Running the Distance

So, on June 7th, I finished my third Goddess Race and sixth 10km race. If you would have asked me a couple of years ago what I would be doing now, I would have cackled in your face, and my answer would have had definitely nothing to do with running. But alas, there’s something about it that keeps drawing me back in.

My goal was to better last years time, which I figured would be an easy feat as I didnt have the best time from the year before (new course, lotso hills, ugh). I was ready to go! I have been feeling a bit emotional since the run and I wanted to gain some perspective and not just write a poor me post, but it seems like some of those emotions have stuck around, so here they are!

I started the run raring to go with a great group of women around me, but I realized very quickley, about km .5, yes 0.5, that I just didn’t seem to be hitting my stride. I kept thinking that it will come, it will come, sometimes it takes you a bit longer to find that groove, but that just never seemed to happen. It was so bloody hot outside, and by km 3, all I could think was, “would they kick me off the course if I took off my pants and ran in a thong?!”. I kept running, and around km 4.5, the tears started flowing, I knew the big hill was coming up and I just wanted to quit. I sucked up, walked up the hill swearing, and thankfully on the other side saw some wonderful running buddies that boosted my spirits. Then, my ankle did what it did best and decided to roll. A nice quick snap that took me off balance. My Sole Sisters that were running right in front of me turned right around and consoled my crying, snotty, face and somehow gave me that extra little bit to push forward.

Needless to say, I somehow ran the rest of the 5km in differing amounts of pain and heat and frustration, managed to stop at the lipstick station, and finished 2 min slower than last year. Although I know I should feel like I really accomplished something, I was really left with a feeling of dissatisfaction. I felt like I could have done better. What the emotional side of my brain can’t seem to comprehend is that getting to the finish line, pushing through, heck, even getting to the start line, was a win in itself. Thanks logic, at least you get it.

What I have realized, is that I can do things that I didnt think I could do, I can push my body to the point I wasn’t sure it could go, and that deep down, I am uncovering these extra sensitive layers of fat that seem to cause a lot of tears and emotions, but maybe those are the ones that are holding a vice grip to the butt fat beneath it. So I am going to keep running, even if those tears keep flowing, and one day, I am going to cross that finish line with time to spare!

Perception

Perception is the pesky word that seems to be crawling into my vocabulary and conversations a lot lately. Perception of conversations, events, thoughts, feelings, on and on. You know how they say “Reality’s a Bitch”…nope, I think the accurate saying should be….”Perceptions a Bitch”. Reality is just sitting there doing her job, trying to live in the moment, and Perception comes in and wreaks all the havoc. She’s a trouble maker. Unfortunately you cant just switch off that little devil of a voice she puts in your head that tells you you are unequivocally correct, or change the way you see things totally accurately, but you can try to frame it and wear different glasses. You can try to see the other perspectives in play. 

I think on this often, you might see yourself as a total failure but the person next to you looks to you for inspiration. One of my favourite moments seeing this in action happened on my second 10km and first Goddess Race. I was running behind a woman who I think was running with a personal trainer. She was quite a bit overweight (I say this only to set the tone), and being dragged through a 10km seemed like a struggle. I kept pace with her and kept going ahead, then behind, the whole race. I remember catching up to her at one point and she was bawling her eyes out thinking she was not able to finish, then she carried on. I tried really hard to find her at the end and tell her what an inspiration she had been to me, but I couldn’t find her. It’s sad for me to think that she probably left that day focusing on crying, or not making a best time, or whatever it is, but I hope that she could sense the magnitude of the feat she just completed, or the rays of positive energy I was attempting to send, and the impact that had on me. 

Granted, when people tell me I inspire them, I brush it off. How could I, inspire YOU. Perception. When I think no one is there to support me. Perception. When I think I am failing. Perception. NOT reality. I think we have to pop that little bubble of perception and look outside of our comfort zones to truly be able to positively impact our self-awarness and self-esteem. Tell that bitch to go away once and for all. Seize those, real, juicy, wonderful moments,  and live in those. 

3 Month Weigh In. 

Well this morning happened. Today was my third weigh in. I wasn’t expecting the drastic loss of the first two months, but I think I had hope to be pleasantly surprised. Well, I was down, which is always positive, moving in the right direction. I was down 3.6 lbs for a total of 20 lbs. I was down no inches. I had been feeling pretty good, not amazing, but definitely thought my hard work would have amounted to more than that. I shrugged it off, but as our workout continued, I felt those negative thoughts creeping up my back and into my brain. I think it was pretty clear I was a bit down, and thankfully I was able to talk it through, although Im still feeling cloudy. I am starting to realize that my pursuit for perfection cripples me into a sense of failure. I wish that was a switch I could flip in my brain. I understand the positivte magnitude that comes with losing 20lbs, especially when made to wear a 10lb weight vest while working out. I think with each pound and inch shed, my deeper wounds and scars are being peeled back. No wonder this has taken me three times to get right! I cried today. Twice. Because, I can’t be perfect, and I cant always be on, and I cant always be positive, but I CAN keep doing what I’m doing, for me, and hope that people stick on this journey with me!

Tea Leaves or Turtles on a Peninsula

So on Saturday, I got my tea leaves read with the wonderful Christina. My best friend, and taker of many of the photos of my beautiful mug on here. She went first and of course, I could figure out exactly what all of it much mean for her life. That’s just how we roll. When it came time for mine, I was really hopeful but also nervous. She talked a lot about unclear, mystical beings, a big dilemma and competition, but herself really seemed unclear about what she was seeing. I know this may sound crazy, but if you have had a good experience with a reader or someone along those lines, you might just get it. It wasn’t until she started talking about a pinnacle moment where I would feel like a turtle on a peninsula, not totally alone, but isolated with a supportive group. I let out a big sigh and a few tears came to my eyes…because this woman, who I have never met before, just accuratly described how I am feeling in my life. A turtle on a damn peninsula. What I then realized is….maybe this struggle, dilemma, etc between these different types of people, was an internal struggle. I hope so, I dont think I can handle any more struggles at the moment. Anyways…back to turtling. I think that maybe I need to learn to accept this inner struggle and stop fighting it so hard. That takes too much energy. I dont have a lot of energy left lately. I feel like at some point I will look back and think, jeeze this constant strain of struggles have sure made this surprise million dollars worth it. Or not. I would like to believe, and I often do, that everything happens for a reason and that at some point that will become clear. I am slowly fixing one area of my life at a time, and I am hoping that will create a really strong foundation for the future. Shall I jump off my peninsula and into the ocean? Oh, real deep there!! Just keep swimming, just keep swimming….I’ll live to turtle another day!

Putting pen to paper. 

Well I hate therapy. Which is kind of funny because I often need and want to talk about my feelings. So, I am putting pen to paper, or fingers to keyboard, and putting it out there. I have been feeling that niggling feeling in the back of my brain, the pit of my stomach, that maybe old habits die hard. I’m not sure if I have self-esteem, surprising to some, but not entirely untrue. I can put the best of faces on, I guess that’s what a really expensive drama degree gets you. It fluctuates from day to day. I am trying to take beautiful photos of myself, and appreciate what I see, but you know, its hard sometimes. To date I have lost 17 hard earned pounds, its been a little under three months, and somehow when I look in the mirror, I can see some physical changes, but mentally and physically, my inner-fat girl is still rearing her kind of cute head. I know some people think you shouldn’t say self-depricating things about yourself. But I just dont totally agree that they are self-depricating. I refer to my weight issues, my little cake loving demon, my hate for exercise, as my inner-fat girl. I am really hoping evolution gets this one right, lack of exercise, and all of the cupakes – hot bod, and tight butt coming right up. Anywho, what I’m trying to say is, I have been working damn hard, and it is really freaking frustrating to not feel instant gratification, or a payoff at all really. When I look in the mirror, I can be like woah girl, your collar bone is a little more prominent, or your tan is looking feirce, or man your legs are looking slimmer (yes, ok, this is what you say to yourself, so stop judging me) and yet when I look away, I feel the same. It’s the same skin, the same bones, maybe a little less padding, but what you are still stuck with is the hardest thing to change, your mind. So, I think maybe if I let that go, and say it to the world, maybe I will just start to feel it. I am not looking for compliments or props or you-go-girls, but I am looking to connect with people, and hope that maybe, just maybe, I am not the only one who feels like I am going crazy in an attempt to feel better and change my life. Enough blabbering until now, until next time :) 

Another pound, another day, another chance. 

Tomatillo Casserole

This Mexican inspired layered casserole is perfect in any season, tangy and fresh in the summer and hearty in the winter. This is one of the most delicious casseroles, it is easy to make, extremely flavourful, and a definite crowd pleaser. You can make this as spicy as you want and customize it to your palate!
I love to serve this with a simple coleslaw and devour the whole plate without any guilt!

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My Ingredients:

1 lb Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
16 Corn Tortillas
8-10 Tomatillos (Husked, Rinsed, and Chopped into bite sized pieces)
1/2 cup Cilantro
1-2 Jalapeños or Serrano Peppers
2 Garlic Cloves
1.5 cups Low Fat Shredded Cheese (Tex Mex if you can find it)
3/4 cups Low Fat Sour Cream
2 Limes (Zest and Juice)
Garlic Powder, Cumin, Chili Powder
Salt and Pepper

My Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray, cut chicken into manageable pieces, sprinkle with spices, salt and pepper, zest and juice of one lime and bake until cooked through. When cooked through chop into bite sized pieces.
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Blend together half of your tomatillos, lime juice and zest, garlic, cilantro, and jalapeños, salt and pepper.
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Starting with the blended tomatillo mixture, spread some into a sprayed casserole dish.IMG_2283       IMG_2284

Layer in four tortillas, spread with sour cream, sprinkle with cheese, tomatillos, and green onions.IMG_2285
Continue this method until you have four layers. Smear the last of the sour cream and sprinkle with cheese. IMG_2286
Cover and bake for approximately 20 minutes, uncover and cook for another 10 until cheese is brown and bubbly.IMG_2287

Tipsy:

  • Buy chicken tenders. Since you are cutting it up, it often saves you money.
  • Use good quality corn tortillas, they make a lot of difference in the flavour.
  • A tex mex blend of cheese saves you some time and can be used in tons of recipes for added goodness!

Details:
Serves 6
350 Degrees
Bakes for 30 minutes
SP-8

 

Corny Tortillas

There is honestly very few things in the world better than simple homemade food. Once you have learned how to make corn tortillas (which is soooo easy) you wont ever want to buy the prepackaged tortillas from a store. Although it is much easier to use a tortilla press, you can also use a rolling pin or a bottle of wine, anything where you are able to roll it out thinly.

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1 3/4 Cup Masa Harina (Golden Corn Flour if you can find it)
1 1/8 Cups Warm Water
1 tsp Garlic Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
Pinch of Chili Powder

My Method:

Mix all dry ingredients together. If you want traditional tortillas you can just use the masa and a pinch of salt, or take the opportunity to add some bonus flavour to your tortillas.

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Add the water in slowly just until all ingredients are incorporated.

If your tortillas are a bit dry add a smidge of water, if it’s a little wet add a bit more masa.

Cover and let rest for about a half an hour.

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Divide mixture into about 16 balls and using your press, rolling pin etc. magically turn them into tortillas.

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Heat a pan (preferably cast iron) to medium high. Each tortilla needs about 30 sec. on each side until perfectly golden brown.

Tipsy:

Use wax paper or saran wrap as it helps tortillas to not stick

If you have rips in the tortilla, you can form it back into a ball and try again!

Details:
Makes approx. 16 tortillas
SP-1 per tortilla!

Skinny Spanakopita

I pretty much love anything with cheese, so these spanakopitas not only fulfill my love of cheese but also a satisfying crunch of baked phyllo dough. Because of the familiar flavours and cheesy goodness, these are also a great way to get kids to eat a few more vegetables. These are so quick to make and easy to freeze for an in a pinch meal!

I love to serve this with a quick vegetable salad on the side!

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My Ingredients:

10 Sheet of Phyllo Dough
1.5 cups of Low-Fat Ricotta Cheese
1/2 cup of Low-Fat Feta, crumbled (Dont buy the pre-crumbled, use your fingers, so much better)
1 Package of Frozen Spinach (Thawed, Drained, and Squeezed)
1 Medium Onion
2-3 Cloves of Garlic
1 Lemon (Zest and Juice)
1 Egg
1 Tbsp Fresh Dill (1 tsp dried) and a few sprigs of mint if you have it around
Nutmeg
S and P

My Method:

Take your phyllo dough out of freezer early and make sure it is fully defrosted!!

Finley chop onions, garlic, and herbs.

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Mix together your cheeses, prepared spinach, and egg.

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Add in your onions and garlic, lemon juice and zest, chopped herbs, grated nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Mix just until mixture comes together.

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Lay out one sheet of phyllo dough and spoon out mixture. Roll up into a tight little package and put on sprayed baking sheet.

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Repeat until all 10 are made! Bake at 350 for 10 minutes or until deep golden brown.

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Tipsy:

-Take out your phyllo and spinach early! These are both easier to use when fully defrosted. You need to be able to drain your spinach, so in a pinch, microwave on medium heat!

Details:

SP-3 each (WHAT!)
350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Killer Key Lime Pie

So when I say that this is a Killer Key Lime Pie. I. Am. Not. Joking.
I put together a few recipes to make this one, and oh my lordy, you will not be able to leave a piece in your fridge. SO make sure you have enough friends and family over so that you can eat all of it at once. I am firmly planted in the notion that it is fairly impossible to make a ‘healthy’ pie, so therefor I am happy with the fact that this one isn’t gonna stick to your butt like a fat kid on cake, more like stuck to you like a sad girl and a glass of wine. If you followed that, you probably understand that that meant it was soooo delicious but you dont have to feel so guilty about eating one piece.
I really hope you love this as much as my family and I did, if you did not, you are strange and I probably cant help you.

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My Ingredients:

Crust:

48 Nilla Wafers

¼ cup Water

1 tbsp Vanilla

2 tbsp Margarine or Butter, melted

¼ cup Shredded Coconut

Deliciously Velvety Pie Insides:

3 Egg Yolks

1 300ml can of Low-Fat Condensed Milk

½ cup Light Sour Cream

½ cup Light Cool Whip

1 lb Key Limes, 8 zested, all juiced. (Reserve zest and juice of one/two limes for topping.)

1 tsp Vanilla

10 servings-8 points

Topping:

2 cups Light Cool Whip

Reserved Lime Juice and Zest

1 tsp Vanilla

1/4 cup Toasted Coconut

My Method:

Grind up the nilla wafers until they are crumb consistency. Mix this with the other crust ingredients. Pack into your pie plate and bake for 8-10 minutes at 350.

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Beat your egg yolks for a minute or so until velvety. Add in your sour cream, cool whip and condensed milk. Mix in your vanilla, lime juice and lime zest.

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Bake pie for 13-15 minutes at 350. It is cooked when it no longer jiggles and a toothpick comes out clean.

Put on wire rack and cool completely. 2 hours-overnight.

Mix together your topping ingredients and spread on pie.

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Toast coconut on medium heat and sprinkle onto pie. (You can also sprinkle with some lime zest).

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DO YOU LOVE PIE THIS MUCH? (Courtesy of my beautiful and hungry niece)

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Tipsy:

-You can make this into a lemon pie as well. But make sure you dont use regular limes, you will get a very bitter and sour pie. If you can get your hands on meyer lemons or key limes you are good to go!

– Change out the nilla wafers for graham crackers, chocolate cookies, oreos, or a coconut cookie!

Details:

350, bake crust 8-10 min, pie 13-15 minutes.

SP-8 :)

Better Banana Muffins

I love eating Banana Bread and so does my sister Caitlin. When she requested a recipe for healthier Banana Bread, I had to deliver! Banana Bread is always something I seem to have the ingredients to whip up a quick batch and I bet you do too! When your bananas are starting to turn brown, throw them in your freezer and you will have them ready to go next time you want a banana bread fix. I dont love how much extra fat and not so good things are in banana bread that really aren’t needed. Since bananas are a natural binder, you dont need a lot of extra fat. I think peanut butter and bananas are pretty much a food marriage from the Gods, but if you aren’t nuts for peanuts, feel free to use another type of nut butter! I make this recipe into muffins because I find that it is so much more satisfying to eat a whole muffin rather than a thin slice of bread. It is also much easier to just eat one this way, and it’s very portable, but feel free to make this into a loaf it will take about an hour to bake, just wait until golden brown and a toothpick comes out clean.

Enjoy this skinnier banana bread, it is soooo good!

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My Ingredients:

½ cup Brown Sugar

½ cup Peanut Butter

1 cup Quick Cooking Oats

1 cup All Purpose Flour

1 tsp Baking Soda

¼ tsp Salt

3 Bananas, over ripe and mashed

1 medium Zucchini, shredded

1 Whole Egg

2 egg whites

1 tsp Vanilla

¼ cup Almond Milk

1/4 cup Peanut Butter or Chocolate Chips, I like a mix of the two.

My Method:

Mix your Oats, Flour, Baking Soda, and Salt in a bowl and set aside.

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In a mixer, cream the Brown Sugar with the Peanut Butter until well incorporated.

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Mix in your Bananas and mix until the whole mixture is creamy and satiny.

Add in your Eggs and Vanilla.

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Slowly add in your dry ingredients just until mixed together.

Slowly add in your 1/4 cup of Almond Milk just until the mix is fully incorporated and liquid.

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Mix in your shredded Zucchini and Chocolate or Peanut Butter Chips.

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Tipsy:

– Add in  shredded carrot for added nutrition and flavour!

-If you microwave your Bananas for a a minute or so to defrost, they come out perfectly for baking. Use a potato masher to mush them up to perfect consistency!

-Use an ice cream scoop to measure out your muffins, they end up all come out the same size and it’s easier to get in the tin!

The Details:

Bake at 350 Degrees for 20-22 minutes, flipping halfway through, or until golden brown and your toothpick comes out clean.

Makes 18-20 muffins.

SP- 3 each!!!