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what’s in a name?

Hi!

Thanks for the support and encouraging comments on yesterday’s post.  Honestly, after I hit publish last night I laid awake in bed for awhile feeling very unsure about my post.  I really do try to always keep it real here, but being open is sometimes freaking hard!

I just don’t want to seem like a complainer, but guys…sometimes life is hard.  On those days it’s kind of a challenge to find a balance between staying positive and uplifting while still being real.

And to be perfectly honest, there is nothing that drives me more crazy here in blogland than when people come across as perfect on their blogs.  While I didn’t actually address this issue yesterday, it did come up in the comments.  It seems that most of you feel the same way.  Let’s just lay it all out there – there have been times when I’ve considered no longer reading some blogs because they just seem too perfect.  And whether they are perfect or whether they’re not – it really doesn’t matter – it is a negative force in my life to read about it everyday.  It’s extremely difficult to avoid the comparison trap when all you read each day is the perfection in people’s lives.  I have to constantly keep myself in check with this issue – finding myself trying to measure up to someone else’s style, recipes, photos or exercise routine.

And speaking of exercise routines, this would probably be an excellent time to make known that the husband and I will no longer be running our November half marathon. You know, the one that was originally supposed to be a full marathon?  After a lot of contemplating and discussion, we’ve decided to step back from racing for now.

With trying to get our own business off the ground + Jon working full-time and me almost full-time, there really isn’t enough time for training.  We tried to make it work, but sleep was the main thing being sacrificed.  We try every night to get in bed before 11pm, but when there are deadlines to meet sometimes it’s just not an option.  And seeing as how getting adequate sleep is one of the most important parts of long distance running, it isn’t healthy or smart for us to keep pushing it.

Being the perfectionist that I am, this decision was really difficult for me at first.  And to bring this full-circle, I realized that a lot of it was due to comparing myself to other bloggers. When you see countless bloggers running so many miles a week, it can make you feel like a failure if you’re not doing it too.  In my quest to defeat perfectionism though, I was able to step back and realize that my life is not the same as anybody else’s…and therefore I have to make the best decision for my body and for Jon.

Besides, I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned this, but the husband designed the branding for the entire race – from the participant’s guide down to the finish banner.  So, we’ll be running all over the place on race day, getting photos for our website (and cheering on all the runners!). I’m super stoked about it – I love races! Although I know I’ll be wishing we were running, I’m glad we’ll be going to support everyone and our business!

So that’s that.

Now that we’re through all the heavy stuff – let’s move on to the food!

Breakfast this morning was a green monster, per the usual.  Oh, green monster, how did I ever live without you??

I spent the morning working on my yoga class for tonight and trying to get iPhoto and Flickr to be friends.  The story of my life.  They are currently on speaking terms, though we still have a loooong way to go.

About 10:30 I got so hungry, so I heated up one of my favorite whole wheat pitas and had a big blob of creamy hummus for dipping!

So, if you follow me on twitter, you may know that I had a major life experience this morning.

I lived through my first earthquake!

You have to understand, Oklahoma does not get earthquakes. Like, ever. I never would have dreamed that I’d ever feel one.

So, picture this.  I was sitting on my couch with Olive looking up idioms for tutoring students and dealing with flickr when all of a sudden I heard a sound like the entire house rattled.  I actually didn’t feel anything, but it was such a strange noise – I literally thought to myself “that sounded like how I’ve heard earthquakes described.”

I glanced at Olive to see if she heard it, and she was sitting up with her little ears perked looking around.  However, here is a prime example of a downside of working from home.  There are no other adults around to confirm that you’re not crazy when crazy stuff happens!

So what did I do?  The only logical thing – I went on about my business and forgot about it.

About 30 minutes later, I went to check my phone and realized I had about 5 missed calls and 2 texts from the husband, and a text from my mom, wondering if I’d felt the earthquake and making sure I was okay. ha!  I couldn’t believe it.

Anyway, apparently it was a 4.3 on the scale and was felt all the way from north Texas to Arkansas and everywhere in between.

With all that excitement I completely forgot about lunch, and suddenly I looked up and I had 15 minutes till I needed to leave for tutoring!  Considering everything I still needed to do before leaving, I knew a lunch on the go was in order!  So, I whipped up a brown rice cake sandwich with natural peanut butter and half a banana.  It was delish.  But somewhat messy.  Have you ever tried to bite into a rice cake sandwich? Unfortunately I failed at getting a picture in all the madness.  I lived through an earthquake – can you blame me?!?

By the time I got though with all my tutoring appointments and taught my yoga class I was starving for dinner.  Enter leftovers of my favorite meal.

cooked spinach, vegetarian refried beans, rotel tomatoes and vegan (Daiya) cheese wrapped in a whole wheat tortilla a doused in spicy enchilada sauce.  With a side of baked corn chips (corn tortillas) and homemade guacamole.

Dessert was simple.

two little oranges (only a portion is in the picture)

All in all I’d say it was a banner day – a nice way to balance out yesterday methinks:)

Oh, one last side note.  I’ve told you guys how much I love meeting with international students, right?  Well, I love it more and more everyday.  Hanging out with them is so refreshing + I think I learn more than they do!  Awhile back I mentioned one of my students, Nada, who is super sweet but also beyond talkative and a bit high maintenance.  Well, she really threw me for a loop on Monday.  We were chatting along just like normal when all of a sudden she said “blah, blah, blah…when the little one comes.”

Say what?!

“Little one?” I asked.

“Oh, yeah…I’m expecting. Did I not tell you that?  I’m due in January.”

“Um negative on that.  I would remember if you had told me that.  I’ve been meeting with you for weeks – how can I not know you are pregnant?? So, is it a boy or a girl?” I asked.

“It’s a girl.”

“Aww, how sweet (beginning to get over my initial shock at this point). So what are ya going to name her?”

“Well, I have a couple of names in mind, but one I’m really leaning toward….Lupus.”

“Ahem. Excuse me?”

“Lupus.  That’s what I’m going to name her.”

So, I then had to gently explain to my sweet little Egyptian student that Lupus might not be the best choice.  I mean, sure it’s cute and all…but oh the pain it will cause for that poor child!

I felt bad to shoot her down, but I also felt it my duty to shelter the baby from a lifetime of humiliation.

Oh the joy of international students:) And I can say that because I was one.

Now that I’ve sufficiently talked your ears off!  I’ll be signing off.  I’ll see you all tomorrow!

G’night!

P.S. I can only imagine the google searches that will come forth due to this post!

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bring on the carbs

Happy 2nd day of fall! I can’t believe I forgot to tell everyone Happy 1st day of fall yesterday because I am so darn excited.  Last night I heard our weatherman say “a fall cool front will be moving in this week,” and I about jumped out of my skin.  It sounds like I’m being really dramatic, but I really am that excited.  I am in love with fall:)

Jon and I literally drug ourselves out of bed (it was one of those kind of mornings) and went for a four mile run this morning.  I was feeling really strong until we hit our first hill, and then everything went downhill fast, literally and figuratively.  I think I was dehydrated – it wasn’t even that hot out and there was a nice breeze, but my neck and face felt like they were on fire and my body felt like lead.  Very pleasant indeed.  We took a couple of short walk brakes and came in just under 42 minutes.  I was feelin’ pretty blah, but still so happy that we finished.  Our half marathon training is finally looking up a little bit at least, considering we’ve actually stayed committed to our training this week.

Today has been a very “work from home” kind of day, meaning I didn’t leave the house all morning.  When the husband called around 11 to say he had to work through lunch I knew I had to get out of the house.   Obviously I had no choice but to drive straight to the little bakery we ate at yesterday.

Instead of ordering the same sandwich, though, I just bought an entire loaf of that same bread, haha.  I wasn’t kidding when I said how good it was.  By the time I was driving across town to get it, I was already starving and developing a serious headache.  So, naturally as soon as I got back in the car, I inhaled two pieces.  It was so good.  Let me say that again – it was so good!!!

Then I came home and recreated that beautiful sandwich, just with different veggies and hummus instead of pesto.

arugula, sprouts, pickles, hummus

with a red pear on the side

I have been wanting to try arugula for months now, but I never can find it!  After I picked up my bread, I dropped by the grocery store to get some bananas and happened upon some organic arugula.  score!  Is it strange to be so excited over a leafy green?

Anyway, I’ve been so excited about my sandwich that I breezed right by breakfast.

I was out of spinach and bananas this mornings, so I had to fore-go my green monster.  I opted instead for shredded wheat n bran, a sprinkle of Kashi Go Lean Crunch, frozen blueberries and soy milk.  It was a nice change:)  I was actually craving cereal last night before I went to bed, so this really kind of hit the spot this morning.

Anyway, I must run.  I do just want to say a quick thank you to all my sweet readers for reading my blog- you all are one of the main reasons I keep writing everyday.

And that’s a wrap:)  I hope you all have a lovely day – enjoy the cooler weather if you’ve got it and enjoy the last days of summer if not!

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labor day love

There is nothing better than the feeling of accomplishment after finishing a long run.

Maybe I’m being a bit dramatic…but it really is one of the best feelings in the world.  We pushed hard this morning and finished six miles in just under an hour including walk breaks.

As I’ve mentioned before, running has become increasingly difficult for me lately, and I’m not totally sure why.  But it’s redeeming runs like today that keep me going and keep my love for running alive.  It was painful to keep a good pace…but I just kept telling myself to dig deep and show myself what I can do.  It felt so good to sprint to the finish.

We drove out the the lake path this morning, and I munched on half a banana on the way for a little bit of carby energy.

It’s kind of blurry because it was still kind of dark outside.  And I couldn’t hold still in the car.  The husband is a crazy driver.

When we got back I took a long, hot shower and then fixed up a protein filled breakfast.

I cooked one organic free range egg with one egg white in the microwave for 2 minutes.  With about 20 seconds left, I threw some spinach on top.  After the microwave stopped and toaster popped up, I sandwiched it between two Van’s Flax waffles, with a light spread of Spicy Garlic Hummus and a dash of salt and pepper.

I wasn’t sure about the addition of hummus…but I decided to go crazy and try it.  It rocked.  Bigtime.  The combination of flavors was just perfect!  Don’t you love it when that happens?  The only thing I forgot was the chia seeds.  Doh.

It is such a beautiful day outside – the husband and I are going to head out and see where the wind takes us.  No guesses where that might be, but I’ve got high hopes!

Enjoy your Labor Day!

Love and chias:) C

Who is your favorite artist that your listening to these days? The husband and I are really loving One Republic.  It’s a bit different than my usual Diane Birch and and Sara Bareilles…but has a really awesome vibe.

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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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