Monday, June 28, 2010

Training Wk3

Last weeks training went well. Nothing super exciting to report really. My 4 miles on Friday was done on the treadmill. The bee lady was at our house. (We had a hive in our ceiling.) I should have run outside. By the time she was finished, it was 10AM and 92deg.  But four on the mill while watching an episode of Season 2 True Blood wasn't a bad way to spend time. In fact, I'm thinking of doing it this week. But I really should get outside. Part of my training is training in the heat/humidity.

This weeks plan:
Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
06/20 06/2106/2206/2306/2406/2506/26
30min run
lift upper body
30min runeasy walk
lift upper body 


I realized last week I realized I hadn't added any cross training on my schedule. I was doing it. Just forgot to post it. We didn't have any thing plan for Saturday morning. I got to spend an hour by myself on the bike just riding. I had the best time.

What's on tap for your week? What's your favorite activity you have planned for this week?

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 06/27/2010

A few weeks ago, I bought a new healthy New Orleans food cookbook for inspiration. The following recipe is from Andrea's Light Cookbook. This is the first time I've made this dish. But it will be in our regular rotation. It was fast approx 35mins. And my house smells amazing after cooking with all the spices and the white wine.

Shrimp Caprese
2tbs olive oil
1/2onion, chopped
1tsp garlic, minced
1/2tsp red pepper flakes
1lb shrimp, peeled
1tsp brandy
1/2cup dry white wine
1cup fish stock
1tsp parsley
1tsp basil
1tsp oregano
1tsp rosemary leaves
2tbs lemon juice
dash of hot sauce
1tsp worcestershire
salt, to tast
pepper, to taste
1/2lb pasta, al dente

Heat oil on high in a pan until very hot.

Saute onion, garlic, and crushed red pepper until lightly browned.

 Add shrimp to pan until pink. Add brandy and cook for a min or two. Remove shrimp from pan and keep warm.

 Add white wine and shrimp stock. Bring to a boil.

Add parsley, basil, oregano, rosemary, lemon juice, hot sauce, Worcestershire, salt and pepper. Return shrimp to pan. Simmer in sauce for a min.  Serve shrimp and sauce over pasta.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner?

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Let the Games Begin...

Over the past few weeks, I have fallen off the healthy food wagon. I don't know what happened. I was doing so well then it got away from me. Oh well, these things happen.

To get me back on track, I convinced the Big Man to join me in a weight-loss  competition. The winner gets a fabulous prize of their choosing. I've been  wanting a trainer for my bike, to ride at night and in bad weather. Of course, I could just go buy it. But that takes the fun out of it. The Big Man hasn't chose his prize yet.

CycleOps fluid trainer

The Details:
The competition will last from now until August 28 or 8wks.  Whom ever loses the most weight by percentage wins. But of course we both win by getting fitter. We'll have wkly weigh-ins and I'll share our progress with you.

Starting Weight:
Ok. I'm sharing out starting weights which is very hard for both of us. But that's the point of this post.



Check in with us every week to see how we are doing.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Monkeying Around

To celebrate MM's birthday, I cut out of work a few hours early and picked up the girls to go have some fun. We headed to the Monkey Room to climb and play and burn off some energy. The Monkey Room is like a super nice McD's play yard on steroids. They play fun and funky children's music. Snacks are available. And of course, party rooms.  This is how there website describes it.

The Monkey Room provides fun and active play for children from infants to pre-teens in a single location.

The Monkey Room contains a huge, custom designed play structure for children 3 – 12 with slides, climbs, obstacles, and other fun elements to explore. An adjacent toddler area for younger children includes play equipment sized just for this age group.

We want to get kids moving and playing where the weather is no excuse!

At first MM was a little hesitant. She spent the first 1/2 hour in the toddler area. Li joined her and showed her how to climb up and slide down. But as her confidence grew, she decided to try the big girl slide. Li ran around like a wild monkey. Once MM got the hang of the lg play yard, Li would give her a boost up to each level. So cute. The girls had the best time.

Now that we had burned off energy, we were famished and ready to re-fuel.  Since I was driving I got to choose dinner. I'm kinda obsessed with burritos right now so we headed to Juan's Flying Burrito on Magazine.

 The girls loved the guacamole.

Li  only ate the tortilla of her burrito

MM would only eat my burrito

The afternoon was a lot of fun. We had a great time. What's on tap for your weekend?

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Happy Birthday MM!!!

Today is my sweet baby, MM's birthday. The whole time I carried her was easy. No pains, rarely uncomfortable, my only complaint was I didn't sleep. I thought for sure I was having another non-sleeping baby. Boy was I wrong.

Two years ago yesterday, I was 35wks pregnant. My head was pounding with headache that I had for 2days. Drinking water, resting and soaking in a tub didn't relieve it. The nurses at work checked my blood pressure, 150/90. Too high. That night we packed our two yr-okd, Li, in the truck and headed to the hospital with out knowing what to expect. After an hour of resting and a mercury drip, a doctor told us I had preeclampsia. My BP wasn't coming down. The baby had to be born that night. Understandably the Big Man and I were scared. But being the big, tough man he is, he didn't let me know how worries he was. After 8hrs of labor, MM was born 6lbs, 1oz. Small but not too tiny. She was as perfect as her sister. Gorgeous cupid's bow lips.

The first month was tough. The 1st week in the hospital with jaundice. Weeks without gaining enough weight. Then the supplemental feeder. This is my 2nd baby breastfeeding should have been a cake walk. I've never worried over anything that much. My oldest is tough like me. But MM, I thought of as too small until she was a year old when the Dr said "she sure doesn't loo or act like a preemie" I felt like someone lifted a weight off my shoulders.

Now, she's an average size, wild maniac. MM looked so much like her sister when she was a baby. I would look to see how she was different from Li. I knew they would be compared. Li we knew was smart because she spoke so well. But MM has her daddy's patience and figured out how to work things way before Li. MM observes things, watches people and learns.

From the time MM was 4 wks old, she has slept thru the night. (So different from Li.) She still goes to bed at 6:30 PM and will sleep until 9AM if you let her. If you feed her lunch too much after noon, she falls alseep in her food. I have met few people who love dogs as much as she does. MM gives the best chubby arms hugs, esp to babies. She loves to hang out with me while I cook, and to sing and dance. My daddy is her favorite person in the whole world. It melts his heart.

Don't get me wrong. This is a bad baby. She'll tell you that too. She aggravates and pinches her Sissy to get her to play with her. Up until 2wks ago, she refused to call herself anything besides "Baby". Now she has decided to go by her middle name. She does not do mornings. Cranky and fussy is all you get before 9AM. But I love her with everything that I am.

A few of my favorite pictures of MM

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What's in my Fridge?

Emz over at If I can't convince you - - I'll at least confuse you. Thought it would be fun share what's in our fridges.

The outside of my messy fridge. I love magnets. I like when people bring them from trips. The Big Man and Don used to travel for work so I have a ton. We have magnets from Buffalo, NY to Honduras. The other side has double the number of magnets as the front. And of course, my girls love to display the art they create.

My fridge full as usual. We cook 90% or more of our meals at home. The rules are no cleaning or tiding prior to picture taking. As you can tell, I didn't. I hate cleaning the fridge. Really, hate it.
It's hard to tell in this pic but my freeze is only half full. Usually, it's packed to bursting which I hate. But that's what Cajuns do. We fill up our fridge freezers and our deep freezes. Usually, with meat or cooked meals. When a hurricane knocks out the power, we lose lots of money in meat.

My fridge door. Wow. That's a lot of condiments. What can I say?! The Big Man like sauces/condiments. See that bottle of Champagne. That's been in my fridge since I  got married. My friend Travy and his wife gave it to us on our wedding day. Nearly six years ago. I gotta get to drinking it. Why is there spray whip cream in my fridge? I hate that crap. Hmm...Why is there so much crap in my freezer door. I need to reorganize.

A few questions about our fridge life:
*A few things you like in there -  
The big bottle of lemon juice.  
The cheese in the drawer. 
The frozen manicotti.
*What you can't live without in it -  
The half and half. I can't live with out my morning coffee. 
The Greek yogurt. The girls love it. And we make a lot of stuff with it. 
The milk. My girls exclusively drink milk and water. 
*What you should live without that's in it currently -  
The mayo. I hate that crap. It's the Big Man's. 
The frozen waffles. I love love love them. But you know the syrup is loaded with sugar.
*What you wish was in it - 
Grapes and strawberries. I need to buy fresh fruit for this week.

This was fun. What's going on in your fridge/freezer?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Training Wk2

I love that I'm back in training. I feel more grounded. There's a plan for my (fitness) life.  I am best I have a solid goal to meet. Now thru next March I will running with a goal.

Last week went well. My legs feel fine after a run. My lungs felt like I hadn't taken a break. The only trouble is my belly. Re-training my stomach to handle Gu hasn't been fun. Staying near a potty and hydrating well are necessities right now. But y'all know all about that I'm sure.

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
06/20 06/2106/2206/2306/2406/2506/26
30min runoff30min runeasy walkoff4mioff

I really am enjoying this plan. I love the idea of an easy walk day instead of another run. During the week I get up at 3:45AM to run. Two days in a row is really tough. But an easy walk I can do at lunch.

Yesterday, I made the mistake of looking ahead at the next few weeks in my training pan. For what ever reason, I panicked at the idea of running 6.5mi in a few weeks. What a silly rxn?! I've run/trained for 3 half marathons. Which means, I've run 6mi or more at least 20 times. I know I can do it. In fact, I know that if I had to run a half this weekend, I could do it. It wouldn't be fun but I could do it.

What's on tap for your week?Do you ever panic about something you now rationally you can do?

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 06/20/10 (Father's Day Edition)

Just a to give you heads up, I didn't make the "healthy" meatballs. Nor is this a  quick cooking dish. This meals is for the Big Man on Father's Day. And I decided we could splurge and eat the the full fat and I could spend hours making meatballs. You can easily substitute ground turkey for the pork and sausage. 

Everyone in my family love Italian food. Whip up pasta and a sauce and they are happy campers. This meal can easily be doubled, freezes beautifully and can be made ahead.
This meal was actually made on Saturday since we'd be spending today at the in-laws 2hrs away. 

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients (Red Sauce)
1tbsp olive oil
1 cup onions,diced
1 1/2tsp chopped garlic
1/4tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomato
2 (15-ounce) cans tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
1/2tsp dried basil leaves
1/4tsp dried oregano leaves
Salt, to taste
ground black pepper, to taste

Ingredients (Meatballs)
1lb ground chuck
1lb fresh Italian Sausage
6 eggs
1cup onion, minced
1/4cup garlic, chopped
1/4cup basil, chopped
1 3/4cup Italian breadcrumbs
1/2cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsps salt
2 tbsps pepper

Directions (Red Sauce)
In a large heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and cook until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook, stirring, for 1min. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste.

Season the sauce with the basil, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally.

Continue to simmer the red sauce over med-low for at least 1.5hrs. The longer the better.

Directions (Meatballs)
In a large mixing bowl, combine ground beef and ground pork, using your hands. Add eggs, onion, garlic, basil, breadcrumbs and cheese.

Again, using your hands, blend thoroughly. Season with salt and pepper. Roll the meatballs (MBs) into the desired size, 1in dia. Heat (medium) 2tbs of  olive oil in a large skillet. Add a few meatballs at a time. Be sure to leave enough space to turn the MBs .

Brown all sides of the MBs. Then transfer to a plate. Continue making MBs until all the meat mixture is used.  (Just a warning, this is time consuming.)

Add MBs to the red sauce and serve over pasta.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner?

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo.

Happy Father's Day to the Big Man, Don (my daddy), and Pawpaw. 
I took a few pictures of the girls with their favorite men.
MM and Li playing my little ponies with Don

The Girls snuggling the Big Man

Sitting on Pawpaw after Father's Day lunch

Hope your weekend was good. How did you spend Father's Day?

Monday, June 14, 2010

It's hot and I love it

It's mid-June and for the past week NOLA has been under a heat advisory, temps reaching 93°F with a heat index of 105°F. For most people, all that means is sweating while walking between two well air conditioned locations. But for me it means it's time to start training. Most people would not even consider training outside in this weather. But I love it and am looking forward to sweating so much I look liked jumped in a swimming pool.

The first of two halfs I'm registered for in October 19wks away (on 10/10/10). The Louisiana half should be fun. The course is in shady, historic Mandeville, an hour north of NOLA and the entry fee was $40. How could I pass it up?! But now, I need to get my but into gear and start running regularly.

Since I am semi-injured, I decided to use Jeff Galloway's plan. Not too many miles. And I start off slow this week to ease back into to my schedule.  Here's my plan for the week.

Sun Mon Tues Wed Thurs Fri Sat
06/13 06/1406/1506/1606/1706/1806/19
30min runoff25 min runeasy walkoff3mioff

I'm very excited (or at least I'm trying to make myself be) to start running again.  I enjoyed my training last year so much. I can't wait to be running with a purpose again.

What's on tap for your week? How do you feel about running in the heat/humidity?

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Sunday Dinner - 06/06/10

For this weekly post, I usually cook family recipes. But I've been trying to add new things to my repertoire. The recipe below is from Women's Health Magazine. It is tasty, easy, and healthy. 

At the farmer's market yesterday, Li was struck be the gorgeous eggplants. So I bought a few. My favorite way to eat eggplant is eggplant stuffing, a traditional New Orleans dish. So today y'all are getting a two for one. (But I forgot to take pictures)

Shrimp, Cucumber Salad with Feta

2/3cup bulgur
1 2/3cup water
1/3cup fresh lemon juice
1lb shrimp, frozen coarsely chopped
1/2tsp pepper
1cup cucumber, diced
1cup tomatoes, diced
1/2cuo red onion, chopped
1/4cup parsley
2tbsp olive oil
1/2cup crumbled feta cheese
1/4tsp salt

In a medium pan, combine bulgur, water, and 2tbsp lemon juice; bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for 15mins. Drain and let cool.

Boil med-large pot of water. Add frozen shrimp. Cook until pink (fully cooked) Drain and allow to cool.

Once cool, coarsely chop shrimp and place shrimp in bowl. Sprinkle with 2tbsp lemon juice and 1/8tsp pepper. Let stand for 5mins.

Stir in cucumber, tomatoes, onion, parsley, oil, and feta. Add salt, remaining lemon juice, and remaining 1/4tsp pepper and toss. Stir in cooled bulgur.

Eggplant Stuffing

2 eggplants
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 med onion, diced
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/4cup parsley
1/4cup Dry white wine
1cup tomatoes, diced
Salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1/2cup Italian bread crumbs
1/4cup Parmesan cheese

Pre-heat oven to 350deg.

Heat the oil in a pan and saute the onions and garlic. Add the parsley, wine, and tomatoes.

Cut the eggplants in half lengthwise. Cut away the eggplant flesh from the skin. Using the food processor, grate the eggplant.

Stir in the eggplant pulp, season with salt and pepper, and simmer for 20 minutes.

Add the bread crumbs and place in an oiled baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and cook for 35mins.

I hope you enjoy this dinner as much as I did. What did y'all have for dinner?

If you have any question/comments about this recipe, pls leave me a comment or email at megmehell at yahoo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

National Running Day

Happy National Running Day, y'all!!!

Today we celebrate our love of this sport. For most runners, it's more than just a cardio exercise. Running is a release, a way to challenge yourself, to prove to yourself that you are stronger than you thought. Like all relationships there are good days and bad. The day you run one more mile than you ever had before. The race you under-perform. Both teach important lessons about who you are. If you have time today, lace up your kicks and hit the pavement (or the mill). Enjoy it. Be glad for it.