Random ranting and such.

Man oh man this month has KICKED MY BUTT.  February always does that to me, the month of love is very tiring apparently. And has lots of Birthdays in it.   And this weather, UGH!  Good thing I have running buddies who have lived in Minnesota before, we have still been hitting the trail and slowly increasing our mileage.

2013 Cont. 220Don’t they look tough?

Also a good thing that my 530am Crossfit group is so stinking fun.  They make that 440am alarm not so bad at all. 


You know what is so crazy to me?  I find myself saying very often “I will have more time when ________ is done”.   But the truth is, life just never stops.   I give up one thing to have more time and it gets filled almost immediately without me even trying to fill it.  One busy chapter ends and another busier one begins.  Just goes to show that you truly have to make time NOW for things that are important, because life doesn’t slow down.

Between AU being insane right now, grad school and a busy social calendar, my schedule has been packed.   Oh yea and that whole wedding planning thing…vomit.  Yes, I still hate it and nobody can make me love it okay?  I love that I have a big amazing huge family but I don’t love that we cannot afford to invite them all.  I don’t love that everybody has an opinion on what you should do and they don’t care if they hurt your feelings by criticizing your choices.  I don’t love that people get upset with the stupidest things.


Why do people care about weddings so much? Oh right, the most important day of our life thing.  As you already know, I don’t agree with that.  Weddings are a way for people to celebrate with families, but they often end up causing more turmoil than good.  Emotionally, financially etc.  We are sticking to our guns and keeping things simple as humanly possible.  Our wedding won’t be “different” or “unique”.   It will be us.

Sometimes I  wish I could just blink my eyes and BAM be married and have this whole process be over.    Then everybody I love goes back to being normal instead of possessed with wedding syndrome.  You have never heard of wedding syndrome?  It is a thing trust me …and there are not any vaccinations for it either.

However, there ARE some things I am getting excited about.  I am pumped that it is looking like we can actually pull this shin-dig off under budget.   I am also SO excited that…WE FOUND A BEER TRUCK!!  And by “we” I mean my awesome co-worker gave me a lead on a tavern that rents them out.  Best news ever.  Helloooooo Summer Shandy!  Perhaps it seems odd to have a beer truck at a wedding.  But you probably wouldn’t think it was odd if there was a beer truck at a backyard BBQ?  Or a summer festival?  Right?  SEE I TOLD YOU WEDDINGS MESS WITH PEOPLE’S HEADS.

That is all.  Stay blessed in the COLD (and mess)!








Week 4!

So who are my challengers that are still out there?  Anybody?  Bueller?  Bueller?  Next week is the last week!  But here is the kicker, this week there is no grocery list or meal plan for you.  I know, I am sorry.  It is not because I am too lazy to make one for you OR that I want you to fail.  This next week is about testing your ability to plan for yourself.  I know you can do it.  But I won’t hang you out to dry completely…below are some more of my favorite recipes to check out:)

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Picture above is low sodium tomato soup from Trader Joes and whole grain tortillas with some shredded chicken, Colby jack cheese and black beans.  Easy peasy and YUMMY!

Speaking of challenges, remember how I told you Shain and I were doing our own challenge?  Well, technically it was supposed to end today but Friday night we called a truce.  Both of us had a bit of a rough week and I came home to him eating pizza and drinking beer…and I could not even be mad because I caved and had a fair amount of sweets that day AND had full intentions of downing a bottle of wine.  I know, weak sauce.  So we called an “even truce” and agreed to still eat extra clean the rest of the time.  Both of us have seen some pretty good gains still, or losses depending on how you look at it.  Truth is, you cannot be perfect all of the time.  Why?  Because we are HUMAN.  But it is still important to be consistent.  80% clean, 20% of the time have that beer and pizza you deserve.  Sometimes, greasy carbs and alcohol really do make everything better.  It is when you start telling yourself you “deserve” it all the time that you get into trouble.  Allow your self a couple cheat meals a week, but stay on track with everything else and you will be golden.

Pizza Pie

Cauliflower Casserole

Meat Crust Quiche

Tomato Soup

Oatmeal Breakfast Casserole

Sorry for the lack of posts these past two weeks, I know how exciting my life is to read about and all (sarcasm).  February has kicked my royal behind.   More to come!

Stay BLESSED in the mess!

Week 3!

Happy Thursday, everybody!  This week I bring you another set of meal ideas!  If you bought everything in week one then good news, your grocery list should be getting cheaper. As you may already have noticed, there are many different ingredients that you will re-use over and over again.  Truth: you can NEVER have too many spices in the cabinet.

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Have you guys been watching the Olympics? Shain and I almost never watch television,  but we have been glued to it lately.  SO inspiring!  The talent of these athletes is just insane and as weird as it is…the ones that mess up are even more amazing.  We are talking the highest caliber of athletes here and even THEY screw up sometimes.  But they keep getting up time and time again.

In other news, I am so sick of the treadmill.  I have been bundling up and going outside for a run maybe once or twice a week but I am still on the treadmill way more than I like for the rest of my runs.  It is fun at first to play around with the speed and blast some jams in your ears but it gets old after a while.  I signed up for the Starved Rock Marathon on May 10th as a way to keep myself motivated to keep running through the winter months (and to be able to fit into my wedding dress, duh).  Thank GOD I signed up for that, this polar vortex nonsense makes it hard to get out of bed!  This particular marathon is not goal oriented, I will not be trying to pace myself or shoot for any time I just need to do one more marathon for “fun” before I dive into speed training again this summer.  I need remember what it was like to have fun during a race and simply take it all in.  And what better way than to run through beautiful nature.  AND at this point I will have a little over a month until the wedding, so lord knows I will need to run the stress away.

Next week is technically the last week of the challenge between Shain and I, surprisingly he is holding strong.  We have both had our mini cheats here and there but for the most part we are both on track so it is really going to come down to these last few days!  It is amazing what a man will do to get out of cleaning the house…

Grocery list week 3

Week 3 Meal Ideas

Italian Pasta Salad

Crispy Chicken Dippers

Avocado Pudding

Failing Forward.

Fear can lead you to believe crazy things.  Like when Shain is out of town, I pretty much convince myself every night that I am about to be murdered.  But I am not talking about that kind of fear, I am talking about the fear of failure, fear of not being good enough…. which can also be crippling.

I used to be afraid of failure.  I used to be afraid of disappointing other people, of embarrassing myself.  This fear caused me to second guess all of my abilities.  In college, no matter how hard I worked in the off season or how well practices went…fear of messing up a play would cripple me in games.  It has been something I have struggled with in all areas of my life for as long as I can remember.  I feel it before every race I am trying to hit a PR and going into almost every single tough workout.  I feel it when trying to prove myself at work.


But guess what happened last year? I failed.  I missed my BQ time not once but…twice.  I failed at something I worked really hard for and thought for sure I had in the bag.  And I failed in front of everybody.  It was painful and it was embarrassing.  But despite all that, it wasn’t THAT bad.  I missed my time?  So what?  Is my life over?  Did all my friends and family dis-own me? Did I lose my job?  Did my life fall apart? Of course not.  Sometimes we chalk up failure to be this big scary thing in our mind, when really it is a necessity to move forward.  Failure is not a bad thing.

It took my body over two months to recover from doing two marathons in a month.  Every single workout (even going on the stupid elliptical)  just felt plain awful.  I thought I may never get back to where I was, because not only was my body hurt but my confidence was also wounded.  But I kept plugging away.

polarvortexWho is afraid of running in a polar vortex?  NOT US!

Within the last month I have felt my strength and speed gaining momentum.  I now have this weird new attitude going into my workouts.  Usually, going into a race or a tough lift I think to myself… “Okay, I guess we will see how this goes.”  What a terrible way to go into something!  Now I go in with confidence.  No second thoughts.    I am not afraid anymore.  I am angry.  The kind of angry that gives you confidence to know you are about to destroy a workout.  The kind of anger that fuels you.  Now that I have failed before, I am not afraid to do it again.  If I had to do it a million times over I would, and guess what?  I probably will, and that is okay.  I will keep failing forward.



Challenge- Week 2.

Hey challengers, It is time to start thinking about next week!  Yes, I know it is only Thursday but tomorrow is Friday which means it is almost the weekend which means it is almost next week…so you need to start PLANNING.

I have heard a lot of good feedback so far and I am so excited that so many of you have actually taken this on!  I want to remind you again, this is YOUR challenge.  So don’t beat yourself up if you don’t follow these recipes exactly or need to tweak some things to work better for you and your schedule.

My role here is to simply provide you with ideas (aka all my favorite food blogs).   You might love some of these ideas and other ones you might hate, that is okay! If I get you to try one new thing, that is a success!


While I will continue to provide new recipes to try, feel free to do repeats on anything you really liked from the previous week.  For example, if you put together a breakfast smoothie recipe you love, stick with it!  I will still give new breakfast options in case you get sick of smoothies or want something different.  But I on the other hand am a creature of habit and tend to repeat many of my favorites quite often.  I have been drinking the same smoothie recipe for almost 4 years now and I still get excited about it, but I am weird 🙂

The point of this challenge is to try out some new food you maybe never thought of and work on building better habits.  I am not a big believer in counting calories or weighing food BUT portion control IS important.  If you take your TIME when eating and eat GOOD clean food, you will be surprised that you do feel full.  Now…there may be times when you are hungry and that is okay. I am not telling you to starve yourself BUT  If you are trying to lose weight, just remember you are trying to shrink your stomach which means you need to shrink your appetite and that takes time, will power, and patience.  So if you feel hungry after a meal, try taking down some water or going for a walk before you decide to dig in for seconds.

It can be hard to kick the “eating whatever you want, whenever you want” habit.  But in the long run..being more CONSCIOUS about what you are putting in your body is going to have many many rewards.  I promise!  Keep pushing yourself one day a time!

 Week Two Meal Ideas

 Grocery list Week 2

Sweet Potato Hash and Eggs

Southwest Meatloaf

Crock pot Turkey Chili


Private Victory.

Every morning my alarm goes off at 4:40am.   I putz around the house, sometimes do some journaling, drink a cup of coffee, have a light breakfast and head to the gym.  Sometimes when that alarm goes off, I bound out of bed ready to conquer the world.  Other times,  I hate everything and all I want to do is stay under the warm covers.  But I know the consequences of hitting that snooze button.  It’s not about missing the workout and then feeling like I can’t fit into my jeans, it is so much more than that.  When I complete my morning ritual, I feel better, I feel energized, I feel positive…I feel in control of my life.  It is my personal victory.

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Anybody who has read 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Stephen Covey, is familiar with this term.  What is a personal victory?  It is something that you do for YOU.   A ritual of how you start your day, or maybe how you end it.  Maybe it is spending an hour in prayer.  Maybe it is going to the Yoga studio.  Going on a morning walk.  Writing in your journal.  Anything that makes you feel rejuvenated.  That is your private victory.  Why are these so important?  Because they are the ONLY path to public victories.

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A public victory is that deal you just made at work.   An interview you just nailed.  The feeling of having all of your chores and tasks accomplished around the house.   Being able to be the best friend you can be, the best spouse…the best parent.  Public victories are what others see of you and benefit from as well.

Have you ever had a point in your life where everything was just flowing?  You felt like everything was going as it should?  During these moments you were probably spending time accomplishing your private victories.  For many people, this simply means taking better care of your health.   This is always a good start.  When you ignore habits that are so important to your mind, body and spirit…it might feel like everything is falling apart.

When I miss my morning workouts, stray away from clean eating or don’t take time to pray and reflect.  I feel crabby and un-motivated.  This is also when things tend to go wrong.  I forget to make an important phone call or I mess up a presentation.  This then translates into my work and my relationships.  I am a better person when I stick to my rituals.  FACT.

What are some rituals you have been neglecting?  Get back to those, you will be amazed at how it impacts all other areas of your life.

Stay blessed in the mess 🙂



Are you ready? Did you prepare all your food and plan how you are going to dominate your week??  If you are like me and feeling groggy from the weekend, then starting fresh is exactly what you need today.  So let’s get to it.  Now is always the best time to start and I am here to help you along the way if you need it.  This challenge is simple and many of you might be tweaking it to work better for you and that is great, as long as your are pushing yourself to change habits.  The habit of eating late at night or eating too much sugar or too much salt etc.  Whatever it is, make the choice to be a better you. Not because you want to look good for summer or for that big event coming up…but because this is YOUR body and you only get ONE.  So why not take care of it and feel your best?  When you take better care of yourself, you feel like you can conquer the world.

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Some questions that came up over the last few days….

Is Dairy bad?  Why  Almond Milk?

I have nothing against Dairy, but I am lactose intolerant,  so Almond milk is a great alternative and is SO good in smoothies, with granola etc.  I get the unsweetened kind from Aldi.  Sweetened is fine, but just keep in mind there is added sugar.  So if you are switching over, Vanilla might be a good choice and then work your way to having unsweetened.  The cool thing about clean eating is that your taste buds will literally change.  And the sugary, fatty things you used to crave will eventually go away!

I have to give up coffee creamer??

I know, I KNOW this was really hard for me when I first did it.  I love coffee with my creamer.  BUT I now use coconut milk creamer or soy milk creamer and it does the trick.  I get these at Woodmans, Whole Foods and Fruitful yield and they are delish.  Take a look on the back of your coffee creamer ingredients and tell me you know what any of those ingredients are, I bet you don’t.  Not clean.

I know you said no processed food, but what about cereal?

Most cereal is sugary and processed, pay attention to ingredients.  There are many “clean” cereal choices out there, but I am sorry to say Coco Puffs is not one of them.   Just remember this is YOUR challenge, so don’t give up everything at once just a little at a time.  If having a bowl of cereal after dinner is what curbs you wanting to eat the whole pantry, then by all  means go for it.  Just don’t have 5 bowls, make a rule for yourself.

What if I don’t get home until 6pm to eat dinner?

When I say no food after 6pm, this is because I am usually in bed around 9pm. As a general rule you should avoid eating 2 hours before you go to bed.  So it does not HAVE to be 6pm, but just as a way to kick the late night munching which I always struggle with.


Remember this is a CHALLENGE, it is supposed to be hard!  If making truly healthy choices was easy, we would not have an epidemic of diseases or obesity in our society.  You can do this, but you have to DECIDE you will do it first.  You are either all in or not.  No fuzzy lines.

My apologies for not posting workouts, this weekend was a little crazy.  Try to get 4-6 workouts in a week, does not have to be an hour.  It can be 20 minutes.  Here is a workout I use with clients all the time and is super easy and quick to do on your own…only takes 20 minutes!

Circuit style workout, do as many repetitions as you can in 1 minute of each of these exercises.  Rest for one minute at the end of the 4 minutes (no resting between each set) and repeat 4 times total:

1 minute of burpees

1 minute of air squats

1 minute of pushups

1 minute plank

1 minute rest


Other ideas for exercises to do in this same format:  mountain climbers, jumping jacks, tricep dips off your couch or bed,  1 minute of going up and down your stairs, jogging in place,  jump rope or high knees.

Easy peasy right? Set your clock for 20 minutes, put on some good tunes and boom you have a 20 minute workout done.