half marathoning and meal planning

Today was the Philly (hometown) marathon and half marathon. For my race coverage each year, I received a race entry a few months ago but shortly after my foot problems began.  I find it hard to just skip the race entirely, so I planned to go down and run 4-6 miles. I ended up running 8 because of where my car was parked and at that point, even though I considered running on, 5 miles seemed way too many – I was maxed out!  I took the smart way out because I don’t want to re-injure – I love winter running! The most I have ran in the past 2 months has been 4 miles.  I think it’s safe to say if I’m trained for a certain distance I can put in a mediocre finish of double that distance.  Would you say the same? Most of my performances in the past few years (post #3) have been mediocre with the exception of a few fast 5ks – the motivation is lacking. However, I still find it enjoyable to be in the environment and participate and keep that piece of my pre-kid life alive.  My goal is when I’m 40 to train for another marathon in a destination or somewhere fun??  Or at least have strong training for some fast PR half marathons!  Right now I’m happy right where I am :)  And when I went down to the race alone this morning, I thought hopefully that for the rest of the Philly races, my sister will be joining me starting next year as she plans to move back in 2015. Yay!!

Have you ever started a race planning not to do the whole thing? How did you feel? This is the second time I have deliberately DNF’ed.

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This is Laurel – I used to read her blog when she lived in Florida and then she moved to Philadelphia!  She is also a photographer and took our family photos in 2011! She ended up moving onto the same street as my friend Abby who was my running partner at the time (maybe around 2008?).   I happen to run into her at every race, despite the 20,000 other people that are there! She had a great PR today under 1:45!! LOVE IT!

Philly this morning:

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Last week’s meals were a fail. The kids didn’t like most of them and I became frustrated with the non vegetarian/vegetarian set up in our house.  I was trying to go dairy-free but found it really hard for the kids.  We are at least trying to cut back on the dairy (because of its inflammation qualities) – I have another post reserved for that topic.

This week’s meal planning:

Sunday – roasted garlic soup with the hub’s special homemade bread yum!
Favorite cooler weather recipe with added in greens this fall/winter.

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Monday – sesame chicken and rice
go to recipe and one of Bill’s favorites – the kids are iffy on this one.

Tuesday - BBQ chick pea burgers
I Iove these – the kids might eat them if I stick them in a bun with cheese.

Wednesday –  Polenta with mushrooms and use the leftovers for my thanksgiving dinner??
Yum! Photo credit: Dana Gallagher – Food and Wine Magazine
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A favorite thanksgiving recipe ~

photo credit: Oh She Glows
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Friday – leftovers!

Saturday – veggie sandwiches or take out!

Two desserts I want to try for thanksgiving!

Pecan Pie Tarts – um yum!!?? Photo credit: Lexi’s Clean Kitchen

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Peanut Butter Pie
photo credit: Detoxinista

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What are you making for Thanksgiving! Not this vegetarian’s favorite holiday – I can’t wait for the next one!

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Workouts & Meal Planning week 11/16

Following Laura’s lead, here are my workouts from the past week to inspire some variety & meal planning for the upcoming week.
I have been doing the Smith Press machine and barbells more often inspired by Blonde Ponytail. She posts many of her workouts on instagram, I screenshot them on my phone and bring them to the gym with me.   I made a 4-miler outside this week, improvement! It is definitely getting colder here and my running tights are getting ready for use, sadly.

Monday -
Walking on the treadmill then Blonde Ponytail workout:

5 rounds~
3 minute AMRAP:
3 power cleans 90#

6 push-ups
9 squats

1 minute rest

Tuesday – this workout from Unite Fitness


  • Warmup at a moderate pace for 4 minutes.
  • 80% Fast Pace @ Flat 3 min, rest to recovery.
  • 80% Fast Pace @ Low Hill 3 min, rest to recovery.
  • 80% Fast Pace @ Med Hill 3 min, rest to recovery.
  • 90% Sprint @ Med Hill 1 min, rest 30 sec, 100% All Out @ Med Hill 30 sec, rest to recovery.
  • 90% Sprint @ Low Hill 1 min, rest 30 sec, 100% All Out @ Low Hill 30 sec, rest to recovery
  • 90% Sprint @ Flat 1 min, rest 30 sec, 100% All Out @ Flat 30 sec.


  1. Using Heavy Weights, Squat x 10 then Lunge x 10 steps. Repeat x 5 Sets. Ladder Down the Lunges in each set: 10 reps in the 1st set, then 8 reps, 6 reps, 4 reps and then 2 reps in the last set.
  2. Deadlift x 5 Heavy, Bent Over Row x 10 Moderate-Heavy, Back Fly x 20 Medium Weight. Repeat x 4 sets.
  3. Shoulder Press x 5, Bench Press x 10, Repeat x 3 sets
  4. EMOM 5 minues Weighted Situp x 10, then Plank Hold for the rest of each minute.

Wednesday -run 2.5 miles – treadmill

Thursday -
run outside 4 miles!
5 rounds:
5 power cleans 50#
10 front squats 70#
5 push press 50#

Friday -
had a good workout on Friday but I don’t remember what I did :)

Saturday – easy walk 20 minutes

Sunday – run

Meal planning week of 11/16

A few things I’ve made this week:

pumpkin biscuits

pumpkin cookies (skipped the filling)

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Sunday ~out to dinner

Monday ~ Zucchini Pesto Pasta with Caramelized Sweet Potatoes  (Thanks Mommy Run Fast for posting that recipe!

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Tuesday ~ turkey tacos and rice
Check out the recipe for the tortillas at the above link. Delicious! Tried them this week with an egg roll up, yum!
I wanted to try the short rib but we have ground turkey in the freezer and the kids actually like it!

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Wednesday ~ Vegetarian rice bowls

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Thursday ~ “Cheesy Pasta”  and Masala Burgers – my family doesn’t really like quinoa so we are going to sub in some brown rice noodles which everyone likes!

Picture credit: PopSugar

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Friday ~ wing it

Saturday ~ Jambalaya with cornbread.
Photo credit Pop Sugar

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What are you making this week?

If you meal planning, how often to you change your plan? Last week we made a few changes~  the nachos were fun though!


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Gifts for fit moms

The holiday season is around the corner and all of the gift buying that goes along with it! I love the holidays, especially picking out gifts for everyone! I compiled this list for busy fit moms – let me know what you would add or what you would want from this list?

Camelbak Forge for the mom on the go
Camelbak’s first travel mug and first travel mug with a self-sealing lid and lock-open button combination. Leak-proof, convenient and colorful, this mug comes in 12 or 16 oz sizes and will keep your drink hot for 4+ hours.  For the mom on the go, it is a one-handed experience!

These mugs are also spectacular for smoothies! I don’t know about you but I like my smoothie cold and icy! These do a great job keeping them cold. I also love that they are stainless steel – using travel mugs with a plastic inside never sits well with me. I like the move away from plastic and this is the first in its category. Love this mug all around! Customize with your favorite color for the gift recipient. Great gift!

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I have had the Aria for 2 years. I love it! Check out my review here.
You can get the Fitbit One or Fitbit wristband which is the newer model!

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Stitch fix gift card
Personalized stylist and clothes delivered to your home. For busy moms who want to get an idea of what kind of style to wear.
Check out my last fix.

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Etsy gift card

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Athleta gift card 
My favorite place to get clothes – both workout and everyday! Love their free shipping over $50 and free returns policy. Great customer service. You can use these gift cards at any of these 5 stores ~ if you’re the recipient, hold out for sales!

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One of my favorite jackets/hoodies

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Camelbak Eddy -
Love these bottles! I have 3 of them. Each morning I fill up each one and bring them with me to get my water intake for the day!

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Workout Gear!

I really want these Reebok crossfit tights, love the pattern!

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Speedsetter Tank
Love this tank – they only have larger sizes right now but it’s great!

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Restaurant giftcards for Farm Fresh Food! 
Many farm fresh type restaurants are opening up and this would be a great gift for a mom for date night!

What did I miss?

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Meal planning November 9!

I’ve been able to run a few miles a couple days a week since injuring my foot – hopefully I’m on the road to recovery! The Philly Half in 2 weeks is not looking do-able unfortunately! My mileage just is not up there for it. We will see.

Here is my meal planning for this week!

Sunday – spaghetti and turkey pesto meatballs (photo credit Weelicious)

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Monday – One Pot Chicken Quinoa Wonder (photo credit Sisters to Sons)

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Tuesday – Black bean and Sweet potato chili (leftover from last week – freezer) and quesadillas

Wednesday – Eggs/Breakfast for Dinner

Thursday –  Loaded nachos and rice and beans (photo credit Pioneer Woman Cooks)

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Friday – Homemade Pizza (Bill’s specialty)

Saturday – big pot of garlic soup and homemade Pagnotta bread!  (photo credit Food Network)

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What’s on your menu this week?



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Stitch Fix #2


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On Friday I received my second “FIX” in the mail.  If you are unfamiliar with Stitch Fix, you pay $20 and a personal stylist sends you 5 items after filling out a detailed survey on your styles and about your tastes.  You have 3 days to either keep or send back the items in a postage paid envelope.  This fix was much better than my first one.   I was more specific to what I was looking for in my note to the stylist – I asked for sweater dresses and tops only, and something sweet to wear for family photos – I like sweet/romantic style.  I liked 4/5 things in my box! My stylist said they didn’t have any sweater dresses in my size but here is what was in my box:

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1) Moises Colorblock Sleeveless Dress
As soon as I saw this one, I thought it would be adorable for Christmas and the holidays!
I liked the homemade look and style. The top was soft and stretchy and the bottom was a different fabric – more rough.  When I tried it on, I didn’t like the style of the top – I felt like wonder woman with the thick straps. I also couldn’t figure out what to wear underneath it that looked right.  I wanted to like it!
But I ended up sending this one back :(  $48

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2 – Arian Ruffle Elastic Waist Dress – navy blue

This was really cute! Loved the ruffle, I love navy blue too! I just purchased a dress that is similar in a different color for my sister’s rehearsal dinner so I sent this one back.  It was the most expensive item in the box, $68.

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3 – Nadir Chiffon Trim Knit Top
The color was really cute and my favorite thing was the length of this one – I can wear leggings over it – always looking for longer length tops. This was a keeper.  $48

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4 – Jerrard Heathered Open Front Cardigan

Didn’t think I would like the open front, as I like buttons but I did love this sweater – and it had pockets!  At $54, I felt like I could find this for cheaper at Target or TJ Maxx, so even though I really liked it, I sent it back.

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5 – Amadi Scallop Hem Blouse
This one didn’t stand a chance. The color was not for me from the time I saw it. It was a scallop waist which was different and the wrists were elastic at the end.  The back was the style of an open sweater that sits on top of each side which I didn’t like either.  Besides the style in the front, I didn’t like anything about this shirt.  $48

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I thought they did a great job with my style on this one! I also found everything to be reasonable. The $20 styling fee goes towards your purchase so in the end I spent $48 on one shirt. If you purchase all of the items, you receive 20% off.  If I had liked that olive shirt, I might have considered.  I like that you only lose $20 if you don’t want to keep anything, but I usually don’t want to lose $20 so I pick one item to keep. For the rest of the items I like, it gives me an idea of what style might look good on me, and I can look elsewhere to find the items for less.  It’s always exciting when the box arrives! And they do a great job with the presentation – the box is labeled and patterns adorn the inside of the box. You get a note from your stylist and a page of how to wear the clothes that were sent.  All of the clothes are wrapped in tissue which is held together with a sticker.

Want to try it out? For every friend I refer, I get a $25 credit towards my next fix.
Get yours now! They also have holiday gift cards which is a fun idea!!






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Halloween & candy!

Happy Halloween! We had a great one this year with your typical Anna and Elsa and a superhero (Hulk). The kids had fun! This year I handed out pretzels. I’m happy we did pretzels because we had about 5 kids and I can use them for the kids lunches instead of having candy around.

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Taking a look at the packaging on most candy that is handed out for Halloween, and even M&M’s which are so common among children, you’ll notice some of the ingredients to be dyes, such as RED 5. YELLOW 5.  Eeek.

A few of my favorites growing up:

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photo source: Wikipedia


M&M ingredients:


Butterfinger ingredients:


Milky Way is looking food-dye free!

MILKY WAY® Chocolate Whip contains Milk Chocolate 37% and Nougat 63%. Ingredients: Sugar, Glucose Syrup (Sources include Wheat), Milk Solids, Vegetable Fat, Cocoa Butter, Cocoa Mass,Barley Malt Extract, Cocoa Powder, Egg White, Emulsifier (Soy Lecithin), Salt , Natural Flavour (Vanilla Extract).

The food dyes are everywhere for our kids with the biggest offenders birthday parties and baked goods directed towards children at the grocery store with the bright pretty colors.

Food dyes have not only been shown to cause an increase in poor behavior among children with ADHD, but to cause cancer! They are derived from chemicals.

Aren’t they pretty?


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Source: Curbestbites.com

From CSPI.com via 100 days of real food:

The three most widely used dyes, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6, are contaminated with known carcinogens,  says CSPI. Another dye, Red 3, has been acknowledged for years by the Food and Drug Administration to be a carcinogen, yet is still in the food supply.” FYI – According to Wikipedia, “A carcinogen is any substance … that is an agent directly involved in causing cancer.” 


I definitely go to the extreme rather than happy medium when I find out about things that are potentially harmful.  I can’t stop my kids from eating food dyes in thing provided to them at school or a party, but I like to spread the word about the harmful effects.  I have been more label conscious since having kids and avoid food dyes when I bake. I have always had m & m’s for potty training or treats but I’m switching that trend!

To dye icing, I have used beets, spinach, strawberries…. it does require more work but it’s worth it for me.  I did find natural food coloring at Whole Foods this year.  Woo!  Here is a great site of what foods to use to make which colors!

Do you keep the Halloween candy that your kids brought home in the house?  Last year I found that it can be donated to the troops or other institutions and we’ll be donating to the troops again this year.  A local elementary school collects it and mails overseas, which is so nice!

In the spirit, I made some homemade non-chemical candy from Detoxinista, which was truly delicious!

HOMEMADE BUTTERFINGERS – ha – they look a mess but they are amazing!!

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Additionally I have been meaning to make KIND bars myself instead of spending the money on them. They turned out pretty well, but I think I heated the sweeteners too high which make the bars really hard.


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Meal planning this week! 

Monday – Sweet potato and black bean chili with quesadillas
Tuesday –  Black bean burgers with rice and sweet potatoes
Wednesday – Quiche from the farmer’s market, my daughter’s favorite!!
Thursday – look up a recipe with smoked tofu or/and chicken recipe
Friday – pizza or something easy
Saturday – wing it ~ take out, etc
Sunday – rigatoni with turkey meatballs

Recipes to share:
I really wanted soup when we returned from a chilly weekend in DC on Sunday, and made this:


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Pronating to injury and Dinner menu!

I’ve had a nagging foot injury that I thought was achilles tendonitis for a few months. It wasn’t holding me back from running so I kept doing it and icing it afterwards. In the last week though, I started having trouble putting weight on it!  I thought maybe it was a stress fracture, since treating for achilles tendonitis wasn’t successful, and ended up going to the doctor since it hurt to walk on it! It turns out I’m over-pronating so severely with a flat foot that it is pulling and injuring a tendon in my foot. No running until this improves which is brutal in this awesome fall weather!  Here’s a picture of where it’s being pulled and how my foot is landing:

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Yikes! Right after the doctor I went right to get new shoes with arch support for the flat foot.  I was running in the wrong shoes for a while :( Even swimming (the kick) hurts, so I can only pull. Instead I’ve been lifting heavy weights and doing the elliptical machine. Have you had an injury? Have you done any pool running? What have been your alternate exercises?  Thanks to Blonde Ponytail for posting these great workouts to change it up! I had to sub in for the running, but these are great for runners! Check out more here.

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Meal Planning this week ~ 

Sunday – meatless & meatballs with pasta
Monday – Husband prepared pulled pork in the crockpot
Tuesday – Zucchini Spiralized with Kale Pesto (just found this site from Laura at Mommy Run Fast!)
Wednesday –   Quiche or egg frittata
Thursday – something like this butternut squash casserole looks good, but still looking for butternut squash recommendations
Friday  – pita pizza!
Saturday – out

What are you cooking?

Some TBT pictures from fall

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and one of the professional pics from my sister’s wedding. Love the colors!Screenshot 2014-10-26 12.59.16

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