Monthly Archives: January 2015

Foodie Friday: Healthy Snacks!

Happy Friday, and welcome once again to Foodie Friday!! I am once again am linking up once again with my Favorite Foodie Friday ladies, Farrah from Fairyburger, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Cassandra from Powered by BLING! Today our theme is Healthy Snacks!

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If you are anything like me, you are always on the go!  This week was even more nutty than normal!  Along with my normal work schedule, I had some extra tutoring sessions, date night at the Rockets game, a massage and some errands!  Each day was different and on-the-go more than usual, so I had to plan my meals a little more than carefully.  That also meant planning some snacks to bring along!  I love to have healthy snacks ready to go at a moments notice!  Usually they involve nuts, fruit, chopped veggies or a protein bar (like Luna, KIND, or Larabars).  I wanted to branch out a little and my recipe from last week (Chocolate Almond Butter Pie) inspired me!

Chocolate Almond butter
Ingredients
1. 2 cups raw almonds
2. 1/2-3/4 c organic coconut oil
3. 1/4 c Chocolate Chips (I used Enjoy Life semi sweet mini chips)

Directions
*This works best in a food processor, but a high quality blender would also work!*
1. Place the almonds in the food processor, place on high speed 1-2 minutes
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2. Add the coconut oil, about 1/4c at a time till it is the desired consistency. Blend on high speed for another 2-3 minutes
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3. Add in chocolate chips.  Almond butter should be warm and chocolate chips will melt easily.  Pulse on high speed until all chips are mixed in.
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4. Place in an airtight storage container.
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*You can keep in the refrigerator, but it is not necessary.  It will make the almond butter more firm.*
I LOVE to eat mine with fruit.  Apples, pears and bananas are my favorite!
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Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their wonderful healthy snacks!

 

Add YOUR own snack recipe to the link up! ( Also fee free to use the logo above on your blog!)

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Weekend Recap and Motivation Monday is Back!

Hello all!  How was your weekend?  After a few cold and rainy days, we had a weekend of perfect weather!  It was sunny and in the 60s!  Just amazing!  I love this kind of weather and could live in it all year!  It was another busy weekend.
Brief recap:
Friday night- Date night & exploring my new essential oils!
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Saturday- Painting, bike ride, birthday party and babysitting.
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Sunday- Church, babysitting, lots of laundry and dinner with a friend & her kiddos while their daddy is out of town.  Also enjoying my new oils and admiring my hard work!
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I want to welcome back Motivation Monday with my first guest Paula from Run Far Wine Often!
She is a fellow Sweat Pink, Girls Gone Sporty & My Soxy Feet Ambassador!  We have a lot in common and her story is certainly an inspiration to me!!

Here is her story:
My story is similar to what a lot of people go through I’m sure 🙂 I was never athletic (definitely not a runner). My brothers were the athletic ones – I was the bookworm.

In my early 20s I started to put on a little more weight. Then a little more. Until one day, at 25, I realized I had gained 60 pounds over the past 3 years.

So, I did what a lot of girls do – I tried every fad diet. I took diet pills. I drank slim fast. I ate lean cuisines for every meal. And some of the weight would come off, but it would inevitably show back up. What I was not doing – what I HATED doing – was work out.

Finally, after a year of yoyo dieting I realized I had to do something different. It was then that I finally started working out. I started doing the Couch to 5k program to get me running. Within six months I had completed my first 5k and 10k and became obsessed. By the end of the first year of running I had done my first half.

Five years later, I’m training for my first full marathon and achieved a PR in the half of 1:44. It’s become my lifestyle. I still struggle to maintain good nutrition (I love food), but I’ve never stopped running.

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Paula is training for her first marathon to top off all her hard work!!  Let’s leave her some love and encouragement!!

Thank you for sharing your story Paula!
To find more of Paula you can check out her blog:  http://www.runfarwineoften.com
or find her on instagram: http://instagram.com/paulashelly

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Five Things Friday: All about me ;)

I am linking up again with Mar from Mar on the Run ,Cynthia at You Signed Up For What?! and Courtney from Eat Pray Run, DC for the Friday Five linkup.  This week the topic is Five Things About Me!
I love reading and learning about other people, and finding similarities and differences about others!  It is such a reminder that we are all created so unique!
DC_linkup1. I have an internal clock that seems to know when it is 8:21.  AM or PM, I tend to look at the clock.  8/21 is also my birthday 🙂
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2. I have found a new hobby in painting furniture!  I have already painted 3/4 of the furniture in my house and want to do more!!!
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3. Some people already know this, but I am a serious bargain shopper!
Best deals of 2014 include a $65 dress for $0.34, and a KitchenAid stand mixer for $27!!
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4. One of my goals this year to to travel with intention other than a race or wedding.  I have been in TX for a little over 6 years and I really do love it here, but there are many friends and family who I have been really missing lately.  So this year I will be doing some travels that DON’T involve any racing!  I know that seems shocking, but I am really excited about it!
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5. I am happy to announce that I am a NEW My Soxy Feet Ambassador!
I am so thrilled to a part of this team, and for the chance to wear more comfy and adorable socks!  The socks come in sizes for women, children and unisex!  And socks are not all!  You can find shirts, laundry bag (you know, to wash the awesome socks!), hair ties and an adorable magnet! (That will be on my car soon!!)
And you my readers get a special discount!  Use code: SOXYFRIENDS for a 10% discount!

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What are 5 things about YOU that you want to share?  Post here or add to the link-up!

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Foodie Friday: Chocolate Almond butter pie

Happy Friday!  I have to say I am extra thrilled it is Friday today!  Not only do I get to share a fun recipe with you, but tonight is date night with The Hubs!  Our schedules have been a little nutty lately, and we have been like ships passing in the night, so we are STOKED we both have Friday night off work!   We are heading to a movie later, and I think we know what we are going to see, but have you seen anything good lately?  Need some recommendations!

I am linking up once again with my Favorite Foodie Friday ladies, Farrah from Fairyburger, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Cassandra from Powered by BLING! Today our theme is Healthy Pies!
foodiefridayWhen I think of pie, healthy is not the first word that comes to mind.  So as I was thinking about how I wanted to change a pie recipe, I kept thinking about some of my favorite healthy snacks, almonds and dark chocolate!  I became inspired by THIS recipe from the Pioneer Woman and adapted it!

Chocolate Almond Butter Pie (Gluten Free)
Ingredients
1. 1 Gluten free pre-made chocolate crust
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2. 1 cup chocolate almond butter (I made mine, recipe soon, but my fav from the store is Justin’s)
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3. One 8-ounce package cream cheese, softened
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4. 3/4 cups powdered sugar
5. One 8-ounce package truwhip, thawed
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Directions
1. Mix the almond butter and softened cream cheese together till smooth.
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2. Add in the powdered sugar.  Mix until smooth.
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3. Add in the whipped topping.  Mix until smooth.
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(I LOVE this mixer! Still so happy that I was able to get it for an amazing deal!)

4. Pour into the pie crust and smooth it with a knife or spatula, then cover it.
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5. Chill.  You can chill in the fridge for an hour or more, or for a quick freeze place it in the freezer for 20-25 min.
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6. Enjoy!

Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their wonderful healthy pies!

 

Add YOUR own pie recipe to the link up! ( Also fee free to use the logo above on your blog!)

Have a happy and healthy day!
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Houston Marathon!

On Sunday I was honored to be a part of the Houston Marathon!  Not as a runner, but as a volunteer! As a *wanna be* runner I have always wanted to run a marathon.  Every time I have trained something has gotten in the way of me finishing the race.  Injuries and weather have not been my friends.  I will run one, someday, but until then, I am happy with my smaller races and volunteering and cheering on my amazing runner friends!
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I woke up at 4:30 and rolled out of bed.  I got dressed and headed out.  I stopped to get gas and then picked up my friend Lauran was as going not feeling well but was still going to attempt the marathon.  We headed downtown in the dark of the early morning.  We made it with no issues, and I dropped off Lauran close to the start line.  I headed over to the area where I was going to volunteer by mile 20. It was a little confusing since they had closed off so many of the streets.  I was thankfully able to talk some of the police officers to let me through the blockade to get to my post.  I made it to where I was to be, parked and signed in.  So far everything was pretty easy.
I met a few other volunteers and we got to work setting up trash cans and then the cups.  Oh the thousands of cups!  Overall the system was pretty good.  Lay out a layer of cups, fill with water, lay down cardboard and make another layer of cups!  We ended up making 3 layers of cups just for our table, which was probably close to 2000 cups!  And we had 2 sections of Gatorade tables and 4 sections of water tables!  It was a LOT of cups!  I wish I had gotten a better picture of our table when it was all ready!  It looked pretty amazing 😉
We had a little pow-wow and were shown how to hold the cups and the best place to stand for the runners.
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It took a while to get everything ready and then all of a sudden the elite runners were on their way!  It was really amazing to see them run!  They are just SO fast!!! At our station just after mile 20 they clock was reading 1:38.00! I can run about 6-7 miles in the time they run 20!!! Blows my mind every time!  They did not get fuel from us and I would not either if I was running that fast!

About 15-20 min later a few more runners started to trickle in.  Most of them got fuel.  It was neat to see how they drank out of the cups.  Totally inspired me for my next race to try this form of pinching the top of the cup together and drinking out of the side.  Maybe I am late to the party on this one, but I am so glad I now know!
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I was very thankful for my ‘Race Crew’ jacket.  It was chilly at first, and several runners accidentally knocked the cups onto me, but I stayed warm and dry with my jacket.

For the next several hours I was passing out water and cheering.  I tried to call out as many names as possible to encourage the runners!  It was so great to see their faces light up as they heard their names!  I felt bad when I could not see the name or it was something I could not pronounce quick enough.  The table in front of mine had several high school boys helping.  After about 20 min of cheering and passing out one of the boys turned around and commented that I knew EVERYONE!!! Ha, nope, race bibs with names!  LOL
That same group of boys happened to be a bit of an issue.  They kept creeping out into the course to try and give away their water cup. They were also goofing off a bit and one of the kids was cursed out by a runner when he did not pay attention to what he was supposed to be doing.   Sadly the lady who was in charge of the water tables did not seem to handle it very well and ended up screaming at the kids over and over 😦
After a while someone finally figured out that they need to be given a different role.  After they changed roles the water table distribution seemed to go a lot better!
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A few of the volunteers
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When it was over the clean up went very fast!  I was really impressed by that.  All during the race a few of the volunteers continually were raking up the cups that were tossed to the side.  Many of the runners tried to make it into the trash and even apologized when their cups fell to the ground.  Not to worry fellow runners!  You are working your butts off running a MARATHON!  The least we can do it serve you water and pick up a few cups!
The garbage men came along and collected all the trash for us!  There were still a few straggling runners coming through and I felt bad when we did not have any more water.  I guess there had been some sort of delay at the start so some people were not where they thought they would be by 12:30pm.

Overall it was a really amazing experience.  I def felt like I was working and helping people unlike my last race volunteer experience in December where I literally stood/sat for 4 hours and did nothing (cause the role I signed up for ended up not being needed).

(Side note: My friend was not able to finish the race.  She was too sick.  My heart still breaks for her as she worked so hard.  I have full faith she will redeem herself soon!!)

I can not WAIT to volunteer again!! I would love to find at least a few more races to volunteer at this year! (And hopefully a triathlon!!)

Have YOU volunteered at a race?  What was your experience?

XO,
Esther
CRG

Foodie Friday: Hot & Spicy Egg Nest

 

Hello and happy happy Friday!!  I am linking up again with my girls: Farrah from Fairyburger, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Cassandra from Powered by BLING!!  Today’s theme is Hot & Spicy.

foodiefriday(Thank you Cassandra for creating a wonderful new logo!!)

 

Today I will be sharing with you one of the staples I make in my house.  It is super simple and you can mix and match the ingredients to tailor to what you like and have on hand!

Hot & Spicy Egg Nest
Ingredients (for 2 people, increase for more ;0 )
1 TBS coconut oil
1 large chicken sasuage
1/2 c frozen spinach
1/2 c chopped peppers
1/2 c chopped asparagas
2-3 eggs
Spices: Red pepper flakes, garlic, paprika, cayenne pepper, black pepper
about 1 tsp each, but add more if you like it super spicy!
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Directions
1. Melt coconut oil in frying pan. Chop veggies and meat.
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2. Add in sausage and veggies and spices. Cooked thoroughly.
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3. Break eggs into a separate bowl, try to keep the yolk intact.
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4. Add eggs on top of the veggies.  Cook for 2-3 minutes.
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5. Carefully flip the eggs.  Cook for another 2-3 minutes.  Add more time if you do not like a runny yolk.
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6. Enjoy 🙂
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Check out the other amazing sites and recipes from my fellow foodie Friday ladies

Have a happy and healthy day!

XO,
Esther
CRG

#NoExcuses

Hopefully it is not a surprise that I am a #SweatPink Ambassador!  I love the sweat pink founders and the amazing ladies I have met as being a part of this group!  One thing I really love is all the challenges they put together for us!  Not only are they fun & butt kicking, but they introduce different companies to us!  It is a win-win all around!
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The challenge for the entire year kicked off on Monday!  So far this week the mini challenges have been pretty great!
Monday, 1/12: 30 sec. planks (any variation)
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Tuesday, 1/13: Run or walk for at least 1 mile
*after not being able to run for a few weeks due to my hip issues, I was pretty stoked to get in a mile of mostly SLOW jogging*
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Wednesday, 1/14: 10 burpees (any variation)
*Did not get a picture of this…Haha*
Thursday, 1/15:  20 squats (any variation)
*Body Pump means a LOT of squats!!!*
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Friday, 1/16: #FREEFriday – choose something to share and tag #NoExcuses
If you follow me on Instagram, I will be posting about this tomorrow!

Saturday, 1/17: share a healthy snack or recipe

IMG_5751Did you do Mad Libs as a kid?  We did as a family growing up and they were always hilarious!!! I wish I still had some of the ones we did then!
Well the awesome Sweat Pink gals put together one for this challenge!

Wanna join in the fun? It’s easy! Just…

  1. Copy the questions below
  2. Fill in the blanks with your own answers
  3. Tag 3 friends to share how they’ll make 2015 the year of #NoExcuses!

Hey 2015, it’s me, Esther, Chocolate Runner Girl (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)

This year I would like to complete a triathlon, get my PT cert, and reach my goal weight. 

It would also be super duper awesome if I also run a 10 min mile this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because I’m totally worth it!

The thing I am looking forward to most this year is a mission trip (more details to come!!!)

I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is my green tea to help me get up, get my tush moving, (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015. Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is working out alone and I have used it to get out of going to the gym and working out by myself on more than 476,938 (number) occasions. I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to be on my own to complete  workout!

Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the (invisible) dog in the middle of the night, I’ll still bust my butt!

I will stop blaming the hubs [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the chocolate when everyone knows it was really me.  😉

My work schedule [job, hair, car, husband, kids] is not the reason I make excuses. I will show my work schedule [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my run [type of sweaty activity] on (even if it is at 5 am)!

I know that any kind of workout [type of workout] is better than laying on the couch eating chocolate.

I will reward myself by getting new workout gear as I reach new goals!

#NoExcuses 2015 has just begun and already I am imagining myself a winner. I can’t wait to rock a Quantum Pullover (article of clothing) from Augusta Active. I can’t wait till my sweaty friends are jealous of how fresh, clean and sparkly (adj) I am between workouts with help from ShowerPill body wipes. I can see myself rocking warrior 2 [yoga pose / workout move] in new Tie One On Leggings [article of clothing from Actio926] from Actio926 and looking fit and fly while doing it. And of course, I’ll be taking my workouts to the next level and improving my muscles [noun] with my new ActivMotion Bar to help me train for my next  half marathon [distance] race with Sasquatch Racing.

Oh, and let’s not forget how amazing my pullover & leggings [article of clothing] will smell in/ during my runs [favorite type of workout] after washing with some WIN Detergent. And lastly, I’ll keep rocking my 2015 with clean eats and nutrition from Beaming with Health!

Now it’s your turn! Simply fill in the BOLD parts and share with everyone how you’re going to take charge, kick butt and make 2015 your best year yet with #NoExcuses!

Even though the challenge began on Monday, it is NOT too late to sign up!! You can sign up HERE!
For $5 you will get all of this!

  • Every Sunday you will receive an email with weekly prompts (workouts, healthy snack ideas and more)!
  • Opportunities to share your #NoExcuses #SweatPink challenges for a chance to win fun weekly prizes from brands like Augusta Active, ShowerPill, Beaming with Health and more.
  • Each week they will announce the winners, prizes and our favorite Tweets, IG posts and blog posts from that week!

What are YOU waiting for??
If you do happen to sign up, please let them know that Esther M from Chocolate Runner Girl sent you!  Thank you!

Have a fantastic day of #NoExcuses!!!

XO,
Esther
CRG