Happy Almost Thanksgiving!

Meet Doug the Pug.. from the Doug the Pug Facebook page. How cute!

Meet Doug the Pug.. from DougthePug.com How cute!

It’s Wednesday and hope everyone is gearing up for a super great Thanksgiving holiday tomorrow! I finally solidified my plans for dinner, and will be going over my Aunt’s to have dinner with her family and my dad.. and of course my husband is coming too!

Pre-dinner activities will include a Turkey Trot 5K with my husband and my friends, followed by a breakfast over at my mom’s afterwards. I’m glad I get to spend a little bit of time with everyone… but I’ll definitely be eating more than my fair share. Meh… that’s kind of the point with this holiday though, so not going to beat myself up over it. It’s one day.

I have been keeping that in the back of my mind however, and have planned this week accordingly. First lets take it back a bit.

A couple weeks ago, Mike and I drove up to his hometown of Farmingdale NY to visit with friends and family. We stayed Wednesday (Veterans day) to the following Monday. We hadn’t been up there since last Christmas, save a quick weekend trip to celebrate my mother-in-law’s 60th birthday. Plus, we were planning on spending this Christmas at home in MD, since we’ve never done that in the 7 years we’ve been together.Β  It was a great little vacation, filled with some relaxation, and a little rushing around to see everyone. But it was also filled with food, and while I tried to prepare myself as much as I could (brought hard boiled eggs, salad fixings, greek yogurt, Kashi, some fruit and healthy snacks) I still couldn’t avoid the bad stuff the whole time. Most of the time the food was healthy, but I way overate my portions and couldn’t always follow the 21DF plan. I DID work out just about every day I was there, doing some pretty killer bodyweight HIIT workouts involving lots of plyo. But exercise can only take you so far when you’re not eating your best.

Anyways.. I decided that instead of replacing the S90D workouts I would have done, that I would just “re-do” that whole week when I got home. So I did. As of yesterday, I finished day 30 of the program. Quite happy to officially be 1/3 in! I haven’t measured any progress yet, because for the past 3 days, in anticipation of Thanksgiving and all the eating that goes with it… I’ve been following the 3 Day quick fix part of the 21DF plan.

So what is the 3 day quick fix? Basically, it’s a 3 day meal plan designed to be done at the end of a round of the 21DF to give you a little extra boost in your efforts, and help break through some plateaus. I’m doing it in preparation for Thanksgiving, but it can be done whenever you want a little edge up. The plan is pretty easy and tells you exactly what to eat- 6 small meals over the course of the day.

Breakfast is egg whites, coconut oil, and oatmeal. I cooked 4 egg whites in the coconut oil, and then made some plain oatmeal, adding a little Truvia and cinnamon. I do have to admit, I had my cup of coffee w/ fat free half and half.. not giving up the coffee. Sorry.

21DF 3 day Quick Fix breakfast

21DF 3 day Quick Fix breakfast

The next four meals rotate between chicken and fish with steamed vegetables. Some of which have coconut oil. The way I did it was I got some Perfect Portions chicken breasts and some individually portioned fish fillets (salmon and tilapia) and cooked a bunch of it to put in lunches. The chicken I cooked in the coconut oil, but the fish, I did not. One chicken meal was to be accompanied by yams, so I cut up and steamed some sweet potatoes. I also got some steamed broccoli to eat with the other chicken dish, and some Green Giant frozen vegetable mix to eat with the fish meals. The sixth meal was ground turkey, coconut oil, and steamed vegetables. I simply cooked the ground turkey in the coconut oil, then used the same pan to saute some spinach and tomatoes. This meal I ate after my workouts.

Four out of 5 of my remaining meals

Four out of 5 of my remaining meals

I’ve been pretty good sticking to this 3 day plan… my mantra has been..”It’s only 3 days… It’s only 3 days.” I miss yogurt and avocado and fruit and grains, and the occasional sugar. This plan is not sustainable for me beyond the near term.. thus.. only three days.

I do feel that I’m less bloated (not that I was a ton bloated to begin with) so I guess that’s a positive.. but I don’t like eating this often.. it feels strange to me to eat a regular meal every 2-3 hours.. especially when I come home from the gym. I’m usually craving something sweet and eat my Quest bar.. not ground turkey. I will say that although I’ve been kind of dreading my meals.. they’ve also been pretty good, so I don’t feel unsatisfied at the end… just.. doesn’t fit my cravings in the beginning. Guess that’s not a bad thing… but just kind of boring.

Anyways, today is my last day doing this.. so tomorrow I’ll take some measurements and see how I’ve done for this month. Looking forward to getting the next month going!



Fun In July

Whelp.. it’s now the 10th of August. I’m a little behind in my recap of July.. but better late than never.

First I’ll talk about running. July ushered in my return to running from my foot injury. The last time I had run was back in the beginning of May when I ran the Frederick Running Festival 5K and half. Since then, I’ve had to defer/miss 3 races, including one this month that is actually this weekend. Because of those deferments, I am now disqualified from The B3 and King Crab Challenges for 2014. I’m a little sad, but that’s the way it goes when you get injured. At least the two challenge races I missed are allowing me to defer to next year, so I’ll attempt those challenges again in 2015. (For descriptions of these challenges, see my Races and Recaps page HERE)

May and June both had abysmal mileages (just 16 miles for 2 months combined!) So it wasn’t even worth recapping those months. BUT I am so glad to say I am back! Getting back into it was pretty worrisome. I was always listening to my body (sometimes a little too hard) to see if I had any inkling of a lingering or even new injury. My first trip out, I even had pain in the big toe of my OTHER foot.. which worried me, but it did go away in a couple of days. I’ve really been trying hard to take it slow and re-build the strength in my legs and joints. I’m still building, but I feel stronger every workout, and I’m back to pretty much my usual routine for all my workouts.

This is what it looks like when you finish a 4 mile hilly run in July.. my best attempt at smiling- think my face is as pink as my shirt!

This is what it looks like when you finish a 4 mile hilly run in July..

In my long runs, I’ve remained consistent in keeping a 4:1 interval. At this point, I’m not sure if I will increase or decrease the interval time, but for now, this works for me. I really want to keep things slow and easy for the Dopey Challenge, and this includes running intervals- even on my smaller distance runs. I’ve been loosely sticking to my schedule, often running a little over my prescribed mileage. But I’m so happy I’ve finally been able to meet back up with my friends, and as they are training for their marathon in October, I have to adjust my mileage a little. This hasn’t been a big issue for me so far, though I am concerned about later in the year when I’m on vacation and/or running races on long run days. I guess I’ll take it as they come.

July running stats

July running stats

Total miles run in July: 47.88

Total miles run in 2014: 331.42

In other news.. my garden is doing well.We’ve managed to produce zucchini, eggplant (though only 1,) green peppers, large and cherry tomatoes, and cucumber. Last weekend was August, but I managed to make a few yummy treats from out garden goodies.


cucumber and zucchini from the garden


have you ever seen a bigger zucchini?


zucchini chips!


lemon zucchini bread (more on this in a later post)


steamed zucchini with homemade spinach/basil pesto and homegrown tomatoes.. service w/ tilapia and a suddenly salad grain mix


homemade pickles!


my typical lunch.. served with homegrown cherry tomatoes and cucumber πŸ™‚

Yup quite pleased with the veggies!

Other things we had going on in July included finally ordering our wedding picture prints (yeah, I know we’ve been married 10 months already!) We also spent a mini vacation downtown for Independence day and got to visit with the family at my Aunt’s pool.

gorgeous day at the inner harbor!

gorgeous day at the inner harbor!

visiting the National Aquarium

visiting the National Aquarium



beautiful evening

beautiful evening from Federal Hill




family photo in the pool!

family photo in the pool!

My husband’s been getting back into golf- bought himself a whole new set of clubs and a new pair of shoes. (he’s had the same equipment since high school.. 13 years ago!) He’s been getting out more on the course too. He’s not into running as much as I am, so I’m glad he’s taking up his hobby again.

the serious golfer at the range

the serious golfer at the range

putting around

putting around

I’ve been crazy busy at work- working on both my project (which has expanded to two instruments.. with twice the problems..ugh) and I’m also helping to mentor a student from a local high school magnet program called the Science and Math Academy. My husband is a mentor every ear, but didn’t get a student this year. (Guess no one was interested in the weather?) This is my first time with a student and it’s been interesting so far. Let’s just say, she’s going to be so far ahead when she gets to college in 2015. I can’t help but think about what a wonderful experience this is going to give her. So, it’s a little more demanding on my time, but I like doing it so far.

So what’s going on in August? Nothing crazy. I’m hoping to convince my husband to go to Hershey Park.. but he’s not huge on amusement parks, so not sure if we will “find time” for that. I plan on continuing my training and updating accordingly. I also want to write a post about my new Garmin 220.. as I’m finally using it! I have some recipe reviews to throw out there too that I just haven’t gotten around to doing yet. So there you have it.. I’ll leave you with my pug picture of the day.

pug in a blanket!

pug in a blanket!


Easter Fun


Hope everyone had a fabulous Easter weekend! Mine was pretty busy, but ended well.

Friday my husband and I were off work, so we took advantage and did our shopping for the week. After we were done, I went to get my hair cut! I haven’t had a hair cut since before our wedding.. and even then I only had it trimmed. I haven’t had it a shorter length since probably 2012.. so it’s been a while and definitely overdue. Sorry, I don’t have a picture right now, but it’s slightly longer than shoulder length. It’s really strange and I’m still getting used to it! (But it takes all of 10 minutes to straighten it now.. which is pretty darn awesome.) After the hair cut, I stopped by the Dollar Store and Walmart and put together this pretty sweet basket my husband (and me!):

yep.. that's a cookies and cream bunny.. and the ears of course were for Zeus ;)

yep.. that’s a cookies and cream bunny.. and the ears of course were for Zeus πŸ˜‰

On a side note- I’ve been munching on candy all weekend.. which I never do.. and I’m paying the price. (My scale did not make me happy today!) But yeah, those peanut butter (and Robin’s Eggs!) gems of joy were heaven.

I came home from my errands and my husband was working downstairs on a project, so I decided to do a workout. I love Bodyrock.tv‘s HIIT workouts.. they are my go-to for when I need something to do at home other than running. Basically you do 30-50 seconds work for each exercise, then 10 seconds of rest. The workouts can be anywhere from 12 minutes to an hour. I chose to do Day 3 of their 30 Day Real Time Challenge. It worked me for 53 minutes and I felt better when I was done (after eating all the candy.) We hit up Noodles and Company for dinner. I opted for the Med with chicken salad. My expectations were pretty low, but surprisingly, the salad was excellent. I’m definitely would get it again.

Saturday I spent the entire day cleaning the house. I cleaned out a bunch of wedding stuff that has been sitting on our dining room table for probably more than a year. I priced everything out to sell at our community yard sale in May. I cleaned all the kitchen surfaces, vacuumed and dusted the living room, kitchen and upstairs, mopped the kitchen floor, cleaned all three bathrooms, vacuumed all the pug fur off the sofa and loveseat, then spot cleaned them with the steam cleaner, Furminated Zeus and gave him a bath, as well as washed his bed and blankets. I was exhausted. My husband spent the day working on his project in the basement, so we both were too tired to make dinner at 7:30 at night. So we ordered Chinese. I had the hot and sour soup and Hunan shrimp, he opted for the egg roll and cashew chicken. We both had a beer. It was fabulous.

Sunday we had a nice breakfast, then I got to work on my bunny cake. When I was young, my grandmother made a bunny cake every year for Easter. Since my sister’s birthday is April 20th, we usually sang happy birthday to her with it. My grandmother passed away from breast cancer in 2001, and the family no longer gathers for Easter. SO since Easter happened to fall on my sister’s birthday this year, I made her a bunny cake.





My sister lives in FL and couldn’t even taste it.. but she was there in spirit

As you can see.. it’s pretty easy to do. To make the colored coconut, all you do is add 1 drop of food dye to a Ziplock bag of coconut and shake until the color is evenly distributed. The cake I used was white, but you could make a chocolate cake if you wished. I also used a whipped cream frosting.. but regular frosting or butter cream would work too. This guy tasted super good!

I also wanted to dye Easter eggs. No, I have no children. Yes I’m almost 30.

Used a Neon dye kit

Used a neon dye kit



I saw a pin on Pinterest where someone had dyed their deviled eggs for Easter. I thought it was really cool looking and decided to try it. I found a YouTube video explaining how one person did it. He describes using 1 drop of food coloring in 3/4 cup water for each. For the secondary colors (purple and orange) I used 1.5 cups of water and 1 drop of each primary color to make the secondary.


I cut the hard boiled eggs in half and set aside the yolks. I then added the halves to the cups with colored water. I let them soak for about an hour, gently mixing every 10 minutes.


In the meantime, I mixed the yolks with mayo, mustard, and a little Old Bay (have to put my Maryland spin on it!) I added enough of each until the consistency was thick but smooth.

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After the eggs were done dying, I took them out and put them on a paper towel to dry. I then put the yolk mixture in a sandwich bag and cut off a corner. I piped the yolk mixture into each egg until I used all of it. Note that I noticed the orange eggs came out more like pink, and the green eggs came out more like blue. In the future, I would recommend maybe skipping these colors. Maybe try yellow?


don’t know why I don’t have a picture of the final product

I spent the rest of the day preparing dinner for my mom and her boyfriend. I made chicken parm (recipe from Cooking Classy), balsamic glazed carrots (recipe from Jamie Cooks it Up), a rice and quinoa dish with cranberries and almonds (Suddenly Salad), beer bread (Tastefully Simple), a salad, and my mom brought us green beans with mushrooms and onions. It was a fantastic holiday meal.


on our dining room table I cleared off πŸ˜‰


ate half the chicken before I remembered to take a picture

We ended the evening with a slideshow of pictures from my mom’s cruise last month, and of course bunny cake πŸ™‚ It was a great end to a great weekend.

even Zeus enjoyed it!

even Zeus enjoyed it!