Friday, October 17, 2014

Pure Barre: Class #60!

Happy Friday!

I hit up my 6th Pure Barre class of the week at 5:30 this morning. While I was grabbing my weights, ball and tube, I was looking at the chalkboard with all the names of clients who were almost at their 100th class, which will make them members of the "prestigious" 100 Club. My goal is to get to the 100 Club before the end of the year.

I later realized after looking through my attendance history that today was my 60th class! 60 classes in just 12 weeks - crazy! It's fun to go back and look at what I wrote after my 10th class. I've stopped taking measurements because I don't feel the need to anymore. I go by how my clothes fit (and I'm wearing clothes I hadn't worn in 6+ months!), and I step on the scale maybe once a week for accountability. A far cry from the obsessive weighing myself everyday.

60 classes strong!
(horrible, horrible picture)
In addition to the physical transformation, I've also transformed my attitude and my self esteem. Since I've been starting my weekdays at the barre at 5:30 am, I've been going off to work with a much more positive attitude, feeling ready to tackle my work (even when I have more of it that is humanly possible to complete!). And I'd like to think I'm much calmer now too, which helps me be a better mommy! I'm also incredibly confident now in every aspect of life. I don't feel self-conscious about how I look or about my abilities.To sum it up - I'm a much better role model for my girls.

Off for an early bedtime now. Tackling a 10-miler early in the morning. My next half marathon is just 6 short weeks away! Eeeeek!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Pumpkin Pie Crock Pot Oatmeal

Warning: If you love oatmeal and you love pumpkin, this recipe might just blow your mind! ;-)

My absolute favorite thing about fall is pumpkin and pumpkin-flavored things. And I have been enjoying a lot of them lately!

Last night, I decided to concoct a Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal in the crock pot to cook overnight. 

- 2 cups old fashioned oats
- 2 cups canned pumpkin (I used Trader Joe's organic)
- 1/4 cup + 2T maple syrup
- 1/3 cup raisins
- 1/4 cup ground flax seed
- pumpkin pie spice (I rarely measure spices; I always go by taste. If I had to guess, I probably used 1T)
- 4 cups unsweetened vanilla almond milk

My crock pot tends to run hot, so I used the "keep warm" setting rather than low and cooked this for about 10 hours.

I threw some walnuts on top after I took this picture which only added to the deliciousness!
I'm not sure there are even words to describe how amazing this oatmeal was! I really didn't think I could love an oatmeal dish more than I love my banana crock pot oatmeal, but I proved myself wrong. This has it beat! So creamy and delicious! Tasted just like pumpkin pie - and it's healthier! The kids love it too. I think my 2-year-old ate more than the rest of us!

Here's a glimpse of some other yummy pumpkin things I've been enjoying:

Pumpkin: love it or hate it?

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Vertigo, Scones, and Running - Oh My!

Once again, the weekend completely got away from me! And now it's Sunday night and I have to go back to work tomorrow while daddy and the girls hang out at home on Columbus Day. Booo.

Backing up to Friday... Friday was just plan weird. It started with a random meltdown from Baby Girl when I dropped her off at daycare. She rarely ever cries when I drop her off. I should have taken this as a sign to just turn around and go home.

I got to the office, made some coffee, and got down to business as usual. Around 10:45, I went to use the ladies room and when I came out, I felt like the room was spinning. I walked past my boss's desk on the way back to my desk and kind of mumbled, "Wow, I just got really dizzy. I think I need to sit down." I started to fall sideways as I tried to sit but managed to catch myself and land in my chair. WTH?! Definitely the first time I have ever had vertigo like that. I took a few deep breaths and some sips of water and pulled myself together.

Almost as soon as the vertigo was gone, I felt a splitting headache coming on. Apparently vertigo can be an early symptom of a headache. Who knew?! Not me. At least not until I Googled it.

Again - should have known something bad was looming.

3pm rolled around and I got a call with some really awful news that threw me for a loop. I left the office, knowing that I wouldn't be able to focus for the rest of the day. I drove around for a bit and ended up at Starbucks where I sat and reflected for a bit before picking the kids up.

Later that evening, I needed a distraction so I did the only sensible thing I could think to do - I baked. More specifically, I baked pumpkin scones.

I used this recipe but subbed in brown sugar instead of white and pumpkin pie spice instead of straight ginger.
I went to bed around 9 - mentally exhausted and needing to rest up before my early morning run.

Daddy had to leave for work at 6:45am, so I was up and at 'em at 4:40. I changed into my running gear, ate a scone and a half, did a little stretching and was out the door at 5:14. I can usually tell within the first 2-3 minutes how well my run is going to go. I felt great when I started out - almost unusually great. And I could tell it was going to be a good one (despite the humidity and fairly warm temperature).

The moon was really bright, which was great considering I was out there more than 2 hours before the sun was due to come up.

Crushed it. I credit the pumpkin scones.

It sounds crazy, but I really enjoyed being up and out so early in the morning. There is a huge sense of accomplishment that comes along with completing a long run before the rest of the family (and the sun!) are up.

I spent the rest of the day hanging with my girls.

Donuts at the farmers market!
Swim class + Trader Joe's = total exhaustion

We also had some friends over for vegan takeout, wine and conversation. Very fun and very much my speed!

To close out the weekend, I did a 3.5-mile recovery run, a trip to Sam's Club ($$$$!!!), and an afternoon Pure Barre class.

My mind is in a little bit better spot than when I left the office on Friday. I am focusing on this thought:

Not every potential health condition is in my control, but I can and will keep myself in fighting shape to face whatever may come my way in the future.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Extra Sleep, Breakfast Pics & Day Dating

Can you even believe this week is almost over already?! It flew by - probably because I've spent the entire week trying to dig myself out from under the mountain of work that piled up while I was out of the office at our sales conference last week.

I fully intended to blog last night, but I was so exhausted. When forced to choose between staying up to blog or getting some extra sleep, sleep will win every time! I still had a hard time getting out of bed at 5 am for Pure Barre this morning, but as the day went on, I definitely felt more rested than yesterday. It certainly paid off during my run. 5 miles in 46:47. Not bad!


I've said it before and I'll say it again - breakfast is my favorite meal of the day! And I've eaten some very yummy breakfasts this week!

Vegan pumpkin bread w/ organic Smart Balance and a protein shake on the side.

Crock pot banana oatmeal with coconut oil. All time favorite!


The hubby and I went on a day date today at lunchtime! We sat on the patio at one of my favorite places:

I ordered a salad (hold the cheese) with a side of black beans and some guacamole to throw on top. The salad had jicama, pickled red onions and a light chili lime vinaigrette on it. With the black beans and guacamole on top, it was delicious and filling! And of course I couldn't help but munch on the complimentary tortilla chips while chatting with the hubby. It was such a nice day, but a little odd because it looks like fall but it felt like summer.

NO FILTER! This was the view from my seat on the patio.

I'm gearing up for a very early morning long run on Saturday, so Friday night is going to be pretty uneventful! I plan to be in bed shortly after the kiddos.

What is your favorite meal of the day?

What do you have planned this weekend?

Monday, October 6, 2014

Featured Client!

Happy Monday! Normally I'd say the words "happy" and "Monday" don't go together, but I'm feeling pretty happy this Monday - happy to be feeling healthy and rested again! Also, happy and honored to be this month's featured client at my Pure Barre studio!

Last month, I received the studio's newsletter which included a call to all clients to share their stories for a chance to be featured in the next newsletter. If you read this blog (or know me at all!), you know I could go on and on about how much I love Pure Barre. So naturally, I immediately typed up a little something on my phone and sent it in.

I was so excited when I received an email a couple weeks back letting me know that I'd been chosen to be the client feature! Below is what I wrote:

 As a busy working mom of 2, I turned to running a few years ago for both mental and physical fitness. I was sidelined earlier this year with an injury that left me a few pounds heavier and sluggish by the time I was healed and back in my sneakers.

In an effort to lose those pounds and feel good about myself, I added lots of high-impact circuit training workouts to my half marathon training schedule. Not only did I not lose weight this way, but I was left feeling even more sluggish and perpetually exhausted. I knew I needed something lower impact.

I saw a sign advertising the new client special so I decided to give Pure Barre a try. It was love at first tuck! After 2 1/2 weeks, with 10 classes under my belt, my clothes felt looser and I could really see the changes in the mirror.

By the end of my one month of unlimited classes, I was wearing jeans I hadn't fit into for 6 months and my confidence was through the roof.

Though I was hesitant about the cost, I signed up for 3 months unlimited following my new client special. I'm now a regular at the 5:30am classes, and typically attend 5-6 days per week. Not only have I achieved truly amazing physical results, I have also reaped many mental benefits! Class is calming - 55 minutes of zen! I leave class feeling strong, confident and happy - ready to take on the day and perhaps even the world! I have completely stopped the negative self talk and have a completely different attitude when I look in the mirror. Instead of focusing on flaws, I'm feeling proud of the progress. And I have broken the bad habit of weighing myself everyday. Who needs to weigh in when you can see the positive physical transformation in the mirror?! I no longer care about those numbers on the scale.

Thank you Pure Barre for giving me physical and mental strength! I hope to be able to share my love of Pure Barre professionally one day.

What I love most about this piece is that it was 100% real - pure stream of consciousness, written out of true enthusiasm. It took all of 5 minutes to type on my phone and I didn't edit a thing before I sent it. It's 100% me.

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Working, Running, Baking & Buying

What's up?! I've been away from the blog for a whole week - and away from my family for a lot of that time too!

I just returned from a work conference/ retreat that was held here:

Yeah, definitely could've been worse! The 3+ day retreat involved learning, team building, some drinking and some dancing. Overall it was great, with the exception of Tuesday night when I nearly ended up in the emergency room... I was still feeling the effects of that horrible reaction I had last weekend, and more specifically, experiencing a lot of pain an ulcer-like symptoms. I actually called the on-call doctor who suggested I go to the emergency room. In my typically fashion, I stayed in bed and closed my eyes instead. Perhaps not the smartest idea... But thankfully I'm finally feeling much better! I'm on another antibiotic for the original infection, and I probably lost a good 2-3 lbs from lack of appetite, but definitely much closer to my normal self now.

From the work costume party - me in my derby best!
I'm back in action with my half marathon training too! I was up well before the sun this morning eating this:

And I headed out the door around 6 am to squeeze in an 8-mile run before the kiddos' swim class, and before daddy had to leave for work for the rest of the day/night.

I had a tough time settling into a steady pace, but all in all, a pretty good run. Especially since it was so cool outside! 50 degrees felt pretty amazing after logging so many hot and humid miles over the summer.

To me, cool fall weather means time for pumpkin everything! I spent the afternoon baking Happy Herbivore vegan pumpkin bread (YUM!!!!!) and drinking pumpkin beer.

The Traveler Beer Company
I also bought the hubby a new car today! And I did it from the comfort of my living room! Ever heard of I hear their ads quite frequently (on Pandora, I think?), and the hubby really needed a new car, so I thought I'd check it out. I buy pretty much everything else online, why not a car?! My Facebook post pretty much sums up my experience (which took less than an hour I might add!!):

Seriously, if you're looking for a new-to-you car, check it out!

Pumpkin: love it or hate it?

Are you an online shopper?

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Adverse Reaction

Wow. Just wow. Antibiotics are supposed to make you feel better, right?? Not this time; not for me.

Let me back up... I skipped my planned 5-mile run on Thursday night (reluctantly) because I knew I had something coming on. I will spare you the details, but suffice it to say I was first in line at the Minute Clinic on Friday morning. Got in right at 8:30 and was out by 9 with a prescription for Bactrim and the reassurance of the nurse practitioner that I'd be good as new in the morning, and ready to tackle my 8-mile training run.

I headed off to work and took my first dose of antibiotics around 9:45. I ended up heading back home a couple hours later to work from the couch for the rest of the day because I was feeling exhausted.

Fast forward to dinner time, I took my second dose and suddenly felt very nauseous. I had oatmeal for dinner because all I wanted was carbs. I managed to get through baking and icing 2 dozen cupcakes (in addition to getting kiddos ready for bed) since I was planning to host a birthday party for my just-turned-2-year-old baby girl.

By 9 pm, I was miserable. Stomach cramps, nausea...every horrible GI symptom you can imagine. I couldn't even stand up straight. I was waling around the house hunched over.

By 11, I had the chills and called the 24/7 nurse line on my insurance card for advice. The poor nurse on the other end was pretty concerned and told me to drink lots of water and not take another dose of Bactrim without checking with the doctor in the morning because my symptoms were consistent with an adverse reaction to the medication.

Saturday night was one of the longest nights of my life. I slept in 10 minute intervals, in between running to the bathroom. It wasn't until 5:30 am that I fell asleep in the overstuffed chair and got a full hour of sleep before the kids got up.

Once I was up, I emailed/texted all the birthday party invitees and told them the party was off. I was too sick.

Then Daddy took the girls to swim class, and I slept for almost 2 hours. I felt SO much better! (Relatively speaking of course.) The girls were horribly disappointed about the party, and honestly I felt guilty, so I got back to everyone and said it was back on if they could still make it.

So we did it! We threw a small, low-key party for the birthday girl. Everyone had a great time, and I managed to hold it together for the most part. I finally had to go lay down while the last couple guests were still on the sun porch having drinks and chit-chatting with the hubby.

I got a good night's sleep last night, and felt significantly better all day today. I even went for a jog and hit up a Pure Barre class. I still have a few lingering unpleasant side effects, and not much of an appetite (I ate lunch at 1:45 and it's now 9:45 and I haven't really eaten anything since).

I've got another week of "travel" ahead - driving about an hour north of home and staying at a resort for a few days for a company meeting. Could be worse, I suppose! Going to miss daddy and the girls, though. Oh, and Pure Barre too! :) 

Mini-me #1 and mini-me #2
I hope your weekend was a little better than mine!

What did you do this weekend?