Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Get in My Belly

I'm happy to report that I have no "shit-muffins" to post about this time, folks! I only screwed up one thing recently, and I still blame it on the electric oven. Temperature = NOT ACCURATE. More on that later.

The last couple of weeks have been super busy - filled with friends from out of town, family, and just some good ol' fashioned single-gal socializing :)...And let's be honest, those things trumped writing. But I did manage to get some good (and not so good, oops) eats in that I saved the recipes to share! Some of them I'd like to re-make and try some things differently, but all-in-all, not too shabby! Patting myself on the back, here.

Graphically delicious items ahead. Proceed at your own discretion.

First up is my new fave - ahhmigaahhd they were delish, and so easy! We'll call them...


I tried to capture the sunlight just right to
distract your eyes from my
non-photogenic dishes.
Mix 1 container (6 oz) of Greek Yogurt - I used strawberry banana - with:
1 TBS almond or coconut flour (I used almond),
3 TBS ground oats (I just threw them in my mini blender),
1 egg,
1/2 tsp baking soda and
Cinnamon, to taste

The batter tasted like apple cinnamon. YUM. SOLD. I will warn you, though, that these little F'ers are harder to flip than normal pancakes. It could be because my cooking utensils are jank college kid stuff, but whatever. Don't say I didn't warn you. But we've all learned it's not how it looks on the outside, but how freaking delicious it is on the inside that counts and BOY OH BOY. These were to die for. I added some walnuts to a few of them, and then spread some, you guessed it, Cookie Butter on them and added blueberries and some Agave nectar. I think I sat there after eating it and just smiled for a solid 5 minutes. I'm not even kidding. Try them and tell me you didn't do the same.

I had heard of these before, but never really knew what they were. I’d seen photos on Instagram of people eating them and raving about them for breakfast, so I thought what the hell, let’s give it a shot. I searched the ol’ world wide web for a recipe and stumbled across this one:

Zoats - zon't be fooled by its look.
Bring 1/2 cup water to a boil. Add cinnamon, stevia, and/or other desired spices, flavors, and sweeteners. Add 4-6 egg whites to boiling water*, reduce heat to medium and stir constantly to avoid poached egg whites. Once mixture is primarily opaque, mix in 1/4 cup oatmeal and stir well. Next, add 100 grams shredded zucchini **(or more if you want! I think I ended up putting about a ½ to 1 cup) and stir well. Allow to cook over medium low heat, stirring frequently. Allow zoats to cook until your desired consistency is met. The longer you cook them, the mushier and less "piecey" the zucchini becomes.
I feel like these could have been better for 2 reasons:

*I missed the part of the directions that said to REDUCE the heat after adding in the egg whites, sooo I basically had poached egg whites before realizing this.
**I didn’t have a grater at the time (have since purchased one from CVS – classy, I know), so my zucchini bits were a pretty piecey…

So the overall mixture was ehhh, but it really didn’t turn out too badly. I added some sweetener, vanilla extract, cinnamon and honey, and then cut up a banana and added some Greek yogurt. It made a pretty big portion and you best believe I ate the whole thing!


As I’m typing this out and listing the ingredients out, I’m realizing that these 2 salad recipes are just different versions of one another, but both are differently wonderful in their own ways. I’ve eaten both like 6 times in the last 2 weeks, no joke (and am actually eating the first one as I type). 

Seriously. Honey and olive oil on a salad?

Sweet & Fruity Salad
Ingredients (amounts of each are up to you – however big you’d like the salad, keep adding!):
Baby Spinach
1 Peach (I’ve used both regular and white, and prefer white. Just my own personal preference!)
Red grapes
Goat cheese (OF COURSE)
Drizzle with honey and olive oil and prepare to be amazed!
Other goodies I’ve added in:
The possibilities are endless!

Greek Yogurt Chicken Salad
Ingredients (again, each up to you):
Cooked chicken breast (I did shredded from the crockpot as well as just cooking over a skillet, and both were just as delicious)
Pecans or almonds
Plain Greek yogurt
Baby spinach or spring mix

I mixed the grapes, avocado, celery and pecans first, then added the yogurt, put it over the spinach and put the chicken on top (unless the chicken was shredded, then I just mixed it all in). No dressing needed, as the chicken salad is creamy enough with the Greek Yogurt! You can make a larger portion of this and eat some leftovers as well. It’ll last the 2nd day pretty easily, just watch the avocados, as they can get a little brown.


I realized I may have mentioned this a time or six, but I'm rather good at throwing together a meal working with what I've got. This little gem was concocted on a night that I needed to grocery shop, but was not about to do it hungry - it really does make a difference in what/how much I buy. So I'm emptying my cabinets and cursing and whining that I have no food and I'm just wanting to go grocery shop so I can buy more Cookie Butter and blah blah blah. That's when I made:

Tuna Burger over Edamame

The downside of sharing this with you is that i didn't measure anything. I just literally threw it together. Soo, deal with it. 

1 package tuna (I like the sealed packages for 1)
Ranch seasoning
Salt and pepper
Mrs. Dash Fiesta Lime seasoning
Bread crumbs
Edamame (steam microwavable bags are the

Goat cheese (DUH)

Cook the edamame, and whilst it's cooking, mix all the ingredients except the goat cheese into a bowl. The tuna patty is not that solid, just FYI, but I managed to keep it together. You really just need to cook it on a sprayed skillet til it's heated. I wanted mine a bit crispy on the outside, so I cooked it a little longer. Throw it on top of a bowl of edamame and then add some goat cheese and OH MY. It may not look that great, but holy cow, it was legit good.

Sweet & Sour Hot Shit

I have to thank my Aunt Eileen for introducing this recipe to my mother (though I'm not sure that's the actual name...), because it's a staple in my meals. I don't cook it all that often, but I look forward to it every time. And it makes a LOT, so I usually end up feeding some friends and co-workers, and still have leftovers. It's the one meal that I seriously don't mind eating 3 days later (I'm on my 2nd lunch of it). So feel free to cut in half if you need a smaller portion.

1-2 jars of sweet & sour sauce
Tabasco sauce
2-3 red potatoes1 red bell pepper
1 green pepper
1 can pineapple chunks

Smoked sausage (I used turkey sausage, but it's up to you)
Jalapenos (optional)
Rice (I usually use white rice for this meal but it doesn't matter)

Get a sauce pan and fill with water and get that going to a boil on the stove. Then, empty a jar and a half of sweet & sour into a LARGE skillet. Add Tabasco sauce to your liking (remember, you can always add more as you go). Turn the heat on low to start. 
Chop up the red potatoes in to bite size pieces and put them in the boiling water. These take the longest to cook, so let them boil while I do everything else.
Depending on what rice you get, if it takes awhile to cook, start it next, or if you are microwaving or have instant rice, you can cook it while everything's heating up.
Chop up the rest of the ingredients and add to the skillet (you can now turn the heat up). If you like it spicy, add jalepenos. I also usually add some of the juice from the can of pineapples. This is where you can decide how you want the consistency to be. Like it saucy/soupy? Add more sweet & sour or pineapple juice or water. If you don't, then don't! 
Drain the potatoes and add to the skillet and just stir every once in awhile until everything is heated up. Serve over the rice and prepare to be amazed!  

Those are just some of my faves as of late. Don't even get me started on dessert. Maybe in the next post. :)  

Friday, August 16, 2013

It's the Final(ish) Countdown

It's FRIDAY!!! I'm looking at my calendar and am a bit surprised at how fast these last couple weeks have flown by. My poor apartment was neglected until last night when I forced myself to pick up and make it look like a somewhat normal person lived there. How is it possible for it to get messy when I'm never home? I somehow manage to figure it out. 

I'll be working on a few good recipes to share (no shit-muffins, I swear), so be sure to stay tuned in the coming week. In the meantime, goals I've set and races I've been training for are fast approaching:

Warrior Dash - Tomorrow 
Tough Mudder - 29 days
Half Marathon - 43 days

EEEK those races used to seem so far away and now they're like..1, 29 and 43 days away! WARNING: math GENIUS over here. I am super pumped for Warrior Dash. Maybe it's because I sort of know what to expect, having done it last year? Or because I'm running it with one of my BFF's again? Or because I've actually done physical activities, unlike last years' race where I hadn't ran in about a hundred years and wanted to die? Who knows, but I'm ready to eat mud and cuss and drink a beer. Hopefully it'll give me some more fuel for my Tough Mudder fire.

That one is still making me a bit nervous. While I've been running and working out, I feel like the running has been >greater than< strength training, sooo if I'm struggling, I'm secretly hoping a hottie with a body will be helping me up and over some of the walls, through the mud and under the barbed wire. Amber and I have a sweet tank top we're planning on wearing to represent the good ole Hoosier State in Missouri, which is obviously the most important part of this race. Outfits.

And then there's the halfie. I didn't really think I'd ever run one in my lifetime, because, quite frankly, I hated running. My hatred is a bit less now, and I ran 8 miles on Wednesday, the furthest I've gone in my LIFE (and yes, I'm going to say that every week when I tag another mile onto that run). My body is still recovering from Wednesday, so I took it easy last night, with the exception of kickass kickball, and am only training my drinking skills tonight so I can be ready to roll tomorrow morning for the dash. But the training's been going well, and you know what? Methinks I'm going to be OK in this race. A big part of surviving will be running it with my gal pal Dori, who's been killing her training and is my motivation for this race! She's always impressed me with her ability to move her legs in a way that propels her forward for extended periods of time. Her GPS skills? Maybe not so much. I remember she ran 13 miles when we were in Colorado for Robin's (my Warrior Dash BFF) wedding and got a bit lost. A few hours and a car ride later, all was well and she was back with us. I think we'll plan on just following the crowd in Milwaukee this time. I just hope I can keep up with her!

I don't know about everyone else, but I'm beyond ready to enjoy the weekend. Til next time!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Two Words: Cookie Butter

OHMIGOD. I've died. Died and gone to Heaven. 

I ventured on my first trip to Trader Joe's grocery store. It was smaller than I thought it'd be, but was far from disappointing. There are so many unique items that I cannot wait to go back and try them out, but I was only going to get things that I needed....ish. 

Taking a casual stroll down the aisles, I was in search of almond butter or some type of natural peanut butter. A bit bummed that I didn't find any of the former, I stumbled across something in what looked like a typical peanut butter jar called "Cookie Butter". Obviously, this caught my attention. Underneath, it said "a deliciously unusual spread reminiscent of gingerbread and made with crushed biscuits"....that sounds weird. I'll take it.
Try not to look directly at this work of WONDER.
I get home and just have to open it up and give it a taste and WHAT THE TRUCK JUST HIT MY TASTEBUDS!?! You guys. This stuff is so good. Like dangerously good. It took all the self-control I had to not dive head first into this jar. I haven't even owned it for 24 hours and I have:
  • Melted it and drizzled it over Greek yogurt and bananas (YUM)
  • Put a dollop in my morning cinnamon oatmeal with blueberries (YUM)
  • Just had a brown rice cake with a little spread on it (YUM)
I. Can't. Stop.

It's got 90 calories per serving (a tablespoon), so it's not terrible in moderation (gonna struggle with that one). I'm already salivating at what else I can put this on. Pancakes...quinoa....apples...celery...AHHHH! Ok. Walking away from this and the jar.

No Trader Joe's around you? Hit it up on Amazon. Though it's much cheaper in store ($2.50). I swear. It's worth it. AND they have crunchy kind too. That may or may not wind up in my cart next time.

Have you tried it? Thoughts? Anyone else ready to start a fan club? I can't be alone in this.

Friday, July 26, 2013

High Five for Friday!

I’m super stoked to bring you my first-ever High Five for Friday post. Though I’m a bit pissed at myself for not getting a post out there earlier this week, it’s been a pretty fun/eventful one, so it’s made it easier (well and harder) to pick 5 of my favorite things from the last week. Shall we? 

1.Cucumber water. Sounds so simple, and it is, but it has totally made my week. My mama came to stay with me last Sunday so she could catch an early Monday morning flight, and brought me some a lot of veggies. So I sliced up some cucumbers and took them to work to put them in my water and wham, bam, thank you ma’am – it’s SO REFRESHING!! It definitely made me up my water intake each day that I had them. I drop 2-3 slices in there and they keep each refill of water fresh all day long!

2.The Color Run. I wrote about it in my last post, but it was a blast! Everyone was in a good mood, moving, whether they’re walking, running or dancing. Plus, they give you little packets of color at the beginning to hold onto until the end (I totally had to stuff my bra, I ain’t carrying anything), and there was a big stage with music and what not, and every so often they’ll count down, and everyone throws their color up in to the air. We were right in the middle of it and it would almost  be pitch black with color (is that an oxymoron?). You couldn’t see anything for a few seconds, and when the color settled, you were doused with a bit of everything. My friend Alison got it on video from a distance and it is awesome! Check it out:
3.Honesty. I live in a very old apartment building. The elevator is the kind where you have to literally open both the door and the gate to get in. Sometimes, the gate gets stuck and won’t shut on its own and the people getting off the elevator often times don’t realize they need to check and make sure it’s shut. Because when the gate is still open, the elevator does not go anywhere. And people get upset. And sometimes, they just need to tell it like it is. 

4.Snail mail!!! I got this cute little card from my friend Leah in DC. She and I have been friends since first grade, but have lived far apart for a while now. She’s always someone who I can pick right back up with where we left off, no matter how long it’s been. And sometimes we still write each other the old fashioned way, like we did in elementary :).

5.Running! I was so glad I made myself run last Sunday. After a weekend of partying with friends, it’s so nice to hit the pavement and work it out. Though, it was INSANELY HOT and I could literally ring my clothes out when I was done, I felt so much better. I got my 5 miles in, and now I’m gearing up to do 6 tomorrow…EEK! {Side note: I NEVER thought I would EVER put running as a favorite thing. LIKE EVER. I used to associate running with the devil or the Apocalypse, no joke. I guess it just goes to show you when you want something and you put the work in for it, you can put your mind to just about anything. I don’t know if you guys have ever heard of Nike, but they have a pretty simple way of encouraging you. Just (fucking) DO It.}

I’m linked up Lauren on this first H54F post! Woot woot HAPPY FRIDAY, Y’ALL!

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Lessons Learned This Week

Sometimes, I'm an awesome cook.
I don't want to brag, but every once in awhile, I can whip up a delicious meal. My specialty, though, is throwing random ingredients together and it miraculously turning into a freaking FANCY FEAST. Earlier this week, I was thinking about what I wanted for dinner (let's be honest, when am I not thinking about food?). I had already made the recipes I had set out to make for the week, so what was remaining in my fridge and cabinets had to work. I didn't measure anything, so below are just the ingredients, and I'll try to remember specifics when I can. But that's part of the fun! Ladies and gents, I give you Turkey-Quinoa burgers:

I need prettier plates for food porn...
  • 1 lb ground turkey (I'm weird about only using some of the meat and then saving the rest for later, so this produced enough to feed 4 people - i.e., I ate this for 4 meals)
  • Quinoa - I want to say I used 3/4 cups, but who knows
  • 1 egg
  • Garlic
  • Soy sauce - just a little bit
  • Hidden Valley Ranch seasoning
  • Goat cheese (again - makes everything better)
  • BBQ sauce

Have I mentioned I
love goat cheese?
Cook the Quinoa, and combine everything but the goat cheese and BBQ (although the barbecue sauce would probably be pretty delish in the mix). Add the cooked Quinoa, but don't burn yourself like I did. Maybe letting it cool for a few minutes would be smart. Mix it all together with your hands and then form 4 patties. they're pretty good size patties, so you can make them smaller if you wish. Cook on the stove top til they're done! I added the goat cheese on top and dipped in the BBQ sauce. I served mine with a baked sweet potato with coconut oil and cinnamon. Then, step back and admire your efforts before devouring. 

Sometimes, I'm not a good cook.
Maybe the term I should use is "baker". It's not my strong suit. I was once again on the hunt for a healthy, protein based snack/breakfast. I came across a local gal's blog, Treble in the Kitchen, and she had a recipe for high protein banana muffins. YUM. The ingredient list and instructions are so simple. How could I go wrong?


  • 1 large banana, smashed
  • 3/4 cup liquid egg whites
  • 1/2 cup plain, nonfat Greek yogurt
  • 3/4 cup oat flour (oats ground up!) - I used my freaking expensive almond flour
  • 2 scoops of your favorite protein powder (I used chocolate)
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • I added a little bit of cocoa powder, since I used chocolate protein powder. Figured it'd help with the chocolately goodness
So, I made a few of my own tweaks, and am struggling to figure out why this went so wrong. I combined everything in a bowl, and the batter tasted bomb-diggity. I'm still figuring out my stupid electric oven, so I put them in at just under 350 degrees for 13 minutes and went about cleaning up my mess. About 8 minutes in, I peek into the oven window to gaze at my delicious efforts coming to fruition and OH MY GOD WHAT'S HAPPENING?? The muffins are growing and oozing off of the side of the pan. They're all going their own directions and dripping to the bottom of the stove. 


I think to myself that maybe they'll settle down as they cook, so naturally, I leave them alone. Then they start to smell a bit burnt, so I took them out with a couple minutes to spare on the timer. I wish I could've captured my face when they were taken out of the oven. These things looked disgusting. I repeat, DISGUSTING. It honestly looked like a dog crawled into my oven and defecated in each and every one of the muffin cups. Graphic description, yes, but one look at them and you know it's true. Poop muffins.

Told you.

After some f-bombs were dropped and some laughs were had, I figured I had to at least try them. I avoided the muffin tops, because 1. they looked like dog poop and 2. they were pretty burnt. The muffins wouldn't come out of the paper very easily, but the insides were actually pretty good. So I ask, where did I go wrong? Was it the almond flour instead of oat flour (that's my guess)? Cocoa? I'm definitely willing to try to make them again because I think they could be amazing, but I'll follow the recipe to a T next time...I'll let you know how it goes.  

Color Runs are fun.
Had a great time yesterday at The Color Run Indianapolis - looking forward to doing it again sometime! I highly recommend it, even if you're not a runner. We walked a lot of it, taking our time at each color station. I did a sumersault through the blue section :)  What's your fave 5K?
My skin is still blue.

Sweat much?
Drinking like you're in college takes twice as long to recover from when you're not in college anymore. 
This morning's attempt to make up for
last night's shenanigans.
Happy Sunday. It's been pretty freaking lazy so far, as I wait for my headache to dwindle. I've been cringing less about the amounts of  beer and peppermint patty shots consumed and more about eating my body weight in Oreo popcorn, pizza, bacon covered peppers, cookies and cupcakes. I could birth a bakery. But it was a BLAST! Your friends only have birthdays once...a year...Needless to say, last night was excessive. But I'm not going to beat myself up over it. 

My workout alarm - because
sometimes we need a gentle push.
Wait - yes I am. 5 mile run in 85 degree weather plus a stair workout is in my near future. Time to get my ass back in gear with the training. Last week was OK - a couple runs and workouts were cut short due to not having an inhaler. But I got that taken care of on Friday and I'm ready to breathe easy and sweat like a pig! Aside from a giant, greasy breakfast (I did good and had a healthy one today -- see above), an awesome workout has been a pretty good hangover cure for me. I may dread it at the time, but it's always been worth it. If I'm willing to put unhealthy, AWESOME food and beer in my body, I better be just as ready to sweat it out! See, people? Balance. :) 

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Recap Whilst Resting

Well, aside from getting my first blog post out just before midnight, Monday was pretty uneventful. Wouldn't it be amazing if Mondays were our "transitional" days? You'd accomplish work/business-wise what you would on a typical Sunday (nothing), except you'd be sitting in front of your desk, doing whatever else you wanted (shopping online, folding laundry, etc.). That way, on Tuesday, you're ready to rock-n-roll. Makes perfect sense to me.

I did manage to get some good food and a good-ish workout in.

Breakfast consisted of 1/4 C Quaker Oats cooked with vanilla soy milk and topped with cinnamon and a dollop of almond butter.

Snack Time #1 is usually around 10 am, unless I'm starving, then I'll sneak it in a little early. But that only happens, oh say, 4 out of every 5 work days. So I walk into the break room and BAM. Panera cookies. EVERYWHERE. It's like Santa himself dumped his sleigh of goodies all over the counter and told me what a good girl I'd been. I look through them, trying not to drool. Double chocolate...chocolate chip...sugar..oh my. BUT - I scowled and pouted my way to the fridge for my Greek yogurt, blueberries, raspberries and bananas. And after I ate that (ended up adding a little Agave nectar, coconut and almonds because it's delicious that way), I felt like I conquered a huge challenge. I don't ever want to deprive myself of something I want, but it's all about moderation. And with it being only Monday, there were bound to be things I'd give into the rest of the week (like beer(s) at last night's sand volleyball game - DUH).

Nice try, Satan.
Lunch was a thrown together salad, consisting of spinach, celery, carrots, lemon pepper tuna, goat cheese and balsamic vinaigrette. {Side note: Goat cheese makes everything better.} Then I chowed down on some celery and hummus.

For whatever reason I was so full after lunch that I didn't snack until I got home from work. Banana, cashews and raisins. Then before hitting the gym, threw some almond butter on a rice cake and headed out.

I'm following Hal Higdon's Novice 2 Half Marathon Training Schedule, so Mondays are scheduled as a "rest" day. I didn't really feel like resting, so I took advantage of Day 1 of a 2 week free trial of a gym near my apartment. Since it wasn't a run day, I figured I'd at least get some low-impact cardio going and hopped on a stair-stepper. This is the particular stair-stepping machine where the steps actually move, like an escalator. I set it at an interval workout on level 11 (I'm in shape, right?) and begin at a slow speed. Ok, not bad. Bump up the speed in 3-2-1-go...It's still manageable. I begin to take in the scenery around me, ready to people watch and maybe browse through some TV channels when I suddenly realize I am nowhere near coordinated enough to not watch my feet hit the moving steps and grab what I've now dubbed the "oh shit!" bars as I panic to figure out how the hell to pause this thing. Once I get it stopped, take a look around me and am fairly confident nobody saw me, I resume my workout, hands never leaving the oh shit bars and eyes never leaving the stairs. After 30 minutes of that, I hit up a core works class and left the gym glistening like a lady sweating like a muthafucking pig.

Dinner - I went grocery shopping for a few things (like Peanut Butter & Co's Cinnamon Raisin Swirl (OMG yum, except it was almost $7 at my store for that little fucker). It was late when I got home and I was in no mood to cook.

Always making room for the important things
I also wanted something sweet. Off  I surfed to search for a healthy mug cake. JACKPOT, people! Found this little nugget of a recipe from Andrea Smith Fitness and I'm hooked. 

  • 1 scoop of chocolate casein protein powder (I used regular chocolate whey protein powder)
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 tablespoon of coconut or almond flour (I used almond flour)
  • 1 tablespoon of unsweetened cocoa powder used for baking
  • 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
  • 1/4 cup of water or coconut milk (I used water)

    Mix it all together in a bowl and then pour it in a sprayed coffee cup. Pop it in the microwave and cook for 30-45 seconds. For mine, I had to do 10 second intervals after that, as it was still a bit gooey. Once it was done, I popped it on to a plate, and though initially it looked kind of disgusting, I dressed it up with some raspberries and butterscotch chips and OHMIGOD. That thing was devoured in a matter of minutes. Best. Dinner. Ever. 

    The blurriness of this photo is credited to my inner
    fat kid dying to dive into this dessert.
I'll leave you with the highlights my Tuesday and today:
  • Got a solid run and arm workout in before volleyball
  • We won our volleyball game
  • The beer tasted great
  • This isn't so much a highlight as a confession - utilizing today as my rest day. Giving the ole creaking knees a break and going to attempt to catch up on some sleep after a few late nights!  
Is anyone else ready for it to be Friday? Happy Hump Day!

Monday, July 15, 2013

Crises Are the New Cool

What. Am. I. Doing? I’m stealing the term “Quarter-Life Crisis” from my good pal Dori, because when she mentioned that she was going through one, a light bulb went off. That’s what’s happening to me, too.

I can no longer say I’m in my early 20s. I just (barely, people) passed the 25th mile-marker. That’s not an issue for me. My age hasn’t ever really bothered me. But it’s what’s happened in my 26th year on Earth that’s gotten me to this point. After some life-altering happenings (albeit freaking blessings) in the blur of a month called April, I took a slap to the face and ran with it and have since chosen a new outlook on life.

The word “crisis” is often associated with something negative or undesirable...
Shit. Life #9 - DONE.
But, in reality, it doesn’t necessarily mean impending doom. The origin of the word “crisis” literally means to decide. So, what choices have I made recently during my time of “deciding”?

Well, I'm being selfish and doing what I want. So far, it's been a blast. I've got a new apartment that I'm DIY-ing the shit out of and staying beyond busy with work, friends and family. Then I decided to throw getting fit and healthy again back in the mix. For the record, I wasn't terribly un-healthy...I'm a retired collegiate athlete...I just took my retirement a bit more literally than I should have.

I had joined some intramural teams with friends - a little softball, dodgeball, kickball, and sand volleyball at various times throughout the last 2 years - which was keeping me active a day or so a week. I'd start Insanity or P90X and get a few weeks in (OK, sometimes only a few days in) before something more important anything else would come up and I'd go that route instead. It was so easy to skip a workout. Sure, I'd feel guilty...for like, 5 seconds. Then it was back to something more fun. I had joined a gym, but dropped my membership after not was too crowded after work...too far away...blah freaking blah.

It wasn't until April 2013 rolled around that I was forced to really take a look at my life and what I want out of it. And I realized I missed being fit. Healthy. Energetic. I knew that getting there would require some pain-in-my-ass (literally and figuratively), fights with myself and conquering my lack of self-control when it comes to delicious food and drinks. In order to look forward to working out and incorporating those sessions as habits, I knew I'd have to go through the period of forcing myself to do it when it was the last thing I wanted to do.

So, I started running. I know, college athlete = amazing runner, right? WRONG. I played volleyball. It was all about quick, explosive movements, sprints, plyometrics and strength training. Our running never exceeded more than 1 mile. Up until that point in my life, 2 (two, dos, zwei) 5Ks were the most I'd ever run in my LIFE, and that was back in 2011 and 2012. I thought I climbed Mount f*****g Everest after those.
True story.
But I kept doing it. Half mile here, half mile there, then 2 miles. That was my wall. I'd crap out and call it a day. I needed something to push me. A goal with a hard date. So I signed up for The Color Run 5K that's actually this upcoming weekend (so pumped!). But that wasn't good enough. I needed more of a challenge. So I signed up for Warrior Dash again (I did it last year - one of my 2-in-my-lifetime 5Ks). Last year's Dash was a blast - however, I was so out of shape, all I could think about was not dying. Having the goal of actually completing it with some dignity was a step up. That's August 17. So we're good, right? Wrong. Let's push ourselves a bit, Mags, come ON. 

I saw my good friend, old roommate, old teammate and mommy of a 4-year-old recently. It had been a while since we'd seen each other, as she lives a few hours away. Amber's always been fit and healthy, but when I saw her, good Lord the girl was ripped! I was so impressed. She recently took a new job, running the gym/wellness program for a big company in Southern Indiana. She leads classes, does personal training, answers questions, the whole shebang. I've told her once and I'll tell her again that she was a big part of my motivation to get my ass in gear. I had no excuses. She's a busy mom, for crying out loud! So she and I decided it would be "fun" to sign up for what's dubbed "the toughest event on the planet" - Tough Mudder. I have heard stories to give me nightmares about this event. So naturally, I'm all in. Payment was sent with no refunds allowed. 

Whew! Some good stuff and awesome challenges to look forward to, for sure. But then Dori (my fellow quarter-life crisis pal), who's always been an avid runner, threw out the idea of a half September...two weeks after Tough Mudder. The logical, smaller portion of attitude in me said, "HELL NO". But the larger, impulse-driven, why-the-hell-not attitude in me said, "Why the hell not?!". Logic - 0 Impulse - 1. Payment sent. 

I plan to center the majority of this blog around training and prepping via exercise and nutrition for the hellacious events ahead of me. But let's be honest...I'm not a fitness expert. I'm not a nutrition expert, and I still love to have a good time with my friends (good time = beer, vodka, terr(delicious)ible food and lots of laughs). But I'm willing to give it a try, and we'll see if we can find a happy medium.

Yay for my first blog post, and thanks for the endless support of my family and friends whom I'm forcing to read this.