Monday, July 30, 2012

The Not-So-Surprise-Anymore-Birthday Bread

Good Morning! I hope everyone had a fantastic weekend! I spend the majority of mine watching the Olympics and experimenting with my 400m 10m individual medley strokes in my apartment pool with my roommate. It was fun not only pretending to be Olympic swimmers, but also acting like we were 5 years old - it's the little things in life, right?


Anyway, I digress... time to bring the blog back to serious matters, like strawberry banana bread.

My little sister has a birthday today (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!) and as any twenty-something-post-college-grad can relate, a good portion of my monetary funds are shelled out to Sallie Mae on a seemingly weekly basis, so the hopes of my sister getting a Target gift card over $20 are pretty unlikely - well, very unlikely, actually, it's not going to happen.

So in addition to my sweetheart text message she received this morning, she also gets the privilege of enjoying a homemade loaf of strawberry banana bread! Wooo!

I had some pretty brown-looking bananas sitting on my kitchen counter, and knowing my sister's love for banana bread and her lack of motivation to bake anything not from a box, I figured it would be the perfect idea for a birthday present (let's just hope she doesn't read this before this evening)

I grabbed the recipe from one of my favorite bloggers at Daily Garnish.

Fun side note - I actually saw the blogger behind this blog in the middle of my first marathon down in Cincinnati. I didn't say hi for fear of embarassment or because of pain from my 5 inch deep blisters that surfaced around mile 4. 
The recipe is super simple. I took pictures of my computer, from which I was reading the instructions from my kitchen.. If it's too hard to see from the pictures... head on over to the specific link for the recipe:
Strawberry-Banana Bread.

There might be a missing end piece.
I would never give anyone something I baked without trying it first ;)

Stay Healthy,


Friday, July 27, 2012

A Morning in the Life of Erin


Ever since I retired from my '08 Capital University Flip Cup team and traded in nati light cans for 8 cups of water a day, I've always wanted to be a full time food blogger and get a bunch of free t-shirts and gear from companies like Larabar and Oikos. But since that desire of mine belongs in the same category as my desire to marry Ryan Lochte, I decided to play pretend and try out the whole full-time food blogger gig part time for a day. 

So here we go... my Friday morning...

After watching Ryan Seacrest takeover the Today Show, I filled up my belly with a wholesome breakfast of peanut butter banana oatmeal and a cup two cups of coffee:
Yes, that coffee mug does say Mrs. Jacob Black. 
I made my oatmeal with half a banana and topped my oatmeal with some Uncle Sam cereal for a little added bonus crunch. I've seen this cereal on blogs everywhere, but finally found it at my Kroger (and on sale!)

 I love it because it has good flavor and an easy and short ingredient list:

I followed up breakfast with some water and my current supplements of the day:
Ligaplex for the ankle and Catalyn for my multivitamin.

I later headed out for my Day 1 of the Walk to Run program. Technically, since I just started it today, I should be only be walking for 30 minutes.... but I think I'm past that, actually, I know I'm past that, so I started my Day 1 with the Day 1 of Week 2. Confused yet?!
On schedule this morning was a 5.5. minute walk followed by a 30 second run, repeated 5 times.
This turned out to be exactly 30 minutes of activity and 2 miles covered.

It was hard to stop running only after 30 seconds. Very hard.

Since my 2 mile "workout" just wasn't quite doing it for me, I decided to take the bike for a spin - if I'm going to be serious about this whole triathlon business, I better get into the habit of handling a bike NOT bolted to the ground. My mode of transportation was this bad boy:
My mom's Murray All-Terrain Street Cycle. Oh yeah. Big Leagues.  
I'm pretty confident this bike used to have a baby seat on the back....which makes it..... old.

I got home and threw together a smoothie in a bowl for lunch. (Again, topped with some crunch that I apparently need in all my meals). This smoothie had spinach, greek yogurt, SP Complete powder, blubes, other half of my banana from breakfast and a few rogue strawberries.

There were also some behind the scene carrots and hummus. Whoops. Full-time food blogger fail already.

Stay tuned for my dinner post! It should be interesting.... 

Stay Healthy, 

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Walk to Run?

It's hard to believe that after completing 2 full marathons, I'm sitting here planning out a walk-to-run program. While it's disappointing that my level of fitness has dropped so significantly, it's also very exciting to think of the challenge I have in front of me.

I got the okay from my doctor last week to start doing whatever I feel comfortable doing - within reason. I even got the okay to paint the town red in my favorite heels if I wanted to.... but considering my track record with heels (which is zero) I think my main focus is to paint the town red in my running shoes.

Once I got clearance to start gradually running, I hit the pavement within hours. I mixed up walking with running every so many blocks and realized that it is much harder to take it easy on running than not running at all. It was then that I pondered the idea of having a set plan and schedule in place so I don't go and do anything crazy, like sign up for a 5k this weekend.... a few days later that tentative idea I was casually pondering was quickly made into reality when my boss forced presented me an actual walk to run program.

So here I am... 26.2 mile veteran, planning out when I'm going to walk for 30 minutes....

But in all seriousness, this is the best thing for my grandiose-goal mind.
Here is the plan, taken from a local Columbus Running store - FRONTRUNNER.

I might jump ahead to week 2... just a thought though :)

Stay Healthy,

Anyone training for a 5k? Let me know if you use this program and how it goes!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

They're Baaaack

Remember these lovely gems?

If not, you can refresh your memory right here, or you can just continue reading because they're the star of this random dish I threw together in a desperate attempt for a quick, different and always usually healthy weeknight meal:

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage Brussels Sprout Scramble! (Say THAT 10 times fast)

I was inspired by this recipe from one of my favorite blogs, Eat Live Run. 
I chopped up the chicken sausage and threw it on a fry pan and allowed them to warm up and then completed the two, well four ingredient dish by throwing on on some thinly chopped brussels sprouts, topped with a few pepper grinder twists. 

Towards the end I sprinkled on a tad bit of olive oil just to keep things cookin'. 

And there ya have it! A super easy and quick meal full of flavor and taste while keeping things light and healthy :)

Have a great Tuesday guys!

Stay Healthy, 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Coffee is Great.

Good Saturday Morning!

Whether you know me on a personal level, or you've picked up on my not so subtle hints throughout my eloquent, New York Times worthy writing skills, ya'll probably realize that I'm a huge fan of the coffee bean.

I bring this up for 2 reasons: (3 if you count the cup of coffee currently sitting next to me)

  1. I recently read a post on one of my favorite blogs about coffee and the constant back and forth on whether or not it's good for us, or bad for us and I really want to share the 411 with everyone... including you
  2. I've been getting A LOT of questions about coffee from my 1st time patients, and if everything is right in the world, they'll happen upon my blog of wisdom rambling thoughts and be able to dig further into this coffee conundrum for themselves

On that note, time to finish my cup of coffee and hit the pavement for some walking with a little bit of running thrown in!

Stay Healthy,

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Lots of Thoughts

Hello, hello!

There's been a lot of things that have been popping up in my brain over the past couple days that I've been dying to discuss. It seems like each time I finally decide on a topic to talk too much about, another one comes to mind that seems just a tad bit more brilliant than the last.

So due in part to my very decisive nature, ha ha ha, I've decided to mash all my thoughts into one, random, multiple-topic post. I figure this way I won't forget to comment on my new favorite celebrity crush Sunday night TV show or the latest article I read in 11Athletics.

And, hey, ya never know, maybe one of these topics will strike someone's fancy and they'll actually throw a comment my way..... hmmmm... wishful thinking :)

Alright, so let's jump right into the good stuff.... Chris Powell.
Okay, just kidding.... I meant to bring up Extreme Makeover Weight loss Edition.
It's on ABC on Sunday nights and has, unfortunately, caught the eye and attention of my roommate and I. I use the word unfortunately, because the show is 2 hours long and is on until 11:00pm, which does absolutely nothing good for my routine Sunday night pledge to get up and workout before work on Monday mornings. 
But besides making waking up the next morning difficult, and having someone pretty to stare at for 2 hours, the show is good stuff. It takes place over the course of one whole year, and follows 1 individual in their struggles and successes when it comes to losing weight.... the natural way: good ole' eating right and exercising. Too many of us are trying to find quick fixes - pills, 7 day juice cleanses, body wraps, to help lose weight, and this show reiterates to America that losing weight isn't just that simple. It takes time, discipline, and determination, and that's why I love this show.... well, for the most part ;)

Alright, moving on to something a bit more local, actually, really local because it's right here in Columbus - 11Athletics Magazine! 

If you've been to any of the marathon expos, races or triathlons around the area in the past year or so, it's very likely that you've seen the magazine. I've worked with the "editor in chief" of the magazine in past internships and bouts of employment, and a lot of what I know about the whole fitness/health/nutrition world came from him, so I imagine each magazine is nothing short of awesome. 
But anyway, enough name dropping on my part, I bring the magazine up because last night while manning the front desk at my supplemental evening gym job, I happened upon a stray 11athletics magazine and quickly began to devour the countless stories, tips and interviews that makes the magazine so great. One of the articles that really hit home with me was some words of wisdom from the chief and editor himself. 
I apologize for not being able to pull excerpts from the actual piece, but the basic gist of it was that everyone is competing at something. I won't say too much more for fear of plagiarism, haha, but for me, being sidelined from ankle surgery, it's hard for me to say that I'm competing. I've been going to and seeing lots of athletes compete in triathlons and races and it's disappointing and torture to not be out there, but while I'm not running my heart out on races or trying to stay above water in a triathlon, I'm competing against my injury. 
And if you read the magazine, you'll see that it's just not in fitness and sporting events that people can be competing. I'm not sure if this specific article is on the website, but if you find the time, go to the website I linked above and check it out... you won't regret it. 

AAAAAnd on that note, I've typed, talked, blabbed, ran on waaaay too much, and it's Bachelorette DVR time with my girlfriends anyway. 

Stay Healthy,

Oh! I almost forgot! My boss has an article in the magazine as well! Check it out!!!!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

A Short, Brief Lesson in Special Occasion Eating

Hello! Is everyone having a good weekend so far??

I've spend the past few days planning, prepping and hosting my roommate's wedding shower. Phew. Believe it or not, it's hard work, especially when the shower is co-ed - I'm not sure how high wedding shower games are on guys' lists of things they hope to complete before they die, but I can guess not very. 

So since this isn't a wedding shower blog, let's get to the important things in life - food heathy eating. 

Besides being in charge of making face paddles of the bride and groom and writing food labels, I was in charge of bring a vegetable tray...

 and brownies...

It can be definitely be a challenge to eat healthy at special occasions. I usually take the approach that a little is okay. I don't attend wedding showers everyday, although this summer it seems like I am, so enjoying a small brownie and an adult beverage is perfectly healthy and functional in my book. 

On that note, I'm off to buy a bike helment... apparently they're important :)

Stay Healthy,

Thursday, July 12, 2012

God's Gift to His Injured Ones


Things have been going really well with physical therapy and my ankle (I know ya'll were just dying to know). So good in fact that they only want to see my pretty face twice a week - I'm balancing on it, doing squats, lunges, stepping up stairs.... big stuff I tell ya! 

So why after only 10 weeks of intense, major surgery (direct from the horse's mouth) am I able to do so much with such little inflammation? 

Well, besides the fact that I'm awesome (How I Met Your Mother, anyone?) I owe lots and lots of credit to my new best friend:
Now I'm not one to shove a bunch of supplements and products down peoples' throats, but, BUY THIS!

Haha, kidding, but seriously, I honestly believe that taking this supplement post surgery has really helped the healing process and is why I'm in such good shape - speaking in terms of getting my foot back to working  running  mobile condition - not my fitness, ha!

This particular supplement is for acute conditions (ie sprains, strains, tears) of the ligaments, tendons and muscles. 
It does things like...
  • supports the body's normal connective-tissue repair and synthesis process
  • supports healthy joints and muscles
  • supports bone growth and the synthesis of cartilage
  • contains buckwheat, which supports the body's natural anti-inflammatory response
  • contains others fun stuff like manganese and Vitamins A, E and C (all good for connective tissue)
There is a second product called, surprise, surprise - Ligaplex II. This one is for more long term support. 
As soon as I'm back to running marathons half marathons 10k's (ha, right) you bet I'll be taking it. 

So all my athletes....something to think about... especially if you find yourself injured a lot or if you're coming to see Dr. Alexander for soft tissue torture sessions. 

Stay Healthy,

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage

I've always been a hotdog girl. Hamburgers didn't, and still don't, stand a chance when it comes to making the infamous summer cookout decision of "hamburger or hotdog." Not a chance.

You would think after 26 years of weekly hotdogs on the grill during the summer and numerous pigs in the blanket dinners during the wintertime, I'd be a tad burnt out by hotdogs.... but nope! I still stand faithful to my favorite cookout food.

So while I've been eating hotdogs for 26 years years (okay, probably more like 23 years if we want to be sticklers) my type of hotdog has definitely taken to a more mature and ingredient-aware taste. Remember my first post about choosing the right hotdog? If not, you should for sure take a second look.... here ya go.

Anyway, I bring up the topic of hotdogs, (apparently for the second time) because the other day, I made a special trip to the Joe of all Trades and picked up some hotdog-like food. I love doing my grocery shopping here because, surprisingly enough, the produce is usually cheaper than stores like Kroger or Giant Eagle, and I always find fun new options for my dinners.... like these fun guys:

Sweet Apple Chicken Sausage!

Another plus about shopping at Trader Joe's is that most of their food and products are natural and you can typically understand all the ingredients on the label:
And because it's no fun being boring (I leave that for my Friday nights) I decided to slice up the sausage, heat it up on a fry pan and enjoy it on a slice of bread topped with some cheese. 
It's funny that the things that you would throw a fit about when you were a kid, are actually some of the things you like to do nowadays. If I had to eat my hotdog on a piece of bread 20 years ago all hell would break loose. I'm sure that's sign #57 of me getting old. ick. 

I enjoyed my cheesy apple chicken dog alongside a fresh salad topped with tomato and mushroom

and my new-ish favorite dressing:

Has anyone tried it?
I've been (nerd alert) reading blogs for several years now, and I swear at least one of them on a daily basis uses this dressing, so I thought I'd give it a whirl. I know the best choice would have been a homemade dressing, but I was able to pronounce the entire, (and) short list of ingredients.

It's not bad. I'd be lying if I said I fell in love at first taste, but it's adds a different flavor to my typical, routine salads.

Well, that's all for now. I'm sure you'll be seeing these fun sausage guys in future blog posts!

Stay Healthy,

Hotdogs or hamburgers?

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Tuna. Learn to Like It!

Good Morning!

I've got just a few minutes before I need to head over to the gym, so I thought I'd pop in real quick and say hello and remind ya'll to head over/down/up to the airport this afternoon to check out RunFest.

There will be lots of fun stuff going on, not to mention the best booth, well after the food trucks, of the event - Alexander Chiropractic! Stop by and say hello!

I also wanted to quickly praise a super quick and easy AND healthy recipe that is an awesome go-to when you're stuck with what to make for lunch or dinner:

Tuna Avocado Spread!
It's not the most prettiest meal ever, but it sure does taste good. 
I always get so disappointed when people tell me they don't like tuna because there are SO many different combinations and possibilities that can be done to create, like I said, a quick but healthy meal. 

Adding avocado to the tuna is one of my favorite combinations. Not only are you getting the creamy texture of the traditional tuna salad with the avocado, but you're also getting good sources of protein and healthy fats. I'm pretty sure the only thing better than this is finding a million dollars in your couch cushions. 

All I do to create this wonderful meal, is to empty a pack of tuna into a small mixing bowl, add about 1/4 - 1/3 avocado and mash. 
Sometimes, if I think of it, I'll add a little bit of honey mustard or pepper to give it some additional flavor. I've also added one of those Laughing Cow creamy cheese wedges to the mix as well - I got that idea from this blog, but for the above meal, I simply just threw on a slice of swiss cheese and called it a day. 

Alright, on that note, I need to boogie. 

I'll see ya'll this afternoon !!! ;)

Stay Healthy and COOL!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Start NOW.

Hi all! Happy Friday! Is everyone ready for the weekend? Anyone doing anything fun? Everyone going to Run Fest tomorrow? I'll see you there!

Anyway, I'd like to take the time to discuss a somewhat personal issue - weight.
duh. duh. duhhh.

Whether you walk away from this post with assurance that you're not alone in this constant battle of maintaining a healthy weight, or if you skip off with a big fat smile on your face, knowing that the girl who tells you to eat broccoli and kale has her own issues with weight - I hope this post serves some sort of purpose for you and isn't solely just a way for me to get my butt into gear.

At any rate, I could talk for hours, and in all reality, easily write a 230 page book about my past history with weight-related issues, but I'm not one to spill my guts on the first date. So with that being said, let's focus on the what's going on today, right now on this, yet again, hot, sticky and humid Friday.

Since graduating college in 2008, I took a very strong interest in running. I went from barely being able to complete a loop around my meager half mile block to finishing 26.2 miles, twice. I found myself opting out of the late night bar scene for the chance to get to bed early so I could wake up early and get an easy 8 miles in before the day started. Between averaging at least 25 miles a week, plus additional spinning classes, there was no room or even desire to not choose a healthy diet.... (with the occasional bowl of ice cream or seasonal draft, of course).

Things were going great, until disaster struck. (ok, ok, that was a slight huge exaggeration)

Things were going great, until a major minor moderate setback struck (that's probably more accurate). After a year of chronic ankle issues, the worst was finally brought to light - torn tendon in the ankle. If I wanted an active life free of pain and arthritis, surgery was the only option.

I went from this:

to this:

That's a whole lot of sitting around. 
And a whole lot of ....
  • "suuure I'll meet you for happy hour, I don't have anything else to do!"
  • "I deserve dessert, I just had surgery"
  • "I can't work out in the morning, of course I can stay out later"
But guess what? Grace period is over. Time to get my butt into gear - not so I can fit into my multiple bridesmaid dresses later this summer, but so I can feel good and feel healthy and feel strong

I have officially started physical therapy and have been given a few liberties when it comes to exercise. It's time to break up with my couch and my feel sorry for me attitude and start some new relationships.... stationary bikes? swimming? saying no to evening ice cream trips? I don't know! The possibilities are endless. 

I'm newly motivated and I'm excited to share my enthusiasm for getting back to what makes us feel good and feel healthy with others who may be struggling as well. 

Don't start tomorrow. Start today. 
Don't start later. Start NOW.

On that note... I'm off to the gym... see you guys later!

Stay Healthy,