Monthly Archives: December 2014

Fit Fab Fuel Swap 2014!

(Please excuse the delay of this post…I have been battling through a series of migraines the past 10 days which has made it difficult to spend much time on the computer)

Several weeks ago I saw on Instagram a really cool Christmas ornament swap! Ornaments + fuel + getting to virtually meet some new people = AMAZING in my book!

I was so excited to sign up for the #FitFabFuelSwap that was put together by Running with SD Mom and the Naturally Fit Sisters.

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See the link up of the posts here!!

I was honored to be paired up with Lauren of Breathe Deeply and Smile!  I have seen her posts here and there around social media, and the Elf 4 Health challenge, so it was really fun to get to know her more!

Lauren is a fellow runner, and a speedy one too!  I was very impressed by the races she has run, and all her times!  Go Lauren! Along with running we have a lot more in common.  We both like to travel, cook, eat healthy foods, watch movies, and enjoy chocolate!
From our email conversations I can tell that Lauren is a really great girl and a fun friend to have!  She could also teach me a few things about cooking and cocktails 🙂

We pretty much use almost all the same types of fuels! It was nice to be paired with someone who has similar taste and appreciates how fuel sources with real ingredients help the body!

One thing Lauren talked about in terms of fuel was Nuun energy!  She is an ambassador for them, and I was hoping she might send me some since I have never tried them before! (See below to find out!)

I was SO excited when my package arrived!
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Who would not like this card?!?  So cute and the only snow I will see this winter 🙂
She went above and beyond in the actual package!  It was filled with so many goodies, and the ornament made me tear up a little!
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The PERFECT package! All the kids of fuel I love (Kind bar, Cliff bar, Chia bar, GU, some Nuun(!!!), and of course chocolate!
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She sent an adorable water bottle that I love!

And this ornament!  I saw a few other runners post pictures over the past few weeks and I thought they were SO adorable, but did not really look around for one.  When I saw she sent me one I was thrilled!
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And adding it to my tree was so much fun 🙂
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Thank you Lauren again for the amazing package and for adding some amazing fuel and running cheer to this holiday season!

Did you get any fun ornaments this Christmas?  What is your favorite kind of fitness fuel?

XO,
Esther
CRG

 

Life in Pictures # 6

It is time again for another Life In Pictures Link-up!
What is life in pictures you ask?  It is a collection of photos from life over the past week or so, or even just one day.  Post the pictures with little to no words and let others guess what is going on!

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Feel free to add your pics to the link up!

Rules:
  • Add the blog button to post each time you join the link up! Optionally, you can also add the blog button to your sidebar to feature your own collection of LIP posts.
  • MINGLE WITH OTHERS, don’t just add your link and leave. Spread the love! Comment on at least 2 other people’s linkups and follow the cohosts on on social media.
  • #LIPlinkup : When commenting, tweeting, facebooking, pinning,  instagramming, etc, let them know where you’re coming from by using the hash tag. For example, “Hey Ashley! Amazing workout #LIPlinkup” or “I just added my post to the #LIPlinkup, check it out here: POSTHERE.COM”
  • Always include a brief description of what the blog button is about before bomboarding your readers with pictures right off the bat; that will leave them blinking and speechless because they have no idea what in the world you’re posting!

    XO,
    Esther
    CRG

 

Foodie Friday: (Gluten Free) Pumpkin Roll

Can you believe it is the last Friday before Christmas?!? Me neither!  I think I am in denial a bit that NEXT week is Christmas! Was it not just July??
Anyways, I am teaming 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 Holiday Baking Traditions!Possible Logo for Foodie Friday

For as long as I can remember (starting in high school probably), I made a pumpkin roll around the holidays.  It was something my dad really enjoyed and to me it was fun to make!  I took a baking class my freshman year of high school.  I still use tips and lessons from that class almost 20 years later ( EEK).
I LOVE pumpkin no matter what time of year it is, and this roll can be added to any holiday dessert area (as long as you like pumpkin that is).

Ingredients:
Cake
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
⅔ cup organic canned pumpkin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ cup gluten-free flour mix
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon ginger
½ teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon salt
powdered sugar for dusting the towel
Parchment paper
Light tea towel

Filling
8 ounces cream cheese, softened (I use the 1/3 less fat version)
¼ cup butter, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla

Instructions
1. Pre-heat oven to 375*. Spray a jelly roll pan (10 x 15 inchs). Line with parchment paper. Spray paper.
2. Place eggs in a mixing bowl.  Beat on high for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add the sugar to the eggs and mix together.
4. Add in the pumpkin and the lemon juice.  Blend together well.
5. In a separate bowl, mix all the dry ingredients together.
6. Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients and mix until just blended.
7. Pour batter into the jelly roll pan and spread to the edges, evening out the batter.
8. Bake for 15 min.
9. Cool the pan on a wire rack for about 10 minutes.
10. Sprinkle powedered sugar on the tea towel. Carefully place cake upside down onto the towel.  Roll the cake up in the towel and let it cool.
While the cake cools, make the filling.
11. Mix all the filling ingredients together until smooth.
12. Carefully unroll the cake and spread the filling evenly on the cake.  Re-roll the cake but make sure to not include the towel this time.
13.  Wrap the roll in saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Serve and enjoy.
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Source
(My best tip for cutting the chilled roll is a long piece of string or thread.  Place the string under the roll about 1 inch in from the end and pull each side of the string towards each other till a slice is cut.  Repeat for each piece.  You can also use a sharp knife.
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Source

I apologize for the above pics.  Technical issues with my photos!

Check out all the other awesome blogs and social media for great recipes and more!

Feel free to add your own holiday baking tradition to the link-up!

Race Review # 31 and a Louva Gear review

Oh my, it certainly is the most busy time of year!  Last week I had intended to get so many posts finished and up, and then life happened.  10+ hour work days, sickness, several meetings/parties, keeping up with my half marathon training, normal household items.  Adding all that together did not give me much time to do much else other than sleep.
I did to do an update from my latest race!

On Dec 7th I ran my second 10 miler of the year!  Well I guess run would be more like a jog/hobble.
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The day started well. I met my running buddy Lauran and we drove up to the race together.  It was a gloomy morning but not to bad with the temperature!  We got to the race with some time to spare, so we just chilled in the car.  The temps were starting to drop a bit and we did not want to hang out in the colder air till necessary.
It was finally about time for the race.  We hustled for one last potty break and then hit the starting line.
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I was sporting my new Louva Gear (more below) and  I was so glad I was wearing them with the weather not making up its mind!
The race itself was a 5 mile loop that we ran twice.  The first 5 miles were alright.  My first 2 miles of anything are pretty much my warm-up and where I get in my groove.  By mile 3 I was feeling pretty good and was in a good 4:1 run/walk interval.  The course was pretty much all hills.  Rolling hills, but still hills.  It was not flat like it said in the description.  That was a little frustrating.   I was in the same group of people for a while and then started to leave them a bit behind after mile 3.  There was one guy in front of me who I wanted to get to but pretty much just kept chasing him the entire race.
Around mile 5 I noticed that my biceps were a little sore. They were chafing. BOO!  It was super damp and humid out so my shirt was more wet than usual from sweat and the mist I was running in on and off.  I knew there was a med station at mile 7 ( ya know, since I saw it at mile 2), and I was hoping they would have some Vaseline.  When I got to mile 7 my legs were really hurting from the hills.  I stopped at the med tent and they were not there!  They have gone into their cars because they had gotten too cold.  They rolled down the window a crack to see what I need.  I asked for some Vaseline and they told me they did not have any. ???? I was shocked.  And annoyed.  Now my arms were going to be even worse!  This was the FIRST time I have done a long race and have not seen Vaseline (or something like it) for runners!! Major bummer.
By mile 8 I was hobbling.  The hills were NOT my friend.  I texted Lauran thinking she would be finished! She was, but not the way I expected.  She hurt her ankle at mile 3 and ended running at mile 5 when she passed the looping point.  I felt SO bad 😦  She has worked her tush off this fall running and getting ready for her first marathon (In Jan)!
We ended up texting for a few min and I told her where I was and that I was in pain.  She ended up coming out onto the course to find me and she ran in with me from the mile 9 sign.  The last ‘mile’ was super short cause the signs were not in the right place!  We ran towards the finish line and she left me to go finish!  I was 15 min off my goal for this race, but I am just thankful I finished!  My Louva sleeves kept my arms warm for the race!  I don’t know what I would have done without them!!
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Even though it wasn’t pretty, I am thankful to have race 31 in the books!!
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So a few weeks ago I connected with Louva Gear on twitter! They were kind enough to send me a free pair of sleeves!  They came at just the right time for this race.
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I am always a little nervous about sleeves since my upper arms are pretty bulky.  Several other sleeve brands I have tired did not make the cut.  The one pair I have other than these I can only wear on my forearms.
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Anyways, these sleeves are super comfy, and I LOVE the thumb hole!  They kept my hands warm yet I was sill able to do things with my fingers!  IMG_4665
One neat thing about the Louva sleeves is that you can WRITE on them!  I am going to get some things written on them for my half this weekend!  I can’t wait 🙂  How cool is that!
If you are in the market for some new sleeves that are great quality, yet inexpensive (only $12 a pair), then head over to LouvaGear.com and get some!!

Hope your week is going well!

XO,
Esther
CRG

Gratitude 101….

The last few weeks I have been thinking a LOT about the things I am grateful for.  I participated in several #gratitude challenges on Instagram, posted some things on Facebook, talked with my husband about things, and even wrote some things down I was going to write about during Thanksgiving week.  Thanksgiving week ended up being much busier than planned, and add in a case of a cold and I did not get much blogging done!
Well today in the #elf4health challenge, the goal is to share 20 things we are grateful for!  So here goes!

1. Salvation/faith
2. Husband (and ESPECIALLY that he is NOT in the hospital this holiday season!)
3. Family
4. Job and all the families that trust me to care for their kiddos and pets
5. Long lasting friendships
6. Ability to run
7. Car to drive in good condition and provision to have gas in it
8. Gym buddies
9. Ability to travel
10. New friendships formed thanks to social media
11. My chiropractor
12. Sunshine
13. Music
14. Strength
15. Grace
16. Water- fresh and hot and cold
17. Always healthy food available
18. The hope of heaven
19. A home that keeps us safe
20. A warm and comfy bed

There are SO many other things that I am grateful for.  Through the ups and downs of life I have learned that there is ALWAYS something to be grateful for!

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What are you grateful for?

XO,
Esther
CRG

Life in Pictures Link-up

It is time again for another Life In Pictures Link-up!
What is life in pictures you ask?  It is a collection of photos from life over the past week or so, or even just one day.  Post the pictures with little to no words and let others guess what is going on!
beige-camera-hi
Here we go!
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Race 30
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Yummy
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IMG_3811IMG_3812  IMG_3863 IMG_3864  birthday fun!

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Love my workouts and workout buddies!
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holiday dishes and a fun #FBF!

Feel free to add your pics to the link up!

Rules:
  • Add the blog button to post each time you join the link up! Optionally, you can also add the blog button to your sidebar to feature your own collection of LIP posts.
  • MINGLE WITH OTHERS, don’t just add your link and leave. Spread the love! Comment on at least 2 other people’s linkups and follow the cohosts on on social media.
  • #LIPlinkup : When commenting, tweeting, facebooking, pinning,  instagramming, etc, let them know where you’re coming from by using the hash tag. For example, “Hey Ashley! Amazing workout #LIPlinkup” or “I just added my post to the #LIPlinkup, check it out here: POSTHERE.COM”
  • Always include a brief description of what the blog button is about before bomboarding your readers with pictures right off the bat; that will leave them blinking and speechless because they have no idea what in the world you’re posting!

    XO,
    Esther
    CRG

Foodie Friday, 2 in 1!!

So last week my foodie Friday team all posted about their Thanksgiving tradition foods!  I wrote a post and I never published it!  OOPS! Let’s blame my lack of sleep a cold on this one!  Apparently the ‘save draft’ and ‘publish’ buttons so different things!
So here is my quick Thanksgiving tradition recipe before I move onto this weeks category!

Pumpkin Bread French Toast

Ingredients
1. Pumpkin bread (If you are being adventitious and have time, make THIS bread!  Otherwise, a mix from the store will do.  Follow the directions and make the bread 12+ hours beforehand).
2. 2 eggs
3. 1/2 cup milk
4. Cinnamon
5. Vanilla extract
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Directions
1. Slice cooked and cooled pumpkin bread into 1 inch slices.
2. Mix eggs, milk, vanilla and cinnamon together.
3. Pour liquid into a baking sheet.  Place each slice of bead in the liquid mixture.  Let soak 1-2 min and flip.  Repeat soaking on other side.
4. On pre-heated skillet, place the slices of bread.  Cook until bottom is crisp, 2-4 min, then flip the bread.  Repeat.
5. Enjoy with some fruit, a side of turkey bacon or some eggs (Or all of the above!)

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Ok, and now onto this weeks topic!!! I am teaming 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 PIZZA!
I have been experimenting the last few months with making gluten free pizza.  I have tried many different mixes for the dough, and in the end I found one that tastes pretty good, and when I get it on sale, is nice to the wallet too.  I love me some pizza with lots of veggies on it too!
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Ingredients
1-2 gluten free pizza crusts
1/3 cup tomato sauce mixed with spices of choice! You can look here for my sauce spice mix!
1 red (or yellow or both) pepper, chopped and sauted
1 cup spinach chopped and sauted
1/2 cup goat cheese, shredded
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Directions
1. Pre-heat oven to 350*
2. Place crust on a pizza cooking pan
3. Spread sauce on crust leaving a small space between the edge of the sauce and the edge of the crust.
4. Lay down a layer of cooked spinach on the sauce.
5. Spread the goat cheese on top of the spinach, covering it all.
6. Add the peppers on top of the cheese.
7. Bake for 10-15 min or until cheese is nice and bubbly.
8. Enjoy!
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Go check out the other awesome recipes from the girls!

What are YOU favorite pizza toppings??

Feel free to add your own pizza recipe to our link-up!