Friday, January 29, 2010

The Last Supper

Ladies and Gentlemen, it is Detox time. You heard me right. This body is so full of toxins from the past couple of months it's not even funny. It's like the holiday season didn't stop on December 25th. From cookie binging to red wine/margarita/beer benders to late night snacking sprees. A little bout of the stomach flu cleaned me out temporarily, but I need to make some changes for the long haul.

Waiting to check out at Meijer this week, I perused the magazines with Jen Aniston, Octo Mom (seriously? she is nasty) and Tiger on the covers. A marketers dream, I saw a cover that caught my eye. A mag called "Whole Living: Body and Soul" (part of Martha Stewarts empire) screamed at me "JUMP-START YOUR BODY! Healthy Detox Recipes that cleanse and satisfy...your 28 day action plan!". I threw it on top of my bottle of Mark West and package of pink sprinkled frosted cookies, ready to be cleansed.

The article reads, "28 days to a healthier you-Get a jump on total mind and body wellness with our four week plan". I check my calendar; nothing going on in February. I can stand to detox and be well for the month.

The first week is about creating a clean slate. Clean. Cleanse. Bring it on! This program is 3 part: Nutrition, Exercise and Mind/Spirit. Well, I figure I have the exercise thing down, training for the 25K and I am not going to worry about that. But it looks like a great way to start to get into working out so if you are interested, check it out.

That leaves nutrition and mind. Days 1-3 are prepare to detox. Focus on whole grains, veggies, fruit, etc. Avoid sugar, dairy (i love cheese) and fried foods. Easy enough. Drink plenty of water (coffee and diet coke have water in them, right?). Then it says "for a full detox food list with items to include and exclude visit the website". UH-OH. Avoid: milk, cheese, peanut butter, alcohol, caffeinated beverages, soft drinks, chocolate, among others. CRAP!

The latter part of the week I get to actually detox for 4 days. YIPPEEE! That includes a smoothie or juice in the morning and evening and a solid meal for lunch. Snack on raw veggies or almonds. Green tea instead of coffee. Water with lemon instead of soda.

The smoothie/juice recipes on the website are a little scary to say the least. Think ingredients like kale, beets, watercress mixed together. Nasty. I found another site with "detox shakes" and "green smoothies" with combos that are still a bit frightening, but at least I know where to find the ingredients in Meijer.

The last thing I need to do next week is journal. Well, that's not a problem. I obviously enjoy hearing what I have to say. I won't bore this blog with the details...I'll just give you the highlights.

So I am embarking on this wellness journey starting Sunday. This gives me exactly 2 days to consume 20 cups of coffee, a case of Coke Zero, the entire package of pink sprinkled frosted cookies, that bottle of Mark West and anything else on the "foods to exclude" list that cross my path. Did I mention I also made a loaf of cheddar beer bread and a 9x13 of those magic layer bars (you know, those ones with the graham bottom, coconut, nuts, choc. chips, butterscotch chips...). Tonight I am making fettuccine alfredo-full fat. Detox begins on Wednesday and if my hands aren't shaking too much from lack of caffeine and alcohol in my system I'll be sure to post how my strawberry, banana, spinach smoothie tastes. mmmmm...can't wait (that is said thick with sarcasm). i may even try the romaine lettuce, celery, apple concoction for you too.

Honestly I am excited to try this out. I look forward to doing a total re-haul of my eating habits and incorporating them into my family's diet as well. Just do me a favor and please pray for my sanity and the safety of my husband and children over the next week.

PS. Anyone interested in joining me? I know, I make it sound so appealing here, but honestly I think it sounds like a safe and effective program for healthy living beyond the 28 day challenge. And the detox part is only 4 days!!

Here is a link to the site:

Here is a link to the other smoothie site I found:

Wednesday, January 27, 2010


I signed up to do the Fifth 3rd (or is it 5th third? or 5/3?) River Bank run in Grand Rapids. The race is on May 8th...a lifetime away. It is a 25K race...which i thought was 15 miles. Looking on the map of the route from the website, it is 15.64. Um...that is .64 more miles than I was planning. Deep breaths...

Apparently it is the largest (probably only!) 25K in the country. There are 18,000 participants (including 10K and 5K runners, and hand cyclists too). No pressure. I guess that is chump change in comparison to NY Marathon's 40,000 runners in the Fall. I figured it would be something to get me going in training for the marathon. If I can't do 15 (.64-hmph), there is no way in hell I can do 26. (.2 if we are getting technical, which most runners are).

I pulled out the DeWitt school calendar to count back the weeks until the race. I am planning on doing Hal Higdon's intermediate half marathon training guide ( ) which is a 12 week program to get you to 13 miles. So, I figured I'd add another 2 weeks to get my mileage up to where it needs to be. Plenty of time to train. May is SO far away, right? Week 1 of training landed me at the week of January 25th. When is that?? Um...isn't that this week? Seriously???

So after dropping Sam off at preschool, I hauled my ass over to the YMCA (i am telling you, it's my home away from home...). I followed Hal's words of wisdom and did a speed workout of 5x400 meters - which is after you warm up, running a fast pace for a "lap" around the treadmill track and then slow jog for half that distance. You do that 5 times and then cool down. Eventually Hal wants you to do this 10 times. I think Hal is on crack.

I won't go into details but it wasn't pretty. I know my face was splotchy and dripping in sweat. I was gasping for breath as I finished the last interval. A cute woman with Down's Syndrome was on the treadmill next to mine, sweating it out at her 1.5 setting, God love her. I noticed her watching me pant and heave. When I stopped she looked at me and shouted "YOU GO GIRL!!!!!" and held out her hand. I blurted back "No, you go girl!!!" and slapped her five.

I just wanted to give her a sweaty big hug b/c it made that workout totally worth it. I hope she's there when I do 10 x 400 meters!!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Just call me Betty C. today...

...although I am not baking chocolate cake or cookies like I really would like to.

While Sam entertains himself with little 1 inch Star Wars lego men (yes Diane, he is still playing with them!), I thought I'd try out a couple of recipes. This granola recipe is super yummy. I made it as is...just make sure you keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn.

Power Granola (from Cooking Light)
2 cups regular oats
1/3 cup ground flaxseed
1/4 cup chopped walnuts (pecans would be yummy too)
1/4 cup chopped slivered almonds
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/3 cup orange juice
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 teaspoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Cooking spray
1/3 cup dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 300°.
Combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl.
Combine orange juice, honey, and brown sugar in a small saucepan. Cook over medium heat just until sugar dissolves, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; stir in oil and vanilla.
Pour honey mixture over oat mixture, stirring to coat. Spread mixture in a thin layer onto a jelly-roll pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 300° for 10 minutes; stir well. Bake an additional 10 to 15 minutes or until golden brown. Spoon granola into a bowl; stir in dried cranberries. Cool completely.
Note: Store completely cooled granola in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

Nutritional Information
196 (31% from fat)
Fat: 6.8g (sat 0.7g,mono 2.2g,poly 3.3g)
Protein: 4.1g
Carbohydrate: 32.5g
Fiber: 3.6g
ps: i get some of the above ingredients at our local health food store in the bulk section. cheaper than buying from the grocery if you just want a small amount.

Kim's "No Bake Cookie" Protein Bars
In my quest to find a good protein bar not full of random ingredients that I can't pronounce, I came across this concoction. It is super yummy and tastes *almost* like those no-bake cookies that I love. So I guess I did get to make cookies today ;o)

(measurements are approximate)
1 cup natural peanut butter (i used trader joe's brand)
1/2 cup honey
2 scoops chocolate protein powder (i used Arbonne's protein shake powder)
1 1/4 cups rolled oats
1 tsp cinnamon

put PB and honey in bowl and microwave 60 seconds so you can stir together smooth. add protein powder, oats and cinnamon and combine. mixture will be thick. put mixture in an 8x8 pan and spread evenly. cover with wrap and refrigerate at least an hour. cut into bars. i cut mine into 12 bars.

here is approximate nutritional info:
serving size: 1 bar
199 calories
9 g fat (that's mostly good fat, people!)
22.5 g carb
7.42 g protein

Monday, January 25, 2010

i can't get off the toilet...

Why do i do this to myself? Monday is always a killer leg workout in Danielle's "Women on Weights" class. But apres a Saturday night of binge drinking (a 1 am trip through the Mcdonald's drive thru for fries should give you an indication of how i was feeling...) my first thought Sunday morning (as i choke down 3 advils) is to jump on the wagon and lay off the juice for a while. I just can't hang like i used to. My next thought (much later on that day) was that I needed to sweat out and detox...starting Monday.
So the torture begins Monday morning at 9 am at my home away from home: the YMCA. Danielle leads us through 60 minutes of lunges, squats, "mountain climbers" (WTF!!!), leg presses and more exercises to where you think you are doing something with your arms, but in fact you are doing more lunges, squats and leg stuff. I know I am not painting a pretty picture here, but if you live in DeWitt you should definitely consider taking a class with Danielle. She may be super cute (and 5 months preggers to boot) but she can whip you into shape! At any rate, I decide to continue the torture by hopping on the treadmill for a little "speed workout". 2 1/2 miles into it I look at the clock. Oh darn. I have to get off and get the kids out of tot watch. Rats. As I get off the treadmill, I notice that my legs feel a bit like the muscles have been replaced with jello. Think "Bob" from Monsters v. Aliens.
A few hours later, I find myself lacing up ice skates. Really??? I promised Tyler on his day off from school that I'd take him ice skating in the afternoon. So I thought my legs felt wobbly in my Saucany's??? Try shoving shaky feet and crampy calves into a boot with a blade on the bottom. And when is the last time I went ice skating? Probably in 1980 at Rockefeller Plaza when I told my grandfather "don't get my losed". It's not enough that I have to get myself out on the ice, and not totally bite it, but i have to try to help my 6 year old balance out there too. Seriously??? Despite it all, we had a great time (i didn't argue when after an hour Tyler wanted to go to lunch).
We celebrated our Ice Capades debut with a gourmet lunch at Subway (Eat Fresh! as Sam calls it). I thought I was feeling pretty good until I had to use the facilities (this could be TMI so feel free to stop reading). I dragged Tyler in with me and hovered over the toilet, avoiding any contact with the public germy toilet bowl seat. Well, hovering requires using leg muscles. Of which mine were made of mush. Immediately I collapse on top of the toilet bowl seat. Repulsed, I try to stand up. I can't. My ever-so-observant 6 year old asks, "Mom, did you just fall into the potty?" My reply, "Um, yeah buddy". Tyler comes a bit closer, "Mom, can you get back up?" My reply, "I don't think so buddy. Can you help Mommy get off the potty?"

Good times had by all ;o)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Chocolate PB Banana protein shake

Here's one of my favorite shakes to recover with after a long run or a hard workout. According to "Your muscles will gradually become sore after a workout if there is a lack of protein in your body . Eat protein within 30 minutes after you finish your workout. By making sure your muscles are properly replenished through protein, you will see better results through your workouts and be less sore." Another tidbit is protein in the form of food is more beneficial than just powders or supplements. That's why I like this shake I's got both supplement for protein power and protein from whole foods too!

8 oz skim milk

1 tablespoon peanut butter (i use Trader Joe's natural)

1 scoop chocolate protein powder (I use Arbonne's:

1 small frozen banana (tip! freeze bananas with skin on when they start to get brown and yicky. when you are ready to use, rinse frozen banana under warm water. peel should come off easily)

combine the above ingredients in a blender. Enjoy 20 grams protein from scoop of protein powder, 4 grams protein from PB, 8 grams protein from milk and 1 gram from banana (total of 33 grams!!!). Also lots of potassium and natural sugars.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Lisa is great! She gives me Chocolate Cake!

The Running Divas (l-r Kathy, Lisa, Abby, me, Peg and Sara. Missing Danielle!)

I run with this amazing group of ladies called the "Running Divas". Our group was first coined "Sara's Running Group" (so totally unoriginal) by me when we had to mark our cooler full of water at various spots around DeWitt. Thankfully Lisa renamed us the Running Divas...much more colorful! We started running this summer together, after completing our first triathlon. We made a common goal to run a half marathon together in September 2009 and decided to do all of our long runs together. Every Friday we will hole the kids up with a babysitter and trudge out in the early morning summer heat for 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13 miles. Those babysitters made out like bandits! $5 per kid and between us we had at least 7 kids there. We completed our 1/2 marathon in September and continued to do our winter training together...did I mention we are also YMCA junkies???

Post Race Divas (l-r: Sara, me, Lisa, Peg and a little friend underneath)

The Running Divas are still out there running...except this time we are bundled in our Smartwool and wind jackets (and Peg with her multiple pair of gloves on). Today 2 of the Divas and I went out for an 8 mile run. Mind you, I have not done that kind of distance since Xmas break and have not really run outside much since. And had a stomach flu last week. Excuses, excuses. But, since I bailed out on them last week (hey, i had a sick kid and i was mildly hungover) I reluctantly went out today, with all of their encouragement. The first 4 miles were rough...cold, wind in the face, panting. After a water break and some sport beans (gotta love that "bean high" as Abby calls it), I got my running legs back and pressed on for another 4.
Do you know what a group of women talks about for 1 hour and 16 minutes in the freezing ass cold? FOOD. Peg's cream puffs, some chocolate sauce, grilled salmon, little ceasar's breadsticks, Lisa's chocolate cake, etc. etc. We may bitch about our spouses (sorry babe), fret about our kids, go over our social calendars for the weekend...but it all comes back to food.

My question is...does running 8 miles today make up for the fact that following the run I scarfed down a Bigby Mocha Mocha (Skinny Skinny thank you), a large slice of Lisa's Chocolate Cake, Tacos, Tacos, Tacos, and picked at my husband's slice of Lisa's Chocolate Cake?

I think so :o)

It's a start...

Well, I've never blogged before...I've been more of a "blog snooper". But, I wanted to create a site where I could document my musings about training for my first marathon. Mind you, I will not cronicle every step I take, just the fun (and not so fun) side of it all. I figure if I don't do it this way, I may not remember! I also wanted a spot to share healthy recipes, training tips, and whatever else I pick up along the way. I've tried the handwritten journal thing, but I usually fall asleep in bed mid-sentance. I thought about posting my thoughts on Facebook, but I didn't want to be accused of monopolizing status space with my trials and tribulations about my running feats.

So which marathon am I running? I have my heart set on the ING NY Marathon. For a number of reasons...I am born and raised a New Yorker, now minus the hideous accent except when I say "DAWTER" (daugher) or "DAWG" (dog). And, the marathon just happens to fall on my 36th birthday this year- November 7th. My application is in the hands of the gods of the lottery system- only 30% will get in. So the back up plan is to run the Baltimore Marathon which is October 16th. My 2nd home and dearest friends are in it is a close 2nd to NYC. I roped my close friend and running buddy Sara into doing either with me.

So here goes...even if I am just writing to myself in won't be anything fancy...i'm just another running diva ;o)

My family-Sam (4), Tyler (6) and my husband Zach (age unknown). This shot is from Zach completing the Detroit 1/2 marathon. Yes, he too is a runner. Not a running diva, but a runner.