Monthly Archives: August 2014

Friday Link-up: Fall Preview

What a Friday it has been. I know I already posted 2 other times today, but I have one more post! Fridays have been busy on the blog lately, and I love it!
I am once again linking up for Five Things Friday with Courtney (Eat, Pray, Run DC), Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run for a Fall Preview of what is coming up this fall for Chocolate Runner Girl!
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1. I have been ‘training’ a friend to run her first 5k!  Going at it strong the past 2-3 weeks.  I think we have settled on the first week of October for her race!  So proud of her 🙂
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2. Ten for Texas- a local 10 mile race. I have another friend from church who signed up, and several members of my MRTT group who will be doing this as well. I don’t know why, but a 10 mile race has scared me more than doing a half marathon. I am capable of completing 10 miles since I have done several half marathons. I don’t know why it scares me. I was hoping I would race this fear this past spring when I made it into the Cherry Blossom race, but I ended up running just the 5k since my training was off and I would not have finished in time. This local race has a longer time limit so I think I will be ok 🙂

3. Duathlon – Since my almost disastrous duathlon last spring I have been toying with the idea of doing another one.  I really would like to do a tri, but feel like I need to get a few more solid duathlons under my belt first.   Mid-October will be duathlon time! It is also my first time participating in a certified USTA course.  I have been busting my butt on my bike and working on getting 3-4 solid rides in each week.  All is great except my poor tush is so sore!

4. Half marathon- I am aiming for at least one more half marathon this fall, but really hope I can get in 2!  And ideally, it would be close to my 10 mile run since that would be a great training run!  I am aiming for a half Oct 26th and again on Dec 21 with another 10 miler in early December!  Ekk 😉

5. Volunteer- I feel terrible, but I have never been a volunteer at a race before.  So this is my season.  I am going for it!!  I am aiming for a November race since my Sept and October weekends are already pretty booked!
What advice would you give to a first time volunteer??

Go check out some of the amazing things other bloggers are doing this fall!

Xo
Esther
– Chocolate Runner Girl-

Foodie Pen Pals August!

For the past 2ish years I have been participating in the Foodie Pen Pal program set up by Lindsay over at The Lean Green Bean!

This month I was matched up with the amazing Debbie from Accidentally Delish! It was great to be paired up with a fellow blogger.  As we emailed back and forth we found out we have some things in common, which is always a bonus!!
Debbie sent me a wonderful package and it came on my birthday which was another added bonus!
When I opened the box this is what I found!
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A lovely note and tissue paper in my favorite color! IMG_9538

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Ice tea mix which is PERFECT for these HOT summer days here in Houston!
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These toasted coconut chips were amazing!  I crushed some up and added them to my latest batch of energy balls, and they added amazing flavor and texture!  Will have to get more of these soon for sure 🙂
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You can never go wrong with Justin’s Almond butter in a package for me!  Love it!
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I mentioned that I want to do more Thai cooking, and Debbie sent me this amazing looking curry powder.  I can not wait to try it!
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I have never heard of moon cheese before.  I added it to a salad and it was like a yummy cheese crouton!
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Debbie was recently having a giveaway on her blog for some Energems.  She saw that I entered the contest and sent me some to sample!  Will be trying them out this weekend on one of my long bike rides!  Thank you Debbie!!
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And chocolate!  Having a blog with the word ‘chocolate’ in the title, I LOVE that I get all sorts of chocolate items to try!  This was super yummy and I love that it was organic too!

Thank you again Debbie for all the great treats!  (My hubby also says thanks!)

If you want to get involved with the Foodie Pen Pals here’s a detailed explanation of the program:

-On the 5th of the month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal!
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treatsThe spending limit is $15The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you can choose to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month.
– Foodie Penpals is open to US, Canadian residents & European residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We’ve determined things might get too slow and backed up if we’re trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I’m going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!

***If you’re in Europe, please contact Carol Anne from This Is Rock Salt at rocksalt@thisisrocksalt.com to get involved!

If you would like to be a part of this amazing program you can sign up HERE by Thursday, September 4th.

Have a healthy day!

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Foodie Friday: Turkey Chili with Cranberry Cornbread

Happy Friday y’all!
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It is another Foodie Friday and time to link up with my girls: Farrah from Fairyburger, Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and today we are adding Cassandra from Powered by BLING to the link up! Welcome Cassandra!!!  Today’s theme is the Football Foods!! If you want to see any of the last posts you can check them out here: chicken dinner, smoothies, perfect picnic & dessert heaven.

When I think about football, I think about fall.  Even though fall here in Texas is not like fall up north, I still like to pull out some warm foods that make my heart smile.  One of my favorites is Turkey Chili!

Ingredients
Chili
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 Tablespoon coconut oil
1 lb ground turkey
2 (16 oz) cans of kidney beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (16 oz) can of black beans (drained and rinsed)
1 (28 oz) can of petite diced tomatoes
2 cups of water
1/2 teaspoon of each spice: paprika, oregano, cayenne pepper, ground cumin, salt and black pepper.

Cornbread (I typically use this basic recipe from All Recipes, but I add my own twist)
1 cup gluten free flour
1 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup coconut sugar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup plain greek yogurt
2 eggs, beaten
1/2-1 cup dried cranberries

Directions
Chili
1. Place oil in a frying pan and add the minced garlic and the turkey.  Cook till the turkey is browned, breaking into small pieces as it cooks.
2. Place the cooked turkey along with the beans, tomatoes, water and all spices in a large crock pot.  Stir all the ingredients together.
3. Turn the crock pot on med heat for 6-8 hours.
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(Having some technical issues so this photo is not mine, Source)
Cornbread
About 1 hour before your meal prepare the cornbread
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
2. Grease and 8 x 8 pan.
3. Mix all the dry ingredients together in a large bowl.  Gently add in the yogurt and eggs.  When the batter still has some wet and dry ingredients to mix together, add in the cranberries.  Keep in mind the batter should still have some lumps and make sure you don’t over mix.
4. Pour the batter into the greased pan and bake for 20-25 min.
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Having some technical issues so this photo is not mine, Source)

Enjoy the sweet and tangy mixture of the chili and the cranberry cornbread!

I found this really awesome dessert that I want to try when we have a football party!  Thank you Pinterest!!
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The amazing recipe that I did NOT create can be found HERE!

 

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their wonderful football food for this long weekend! GO Vikings!!

What types of food do you enjoy eating?  And who is YOUR team?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

 

 

Foodie Friday: Dessert Heaven

Before I start I want to give a BIG happy birthday wish to miss Montana!!! She has been a rock star with all the Foodie Friday posts! Hope your day is great and filled with much love, laughter and yummy treats!

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HAPPY BIRTHDAY MONTANA!!!! (source)

It is another Foodie Friday and time to link up with my girls Farrah from Fairyburger, Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama!  Today’s theme is the Dessert Heaven!! If you want to see any of the last posts you can check them out here: chicken dinner, smoothies, & perfect picnic.
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My go to healthy desserts lately have been zucchini brownies and energy balls! They are more like little snacks, filled with nutrition!
Another recipe that I have been making this summer I feel has reached as close to perfection as it is going to get! It is scrumptious and it is healthy dessert.

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My summer recipe inspiration!

This recipe was adapted from a recipe I found a few years ago from Simply Recipes.
It is probably not typically a dessert type food, but with all the added sweetness from the blueberries, it does taste like a dessert! (Don’t get me wrong, I love my chocolate desserts, but I wanted to make something a little healthier this time around!)

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 very ripe bananas, peeled
  • 1/3 cup melted butter
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup coconut sugar (can use granulated also)
  • 1 egg
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cups of gluten free (or regular) all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed blueberries

Directions:

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F, and butter (or coconut oil) 2 muffin tins
2. In a mixing bowl, smash the ripe bananas with a fork until mostly smooth with a few small chunks.
3. Stir the butter into the bananas.
4. Stir in the sugar, egg, and vanilla extract.
5. Mix in the baking soda and 1tsp cinnamon.
6. Gently mix in the flour till batter still has a few chunks.
7. Gently fold the blueberries into the mix, make sure to not over mix.
8. Spoon the batter into your muffin tins, about 1/3 for each muffin. Sprinkle remaining cinnamon on top of each muffin.
9. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 min until a toothpick comes out clean.

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Delicious through and through 🙂

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Make sure you check out the other amazing recipes from my girls!

Farrah | blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin
Montana | blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin
Annmarie | blog | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin
Emily | blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

What dessert recipes do you enjoy?
Add them to our link up!!

Xo
Esther
Chocolate Runner Girl

Birthday thoughts…

Today I woke up with the gift of life.  The gift of another day and a chance to do what I am called to do.  I have not always enjoyed my birthdays.  Growing up they were not as big of a celebration, and there were times in my life when I did not celebrate life and I took it for granted.  This past spring and summer many people near and dear to me have passed on, and it just is such a reminder that life is precious and fragile and each day is truly a gift!
I know many people have written about how Robin Williams’ death affected them, and I have to say that today was the first day it really hit me.  As I was driving to work this morning I heard THIS song on my local radio station.  It is a song about being honest about what you might be dealing with instead of being afraid.  Someone has cleverly added some movie/interview quotes from Robin Williams.  And now to be honest, it made me cry!  It made me say a big thank you one more time to God for the gift of life he has given me and for keeping me here even in the times I did not want to live.
This afternoon I saw this on my TimeHop and it was so appropriate.

IMG_9513So instead of getting annoyed with myself for what I may or may not have accomplished in this past year, I am just going to continue to be grateful  Grateful for life, for my loving husband, my family, my supportive friends, my church, my job, my health, and the freedoms we have.  And for hope.  I am so thankful there is ALWAYS hope!

Thank you for sharing in this journey with me.

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(beautiful flowers from the hubs!)

xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

 

Melon Run Recap: Race #19 (and maybe a little TMI…)

If you follow me on Instagram, you might have seen a few pics I posted lately with race bibs.  I was looking at all the races I have done before 2014.  Since 2009 I have done a number of races and it ended up being 33 races!  I realized that in 2014 I will be doing 33 races!  It has been a little nutty, but a lot of fun too!  Each race this year holds an especially dear place in my heart because I know I am running more than I ever have! And I was inspired to do all these races this year by my amazing friend Lauren!! She ran 30 races last year for her 30th birthday and inspired me to run 33 races for my 33rd birthday!
Anyways, back to race bibs! So I have a wall in my office with my race bibs from all previous years, and I wanted to make a new wall for this year!  Sadly my office walls are pretty much all taken up with furniture, art or pictures.
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After putting off for the past few weeks I finally decided to place my bibs from 2014 above my closet.  So far I think they will all fit 🙂
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I am missing a few bibs from races that for some reason did not have a bib.  Not really sure why that happens sometimes…anyone want to fill me in?!?
Anyways, I am so thankful I figured out where to place these bibs…and that no one was injured in the process of hanging them!!

So I have another bib to add after running race #19 this past weekend!

I woke up Saturday morning and forgot where I was.  We have been house sitting in several different houses this summer so this keeps happening to me…waking up and strange times and freaking out a little cause I am not in my bed!
So back to Sat morning, I got up and ready for my race.  My tummy was not super happy with me so it made me a little nervous, but was hoping for the best.
I left where we were staying and headed to the race.  It was a small local race so I was not really sure what to expect.  I ended up missing my exit due to GPS not working right!  Boo.  It added about 10 min to my trip and I was going to be cutting it SO close to the close of packet pickup.  I arrived to the location with 3 min to spare and could not find a place to park.  Then had to walk more than a quarter of a mile to get my bib and shirt.  There were no signs anywhere, so I am glad there were some other people to follow as the race booth and start line where behind the building I had to park in front of.
As soon as I got my stuff I hustled back to my car to put away what I did not need, get my bib on, get my water, energybits (code: RUNCHOCOLATE for 25% off) and phone case.  As I started walking back to the start line I realized that if I did not go to the restroom right then, it would NOT be a pretty sight. But where were the bathrooms?!?  I asked around and found them in a field house near the race start.  The race was so small that they did not have timing chips, just a start gun and stop watch for timing.  I am not really sure where the start line actually was since I was in the bathroom when the gun went off!  OOPS!!
I hustled over to the trickle of walkers and hustled into the back of the running pack.  It was another HOT day here in Houston (shocker), but thankfully most of this course was in the shade, unlike last weeks race!
I did not even try a 4:1 interval like last weekend, but went back and forth between 2:1 and 3:1. with most of it being 2:1.  I really did not want to have any fainting issues like in previous races!

The first mile was alright.  I felt pretty good, and actually had a few faster running intervals.  It was nice to not have all the runners fly by be since I was at the end of the runners and ahead of the walkers.  I ended up going passing one lady who was doing intervals like me.  After we passed each other a few times we chatted and decided to finish together.  It was nice to have that bonus motivation as the last half mile was all in the sun!  And the last little part was on the high school track!  Brought back so many memories from 18 years ago!!

Besides the tummy issues at the beginning, a lack of signage and an unmanned water station, the race was alright.  So thankful to have another race in the books, and the yummy watermelon at the end of the race!

Did you race this weekend?
Ever been late to the start of a race?

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Foodie Friday Link-up! Winner, Winner, (Pad Thai) Chicken Dinner!

It is another Foodie Friday and time to link up with my girls Farrah from Fairyburger, Montana from Pretty Lil Mudder, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama!  Today’s theme is the Chicken Dinner!!

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I cook a lot of chicken in my house.  I have personally never been a huge fan of beef (actually made my FIRST ever beef stew this past week), and I am learning to love seafood.  So chicken (and turkey) has been my source of meat for many years!
I decided to try a new recipe for this week, and I have to say I was a little nervous about it!
I picked up a few new supplies at World Market and pulled a few other things I had in my fridge.
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Ingredients
4 TBS coconut oil
2 Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
1 package Pad Thai noodles
1 bottle Peanut/coconut sauce (You can also use plain pad Thai sauce)
1 Zucchini
Spiralizer

Directions
1. Boil water for Thai noodles.
2. Cut chicken into bite size chunks, place in a bowl and cover with 1/2 the coconut/peanut sauce.
Set aside.
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3. Spiralize the zucchini! (If you do not have a spiralizer, you can chop the zucchini or use any other vegetable.
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4. The water should be boiling at this time.  Place the noodles in the water and boil for 2 minutes!
Drain and set aside.
5. Heat 2 TBS of coconut oil in a frying pan.  Add the chicken/sauce mixture.  Let the chicken for 2-3 min then add the zucchini. Saute for 5-7 more min until
the chicken is cooked.
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6. Heat the remaining 2 TBS of coconut oil in a separate frying pan.  Add the drained noodles.  Saute and add the remaining peanut sauce or pad Thai sauce.
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7. Enjoy!
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Don’t forget to check out all the amazing chicken dinner recipes!!

Come follow these amazing ladies!
Farrah | blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin
Montana | blog | facebook | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin
Annmarie | blog | facebook | twitter | instagram | pinterest | bloglovin
Emily | blog | instagram | pinterest | twitter | bloglovin

Also, add in YOUR fav chicken dinner recipe to the link-up!

What is your favorite way to eat chicken?

Xo,
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-