Monday, January 28, 2013

Run Local

Hey everyone! I'm sorry about my lack of posts this past week. I am in the midst of moving to a self-hosted domain, so I've been spending a lot of time doing that. Stay tuned because in the next couple of weeks I will have a new blog design (fingers crossed).

Also, I wanted to share Claim Your Journey's new campaign with all of you! As many of you know, I am now an ambassador for Claim Your Journey, and I will be helping spread the word about running local! There are so many reasons why I run local. One major one is because I have the most amazing running trail literally across the street from my house.

The trail runs right along Lake Michigan with views of both the lake, park, and city. I run the same route all of the time, but some how it never gets old because I have such beautiful scenery to look at. It's also a great spot to people watch.

Another added benefit of the trail....most local races are held there. Sometimes I can go out for my Saturday morning run and find myself in the middle of a race. At first it used to take me by shock and I would exit right away, but now I run along with them until it's time for me to turn around or I get too close to the finish line.

Check out our video on why some of us choose to Run Local.

Your turn!! Tell me why you run local in the comments section below.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

HEALTHY Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes

Well, it's been 3 days since the Butler game and my voice still isn't back! It hasn't caused too many problems other than when I tried to tell my hair stylist how I wanted my hair cut. Thankfully I had a picture to show because if not who knows what kind of hack job I would have walked out of there with. The annoying part is even though she knew I had no voice she still persisted to ask me 100 questions. Typical. 

On Sunday night, Kyle and I were both feeling breakfast for dinner, so I tried out a recipe I've been waiting a while to make - Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes. I know, they sound sinful and unhealthy, but guess what... they are 100% healthy, gluten free, and packed with protein. It doesn't get much better than that. The best part is, you can have three pancakes for about 230 calories and 18 total grams of protein. You won't find that in your average pancake. 

Another great thing about making this pancake is your throw everything into the blender, so it's pretty quick and easy. I think Kyle and  I will finish the left overs tonight after our spinning date night! 

                                                       Carrot Cake Protein Pancakes
                                                          Inspired by Dashing Dish
                                                               Makes 2 Servings 


1/4 C Vanilla Protein Powder
1 C Old Fashioned Oats
2 Eggs
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
2 Carrots, Peeled and finely chopped
1/4 C Skim Milk
1/2 C Plain or Vanilla Greek Yogurt
1/2 tsp Cinnamon
Pinch of Ginger and Nutmeg
Pinch of Salt
1 T White Sugar
1 Carrot, Peeled and grated


1. Add all of the ingredients EXCEPT the grated carrots into a blender. 
2. Blend until smooth. 
3. Fold in the grated carrots. 
4. Heat a griddle and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
5. Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop batter onto the griddle and cook for 3-4 minutes per side. 

Sunday, January 20, 2013

A Weekend to Remember

What a weekend it has been, and the best part is I still have one more day since our offices are closed tomorrow! On Friday night, Kyle and I went out with our friends AJ and Lindsay for some sushi. I had some of the best sushi, and we even ventured to eat the edible orchids on the plate. It tasted like a flower. Nothing special, but hey it's worth trying once.

Kyle was the first to try the Orchid.
On Saturday, I woke up and kicked my butt with an interval and strength training workout. Usually I will do my run all at once then strength train, but I was up for a little change up.
Needless to say, it was a butt kicker because I was constantly challenging the muscles and took no breaks. After the workout we drove to Indianapolis to watch my Butler Bulldogs take on Gonzaga with some of my best friends from college! For those of you who missed the game, go to ESPN now and watch the last 5 seconds. What a game! I have no voice today, but it was totally worth it!

Well, it has been quite the weekend. Now I need to go study and make dinner! Have a great night everyone!

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

The Chicken Wings' Healthy Sister

Kyle and I had another eventful spinning date last night. We both weren't feeling the hottest before going, but thankfully we made it through with sweat filled shirts to prove it. You should have seen the faces of the people in the elevator when they saw how gross we are. Sorry neighbors, next time we will walk the 29 flights of stairs to spare you the sight.

I love spinning date nights, but I hate the 8 hour turn around before my next work out. Just let me tell you, my run this morning was slower than I would have liked, but at least I got my miles in. Some days that is all that matters.

On a different note, I received my study materials last night for my health coaching license. Woo! The main book is 700 or so pages, so it may take me a while to get through it, but I'm ready for the challenge.

Thanks for all of the great responses on my cauliflower pizza recipe. After enjoying that meal, I decided to venture a little more with the vegetable. One of Kyle's favorite indulgences are chicken wings, but he doesn't eat them often since they are not the healthiest (sorry if learning this just ruined your night). Well, I saw a recipe for buffalo cauliflower, and decided to see if a chicken wing fanactic would like them.

I am not a fan of anything spicy, so I didn't even try them, but Kyle loves them! Yes, you heard that... he loves buffalo cauliflower almost as much as its sinful sister the fried chicken wings.  The recipe is very easy and the best part is they fill you up! They don't provide a lot of protein, but that flaw can be overlooked for this healthy snack.

Give this a try for your football parties this weekend! 

                                                                Buffalo Cauliflower
                                                          Inspired by Edible Mosaic


1 Head of Cauliflower
1 C Milk
3/4 C Flour (I used whole wheat)
1 tsp Garlic Powder
Salt and Pepper
1/2 T Butter
1/2 C Hot Sauce (I used Frank's)


1. Preheat your oven to 450 degrees and line a baking sheet with foil and spray with cooking spray.
2. In a large bowl, mix together the milk, flour, garlic powder, salt, and pepper.
3. Cut the cauliflower into bite size pieces.
4. Dip each cauliflower piece into the flour mixture, and place on the baking sheet.
5. Spray the cauliflower with cooking spray to make them crispy. Then bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.
6. While the veggies are baking, melt the butter in a small sauce pan. Once melted, add the hot sauce and mix together.
7. Once the cauliflower have cooked, toss them in the buffalo sauce and serve warm.

Monday, January 14, 2013

A Weekend of Firsts!

Well, this weekend was a weekend of firsts. On Friday night, Kyle and I stayed in and I made my first cauliflower crust pizza. Before you start asking how I could "ruin" an American favorite, I will tell you that it tasted just like pizza!! It wasn't quite as crispy as I had hoped, but the flavor were all there. Even my pizza loving husband thought it was great!

Another first... I managed to go into Sports Authority without buying anything! Huge win for me. I also managed to go to the beautiful Nike store downtown and walked out with NOTHING. Let me tell you, it took everything out of my to not pick up a new pair of running spandex, but I resisted the urge.  I hope my bank account is happy because it sure made me sad.
I will be buying these ASAP
I'm sure you're wondering why I would do such a thing, I'm asking myself that too. Basically I did it because I just made a hefty payment to get my health coach certification. That is a priority for now, but thankfully I work right down the street from the Nike store so I will be venturing out within the next month to get those adorable running spandex!

Anyway, back to this pizza. You have to give it a try! It is a great low carb version and if you put the right toppings on and limit the cheese it's pretty healthy. I would not recommend eating the entire pizza in one setting because there is a bit of cheese in the crust, but eat a couple pieces and a large salad and you are set for veggies.

                                                                Cauliflower Crust Pizza
                                                             Inspired by The Lighter Side


1 Head or 2 Cups of Cauliflower Riced (processed in the food processor until it looks like rice)
2 C Part Skim Mozzarella Cheese
2 Eggs, beaten
1 Clove Garlic, minced
2 tsp Dried Oregeno

Pizza Sauce of Choice
Roasted Eggplant
Sauteed Onions and Peppers
Mozzarella Cheese


1. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees
2. In a large bowl, combine all of your crust ingredients. Mix well until they are all combined.
3. Form two 9'  pizza crusts on a sprayed baking sheet. Press down until they are about 1 inch in thickness.
4. Bake for 12-15 Minutes
5. Top with your desired toppings and bake for another 10 minutes. **

**If  you really load on the ingredients, it will be hard to pick up your pizza without having the crust break. If you prefer a lot of toppings, just eat it with a fork, and you will be just fine.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Mountain Sick

For some reason I am mountain sick today. I love looking out my window and seeing the city and Lake Michigan, but some days I crave the mountains. For those of you who don't know, I lived in Colorado for 6 months in 2010 while interning for USA Triathlon. It was a dream.

I decided to go through some of my old Colorado pictures today. Bad idea! It made me miss it even more. I figured I'd share my flashback with you too!
Snowshoeing in Estes Park. Little did I know, my husband would propose to me here 3 months later:)
The incline. It's 1 mile of stairs straight up the side of a mountain. I am in love with it!
After completing the incline.
Hiking with Liz. She's training for the next summer Oympics.
Well, I'm done taking a journey down memory lane. I miss the serenity, the beauty, and most of all the killer workouts I had in those mountains. God has blessed me. 

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Add Some Fitness to you Relationship

Tuesday nights have now become date nights for Kyle and me. These are not your typical romantic date nights, though. Instead of going out for dinner, we  go to spinning class together! How's that for romance? It's especially attractive when we both walk out of there a hot mess sweating from head to toe. Ha. I love it!

I've always been a huge spinning fan, but our gym doesn't have many classes in the morning when I like to work out. A couple weeks ago Kyle agreed to try it out, and he became hooked. Now, it's become a weekly routine. We also decided to still get up early that day and work out, do yoga, or spend thirty minutes together enjoying coffee/tea.

After class I didn't feel like cooking, so we ate some leftover Green Chile Zucchini Egg Bake that I made on Saturday. We also shared a green smoothie to top the night off. It was a perfect night:)

I know you are curious about the egg bake we had, so don't worry I'm going to give you the recipe! It's delicious! I got the recipe from Carrie and Brandon over at Our Life In Food. I love it because it incorporates cottage cheese to increase the protein, and the green chiles add a very unique flavor.

Give it a try and let me know what you think. Also I highly suggest adding a little bit of fitness to your relationship! I always say couples that workout together stay together. It's always great to have someone push you a little harder and to hold you accountable. I feel like I get some of my best workouts with Kyle because I am so competitive that I try to beat him at everything.

                                                     Green Chile Zucchini Egg Bake
                                                      Inspired by Our Life in Food


10 Large Eggs
1 1/2 C Zucchini, grated and squeezed dry with a paper towel
1 4oz Can Green Chiles
1 C Reduced Fat Sharp Cheddar Cheese
1 C Low Fat Cottage Cheese
Salt and Pepper to Taste


1. Set your oven to 400 degrees.
2. Whisk 10 eggs in a large bowl until well mixed.
3. Add in the remaining ingredients and stir until all combined.
4. Spray a 9x13 pan, and pour the eggs into the pan.
5. Bake for 40-45 minutes, or until the middle is set.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Big Announcements!

Happy Monday! I had one of the most relaxing weekends in a long time. Unfortunately it was so relaxing because I was taking care of my sick husband, but it gave me plenty of time to catch up on some reading and to take down my Christmas decorations.

I hope your week is off to a good start. Like the rest of the world, I usually hate Mondays, but today I jumped out of bed with no second thoughts. I think it's because I knew that I got to wear my new Lululemon shirt to the gym (confessions of a gym rat). That Lulu shirt also motivated me to run an extra timed mile at the end of workout just for fun. Who knew a new workout shirt could do so much?

I have some pretty exciting news for you guys!! Drum roll please....

1. I am now the Chicago ambassador for Claim Your Journey. CYJ is an amazing running initiative that started in Louisiana. The whole goal of the organization is to get people of all shapes, sizes, and athletic abilities to run! I know that running can be intimidating, but my goal is to help get you over your fears and to continue to grow the Chicago running community.

CYJ is doing an Instagram contest right now. Head over to their website to see how you can win a pair of Brooks Running shoes and other great prizes!

2. Another big announcement! I just ordered all of my study materials through ACE to become a certified health coach. I have been praying a lot about whether or not I should take this path, and I feel as though God finally opened the door today. At this point in time my future with it is unclear, but I am excited to study and learn (I'm a huge nerd like that).

Leave it to my sister to ask if I was pregnant via Twitter. Gosh she makes me laugh. 

Well, I'd say this Monday is off to a good start. An Irish win would be icing on the cake! Cheers to a healthy week!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

A Week in Wine Country

Well, as I said in my last post, I am back from vacation. My mom and step dad rented a house in Napa, California as a Christmas gift to my sisters and our significant others, so we spent the week exploring Napa and Sonoma while enjoying a lot of fine wine!

The amazing house! The pictures don't even do it justice.
Wine country is such a beautiful place. The mountains and vineyards literally left me speechless at times. You know what else left me speechless? Running... It was so hard to run near our house because it was literally all straight up the side of a mountain. Rough, but a fun challenge!

Because the run kicked my butt, Kyle and I opted to do a little improvised backyard workout one day. We did a lot of dips, push ups, quick feet drills, squats, lunges, jumping jacks, and chair lifts. Yes, chair lifts. My wonderful husband invented these after deciding that we needed to work the shoulders. Basically, its like doing a plate raise, but with a chair. I was actually sore from doing them.

Mad props to the hubs for utilizing the patio furniture.
Here are some other highlights from our trip:

Jeff surprised us with a limo for the day! Abbey and Tyler were excited!
My mom and I enjoying wine and cheese at Rams Gate Winery
Abbey was tired of wine, so Frias gave her beer in a wine glass. 
Private wine tasting with Rick from Amphora. We got to taste straight from that barrel. 
One of the stores I went to gave me this piece of chocolate because I didn't need a bag. Every place should do this!
The hubs and I at Chateau Montelena
Hiking at the Red Wood Forest. We thought it was just going to be a little trail walk, but it was literally straight up a mountain. So pretty!! Excuse my non hiking clothes, we went wine tasting after. Andy, did you know these Brooks handle the mountains like a gem?
The Red Wood Forest. The trees were seriously 300 feet tall! I stood in awe of God's creation!
Kyle and I at Coppola. 

We spent one day exploring San Fran. Of course we had to take the cable car!

Rick from Amphora filling me up from the barrel. I may of had too much at this point.
I took so many pictures, but I think you can get an idea of what our trip consisted of. Wine, food, mountains, and vineyards. It was a little piece of Heaven. I actually just saw that the Sweat Pink Sonoma group is planning a day in the vineyards soon. For those of you who get to join, have fun! It is seriously a little piece of paradise!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Cheers to a New Year!

I'm back!! Sorry for my silence the past couple of weeks. I was in Napa, California enjoying wine country with my family. I cannot even begin to explain how much I love that place! I will give a full recap in  a future blog post, but first things first, Happy New Year!

I hope 2013 is treating you well so far. It greeted me with a little stomach bug/food poisoning (not sure which one it is) . That made the plane ride home from Cali a little rough. Yep, even got to use the barf bag on the plan....embarrassing... I'm still recovering today, but hopefully I'll feel better soon.

What are you 2013 goals? I've done some thinking, and here are my goals for the upcoming year:

Fitness Goals
  • Run at least two 10 miler races (Lakefront 10 and Soldier Field 10)
  • Run at least two half marathons 
  • Beat my half marathon PR
  • Run the Chicago Marathon
  • Work on listening to my body more
Personal Goals
  • Spend more time in the Word everyday with Kyle 
  • Strive to find the bright side in every situation
  • Pick up my phone more to call my friends rather than just rely on text messaging them all the time 
  • Start to volunteer more
  • Indulge in She Reads Truth devotionals everyday
I'm sure I'll be adding to that list as the year goes on, but for now I think I am off to a good start. Remember, keeping your New Years goals is all about baby steps. You can't expect to become the healthiest person alive in a week. It takes time, but in that time you will progress along the way. Cheers to a new year!