Sunday, January 19, 2014

Running to Build a Healthy Lifestyle

First on the First 5k
Januray 1, 2014
          In 2013 I set a goal to run at least one 5k or further per month, not counting my runs I do for workouts. I was able to achieve this goal and most months went above and beyond the "one 5k" goal. In February I found a very supportive group in the US RoadRunning group. US RoadRunning provides a virtual race option for each month. Each month you are able to choose from a 5k, 10k, half marathon, or set your own mile or time goal. I participated in these virtual runs for the remainder of the year. Recently they have added many "team challenge" virtual races as well. Unfortunately I don't really have anyone in the area to run with so I haven't had the opportunity to participate in any of these races yet.
          After having a successful year of running in 2013 I decided to continue this trend into 2014. I began my year off on the right foot by participating in the "First on the First" 5k in Westerville, Ohio on January 1st. I am excited also that US RoadRunning has added the "Aim High Program" this year that awards medals based upon how many miles you have logged in the year. ( If you have any questions regarding US RoadRunning or any races in the Columbus area in general I would be happy to try to answer them.

US RoadRunning Facebook Group:

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Getting Back to Healthy Eating!

The past year has been very crazy and hectic with Grad school and teaching. This past summer (2013) I worked at New Albany Country Club as a camp counselor for their Club Lane Kidz Camp. It was a great deal of fun. During my time at the country club I had access to the work out facilities and spent some time training for a half marathon, which I successfully completed in 3:20:12! While I was training
I didn't always have the best eating habits which I feel put me at a disadvantage. Now that the school year has begun and I am on a more rigid schedule than I was this summer I don't have as much time to work out. This has led to my need to get back on a much more healthy diet and try to find time daily to at least walk for a little while. I am planning on continuing my running, while toned down a bit from my half marathon training, this fall and already have 5 more 5k/4 milers scheduled along with 3-4 more that I want to complete.

This week will begin my new journey to eating healthy and getting myself into much better shape. I sat down with my favorite cookbook (Better Homes and Gardens: Eat Well Lose Weight) to plan out our meals for the week. I then headed straight to the grocery store and got all of the ingredients, with the exception of the Tarragon I needed since Kroger was out of it! We began with tonights meal, Walking Tacos. With them being called Walking Tacos one would think that this is a portable meal, although I didn't make it in its intended fashion, but yet just put it on the plate as you would any taco salad. This is one of my favorite meals to make. It is very simple, delicious, and yet healthy for you! This is one meal that certainly helps with Mexican cravings that might lead to the desire to have the less healthy options of Taco Bell or Chipotle.

Another tricky thing to overcome in the journey to healthy eating is lunches for school everyday. My daily schedule at school has me eating lunch much earlier than I typically would. My lunchtime at school starts at 10:45 and ends at 11:35. Normally eating at 11am wouldn't bother me, except I don't get out of school until 4pm which makes for a very long afternoon and by the time I am finished with school I am starving and with close to an hour drive home it can be very difficult to not stop and get a small snack on my way. Recently I have been packing extra fruit in my lunch box along with some pretzels to help curb that mid-afternoon need to snack.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crunchy Chicken Cucumber Salad and White Wine Spritzer

Lake at Slate Run Metro Park
My first healthy meal on our new challenge came on a very warm Sunday night. After taking a nearly 3 mile walk at Slate Run Metro Park in the near 80 degree heat I decided that a light "summery" meal was in order. I consulted our menu board in upon returning home and decided that the Crunchy Chicken Cucumber Salad met that description. Little did I know that Alex "doesn't like cucumbers." Well, lucky for him the recipe only called for 1 cup of chopped cucumber and I made sure to keep the chunks of cucumber large enough to be taken out if desired.

When dinner time came I took out all of the ingredients to make the Crunchy Chicken Cucumber Salad. The first thing I needed to do was shred the Rotisserie Chicken to top the salad. This process was a messy one. While shredding the chicken I ended up with the juices from the chicken all over me. Once the chicken was shredded the rest of the process was simple, place lettuce on the plate, put the remaining ingredients on top of the salad and serve. This dish ended up being a hit. We both really enjoyed
All of the ingredients before beginning
Crunchy Chicken Cucumber Salad
the flavors that this salad had to offer from the cucumbers to the grapes and cantaloupe it had everything a light summery salad should have. Plus on top of being delicious, this salad was very filling. Often times salads tend to be so light that you feel like you have to eat a lot in order to just feel satisfied. With the combination of fruits, vegetables, and the chicken this salad did not have that problem. Another very positive thing about this meal is that one serving is only 256 calories! To eat it you would never guess that it is so low in the calorie count, making this a great choice for someone who is looking to eat healthy, still feel full, and watching their calorie intake to lose

weight. I considered serving this salad with a side of toasted herb bread, but found that it wasn't a necessary addition, although it would have given the meal another set of flavors to add in with the salad, along with something that seems to be of more substance than lettuce and other vegetables and fruits.

White Wine Spritzer ingredient
Along with our Crunchy Chicken Cucumber Salad I decided that after a long weekend, and looking toward another long work week, we could use a little bit to drink. I decided to try a recipe that I had found this fall that had intrigued me but that I had yet to actually try, a White Wine Spritzer. The recipe called for a bottle of a sweet white wine, it suggested to use Pinot Grigio. I followed the suggestion of the recipe, although if I make this again I may change the recipe up slightly and try a different type of wine just to see how it changes the flavor. The recipe also called for sparkling water, I opted to go for the raspberry flavored sparkling water and splurged on fresh raspberries from the grocery store. After mixing the Pinot Grigio, Sparking Water, and the final ingredient, White Grape Juice (seems kind of redundant with the wine, but that is what the recipe called for!), I poured the mixture into wine glasses and  added a few fresh raspberries! The drink was delicious. It seemed like something that would go over well at a summer cook-out or pool party. Light enough for a summer night and light in the calorie department as well at only 80 calories per serving. Overall the first night of our healthy eating challenge went over very well.
White Wine Spritzers with Fresh Raspberries

Here's to hoping that each day of our healthy eating challenge is as successful as this meal was. Trying new recipes is often intimidating but when they end up being successful it is a wonderful experience. I look forward to sharing this experience of trying new recipes frequently, while also revisiting old favorites.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Our Healthy Eating Challenge

Welcome to my blog! I have decided to take on a challenge of healthier eating. During the fall  my husband, Alex, and I had started this challenge and had great results. We both started to lose weight and get in shape by eating healthier and taking daily walks. In January, we uprooted our lived in Cleveland and moved closer to home, to Columbus. With our move occurring right at the holidays we lost momentum in our healthier eating goal.

In front of our new home-January 2012
Recently Alex began participating in a "Biggest Loser" type competition with some of his co-workers. This competition has presented us with the opportunity to jump start our healthier eating goal again along with giving us the opportunity to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

This past weekend when preparing for my weekly grocery shopping trip I realized not only was I beginning to embrace a healthier eating lifestyle but in a sense, a more "green" lifestyle as well. As I created my menu for the week I wrote our food choices on the dry erase board that hangs in our kitchen rather than writing our menu on one of the many list pads that hang on our refrigerator. Then while walking out the door I became aware that not only was I carrying our iPad containing my shopping list, again preventing me from using a piece of paper, I was also carrying four of my countless reusable shopping bags. To continue my stereotypical description, I got into our Prius to make my way to the store. While walking through the store I found myself noticing the things that some of the other customers in the store were purchasing. I was amazed at the number of people buying mostly processed foods and very little fresh fruits and vegetables. I have found that simply eliminating these processed foods and limiting the consumption of processed sugars and pop can go a long way towards reaching our goal of becoming healthier.
View at Slate Run Metro Park where we walk

I look forward to sharing my healthy cooking adventures as well as the adventures in healthy living that we encounter as we take on this challenge together in our household. As always I welcome any healthy food or lifestyle suggestions.