Sunday, September 28, 2014

Adverse Reaction

Wow. Just wow. Antibiotics are supposed to make you feel better, right?? Not this time; not for me.

Let me back up... I skipped my planned 5-mile run on Thursday night (reluctantly) because I knew I had something coming on. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say I was first in line at the Minute Clinic on Friday morning. Got in right at 8:30 and was out by 9 with a prescription for Bactrim and the reassurance of the nurse practitioner that I'd be good as new in the morning, and ready to tackle my 8-mile training run.

I headed off to work and took my first dose of antibiotics around 9:45. I ended up heading back home a couple hours later to work from the couch for the rest of the day because I was feeling exhausted.

Fast forward to dinner time, I took my second dose and suddenly felt very nauseous. I had oatmeal for dinner because all I wanted was carbs. I managed to get through baking and icing 2 dozen cupcakes (in addition to getting kiddos ready for bed) since I was planning to host a birthday party for my just-turned-2-year-old baby girl.

By 9 pm, I was miserable. Stomach cramps, nausea...every horrible GI symptom you can imagine. I couldn't even stand up straight. I was waling around the house hunched over.

By 11, I had the chills and called the 24/7 nurse line on my insurance card for advice. The poor nurse on the other end was pretty concerned and told me to drink lots of water and not take another dose of Bactrim without checking with the doctor in the morning because my symptoms were consistent with an adverse reaction to the medication.

Saturday night was one of the longest nights of my life. I slept in 10 minute intervals, in between running to the bathroom. It wasn't until 5:30 am that I fell asleep in the overstuffed chair and got a full hour of sleep before the kids got up.

Once I was up, I emailed/texted all the birthday party invitees and told them the party was off. I was too sick.

Then Daddy took the girls to swim class, and I slept for almost 2 hours. I felt SO much better! (Relatively speaking of course.) The girls were horribly disappointed about the party, and honestly I felt guilty, so I got back to everyone and said it was back on if they could still make it.

So we did it! We threw a small, low-key party for the birthday girl. Everyone had a great time, and I managed to hold it together for the most part. I finally had to go lay down while the last couple guests were still on the sun porch having drinks and chit-chatting with the hubby.

I got a good night's sleep last night, and felt significantly better all day today. I even went for a jog and hit up a Pure Barre class. I still have a few lingering unpleasant side effects, and not much of an appetite (I ate lunch at 1:45 and it's now 9:45 and I haven't really eaten anything since).

I've got another week of "travel" ahead - driving about an hour north of home and staying at a resort for a few days for a company meeting. Could be worse, I suppose! Going to miss daddy and the girls, though. Oh, and Pure Barre too! :) 

Mini-me #1 and mini-me #2
I hope your weekend was a little better than mine!

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Not a Baby Anymore

I don't know where the time went. I blinked and suddenly my teeny tiny 5-pound newborn is 2 years old!

September 24, 2012

September 24, 2014
She is such a smart, funny, happy girl - and she loves her mommy!! :)

This little munchkin and her big sister are my motivation to be the healthiest most confident me I can be. I want to set a good example for my girls and I want them to be proud of mommy.

It sounds (and feels) selfish sometimes when I sneak off to Pure Barre in the morning or carve out time in the evening and on the weekends to go running, but I know that it helps clear my head and keeps me healthy and happy, which ultimately makes me a better mommy.


This mommy is exhausted from another whirlwind week of business travel. I drank WAAAAAYYYY too much coffee sitting in the hotel lobby before my meeting yesterday and consequently couldn't fall asleep last night. Ugh.

More craziness to come as I prepare for a backyard birthday BBQ this weekend!! I need some healthy side dish recipes (preferably cold sides).

What's your favorite cookout side dish? Please share!!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Weekend in Pictures (and a Couple Recipes!)

Weekend fitness: Pure Barre and a couple solid runs.
Meatless Meatball Stuff Peppers
Meatless Meatball Stuffed Peppers
(Serves 2)
2 large bell peppers (any color - I like yellow and orange)
1/2 large white onion
Meatless meatballs (I used Trader Joe's brand)
1 small or 1/2 large can of tomato sauce
Garlic salt, basil and oregano to taste (I don't measure - I taste test!)

Cut the tops off the peppers and scoop out seeds. Parboil the peppers and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Dice up the tops (throwing away the stems obviously), dice up the onion, and sautee them in a skillet until onions become soft. While the diced onions and peppers are cooking, thaw 2 servings of meatballs in the microwave (1 or 2 minutes). Crumble thawed meatballs and add to skillet. Add spices. When meatballs start to crisp, stir in tomato sauce and heat for 1 more minute. Scoop into 2 peppers. Cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes. YUM!

I always reward myself after my long run with a glass of wine on Saturday evening.

Pumpkin Oatmeal - my favorite fall breakfast!!
Pumpkin Oatmeal
(serves 1)
1/2 cup of quick oats
pumpkin pie spice to taste
1-2 tbs of raisins
1/2 cup canned pumpkin
1 tbs ground flax
2 tbs chopped walnuts
1/2 - 1 tbs maple syrup

Mix oats, spice, raisins, and water in a microwave safe bowl. Nuke for 2 minutes. Remove from microwave and stir in pumpkin and flax. Top with walnuts and maple syrup. AMAZING!

Peeked out the porch window to check on them and saw this.

Nice cool morning for running! (61 degrees in ATL is cool!)

Vegan chocolate cupcakes for the munchkin's upcoming 2nd birthday.

Vegan buttercream frosting

Maybe I missed my calling??

What did you do this weekend?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

I'm Not Older; I'm Better

Hey, hey! Can you believe it's Wednesday already?! (Do I say that every week??)

When my friends were in town a couple weeks ago, we were talking about how the years have gone by so fast and all the things in our lives that are better now that we're older, and started thinking about that old adage "30 is the new 20" - something I thought was a total crock when I was in my early 20's!

Lately, though, as I've reflected on life in my 20's, I've started to buy into it. I'm definitely a better, healthier me than I was in my early 20's, and my quality of life has significantly improved.

I thought it would be fun to do a little comparison of then (age 21) and now (age 31)...

THEN (21):
- Favorite foods: pizza and Hostess cupcakes
- Exercise regimen: does walking to class and from my dorm to my car count?
- Favorite non-alcoholic beverage: Coke
- Ideal night: out at the bar with friends
- Physique: about 20-25 lbs overweight
- How I felt: sluggish, insecure, and sometimes embarrassed

NOW (31):
Favorite foods: oatmeal, bananas, peanut butter
Exercise regimen: running 4 days per week and Pure Barre 6 days per week
Favorite non-alcoholic beverage: sparkling water
- Ideal night: relaxing at home (the one that I own!) with my family and a good glass of wine
- Physique: toned and strong
How I feel: healthy, confident, proud

Yeah - 30 is definitely the new 20. I'm not older, I'm better.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Back in Training Mode

Sunday night already?! Awwww man.

It's 9:15pm and I'm already in bed - a sign of a busy weekend, for sure! And a weekend that involved a few too many indulgences....

These 2 talked me into donuts after swim class...

But it also involved a fair amount of running, so that cancels out all those calories, right? (Just mid and smile...)

Anyway.... I totally forgot to mention last week that I started training again! Week one of training for the Atlanta Half Marathon is in the books.

I adjusted my trainjng schedule for this go 'round. Instead of running Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday, I'm running Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday (like I did last fall). Saturday is still my long run day, and I'm hoping that only running 2 days during the work week will make life feel a little less hectic.

I was up and at 'em early on Saturday for my long run, since daddy had to take off for work at 6:50 am, and wasn't going to be home until almost 5 pm. I got out of bed at 5:20, changed, stretch for a few minutes, and then was out the door, intending to do 6 miles.

Oops. I overshot.

It wasn't really a great run - I'm having problems with my left hip flexor / lower back, and I had a really hard time getting loose. And if I'm being honest, I was in pain pretty much the entire time. Ugh.

Oddly enough though, I ran again today (Sunday is now my short run day) and I felt great! Ran much faster and witjout much discomfort. Probably because I was up for quite a while before running, and had a chance to warm up my muscles...?

I closed out my active weekend with a 3:00 pm Pure Barre class. And it was a good one! I'll be feeling it in my "seat" tomorrow!

I'll leave you with a couple highlights from the weekend:

One-on-one time with my Big Girl at my Pure Barre studio's 1 year anniversary party

One-on-one time, snuggling with my Baby Girl

What was the highlight of your weekend!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

The Most Amazing (Vegan!) Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

TGIAF! We're almost the weekend! This week is flying by!

Cheers to almost Friday!
Rather than ramble on about how busy I've been lately or whine about my hip/back injury acting up (sigh), I'm going to share a recipe!

The girlies and I have been on a baking kick. We've been making different versions of oatmeal cookies every Saturday. Last Saturday, we decided to get really crazy and throw some dark chocolate chips in our cookies. Whoa! Too much excitement! :)

We used this recipe on the back of our Market Pantry oatmeal container as a starting point:

And we made a few substitutions/adjustments:

- Swap out the eggs for "flax eggs" (2 T of ground flax seed mixed with 6 T of warm water; mix and let stand for a minute before using)

- Cut the brown sugar down to 1 cup and the sugar down to 1/2 cup

- Swap out the butter for 1/2 cup of coconut oil (aka the ingredient that makes these cookies so amazing!)

- Use 1 cup of vegan dark chocolate chips

OMG! So yummy! We actually could've cut down even more on the chocolate chips. I had a hard time making them stick together at first when I was putting them on the pan. But they most certainly taste delicious!! This container used to be filled to the top...

I plan to do some more baking this weekend so stay tuned!

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

A Day in the Life...

Holy sh*t - I have SO MUCH to do this week!! I'm covering for a colleague at work this week and early next week while he's on PTO. It's insanity. However, I WILL NOT complain because this is the same co-worker who covered for me on my vacation. I totally owe him. I go into hyper-productive mode when I have tons to do anyway, so I'll just be kicking some a** and taking names for the next several days. ;)

Totally unrelated to this post, but LOVE this picture from the top of Stone Mountain on Sunday!
Anyway... Since I've basically started every post for the last several weeks with a comment or 2 about how busy I am, I thought I'd give you a a glimpse into a day in the life! Here goes...

5:00 am: Alarm goes off; I roll out of bed and change into my exercise clothes.

5:10 am: Hop in the car and drive 7ish minutes over to my Pure Barre studio.

5:30 am: Pure Barre class! Such a great way to start the day!

6:40 am: Arrive home from Pure Barre, grab whatever breakfast I prepped for myself the night before, and multi-task - simultaneously eat breakfast and put my make up on, all while chit-chatting with my girls and listening to Pandora.

Multi-tasking at it's finest...
7:20 am: Say goodbye to Daddy and Big Girl as they leave for the elementary school.

7:30 am: Walk out the door with Baby Girl and head to daycare.

7:40 am: Drop off Baby Girl and head to work.

8:10 am: Arrive at work, make some coffee, get my inbox under control, and get down to business.

9:00 am: Eat a snack at my Varidesk and continue plugging away at my work.

12:00 pm: Heat up my packed lunch in the kitchen and then eat it at my desk while continuing to work.

3:00 pm: Snack #2 at my desk!

5:00 pm: Leave the office and head for daycare.

5:30 pm: Pick up Baby Girl.

5:45 pm: Arrive at home and start making dinner.

6:00 pm: Daddy and Big Girl get home.

6:15 pm: We all sit down for dinner.

6:30 pm: Clean up from dinner, prep tomorrow's breakfast and pack lunches.

6:45 pm: Get the girls in the tub and then in jammies.

We make time to be silly, too!
7:30 pm: Bring Baby Girl in her room for books and then bedtime. (Daddy and I alternate nights putting each kid to bed.)

8:00 pm: Daddy puts Big Girl to bed; Mommy heads out for a run.

I've grown to love nighttime running.
9:00 pm: Hop in the shower, put on jammies, then do some work on the computer and/or blog.

10:00 pm: Collapse into bed and get some sleep before doing all over again tomorrow.

Wow - I'm tired just typing that out! As you can see, I start and end my day with exercise. Sure, it takes some time and careful planning to fit it in, but it does wonders for my sanity! I'm not sure I'd make it through the rest of the daily routine without it.

What time of day do you usually exercise?

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Why Pure Barre is Totally Worth the Price

Happy Saturday! I'm not feeling well today, so I hope you're doing better than me! I bagged out on my run today, but I still made it to Pure Barre!

Speaking of my new favorite workout.... I've thought a lot about how much I spent to buy my 3 months of unlimited classes, and I definitely felt guilty about it at first. But I've recently gotten over it - and now I would even go so far as to say that it was (and is!) totally worth the price.

I've noticed HUGE changes in myself since I began attending Pure Barre regularly back in July - both physical and mental.

Physically, I have never been in better shape in my entire life! I may not be at the lowest weight I've ever been, but I firmly believe that is due to all the lean muscle mass I've gained. My arms are toned and strong, my "seat" has definitely been "lifted," my hips and thighs are slimmer, and my abs - well I can actually see them! And I can feel how strong my core is during normal, everyday activities, like sitting upright in a chair. It sounds silly, but trust me - it feels different!

So obsessed - I book my classes way in advance!
While the physical changes have been absolutely AMAZING, I think the mental changes have been even more so. My husband has always maintained that I am the most self-conscious person he's ever met. And he's probably right. But Pure Barre has given me this new found confidence. The physical changes were a catalyst for a change in my perspective. The thoughts that go through my head when I look in the mirror are completely different. Instead of focusing on all the things I dislike, I now look in the mirror and feel proud of all my hard work. And instead of talking about how "flabby" this or that is, I'm now saying just the opposite. My husband is probably sick of me saying, "Check out these abs!" And "Look at the the muscle in my arms!" (Although I'm pretty sure he's much happier with this type of positive talk.)

One of the biggest changes is that I rarely ever weigh myself these days. It's almost hard to believe that I used to be the girl that stepped on the scale every single day (sometimes even twice a day). I realized the other day it had been over 2 weeks since I stepped on. I hopped on yesterday out of curiosity. I have only lost a couple of pounds over the past few weeks, but I no longer care about getting back to the weight I was last fall because I feel strong and confident, and I would much rather have a couple extra pounds of muscle weight on me. Those numbers on the scale no longer affect me. I think there's still value in stepping on the scale every once in a while for accountability's sake (especially since I tend to eat peanut butter right out of the jar...), but I finally see that those numbers are just that - numbers. They're not me - not who I am.

I confess that I used to think that people who gushed about expensive workouts like Pure Barre were "drinking the Kool-Aid" so to speak. And I truly never believed that a 55-minute exercise class could be life changing. But now I know.

I finally feel comfortable in my own skin - and I get 55 minutes of zen every morning. And for those reasons, Pure Barre is worth every penny.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Making Fit Happen: Business Trip!

I think I blinked and the entire week was just about over! I guess that's what happens when Monday is a holiday and then you turn around and take off for a business trip on Tuesday!

It's been forever since I did a Making Fit Happen post, but given that I've been on 2 business trips in the past 3 weeks, I think one of these posts is in order!

View from my Southwest flight

Unfortunately, business trips typically involve a lot of sitting - sitting on airplanes, sitting in meetings... But the great thing is they also involve hotels, and most hotels have fitness centers!

When given the choice, I will always choose running outdoors over running on the treadmill, except when I'm in an unfamiliar city by myself. These are the times I make use of the hotel gym. This week, I was at the Sheraton in midtown Minneapolis. Bonus: I was in a different time zone which means I was up plenty early to fit in a workout before meeting my colleagues in the lobby restaurant for breakfast and meeting prep. So I hit the fitness center bright and early for a 4-miler on the "dreadmill."

One of the main reasons I prefer running outdoors is the scenery. It keeps me from getting bored. So when I'm on the treadmill, as I was yesterday, I have to find ways to keep it interesting and pass the time quickly. So I put my ear buds in, put on Today's Hits on Pandora, and played with the speed controls. My workout looked like this:

0.0-0.5 miles: 6.0 mph (10:00 pace)
0.5-1.0 miles: 6.2 mph (9:41 pace)
1.0-1.5 miles: 6.4 mph (9:22 pace)
1.5-2.0 miles: 6.6 mph (9:05 pace)
2.0-2.5 miles: 6.8 mph (8:49 pace)
2.5-3.0 miles: 7.0 mph (8:34 pace)
3.0-3.5 miles: 7.2 mph (8:20 pace)
3.5-3.75 miles: 7.0 mph (8:34 pace)
3.75-4.0 miles: 6.8 mph (8:49 pace)

I finished my 4 miles in 36:30 - and it flew by! I followed it up with a delicious and nutritious breakfast of steel cut oats with raisins, soy milk, and a side of fruit. Who says you can't stay healthy on the road?!

Do you prefer exercising inside or outside?