Monthly Archives: October 2014

Foodie Pen Pals, October

Well, it is that time of month again to reveal the Foodie Pen Pal package I received this past month.  Normally, I am super excited about posting…however, this package was very different from what I normally receive!!

Tea, baby food (??) and a handwritten recipe.
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Again, this is not typical of what I have received in the past.  I hate to be a Negative Nancy, but I was a little disappointed with this package.  Oh well, I guess I will be drinking a lot more tea over the next few weeks.

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 pen pal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your pen pal 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 Pen pals 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 pen pal 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 Pen pals 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 Tuesday, November 4th.

Have a healthy day!

Xo
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Foodie Friday: Healthy Halloween Treats!

Hello and happy happy Friday!!  I am linking up again 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 Cassandra from Powered by BLING!!  Today’s theme is Healthy Halloween Treats!!

Well, I am not really much of a Halloween person.  We never really participated growing up, and the one time I remember trick-or-treating, it was a let down at the end of the night.
Anyways, I DO love the fall, and this week I found some cute snacks to make with the twins that I thought were cute!

Ice Ring Pops!
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Ingredients:
1/3 cup apple juice
1 cup water
Ice cube tray
fake spiders or rings

Directions:
1. Mix apple juice and water
2. Pour into ice cube trays
3. Add fake spiders or rings
4. Freeze overnight

Candy Corn Treats
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Ingredients:
1 whole pineapple
2 peeled oranges
Whipped cream
Candy corn

Directions:
1. Cut pineapple and oranges into small peices
2. Place a layer of pineapple in the bottom of a clear cup, about 1/3 cup.
3. Place a layer of orange on top of the pineapple, about 1/3 cup.
4. squirt a small layer of whipped cream on top
5. Add a piece of candy corn on top
(If pre-making these, save the whipped cream and candy corn till it is time to eat them)

Monster Mouths
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Ingredients:
Apples
Almond butter (you can really use any type of nut butter, or sun butter)
Small Marshmallows

Directions:
1. Slice apples into 10-12 wedges
2. Cover the top of each apple with almond butter
3. Place 4-6 marshmallows on half of the apple wedges ( kids LOVE this part)
4. Add the other apple wedges on top of the marshmallows, almond butter side down
Munch, munch, munch

Spider Web Treats
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Ingredients:
Stick pretzels
Chocolate Chips
Candy eyes (optional)
Parchment paper
sandwich bag (or piping bag if you have one)

Directions:
1. Place a layer of parchment paper on a cookie sheet
2. Lay 8 pretzels in a star-burst shape on the parchment paper (8 for each web)
3. Heat about 1/2 chocolate chips in a microwave safe dish for 35-45 seconds till melted and smooth.
4. Clip a small corner of a sandwich bag and fill with the melted chocolate.
5. Drizzle the chocolate in a swirl starting from the center and working your way towards the outer edge of the pretzel circle. Place candy eyes in the middle if you desire.
6. Place pan in the fridge or freezer until eating time.

Take a look at all the amazing ladies sites and check out their recipes!

Have a safe and healthy night!
XO,
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Hemp Hearts Review!

Over the past few months I have heard on and off about hemp hearts!  I really had NO idea what they really were, and was a bit nervous to try them!  The only hemp item I own is a necklace…and that did not sound appetizing!
Well, thanks to my fabulous partnership with Sweat Pink, I received a little sample from Manitoba Harvest!!! (They have a pretty awesome website where you can purchase items as well and get some great recipes!)
When my little package arrived I was so excited!  I did not really know what to do with them at first, but I decided to just added them to my normal everyday eats!
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For being so tiny, these seeds have a LOT of nutritional value!  I was especially happy to learn more about how much protein they have!  I am always on the lookout for easy and natural ways to add more protein to my life!
I found out that the hemp hearts have 10g of protein per serving, while flax seeds only have 5g and chia seeds only have 4g! (This is based on an average).  Of course, I will keep eating all three items, but it is good to know for extra plant based protein!
Some cool info I found on the Manitoba Harvest Website:
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Some of the benefits that I loved
* Whole, plant based protein
* Packed full of Omega 3s and 6s
* Aid in digestion and weight management
* Hemp Hearts are non-gmo
* Beneficial for overall health!

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A few ways I tried hemp hearts!
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Egg salad with veggies, smoothie, guacamole and with yogurt & granola!!

You want in on this??? Well now till Nov 31, 2014, you can get 20% off at Manitoba Harvest  with the code: HHSweatPink14
What are you waiting for??

Have you used hemp hearts before?? Let me know how!

XO,
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-

Behind…on everything…

If you were to walk into my office right now it would look pretty neat and clean and all put together…but let’s face the reality of my life lately…It has been 100% nutty!  Most of it I have been enjoying and embracing!  I have had the chance to be with special friends on their wedding days, have been able to spend time with sweet friends, and hang out with some of my favorite kids!  The only downside is all that has taken time.  I am not saying I am not glad I did any of it, but the rest of my life has slightly taken to the back burner.  Even though I have races coming up, I have not really been training well.  I have not been sleeping that great so I wake up exhausted.  I make it through each day, but really just looking forward to bed time.
I am hoping that I get a little time this week to refocus and get back on track.

Very thankful for this community and how I am free to be myself!

I have about 10 draft posts in the works, and they will come!  But for tonight, I am saying GOODNIGHT social media, and going to bed!

Life in Pictures

I am once again linking up with Linda over at TheFitty.com for a “Life in Pictures” post!

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So here are a few pics from the last few weeks!  Don’t forget to check out the link-up and see all the other great pics!

Gorgeous weather and sunrises/sets lately
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I had a great time in San Antonio at the NEDA conf (post coming soon!)!!

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Pretty yummy food 🙂

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Lots of fun at some new parks has led to many great nap times!

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Over the last 24 hours my family lost a very special person, my cousin’s husband, and all prayers are greatly appreciated.
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Scrumptious Soups

It has been a pretty crazy few weeks, and the last 10 days especially have been non-stop.  Between traveling, work, a conference, races and training, life has been pretty nutty.  When life gets like this, I love to make a few soups that I can freeze and just whip out to heat up for dinner!  Add a salad on the side and it is a perfect dinner during crazy times during this cooler fall weather!
I am linking up again 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 Cassandra from Powered by BLING to the link up!  Today’s theme is the Scrumptious Soups!!

Potato & Squash Soup

Ingredients
3 yellow summer squash (about 1 3/4 lb.)

1 lb. peeled potatoes (red are my favorite ones to use)
4 c. chicken broth
3 tbsp coconut oil
Spices to taste (salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, garlic, paprika)

Directions
1. Chop squash and peeled potatoes into 1 inch cubes.  Saute in the coconut oil for 10 min.
2. Place the potatoes and squash in a stock pot.  Cover with the chicken broth.
3. Bring all ingredients to a boil, reduce heat, cover and let simmer for 20-25 minutes.
4. Add in spices and remove from the heat.
5. Let soup cool a bit then puree the soup in a blender or food processor until everything is smooth.
6. Return the soup to the pot and add additional spices if needed.
7. Enjoy with a yummy side or all by itself!
We enjoyed it with some cheddar/garlic biscuits and croutons!

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Come follow along with all these amazing ladies and check our their fabulous recipes!

 

Do you have a favorite scrumptious soup you make?  Add your recipe to the link-up!!

Ten for Texas race recap Race 23 of 33 for 2014

Well, if you saw my race schedule, you know that the last few weeks have been busy for me with training and racing!  The last few weekends the races have been pretty good, and I have been plodding along.  Last week when I realized my FIRST ever 10 mile race was coming up I did a little FREAK OUT!  I don’t know what the deal is, but I have had this fear of racing 10 miles (which seems a little nutty since I have done half marathons).  I attempted a 10 miler back in April with the Cherry Blossom race, but lack or training took me back to the 5k. I had not run more than 5 miles since April, so this seemed a little nerve racking.
Last week I did a few short runs, and then on Wed I pulled out a 7 miler.  It was super slow pace because the middle 4 miles I ended up meeting a friend and we walked a bit.  I knew deep down it was in me, but would it come out on race day?? I was a little nervous.

Early Saturday morning I was up after only a few hours of sleep.
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It started out as a bit of a muggy morning, but the sunrise was beautiful! 🙂
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I found a place to park and headed to the bathroom before I went to the start line.
I managed to find my friend Shauna in the large crowd!
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And we were off!
The first 3 miles were humid but I managed to keep a decent walk/run pace.  Right around mile 4 the air cooled down and a light misty rain started!  It felt really amazing!
Around mile 5 I started to feel a uncomfortable feeling on 4th toe on my right foot.  I was really hoping it was not a blister starting to form, but sadly it was.  I stopped a few times to try and rearrange my sock to help it.  After a few times I realized that nothing was going to fix it, and I needed to suck it up and just run.  About mile 5.75 the course did a turn around and I headed back basically the same way I just came!
Mile 6 and 7 went ok but I started to get a bit dehydrated.  The sun started to come out again and it started to get a bit hot.  I chatted with a few other women along the way and we kept encouraging each other! There were also really amazing supporters along the course!!
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When I hit mile 8 I figured I realized that it would be close, but I *MIGHT* be able to beat the goal I set for myself.  At mile 9 I knew it would be SOOO close!  I was really starting to feel tight in my legs, my fingers were swollen, and my shirt was soaked in sweat/rain.
As I closed into the finish line I got a little more excited.  My friend Shauna and her family were there cheering me on.  I saw the finish line and I went for it and finished strong!!!
And I made it 16 seconds under my goal!!! Add on that this was my first 10 mile race meant an automatic PR! 🙂 YAY!
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I finally got another medal.  (My last few races I did not get any).
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The post race food was pretty good.  I had my first doughnut in AGES and it was darn good!

It felt really good to have this race under my belt.
It also felt good to have a weekend off of racing!  I spent the last few days at the NEDA conference, and I will be posting about that soon! So much great information that I am still trying to process!

I hope everyone is well!

XO,
Esther
-Chocolate Runner Girl-