The time I ate cereal for dinner

I’ve tried not to complain very much about the heat around here.  But tonight it was hot.  92 degrees during the car ride home.  Dinner was a struggle-fest.  Even though I’d planned on making pork loin Chris said he wasn’t feeling it and wanted BBQ chicken with Annie’s.  Which sounded great except that I hadn’t thawed and marinated the chicken so that was out.  After going through many other choices we landed on Chris’ favorite chicken penne pasta with sun-dried tomatoes because we could thaw the chicken but didn’t need to marinate it.  Not my fave but what can I say, I’m a good wife :)

Except then Chris worked in the yard until after 8.  And I got hungry.  So I had some frozen grapes (which might be the best hot weather snack ever).

Along with some chips and hummus. And then I decided it was just too hot in the kitchen and I was not in the mood to cook anything.   So I had some cereal (at least I added a few freshly-picked-from-the-backyard blackberries) and Chris had leftover pizza.

To be honest, it was kind of refreshing not to have to cook.  I love cooking and I love making healthy foods for Chris and I but sometimes it’s exhausting.  Sometimes I want a night off (and let me clarify, Chris cooks but lately it’s been almost 100% me.  He tends to come up with more cold-weather meals). And it was nice.

Especially since I kicked my butt on the workout front.  I got up this morning and ran 5 miles and then I did a pilates reformer class at lunch.  It felt just like Hood To Coast training days.  I love/hated it.  It sucked to get up in the morning but I felt so good when it was over.  I just need to be careful about not pushing it too much.  My knees are doing pretty good right now and I’d like to keep it that way.

Do you guys ever have nights where you don’t want to cook? What’s your go-to auto pilot dinner?

PS – Shameless plug alert – I’m up for an award over at Around The Plate.  If you feel like voting, I’d love a little vote for me :) I’m in the healthy eating champion category.


Black, Blue & Delicious + I need a new book

It’s going to be a hot one today. We’re talking 97 degrees which rarely happens here. There’s even an extreme weather advisory. Yikes. Hope I don’t melt :) And I can already tell I’m going to need some serious sunscreen because by 7:30 we had our living room fan turned on (PS we have no AC…tonight’s gonna be fun). Chris was way better than me and got up and went for a run while I opted for some leisurely breakfast eating while listening/watching Great American’s Country. Ahhhhh Saturday’s.

And I know right now you’re just dying to know what I had for breakfast so I won’t keep you in suspense any longer.

Black & Blue Protein Smoothie

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup frozen blackberries
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 1/2 scoop Designer Whey French Vanilla protein powder
  • 1 cup (ish) spinach
  • 1 teaspoon psyllilum husk powder (fiber)
  • 1 teaspoon raw maca (energy/hormone balancing)
  • 1.5 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

Nutritional stats:

Next I was going to tell you about last night’s delicious stir-fry dinner but Chris got back and asked me if I wanted to go for a walk with he and Chance. How could I say no to that? :) And then after our 20 minute (already steamy walk) I was already in my running clothes so I decided to pop out an easy 2 miler on the treadmill. Done and done!

And now we’re off to float the river. Can’t wait to see what kind of craziness we see out there.

But before I leave you I need some help. Tomorrow I’m planning on spending some leisurely time reading a book in the shade except that I have no book :( I polished off Night Circus (so good!) during last night’s spin-bike cardio session. I’m looking for a good “beachy” type read. You know, a little summertime easy reading. Maybe with a love story thrown in?

Any recommendations?

Note – apparently this post didn’t post this morning.  We’re now back from 7 hours on the river in 100 degree weather and I did not get burned anywhere!  That makes me really happy because I always seem to miss spots with my sunscreen.  Today I applied my SPF 30 about 30 times and while I was made fun of a few times I’m glad I did.  Gotta protect your skin :)

A diet bet, a thank you, a summer run & a needle in my knee

Wow, I feel like I have a lot to talk about right now.  First of all, thank you to all of you who said such kind and encouraging words after my post about my weight loss goals.  It’s really comforting to know that there are other people out there like me who are dealing with those stubborn summer creeper pounds haha.  And a lot of you also mentioned wanting to shed some pounds along with me so I think I’ve figured out a way.  Not sure if you’ve ever heard of Diet Bet?  I actually just saw it on someone’s Twitter today and headed over to check it out.

So basically if you want in, you sign up using this link and you’ll enter into my “bet” which is that I/we can lose 4% of my body weight in 4 weeks.  It’s $10 to sign up and at the end of 4 weeks whoever meets the goal splits the money. This is a link to the FAQs and this is a link to the rules of the game (which I love because it clearly calls out that doing anything unhealthy like not eating or purging is not allowed).  I’m staring the bet on August 1st (you take pics of yourself on scales and send them in for verification) so you have a couple of days to think about it.  I’d love more people to join in – I mean, we all want to lose weight anyway right?  So why not earn some money out of the deal :) And PS I was not paid or sponsored in any way to write this.  All me here :)

And since we’re talking diets, I want to let you know that I have gone 3 days without alcohol, chips or sweets.  In fact, I’d say I’ve had some pretty solid days of eating – no mindless snacks, no extra portions etc.  No weight loss but I feel pretty good.  I also went for my 1st lunchtime summer run.  As you all know my knees suck and I probably shouldn’t be running on them but it was so NICE out as I was walking to the gym, it was like the pavement was just calling out to me.  So I ran.  For 4.11 miles and while my knees weren’t awesome, they weren’t crazy painful either so I’d say it was an overall success.  And my pace was under 9 minutes (1 second under to be exact) which is great.  We’re heading to Sun River tomorrow and I’m really hoping I can get a couple runs in.  Please keep it together knees :)

To help prep my knees for Sun River I took a trip after work to see one of my favorite ladies…my acupuncturist! I hadn’t been to see her in a while and it was so nice to get back.  She worked on my two problem areas, my left hip socket area (on the back side – basically my left glute) and under my right knee cap.  It was amazing, in fact, it felt so good I totally fell asleep for a couple of minutes. I swear I could have laid there for hours with needles all over the place.  If you have a chronic injury (or any injury) I would recommend acupuncture.  For a long time it freaked me out but it doesn’t hurt.  More like some pressure on the spot where they’re poking the needle in and then this kind of release.  You can read a little bit more here (this is where I go). And it doesn’t even leave marks.  This is my knee directly post session – betcha can’t find where the needles went in.

When I got home Chris whipped up some ground turkey which he made into a burrito while I added mine to some spinach and ate it bowl-style, adding in refried beans, corn, cheese and sour cream (in real life it did not seem like this much sour cream but pictures don’t lie).  Yum.

And there you go.  That’s what I have for you all. Hope everyone has a wonderful Friday and an awesome weekend!

Who’s joining my Diet Bet?
Who’s tried acupuncture?
Who went running today?

Makela Gets Married

Phew – busy day around here.  I got up and went for a 3.5 mile run.  It felt so nice to get up and get my workout out of the way.  Then I made our standard smoothie/coffee breakfast.  After that I showered and headed out on some errands – Babies R Us for a baby shower present, Nordstrom Rack to look from some shoes for a wedding I’ll be going to next week ( I was there forever and couldn’t find anything I like.  I think I’m just going to wear my cowboy boots), and then Fred Meyer for groceries.  After that I zipped home, dropped off the groceries and headed to the baby shower.

I got home and whipped up a big batch of black bean & quinoa salad for lunches (more to come on that tomorrow) and then we had a delicious BBQ chicken pizza for dinner. Overall, a great end to a great weekend.  Which included a fantastic wedding last night.  Our friend Todd married his lady Autumn in a beautiful ceremony and a reception at the Crystal Ballroom, which for those of you unfamiliar with Portland is an awesome venue where a lot of bands come to play.  It was so cool dancing around at their reception knowing that the stage I was sitting on at the end of the night was the same one that Eric Church performed on about a year ago. And not only was it a great to be there for Todd and Autumn on their special day but we also got to see our friends Troy and Jennifer who flew in from Amsterdam, along with our friend Dennis (who lives in Bend) and his lady, and of course Craig (Chris’ best friend).  Todd, Troy, Dennis, Craig and Chris all grew up on the Oregon coast so it’s always fun to hear their stories when they all get together.  Great night.

And now I’m off to watch TV with Chris but I’ll leave you with a photo summary of the night.  Hope you all had great weekends.  Did anyone do anything super fun?


I have jello legs

My inner thighs are killing me.  Is that even appropriate to say out loud?  I mean like I’m hobbling down the hall.  Awkward.

Why you ask?

Well, on Monday I went to a pilates reformer class and only one other person showed up so it was basically like having a private lesson.  We flew through things and ended with side splits.  Here’s an example if you’re not familiar.  We did the 1st series you see but not the saw.  We also did a series where you “pick the flowers” meaning you bend down and circle your arms around as you come back up.  Followed by “skaters” and some plie squats…all of these still on the reformer.  If you don’t have a clue what I’m talking about, let me know.  I have a friend who knows way more about pilates than me and would be a great person to guest post on here.  Mandee…hint hint :)

I was a little sore when I woke up on Tuesday but it was so beautiful out (in the 80’s) that I decided to give it a shot and run anyway and somehow I managed to go 3.6 miles at an 8:30 pace!  I never run that fast, I’m always closer to 9’s.  I seriously couldn’t believe it especially because I felt like I was dragging during my run.  I don’t know if it was the heat or sore legs from pilates but I’m convinced that anyone driving by me must have gotten a good laugh.  It could not have been pretty.  In fact, I’m sure I looked like the bottom girl.

Image source

And because I apparently like torture I decided to do a quick weight circuit after I finished my run.

Leg press: 90 lbs.  3 sets of 12
3 sets of this:

3 sets of this on a weight bench

  • 25 V-ins
  • 50 roman twists
  • 20 step-ups each leg

Followed by some solid foam rolling.

No joke, when I got into the locker room to shower my legs were so shaky I could barely walk.  They’ll get like that during a workout but usually by the time I’ve stretched and cooled down they’ve stopped.  I’ll admit though, that I loved it.  I love the feeling of pushing my body hard and really working up a sweat.  By the way, my entire workout (run + weights) yesterday took me just under 60 minutes.  I dare you to try and beat it :)

Question for you – what’s your favorite legs workout?  The one you can always count on to make your legs shake like jello?


Return of my running buddy + my favorite bottle of wine

As I’m sure you’re aware (because I mention it on here all the time) I love running but my knees suck. And even though I’ve just completed 2 months of physical therapy (my 2nd time in less than two years) I am still crazy enough to think I can run Hood to Coast in August.  And so I’ve slowly been bringing running back into my workout rotation.  I try to only allow myself 1 run a week and keep it at less than 3 miles.  My physical therapist says I can run as long as the pain level is a 3 or less (I’ve definitely been at a level 10).  And so I was super excited when my favorite running buddy asked me to start getting some regular runs back in with her.

Mandee (who writes over at You Say At Best…go check her out) and I met in pilates a few years ago and not only did we share a love of all things core, but we also realized we both love to run and last summer were on a pretty regular routine…usually running about twice a week.  Well then fast forward through HTC and my running hiatus and well, I didn’t do any running with my buddy because I didn’t do any running at all.  But all of that changed yesterday.  Woo hoo!  3.8 miles at a 0 pain level. I can’t even tell you the last time that happened.  I wore my knee brace (mine is like this) to help stabilize my knee cap and that seriously helped.  I need to remember to wear it more.

But besides the fact that my knees didn’t hurt, my run was so good because Mandee was there running with me. We chatted about blogs, races, weekend plans… I know sometimes I’ve heard that if you can keep a conversation while working out you’re not working out hard enough but I disagree.  It’s hard to run and talk.  And I like that challenge.  And chatting makes the time fly by.  I barely even realized how far we’d gone.  So yeah.  Great day.   Great run.  Great running buddy.  Thanks Mandee!  Can’t wait to get more into a routine.

Question for you – does anyone else have running buddies or workout pals?

After my run I hit the gym for a few weights – deadlifts, squats, step-ups, push-ups and some planks (I rotated through 30 sec of front and side holds for a total of 6 minutes).  And when I got home from work Chris and I took Chance on a walk.

And by the time we got home I was dying.  I felt like every part of my body was sore.  Golf, pilates, running…I’d done it all this week and my muscles were making that clear.  So I spent some time with the foam roller in our “gym.”  Which is still not home to our spin bike (which lives in the guest room) because we still have random office supplies and artwork stored in there.  Oh well, it works for now.

By this time it’s around 6 and I’m feeling great.  Good workout, nice stretches… Feeling pretty good about myself.  And then we went to a family dinner with some friends and everything kind of went downhill :)  We had a nice healthy dinner of grilled chicken and veggie kabobs, asparagus and strawberry kiwi salad.  And I started innocently enough with a slice of Cougar Gold cheese.  For those unfamiliar with this cheese it is amazing.  It’s produced at the Washington State University (my alma mater) creamery and I actually hadn’t eaten any since leaving Pullman 8 years ago.  And needless to say I’m pretty sure I ate my weight in cheese.

But the night doesn’t end there.  Besides eating my weight in cheese, I decided to wash that down with nearly an entire bottle of wine.  Whoops.  My favorite wine was on sale (Kim Crawford Sauvignon Blanc) and that just spells trouble.  I think my friend had one glass but otherwise I downed the whole thing.  Not sure if it’s a good or bad thing that I pretty much felt fine when we left dinner (maybe wine and cheese cancel each other out?) and someone I managed to get myself out of bed this morning and spend 50 minutes on the spin bike.  If I’m going to play I better work right?

What about you guys?  Do you ever have nights where the drinks are just going down a little too good?

I’m hoping I can keep the rest of my weekend eats and drinks pretty healthy.  Chris is off on another bachelor party so I’m not entirely sure of my plans.  It’s suppose to be in the 80’s this weekend so I’m thinking yard work, backyard sunbathing, the dog park, driving range and Journey’s are all in my future.  Hopefully everyone else has good things planned for the next couple days. Oh and if it’s sunny, make sure to wear some sunscreen.

Update – Stretch for 7 challenge

So Bess, over at Bess be Fit is hosting the stretch for 7 challenge. Basically for 7 days you’re challenged to stretch for at least 20 minutes.  I am bad at stretching.  I always sort of half-ass it after a workout and while I always stretch a little bit before a run it’s not as good as should be.  And what I’ve found through my physical therapy is that my lack of flexibility is a huge reason why I’m having knee issues.    My hips are apparently super tight and that is bad because tight hips make my knees roll in even more than they do naturally so it’s just compounding the problem and putting a ton of pressure on my knees.  So my homework has been stretching.  Every day.  And most of the time I do it.  But sometimes I don’t.

But in comes the challenge and I’ve been really good so far this week about making myself stretch. I even took a yoga class for the 2nd time ever on Monday.  Surprisingly I was more flexibly than I thought I was and thanks to some pilates and Jillian Michaels’ DVDs (who knew Jillian was sneaking yoga in)  I knew some of the moves so I was pretty comfortable in the class.  But by the time they go to the hip stretches, I was dying.  Clearly that’s where I’m the least flexible. These were the ones that I could feel the most:


After class I felt great and even considered doing yoga again but the next morning my knees were killing me.  Not sure if it was yoga or something else I’d done but I decided I’m going to give them a little rest and not attempt any yoga for a while.  We’ll see how they do.

Beyond Yoga, my 20 minutes of challenge stretching has been involving the foam roller.  My must-have fitness essential.  I can’t get through the day without this thing.  I wish I had a mini one I could tote around with me all day long.  It’s so painful but the pain is so good.  See, beyond my tight hips my knee pain is also caused by a tight IT band.  You can learn more about IT bands and why a foam roller can help you here.  But basically the foam roller helps loosen up my IT band so I roll on this thing like crazy – morning and night.  And I use one at the gym.  Except most of the gym ones suck because everyone rolls on them and there is only 1 good one left so I probably look like some crazy stalker girl waiting around the stretching room for someone to be done with it.

For more on foam rolling, you should head over to Peanut Butter Powered where Lauren, who is also participating in the Stretch for 7 Challenge, posted some great examples of her favorite foam roller stretches.

Photo source - courtesy of Lauren @ Peanut Butter Powered

And while we’re at it.  Here are a couple of my other favorite stretches for tight hips and IT bands:






So there you go.  A couple good stretch options to get your though the remaining days of the challenge.  So far I’ve gotten my 20 min in every day.  I was hoping to get to mat pilates to knock out today’s requirements but alas, I had a morning meeting that got in the way.  Guess I’ll have to fit it in later.

Hope you’re enjoying the fact that it’s Friday.  Low key night at our household… movie + grilled cheese & tomato soup or homemade pizza.  Either way, great stay-in-and-be-cozy plans for a rainy April evening.

I am a cookie monster

I have eaten 5 servings of Mint Milano Meltaways.  Yes, you just read that correctly.  5 servings.  That’s 10 cookies at 700 calories.  700.  I am  cookie monster.  And on top of that I’ve eating multiple York Peppermint Patties (minis), a mini bag of peanut M&Ms and a hefty amount of gluten-free pretzels.  And it’s all because my mom gave me an Easter basket.  See, we don’t keep candy and cookies in our house.  It’s too big of temptation for me.  I love dessert…cookies, brownies, ice cream, you name it.  Love it.  And I cannot just eat one bite.  Doesn’t work for me.  I’m of the “all or nothing” philosophy when it comes to sweets.  I wish I wasn’t.  I wish I didn’t like it.  But I do.  Oh I do.  And while I should be sitting here totally grossed out about all the cookies and crap I just ate I’m trying hard not to. Obviously this was way too much sugar and calories to consume.  And I ate it when I wasn’t hungry.  And I feel a little sick. And I’m going to be pissed at myself when I get on the scale tomorrow.  But oh man those cookies were delicious.  And I’ve worked out every day for the past who knows how many days so I think it’s ok to have an off day.

Could I eat like this every day?  No way.  But I think I’ve mentioned it before on here that life is one big balance beam and I’m just doing my best not to fall off.  There are going to be days where you get out of control.  Oh well.  No use crying over spilled milkshake (bonus points for whoever can tell me what movie that was in).  All I can do is make better choices tomorrow.

Besides the Easter basket, my mom also brought with her a fun day of shopping.  We bummed around a variety of stores and I ended up with a couple of dresses for some upcoming weddings.  We also hit up Home Depot and visited my aunt.  My mom went to my cousins Catholic conversion mass and Chris and I hit up Journeys.  Now she’s  back and we’re chilling on the couch getting her caught up on Revenge (you MUST watch if you don’t already.  It’s so good).

As for workouts…I ran 3.5 miles this morning with Chance.  Same route we ran yesterday.  Normally I wouldn’t be over the moon for running 7 miles in two days but this has not happened since Hood to Coast training last summer.  I honestly didn’t think I’d be able to get back into running shape but at this point I’m cautiously optimistic that it’s going to happen. I mean, it’s just crazy to me to think that at the end of August last year I thought I was hanging up my running shoes for good.  But it just goes to show the benefit you can get from Physical therapy. I didn’t get any pictures today but here is  me and Chance’s photo sesh that happened after yesterday’s run.  As you can see, he was not having it.

Signing off for the night to finish TV watching with my mom.  Have a good night.

Green Smoothie Challenge Recap

Alright, here you go.  As I mentioned I was participating in the green smoothie challenge and it was delicious.  We have smoothies every day for breakfast so this wasn’t a big change-up but it did force me to try some new recipes.

Peanut Butter Blueberry Smoothie
Mix the below together.  Pour into a mason jar. Serves 1.

  • 1/2 cup frozen blueberries
  • 1/2 cup plain, non fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 cup vanilla unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 c protein plus peanut flour
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1 tablespoon ground flax meal

PB Blueberry smoothie

PB Banana Carrot Smoothie
(serves 1)
Blend the below ingredients, pour in a jar, drink.

  • 1 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/2 non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1/4 protein plus peanut flour (could also use regular peanut or almond butter)

Hurried pic on the iphone on the way out the door this morning.

Sweet potato, almond & banana smoothie

Mix all the ingredients together.  Serves 1

  • 1 cup roasted sweet potatoes/yams
  • 1 cup spinach
  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 2 tablespoons flax meal
  • 1 tablespoon almond butter
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • 2 scoops protein powder (I used this)

Banana Almond Smoothie

Serves 1. Mix everything.  Enjoy.

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons rice protein powder
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 tablespoon flax seed
  • 1 & 1/4 cup unsweetened vanilla almond milk

PB Banana Coffee smoothie
Serves 1.  Mix the below together and drink.

  • 1/2 frozen banana
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1/2 cup non fat plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup coffee (I saved the leftover coffee from the day before and let it cool in the fridge overnight)
  • 1/2 unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 1/4 cup protein plus peanut flour

Saturday (Basically the same as Monday but with doubled ingredients)
PB Blueberry (green?) smoothie
Serves 2

  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup protein plus peanut flour
  • 2 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons flax meal

(Real Peanut Butter) Banana Smoothie

We ran out of protein plus peanut flour (my fave) so I decided to make today’s smoothie with actual peanut butter.  I think I’ve forgotten how good real PB is, because I thought this smoothie was the most amazing think I’d ever had to drink.

  • 3 tablespoons Adam’s natural Chunky PB
  • 2 scoops brown rice protein powder
  • 1 cup non fat plain greek yogurt
  • 1 frozen banana
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 cup non fat milk
  • 1 cup unsweetened, vanilla almond milk

And in other non smoothie news, yesterday I ran 4 miles outside with very minimal knee pain.  It was the longest run I’ve done since Hood to Coast so I’m getting cautiously optimistic that HTC # 5 might be in my future after all.  Oh and somehow my pace was 8:34.  I sort of think my Nike+ GPS app was wrong because I never run that fast.  And the best part of the whole run was that I had to wear sunscreen because it was so sunny out.  In fact, I’d even go so far as to use the word HOT to describe yesterday.  But of course, today is pouring down rain so what can you do?

Find something that makes you happy

The other day I was listening to a Jillian Michaels’ podcast (check them out, they’re free on iTunes) and she was talking about depression and ways to prevent it.  Now, I’ve never had any issues with depression so that area is foreign territory to me but as she was listing off some things to help with it she said something along the lines of find something that makes you happy.  And it got me to thinking…I really truly am happy when I’m working out and being active.  Some people hate working out and they never do it, some people work out because it’s healthy and good for their body even though they’re not big fans of it.  But me, I would work out even if those benefits didn’t exist.  I’m a happier person because of exercise. It makes me feel good, relieve stress, challenges me and makes me stronger.

This was super apparent yesterday when I actually went for a run.  A real-life, outside, no stopping and walking run. The 1st of it’s kind since Hood to Coast. And it was glorious.  I’d been planning on doing mat pilates but as I was sitting at my desk, looking out at the weather and seeing sun I decided it was just too nice not to get outside. It was only 3 miles but it felt so great.  My knees were a little crunchy but it didn’t matter (side note – clearly PT is working).  The sun was shinning, I had great tunes blaring and I was happy.  So happy.

Today, my challenge to you is to do something that makes you really crazy, happy.  Maybe that’s going for a run, maybe that’s getting a pedicure, maybe that’s buying a new shirt.  Whatever.  Just be happy today.