Friday, April 20, 2012

Apple Cider Vinegar and Metabolism?

So recently I have started following many different blogs about fitness & health. Most of these people are fitness models and their blogs are full of clean, healthy recipes and heart breaking workouts. Awesome.

I have noticed that a couple of bloggers are really into drinking Apple Cider Vinegar. The Tone It Up diet (can I bring it up again??) has a drink "Meta-D" that is made of apple cider vinegar, cinnamon, crushed red pepper, 100% apple juice & water. I haven't bought this plan. So I don't know how many times a day they recommend drinking it - I know at least once in the AM with breakfast.

I did some research.

It looks like drinking apple cider vinegar has been thought to aide in weight loss for YEARS. For years people have been drinking this stuff. Multiple sites and studies later... I cannot for the life of me find ANYTHING that solidifies or supports that this will increase metabolism or help a person lose weight & burn fat.

So many people claim that this helps - but there is no proof! None. So there you go. Hours of reading summed up to this little: Drinking apple cider vinegar will not help you or I increase our metabolism, lose weight, or burn fat.

I am not a close minded person. I am decisive, sure, but I do my research and make educated decisions. This is true of politics, too, which I plan to not ever bring into my blog. (*Shew* I know.) So if you find legitimate evidence about this pointing in another direction - please tell me! I just could not find any. Not. A. One.

I was about to say "no new recipes" but it is a lie! I just remembered. Yesterday marked five months being married. Wow! Funny, I would say it feels longer, he would say it feels shorter. I don't know why we never "feel" it has been the appropriate amount of time. I also don't know which is better, or if they are not better or worse - just different. Anyway. I tend to eat like a horse (you know, let me lose with sugary & cheesey food and I will eat myself to death) BUT I remembered a recipe I saw for *TWO* cupcakes! Hehe! Makes me giggle a little bit. :) I tweaked the recipe some - making it with 1/2 sugar, 1/2 splenda, almond milk instead of cow utter milk (HAHAHAHAHAHAHA non-vegans are freaks!! lol I am totally just kidding) and I forgot the vanilla. I did not realize I had forgot the vanilla until Steve asked what kind of cupcakes they were. Before I could say vanilla - I realized I hadn't put it in. They were just... cupcakes. But so good!!! They were easily the best I've ever made! Winning.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012


I ate GREAT all day yesterday.
Then, I made chocolate chip cookies.
I should have known better. Ugh.
That is pretty much how every day lately has looked, though! I do great, until the evening when my husband wants some sort of sugary snack and I cave - every time! It's like I just cannot be around it without eating junk food! So annoying.
It was so much easier to say only occasionally "no" to junk food. When I lived with roommates who ate pretty healthy as well I had very little temptation. Not that I would eat their food anyway. I had such a hard time before I moved out of my parents not eating crap because they kept so much at the house. I am just not one of those types that can "just have a nibble" or only one cookie/brownie, whatever. I freaking REALLY LIKE SUGAR.

I need to change this and find some sort of substitute or something, because I can't keep doing this every day. My husband isn't going to change. He makes sacrifices and gives up a lot of junk food he would probably normally keep in his cupboard. Because he knows I have little control and at some point I will probably eat 3/4 box of whatever junk food it is. I have known this about myself for years. And so I never got junk food. It will drive me crazy and I will seriously think about how much I want to eat it and argue with myself about it ALL day.

I'm seeing a counselor tomorrow. I wonder what she will think about all this. Poor lady.

For breakfast I had egg whites with red onion & tomato. My legs hurt all night, to the point where it was difficult to even get comfortable laying down! :( Normally the day after long runs I run an easy three or four miles. Today I biked at the gym for 25 minutes instead. It felt SO good! Really stretched out my legs :) Then I did a lot of upper body weights & came home and did a TIU abs video. After the gym I made protein crepes - SO GOOD! I think I'm going to start making these for a while with fruit instead of protein pancakes (kind of burned out on those right now~) For a late lunch I had veggie sausage, half a sweet potato with smart balance butter & pumpkin pie spice, and some fat free pretzels.

The Kale Salad (I used spinach) I posted about yesterday was a SUCCESS. It was SO good!!! I'm making it again tonight :) I did not make the three bean salad because we have quite a bit of left overs to finish off first-- Brown rice & cauliflower soup. I am sure that will be tasty, too, though!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Ran 13 This Morning!

My legs hurt still! I took it pretty slow - I should have warmed up more, but, like always, I only stretched a little. I had different aches all throughout my run. The wind today was minimal and the temperature was about 55 degrees. It was so nice & sunny! The hills killed me - normal.
My average pace was 10:42. My goal for the race is a 10 min pace. The total time I think was about two hours and seventeen minutes. (I deleted the time accidentally :(.. )
I decided for the next two weeks to focus on eating healthy and as clean as I can without counting calories. I know losing weight is an easy concept - eat less than you burn. But I honestly am not quite sure how many calories I should be eating with how much I am running and right now my goal is to do this race without injury or passing out. :) Steve has really encouraged me to not worry so much about losing weight until after my race. But so many people are making training for half marathons part of their weight loss program. So I don't know.

I found two recipes that I am excited to try tonight for dinner!! They are both on the Tone It Up nutrition plan. I love these girls!! They have great workouts that I have done and really push me to work hard! I have not paid to join their program but I have subscribed to their emails and every once in a while they send out great recipes! I kind of want to pay for the plan but it is more than Steve wants to pay. The diet is pretty clean eating - lots of protein as well. Nothing new - I know how to eat. I know what is good for your body and what is not. I don't have an excuse. I am really curious about all the recipes they have, though! I have done their abs work out videos a few times and some full body workouts. I have pretty much cut all lower body workouts because I am running so much. Doing lower body weights (even light ones) really work against my training. I still do a lot of abs work and upper body, though!
Now that I think about it - I did TABATA yesterday, four minutes of burpees. 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, 8 rounds. WOW! My heart was POUNDING. I wonder if that might have something to do with my tired legs today!

Here are two Tone It up recipes I found on Pinterest (there is my healthy board! :D )

Kale Salad (Walmart is out of kale!! :( Sad. I will use spinach instead.)

Karena's Kale Salad
Servings: 10 -- big enough for a BBQ!  You can divide the portions equally if you want to make less servings.  This salad keeps well overnight too!  It's actually better tasting the longer it marinates :)
  • 5-6 cups kale, washed and cut with kitchen scissors into thin strips.
  • 1/2 cup dried unsweetened cranberries.
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts.
  • 1/2 cup diced red onions.
  • 1/2 cup cherry red tomatoes
  • 1/3 cup feta cheese.  We suggest low-fat or non-fat.
  • juice of one lemon
  • 2 fresh diced garlic cloves
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
Mix kale, cranberries, tomatoes, nuts, onions in a glass bowl.  In a separate dish, mix lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, salt, pepper, garlic to make a dressing.  Pour dressing over kale and toss to coat evenly.  Refrigerate for at least 4 hours, overnight 6 hours or more is best!   Before serving, toss in feta cheese.

Three Bean Salad


  • 1 15-oz can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can kidney beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 15-oz can garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped fine
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped fine
  • 1 cup fresh, finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp fresh finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup organic sugar or substitute for Stevia.  If you use Stevia, you won't need as much.
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a large bowl, mix the beans, celery, onion, parsley and rosemary.
  • In a separate small bowl, whisk together the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, salt, and pepper. Add the dressing to the beans. Toss.
  • Chill beans in the refrigerator for several hours, the longer they soak the better the soak up the flavor!
Serves 4 to 8.

SO EXCITED ABOUT BOTH OF THESE :D Today before my run I ate protein packed chocolate banana cake that I made yesterday. I make them in a muffin tin - mistake! I had them with black coffee and just dipped it in. They came out so dry! I will try putting some apple sauce in this recipe next time I make it. After my run I had a shake made of one banana, about 1/3 cup of almond milk, 1 cup strawberries, 1 scoop protein powder, and like always SPINACH! :D I also  had four morning star "chicken" nuggets. Lots of protein! Yum! And of course - LOTS OF WATER. I've already had 32 ounces in the last three hours, and I hope to triple that by the end of the day. Not that hard with my nalgene :D

Sunday, April 15, 2012


Well this morning was horrifying! We had a tornado hit half a mile away from our home! AH! It was so scary sounding - like a train - and, other than the tornado warning that had been on all evening and was set until 2 am, there was no warning. No sirens. Our internet & phone service stopped working about half an hour before it hit. People were driving around in circles through the neighborhood. There was some sort of explosion and what looked like a fireball that a ton of people were standing outside looking at. I am thankful it wasn't worse. But there have been at least six found dead, including children. :( I've never had a disaster so close to where I was staying. It made me extra thankful and appreciative that I was with my husband, and I hope the feeling of pure thankfulness & appreciativeness lasts!! I need more of that in my heart, honestly.
Just this evening I got SUPER annoyed, frustrated, and some anger towards some people and it was my hubby who reminded me that I should instead pray for them. So we did. And it just really reminded me - once more - that I can either spend my time being annoyed with people or not. Honestly. There will ALWAYS be people who I can let get to me. I am never going to agree with everyone. In fact, it is rare for me to find people who really agree with Steve and I on most issues. We both were home-schooled and want to do the same with our children. We make a lot of choices off the Bible and what we feel God would want us to do instead of society or what is "popular." Especially with American's wanting less and less to do with God and Biblical morals - our opinions are WILDLY UNPOPULAR and often mocked. Anyway - the point is, as a believer I am even told that the world will hate me because it hates Jesus. It hated Jesus before I was even born! And the world will hate Him after I die, too. I need to get over my lack of patience with people I don't agree with or get along with and not let things so silly (that I cannot do anything about!) steal my joy! Ah, I have so much growing up to do!

I have been eating less protein lately - not on purpose. I have been craving junk food like crazy and have had such a hard time saying no! These cravings would be SO much easier to fight had I been eating more protein the past week. I know that about my body. So I'm going to work this week at making sure I really get a lot of protein in. I know it will help me feel better and eat so much healthier!

My fitness goals are to tone up all over. I want to get my abs back. I told Steve I want to have abs so hard I can wash clothes on them. LOL maybe not that intense... I really would LOVE to be able to lose one to two inches around my hips and fit into my skinny jeans. I have atleast seven pairs I fit into pre-wedding that I can't wear now. :( I haven't weighed myself in weeks. The last time I did I think I was 134?? Last summer and before I got hitched in Nov I was 122-125. Boo. Ten pounds = an inch around the hips alright! My half marathon is in two weeks (wow, time goes by fast!) and after I am done with that I look forward to going back to weights and more HIIT. That will help blast fat and get me toned quick for this summer! :)

Wednesday, April 11, 2012


I am not as studious about the Bible as I should be. I hate to admitt that I have spent way more time reading about health & fitness than I have in the word. I have recently decided to memorize the book of James. Wow! I still am unsure about it. I hope my lack of confidence in myself and my abiblity to memorize so much does not hinder my mission.
I ate so poorly this weekend. We ate on the road quite a bit - always a lose in my book. I should have been smart and packed nuts and fruit. Ah. Oh, well, I guess! I have such a love/hate relationship with food.
I hope to get better at spending more time with God & also eating healthy but not obsessing about it.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Protein & waiting to feel better.

I'm not feeling well today. I was sick all morning and felt pretty bad that I had to tell Steve I really wasn't up to even making him breakfast. :( Wife fail. I'm feeling better now, and hopefully I feel better later this afternoon because I need to get in a speed workout today... on my schedule today is 2 mile warm up, 7 x 800 at 10k pace, 2 mile cool down. I'm suppose to receive a GPS watch in the mail today! Maybe I'll get extra lucky and I will feel better, the sun will come out, AND my watch will get here at the same time. :) Steve also ordered me some GU along with the watch - YAY!! I'm hoping GU will help my long runs. I am running 13 this weekend - WOW - and really need to start training with it if I plan to use it during the race.

Breakfast this morning:
Not too exciting. I had some pre-chopped bell pepper & pre-boiled kale that I mixed with egg whites. Also had a piece of whole grain toast with an over-easy egg on top. Nom nom.
19 grams of protein, 13 grams carbs, 190 calories.
I usually eat closer to 300 calories but today I wanted to get in some veggies because I honestly just have a hard time eating them lately. It helps that the weather is getting warmer, I will have much more of an appetite for salads & fruit in the summer. I already am wanting them a little more :) I am pretty good at sticking to eating five to six times a day, small amounts. And as long as I don't eat my last meal or snack too early, I am never really hungry or full. I usually have at least 100 grams of protein a day. I don't really pay attention to fat or carbs, because I have been only eating "good carbs" and "good fats." Even still, I usually end up eating "too much" fat and "too little" carbohydrates. Most days look close to this. (this day actually has less protein than my normal, but close enough):
Yes, I count my calories. I will eat too much if I don't - but I also want to make sure I am eating enough to fuel my body as well as enough to replenish & repair after workouts. I have really increased my protein intake just this past month, and I can definitely tell a difference in my training. My recovery time is better and I am not as sore. I feel so much better ALL the time, but my workouts especially are a lot more enjoyable. It has really helped being able to hop on the internet when I am craving something and find a healthy alternative. That way I rarely feel like I am missing out on eating something that I really want. It also helps reminding myself that a craving is temporary. And whatever it is I want in full fat & full sugar - I most likely won't tomorrow. One day at a time! It really does get easier!

Monday, April 2, 2012


I have come to like & even look forward to Mondays ~ I never thought I'd say that! I have been going to a women's Bible study that I really enjoy. Everyone is so sweet & friendly. We are going through a Beth Moore study, James Mercy Triumphs. It's pretty in depth and I have really enjoyed it so far. My week consists of training, eating, feeding my husband breakfast, lunch, & dinner (it makes me so happy!!) and chores. I do little crafts every now and then like scrap booking, or just last week I made a tutu for my half-marathon at the end of the month. But I haven't really made friends here, yet, so Monday the day I look forward to getting out of the house and being with other women for an hour and a half. :)

We had our picture in the Sunday paper here in town. Now, I am pretty sure half the town already knew who at least my husband was - now the other half knows who we are! It's so weird that whereever I go people know us!! I love it, and it was what I have wanted for a while. I love the feeling of close community. Literally every where we go, we run into people who either already know who we are, or have heard about us and are happy to meet us in person. Crazy! I really like it, though, and hope we get to stay here for a while. I think I can confidently speak for Steve and myself when I say we feel so blessed and are so thankful to God that we are here. And we didn't know what we were going to do or where we were going to go - but God sure pointed us to Woodward and I'm so thankful that He did.


I found this recipe I just HAVE to share. I have been eating it as a snack most days. I can't remember what blog I found it on - it could have been from pinterest. I have found a ton of similar recipes but not this exact one that I've been hooked on. It's called something like Protein Mug Cake.

I usually do not bother with loosening the cake from the mug onto a plate. I did today, just to share what it looks like. But I usually eat it right out of the mug. YUM!! I haven't tried any topping on it, I eat it as is. Now, seriously, if you know me at all, you know I take my junk food seriously and I can be quite a pig. Honestly. I can't make brownies or cookies wihout eating half the batch. No joke. This mug cake totally tastes somewhere in between chocolate cake & brownie. I love that it doesn't leave me craving more, though. It is totally enough & satisfies my sweets craving.

Warning!  This thing expands!! It has been explained to me very scientifically by my genious husband why a woman should not stand in front of a microwave while it is running. Guard your eggs! I won't get into that. BUT - I had to strategically hide my lower body behind the dryer while watching to make sure this did not overflow the mug. I used a big mug, too! I have to lower the power wattage & cook a little more than one minute. Yes. Yes, my washer and dryer are in the kitchen. And I don't care. It's a rental. ;)

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Kale Movement

A couple big things I've found on fitness/health blogs have caught my attention recently. One of these is kale. The taste is so much stronger than spinach, and a lot of people recomend actually boiling it for consuming.
I found some at Walmart! I was pretty excited & surprised.. They also carry veggie burgers, tofu, and even some vegan cheese! Pretty nice for a small town. I'm really not sure what people here think of being vegetarian or vegan, but I'm sure it's kind of like that scene in My Big Fat Greek Wedding.. "What do you mean, you don't eat no meat?! That's okay - I'll make lamb." ( Story of my life in the last three years since I stopped eating meat! Anyway, for lunch I boiled some kale...
I ate it with a sweet potato topped with some coconut oil & pumpkin pie spice - YUM! For dinner I had a bunch of raw kale & spinach salad with olive oil & fat free feta ... I might have snuck a little bit of low fat caesar as well.. I LOVE caesar salad dressing! And after a twelve mile run I thought why not splurge a little ;)

It was so hot outside!! I loved it! I layed out for a bit - I'm trying to get rid of the awful running tan lines I'm getting - the socks, shorts, tank... meh. I really wouldn't care so much about tan lines, except in a month Steve and I are getting some wedding pictures taken and my strapless dress might look a little funny with sports top tan lines. :)
I probably should not have layed out to bake before my long run... but I was waiting for my running buddy to get out of a late church service ~ plus I didn't want to run in the heat of the day. It still ended up being pretty hot, and I probably could have had more water before I hit the trails, but I didn't want to have to stop to go to the restroom. Two hours is a long time to be running... LONG. TIME. I went pretty slow and am pretty happy that I went that distance. My first time to run 12 miles! Wahoo!