mixture)
Parmesan cheese
Garlic powder
Black pepper
Thyme
Any green veggies (at least one cup’s worth, this time I used leftover broccoli)
Sprinkle of bread crumbs

  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Prepare a small baking dish (8×8) with some cooking spray and set aside.
  2. Cook the macaroni noodles in a sauce pan of water per box instructions. Drain.
  3. In the saucepan, combine the noodles with the cottage cheese, shredded cheese, parmesan cheese, and spices to taste–if you like it cheesy, add lots, if you like some more flavor to your dish, add to taste.
  4. Pour in your green veggies and combine.
  5. Pour the mixture into your baking dish. I sprinkled a little extra parmesan cheese on top and then added some bread crumbs for a little more crunch.
  6. Bake 10-15 minutes (until the cheese is melted and the top is golden).
  7. Enjoy!

I’m sorry I don’t have exact measurements–a lot of times when I’m just throwing something together, I don’t measure. Plus I think a lot of times things depend on your taste buds–maybe you like a lot of garlic in your dishes, or not so much pepper. It’s up to you!

What’s your favorite way to enjoy mac & cheese?¬†

Do you add veggies to your noodle dishes?

Yummy Fresh Summer Dinner

Friday night M and I joined some friends at Whole Foods for their 5 on Friday event to try five different beers with be different recipes. They were all very good, but we were still hungry by the time we got home. We had some chicken sausage that needed to be cooked, so I found a recipe that sounded perfect for the evening:

20130626-101150.jpg

I found the recipe using my AllRecipes.com Spinner app on my phone, but I changed it up some to suit what we had in the kitchen.

Stuffed Zucchini with Chicken Sausage

2 Zucchini
3 tablespoons of olive oil
3 links chicken sausage with cheese, casings removed
2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1 can diced Italian-style tomatoes (most of the fluid drained)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1 tablespoon basil (I used dry, but you can use fresh if you have it)
1-2 tablespoons bread crumbs (to help soak up the mixture)
1 clove minced garlic
Chopped onion (I had minced dried onion that I did a couple of shakes)

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F
  2. Cut the zucchini length-wise (cut off the ends as well). With a spoon, scoop out the flesh, leaving a shell intact all around the zucchini–you decide the thickness of the flesh. (I love zucchini, so I didn’t make it too thin, though remember this will mean an adjustment to cooking time.)
  3. Heat the olive oil in a skillet, then cook up the chicken sausage, breaking up the meat while it cooks. After about 8 minutes or so, sprinkle the crushed red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and basil. I saved some of the zucchini flesh and decided to chop that up and throw it in the chicken sausage mixture as well.
  4. Pour the can of diced Italian-style tomatoes (partially drained) into the mixture and add the onion and garlic at this time. Stir the mixture until cooked through and then turn off the burner.
  5. In a bowl, scrape the sausage mixture into a bowl with the bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese until everything is thoroughly mixed.
  6. Lightly stuff the zucchini boats with the mixture. I had the boats already placed on a cookie sheet lined with aluminum foil. Bake in the oven until thoroughly heated and the mixture is brown on top–about 30 minutes.

I loved this dinner–so light and so easy to make. Since I left the zucchini a little thicker, I think next time I should maybe bake the zucchini by itself a little first, or bake the entire thing more. Or maybe even grill the zucchini first! Hmm…I’m going to play around with it and will let you know.

Try it and let me know what you think!

Kona Kase — A Belated Review

Where has the time gone?? It seems like suddenly the days all flew by. I got the March Kona Kase weeks ago, but time slipped away and I haven’t been able to give you a full review…until now!

The aspect behind the Kona Kase is to bring the latest in health snacks and treats for the health nut every month, all in a convenient box in your mailbox! You can get all these goodies for just $15 a month.

I loved the inspiration saying on one of the cards in the box:

Saying

Anyway, the box had a few new (to me, at least) items, and a couple that I had seen before. I’ve tried the CLIF Shot Bloks while I was training for the Run The Bluegrass, but they’ve been hard to find, so I’m excited to stow away the cran-razz flavor for when I’m able to get back into training! And the Clif Bar Crunch Granola Bar was a nice change for my mid-morning snack at work.

Case

The other yummies included:

Suncups: I absolutely love creamy caramel and chocolate! These are like Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups, only with caramel, and organic.

TCHO: Inside the box I had four different flavors of chocolate from San Francisco. PureNotes Dark Chocolate (with subtle “nutty” notes), SeriousMilk “Classic” Milk Chocolate with caramel notes, PureNotes Dark Chocolate, and SeriousMilk Cacao Milk Chocolate with lush and fudgy notes. The “notes” were definitely subtle in each flavor. I was a little disappointed in the lack of “nutty notes” in the one flavor (I love nuts in chocolate), but the Cacao Milk Chocolate was smooth and flavorful.

NutButterWild Friends Nut Butter: I’ve never had sunflower seed nut butter, and this was chocolate-flavored, but it was delicious! Especially with my crisp Jazz apple, it made for a great snack at work. I love the pouches because it makes packing easy.

BruBar: An all natural energy bar some times means not the sweetest or the prettiest looking, but it wasn’t too bad. These bars are vegan, with whole grains. I snacked on some before CrossFit one day and it was what I needed to push through a WOD.

Everything packed in this fun, orange box, is perfect to fuel you on the go. I wish I had a hiking trip I could have packed all of this into a bag for, but instead I just spread them out throughout the month!

If you’re interested in trying Kona Kase for yourself, hit up their website for more information.

March Foodie Pen Pal Reveal

In March I decided to join a program called the Foodie Pen Pals (FPP). I had read a few different posts about the program a while ago, and I loved the idea of getting new and different foods from someone in another part of the country, and sharing some things with another.

The person I got to send treats to was Lisa, a physician assistant in Texas, who is on a vegan, gluten-free diet. I have to admit, I don’t have any experience with veganism, and very little experience with gluten-free diets. My grandfather had Celiac Disease towards the end of his life, and at the time there was hardly anything that was gluten-free that was close to tasty. Nowadays, it’s easier to eat gluten-free. So the program forced me out of my comfort zone to find goodies to send to Lisa, but it was a fun shopping trip.

I received an email from Cindy introducing herself to me as my FPP and she had asked a little bit about me so she could send me goodies from her home in Florida. I’m pretty much open to try anything, and I told her so. I was excited to get my package in the mail:

March Foodie Pen Pal Goodies!

March Foodie Pen Pal Goodies!

Inside was goodies from Plant City, Fla., the “strawberry capital of Florida” (strawberry rhubarb jam? Yes, please!), Amish made honey (how’d she know I was running low on honey?), chocolates, Pim’s cookies, Jelly Belly jelly beans, and one item that actually caught my breath.

Growing up, my grandparents on my dad’s side would give us a sugar egg every year around Easter. I always loved my sugar eggs because I was enthralled with how they got the little chick (or bunny) inside this fragile sugar egg. Cindy had included one of those eggs just as a little extra Easter spirit.

Segar Egg

Segar Egg

She included a jar of Cannon’s Country Gourmet Strawberry Rhubarb jam. I couldn’t wait to break open into this (have I mentioned how much I love anything strawberry?) and had some with my whole wheat biscuits and chili Sunday last weekend. It’s delicious–not too sweet, just right.

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam & Honey

Strawberry Rhubarb Jam & Honey

The chocolates are from Angell & Phelps, a small family-owned chocolate factory in Cindy’s hometown. Cindy said it was a lot like a trip down memory lane when she visits the shop.

Beautiful handmade chocolates!

Beautiful handmade chocolates!

The Pim’s cookies are European biscuits with raspberry preserves on top and a layer of chocolate coating the top. They look delicious!

The entire box has been enticing me throughout the month of March. I haven’t been able to really try much of the contents because I gave up chocolate for Lent. But now I’m savoring every piece of this silky, smooth chocolate.

Want to get in on the action? You can still sign up for April!

Here are a few details about Foodie Penpals. 

-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
-Foodie Penplas is open to US, Canadian & European residents. ¬†Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. Same with Europeans. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa.¬†

If you’re from the US or Canada and are in participating for November, please CLICK HERE (www.theleangreenbean.com/foodie-penpals/) to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 

You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

*If you’re from Europe, please¬†CLICK HERE¬†(www.thisisrocksalt.com/foodie-penpals/) to signup.

Recipe: Greek Yogurt Devil’s Food Cake

I hope you had a happy Easter! My Easter was pretty laid back–M came home from work about 8 am and slept. I tried to sleep in, but couldn’t, so I had a relaxed morning with the pups before heading out to run a quick errand for dinner. I also met Nicole to walk our dogs and shake out our legs after our half marathon on Saturday.

I missed my family’s Easter brunch. They usually do the same brunch as what we have for Christmas brunch: ham, scrambled eggs, mom’s sticky roll, fruit, etc. So because I’ve been missing my family gathering, I decided to have some friends over for Easter brunch, only for dinner. I decided to do a small ham, with mandarin orange fluff, and Merinda brought scalloped potatoes. Not the most balanced, but not bad for the first “friends’ Easter.” I also made a devil’s food cake to celebrate Easter, the end of my chocolate sabbatical, and an early birthday cake for M. It was a simple, healthy recipe that I’d love to share with you:

Greek Yogurt Devil’s Food Cake

1 box Devil’s Food cake mix
1 6 ox container of Greek yogurt (plain or vanilla)
1 cup water

  1. Preheat oven to 325*F and prepare baking dish (I used a small rectangle glass dish).
  2. Combine the three ingredients until thoroughly mixed. Pour into baking dish.
  3. Bake according to instructions on the mix box, until a toothpick comes out clean. (I baked my cake for 25 minutes.)
I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we ate half of it. Also, note to self: chocolate cake looks better on a colored plate.

I forgot to take a photo of the cake before we ate half of it. Also, note to self: chocolate cake looks better on a colored plate.

I wanted to keep this low in sugar/calories/etc., so I didn’t buy any frosting, but I did buy Peeps to decorate the cake. I had this idea that the Peeps would set into the cake and I could dust it with powdered sugar. Well, we ended up not having any powdered sugar, and the Peeps didn’t sink into the cake. So I sprinkled some yellow sugar crystals for a little more decoration.

The cake was delicious–almost like a cake-like brownie. Everyone liked it, so that was a plus.

Oh yeah, and M and I gave each other Easter baskets–it’s a tradition I started with him a year or so ago. I try to make it not all about the candy, but he is always about the candy. However, this year we both got each other Cincinnati Reds shirts. (We’re going to Opening Day in Cincy.)

Here is a sample of our goodies:

M's basket included some protein bars, sunflower seeds, Reese Eggs, and some back pain patches for work. My basket included Starburst jelly beans, Reese Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs,  and Peeps.

M’s basket included some protein bars, sunflower seeds, Reese Eggs, and some back pain patches for work. My basket included Starburst jelly beans, Reese Eggs, Cadbury Creme Eggs, and Peeps.

Kicking Off Two New Challenges

Monday was all about kicking off two new challenges I’ve signed up for: healthysELF and FlexibleFebruary.

Remember how over the holidays I was doing #Elf4Health? Well, everyone who participated loved the camarderie and activities of the challenge and wanted to continue it, so Elle and Lindsay decided to extend the challenge for a longer time (I can’t remember exactly how long), with a new Facebook group and new hashtag–#healthysELF. If you are looking to get healthy and want a great support system, I urge you to try it (it’s free!).

Also this month, I’m participating in Clare’s challenge of #FlexibleFebruary, where we’re challenging ourselves to get in at least 60 minutes of stretching every week. I do a lot of stretching already, but it can’t hurt to do a little more. Again, this is a free challenge with some cool prizes.

So for the healthysELF challenge, we were to have a Meatless Monday. I started the day with a morning spinning class (first am spin class, and I loved it) and 10 minutes of stretching (in the Flexible February bank!). I ended up running late for work and didn’t have time to fix breakfast, but I grabbed a key lime Oikos Greek yogurt and had half a PowerThin protein bar at the office. Lunch time I needed some comfort food, so I fixed tomato soup and grilled cheese. But the best part was dinner.

I found a recipe on Pinterest that I just knew M would love, even though his comment about Meatless Monday was “Are you trying to kill me?” But this recipe bowled him over and he’s set for more meatless meals, I think!

I found this recipe for Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas and bought most of the items Sunday at the grocery, but forgot the spinach and cauliflower. I ended up just buying a bag of cauliflower already cut up because it was simpler and much less expensive than a head (shocked at the price!). I changed the recipe up a little bit, so here’s my version:

Veggies1

Roasted Veggie Stacked Enchiladas

1 yellow bell pepper
1 red bell pepper
2 cups’ worth cauliflower cut up
1 small sweet potato peeled and diced into 1″ cubes
1 cup corn kernels (you can use fresh, frozen, or even canned)
1 1/2 tsp ground cumin (I think I might have done more than that, I didn’t measure)
2 garlic cloves, minced
Salt & pepper
Chopped onions (M doesn’t like whole onions)
2 cups baby spinach leaves (two big handfuls)
Salsa
Whole wheat tortillas (I only needed 2)
Shredded cheddar cheese, or Mexican mix
Cilantro (only if you like it, we don’t, so I didn’t use it)
Plain Greek yogurt for garnish

  1. Preheat oven to 425* F and prep a shallow baking pan with nonstick spray.
  2. Cut up your veggies: peppers into matchsticks, cauliflower, sweet potato, and place on cookie sheet with the corn. Drizzle olive oil on the veggies, then sprinkle minced garlic, cumin, chopped onions, salt and pepper, over the veggies. Use your hand to mix them around until coated. Spread out on the sheet.
  3. Roast your veggies for 30-40 minutes, stirring them up every 10 minutes. Veggies are done when they are tender and starting to brown in some places. Remove from the oven and set aside.
  4. Turn the oven down to 350* F. Prepare an 8x8x2 (or 9x9x2) square baking pan with nonstick spray.
  5. (If you like cilantro, dice up some and mix it in about 2 cups of salsa.) Spread some of the salsa on the bottom of the pan (just a thin layer). Add a layer of tortilla (I ripped mine into three pieces that fit perfectly in the pan)., followed by half the roasted veggies, a layer of spinach, and a layer of cheese. The second layer will be: tortilla, salsa, veggies, spinach, and cheese (use up the remainder of the salsa and veggies in this layer).
  6. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Then remove the foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and everything is heated throughout.
  7. When you’re serving it, you can top it with some plain Greek yogurt for a little bit of tang. (I did and loved it!)
The whole family helped in prepping the veggies for dinner!

The whole family helped in prepping the veggies for dinner!

At first M was skeptical with the “odd combination” of vegetables, but one bite and he was hooked. The sweet potato gives the mix a little bit of sweetness to counterbalance the spices.

This is definitely going to be one of our favorite meals. I served it with leftover cornbread from Sunday’s chili and some pears.

What is your favorite Meatless Monday meal?

ABCs of Me!

Saw this from another HealthysELF blogger, Danica, and thought it’d be fun to share some randomness about me. Feel free to do the same!

A – Addictions
I know I’m addicted to sugar (so bad), but I’d also have to say that I’m addicted to pushing myself. I’m always trying to challenge myself to do something or be better–I can’t just sit around and do nothing.

B – Bed size
Queen — But M and I would love a king! We keep saying whenever we move into our own house (we currently rent), we’ll buy a king bed. One can only dream…

C – Chore you hate
I hate going through and cleaning up the dogs’ poop in our backyard. Uck!

D – Dogs or cats?
I used to be a cat person, but now I wouldn’t trade my pups in for the world! I still love cats, though.

Love these two pups!

Love these two pups!

E – Essential start to your day
I feel like I have an off-day if I don’t get some type of workout in in the morning (be it running or yoga). But definitely have to have some love from my dogs every morning!

F – Favorite color
I love silver, but people say it isn’t really a color. ūüėõ I am also a fan of the chocolate and turquoise combination.

G – Gold or silver?
See above–silver! My rings are white gold, though. ūüėČ

H – Height
5’8″ … though I always strive for an extra inch.

I – Instruments you play/have played
I played the trumpet all through grade school. I attempted to join the high school band my freshman year, but volleyball and horses/rodeo took up my time. (Ironically, M also played the trumpet in grade school! Aww!)

J – Jobs you’ve had
In no particular order: Western wear store sales person, customer service rep at a bagel place, construction worker, sales person at a salon/spa/beauty supply store, basketball arena usher, photographer, media relations intern, publications intern, editorial assistant, freelancer, e-newsletter/photo editor, web producer, volleyball referee

K – Kids
Only the fur kind — 4!

L РLiving arraignments
Our little family lives in Lexington, Ky.

M – Mom’s name
Michelle

N – Nickname
I’m not really called by any nicknames any more (sadness!), but I have been called: Arzy, Roughie, Smart Ass…

O – Overnight hospital stays
Only when I had pneumonia in the first grade, and I was in the hospital over Christmas! Total boo!

P – Pet peeve(s)
People who don’t use their turn signals, people who are oblivious to what their dog does, litter bugs, etc.

Q – Quote from a movie
“You tell ’em hell’s comin….and I’m comin with it!” — Tombstone (I could list many, MANY more from this awesome movie)

Tombstone

R – Right- or left-handed?
Righty tighty!

S – Siblings
Just one, my big sis (2 if you count my brother-in-law)

T – Time you wake up
Varies depending on what I’m doing in the morning, but mostly either 5 or 6 am

U – Underwear
Always a necessity

V – Vegetables your dislike
I grew up hating spinach, but now I’ve come to accept how awesome a veggie it is. I don’t like olives, though.

X – X-rays you’ve had done
It seems like my feet have been the most X-rayed feet ever lately! But I’ve also got films on my fingers and knee.

Y – Yummy food you make
I love baking, so anything I bake I love. But I’m starting to venture more with cooking, and so far my favorite has to be either the grilled chicken bruschetta or Anne’s chunky turkey veggie soup.

Z – Zoo animal
I’m always a big fan of the otters, seals, giraffes, and the ocelots (which are rare at a zoo)!

Gluttony

The Thanksgiving holiday is typically the start of the holiday season…a season of many nights out on the town with friends and family, parties, cookie swaps, etc. More than 30 days of food, sweets, drinks…pure¬†gluttony.

All that baking only comes around once a year, so surely it can’t be that dangerous…right??

I spent the past four days at my parents’ farm relaxing and celebrating the Thanksgiving holiday with family. Don’t get me wrong–I love spending time with my family. It’s always great being on the farm, able to ride my horses and spend time in the barn, helping out where help was needed. But I tend to go back to my old ways of excessive eating. There are always temptations around my parents’ house with cookies, etc. For some reason, what little willpower I had flies out the window and I have a hard time stopping the continual snacking. Whereas when I’m home in Lexington, I’m better about eating because I’ve limited the temptations. (I subscribe to the “if it’s not in the house, I can’t eat it” notion of willpower.)

My drive for working out snuffs out when I’m home as well. I don’t know what it is–my parents live out in the country, so the roads would be pretty quiet for a run, but I’ve never really gone on a long run. I’ve wanted to go hiking with my husband on a home visit, but the best place is more than an hour away. My sister is on a funky work schedule, so we don’t ever workout together…

I know…they’re all excuses. So why are these excuses alright when I’m visiting home?

And the excuses just continue to grow as we near the holidays. It’s dark and cold after work, I don’t want to run… Dinner with friends or spin class at the gym?… But Christmas cookies only come once a year….

So how do you deal with the gluttony of the holidays? Amp up the workouts at the gym? Add more veggies on the days you eat them?