Menu Plan Monday–October 17, 2011

This is another busy week.  Imagine that!  Something big happens this week.  Can you guess what it is?  Probably not.  LOL!  Jon gets his temporary driving permit.  OH.MY.GOSH!  Can someone please tell me when this little boy:


Became this teenager (on the left):


If I didn’t have gray hair before, I certainly will now! 

Sunday – Met up with friends post race at Quaker Steak & Lube

Monday – Pasta with marinara, kidney beans, roasted okra & salad

Tuesday – Rotisserie chicken, garlic mashed potatoes, steamed broccoli & salad

Wednesday – Burritos w/ black beans, turkey, corn and salad

Thursday – Coconut baked rice, honey baked lentils & salad

Friday –MYOP w/ Udi’s gluten-free pizza crust

Saturday – Grandma’s 90th B-day party

Hope you all have a great week!  My goal this week is to not run until Saturday – light cross training only until then. 

Columbus Half Marathon 2011 Recap

Commit. Train. Believe. Achieve.  Fitting that this is the official motto for the race that I just PR’d in!

I DID IT!  Shiny new PR (personal record) for me!  I finished the race in 1:57:31 yesterday – my previous PR was 2:01:22 in the same race in 2009.  I don’t think I have ever been as nervous about a race as I was this one.  I knew that I had put the work in with my training, but would it all pay off?

Prerace picture taken by my friend, Sue.

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Like the plastic trash bag?  That helped keep me warm until we started – the wind was a little too much comfort before the sun rose.

17,000 runners signed up to run the full & half marathons.  Truly amazing.  The race began with fireworks lighting up the dark sky.  The energy was contagious!  There were points during this race that I really doubted myself – mile 11 was a tough one.  I began to realize at this point that coming in under 2 hours was going to happen as long as I kept my current pace (right around 9 min/mile) and nothing catastrophic happened.  I felt like I was going to puke.  I was so nervous!  I started to chant to myself “I can do this” and “You’ve got this” for the next half mile or so.  I needed to distract my mind from the numbers and just focus on putting one foot in front of the other.  The bands on the course (100 bands over 26.2 miles) were awesome and did a fantastic job of distracting me.  The crowd support was the best I have seen at a race – and seeing many friends & fellow MIT runners running was a fantastic boost!  I don’t think there was a point in time where there weren’t people lined up along the side of the road.

The last half mile of the race is uphill to start and then you head downhill to the finish line.  When you are running up that hill you are cursing the course designers, only to pick up the pace & fly to the finish line. Below you can see the back of me picking up the pace!


How I placed:
2616 out of 9924 total half runners
1004 out of 6184 Females
148 out of 903 Females in the F3539 Age Group

After the race:

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MIT banner – So cool that they had all of our names listed!

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We headed home where Aaron made an amazing gluten-free recovery brunch – turkey bacon, potatoes, eggs & a Food for Life English muffin!

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Surprisingly I don’t feel too bad today.  My feet feel better than I thought they would, especially since my plantar fasciitis was really acting up in my right foot between miles 7-9.  My legs are sore, as in I can tell I pushed it, but that is a good sore.  I really believe that the strength training & yoga that I have been focusing on has paid off.  My legs are so much stronger than they were just 6 months ago when I ran the Cap City Half.  The physical therapy I did in the spring to strengthen my hips & glutes is what jump started my quest to find a strength training program that worked for me.

Thank you to my family – without your support, this would NOT be possible!!  I love you all!

The weekly menu plan will be up later today.  Trying to play catch up now!  Smile


Race Day

It is here.  Race Day.  The day I have been waiting for all summer.  I ran this race 2 years ago for the first time.  It was my first ever half marathon.  They say you aren’t supposed to set time goals for your first race.  Your goal should simply be to finish.  Being the competitive person I am, I couldn’t help but set a goal of running the race in less than 2 hours.  While I didn’t hit my goal, I only missed it by less than 2 minutes.  I was pleased, as I got sick less than 48 hours before the race started.  Here is the picture….I don’t know if you can see the 2nd pic from the left, but I look miserable!  LOL!


I was unable to run this race last year, as I was recovering from a stress fracture that I suffered running the Cleveland Marathon in May 2010.

This will be my fifth half marathon and my fourth attempt at coming in under 2 hours.  I ran the ING Half Marathon in March of 2010 as a training run & helped pace a friend to finish under 2:30.  The weather looks decent – 47 and cloudy or so at the start.  There is a 30% chance of light rain and while that won’t bother me, I hope it stays clear for all of those spectating & supporting their friends & family.

The training is there.  I know I can do it.  I need to push all of the mental blocks away & just run.  If you are interested in following my progress, follow me on Twitter, where TweetMyTime will be updating as I run.  Wish me luck!!

“Try not. Do or do not, there is no try.” – Yoda

Yoda’s quote

So, there you have it.


Review: Doc’s Dressings, Vinaigrettes and Marinades

A few weeks back we received some samples from Doc’s to review.  I was excited as we eat a lot of salad & I love finding new marinades to change up our meals.  Doc’s has a wide variety of products

  • salad dressing & marinades (Miso vinaigrette, Cilantro lime vinaigrette, Balsamic vinaigrette & Lemon basil vinaigrette)
  • salsa
  • dipping oil
  • BBQ sauce (coming soon)
  • olive oil (coming soon)

I have used the dressings on multiple salads and I believe that the Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette is my favorite.  I love the flavor of cilantro as long as it isn’t overwhelming and it is just perfect in this dressing.  I also used the balsamic vinaigrette to marinate & cook chicken breast in.  The chicken, cooked on my George Foreman, was moist & flavorful served over a bed of coconut baked brown rice. 

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I loved, loved, loved the dipping oil paired with Chebe focaccia & Schar’s French baguette.  Thank goodness for running & carb loading, right? 

The rest of the family ate the salsas, but I did manage to dip a few chips in each.  We love blue corn tortilla chips and when the bag gets opened, they don’t hang around for long!  Both salsas had great flavor & texture and the “Wild & Wooly” is certainly that!

Doc’s products can be purchase on their website, through Green Bean Delivery or at Bigg’s or Remke’s markets. 

***The products in this post were sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.

Kinnikinnick Pumpkin Spice Donuts

A few weeks back we received some pumpkin spice donuts from Kinnikinnick to sample.  I won’t lie, I hid them once they arrived so I had a chance at getting one before Jon found them.  Once I was able to sink my teeth into the wonderfully spiced circle of heaven, I told Jon that there were some treats in the freezer for him.


He made quick work of the remaining donuts.  These tasted just as good as I remember them tasting last year, but the frosting seemed to fall off in shipping or in the freezer.  I don’t think that the missing frosting detracted from the experience, but others may want a sweeter donut, which the frosting would lend to.

The donuts can be ordered exclusively on the Kinnikinnick website or purchased in the Edmonton Retail store.  Kinnikinnick has a $10 flat shipping rate, so make sure to stock up on your favorites when placing your order for your donuts.  The pumpkin spice donuts will only be available for order through November 30, so don’t miss out!

What is your favorite Kinnkinnick product?

***The product reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge for review purposes.  The opinions stated here are mine and have not been influenced by anyone or anything.


Gluten Freely Baker’s Challenge Voting Open

Don’t forget to make your vote count for the first ever Gluten Freely Baker’s Challenge.  Voting is open now through October 15, 2011 – so only 2 more days!   Additionally, in celebration of the Baker’s Challenge, all Gluten-Free Bisquick & Betty Crocker’s cake mixes are 15% off through the website.  You do have to be a part of the Gluten Freely Community to vote, but joining is free & only takes a minute or two.  More from Gluten Freely:

We’ve selected ten finalists – your most creative and inspired gluten-free holiday recipes made with a Betty Crocker Gluten Free mix or Bisquick® Gluten Free. Now cast your vote for the recipe you think deserves to be the Grand Prize Winner.

To choose a winning recipe, consider the following: taste, creativity, holiday appeal, ease of prep, and appearance.

With Halloween just around the corner, make sure to check out some of these spooky recipes from GlooOOoooten Freely.  I am thinking the tarantula tacos or pumpkin streusel cheesecake bars might be just what we need for Trick or Treating fueling up!

My favorite Halloween treats are pumpkin spice cookies.  The recipe comes from my grandma and every time I bite into one, I think of her. 

What is your favorite Halloween treat?  Do you like to make treats or eat Halloween candy?  I like it all!


All Things Butternut

Last week I roasted a large butternut squash and used it in various meals throughout the week, as well as a side dish or a salad topper.  The squash is easy to roast.  Slice open (carefully), clean out seeds & then simply roast in the oven for about 40 minutes at 400 – 425.  If you are using the squash in a recipe that requires it to be pureed or in chunks, skin the squash & cut into chunks before roasting.  I did this and then tossed with extra virgin olive oil & Trader Joe’s South African smoke seasoning blend.

After the squash was done, I got to making the first recipe I was using the squash in – Butternut Squash Mac & Cheeze.  I made some small changes, but the results were still spectacular!

  • 1 fresh butternut squash* (see my method above)
  • Extra virgin olive oil, S & P
  • 1 tbsp Earth Balance (I used Melt)
  • 1 cup unsweetened & unflavoured almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla Almond Breeze)
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot powder (I used cornstarch)
  • 5 tbsp nutritional yeast, or more to taste
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 3/4 tsp kosher salt (or to taste) & ground black pepper, to taste
  • 4 servings brown rice macaroni (8oz or half a 16oz package) makes 3 1/4 cup cooked
  • Mix-ins of choice (I used kale and chunks of squash)


I loved this dish – it was flavorful & filling.  Perfect fall day treat! 

Believe it or not I still had squash left over and I was planning on pizza for Friday night.  Can you see where this is going? Butternut squash pizza.  Then I just had to figure out what to top it with.  I asked for some ideas on twitter and loved that I had the first two that were suggested already on hand: pine nuts & goat cheese.  I found a few other ingredients to add to those 2 and got to work.

  • Kinnikinnick personal size pizza crust
  • Butternut squash (roasted & seasoned as directed above)
  • Goat cheese
  • Pine nuts
  • Sun dried tomatoes
  • Chopped broccoli
  • Spinach


I loved this combination!!  I thought about adding shredded carrots after the fact – perhaps in place of the broccoli?  I managed to finish off the whole thing by myself (not that my family would have eaten this combo – they think I am weird). 

Do you like butternut squash?  What is your favorite way to prepare it?

Menu Plan Monday–Gluten-Free Carb Loading

Six days until my race.  What does that mean?  Other than the fact that I am going crazy from inactivity, it means carb loading time.  Carb loading does not give me a free pass to stuff my face, it means shifting the focus of my meals to be carb heavy, as opposed to focusing more on protein.  I also decrease my fiber intake the closer I get to race day to minimize stomach issues.  Some of the foods I use to carb load are those that I eat in my regular diet, but I will have a larger portion. 

  • Instead of 1/2 cup of brown rice or quinoa, I’ll have 1 cup.
  • Instead of a small baked or sweet potato, I’ll have a large one.
  • Instead of a gluten-free wrap, I’ll make a sandwich on a gluten-free bagel or French roll.

This can be difficult to do for me because of my eating disorder history & struggles.  Those demons like to rear their ugly head at times like this and for this reason, I am glad that I had Aaron hide the scale last week.  I was freaking out because of some weight gain and I have found that I am much more relaxed not having that ugly metal box dictating my mornings.  I do feel a little uneasy at times, like my brain isn’t sure how to manage not knowing, but I have to trust myself.  I have to trust my body.  My body knows what it needs and I just need to listen and not let my brain take over & dictate what I eat.  My clothes fit and I feel good, so that should be enough.  My family & friends have also been an amazing source of support during this time and I can’t thank them enough. 

Last night we went to the House of Japan for dinner – lots of rice for me!  I also had some shrimp & veggies cooked without soy sauce (they use Kikkoman, which contains gluten).  The rest of the week looks like this:

Monday – Rotisserie chicken, baked potato, steamed broccoli

Tuesday – Grilled salmon, quinoa, green beans & salad

Wednesday- Tacos with refried beans, corn & salad

Thursday – Edamame stir fry with brown rice & salad

Friday – Dinner out (either gluten-free pizza or pasta)

Saturday – Gluten-free pizza and small salad

Baking pumpkin bread this week for some extra carbs – will make a great breakfast topped with almond butter!   Oh, and of course there will be jelly beans & pumpkin ice cream this week, too.  Winking smile 


Recall: PROLAB Protein Powder

I wanted to make sure to get this out there as soon as I could so that if you use any of the products, you stop using them ASAP.  There has been a recall on some of the protein items made by PROLAB for undeclared milk, wheat/gluten.  Please read the following information below:

Item Description

Contains Undeclared MILK and WHEAT/GLUTEN

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Milk Chocolate, 5 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Vanilla Créme, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Wild Strawberry, 5 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Wild Strawberry, 2 lb. (V3)

Contains Undeclared WHEAT/GLUTEN

PROLAB® Advanced Pure Whey Protein, Milk Chocolate, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Advanced Pure Whey Protein, Vanilla Créme, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Advanced Pure Whey Protein, Wild Strawberry, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Milk Chocolate, 2 lb. (V3)
PROLAB® Pure Whey, Milk Chocolate, 16 g Sample Packet

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Vanilla Créme, 5 lb. (V3)
PROLAB® Pure Whey, Vanilla Créme, 16 g Sample Packet

PROLAB® Pure Whey, Wild Strawberry, 16 g Sample Packet

PROLAB® Whey Isolate Protein, Milk Chocolate, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Whey Isolate Protein, Vanilla Créme, 2 lb. (V3)

PROLAB® Whey Isolate Protein, Wild Strawberry, 2 lb. (V3)


If you believe that you have any of the products listed above, please follow the instructions below:

The affected products listed in this press release were distributed internationally — by retail stores, mail order, and direct delivery — in the following states, provinces, and countries: Alabama; California; Connecticut; Florida; Georgia; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Missouri; Montana; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; Ohio; Oklahoma; Pennsylvania; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wyoming; Ontario, Canada; Australia; Malaysia; and Russia.

Consumers who have purchased these items and wish to return them may do so — used or un-used — to the place of purchase for a full refund. For more information or any questions regarding PROLAB products, interested persons may contact the parent company (Natrol) by emailing or by calling the U.S. toll-free consumer relations line at 1-800-262-8765 from 5:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time.

So, check your pantries!

Happy Saturday!  We have a busy weekend here – running, movies (anyone see Dolphin Tale?), Homecoming…yikes! 


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