Monthly Archives: March 2015

Foodie Friday: Breakfast in a Bite Muffin

How is it already Friday?  I feel like it WAS just Friday! I guess that is what a super busy week does to ya.  And March, the end of March is here!!! Um, HOW is that possible?!?  The year is FLYING BY!  Anyone else feel that way??
Anywhoo, it is Foodie Friday again!  This week we had the challenge of making something we have always been afraid of making!  I have to say that I am really glad we had this theme, and it worked out pretty well!  As always, I am linking up with Farrah from Fairyburger, Emily from Whatever Floats Your Oats and Annmarie from the Fit Foodie Mama and Cassandra from Powered by BLING!
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Over the years I have not had a lot of fears in the kitchen other than ideas turning into a bog flop!  99% of the time things seem to turn out pretty well.  Only 1 time since I have known my husband (6 years) has he told me he didn’t like what I made.  It was so bad that neither of us remember what it was!!! Ha
When I was younger we made waffles a lot on the weekends.  Pretty simple food.  I remember my mom trying to add different ingredients to make the waffles special for us.  One time she chopped up ham and put it in the batter.  I did not think I was going to like it, but we all loved it!  I think I have tried it a few times over the years but it never seemed to have the same affect on my taste buds.  Maybe cause I was a child and it was a special way my mom cooked for me, or maybe cause we didn’t eat ham too often.

When I read this theme a few weeks ago the first thing that popped into my mind were my mom’s waffles and I wondered how I could make them with some of the healthier ingredients I use today.  I toyed around with a few ideas and then one just seemed to stick.  I was going to try to make these into waffles, however, the last time I attempted to put blueberries in the waffle maker I was cleaning blueberry explosion off my kitchen cabinets for a few weeks!
So enter muffins! I still have a slight fear that ideas I put together in my head will turn out awful.  Thankfully this recipe was approved by the Hubs 100%!

Breakfast in a Bite
Ingredients
3 very ripe bananas, peeled
1/2- 3/4 cup of sugar
1/3 cup melted butter
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 cups of all-purpose gluten free flour
2-3 slices of turkey bacon and/or turkey sausage, cooked and chopped
1/2 cup blueberries, washed and dried
1/2 chocolate chips (I prefer Enjoy Life.  I used the chunks this time around)

Directions
1.Pre-heat oven to 350* Pre-cook meat
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2. Mash bananas.  Add melted butter.  Mix well.
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3. Add sugar and eggs.  Mix well.
4. Add vanilla and baking soda.  Mix well.
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5. Slowly add the flour.  Mix till almost all mixed in.
6. Divide the batter into 2 bowls.  Add in the berries and meat to one.  Mix lightly.  Add the chocolate chips to the other.  Mix lightly.
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7. Butter a muffin tin.  Fill each muffin cup with 1/4 c batter.  Makes about 6 of each type of muffin.
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8.  Bake for 15-20 min.  Enjoy 🙂

IMG_9542IMG_9543IMG_9540So easy to reheat and take on the go!

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

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

Tune in next week for recipes that remind us of Spring!!

Also, make sure you enter my latest GIVEAWAY!

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Woodlands Marathon Relay recap

Just realized this did not post!  Oops! So here is a little recap from my last race 😉

Since my last race of 2014 I have felt like a bit of a running failure.  I know I am not alone when it comes to having hiccups with fitness and running.  In November and December I finally felt like I was getting my running groove back.  Then my back had a few issues which caused my hips to go whacky and boom, running was slow and painful again. And having to drop out of my last half at mile 7 was really frustrating.

I didn’t run for a few weeks.  I tried to elliptical but even that was painful at first.  After a few weeks I finally was able to elliptical and then a few slow runs.  My plans to get faster again were out the window.  The pain was slowly getting better, so I was/am thankful for that.

Before all the horrid hip issues I decided to be part of a local race, but was not sure which distance I wanted to run.  After the hip flare up I decided the half was a no-go.  I ended up deciding to do the marathon relay.  I gathered a few friends and we made the most of it!

Race day came and I really was not sure what to think.  My hip was feeling so so, but mentally I was really not feeling it.  The weather was cold (for TX) and rainy and not exactly my ideal running weather.
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I am glad I was part of a team or I am sure I would have spent the morning in bed.

Flat Esther

Flat Esther

Our team gathered at the start line to cheer off our first teammate!  IMG_8098 IMG_8102
Jamie was off and Brandon, Stacie and I headed to the first exchange point!
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Jamie ran a first great leg and then it was time for Stacie to run! And run she did!
While Stacie ran, Brandon and I took Jamie back to her car, got some gas and coffee.  Then headed to the next exchange point.  I was starting to get nervous about running.  According to the race information my leg was 6.65 miles.  So I made myself suck it up and realized I was going to finish my leg no matter what!

We met up with Stacie at mile 13.1 and I was off.  As soon as I started running it began to rain.  I chugged along for a few miles and felt ok.  It was a bit strange to see mile markers for 15, 16, 17 as I have never run that far in my life.  From the front you could see my bib as a marathon relay member, but from the back no one could tell.  I had a lot of people come up behind me and tell me it was awesome what I was doing and how inspiring I was to them!  All I could say was thanks.  They had run 15 miles and I was on mile 2, so of course I had fresh legs, but they didn’t realize that.

The reason I picked leg 3 was that it ran by the park the Hubs and I were married at!  Sadly though I did not see it while running.  The rain and the cold had me distracted.
At one point when I was starting to feel tired I saw someone waving and cheering while looking at me.  I was positive they were cheering for someone else, but no one was around me.  It was one of my friends I met through the gym!  It was SO sweet of her to come out and cheer me on, especially in the yucky weather! (THANK YOU ANNE!!!)  After we said hello and a quick hug I was off again. And then I started crying!  The emotions of running again and having such wonderful friends to run with me AND cheer me on just hit!  I was around mile 18 on the course (mile 5 for me) and people in their cars rolled down windows and clapped and cheered.  So many emotions!

As I approached where the next exchange point was supposed to be I started to get excited and happy!  I was so close.  My hip was a little tight but overall feeling pretty good.  I turned a corner and it was supposed to be the exchange and no one was there!!  I thought maybe my GPS was off, but then I saw the official race mile markers and realized that no, I was indeed at the right mileage…and no exchange!  I had sped up quite a bit but then slowed down when I realized I did not know where the exchange was or how much further I would have to run!
I texted my team but they were not sure how far they were from me.  Blah, that was for sure really frustrating.  I had to walk a little since the sprinting had irritated my hip.
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About a mile later I ended up finally seeing the exchange!  YAY! It was a fabulous sight to see!
So even though I was not thrilled be have run 7.45 miles vs 6.65 miles, I think it was good for me to see my body can still handle more than 7 miles, and my mental game also received a boost.

Stacie and I headed back to the finish line and waited for Brandon!  He had a great run and we were able to run the last .10 miles and cross the finish line together!  They announced my name as we crossed since my bib was the only visible one 🙂
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After we finished we walked a little bit and had some lunch.
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Before we started the race my goal was to just finish.  I was hoping we could keep it under 5 hours for the marathon.  Since I was the slowest runner (and the longest leg) I was not sure if we were going to make it!  But…
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Yay 🙂

Got some good steps in for the day, and was thankful for Epsom salts and essential oils to ease my sore muscles.
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A BIG thank you again to Jamie, Brandon and Stacie for rocking the marathon relay with me!
Can’t wait till next year when we tackle the half 😉

Have you ever participated in a marathon relay?  Or any relay event?

PS, Don’t forget to check out the current giveaway!!!

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Avoid overeating by eating a MealEnder!

My partnership with Fit Approach gives me some really cool opportunities.  Recently I was invited to try Mealenders.  Mealenders appealed to me for many different reasons! They combine action from the body and the brain and can be an aid used to avoid overeating!
As a strong advocate of healthy eating and eating disorder recovery, mindful eating and listening to your body are things I try to practice in my everyday life!  Of course there are times when I have treats, but on most days, those are not something my body needs, even if I feel I am craving them.
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Enter MealEnders!  I was stoked to receive each of the 4 flavors that MealEnders come in.
Chocolate mint, cinnamon, citrus, and mocha!  I love how there are flavors that would seem to appeal to most people.  Of course as Chocolate Runner Girl, the chocolate were my favorite, but I did enjoy the variety of flavors!
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How they work!
MealEnders are a small lozenge that has 2 layers to it.  The outside layer honestly tastes like a dessert to me, and then the inside layer is a cool tingle layer that sends a signal to the brain that says meal time is over.  The inner layer is what they call the “Inner Core’s Active-Taste Layer.” It activates the trigeminal nerve.  Well what is the trigeminal nerve you ask? Don’t worry, I asked myself the same question.  Thanks to this helpful information I now know!

“Trigeminal nerve: The fifth cranial nerve; responsible for sensation in the face and certain motor functions such as biting and chewing. It sends sensory information from the face and body to the brain for processing. Chemicals from foods stimulate the trigeminal nerve endings in the mouth. Together with taste (sweet, sour, salty, bitter and umami), and smell, the trigeminal nerve contributes to the overall flavor of foods. Trigeminal nerve endings in the oral cavity and tongue are stimulated by pungent foods such as chili pepper or peppermint resulting in the sensation of hot, cool or tingle.” (From MealEnders.com)

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It takes about 20 min for the lozenge to dissolve in your mouth, which is the amount of time it takes for your mind to get a clue that you are full!  How brilliant is that?  🙂
It has been the perfect little ‘treat’ after meals to keep me in check about my food choices.

I really LOVE this visual that MealEnders has on their site!  Go check it out 🙂

One other thing that really appealed to me is that they are low in sugar, no added stimulants, gluten free and kosher!
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And because MealEnders is so fabulous, you my lovely readers have the chance to win a prize package with all 4 flavors!  Enter the giveaway below!!  The giveaway will end on 3/27/15 at 11:59pm CST, so enter now!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Best wishes to everyone 🙂

Ps, Everyone is a Winner with MealEnders Exclusive MealEnders Discount!
 
MealEnders wants to put an end to overeating and believes the more people its 15-calorie signaling lozenges can help, the better!  So for two weeks, all “runners up” of the giveaway will be able to buy MealEnders at 30% off.  Just enter coupon code WINNER-TOO at checkout. To place your order and learn more about the product, visit http://www.mealenders.com.

**Disclaimer** This post was sponsored by Fit Approach & MealEnders.  I received the product in exchange for my review. All thoughts and opinions are honest and my own!
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Foodie Friday: Copycat Recipe, Honey Seared Chicken

Hello all!

I am back from the cold north and am finally recovering from being super sick as well!  The last 2 weeks def threw me for a loop and off schedule in pretty much every area of life.  As I look to get back on track I figured one great place to start is here!
It is Friday again!  Yay!  Time to link up with my girls to bring another round of fabulous recipes!
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 a CopyCat Recipe!
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We all probably have a favorite dish we go out for, yet don’t make at home!  As I was thinking about some of the things I like to eat out, one of my favorite Pei Wei meals sprung to mind!  I did a little editing to a recipe I found on Pinterest, and I hope you all enjoy! You can find the original recipe here!

Honey Seared Chicken (with rice noodles and veggies)
Ingredients
1/3 cup honey
1/4 cup orange juice
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
3 boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 teaspoon coconut oil
1 tablespoon sesame seeds

Directions
1. In small bowl, combine honey, garlic, salt and red pepper flakes. Rinse chicken with cold water and pat dry.
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2. Season lightly with salt. In large non-stick skillet, heat butter and oil over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook about 4 minutes, until seared. (I also added my red pepper at this point)
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3. Turn chicken, cook another 4 minutes until just cooked through. Pour honey mixture over chicken and cook, turning chicken to coat as sauce begins to thicken, about 2 min.
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4. Sprinkle with Sesame seeds.
5. Serve with rice noodles and sauteed veggies.
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It was also fun to cook in this kitchen while pet sitting!
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Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their wonderful CopyCat recipes!!

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

Tune in next week for recipes where we overcome a fear!

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Motivation Monday: Lauren’s Story!

Hello friends.  Well what a week it has been.  Since last Monday I have been super sick with a whole host of symptoms.  From 103.5 fever to massive cough that has kept me from sleeping to pink eye.  I have just been a big mess!  And this past weekend the Hubs and I also traveled to PA to see family and friends.  It was not the best time to travel due to me being sick, but we managed!  More on that a bit later.

Anyways, I missed LAST Motivation Monday because I was too sick to do anything except lay on the couch.  But I was so inspired by my dear friend Lauren’s story, that I can’t wait another week to share.  She actually shared her story on her own FANTASTIC blog a few weeks ago and SO much of her story resonated with me!
I met Lauren first through the Elf for Health challenge in 2013.  I was lucky enough to be paired with her and a friendship was born!  Last April we finally got to hang out IRL at the Cherry Blossom race!  It was pretty fantastic, and SHE is even more fantastic in real life too!
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Lauren is such a special person to me.  She is beautiful inside and out, and always makes me smile.  She has inspired me in so many ways, and here is just another way in which she has inspired me to not give up on myself.
Here is her story:

I’ve been holding off on writing about my new fueling strategy for a few reasons:

  1. I hate talking about food.
  2. I hate talking about weight.
  3. I hate talking about food and weight.
  4. I hate talking about how much I’ve hated talking about food and weight for the last 20 years.

And my hatred runs deep friends, real deep.  On #4, I just didn’t feel like internet rehashing my whole, torrid experience with weight, body image and running.  But, as I started on my own fuel better, feel better 2015 extravaganza, I found that other people, sharing their experiences really helped me.  So, in an effort to help someone else, maybe, I’ll tell you all about my experience.

And for that you’ll have grab a {healthy if you feel like it} snack and settle in.  This is a long one.

{link to that here!}

When I started college I was overweight.  I think I was overweight in high school but I honestly had no idea.  I was so happy and such a positive self-image.  I had awesome friends, I was gearing up to go to a college I was so excited about and my family was {and is} supportive. How I looked and especially how much I weighed literally never crossed my mind.

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I loved those pajama pants.  I think I also won something.

Then, I got to college.  I lived in a single dorm {no roomate, holllerr!} and my floor was filled with really awesome girls, some of whom I really connected with.  One of their favorite things to do was talk about how much they ate or didn’t eat.  Or how much they exercised {a lot}.  Suddenly,  I was looking at myself differently.  Sure I was still happy and independent and all of the other stuff but now I realized that I was overweight.

I think it’s worth noting here that I do NOT fault my new freshman friends or college or living in a dorm with what happens next.  I think that you are a product of your environment but most of all you’re in control of your own actions and behaviors.  And that was the light bulb for me — I wanted to be in control of my body.

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hi Eric!

The summer after my freshman year, I stayed in the single dorms and worked two jobs and took classes.  I also took the opportunity to start counting calories and working out.  I started by walking on the treadmill 30 minutes every day and lifting some of the weights in the gym I saw the other girls lifting.  On calories I would just write down what I ate and, with out doing any research or talking to a doctor, decided to try to eat less than 2,000 calories per day.

And the weight started to fall off.  And the compliments started to roll in.

I kept restricting my calories more and more and continued to exercise.  By the end of the summer I was able to run 3 miles {!!} without stopping and I was eating 600 calories a day.  This summer started my love of running and my love of controlling how many caorlies I ate.  Usualy the fewer the better.

In the fall, I joined my sorority and was convinced that it was because I was finally thin and therefor pretty, not because I am nice or fun to talk to and tell ridiculous stories.  I continued to restrict my calories and run.  I was wearing clothes I never dreamed I could wear, meeting people I loved and getting attention for all the wrong reasons.  People would constantly tell me how great my body looked.  I was lean {gaunt} and strong {starving} and people LOVED to tell me how impressed they were {with my calorie restriction and abuse of running {which I loved so much}.

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ugh, I don’t even look healthy.  I do however, miss that belt

That spring, when I was home for the weekend, I went for my run.  I tried to keep the pace I normally kept {this was before I knew anything about cadence, paces or running really, I just knew it made me skinny} and I couldn’t. I got home and complained to my mom that I wasn’t able to run as fast or as far as I normally could.  She looked at my with that worried mom face and said, honey, I don’t think you are fueling it properly.

Wait what?

But I’m skinny!  People like me!  What about this fuel.  You want me to eat more food?!  Food is the enemy!

For the rest of my university experience, I struggled, but I was able to eat and exercise in moderation.  However, every pound I put on caused extreme anxiety.  By the time I gradated and started graduate school I was an anxious ball of worry.

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I really liked that choir dress

That first year of graduate school threw me into a tail spin.  And instead of restricting my intake, I would binge.  By the end of the year, I gained about 45 pounds.

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MB loved that shirt.

I moved to DC and during that time, I completely gave up running {sad}.  I was using food as a way to deal with all my issues:  I missed MB, my life was listless and I was just sad.  When MB came around {hooray!} and moved in with me, he was like look you, I love you no matter how you look {not super great, let’s be honest} but I can’t marry someone who doesn’t eat fruits and vegetables {at the time, my diet consisted of anything fried and liquid cheese.  And diet coke — old habits die hard} and I knew I had to get it together.

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engaged and pumped about it.

So, I started Weight Watchers.  And I lost 50 pounds.  I found running again and I ran my first half marathon.  I was the lowest weight I had every healthfully achieved.  Then I thought I could keep it together on my own, no more Weight Watchers.  I resented the way that I had to count my points.  No one else has to do this, I would think to myself.  I know how to eat.  And I run!!

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totally normal

But I didn’t.

By February of 2013, I was well into my 30 races.  I told myself since I was running so much, I didn’t need to watch what I eat.  Anymore, ever.  As the 30 races ended and I set my sites on my two marathons, I was turning to food to deal with depression and anxiety.  I kept telling myself I could eat whatever I wanted, I was running 125 miles per month.  And the queso, and chips and cookies weren’t telling me I was bad at my job.  After Big Sur, I was realized that there was a problem, I was a running a lot but I was not fueling properly.  And I was legit depressed.

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happy!

It all came together when visiting my new doctor, she said that she was worried about my weight increasing {about 4 pounds within a month}.  We talked about my history and what was going on with me.  She gave me two options — outpatient therapy or Weight Watchers.  {she also put me on an anti depressant, which helped a lot}.  I looked into the outpatient therapy but it was very expensive.  I heaved a huge sigh and looked into Weight Watchers. Again.

I went back to my doctor, and told her that I didn’t think it was for me, tracking points.  Other people don’t have to track their food.  She very patiently responded:  do you manage your finances?  Yes, MB does.  Do you manage your task list at work?  Um, yes, I definitely love making lists and crossing them off.  So why don’t you manage what you eat?  Um.  I don’t know, because I don’t want to?  Why not, she wondered aloud.  It might help make you feel better.  Maybe just by changing that mindset of feeling sorry for yourself.

FINE.

So I went to my {second} first Weight Watchers meeting at the beginning of October.  Since then, I’ve lost 22 pounds and I finally feel in control of my fueling.  Rather than thinking about Weight Watchers as a diet, I’m completely, 100% committed to it as a lifestyle.  Like forever.  Tracking points, going to meetings {for support.  which is wonderful.  I love the meetings} will be how I manage my fuel from now on.  My running has also improved.  Turns out when you’re not hauling around extra weight, you run better.

used to restrict calories and over exercise.  After I got help, I started getting depressed, swung the other way, was binge eating and gained 50 lbs and stopped running.  Then I lost it again.  Then I started binge eating again ever though I was running.  Now I’m back on Weight Watchers, lost 22.2 pounds and I feel super.

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I don’t take enough bathroom mirror selfies

There’s really no way to end this without being weird or trite.  So that’s the end.  I hope,if you stayed this long, and you needed a boost, that this helped.  The one thing I’ve really taken away from this is that I am worth taking care of, that I have to manage my food intake to run healthy.

Thank you Lauren for sharing your story! And for inspiring me once again!

If you have a motivational story to share, please let me know.  You can email me at chocolaterunnergirl (at) gmail (dot) com.

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Five Things Friday: Favorites!

It has been a while since I had a Five Things Friday post.  It has just been too darn busy! But I hope to make it more of a routine again here!
I am linking up with Courtney at Eat, Pray, Run DC, Cynthia at You Signed Up for What and Mar at Mar on the Run.  Theme today is Favorites!
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Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Bright copper kettles and warm woolen mittens

…Oh wait, those are Maria’s favorite things 😉

Here are a few things I have been loving lately!

1. Essential oils.  Specifically Young Living essential oils!  They have been helping me with so many different things from sore muscles to keeping healthy when surrounded by sickies.

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2. Baby art!  I love all the awesome ideas from Pinterest!
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3. Tart Cherry Juice!  I has great properties that help reduce inflammation and it has been helpful with sleep!  Drink up 🙂
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4. Running again!  Virtual races, real races and my workout buddies who encourage me daily!

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5. Treats!  Everything Bundt Cakes make amazing little treats and they are just adorable!  And my homemade almond chocolate cup treats!  Yep! Delish!
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What are some of your current favorite things??

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Foodie Friday: 5 Ingredients or Less

Happy Friday my lovely friends!  How is it already the first Friday in March?!?  This year is FLYING by!  Today 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 a 5 Ingredients or Less!

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Most of what I cook is pretty simple.  Honestly, if the list of ingredients is super long or it involves a ton of steps, I am much less likely to try that recipe.  Mostly because my time is usually pretty limited when it comes to cooking, and my kitchen is tiny!

When I was thinking of what to share for this week I was thinking in terms of simplicity.  And then it hit me that I have never actually made one of my most favorite foods, hummus!
I think I have been scared that it would be too complicated or that it would not turn out well.  I am glad I was wrong about both my fears!

Roasted Red Pepper & Garlic Hummus
Ingredients
1. 2 Cans chickpeas (garbanzo beans), drained (but keep ‘juice’)
2. 1 Roasted red pepper
3.  3 tsp olive oil
4. 1 drop Young Living lemon essential oil (you can also use 1/2 tsp lemon juice
5. Spices to taste (this makes a few more than 5, but at least it is all in 1 category!  Ha
I used Himalayan salt, pepper, paprika, garlic, & pepper flakes.
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Directions
1. Place chickpeas into a food processor or high quality mixer, blend well.
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2. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of the chickpea juice until it is a smooth consistency.
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3. Add in the roasted red pepper and the olive oil.  Blend well.
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4. Add in lemon oil and spices to taste.
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5. Store in the refrigerator.
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Make sure you check out all the amazing ladies and their wonderful simple ingredient recipes!!

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

Stay tuned next week for a Free for All!

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