Sunday, June 30, 2013

The Glow Run 5k

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There won't be any official results for this race, as it is like it's counterpart, The Color Run, a non-timed fun run. It's more about the atmosphere and fun of glowing the night away!

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I carpooled with my racing buddy, Marisa, and her husband Brent. Once there, he decided he was going to actually run. My calves were tight, my hip was starting to ache and I knew I could not run this race. Of course Marisa, being competitive, ran it with him. I told her to go ahead and do it and I would meet up with another friend who I knew would be there and we would walk it. It was a blast with Kimberly, Amanda, Cheryl and Chris!

{BTW, the tutu's are NOT waist slimming friendly...lesson learned :P }

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Me & Kimberly - Before

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Just about to start!!!

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Glow Tunnel

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Almost to the Finish

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I did it!!! Two 5k's in one day.

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Firecracker Flight - Race Pics

Here are the pics from the official photographers :)

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And the official results!!! I moved up one spot in my age group. :P

Saturday, June 29, 2013

Firecracker Flight 5k

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Pre Race Flat Mama
LOVE my new sox. They are a bit snug on the old thick calves, but they fit. That's more than can be said for any others I've tried at the local stores. And my headband sums up WHY I'M CRAZY ENOUGH to run TWO RACES in ONE DAY! I'm in it for the bling.

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Pre Race

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Post race with my bling.

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Wha wha whaaaaaa

NOT my fastest time by any means. This course had some major hills that sucked big honkin' donkey balls. Secondly my lovely 3 year old decided this would be the PERFECT time to pass his germies to me and I woke up with a congested chest and said hills only compounded the breathing issues I had going on. I felt worthless this race. Also... this sucks so bad, at mile 1 I thought I hit the lap button, um no, I hit the stop button on the Garmin. Grrrrr. Who knows how long I went before I realized it as it ended up only showing 2.83 miles after the finish. :/ Thank goodness for timing chips!

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Two hot messes!

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So thankful for my running buddy, Marisa.

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New Bling!!! Have to order a medal hanger soon. :)

I'm not going to say this race was fun, because I was miserable the entire time. The hills and lack of oxygen nearly killed me. I will say... I'll do it again because it's likely they'll change the location next year. ;) But Marisa & I have determined we will run this Annual Series of Holiday Runs until we can no longer run. Yay for running buddies!

Friday, June 28, 2013

Clean Eating Onion Soup Chicken

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I love chicken and there is no reason why chicken should ever become boring! This is a great, versatile recipe, technically there are three recipes. ;)

First off, I cannot take credit for the Homemade Onion Soup Mix. I am all for making my own mixes so that I can avoid chemical additives and be more in control of what my body takes in. That's where Our Nourishing Roots comes in. I found this recipe HERE.

Onion Soup Mix

2/3 cup dried minced onion
1 tablespoon dried parsley
1 tablespoon coconut sugar or whole cane sugar
2 teaspoons onion powder
2 teaspoons turmeric
1 teaspoon celery salt (or 2/3 teaspoon sea salt plus 1/3 teaspoon celery seed powder)

1 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper


*2 tablespoons of this homemade mix equals one “packet” of the store bought version

  1. Put all the ingredients in a pint mason jar, shaking to combine.


Now, personally I quadrupled this recipe and have a quart jar filled. So, that should last me for some time. I've used this recipe with chicken in the crock pot, which seems to be the hubby's favorite, as well as my most recent venture on the stop top!

Stove Top Onion Soup Chicken

2 - 3 pounds Natural Chicken Breasts or Chicken Breast Tenderloins
1 - 2 tablespoons Homemade Onion Soup Mix* (above)
1 - 2 teaspoons olive oil

*2 tablespoons of this homemade mix equals one “packet” of the store bought version

  1. Heat olive oil in a skillet. Place chicken in skillet and "fry" over medium heat until nearly cooked, turning when necessary.

  2. When the chicken is nearly finished sprinkle 1 - 2 tablespoons of the onion soup mix on top. Place a lid on the skillet and reduce heat. Allow the chicken to simmer for 5 minutes or until the moisture hydrates the onion.

  3. Remove from the skillet and enjoy!


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Crock Pot Onion Soup Chicken

2 - 3 pounds Natural Chicken Breasts or Chicken Breast Tenderloins
1 - 2 tablespoons Homemade Onion Soup Mix* (above)

*2 tablespoons of this homemade mix equals one “packet” of the store bought version

  1. Place frozen or fresh chicken breasts in a crock pot.

  2. Sprinkle 1 - 2 tablespoons of the onion soup mix on top. Place a lid on the crock pot and cook on high for 2-3 hours or low for 4-6. (NOTE: Cooking times will vary depending on your chicken, whether it's fresh or frozen.)

  3. Remove from the crock pot, shred and enjoy!

Let me know if you try this!!! I cannot wait to try the mix in some Turkey Burgers, yummo.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Thursday Thoughts

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Eating Clean On A Budget - Tips and Tricks

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What can you get for $50?

So this week is a toughy. We live on a single income, for four of us. I've always heard that eating healthy or clean is near impossible under those circumstances. I say balderdash. This week, I'm proving so. We are literally down to our last dollar until pay day. So, the hubs pulled $50 cash out of an account that we rarely touch, ya know the one he has money automatically put into and we pretend it doesn't exist except for emergencies.

Any who, so he gives me $50 and that's it. That's all I have to work with and I have to make it work. Tonight I set out to prove that it is totally possible to make it work. 

First off, there are a couple of items we buy each month (or week) that cost us a little extra money, rather than buying from a grocery store. We purchase one gallon of Raw Milk from a local dairy farmer, per week at the rate of $10 per gallon. (Totally worth it... do the research.) We also purchase grain and soy free farm eggs, 2 dozen every 1-2 weeks depending on how many little man devours, from a good friend of mine. Again, totally worth the $3 per dozen, and I dare you to research the problems with soy, more specifically the USA and GMO corn. 

When we run out of Raw Milk, we do buy a locally produced Whole Milk, which comes in glass jars, and has a $2 deposit on the bottles (I'll discuss how this comes into play). This milk, while pasteurized, is still better than anything you'll ever buy in a plastic jug or paper carton. It is hormone free and the cows are pastured.

Aside from those two items, we try to buy as much organic produce as we can afford. Some weeks it isn't as much as others. There are a couple of things that I will always buy organic -- Spinach, Baby Spring Mix, and Sweet Baby Lettuce. That is because I can purchase it in bulk and it's cheaper that way. ;) Another way to buy organic cheaper is local farmers, specifically at your Local Farmer's Market.

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ALDI - $1.72 PER POUND??? Our local grocer cannot beat that! And when turning the package over... Ingredients: Chicken, sea salt. Definitely a win in my book.

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Here's how that chicken turned out tonight! Chicken sprinkled with Mrs. Dash salt free Chicken Seasoning, with a side of brown rice and green peas.

Moving on... First stop Aldi. Aldi's is a grocery store... a cheap grocery store. I'm struggling with how to describe it. Basically their food is either store branded or obscure branded you've never heard of and the prices are a third of national chains. SOLD! They have a lot of products that change constantly as well as your staple products. And occasionally you will find brand name food (Dole, Del Monte) and the occasional mass chain toys (Mattel, Play-Doh).


Asparagus (1 lb) $2.49 x 2
Green Onions $1.19
Green Grapes $2.98
Strawberries (1 lb) $0.99 x 2
Blueberries $1.69
Mini Sweet Peppers $2.49
Roma Tomatoes $1.29
Baby Carrots (3.26 lbs @ $0.29/lb) $0.99
Bananas $0.95
Limes $0.19 x 2
Lemons $0.39 x 2
Cucumber $0.49
Peaches $0.49 x 2
Plums $0.49 x 2
Avocado $0.39
Fresh Chicken Tenders (2.69 lbs) $4.63
Confetti Cake Mix* $0.99

Subtotal $28.16
Tax $1.44
Total $29.60

Next stop is Price Chopper. Price Chopper is our locally owned grocer where we earn fuel points for every dollar we spend. So not only do I shop there for the deals, but it helps us put gas in the tank a little cheaper. Not to mention the kids can score a free cookie at the bakery (They see this as a real treat, and if they misbehave, it doesn't happen.) The kids can also look for Clifford. Clifford is a chicken (on a piece of cardboard) and get a freebie (donuts, candy, piece of fruit) from customer service.

As I mentioned above, when we have to purchase milk from the store, the brand we choose comes with a $2.00 refundable deposit on the glass jars. So prior to starting our trip we returned 6 jars, which netted us $12.00 cash.

Start                +$50.00
Aldi                  -$29.60
Bottle Refund +$12.00
Running Total  +$32.40


Whole Milk (1/2 gallon) $2.59
---Bottle deposit $2.00
Granny Smith Apples (0.90 lb @ $1.99/lb) $1.79
Pink Lady Apples (0.81 lb @ $1.99/lb) $1.61
Organic Spinach $3.99
Cherry Tomatoes $3.99
Romaine (1.58 lb @ $1.99/lb) $3.14
Jicama (0.97 lb @ $1.49/lb) $1.45
Sack Refund -$0.05
--- (I bring my own cold grocery totes)

Cherry Tomatoes Sale -$1.00

Subtotal $20.64
Tax $0.95
Total $21.46

Start                +$50.00
Aldi                  -$29.60
Bottle Refund +$12.00
Price Chopper -$21.46
Running Total  +$10.94

So as you can see... I did it! I came home with cash in my pocket. Now had I not had the bottles to return, obviously I would have had to leave something behind at the store. *Also the cake mix was a purchase made by my 4 year old. :/ She threw that on the belt when I was trying to pay attention to the register. :P I went ahead an allowed it, only because the 4th is coming up and I will have to drag something to the party and well... this is something she can help me with and she finds it new and exciting because I don't allow her this pleasure often. ;)

It takes a little thinking, planning and common sense, but shopping for clean eating is completely doable if you want to make it happen. You're probably wondering where's the protein? Cause you know, less than 3 pounds of chicken isn't going to last all week. As I said before, I love buying in bulk. So I have a freezer stocked with ground meats and chicken breasts that I will use to accompany all the produce. I shop for the meats once a month and produce weekly, or as needed.


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Asparagus: First off, Asparagus can be super expensive in the store... enough so it makes me want to scream. Now, if you have the time, by all means you can forage for your own wild asparagus. But for those that don't, don't buy it unless you can find a deal!!! I've seen it as high as $4.50 per pound. :( Lucky for me, cause I'm digging raw asparagus these days, Aldi had it for $2.49 per pound in one pound packages. Price Chopper... $3.49 per pound and their bundles vary in weight.

My Tip: To keep your asparagus, for up to one week, place it up right in a container, loosely, and fill the container with water. Asparagus isn't a fan of the fridge and needs air to breathe. Just make sure you change the water daily and use sooner rather than later.

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Green Onion:  We love green onion. We do a lot of salads in the summer time and I love some onion on my eggs in the morning. So you could say we go through our share of onion. Since we buy a lot at once I've some what perfected the art of cutting it up quickly.

My Tip: Begin by holding two to three onions upright at the opening of a large mouth jar. Using sharp kitchen shears, snip the onion into the jar. Once you get to the white part of the onion, lay it down and continue to cut it using a paring knife. Personally I like this trick because when I try to cut the tips of the onions they end up bouncing all over the floor. Problem solved!

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As you can tell, by now, I'm a huge fan of glass. I don't like that most plastic can leach into our foods, even if they say they are BPA free. I'm all for food prep. It makes life easy, it makes eating clean easier and I love being able to see what fresh food I have on hand. I like to store chopped green onion, chopped mini sweet peppers and cucumber, as well as fresh grated organic cheese. The possibilities for jar are endless!!!!

But my favorite thing to store in a jar??? Romaine lettuce. Lettuce is 1) Expensive 2) Wilts so quickly 3) Should be in everyone's refrigerator. Through trial and error I've found that Romaine does NOT need oxygen to survive, unlike its counterparts Kale and Spinach.

So I break out a half gallon Mason jar, rinse and dry each leaf, chop and pack it in tight. (The red funnel is specifically for canning, they come in two packs, and quite frankly they are a life saver... no need to clean the rims when you're done packing.) Once it's packed in tight, yes that really is an entire large head of Romaine, I place the canning lid on top, followed by my Food Saver, wide mouth attachment, close the sealer and press "canister." Voila! Every time I open it... fresh Romaine. Yes, you can vacuum seal it after each use to keep it longer, but honestly we go through it so fast that it doesn't hang around a week. ;)

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So, there you have it... my trip to the store today and a few tips to get you through your next food prep. Have any questions? Feel free to comment. I love getting ideas for posts from you guys!

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Tuesday Time Machine & Weigh In

As if my other post wasn't enough for ya. ;)

Here's a little trip in the time machine:

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At my heaviest I was 277.6 after giving birth to Irish twins (13 months, 2 days apart) albeit I found out that number in 2011, so long after Baby Boy was born. When I began weight watchers in March of 2012 I showed up 260.0 on the scale. I'm proud to say as of today I'm down to 211.

The scale has been "stuck" these last few months and I've been bouncing in the same zone and it's really starting to wear on me. Although I can see physical change in my muscle appearance, I can feel change in the way my clothes are fitting, I'm still not seeing a ton of change in measurements either. So I'm sure you can see I'm frustrated by this.

But I'm still keeping on, keeping on. I obviously have to figure out what has caused this plateau and break through it. I don't know if stressing over it is complicating the issue or what but man this sucks!

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Also, I've been tossing around changing the name of my blog. While I love "A New Me" I need to find something that will work so I can change the blog URL as well... I am no longer "Up The Creek" so.... suggestions? Let me have 'em. ;)

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Transformation Tuesday

I figured I'd give a little progress update on something other than the scale.

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June 18th's Tuesday Transformation

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I have some great calf improvements going on! Even if the crappy lighting looked the backs look better. ;)

And the truth of it all....

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Since I began my journey I have lost a total of 40.25" off of my body!!!

So, scale be damned, I'm still improving and shrinking this body of mine.

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