Monday, January 31, 2011

Sunday Funday!

I apparently love this title so much I have now used it twice!

My Sunday was fabulous.  As you can guess it started off with a nice little sleep-in and then church.  Mr. Kummerow and I volunteered with the babies in the nursery so we didn't actually get to sit in church...but all was well because we attended a second church service later in the day.  But more on that in a bit.

I fueled for church with this hearty bowl of oats.
This was just like my "Baked" Apple Oats from Friday, with a little dusting of coconut added.

Sunday filled me with so much joy.  The weather was perfect.  I think it reached 65* and it was sunny all day long.  My winter blues were no more.  The sun wiped them clean. 

Mr. Kummerow and I enjoyed lunch outside on the porch.
Gotta love the self-portrait!
Lunch was grilled portabellas, massaged kale salad and roasted potatoes and broccoli with onions.  It was a feast!
Roasted Potatoes and Broccoli:

3 medium potatoes
1 head broccoli florets
1/4 yellow onion diced
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Wash and dice potatoes.  Chop broccoli and dice onion.  Stir altogether with olive oil.  Place in baking dish or baking sheet and sprinkle with salt and pepper.  Bake at 375* for 35 minutes.
Massaged Kale Salad

3-4 stalks kale chopped
3-4 romaine leaves chopped
1/2 cup cooked quinoa
1/2 avocado
juice of 1/2 lemon

Chop your kale and romaine and dice the avocado.  Mix together in a bowl.  Squirt lemon juice into mix.  Now it's time to get your hands dirty.  That's right, dig right in.  Massage your avocado and lemon juice into the lettuce for several minutes until the kale begins to wilt.  Add the quinoa and mix together.

Grilled Portabella

2 large portabellas
1 tbsp olive oil (optional)

This time we didn't use any olive oil.  However, the tops were a little dry even though the mushroom itself was very juicy.  The olive oil will definitely make it look better and taste a little more succulent.  But if you are trying to cut down on fats you can certainly omit the olive oil here and just grill the portabellas.

Wash your portabellas by gently rubbing with a damp towel.  You can also choose to peel the tops of your portabellas as we did. 

Grill for 10-15 minutes until soft and heated through.
Gotta love sunny NC in the middle of January!

We topped our mushrooms with the other half of the avocado from the salad.
In the interest of full disclosure, I photographed the obscene amount of ketchup used to flavor my potatoes.  I told you I looove ketchup!
Our delicious Sunday didn't stop there.  Mr. Kummerow was feeling energized and requested we spend the afternoon putting off responsibility and cooking instead.  I eagerly obliged! 

On the list:
Salt and Vinegar Roasted Chickpeas
Black Bean-Quinoa Burgers
Black Bean Brownies
Stock pile of brown rice to use later in the week. 
Let's just say I owe you a few recipes!

We finished with our cooking/baking for the afternoon in just enough time to make our second church visit of the day.  Yesterday was the 5th Sunday of January.  Several churches in the area have a very special tradition of gathering on 5th Sundays for an afternoon worship service that brings denominations together.  This Sunday it was held at Clark's Chapel and the pastor from my church was giving the message. 

It was a very unique time of worship.  Men and women, black and white, gathered together and praised God in perfect harmony and unison.  Our praise team performed with Clark's Chapel's praise team.  For me, the service felt similar to a family reunion.  Many of Clark's Chapel women attended the Beach Retreat back in October.  And many of the others in attendance at the service from other churches also attended the Beach Retreat.  It was exciting to see so many familiar, friendly faces. 

As if that wasn't enough to round out a perfect Sunday, Mr. Kummerow and I had special plans for last night.  We took advantage of a Living Social deal and bought tickets to Billy Elliot for half price!  We darted out of church and drove to Charlotte for the performance. 

A few weeks ago we watched the movie on Netflix and I was very excited to learn the musical was coming to Charlotte.  We priced tickets but they were not in the budget.  You can imagine how thrilled I was to see them pop up on Living Social!  The performance was brilliant, and while I am no critic, I would have to say that it was an excellent show.  Billy Elliot was catchy and fun yet deep and emotional.  I enjoyed every second of the show!

You might have noticed we forgot something very important in between church and the show (ahem, Dinner).  Mr. Kummerow and I left the show at 9pm absolutely starving!  We had no time for dinner prior to, so we bolted out of the parking lot and headed to our favorite fast food establishment in Charlotte, the Penguin.

We knew the ownership of the restaurant had recently changed hands, but I was disappointed to learn they discontinued the vegan chili which was available for the tofu dogs.  They no longer had the falafel wrap either.  We settled for one tofu dog with mustard and ketchup and a black bean burger.  Unfortunately we either ordered incorrectly or the waitress messed up because we ended up with a normal hot dog and a normal burger.  Whoops! 

A few minutes later and our black bean burger and tofu dog arrived with a second side of sweet potato fries. 

So after our late night trip to the Penguin last night, it is officially off my favorites list.  I can cook a tofu dog at home with relative ease.  It was the chili dog that suckered me in.  Without the chili, I just don't see much point of eating a hot dog at a restaurant.  Furthermore, the sweet potato fries tasted way too processed for my liking.  I understand most sweet potato fries are not the freshly cut, homemade variety.  However, these hardly resembled sweet potatoes at all. 

Eating at the diner at 10:30pm made me feel so radical.  I felt like I was back in college and when Mr. Kummerow and I talked this over tonight we chuckled at the thought.  Yeah, right.  Like in college we would be sipping wine at the diner while eating a tofu dog and a black bean burger.  That is a funny thought and way too healthy for my college tastes.  It is ironic how last night was one of the least healthy meals I have eaten in a very long time, yet is a million steps up from where I was 4 or 5 years ago! 

Ok, now the day was finally over.  We made our way back to Mooresville and crashed hard.  We both had early wake-up calls this morning and slept like rocks.  What a brilliant day!  The warm, fresh air, church, and an amazing date night.  What more could a girl ask for?

Today I wear my emotions on my sleeve.

I had a phone conversation last week that sent me emotionally into a tailspin.  Thursday, Friday and Saturday my dreams were filled with hurt and anger, and during the day, while trying to be strong and stay preoccupied, I was an emotional wreck.

The phone conversation was simple enough, and not far from many conversations I have had in the past 10 or so years of my life.  However, this one was made different by a realization that my confidence and strength teeters on the validation of this one person.  I was in the car and as our short conversation (or argument, if you will) ended, my past flooded into the present and I began to realize how all my emotions are centered on a toxic relationship that has remained unchanged during my adult years. 

I quickly realized that all of the "I'm not good enough's" and "You are not thin enough" and all my attempts to be "better" were an indirect result of this relationship.  The person in question has never once said any of these things to me, not that I can recall.  But I'm not sure that person has truly believed the opposite of me either.  If I have been told "I'm proud of you" it wasn't often enough and if I was told "You are beautiful" it wasn't in true sincerity to make me believe the words. 

After our phone conversation on Wednesday I wanted to scream out. I wanted to say Just listen to me for once.  Hear what I have to say!  My life is important too, you know!  I matter.  All of these thoughts and emotions flooded the walls of my body and I just felt like my insides were bursting through my skin.  My body heated in anger and then sank into sadness.  Why don't I matter?  Why can't I be good enough?  Why won't they love me?  Why won't they care? It hurts.  It hurts so bad and in a deep place inside my soul that is so hard to reach.  My heart is broken. 

My disappointment released itself on my husband, the closest person to me.  After episodes like Wednesday's I look to my husband to grant me the validation I so desperately seek from this other source but can never quite find.  Something as simple as picking out a book at the bookstore can turn into a mess when I don't feel he thinks my decisions are worthy.  When any of my choices are questioned I become defensive because all I really want is to be told that I am good just the way I am. 

Only recently have I connected the dots between my disappointment in one relationship and the anger I feel toward my husband at certain times.  This week solidified what I had been guessing at for several months.  These two events are intertwined.  I don't want to begin to blame one person for my marriage trials.  It is my responsibility to harness my disappointment and anger and release it in a healthy way.  But now knowing that these events are connected can hopefully help me to better guard my marriage from anger that is sourced externally. 

If I took this new realization and did nothing with it I would be failing my marriage and this other relationship.  Despite the challenges and toxicity of this relationship in question, I obviously love this person very much and deeply yearn for a healthy and strong relationship. 

If there is one thing I can take away from this week it is that I am good enough.  Maybe not good enough to some, but good enough to my Father in heaven.  His love never ceases.  And despite my failures and my angry outbursts and my disappointments and struggles, he is always there.  And he is telling me you are good enough because that is the way I made you.  He loves and he cherishes and he forgives and he forgets.  When searching for validation and encouragement I should look no further than him and not seek it out from earthly relationships. 

We are all human and we all sin.  I have learned this week, when I look to others to confirm my worth rather than my heavenly Father, I am setting myself up for disappointment.  I am being selfish.  I have placed high expectations on a relationship that I know cannot fulfill them.  This person is facing huge challenges and struggles and the battle they are fighting pales in comparison to my daily need to feel worthy.  It is not fair of me to hold these expectations in our relationship. 

I know that the only change I hope to see in the world is through me.  It is not my responsibility to change others. 

Saturday, January 29, 2011

A day in the eats of...

Determined to turn my bad eating habits around, I started Friday morning with a warm bowl of oats sans sugar.
In the pot: 1/4 cup rolled oats, 1 cup almond milk and a tablespoon of chia seeds.

I brought it to a boil, reduced the heat to a simmer and added in 1/4 cup wheat bran and 1/2 mashed banana.
I diced an apple and microwaved for about 2 minutes with cinnamon sprinkled on top.  Then I added it to the pot of oatmeal.
And continued cooking for a few more minutes.  I also stirred in a teaspoon vanilla.

This bowl of oatmeal was delicious and had just enough sweetness.  No added sugars = no sugar coma after breakfast.

To make sure my healthy eating continued into lunch, I took the opportunity right after breakfast to prepare a large salad for lunch.
I rinsed all the veggies.
I also added some fruit.  Blackberries.
A clementine.
Some cooked quinoa for healthy whole grains and protein.
Sesame and chia seeds for crunch.
All mixed up.
Shaken to perfection.
I stored the salad in the fridge until lunch time.

In the meantime I enjoyed a particularly difficult strength training session with Ashley (of Ashley's Army) and Angie.  We previewed the new February workout and it was tough!

I was ravenous for my salad by the time I got home and showered.
I added some Ume Vinegar for a tangy flavor.
It is my new favorite condiment; I have been sprinkling this vinegar on everything lately! 

My eats for the rest of the day were ok, but not great:

I promised the kiddos frozen yogurt so we went to TCBY and I filled up on sorbet and lots of self-serve toppings.

For dinner, my boss took Mr. Kummerow and I out for sushi.  I enjoyed steamed edamame, shared a cup of miso soup and a small salad with Mr. Kummerow.  Then we split a veggie stirfry dish and a veggie sushi roll.  A healthy dinner, but I ate way more than I needed to.

That didn't stop me from indulging in a few oreos when we got home, however.


So that was my attempt at cleaning up my diet.  I probably could have done without the frozen yogurt or the oreos, but such is life.  However, I am beginning to think I have sugar addiction.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Go easy.

It is no sooner that I type I Love Me, that my guard is let down and the negative banter rolls right in.  Yesterday I struggled finding that happy voice in my mind and blocking out the mean voices. 

I Love Me.  I Love Me. I repeat over and over in my mind.  There, that does the trick.  For a moment the false guilt and shame is gone and I am free.  It works I promise.  Maybe for a fleeting few seconds, but replacing the negative with the positive will always win out in the end.  I am going to keep working on it.

This morning when I work up feeling especially unhappy with the bowl of cereal I ate for dinner and the lack of veggies in my diet--I cut it off at the thought.  And instead I prayed.  "God you love me.  You love my body and you created it just for me.  It is my job to appreciate it and use it for your will and for the good of your kingdom.  Show me how to be happy with myself and to move on from the worry, guilt and pressure.  Yours truly, Tanya Kummerow"  (Ok, I didn't say yours truly, usually I just end with an AMEN! 

One of the culprits this week of my in-and-out negative thoughts is the boot that is currently residing on my foot. 

I visited the doctor on Wednesday and had x-rays.  Nothing is broken, however it could be a stress fracture or tendonitis.  Without a very expensive MRI it is hard to tell.  He assured me the treatment is the same either way: rest.  He prescribed a boot and a lot of time off my feet for two weeks.  After two weeks I can give it a go but if the pain remains, another two weeks in the boot. 

As if I wasn't already feeling antsy after taking the initial week off after the marathon.  Now I am officially benched.  He did say I could swim without kicking my legs.  He didn't say anything about lifting weights, but I figure if it is just my arms it couldn't hurt right?  So I do have plans to meet some friends at the gym this morning. 

The guilt and negative feelings might be coming from my forced sedentary lifestyle, but not in the way you are probably thinking.  I'm really not concerned at all about weight and gaining because lack of exercise.  Sure I think about how I have to eat less to compensate, but I believe it is the benefits of exercise such as the release of endorphins that have me feeling blue.  I think I am prone to seasonal mood swings.  Seasonal Affective Disorder is not a joke and I had a friend once that was affected severely by the winter.  I find that exercising, especially outdoors has really helped boost my mood, my energy and my joy this winter. 

I have been stuck inside for over a week now!  No walks, no runs, no hikes.  I rarely step outside even to get in my car because we park in a garage!  Multiply that with a very busy, stressful two weeks at work and I am feeling the need for a heart-pounding sweat session, preferably outside! 

Until I was 22 years old I never exercised.  I ran the mile a few times in gym, but running was not under my radar.  Neither was sweating, lifting weights, yoga or anything else health related.  Eating healthy was unheard of and in college I survived on pizza and french fries and turkey sandwiches.  It is a wonder to me at all that I made it to the ripe old age of 26! 

But now I have 4 solid years under my belt of healthy living.  Eating right, exercising regularly and NOT SMOKING!  Even during these past 4 years the level of healthy living has been up and down and I don't remember being so discouraged before about taking 2 weeks off.  With that in mind and realizing that this isn't a race and there is no finish line in site, I need to relax.  I have the rest of my life to run miles, lift weights, hike, bike, enjoy the great outdoors.  THE.REST.OF.MY.LIFE.  I need to go easy on myself right now and enjoy the rest!

Those are my Friday morning thoughts.  What are yours?

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Bad Decisions

Sometimes I make bad decisions. 

I had a busy morning and grabbed an apple and 3 clementines on my way out the door this morning at 6:30am.  Remember, I'm trying this fruit for breakfast thing based on tips from the "Skinny Bitch."  I try to do it once or twice a week.  Since I was in a hurry this morning I decided I would just eat fruit today.

After a lot of driving from school to school this morning to put out Girls on the Run signs, I had a 30 minute break before my appointment with the accountant.  I was two or three towns away from home, so I settled into my favorite little coffee shop in Statesville, Sabine's and quickly realized this was a great opportunity to try the Umpqua oats that I have had my eyes on.  I picked the most exciting flavor: Lei'd Back, and pulled out a spoon. 

Whoa!  MAJOR SUGAR OVERLOAD.  I make this mistake so many times.  When I get excited about something- usually because of a sale- I forget to take a closer look.  When I grabbed this bowl of oats, I failed to check the ingredients and nutritional content.  Healthy breakfast fail.  This little bowl contained 21 grams of sugar and sugar was the second ingredient!  This would probably taste really yummy to most, but for me it was way to syrupy.  I rarely put any sugar in my breakfast apart from natural sugars found in fruit.  After breakfast I felt like I was carrying a sugar baby in my belly and it made me feel a little foggy. 

Unfortunately my food choices didn't improve from there.  Lunch was hurried and I didn't consider my need for veggies.
A small vegan-cheese quesadilla and a piece of whole grain toast with peanut butter, chocolate raspberry preserves and a few vegan chocolate chips.  Ok, so I did throw some cabbage on my quesadilla at the last minute.  Another sugar overload kicked in half way through my toast and I saved the other half for after my work out. 

Before picking up the kiddos I managed to squeeze in a 45-minute swim and then ate the other half of my toast.  After a very busy afternoon with the kids and meeting coaches, I stopped by the grocery store for some staples and then made it home with only one thing on my mind for dinner...
Not sure why the photo won't flip.  But here is the lowdown...I saw a recipe for this Dreamsicle-esque smoothie on a few blogs last week and I tried to replicate it at home.  Mama Pea's version called for frozen avocado and clementines so last night I sliced up the ingredients and stuck them in the freezer.

This smoothie was another major fail, however.  It tasted very odd and my poor food processor cannot puree oranges well enough; I was left with a lot of pulp.  I drank a few sips and gave up and poured myself a bowl of cereal instead.

Today's lesson: a bad start=a bad finish.  Perhaps if I started on a good note this morning, my diet would have kept up with me.  Well at least I got a work out in.  Now I'm off to find something for dessert!  I think sugar is taking over my life!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I love me.

I have had this reoccurring thought these last couple days.  Are you ready for it?  You have to promise not to laugh at me or make fun of me.  I'm serious when I say this has literally been popping into my mind several times each day for a little over a week now.  Ok, here goes:

I love me.

That's all.  Simple and Sweet.

I love me. 

Weird, right?

Why is this weird?  Well, I think as women we get used to this very negative banter that flows endlessly through our minds.  I'm not good enough.  I'm too fat.  I am not as pretty as she is.  I don't run as fast.  My career is not as lucrative.  I'm not smart enough.

Do you hear these negative thoughts in your mind?  Maybe your thoughts don't say exactly the same thing, perhaps the negative messages are significant only to you.  In whatever voice they come, these thoughts suffocate our confidence and joy.

So it was surprising to me when this new phrase began to ring in my ears.  I love me.  Where did it come from and what did I do to deserve this wonderful message?  But that's thing, I didn't do anything; I deserve it regardless of what I do.  We all deserve to know that we are loved by the most important person, ourselves.

My initial thought was that this is a side-effect of running the marathon.  Now that I have accomplished that goal, I can be proud of myself and love myself.  But as the days have lingered on, I realize this love has nothing to do with completing a marathon.  Ok, maybe now that I have finished the marathon, there is room in my brain for messages other than just one more mile!  But my confidence and love for myself isn't because I ran 26.2 miles.

There have been moments each day where I just stop in my footsteps and think, wow, I just really love me.  I love who I am.  I really don't know what spurred these new thoughts in my mind, but they are certainly welcomed!  And I hope they don't go away.

In case these thoughts aren't suddenly jumping into your head, here's a thought...stick them in there anyway.  Just say it to yourself.  I love me.  Sounds silly at first, right?  That's why I was hesitant to tell you at the beginning of this post.  But say it again.  I love me.  A little more real this time?  And tomorrow say it to yourself.  I bet if we practice positive banter, the negative might just run and hide for good!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ashley's Army

I am slowly progressing back into my "healthy lifestyle."  I wouldn't exactly say I left it, but I was not moving anywhere fast last week.

Yesterday I enjoyed some ice skating with the kiddos and today I made it to the gym for some weights.

I am part of a fitness challenge with about 10 or 20 other healthy lifestylers.  Most of us met through working at the YMCA and as our jobs changed and we met other women at other YMCAs, we now have a group that is scattered throughout the Greater Charlotte region.  Many still work for the YMCA as personal trainers, swim instructors, etc.  Others, like me, have moved on to other organizations!

Our fitness challenge group (Ashley's Army- as we have coined ourselves) breaks down like this:

The challenge lasts for 2 months.  (November-December, January-February).  Each week of every month we have a goal or target amount of work outs.  It includes 120 minutes of cardio in at least 3 separate sessions (not 120 minutes each session- but 120 minutes total throughout at least 3 sessions).  We are also required to do 3 strength workouts per week but we can substitute one of those workouts for Pilates or Yoga.  Each month Ashley creates a new strength workout that we can follow.  Or we can choose to participate in a total body or body pump class.

Angie, one of our more-organized participants, created a calendar we can use to help us track our workouts.  And with Ashley's permission, I am also going to share this month's workout with you.  Feel free to follow along with a cyber-fitness challenge and if you have questions about the workout feel free to ask.

So here is my calendar for the month:
Click the photo to enlarge

You can see I slacked off quite a bit last week!  I also skipped all strength sessions the week before the marathon so I wasn't sore.  So far I have missed a total of 9 workouts/cardio this month!

Below is January's workout.  Ashley's goal this month was to incorporate two or more muscles into each move to maximize our time and workout.  This is a tough one and when doing 3 or 4 sets it really makes your muscles work hard.
Click the photo to enlarge.

This is the workout I did this morning and boy are my arms tired.  I took it easy on my legs because they are still sore from the marathon.  I was planning for some cardio this morning as well, however, I got to talking to some friends at the Y and lost track of time.  My ankle also started feeling a little tender and I decided to wait until the doctor's orders tomorrow before attempting any machines.

If you can read the calendar you can see that I intend to do some intense swimming and running this week/week-end.  I really am hoping my ankle is ok and I will be able to accomplish these goals.  I would love to get a good heart-pounding workout in this week!

At the end of each month Ashley's Army meets for an accountability dinner where we compare calendars and shoot accusing looks across the table at those who missed their workouts.  (Just kidding).  We keep it friendly but motivate ourselves through money.  If you miss a workout it costs $2.  At the end of the 2-month challenge we vote and decide on a charity to donate our dollars to.  I really like this component and am anxious to vote on a charity this time because I can already tell I will be donating plenty of dollars!

But just so you know- and for bragging rights- I did not miss a single workout in all of December!  Take that busy holidays.  And in case you are forgetting, I did run a marathon this month, so I feel I deserved the break!

Have you ever participated in a fitness challenge with others?  Is it something you would be interested in?

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gotta love a Monday.

My Monday was good.  Busy and good.  For the first time in a long time I don't have a topic in mind for my post today. 

Meals today were just so-so and not at all photographed.  Breakfast was at the Daily Grind with my friends Emily and Cathy and I got the usual oatmeal with bananas and peanut butter, raisins and nuts.  It is my favorite breakfast place, and I am a big fan of the oatmeal and all the toppings...and the company was delightful.  But it wasn't anything new.

Lunch was some carrots and hummus and a kiddie smoothie from Smoothie King.  Nothing to write home about.

Dinner was great actually, but the lighting was terrible.  I have told you about Brickhouse previously.  The restaurant is fantastic and I adore the atmosphere.  I got off work early today and Mr. Kummerow excitedly announced that some friends from work were there eating dinner.  We jumped in the car and headed down to Davidson in just enough time to order dinner with the table.  Lucky me, bottles of wine were half off tonight. 

I had every intention of finally making it to the gym today.  However, the wine derailed those plans and now I am excitedly looking forward to an evening of the Bachelor and the leftover wine from dinner. 

Ok, so the day was fantastic, I just didn't get any photos of it.  I even ice-skated today!  I haven't done that since I was in Wisconsin.  The kiddos had the day off school and that was their request this afternoon.  I would say that was my first work-out since the marathon over a week ago.  If you could call it a work-out.  I do anyway. 

So no photos, no fun twists on my story.  It's just my story and I'm sticking to it today.  Gotta love a Monday.  I suppose after all the excitement of last week, (marathons and cooking classes) this week will have a hard time living up to it!  If Ice Skating doesn't cut it, I'm not sure what will! 

What did you do today?  Are you having a good Monday?

Sunday, January 23, 2011


Marathon training is hard.  It taxes your body and mentally pushes you beyond any known boundaries.  It is long and difficult, pounding and intense.  Anyone can run a marathon, but not without paying a high price.  Your time, your energy, your muscles, your sanity!  Your limits are challenged and exceeded.  In the end it is a major accomplishment and a moment that will stick with you through time!  I am so proud of what I achieved both physically and mentally!  All week long you have heard the ups of running a let me share a few downs!

Beyond the pain, the exhaustion and the occasional sick feeling from running, the thing I felt that was most lost in training was my trust in myself.  In my body, in my heart.  I forgot how to listen to me and it scared me.  Looking back, losing my voice was probably a defense mechanism, devised to help me achieve this amazing goal, but it sure does feel good to hear the inner me again! 

About half way through training two things happened.  First, every day, every week was a new pain, a new ailment, a new "OW THAT HURTS!"  It occurred so frequently and rarely in the same place twice, but the pain was always at least an 8 on a scale of 10 and would leave me so discouraged.  First it was my foot, then my knee, then my other knee, calf, ankle, other ankle, lower get the picture.  Eventually, I lost touch of just how bad the pain hurt.  I was asked, "Does it hurt worse than this or that?"  I never could tell.  Pain was pain and I was just running through it all!

Second, my hunger and insane need to eat at all hours of the day overcame me and took over!  I couldn't decipher if I was really hungry and I worried I was eating way too much.  I tried to count calories for a few weeks, but that only made me obsessive and depressed.  However, without calorie counting I felt out-of-control.  I wanted to eat everything in sight, even if I wasn't feeling exactly hungry and I worried that the impulse to eat always would never leave!  I was scared that once training was over, I would continue to eat and eat and eat!

Just one week after training and completing a marathon (ahem...that is 26.2 miles!  OMG) I have some new thoughts for you. 

1.  I love rest.  Period.  I freaked out about taking too much time off after finishing the marathon, but I am not freaking out now.  I have made it 7 days with little exercise- I am not sedentary by any means, but I have not lifted a weight, ran a step or entered a gym.  I am listening to my body right now and it feels good!  In Arizona I was anxious to hike Camelback and go for runs with the Garmin reps but I couldn't because my ankle was swollen to the size of a globe!  I felt restless, but once I decided that I was absolutely not going to push my body, I settled into rest mode.  Since I've been back in NC I have continued to rest, but am already feeling the pull back to the gym.  I am planning to enter in slowly, see a doctor about my ankle, and fully rest my legs from running for several weeks.  In short, I am going to concentrate on listening to my body again!

2.  I need to trust my myself more!  Not only with exercise but with food.  My appetite has already significantly decreased and for the first time in months I have been able to push my plate away when I'm full and not when it's emptied.  What I realize is that I needed every bit of those calories during training to get me through and I should have trusted my body better and just followed its lead.  Now as I am relearning to trust myself, I am even leaving half-eaten cookies lying around!  Who is this person?  It feels good to hear the voice inside me and then to listen to that voice and obey. 

Running a marathon was a moment in time I will never forget.  While the actual act of running the marathon is already becoming blurry, the feeling of pride and accomplishment will be with me forever!  I am so glad I took this journey and despite the ups and downs, I know that I will walk away with a better sense of myself and understanding of my body.

Ok, speaking of trust, today I'm trusting in the Bears to deliver us a win and bring us into the Superbowl!
We've decided if they win we are driving to Chicago to spend the Superbowl with our friends back at home!

I also put major trust in my cooking intuition and created this masterpiece for lunch!
Twice-Baked Potatoes

2 baked potatoes
1/2 cup pinto or navy beans
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup onion, diced
1/4 red bell pepper diced
1/4 cup shredded carrot
1 tbsp mustard
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp vegan butter
1/4 cup vegan shredded cheese
1 tsp red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Slice baked potatoes in half lengthwise.  Scoop out insides, leaving 1/4" to 1/2" shell. 
While preparing next steps bake potato shells in 450* for approximately 5 minutes.

Using a food processor, mince garlic.  Add in beans and puree.  Add potato scooped out of shell and butter and continue to puree.  Season with red pepper flakes, salt, pepper and mustard.  Add in nutritional yeast and process until all is combined well. 

Remove blade from processor and stir in red bell pepper, onion and carrot. 

Remove potato shells from oven and scoop 1/4 of mixture into each one.
Place potatoes back in oven for 7 minutes.  Remove and sprinkle vegan shredded cheese on top.  Turn oven up to broil and cook for 3 minutes longer, checking frequently.  Once cheese is melted you are ready to serve!
Pick one up and go long for the pass!  These are a great game-day snack or lunch!
I of course dipped mine in ketchup, but trust me they are amazing just the way they are!
Served with leftover quinoa and butternut squash.  I now have so much cooked quinoa in my fridge from all my trials and testings for the cooking class yesterday!  I need to find some fun and creative uses for it all!
Ok, so now I am fueled and ready to go for the big game!  Go Bears!  I'm trusting you!