Date Night: Cooking Class

Y’all I survived my first week of grad school!! I was absolutely exhausted after the week but am so happy about my decision to go back to school to become a Registered Dietitian. I wouldn’t be able to do this without my supportive husband so I thought I would share a fun date idea!

My husband and I typically don’t do gifts for our anniversary, we would rather do something fun together. For our first anniversary we saw “Book of Mormon,” for our second anniversary we went and got massages, for our third anniversary we were just happy that we were able to leave our 2.5 month old baby with my sister to go out to dinner for the night and for our fourth anniversary we decided to take a cooking class at Central Market.

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Central Market (for those of you that aren’t familiar with it) is an AMAZING grocery store. It is definitely my favorite place to stock up on groceries for the family. They have an amazing produce section, butcher, bakery, cheese, coffee and wine/beer section. They also have an area with already prepared foods that you can purchase and heat up at home. They also do cooking classes throughout the month. The class we signed up for was titled Hatch Steakhouse since it was during the Hatch Chile festival at Central Market (best 2 weeks to shop at Central Market).

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When we arrived at the class, they had a little appetizer of chips, salsa and queso out for everyone to enjoy, as well as water and tea. Once we started cooking, they began pouring the wine. We then began to learn some cooking skills. Not only do they teach you how to make all the recipes but they give you random tidbits of information regarding knife skills and why you sometimes mix the wet ingredients and dry ingredients separately from each other.

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Learning how to cook

This class was JAM PACKED with so much different food. Strangely, my favorite thing wasn’t the steak or the potatoes it was this zucchini side dish we made (Calabacitas). We actually have made it at home twice now – really easy and delicious. As a future RD I’m always trying to get in some more veggies!

Both my husband and I would highly recommend these classes to anyone interested in doing one. It is a great date night – you get both food and entertainment! The classes typically start around 6:30 and end around 9:30. The food is definitely high quality and who knows, you may actually learn a recipe that you want to recreate at home. Cooking classes are also really fun to do as a Girls Night. The only negative (in my opinion) to these classes, is that some of the recipes really are so complex that I personally wouldn’t recreate them at home but it is probably nice for the “more advanced” home chefs to learn some more challenging recipes.

I hope everyone is having a good weekend!

Marathon training starts in about two weeks!

Run Fast Eat Slow

I am currently wiping crumbs off of my face from inhaling two sweet potato cookies from Shalane Flanagan and Elyse Kopecky’s cookbook, Run Fast Eat Slow. I am NOT a cook, I repeat I am NOT a cook and have found the recipes in this book really easy to manage. I thought since I am enjoying this cookbook so much, I would share it with everyone.

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I received this book on Monday evening and have tried 5 recipes and have plans to try another tomorrow and the beet smoothie tomorrow after my workout as I have the beet roasted and ready to throw into my Blendtec.

Since this is my last week of summer, I am trying to take advantage of the time and prep some food for myself and my family for the next week (especially since we have family in town this weekend and won’t be able to do any weekend prep). While flipping through the cookbook (and knowing my schedule for the week), the breakfast recipes appealed to me the most. I LOVE breakfast and could pretty much eat it for lunch and dinner too. Once I received the book and flipped through it (I had marked the recipes I wanted to try first), I went back and made a grocery list to get the ingredients I didn’t already have. One of my favorite things about this book is that the ingredient lists are not a mile long, they are doable and don’t make you scared to try the recipe because it requires so many ingredients. After my grocery shopping, the first thing I did was turn on the ovens and throw a beet in to roast it and a sweet potato to roast it. Next, I threw some beans in a pot of water to soak overnight so that I could make the Spicy Black Bean recipe the next day. That is the only “negative” to this book — having to really plan ahead if you want to create a specific recipe (definitely read through the recipes before starting, some of them suggest letting the mixture sit for a few hours or even overnight) but definitely not a good reason to NOT get the book!

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The first recipe that really caught my eye was the Superhero Muffins! I have been on a muffin kick and this recipe seemed like a healthier alternative to the sugary blueberry muffins I have been consuming. They are DELICIOUS and call for a cup of grated carrots and a cup of grated zucchini, so there are veggies hidden in there. My 14 month old kept begging for bites of my muffin – that’s how good they are.

Next, I prepared the museli , which is a recipe that needs to sit overnight, it really reminds me of overnight oats. It was another winner and really easy to grab and put in a bowl for a quick, easy breakfast.

The next day, after the beans soaked, I threw the beans and the other ingredients into the crockpot to make the Spicy Black Beans. These are tasty by themselves but I needed them to make the Breakfast Burritos! What I liked about the breakfast burrito recipe was that it told me how to put them together and suggested freezing the remaining burritos and how long they should go in the microwave to defrost.

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Finally, I made the sweet potato cookies and they were AMAZING. I inhaled two of them as soon as they came out of the oven. My husband inhaled two as soon as he got home from work. I can’t wait to see the little one’s reaction to these. They will be a great snack for her.

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While I do not have gluten or dairy intolerance, a lot of the recipes are gluten free and/or dairy free. I know this will appeal to a lot of people. I am also trying to figure out how to get better at food prepping (especially with classes starting next week) and this book offers random tips regarding what recipes are good to put in the freezer or how to prep something ahead of time. For the sweet potato cookies, a sweet potato puree is required. The book suggests throwing an extra sweet potato in the oven whenever you are making them and make the puree ahead of time. Also, I am a Shalane fan so I love all the stories/anecdotes that are with each recipe. It is also interesting how at the end of the cookbook, it lists common running ailments and what recipes could possibly help with this problem due to the nutrients included in the recipe.

Pros – DELICIOUS recipes, each recipe doesn’t call for a million ingredients, all the recipes are formed from whole foods, the final product is filling and satisfying, my husband and kiddo are enjoying everything as much as I am!

Cons – Some of the prep can be time consuming and/or have to sit for a little while before you can finish the recipe, it took me a little while to find some of the ingredients in our grocery store (I couldn’t find spelt flour — anyone know where to find that?).

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Cooking like Mama

Everyone – go buy this book and start cooking! I am so impressed with how good these recipes are and will let y’all know how other things I make turn out. I plan on trying the Bison Greek Burgers and Sweet Potato Fries next week! Oh, and I’ll let you know how that beet smoothie is too.

Any cookbooks you are a big fan of?

Any food prep tips? I will have to pack a lunch for me and the little everyday!

Did you watch Shalane run her heart out in the marathon on Sunday?! I was so inspired by her, Desi and Amy!

 

Must Haves When Running with a Baby!

Happy Anniversary Babe! I figured this was an appropriate post for our anniversary since this is something we love to do as a family! I also have another post regarding running after baby that may be interesting to new moms as well!

My husband and I always knew we would want to run with our little one once he/she was born. We thought it would be fun running as a family but it is more fun and not as difficult pushing the stroller as we both thought it would be. We have been running with our little one for about a year now so I figured I would make a list of our “must haves.”

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Running with Mackenzie on Pre’s Trials

  1. The Bob Revolution Flex Stroller – I feel like a running stroller is obvious but we absolutely LOVE our running stroller. It is so easy to fold up and put in the car and it makes for a very smooth run. The roads in Dallas aren’t exactly smooth and Mackenzie seems to enjoy her ride. We actually travel with this stroller to most of our destinations since we will want to run most everywhere we are.
  2. The Bob Weather Shield – This shield was a lifesaver over the winter! When it is cold and/or windy this shield protects the little one from the elements and eases our guilt when bringing her in the cold to go run! It also protects against rain.
  3. Bear Suit – This isn’t the exact one we have, we have one that is more like a puffer jacket but she wore this all fall/winter when it was chilly out. It is nice because we can put layers on under it or just the suit on itself.
  4. A phone or radio! I love listening to music when I run and I think the baby likes hearing it too! I just put my phone in the cupholder but a radio or bluetooth speaker could work too! When running with my husband one of us used to put our phones in the stroller with her with white noise playing to make her fall asleep. I do want a bluetooth speaker to stick in the cup holder if anyone has any suggestions on that.
  5. A small diaper bag with a diaper and wipes in it – since you are pushing a stroller it is easy to bring along supplies for the baby. I have a small diaper clutch that I keep in our stroller with $10 and a couple diapers and wipes in it. ::knock on wood:: We have never had to use it but you never know when you’ll need a diaper!
  6. Toys! We hook a couple toys onto the Bob for her to play with. We also always run with her favorite bunny🙂
  7. Snacks! We always bring a couple packs of Baby Mum Mums with us – if she gets cranky the last mile or two she will cheer up with a snack (she is her mother’s daughter). We also always have a snack cup and a milk cup with us.
  8. Water bottle for mama! It is important to stay hydrated especially when breastfeeding so I always make sure to bring water with me

Do any of you have any must haves to share with me? Mackenzie has “run” up to 11 miles so far! We haven’t gone any further with her yet but I’m sure when I start logging longer runs during marathon training we will.

Do you like pushing the stroller when you run??

How far is the furthest that you have run with your little one?

Any must have products you would like to add to this list?

Olympic Track & Field Trials 2016

How was everyone’s weekend? In Dallas, we are all just surviving right now. August is the WORST month to live here, it is so hot and it just seems like it isn’t ever going to end. All runs are hot and sweaty no matter how early you get up but fall will be here soon (at least that is what I keep telling myself).

I thought it would be fun to write a little about our trip to Eugene to watch the USA Olympic Track and Field Trials! This trip is one that my mom and I have always said we have wanted to go on. So, when the tickets went on sale last summer, we went ahead and bought them and rented a house in Eugene, OR. It seemed so crazy when the trip finally got here and it was even more fun than we thought it would be!

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We are at Hayward Field! The ergo was the BEST for this trip!

We flew in on the first day of the trials and managed to make it just in time to see the races that evening. Hayward Field is just an AMAZING place to watch track and field. All the fans seem to know what is going on on the track and really appreciate what all the athletes are doing. My favorite races were the women’s 800 (go Fast Kate), the men’s 5K (LAGAT), the women’s 3K steeple and both 1500 finals! It was so fun getting to watch all the rounds of races and Jim and Mackenzie really enjoyed watching the pole vault! We were so sad when the races were over. As a non-track fan, my husband really enjoyed the trials! It was fun seeing the track fan come out in him and see him get excited for the different events. It is inspiring watching people accomplish a dream they have been working years to accomplish. I also love how it is all about how well you do on that DAY — there is no judging, it is who ran to the finish line the fastest, jumped the furthest or threw the furthest.

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Watching some track! Mackenzie somehow fell asleep during the action.

What is great about the trials is that it is broken up into 8 days of competition, most days only last a few hours which was great. We didn’t feel like we spent our entire day at the track and we were excited to go out there every day. 6 of the 8 days we managed to go to Prince Picklers for Ice Cream before the trials. Prince Picklers is a MUST DO if you are ever in Eugene. My favorite flavor was mint oreo.

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Mackenzie LOVED Prince Pucklers

What I would highly recommend if you are thinking about going to the trials:

  • Rent a House — you have to be there for awhile if you want to see all the events, so having a house to stay in is key!
  • Get tickets in one of grand stands — this way you are in the shade if it is super sunny or covered if it is raining (both of these things occurred while we were in Eugene)
  • Go to social runs! It is a great way to meet other runners and have someone show you were to run!
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We “ran with” Lauren Fleshman

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Mackenzie and I met Nick Symmonds!

Since the track races were typically in the afternoon, we would go run in the mornings – it was so great running in the cooler weather. We did a couple runs from the house that we rented, went and ran on Pre’s Trail one morning, the Adidas Amazon trail, ran to Pre’s Rock and we did a Picky Bars social run (met Lauren Fleshman SO COOL) and a Brooks social run! Lots of running was done!

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Pre’s Rock

We also ran a 10K on the Fourth of July called Butte to Butte, it was really fun and there were SO MANY Oiselle singlets out there. My husband was a rock star and pushed the baby the entire race! I would definitely recommend this race to anyone traveling into Eugene over the Fourth of July. We just ran it “for fun” but it is definitely a competitive race if you want to go for time. Traveling with our bob stroller was definitely mandatory for this trip — the baby lovesssss to run!

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Me and my Wee Bird after the Butte to Butte 10K

I had the opportunity to meet a few of my Oiselle teammates while we were there! So fun meeting people that I feel like I have known for awhile in real life and not just on social media. Oiselle really brings together an amazing group of women from all over the United States of all different ages, running abilities and professions. My mom and I had the opportunity to attend the Oiselle Power Hour and their Track Town USA party. Oiselle knows how to throw one heck of a party! I also got to meet Kate Grace which capped off an amazing week at the trials.

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Mom and me with Kate Grace – 800M champ!

We also had two days without any track where we went wine tasting! We met up with friends from Dallas that happened to be in Oregon at the same time as us and took our daughters out wine tasting. It was actually a good activity to do with a 1 year old – she was pretty entertained with being outside and crawling around. Oregon wineries are beautiful and it was a fun activity to do while we had some “down time” in Eugene.

Finally — our favorite places to eat in Eugene were:

  • Off the Waffle — OMG — AMAZING. The waffles themselves were incredible and then were topped with amazing toppings. My personal favorite was the waffle topped with an egg and bacon. Jim’s favorite was the waffle topped with a granny smith apple and havarti cheese.
  • Vero Espresso –Really great coffee (I have have had 2 lattes both times we were there) and they had a good little breakfast of french toast and bacon!

 

What is your dream vacation??

Do you enjoy watching Track and Field?

Back to School (and Marathon Training)

Hello Readers –

I know it has been awhile! I have been busy finishing up my pre-requisite classes, traveling, preparing for grad school to start and soaking up the last bits of summer with my little lady! Lately I have been searching Google for blogs about becoming a Registered Dietitian and for following the Hanson’s Marathon training program. I was able to find a couple but figured it may be helpful for some other ladies if I record my experience with both!

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Getting in weekend runs with Mackenzie – how cute are her running shorts?!

I will start my clinical nutrition program at UTSW at the end of August and I am going to use the Hanson’s Marathon program to train for the Houston Marathon in January, so that will start in September!

To get into the Masters of Clinical Nutrition program at UTSW, I had to take A LOT of pre-requisite classes. I majored in Marketing for my undergrad so unfortunately did not have very many science classes under my belt which was mostly what was needed for admittance. I decided in June of 2014 that I wanted to begin the path to become a Registered Dietitian and over the last 2 years I took, biology, chemistry, biology 2, chemistry 2, nutrition, anatomy & physiology 1 & 2, microbiology, organic chemistry, genetics and biochemistry. Nearly all of these classes had a lab to go along with them as well! Fortunately, I found most of these classes interesting and can definitely see how they will relate to classes I will be taking in grad school. However, science is definitely something that doesn’t come naturally to me, so lots and lots of studying was required to get through these classes! During this time, I also had to take the GRE, I also took a class for this as well and would highly recommend taking a class to anyone who has to take a test like this.

The program I was accepted into will start towards the end of August of 2016 and I will finish in August of 2018 — this will include having classes over the summers. I feel so lucky to have this opportunity to go back to school to study something I am passionate about. I have so much support for my husband and both of our families to keep working towards my goal of becoming a Registered Dietitian — I am one lucky lady.

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Soaking up the last weeks of summer with my fav girl!

I am so excited for this next chapter to start in a few weeks but I’m definitely soaking up these last couple weeks of freedom to sleep in (as much as you can with a 14 month old), going to 8:30 am workout classes, lounging around during nap time and watching trash tv (Hello Real Housewives of Orange County) and of course spending as much time with Baby M (and Jim) as possible!

Once marathon training starts I will start posting weekly or biweekly posts about my experience with the Hanson’s Marathon Training Program!

Hansons Marathon Method

Hansons Marathon Method – I have been reading this book to get inspired for Marathon Training!

 

A post about our trip to the Olympic Track and Field Trials in Eugene, OR is already scheduled to post on Monday!

Have any of you ever followed the Hanson’s Marathon Program?

Have you ever gone back to school later in life?

 

10 Tips for Running after Baby

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Baby and Mommy’s first run! Look at those running shoes

I had baby Mackenzie about 9 months ago and have had a few people ask me how I got back into running and have seen some posts on Facebook in running groups I’m in asking the same thing! I figured I could write what worked for me and maybe help out some ladies after having their babies!

First of all – I didn’t have any crazy difficulties with labor and delivery and was cleared to resume running by my doctor at my 6 week appointment. Definitely consult your own doctor on when you should begin running again. I also ran until 32 or 33 weeks (can’t remember the exact date of my last run).

My tips for starting to run after having a baby!

  1. Start EASY – my first few runs were run 1 minute, walk 3 minutes for 24-32 minutes.
  2. SLEEP IS KING. If I had the choice between sleeping and running, I picked sleep. My baby was a terrible sleeper in the first few months and I was barely getting more that 4-6 hours of sleep (not all at one time) per night. Don’t beat yourself up because you missed a run – your body is still recovering and you are taking care of a baby!
  3. For the baby – nurse or feed the baby right before running. This will ensure that the baby won’t get hungry while out running and will make sure mom is more comfortable! Also dress the baby appropriately for the weather – since I started running again in the Texas summer, the baby would wear a onesie and nothing else. We also would put one of our phones in the stroller with her favorite noise playing to encourage her to sleep while we were running.

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    Dressed and ready to get in some miles in the hot Texas sun!

  4. When doing those first few runs at a pace so slow you think you may be able to walk faster relish in them! I clearly remember my first few runs because I told myself I would be able to look back on those runs in a couple months and see how far I had come.
  5. Set small goals and get excited when you achieve them! The first time I ran a mile without stopping you would have thought I just finished a 10 mile run I was so excited.
  6. Invest in new sports bras if needed! This was definitely something I needed! While I love all my Oiselle running gear the bras definitely weren’t supportive enough for me.
  7. Find buddies that will go slow with you! Both my mom and my husband were willing to take it slow with me which made my runs more fun!
  8. Sign up for races! I signed up for a 10K 3.5 months after having the baby and another 10K about 6 weeks later – it was fun to see the progression in speed! I took almost 2 minutes off per mile in 6 weeks🙂. I also signed up for a half marathon 6.5 months after the baby was born which was the perfect amount of time for me to build back up to running 13 miles.

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    Baby and Mommy’s first run! Look at those running shoes

  9. Join a training group! After running my first half marathon after having the baby, I joined the Lukes Locker Half Marathon training program. It was just what I needed to work on getting my speed back! It has been fun running with a group again and getting my legs moving at a faster pace again. I definitely still have work to do but I am definitely feeling like my old self again.
  10. Finally my last tip is to BE KIND TO YOURSELF! Don’t beat yourself up for missing a run or running slow or being a few pounds heavier than you used to be. You are still a runner and if you want you will get back to where you used to be with some hard work! Just enjoy the miles and the process. Enjoy sharing your love of fitness with your little one and maybe you will pass the running bug onto the next generation

What other tips do you mamas have to share?

Feel free to comment with any questions you have! By taking it easy and slowly ramping up I have been running (fingers crossed) injury free for almost 8 months now and am really enjoying the process! I actually get excited for most of my runs and just feel blessed to get to go out there and run. Today I did intervals in the wind while pushing the stroller and loved almost every minute of it. I already have a post ready to go on must haves for running with baby!

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Love my new little running buddy!

Houston Half Marathon Recap

I meant to publish this a couple weeks ago but with being sick and school starting this is a little delayed!

I officially started the Lukes Locker Half Marathon Training program a couple weeks ago and I am excited to start doing some speed and do some group training. My wonderful husband has basically agreed to take the baby every Saturday morning for the next few months (thanks babe!). For the first meeting, we just did a 5 mile time trial to get put in the correct group. I ran the whole thing with one of my great running buddies and we managed to keep it under an 8 min pace – it was a great reminder of how wonderful it is to run and talk with one of your BFFs!

 

I can’t wait to see how much I can improve after getting some good speed in and more miles! My goal will be to run around 3-4 days a week and get 2-3 days of cross fit in. This is much tougher now that school has started back up but luckily the baby loves the bob stroller so she won’t mind coming with!

Houston Half Marathon Recap

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Just after mile 11!

We got to Houston just in time to hit the expo up before it closed at 6pm Friday night. It was nice to get in and get our packets so we knew we had everything we needed for the race on Sunday morning! Unfortunately, I was a horrible blogger and took basically no photos the entire weekend! Race day morning, I woke up sick – I had felt it coming on Friday but thought maybe I would be able to fight it off, unfortunately that was not the case. Our hotel was so close to the starting corrals that we didn’t even walk over to the convention center to check our bags and hang out beforehand, instead we got to wake up and just walk over to our corral 35 minutes before the race started which was amazing. I definitely recommend staying at the Westin Downtown!

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Mom and I before the start!

Once we started, I was pretty much able to start running around an 8:10 pace, my goal was to start out around an 8-8:15 pace and try and hold that to the halfway point and then hopefully dip down after 8 miles or so. Due to being sick, that just didn’t happen, I pretty much held an 7:50-8 min pace the entire race and never was able to pick it up. A highlight of the race was seeing my baby girl around mile 11 cheering for me with her daddy! Overall the race was really uneventful and it was fun just being back out running a half marathon! I could definitely tell I hadn’t run the half marathon distance in a LONG time (longest training run was 11.5 miles) and that I haven’t done enough speed work to get that “next gear” in my legs but overall I would call it a success. I definitely can’t wait to race again without congestion but hopefully in the same perfect weather conditions. Race morning was one of those ideal mornings you pray for over and over again while training. AGAIN, I highly recommend this race to anyone thinking about it.

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Baby M with Mommy’s Medal!