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trust thyself + chia seed giveaway winner

Today my post “What Healthy Means to Me” is up on Healthy Living Blogs.  Stop by and check it out if you get the chance!

warning: the following is a bit emotional and maybe even a little self indulgent.  Feel free to bypass my emotional ramblings and get straight to the giveaway winner:)


It has been a crazy past couple of days here at our house.  I was up the husband’s office with him until late last night and then it was back up and at ‘em early this morning.  He is currently planning a huge work event that all comes to a head tonight and tomorrow afternoon, and I’m playing the role of doting and supportive wife.  When he’s crazy, it means I’m crazy too:)

However, it seems that time has come to a screeching halt today and tomorrow as I’ll be holding down the fort here at home, while he’s working.  I have to admit, it’s getting a little lonely this afternoon.  He’ll be gone until late tonight and then again all day long tomorrow.  Insert sad face.

But the good news is that it’s Labor Day weekend!  So we’ll get an extra day to make up for it.

This morning we unfortunately didn’t manage to pull ourselves out of bed in time for a workout, but it was week number three for my PiYo class!  I felt like class went more smoothly today than ever, which made me a happy girl.  It was somewhere around halfway through class when the thought suddenly jumped into my head that I’m doing (one element of) exactly what I want to do.  Since I left my job in June, each week has been kind of a rollercoaster of emotions.  I’ve given myself the freedom to pursue exactly what I want to do…but I never realized that could be so difficult.  It’s difficult to keep pushing forward when there’s no promise that anything will work out.  But I know that if I don’t keep moving toward my goals, I’ll never get there…and it would be a tragedy to not give it everything I have.

Today, as every Friday, I received Kris Carr’s newsletter in my inbox.  Always a highlight of my Friday.  She does a weekly vlog and today one thing she talked about was trusting yourself.  It made me think back to June, when I was battling doubt and doubt’s evil twin, fear.  Doubt and fear followed me everywhere I went and wormed their way into the depths of my mind.  They nagged at me constantly, creating scenarios of what would happen if I didn’t give into them.  But I didn’t give in.  Somehow despite all the insecurity and reliance on everyone but myself, I did go with my gut.  I made the best decision I could have made.  I haven’t really seen the full fruit of that decision yet…but I have hope that someday soon I will.

I’m just remembering today how truly important it is to block out all the noise of my life and truly listen to the Lord and to myself.  I often get so caught up in relying on other people (and even society) to steer me in the right direction, forgetting to trust my instinct and not second guess myself.

Contemplating all this is leaving me feeling emotional…and nostalgic for the past in a way.  Many times when I think about the past or see pictures of myself in the past, it reminds me of all the things I’ve been through and tough decisions I’ve made, and I realize how strong I really am.

graduated college

moved to Thailand

lived here for a week

lived through a week of tsunami relief work (major milestone during our year in Thailand)


learned to step out of my comfort zone (and that I love mountain biking)

performed a tradition Thai dance and made a Thai best friend

became a high school English teacher (pic taken right before school started)

ran a half marathon

ran a full marathon

And now I’ve left my job and am pursuing an entirely new direction.  I know that in a matter of months I will look back on pictures of today and be nostalgic for this time in my life.  Isn’t that always the way it works?  We want things to move ahead…we want to get to the next point in life, and then when we arrive there, we suddenly realize just how sweet the past really was.

I’m working on living more in the moment and loving each day for exactly what it is.  For exactly what I’m doing now.  I’ve never been too good at it.  But I’m getting better.

How well do you feel like you trust yourself?  Do you usually feel comfortable going with your gut feeling or do you tend to second guess yourself?

Apologies if this post is a little self indulgent, but these are just some things I’m processing through.  I love blogging for that very reason.  It gives me a free outlet to explore my thoughts through writing…and even get feedback and support from amazing people.  Where else can you get that?!

Let’s not make this all about me though.  It’s time to announce the winner of the chia seed giveaway!  First I have to say thanks so much to everyone who entered!  I loved getting to “see” some new faces – and  I absolutely loved hearing your adventure stories.  So fun to learn more about you guys!

The winner of the two pound bag of chia seeds, so graciously donated by Chia Seeds Direct is….

Dorry @ Living with Healthy Hunger

Congrats Dorry!  I hope you enjoy your chia seeds!  Email me with your info and your chia seeds will be on their way:)

Don’t forget to click on over to Chia Seeds Direct.  They have great prices and free shipping on my favorite little seed of all time:)

Hope you guys have a relaxing Friday evening!  What kind of plans do you have for Labor Day weekend? Jon and I will be staying at home to recuperate from the crazy work week:)

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perfect pepper puzzle

This morning Jon and I rolled out of bed just in time to head out for a run.  I was absolutely determined to have a good run…which can actually be quite dangerous:)

The weather was decent this morning – in the high seventies with a very light breeze – so off we went.  And praise the Lord – it went well!  I have been feeling so discouraged about our training, even to the point of thinking to myself “why the heck are we doing this?”  Have you ever been there?  Thankfully this morning restored my faith in believing that I really can train for and run a half marathon.

Before we headed out I honestly didn’t have a clue what I was going to do to help matters, but throughout the course of our run I tried several different tactics.

What worked:

Paying extra attention to my form.  Sometimes when I’m running, I find that I sort of hunch over and stoop my shoulders and back.  Today I kept checking in to make certain that my back was straight and my shoulders were down away from my ears.  I used a move that I do in my PiYo classes often: scrunch your shoulders up toward your ears as high as you can, and then release them down and back towards the floor, elongating the neck.  This helped tremendously today!

Break up the run into smaller segments. Not rocket science right?  The thing is that I usually do this with longer runs, but never with shorter runs.  I go into shorter runs thinking “well, it’s short already!”  But I have to say – in certain conditions, three miles can almost feel like a long run.  In fact, I’d rather do a long run over a short run anyday.  That’s anyday…not everyday, mind you. ha!  This morning, however, I kept telling myself things like “only .4 more miles until one mile is left.  You can run one mile easy!”  Sounds kind of silly, but it totally helped my mindset.  And Jon’s.

Frequent updates on mileage.  Sometimes I try to just zone out during a run and not think about the time.  Today, however, Jon and were both starting to struggle, so I was giving updates every half mile, and then every .2 miles towards the end.  I was somewhat doing this for Jon, since he wasn’t wearing the Garmin, but it totally helped keep my motivation and energy up as well.

Breathe.  Again, rocket science I know.  But sometimes I really truly forget to breathe.  I’ll realize that I’m either holding my breath or breathing very short and shallow breaths.  Today I focused on getting frequent deep breaths in, and I didn’t get near as winded throughout the entire run…even at the end.

Stretch.  We all know it’s important to stretch after a run, but what about during?  At about the halfway point, we both agreed that our legs felt pretty much like lead.  So, we stopped and stretched it out for about 30 seconds.  When we took off again, I felt much lighter and faster.

I’m not saying these tactics would work for everyone, but they definitely helped change my game this morning.  We finished in under 30 minutes including a short walk/stretch break.  For us, this was a great improvement!

After our run, I waited awhile for breakfast because I just wasn’t that hungry for some reason.  Very uncharacteristic of me.  When I finally got hungry awhile later, all that sounded good was a bowl of cereal.  I usually shy away from cereal for breakfast because it seems to go right through me, leaving me hungry soon after.  But I decided to go for it anyway.

Kashi Heart to Heart, Peanut Butter Puffins, sliced banana and soy milk

I love cereal so much…I wish it just was a little bit more filling.  A couple hours later I was already ready for lunch.  Jon had to work through lunch today, so I was flying solo.

I decided to throw together a quick concoction – and stuff it in a big bell pepper!

Bell pepper first.  I cut the top off, cleaned out the insides and set it on a cookie sheet in the oven at 400 degrees.

For the stuffing, I decided to start with a grain as a base, and after some inspection of the cabinets decided on bulgur.  Bulgur is one of my favorite grains because it’s easy to cook and so nutty!  Plus, 1/2 cup has only 75 calories but boasts 3 grams of protein and 8 grams of fiber.  Into the boiling water it went.

After studying the fridge for a moment, I pulled out some leftover canned corn and leftover chickpeas and dumped them in the skillet.

Protein…check!

Hmmm….I still need some greens.  That’s an easy one.

Oops!  Leaf overboard!

Lastly, I added 2 tbsp of homemade hummus for creaminess and flavor + 1 tsp oregano and a sprinkle of salt and ground red pepper for a little kick!

By the time this mixture was cooked through, my bell pepper was nicely browned and wrinkled.  I carefully (it’s hot!) filled the pepper with the creamy bulgur mixture, stuffing it in deep to make it all fit.  Then I stuck it back in the oven for another 15 minutes or so, turning on the broiler for the last couple.  I just love the broiler.  It soothes my impatient soul.

While I waited, I cleaned up the skillet and cutting board and said hello to this little visitor:)  She’s not dead, I promise.

When the pepper appeared super brown and wrinkled, it was ready to go!

Perfect.

With a sweet and juicy peach on the side.

So, so good.  Sorry dear…you totally missed out on this one;)  The pepper was perfectly soft and somehow the random flavors I threw together fit like a perfect little puzzle.  And I love the way the boiler makes the exposed part of the stuffing a little crispy!

After lunch I decided to book it to the coffee shop.  Without some lunch company, the house gets a little too quiet.  I’ve gotta get some work done and prepare for a call with an Outbox client this evening.

Hope you’re all having a great end to your week – let’s finish strong!

Random Question – what are you most looking forward to about fall?

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work it. own it.

Wow.

That’s all I have to say about this evening.  I have spent so much time attempting to get my computer/photo problem under control, and tonight was no different.  I’ve definitely made a lot of progress at getting my photos transferred from iPhoto to Flickr, but I still have a long way to go!  Come on little Macbook – you can do it!

As predicted, Jon and I headed to the gym this morning for our 3 mile run, and it was the best run I’ve had in awhile.  To be perfectly honest, it was the first run in awhile during which I didn’t walk.  Even though I’m a big proponent of walk breaks, I have to say it felt fabulous to kick it into gear this morning!  I owned that run:)

In fact, I feel so good today that I think I’ve gained a renewed motivation to kick butt on my runs from now on…even when they get really uncomfortable…and even outside.  Once you taste the feeling of success, you don’t want to let it slip away!

Anyway, once I got home and showered I was having a serious craving for some greek yogurt.  I have no idea where it came from, but it came upon me suddenly and with such force that I actually drove all the way to Walmart and bought some just for breakfast.  Absolutely nothing else would do.  I also decided that I couldn’t live without these beautiful raspberries while I was there, so I brought them home with me too.

greek yogurt over a toasted Van’s flax waffle with raspberries and sprinkle of chia seeds

This meal was so pretty and fun that I had to break out our nice flatware.  It actually might be only the second time I’ve ever used this flatware.  whoa.

Lunch and dinner were easy – Pita Pit and leftovers.  That’s the way it’s gotta be sometimes, ya know?

Tonight was the last yoga class I’ll go to and not be the instructor!  Kind of a crazy feeling.  I am loving teaching PiYo so far, and I’m super stoked to start yoga as well.  It’s such a fun challenge to come up with new classes each week, and I am so excited to build on each one and see everyone improve throughout the rest of the year.

Yoga is just cool that way:)

Well, guys, I gotta cut this short and get to bed.  Dealing with technology all day has completely zapped me of all energy.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a less frustrating day as far as that goes!

Yay for Thursday!

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