I Love the Smell of Hippie in the Morning

I’m not sure this photo really does the feeling of spilled green juice justice.

Liquid Bronze

That glass was FULL moments before that picture was taken.

The only thing I can compare spilling about 8 oz of fresh vegetable juice to would be spilling a 4 oz bottle of expressed breast milk all over your desk and work clothes. M@ther#F*ckr%! How quickly you understand why they call it liquid gold. Something you worked so damn hard for and is now gone, you’ve got a mess to clean up, a baby who’s going without lunch (kidding) or a husband who’s going without breakfast (talking about the other kind of juice now).

Lesson learned – although you think I would have learned this in 1st grade – dry your hands off before picking something up that is slippery when wet. What a concept.

The glass slipped out of my wet hand as I picked it up to transfer juice from the glass to the pitcher. Fortunately it was mainly cucumber, apple and lemon juice and all the gold (juice from the romaine) had already be transferred about 5 minutes earlier. So really I only spilled liquid bronze this morning. I’ve got a boat load of apples and lemons and cucumbers so I was able recover from early morning juice carnage without having to tell Zak that no, I didn’t make any juice this morning with one hand covering the green juice slopped onto my shirt while my other hand wiped off my green juice mustache.

In other hippie news – I got out the mung beans this morning and started soaking them to prepare for lift off. I mean sprouting.

Mung Beans There They Are

Why do I feel like I have a mouth full of pebbles every time I say the word “Mung”?

4 tablespoons of dried mung beans. Gonna let these little suckers soak for 6 hours and then let the sprouting fun begin. 3 – 4 days til complete sprout-age tells this impatient mama that it’s time to go find some more wide mouth jars.

I wanted to take a clever picture of my juice and my soaking beans, one in each hand, using my third hand to hold the camera. My third hand being comprised of the the timer on my camera and holding my camera between my chin and my chest. But what I wound up with was a camera that slipped from it’s position (stupid sweatshirt) and came crashing down on to the stove, MORE slopped juice that landed on my camera to top it all off. My camera seems no worse for wear but I don’t think it appreciates live enzymes and chlorophyll the same way I do. Yeah – not sure my sweatshirt is really the stupid one here.

Somewhere along my comedy of errors this picture was taken and you can bet my juice drinking bean sprouting ass it’s getting posted on the blog for everything I went through this morning to take it.

Talk to the Hand

So here’s my very non-clever, juice and camera friendly picture of what I did with myself this morning.

Oh how I love the smell of hippie in the morning.

I Love the Smell of Hippie in the Morning

That juice is now safely in my stomach and those beans are sitting on the window sill in my kitchen getting their soak on.

In other non-hippie news I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do this morning: run or ride. When I realized that neither idea appealed to me I counted backwards and realized I haven’t had a rest day since Tuesday of last week – so today’s the day. I “rested” today by cursing at myself while mopping up juice mixed with tears.

And a fun announcement: if you’re a blogger (or even if you aren’t!) head over to Matt the No Meat Athlete’s new(ish) blog Health Blog Helper to check out a guest post of mine today! Health Blog Helper is a site Matt designed to offer advice and tips for those who blog in the healthy living niche. I’m working on a new series for Health Blog Helper called Behind the Blog where I interview some of the rock star healthy living bloggers and give my fellow health bloggers (not to mention myself!) a peek at what makes some of the more prominent blogs tick. Be sure to check out my first interview featuring Caitlin from Health Tipping Point today! And be sure to poke around HBH while you’re there – Matt’s got a bunch of great posts and tips for bloggers of all shapes and sizes.

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Tea Time

I was on the fence about running this morning since I ran yesterday, but then it was decided for me when Maxine woke up early. I spent the time getting caught up with all things house and life instead. It’s amazing how just straying from the norm for a few days throws everything out of whack.

When I felt ready for something to eat I whipped up a bowl of fruit cereal. But today, I had the GOOD prunes. That’s right, the good prunes. I’m joining Holly in the kingdom of g-ma’s and I’m proud of it.

Woodstock Farms, I heart your dried apples – but I’m sorry, there’s some room for improvement in the Prune Department.

Newman’s Own Organics, congratulations, you have won the award for Best Organic Prunes!

This is only my second bag of Newman’s Own Organics prunes, the first being from the box of goodies they sent us to review.  The second bag I finally managed to stalk down at the food co-op on Tuesday. They have the biggest Larabar selection this side of the Mississippi so I was only half surprised to find NOO prunes there, but it didn’t stop me from giving a store clerk a love pat on the ass as he walked by. I would have high fived him but his hands were full pushing a dolly of bulk almond butter. (He got a love pat on the other cheek for that.)

Surely you know I jest. Prunes do crazy things to me. CRAZY THINGS I TELL YA!

So where was I? Oh yes. Fruit cereal with the good prunes.

The Good Prunes

This morning I diced up my last banana (write them on the list!!), a beat up pear, 4 or 5 of the juiciest, most delicious prunes you’ll ever sink your teeth (or gums – if you wait until you are an old wo/man) into, breaded in ground flax, topped with sunflower seeds and a nice pour of unsweetened vanilla hemp milk.

Nell and Paul Newman look on with approving smiles.

Nell and Paul Approve

Fruit cereal is so perfectly satisfying I keep giving myself love pats on the ass to make sure it’s not all in my head.

It is down right chilly here this morning and I was in the mood for tea. Time to dust off my sweet little tea pot, tea time is upon us!

Sweet Little Tea Pot

I love my tea pot because it was a gift from one of my dearest, sweetest friends, and I think of her every time I use it. But more than that, I love that I can have tea all morning, it stays warm and with the cover on the tea pot the tea brews the way you are supposed to brew tea; with a little something to hold in the steam for 10 minutes or so.

Red Raspberry Leaf

This morning I’m drinking Red Raspberry Leaf Tea from Traditional Medicinals. I discovered this tea when I was pregnant with Ava, it’s a uterine tonic. Mmmm. Uterine tonic. That’s what everyone wants from their tea.  Well, I don’t know about you but I get warm and fuzzy when I think about my uterus post-pregnancy.  You did good uterus!  I’m happy to drink a little something for it every now and then.

OK really I’m drinking it because it’s the only tea in my cupboard that appealed to me this morning but shhhh don’t tell my uterus that.

Another Marathon Day

Today is Ms. Maxine’s birthday – my “baby” is THREE!

I woke up just before 5:00 today and swapped out today’s a work out for gift wrapping and decorating. I love the kids birthday’s so much – I find so much joy celebrating the day of their births. They are without a doubt my two favorite days of the year.

Dining room decorated and her new pink tutu and dancing shoes wrapped, I figured it was appropriate to make the same green smoothie I made the morning of the half marathon to help power me through this marathon day!

another_marathon_day

Green smoothie polished off, I was off to Wegmans to pick up some helium balloons and a few last ingredients for her birthday cake today. 6am is absolutely the best time to grocery shop, I swear!

balloons

Yes, I had to get TWO – lest World War III break out this morning.

The downstairs is now filled with Happy Birthday banners, streamers and balloons – now we’re just waiting for the Birthday Girl to rise from her slumber!

waiting

Today is going to be a marathon day because it is also Ava’s first day at her homeschooling “school” and given it’s a parent co-op I’ve got a bunch of things I need to do this morning before we leave. Tonight is Maxine’s birthday party and we’ve got a lot to do to get ready for that as well! Zak has the day off from work to be my slave spend the day together as a family.

This is the first birthday in the history of the girls birthdays that we are NOT doing the huge birthday bash. The big birthday parties are fun but preparing a meal for 40+ family members and friends, party favors, drinks, cake, dishes, party prep, recovery… it’s stressful not to mention expensive! I finally realized that I actually want to ENJOY the anniversary of their births. We’re having a small gathering here tonight with close family for cake, ice cream and presents.

One big project I do enjoy is making their birthday cakes! Maxine’s 1st birthday cake was the first I ever made and it’s now my tradition. I probably not the best role model for healthy baking, overt your eyes if this offends you!

butter

I am using organic whipping cream, flour and eggs – but everyone is going to get their daily dose of butter today that’s for sure! Good thing kiddie birthday’s only come once a year. Or, in our house – twice a year. But who’s counting.

Hip Hip Hooray I love birthdays!

Re-Runs

With the girls with Aunt Ellen for the day, I spent yesterday chained to my desk. A forgotten pleasure.

Friday Salad

I unlocked the chains long enough to make a big salad mess. A far-from-forgotten pleasure. A re-run I’ll happily enjoy day after day.

Before the girls came home last night I ran to the marathon expo with my running partner Shawn. Well, we didn’t really run, we drove. You never can tell so I figure I better clarify.

This year I took advantage of the sneaker recycling program they offer and brought my old sneakers to donate to this “Re-Runs” Program.

Re-runs

Those are the sneakers I ran the marathon in last year! I probably should have had them bronzed. Could be cool but then it would just be one more thing to dust.

Dropped Off Sneaks

Bahahaha who am I kidding I never dust.

This is the journey any pair of running sneakers of mine are destined to take:

First, they are born. Born to run.
Then, they run many miles and grow old. A new pair is born and they are free to retire for walks and visits to the playground.
Next, when a third generation is born, they graduate to lawn mowing.
Eventually, they are left to live in the garage due to grass stains and clipping stick-age. Spiders lay eggs in them and they are thrown out.

Thrown out, or in this case donated to needy people. Don’t ever say I don’t do my part for the community.

OK, just kidding. That pair never made it to the Land of Lawn Mowing and Spider Eggs. I tried to donate a lawn mowing pair but when I reached under the bench to grab them without looking I didn’t realize until it was too late that I grabbed two right shoes. (I have two of the exact same retired pair out there in Spider Valley.) I think a higher power intervened and was trying to tell me not to be an idiot. I tossed them and now have two left shoes in my garage that are being converted into spider condos.

This would be me posing with my tech shirt! WOOT one of the first 1500 to register and get a free tech shirt! Wow, a race shirt I’ll actually be able to run in – go figure. (Cotton is the enemy! Hisssss!)

Tech Shirt

Zak pointed out once that I always cock my head to the left when I’m getting my picture taken. Why do I do this? Someone tell me why!

A nice little message.

Run Happy

Actually, I prefer to Run Angry. WHY WOULD I RUN HAPPY?? TELL ME WHY! Don’t boss me around! Jerk.

*Ahem*

I’ve been contemplating my mid-run fuel and have opted to go with Sport Beans because I’ve used them before. I like dried fruit or could make some of Brendan‘s fuel recipes, but I’m sticking with the “nothing new on race day” approach and going with what I know works.

I picked up these beans up at the expo. The watermelon are mine and the cherry are Shawn’s. He gave them to me so he wouldn’t forget them. Nice. So if we both bonk tomorrow it’ll be all on me. They’ll have gels on the course but the beans are easy to keep in your shorts pocket and pop a couple as needed. Less messy and that little bag fits perfectly in the inside pouch my running shorts too.

Sport Beans

I’ve never had the caffeinated sport beans though. So I guess that will be new on race day. Oops. I haven’t had a cup of coffee or any caffeine for that matter for the last two weeks. When I go a while without coffee I can really feel the effect of caffeine. Caffeine can definitely be a performance enhancer. I fully expect these to turn on the turbo boosters and allow me run like someone said “Free Larabars at the finish!”

So I’m going to segue now into a bout of seriousness and honesty. I know, I know. Humor me here.

In the past I would totally splurge on a fun dessert leading up to the race, like cake or ice cream for a pre-run treat/carbo load! Yes, even two nights early. It’s not that I feel like I “deserve” it, more like “I’m excited about a big event let’s do something fun!” And I totally felt that pre-race excitement/sugary instinct last night! But after reading Thrive (and I’ve still got a full review coming, I promise) I’ve come to understand that this is pretty far from what you might call a good idea.

Brendan writes that processed foods can actually hamper your performance. Refined sugars and carbs put stress on your system, and it takes a lot of energy and taxes the body to digest these foods. This is true no matter when you eat them, but going into a big race? The last thing I want to do is waste precious energy digesting food!

In the past I would totally think “oh, I’m running XX miles this week, I can totally have a piece of a cake. I’m carb loading!” A piece of cake is fine now and then and I certainly allow room for treats in my life, but I now fully realize that if there’s any time to focus on WHOLE foods that are easily assimilated into the body – the days leading up to a race or big event is definitely the time to do it. If it were a 5K I might be a little more lax, but considering I want to really perform well tomorrow I’m taking this very seriously.

Home after the expo I snacked my way through some carrots, banana chips and dried apples and then realized I better make something. I didn’t want to have to tell Zak we were having banana chips for dinner. I ended up going with the same black bean burgers I made on Tuesday. Another re-run but that’s how you know it was good! This time I wanted to add a little flour to the mix but I didn’t have any.

I remembered a comment left by Shawna from Balancing Me on my Tofu Cakes post from Thursday. Shawna reminded me that you can make your own oat flour by processed some rolled oats.

And that’s exactly what I did.

Oat flour

In the bowl: 1 15 oz can of (rinsed, drained, mashed) black beans, 1/2 cup oat flour, 1/2 cup chopped (in my mini chopper) sun dried tomatoes and 1/2 cup chopped sunflower seeds.

Mush

In the pan dusted with a Misto‘d with a little olive oil, it’s already getting a thumbs up because I know how good it’s going to be!

Thumbs Up

On a toasted Ezekiel bun with mustard, spinach and a pickle. The oat flour definitely made this even sturdier than the one on Tuesday. Zak and I agreed that these were the best home made veggie burgers yet!

Black Bean Burger Kiss It Goodbye

Oh yes you can totally kiss that sucker good bye.

Zak went out to lunch yesterday with his coworkers and brought fortune cookies home for the girls, and even one for me. I found meaning in my fortune.

Fortune

So I lied, I guess I did eat some processed grains and sugar yesterday! Crap I’m such a hypocrite.

This morning after I dreamed of becoming somebody, I awakened to make my vegetables become something. Juice.

Red Juice

The usual crowd: Romaine Jackson, Coolio Cucumber, Sir Beet Feet, Apple of My Eye, Ginger Rogers and Lemon Lemone.

Later this morning, the re-run I’ve been waiting 24 hours for… Chocolate Banana Fruit Cereal.

My two bananas, diced and coated in ground flax and cocoa powder.

Breaded Bananas

The exact same breakfast I had yesterday.

Fruit Cereal Re-Run

On any other day I would have just skipped posting about the meals from yesterday, but I thought I would share my new Thrive-inspired approach to fueling for a big event. Veggies! Healthy Fats! Fruit! More veggies! We’ll see how it goes.

The race starts tomorrow at 7:45AM. My goal is to come in under 2 hours. A time of 1:59:59 means an average pace of 9:08/mile. I hope to run much faster than that but I’m glad to have a minimum pace in my mind.

In a perfect race day world, I would love to come in under 1:50. A time of 1:49:59 means an average pace of 8:23. I believe I’ll be able to finish in less than 2 hours, but less than 1:50? I’m not so sure.

The whole fam is heading over to Shawn’s house tonight for dinner and to finalize our race day approach. It will be another day of re-runs. Veggie burger for lunch, a huge salad for dinner. No pre-race pasta ritual for this chicka! Not this time. I’ll be on the Veggie Highway.

I’ll be back tomorrow with a full race report! Send me all the fast mama vibes you’ve got, I’ll take everything I can get!

Fruit Cereal. Yummy Yummy.

Unless you’ve watched The Wiggles before, today’s title will be a little less meaningful for you. Go ahead click that link. You can come back and curse me later when you can’t get that song out of your head.

Today is a rest day. Tomorrow will be too. I’m resting my legs in preparation for 13 big ones on Sunday and I would be lying if I said I’m not grateful for the extra time two rest days will afford me.

I would also be lying if I said today’s fruit cereal didn’t make me drop to my knees and weep tears of unabashed joy.

It all started innocently enough. Out of hemp milk, all that was in the cupboard was a box of unsweetened chocolate almond milk. OK, let’s work it out. I typically use the chocolate almond milk with some chocolaty oat concoction that includes the use of unsweetened cocoa powder.

I diced up two bananas. Yes two. I figure if I’m swapping out oats for fruit and all I’m eating for breakfast is banana (with a few extras that would be in a bowl of oats anyway) then I get two.

So today instead of just flax for coating my bananas with, I added a heaping teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder and breaded my chopped up bananas with cocoa powder and flax.

Topped with a few sliced almonds for crunch and a rounded, generous teaspoon of almond butter, I found my self in fruit cereal euphoria.

Chocolate Banana Cereal

Holy goodness in a glass bowl this was so chocolaty and perfectly sweet. I worry about using unsweetened cocoa powder always fearing that it’s going to taste like chocolate ass – but combined with banana it tastes like whatever the opposite of chocolate ass might be.

Fruit Cereal and Tea

With tea again this morning!

I’m foot loose and child free until this evening. Off to kick up my heels.

And We’re Back!

I didn’t know if I was going to blog tonight but after a weekend away at the family cottage, completely removed from all forms of technology, the girls are making up for lost time and reacquainting themselves with their forgotten friends, Computer and Television. I like to call those friends Peace and Quiet, respectively.

A little photo journal from our weekend away. We had picture perfect weather and lots of uninterrupted family time.

Nature Pics

Pretty

The exact same picture, but behind my sunglasses. Because I’m cool like that.

Same picture, behind sunglasses

Randomness.

Blue Flowers Fire!

Saturday was a rest day but I enjoyed a little unofficial exercise in the kayak. Holy shoulder work out batman.

In the Kayak

Yes, it’s really me behind the camera!

Yes, it's really me!

Rapids!

in_the_rapids

I see… a bad moon rising! There’s a bathroom on the right… or whatever the lyrics are to that song.

Moon Rise Over the River

Food Pics

Have veggies, will travel.

Have Veggies, Will Travel

I put together a couple of these little trail mix containers for easy snacking and packing. This was my pre-run snack this morning. Dried apples, raisins, walnuts and pumpkin seeds.

Happy Trails

I love to run at the cottage because the change of scenery is a great way to mix it up. Plus the area is hillier than an SOB and is another great way to mix it up. The hills also give me a great chance to try out new curse words too.

Kids Pics

This would be Ava’s new favorite thing: being buried to her neck in sand.

Ava's New Favorite Thing

Rinsing off and Zak showing Ava he can float.

He Can Float

And of course she had to be buried again this morning before we left.

Again Today

This concludes tonight’s photo adventure. Back to regularly scheduled blogging tomorrow AM!

No Rest for the Weary

Today is a rest day. I swapped exercise this morning with work on my never ending to-do list. Over the years I’ve signed myself to volunteer for various non-profit groups and organizations – all in my quest to keep my brain from turning to mush as a stay at home mom. It’s all good, but sometimes things pile up and out of no where I realize I’ve got a million of things to do when all I’d really like to do is curl up into the fetal position with Halloween costume catalog and pretend my biggest concern is what Disney Princess I want to be for Halloween.

Disney Princess Costumes

Between tasks this morning I’ve of course been in and out of the kitchen about half a dozen times already.

Garbonzo beans soaked for about 8 hours and cooked for an hour ready to meet their food processor maker. My guess is hummus will be made. And that’s a pretty good guess considering I’m the cook around here.

Beans

Magenta Lemonade, his and hers.

Magenta Lemonade for Two

Who says you can’t make lemonade from romaine, cucumbers, apples, beets, lemons and ginger? Not Natalia, that’s for sure.

More work at my desk, I swapped out my coffee break for a cantaloupe break.

Cantaloupe

Somehow I’m still finding time to slowly but surely work my way through Thrive. I’m feeling naturally drawn to only juice and fruit until lunch time lately. I have to say the things Brendan Brazier has to say about raw foods and a vegan lifestyle are pretty convincing. I love so much of what I read in the Raw Foods Detox Diet by Natalia Rose, Thrive has felt like a natural progression. It’s the athlete’s raw food bible in my mind. He gives such a great explanation as to why raw foods are so good for you and what they can do for your body. It’s hard to argue with what he writes. He’s filled in some of the gaps from Natalia’s book. I feel like I’m putting together the pieces of the puzzle for the perfect diet for me, grabbing a little from here, a little from there coming up with what works for me on both a nutritional level and an emotional/psychological level as well. It trickles down to the kids and Zak, even my friends and family who seem interested and will listen to me rattle on. Not to mention you fine people too! That’s what this is really all about though, right? Sharing what we learn and live with the people we love.

I’m going to write a real review on Thrive as soon as I finish it. I’m aiming for some time before I’ve got to make my final decision on being Ariel or Cinderella for Halloween. Here’s hoping.