Wednesday, August 31, 2011

August Update

August has come to an end. Crazy right?!

To make August the most productive August yet, I decided to set some goals. While I didn't quite reach the bar I set for myself, I got pretty darn close.

I am actually trying really hard not to beat myself over the fact that I didn't meet each of the goals. While my Type-A personality is mostly a blessing, it is very difficult when I am not able to officially check off on the things on my 'to-do' list. It irks me to the core that I didn't do everything I wanted to do.

But alas, you can't meet all goals right? Especially when unexpected events and life changes occur.

So here's the break down:

Professional: Read 5 Research Articles- I read three and loved every single one of them! Two of the articles focused on patients with dementia and Parkinson's Disease and the other dealt with voice disorders. To my few speechie-readers out there, if you would like more info let me know; they were great reads! To my non-speechie-readers, I know you don't really care. :)

Personal: Intentionally Improve My Marriage-When I asked my husband if I was a better wife this month he just smiled and said "You are an amazing wife every month!" He always knows what to say.

Personal: Read two books-Well, I almost got this one: I read 1.5 books. The first one being The Glass House, a memoir by Jane Walls. Her poverty-stricken childhood and crazy parents made for an amazing read! I am currently halfway through Widow of the South and love it; you can't beat a good historical fiction!

Fitness: Complete All Speed workouts and Long Runs-Done and Done. I'm proud to say that I have completed all my runs each week. Meeting this goal might have something to do with the fact that I promised myself some new workout gear if I completed it. Nothing wrong with a little self-bribery right?

Stay tuned for September's goals!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Peach Mango Slushie

There are many ways to know summer is coming to an end:
School starts
Day light is getting shorter
A faint crisp of cool in the morning
And the local slushy booths start shutting down

As a kid, my dad and I loved getting slushies on Saturday afternoons. And as creatures of habit, we would both always get the same flavor: Grape! To this day, if I can convince my husband to splurge $1.50 on the sugary, brain-freezing concoction,  I will always get grape. Why fix what is broken? (Plus, the flavors "tiger's blood" and "cinnamon" do not sound appealing)

But alas, you don't have to wait until Summer 2012 to get your slush fix again! This Peach Mango Slushie is refreshing and satisfying, but the flavors are a little more mature for your taste buds and easier on your waistline. 

I suppose a 25 year old needs to eat like a grown-up sometimes.

And who says you need a 1/2 pound of sugar to enjoy a sweet summer drink?

Recipe: Peach Mango Slush
1 peach- pitted and sliced
1 cup frozen chopped frozen mangos
1.5 cups coconut water (the magic ingredient!)

1. Place all ingredients into a blender and puree.
2. Pour contents into a 9x13 pan and place in the freezer.
3. Every hour, take out the plan and run a fork over the frozen top layer. Do this gently and try not to stir/mix too much.
4. After about 3 hours you should be in slushy heaven!
Summer in a glass!!

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Thankful Thursday

Lately I have felt less than inspired to blog. I can enjoy random musing on blogs from friends and strangers all day, but after a long day of work and a trip to the gym, I have no effort to put together concise and grammatically correct sentences.

Ask my husband. At night, I often speak in fragments and grunts.

Uff. TV loud. Prewf.

So, to keep things simple, I thought I'd jump on another band-wagon (or is a a ban-wagon?...and where are on earth did this term come from) and state some things I'm thankful for.

Because lets be honest, we all have a lot.

1. My large thighs

I used to hate my monster legs, but now I love them. Well, I might not love them, but I sure am thankful for them. Each week I am impressed with my legs' ability to push through my long and tough runs. My big legs rock!

2. Cameras

Even though my puppy is still a puppy, she isn't as much of a puppy as she used to be. And due to the wonderful technology of digital cameras, I can reminisce of the days when she couldn't jump on the couch and barely barked.

3. Veggies
We received our 4th CSA basket this weekend and it was packed full of squash, herbs, beets, bratwurst, tomatoes, and okra. Fresh, organic veggies = Happy Alex.

4. English Breakfast Tea
Because hot tea every morning is reason enough to get out of bed. Yes, even in the dead of summer.

What small (or big) thing are you thankful for?

Friday, August 19, 2011

Weekend Plans

While my husband plans to build a fence this weekend (manual labor..yuck!), I plan to sit by the pool.

Just in case you were wondering, I have no intention of exercising. 

And I have every intention of stuffing my face full of food.

Don't judge me. I need cheat days...or weekends...or weeks. 

Ugh, give me more chocoloate!

I do, however, plan to knock out some {late}summer reading. Seeing how September is quickly approaching, I need to check off some August goals that I set for myself a few speedy-weeks back. 

I dropped by my local library today and picked up this weekend's cast of characters:
The Widow of the South... "follows the saga of Carrie McGavock, a lonely Confederate wife who finds purpose transforming her Tennessee plantation into a hospital and cemetery during the Civil War."
The Glass Castle..."is a memoir by Jeannette Walls. The book recounts her and her siblings' unconventional, poverty-stricken upbringing at the hands of their deeply dysfunctional parents."
Hotel at the Corner of Bitter and Sweet... is "about the love and friendship of a Chinese boy and a Japanese girl during the Japanese internment in World War II."

I'll keep you posted about my pool-side adventures!

What are your weekend plans?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Cranberry Protein Granola

Well hello strangers. My apologies for being MIA for so long. After my new puppy chewed up my computer charger, she then again chewed up my newly bought computer charger.

She must have a vendetta against my poor Mac. I think she is a PC kinda girl.

To get back into your good graces, I come bearing presents. Yummy and perfect presents.
I love you. I miss you. Please take me back. Here is a scrumptious granola recipe to sweeten the deal. 

So easy a child could make it!

And it makes your house smell like heaven. 
Throw it in a smoothie, ontop of oatmeal, or simply eat it by the handful (the latter being my preference).

Cranberry Protein Granola
2 cups rolled oats
1/2 cup sliced almonds
1/2 cup Craisins
1/2 Tbsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 scoop vanilla protein powder
1/2 Tbsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup honey
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 Tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 325. Lightly grease baking sheet.
2. Mix together oats, almonds, Craisins, cinnamon, and salt.
3. Add protein powder and cocoa powder- mix until evenly distributed.
4. Stir in honey, oil, and water until dry ingredients are coated.
5. Place on greased baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes, stirring once at the 10 minute mark.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

The Best In Me

They say that true friends bring out the best in you. 
Despite the fact that I do not know who 'They' are, I find this statement completely true. 
Best friends listen when no one else will 
and tell you things you don't want to tell yourself.  

They don't mind that your sleep schedule is that of a 90 year old woman
or that you can't attend their b-day bash because you live 2 hours away.

And even if you hadn't seen each other in months,
when you get together it is though time never passed.
After 10 years we now have our careers, husbands, and babies
but our relationships with each other are irreplaceable. 

I miss my dear friends
because they just plain rock.

Friday, August 5, 2011


If I hadn't bought a new puppy...
If my husband hadn't stayed up late with said puppy...
If this puppy didn't have a desire to chew everything...
If this puppy hadn't chosen to chew my computer charger...
If said charger didn't cost 80 bones at Best Buy
If it didn't take 5-7 days for Amazon to ship chargers....

...I might be able to download pictures
...I might be able to upload pictures to my blog
...I might be able to share with you my new recipe.

But no "if's" in this story.
My new puppy did chew my computer charger and I am waiting patiently for Amazon to send me a new one.

In the mean time I am typing on my husband's ancient laptop.
It is a *gulp* PC.
I'm a Mac girl. Through and through.
Yet here I sit, on a PC
counting down the days until UPS brings me a present.

And my assumption is your counting down the days too.
Because this said recipe is quite delicious.
I might or might not have given myself a tummy ache last night from eating way too much.

But I can't share the recipe yet, because recipes without pictures are boring.
I hate recipes without pictures.
What's the point! 
I need to see what the end result is going to look like.
Is a picture too much to ask?

So once I have my charger
and once I can upload my pictures,
I will post this amazing recipe.
Because it is awesome!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A List in Disguise- My August Goals

One thing I have noticed about fellow-bloggers is that many of us love lists. I have professed my love for lists many times- they keep me organized, focused, and motivated to get through each day, week, or even month. I have even rubbed some list-love off on my husband, who (whom?) actually requests for a daily to-do list for things I need accomplished around the house.

Yes, my husband is awesomely amazing. Yes, I know how lucky I am. Yes, I really just want some flowers. (Hint Hint Husband)

But really, lists are just goals in disguise. And like many other bloggers, I have decided to create official monthly goals which I will proclaim for the entire world to see/read/ignore.

August Goals:
Professional- Read 5 Research Articles pertaining to speech language pathology. When in graduate school, I had a deep-pitted hatred for research articles and vowed to never read one again. Now strangely, I LOVE them! I miss learning and I crave the knowledge again. I suppose since I’m not required to read them, I want to read them. Crazy how that works. However, I haven’t been devoting near enough time to expanding my knowledge-base. This month I plan to make steps in changing that.

Personal-Intentionally Improve My Marriage. Yes, the past 14 months have been the best months of my life. And no, we are not having ‘marital problems’. But I want to keep it that way. It is so easy to get caught up in my daily list of to-dos that I forget to spend quality time talking, listening, and snuggling with the husband without distractions. This month I want to make a point to have quality dinner-time each night. Also, I really need to be more respectful to my amazing husband in the words I choose and the tone I speak. I quickly become annoyed, impatient, and snappy at those closest to me and I want to make a conscious effort to speak more with love. I want to be quick to encourage, not snap. Because my goodness, I honestly don’t know how my Husband puts up with me!

Personal- Read 2 Books. I want these to be fun reads. Completely thoughtless reads. Something I can escape to and live in a world created by words. Any suggestions?

Fitness-Complete All Speed Workouts and Long Runs of my half-marathon training schedule. This is pretty self-explanatory. I just really want to kick-butt in training this time around; I CAN’T miss these vital workouts!  

So there you have it. My official list for August. Small and VERY doable.

Eek- just looking at this list makes me excited for this month! It’s going be the best one yet!

What are your August goals?
Do you have any book suggestions?

Monday, August 1, 2011

Benefits of Healthy Snacking

Back in college when I first began struggling with a little extra weight, I thought the obvious solution was to limit my eating. I would skip breakfast, have a small lunch, and then be starving by dinner time. And snacking was out of the question. I had the formula down pat:

 Small meals + no snacking = fewer calories
few calories = weight loss

Boy was I wrong. The benefits of healthy snacking is tremendous and when you add exercise to the mix it becomes a must! I kinda stumbled upon this revelation during training for my first half marathon. I was hungry all the time. I knew I needed extra calories due to my increase in mileage; however, I would reach for the Cheetos opposed to the carrots. Since that time I have completing changed my eating habits. Processed foods are a rarity at our house and the fridge is stocked full of fresh fruits and vegetables. And lets just say, I am now the queen of snacking! Before heading to work I stuff my lunch box FULL of my day's food. 

My eating schedule looks a little like this:
10:00- Snack
12:00- Lunch
3:00- Snack
8:00- Snack (only if I've worked out that day)

Snacking Rocks! And you don't just have to take my word for it. Apparently I'm not the first to discover this secret because there is a lot of research that supports snacking! I found tons of articles that spout out nutritional and exercise science jargon, but here is the main jist of it:

Benefits of Healthy Snacking
-Foods like fruits, vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and legumes are satisfying and are packed with the nutrients, fiber, and protein your body needs, and they guard against sugar highs and lows, so you are less likely to succumb to your sweet tooth. [source]
-Due to snacking at small intervals you tend to eat lesser during your regular meal times which helps digest food faster. [source]
-Eating frequently prevents hungry pangs and the binges that follow, provides consistent energy, and may be the single most effective way to maintain metabolism efficiency. [source]

Some of my favorite go-to snacks are apples, bananas, raw snap peas, carrots, whole-grain pretzels, and of course smoothies. These snacks leaving me feeling clean and completely satisfied. Much better than the yucky, heavy feeling of chips or candy bars. 
Choosing healthy snacks is hands-down one of the healthiest decisions you can make each day. Eating every 2-3 hours keeps me from eating way too much at meal times and choosing healthy foods ensure that I get nutrient-rich calories. This means that I recover faster from my workouts and keep my metabolism up in the mean time. Everyone wins!

Disclaimer: I am not a nutritionist, dietician, or anything of the sorts. I am only expressing what works for me and advice you to seek the guidance of a professional if you have questions regarding your dietary needs.