Saturday, April 30, 2011

Best Husband Ever

My work participated in a charity event this morning that I needed to go to because I was a team captain. It was a great cause and I am glad I was able to be a part of it. However, I want to focus on my fabulous husband. He woke up this morning WITH ME and left the house at 6:30am to go WALK WITH ME. Clay, Ernest, and I walked for the charity event! I was so excited that my little family was all together. I was proud to show off my husband to all of my coworkers and I really enjoyed seeing everyone outside of the office setting. 
Flowers that he bought me

Great pic of Clay... I kinda look like I am in a daze
I love him so much and I think he is the greatest man on the planet. If anyone needs to buy a house or find an investment deal in the Tampa area... HE IS YOUR MAN... Well, he is mine, but he can help you =)

I have a ton of homework to get done (FINALS NEXT WEEK!!!! WHOOP WHOOP!!!) but I wanted to put a little workout on here for my friend Sam... I always tell her to do intervals and circuits for weight loss. It has kind of been my MO and she thinks I am crazy. Here is a good one:

What you need: Treadmill, or area to run, weights, mat, maybe a bench (not required)

Warm up walk 3:00
Jog 3:00
20 Pushups
20 Crunches
20 Jumping sqauts (or regular squats if you are embarrassed to do that in public or have knee problems)
Jog 3:00
15 Pushups
15 Crunches
15 jumping squats
Jog 3:00
10 Pushups
10 Crunches
10 Jumping squats
Jog 2:00
20 Tricep Dips
20 Plank Toe Taps (you are in a plank, but you tap your foot...left tap, right tap = one... so 40 taps total)
20 Lunges
Jog 3:00
15 Tricep Dips
15 Plank Toe Taps (you are in a plank, but you tap your foot...left tap, right tap = one... so 40 taps total)
15 Lunges
Jog 3:00
10 Tricep Dips
10 Plank Toe Taps (you are in a plank, but you tap your foot...left tap, right tap = one... so 40 taps total)
10 Lunges
Jog 2:00
20 Bicep Curls
20 Bicycle Crunches
20 Step ups on a bench or plie squats (toes pointed out... stand with your feet wider than your shoulders)
Jog 3:00
15 Bicep Curls
15 Bicycle Crunches
15 Step ups on a bench or plie squats (toes pointed out... stand with your feet wider than your shoulders)
 Jog 3:00
10 Bicep Curls
10 Bicycle Crunches
10 Step ups on a bench or plie squats (toes pointed out... stand with your feet wider than your shoulders)
Jog 5:00
Cool Down 3:00

ENJOY~ xoxo

ps. This is for you Sam.

For Sam... She knows

Friday, April 29, 2011

Royal Snack

At work we are all looking forward to gathering around the TV to watch the royal kiss. I am about to leave for work, but I wanted to share my healthy "biscotti" or "scones" that I am going to make this weekend.

I got them from Jamie Eason at
Orange Almond Biscotti

Per cookie:
Calories: 31
Carbs: 4 grams
Fat: .4 grams
Protein: 1.5 grams
2 cups Oat Flour
1 cup Splenda, Truvia, or Ideal
1 tsp Baking Powder
1 tbsp Orange Extract
¼ tsp Salt
½ tbsp Almond Extract
4 Egg Whites
4oz baby food Applesauce

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients (oat flour, baking powder, salt) together in a large bowl.
3. Mix wet ingredients (egg whites, Splenda, Truvia, or Ideal, almond extract, orange extract, baby food applesauce) together in a medium bowl.
4. Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix together.
5. Spray baking sheet with a non stick butter spray and spread mixture on sheet.
6. Bake for 20 min on middle rack.
7. Remove biscotti from oven and let cool for 10-15 minutes.
8. Cut dough down the middle and cut into about 13 slices.
9. Bake in oven for another 15-20 minutes.
Makes about 26 cookies.

Have a cup of tea, hold the cream, and enjoy a healthy snack. Happy Friday everyone!!!!

Golf Last Night

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

NYC Negative

Today I awaited anxiously, along with 93,000 people, to find out if I made it "IN" to the NYC Marathon 2011. Unfortunately, I did not. I was pretty disappointed in the whole process. We were told to tune in at noon... Well, great if you do not have a job! I am finding more and more "mega runners" that do not have jobs. I think I picked the wrong hobby to aim to excel at. ANYWAYS, after their live feed was finished, they started a ROLLING FEED of every name that was chosen. I sat their for all of 30 seconds before I turned it off and got back to work (lunch break was OVER). However, at the end, they did finally post a NAME SEARCH so that you could find out. BJ got in, but I did not. I am soooo happy for her. She is going to rock it. So now, I am left with a few decisions to make. What do I train for now???? Should I plan a fun trip/race? Probably not, because it gets expensive. There is a Rock 'n Roll Marathon in  Savannah GA in November. I am leaning towards the Spacecoast Marathon at the end of November. Is this probably a GOD thing because grad school is so crazy right now? Probably. Am I still disappointed. Absolutely. So what is a girl left to do????? One word. Qualify. Next year, 2012, I am not going through this "AM I IN" business. D.U.M.B.

 Healthy thought for today: Set goals for yourself. Think about what you want to achieve. Do you want to strengthen your relationship with God? Do you want to qualify for a race? Do you want to get a certain job? Do you want to get a certain GRADE? Do you want to go to a certain school? Do you want to lose a certain amount of weight? Claybo always tells me, "The definition of insanity is trying to do the same things over and over again expecting a different result." WOW. Stop staying up until 2am watching mindless TV and then complain the next day that you are tired. Stop saying you want to lose weight as you swing through the McDonalds drive through. Goals should be SMART (specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, timely). For example, "I want to look like Jamie Eason," is not a SMART goal. However, "I want to lose one inch in my thighs by the end of August," is specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. "I want to spend more time with my husband," is probably not the best goal. "I will set aside Thursdays nights for 6 weeks to play 9 holes of golf," is more targeted. Does that make sense? Next, make a list of things, habits, or chores that get in the way of you accomplishing your goal. PLAN how to attack or avoid each thing. You cannot quit your job. You cannot give your children away. Be realistic. That might mean you have to give up TV. That might mean you have to wake up early to hit the gym. LOVE = SACRIFICE and and HARD WORK = SACRIFICE. Now, stop complaining and go work hard.... sorry, I am a little feisty tonight.

One last thought.... Never go bra less when you run. Thanks.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Night with Friends xoxo

Tonight after work, Clay and I headed down to Hyde Park Village in South Tampa. What a lovely place. I love the shops, flowers, lamp posts, phone booths, and fountains. Here is a picture of my first trip down there with my roommates and friends in college:

Tonight we went to the Wine Exchange and enjoyed bread, fresh pizza, and yummy quesadillas.... check out how much cheese is in that thing. It had cheddar, feta, and a TON of veggies. The vegetables were not just onions; I am talking your cruciferous category... cauliflower and broccoli! Holy YUMMMMY.
Gina and her hubby Eric met us there. WHAT LOVELY PEOPLE. I have few friends that I feel like I can be 100% MYSELF, and she is definitely one of them. Check out her blog here. She is an amazing photographer. Classic. Romantic. Clean. Fresh. I just feel pretty and feminine looking at her pictures. Here is her photography site. We enjoyed chatting about blogging, networking, health, and fun ideas for the future. Thank you Gina for an amazing night!!!!

Healthy thought of the day: Some people that I have been working with have lost weight recently by taking the stairs whenever possible AND by eating a fruit or veggie of every color every day (red, orange, yellow....). It is the little choices we make that will result in big changes. Have a great evening. Hug your loved ones. Be present in each moment. Enjoy where you are at in life right now.

Pack Your Lunch

Two things I try to focus on when I pack my lunch are.... Is this enough food for me??? And, are these the correct portions??? If you deprive yourself during the day, you set yourself up to pig out with your head in the refigerator when you get home. Also, are you planning to hit the gym after work? If you are starving then you may bypass the gym and go home. On the other hand, make sure you do not bring huge portions of trail mix or peanut butter.... you may indulge in the whole jar/bag while working.....ahem, that is from personal experience by the way. Maybe you are stronger than I.

Oats, flaxseed, apple butter, and a tsp of peanut butter
Tuna, spinach, half a tomato, and a granola bar
Greek yogurt and honey

Make sure you pack good carbs, protein, and fats. Happy munching! Off to work I go!
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Saturday, April 23, 2011

Therabands = Party Bands

I thought about putting together a video, but I am way too much of a perfectionist to undertake that project now (at the end of the semester). Maybe during the summer I can record a Bootcamp with B video. CHEEEEEZZZZYYYYY.

Bands are GREAT. You can get them in actual band form without handles, circular, or with handles. I am sure there are more, but these are mine:

Even the pup likes to play

I walk side to side....15 steps to the left, 15 to the right.... BUTT WORKOUT

$1 at Target

You can purchase kits for <$20 that have bands like this

Because I would like to stay respectful and NOT have my blog shut down for copyright infringement, I am going to refer you all to this site for the breakdown for each exercise. This is the best site that I have found so far. Most of the other ones do not explain what you are trying to do. My favorites are the bicep curl, hip abduction, and the lateral raise. I think that those exercises feel MOST like an actual strength workout and not physical therapy..... However, if you are a beginner, I think sticking to physical therapy exercises FIRST helps train your muscles to engage in the proper FORM and MOVEMENT. 

In other news, I polished off an entire HEAD of cauliflower this afternoon (that will come back with a vengeance later, I am certain). Julie gave this recipe: Olive oil, curry, salt.... toss the cauliflower in it. ROAST at 375 degrees for 30-40 minutes. HOLY COW. This was a great alternative to the normal "veggie" feel. I ate it all before I could take a picture... Trust me. YUM.

Dirty Race

Well helllloooooo weekend. Did you get to sleep in? I woke up WISHING I was able to sleep in this morning, but it just was not meant to be. Someone sponsored me to run in a 5k this morning, so I got up and hit the trails. I usually do not pay for 5k races because the money just adds up so quickly.... AND Clay says that I have enough medals from 5ks. He will only allow me to pay for medals for longer distances now =) This race was for a great cause.... Epilepsy Services Foundation. It was called the Hare Racing Experience. People dressed up with bunny ears and Easter "attire." It was hosted at the University of South Florida (GO BULLS!!!) soccer and track fields, so the facilities were top notch. Seriously, they built this thing after I graduated, and it is ahhhhmazing.

Unfortunately, we did not get to run on that fabulous looking track. Instead, we ran the cross country course. Um, running in dirt is a lot different. I was hoping to PR this race since I hardly run 5k races.... but, there was no official start, there were no time chips, and I was starving by the time the race started (8:30am.... I have usually eaten TWICE by that time).... I got so hungry, I had to use my emergency GU gel that I stashed in my sports bra...I tend to get hypoglycemic, so I ALWAYS run with GU....Embarrassing though that I had to break it out for a 5k. I ran it in 24:04, according to the clock that was ticking as soon as they started. I am just happy that I ran sub 8 minute miles. I have been working really hard to speed up lately, and I can tell it is paying off. My socks were dirty. My shoes were filled with forest. My foot aches (uneven trail AND I need new shoes). Oh, AND, you had to self report your score when you crossed the finish line. There were cards for you to fill out with your time. I would not recommend this run if you are trying to be super serious and PR, but it was for a great cause, I represented my job, AND I met this amazing new friend. We just started chatting before the race, and before you knew it, we were praying together at the end and wishing each other a Happy Easter. I was so blessed by her. 

No medals were given, but check out the flyer on my car:

Nude 5K anyone????? Seriously, disturbing.

Yes, that is windex in the back.... I clean my car at traffic stops
So, looking a little rough, I went to WalMart and Publix to knock out some groceries. Of course, I see someone I know. Thankfully, he just finished biking so my stench was not too repulsive. Ok, off to get some homework and laundry done. Stay tuned for a band workout.... GO BUY WORK OUT BANDS. Seriously. DO it. 

Friday, April 22, 2011


Holy cow, what a week. I am ashamed to say, that I have not run/worked out since Tuesday. I had to take my GRE this morning (it is an exam that most graduate schools want you to take before admission) and I sort of freaked out about it. Here is the problem.... standardized exams = my enemy. Another problem = technically not required for my program.... so my motivation to study for it was not that big. The program that I am in is a combination between a MPH (masters in public health), and Adult Nurse Practitioner degree/license, AND, an occupational health Nurse Practitioner license/degree (licensed to practice in the work place...workers' comp, injury on the job, acute flare ups....). It is sooooo interesting, but because it is between the college of nursing AND the college of public health, I have to make sure I satisfy both colleges' requirements. Public Health wants the GRE, Nursing did not require it.... so I just had to get it finished within the first semester.

IT IS OVER. Praise the LORD.

I came home and crashed. My brain was so fried, that I could not manage to do anything.... I could not even brew a pot of coffee....Clay almost called 911..... just kidding. Actually, he was very helpful. He took me out on the boat. He fished, I read and soaked up some rays.

I really do live in Florida... I promise. My pasty, white legs may not look like it, but that is called GRAD SCHOOL in Florida. 

I have an interesting workout to share, in honor of my cousin in law =) I am working on  posting it tomorrow. All you need.... BANDS. I got mine at Target for $1.00. Basically, this is going to be a quiet, home/class room workout =) Now, I am off to get some HALF OFF appetizers for dinner with my family.... Rock'n my new pink watch that Claybo's sister bought me for Christmas... Ok, not that new, but it still feels new every time I wear it. LOVE THIS THING.

Happy Good Friday everyone. Enjoy the weekend with your loved ones.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Arm Blast

Well, so far this week, I have been able to get enough sleep AND get my homework done. I have to be at work by 5:45 tomorrow morning, so this is going to be a short post (last night's post was a novel compared to my usual, but I hopped on my soapbox) because I need to get to work and then get to sleep!

Breakfast tip: Keep oatmeal at your desk and a jar of Simply Fruit (or some other "no sugar added, natural" preserves) in your department refrigerator. I brought chopped pecans and flaxseed in a small tupperware container. Add the oats, then add hot water. I add the preserves last... but that is not required. Just throw it all in there! That is how I cook; genius.

Work was kinda crazy and busy, but I love what I do and I love who I work with, so I cannot complain. I am just tired. Thankfully, I had someone to meet for a workout this afternoon. I sort of have codependency issues when it involves hitting the gym after work.... going for a run, not a problem; but hitting the gym.... I need company. My friend Rebekah and I did biceps/triceps/abs. Most of these can be done in your living room too!!!
- Bicep curls
- Tricep pull downs (on a cable... but you could use bands at home)
- Bicycle crunches
(repeat three times)

- Hammer curls, bent 10 degrees at the waist (hold the weights up and down, instead of sideways...bend at the waist; it makes your muscles do more work)
- Dips on the bench
- Regular crunches
(repeat three times)

- Bicep curls with a cable (you could use a bar)
- Tricep extensions
- Side plank dips (each side)
(repeat three times)

It was a great workout, and definitely gave my knee a break. That elliptical workout last night made my knee feel funny. No elliptical workout is worth hurting my runs, so I am laying off of that one for a while. 

For dinner, Clay and I grilled chicken. Clay puts olive oil and a seasoning by Weber, Kick'n Chicken...AHHHMAZING. I made wheat pasta and regular pasta, and steamed broccoli. Quite delish.

Ernest ate oak pollen and tried to drink lemonade.....

I made myself finish my water bottle after the workout... I have a hard time finishing water in the evenings. I do not know why. I just get focused on work and school and I skip finishing my water after my workout....HYDRATION is important!

Dinner is served =) I am studying and spending time with my hubby tonight. I hope to get a run in tomorrow. After reading SkinnyRunner's stories about her Boston Marathon experiences, I have "run envy" and want to get a good one in. Have a good evening!!!!

Monday, April 18, 2011


Last night, I actually slept 8hrs. I know some of you may ALWAYS get 8hrs, and some of you may say you do not NEED 8hrs, but this chick NEEDED 8hrs last night. Grad school + Working = HAAAARD. As the semester is starting to close out, I have been really working on keeping my priorities in line. Unfortunately, that means I have not been able to catch up with some of my girlfriends, or attend certain social events.... But that is what it takes. I know that I function BEST when I stay committed to my prayer and devotional time, exercise (even if that is just a 20 minute walk with Ernest, my dog), eat well, and sleep at least 7 hours. Last week, I had to get up a few mornings at 3am, just to get my homework done. THAT, my friends, caught up with me. So today, I felt like a NEW woman!

After work, I hit the gym. I created a little circuit for myself in a lonesome corner:
-Pushups with my feet on a balance ball; in between each pushup, roll your knees in.
-Crunches on the ball
-Pushups with my hands on dumbells; in between each pushup, I would do a back row with the weight.
-Bicep curls to a shoulder press
-Front shoulder raise
-Lateral shoulder raise
-Rear delt flys
-Chest flys

I hopped on the elliptical and went through this interval program that I have posted before from (love that girl).

I was pretty tired, but I heard they got new I just HAD to try it out. This thing has a FAN!!! I felt like I was on the Cadillac of all treadmills. I did 2 miles, then felt guilty about the homework I have to do tonight... So I came home.
I munched on half of my burger that I saved from yesterday's lunch, while Clay munched on the rest. I threw some chopped cabbage and spinach in a pan with olive oil, threw in some precooked ground turkey, tomatoes, onion, garlic, pepper, and lemon.... and created the "Beffy Bowl." My nephew calls me Beffy, and I just loved how easy this was. The trick for me....PRE COOK MY GROUND TURKEY because it was so easy to just toss it into my veggies! 

Picture does not do this justice... sorry!
The following is just a general description of hypothyroid disease... I do not need
to be medically critiqued by my nurse/doctor friends... this is for some
general public friends of mine who were asking me questions =) 

Tonights' topic I really wanted to talk about is hypothyroidism. SOOOO many people I know and love have this. I am really surprised that we (the medical world) do not know more about why so many people are coming down with this, but I have been reading this book, The Thyroid Diet, and I have been pretty interested in this woman's approach.
She states that around 15 million Americans have hypothyroidism... and many of them are not diagnosed (same with diabetes, but that is another soapbox). Your thyroid is a HUGE HORMONE PRODUCER in your body and highly influences your metabolism. Some people get hypothyroidism because they WERE hyperthyroid (too many thyroid hormones were being produced) and they had to get their thyroid removed. Some people have an autoimmune disorder and their own body attacked their thyroid (Hashimoto's disease). Some people have a goiter or nodules that leave their thyroid rendered helpless. Some, are born with it.

Symptoms: dry hair and skin, tired., moody, sensitive to cold environments, difficulty losing/gaining weight,  joint or muscle pain, heavier period than usual, constipated, problems constipated, regular infections, shortness of breath, and many others. 

Tests: you may have blood levels drawn that indicated WHAT your thyroid is producing (T3 or T4.... too many may mean you have a hyperactive thyroid....not enough, may mean hypoactive thyroid), you may have antibodies looked at (thyroglobulin and microsomal... these MAY indicate that your body is fighting against your thyroid).... and finally, antithyroid peroxidase (antiTPO) antibodies... I had never heard of this until I was researching this book... these indicate the possibility, again, of your body fighting your thyroid. 

Ok, so now that we are finished with all of that mumbo jumbo, what do you do with it? Basically, your metabolism is functioning at a lower level. You may need to be stricter with your diet than you would like; it is not good news, these are just the facts. You need to operate in a way to try to provide an optimal environment for your metabolism. Most people start on a form of levothyroxine, which gives your body more T4 and helps your body function as if the thyroid was producing what it should. Here are some lifestyle tips:
- Avoid white flour products and starchy white carbs
- REST; get your sleep
- Strength train! Your muscles will help increase your metabolism if you work 'em.
- Eat protein (0.5 grams for each pound of body weight)
- Patience (just change one little thing at a time... do not overwhelm yourself)
- Eat good fats (olive oil, avocados, almonds...)
- Pay attention to the glycemic index of your fruits and veggies (high glycemic index increases your blood sugar quicker).

High: Beets, potatoes, yams, carrots, corn, peas, rutabaga, bananas, grapes, raisins, pineapples....You can still have these, just be aware of portions.
Low: beans, eggplant, mushrooms, tomatoes, asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, lettuce, spinach, apples, berries, grapefruit, peaches....

South Beach Diet does a good job with this chart... It may be helpful.

I say all this, just to say, that most healthy diets are similar in that they encourage lean protein, vegetables, fruit, and carbs in the most natural form....oats, brown rice, millet, barley, wheat....) We try to complicate things and knock out entire blocks from the food pyramid. Healthy eating takes planning, and that can be intimidating. Start with the basics, and try to eat more veggies. Drink more water. Get some sleep. If your metabolism is not functioning at high capacity, then you need to pay extra attention to sleep and stress management. Some of you may have just tuned me out, but it is a fact. We do not rest enough, and I will be the first one to say, "guilty." I could go on and on with this topic, but I have to go do homework =) If you have specific questions, just email me. If you have hypothyroidism and have helpful hints/tips, PLEASE SHARE!!!!

Marathon Monday

Yesterday afternoon was as close to the perfect Sunday afternoon as I can get right now. Unfortunately, I just stay in a constant state of "homework" so that will not go away. BUT, since I worked so hard on Saturday, after church, Clay and I came home and took a nap.... I was not able to sleep as long as Clay, so I got up and worked on homework, but it was a nice afternoon, nonetheless.

We went over to Clay's parents' house and had a picnic on their dock. What a beautiful evening!
Spinach, romaine, balsamic vinaigrette, tomatoes, carrots and cucumbers

Perfect weather, perfect view!


Cup O' salad
Today is Marathon Monday. TENS of thousands of people are waking up this morning to run the Boston Marathon. What an accomplishment. Sometimes, I hope to be there one day; other days, I simply just want to finish grad school and keep this odd balance of life that I currently have work/school/God/exercise/family.... Did you know that women were not able to enter the Boston Marathon until 1972? During the Korean war, the president of the marathon association did not allow Koreans to enter; his opinion was that if Americans were over there fighting and dying, the Koreans needed to be fighting as well, not training for a marathon.... Click here for more interesting facts.

Training for a marathon takes a lot of work, tears, and TIME. I ran one in 2009, but at that time, I was not working a "real" job; I was just finishing nursing school. Time is so precious and limited... However, within the next two weeks, I find out if my name gets "pulled out of the hat" for the NYC Marathon this year. That may have to be reevaluated based on my schedule. Do you think I could hire someone to keep me on schedule with my grad school homework, job, and housework??? Like a personal assistant =)

Anyways, Happy Monday my friends.  Another week is here. Be healthier today than you were yesterday. It is a new day; it is a new week. Write that thank you card to someone; call and encourage a friend that is stressed. Trust me, it makes you feel a little less stressed.

Challenge: Go for a walk or run today in honor of Marathon Monday =)

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Farmville Run

This morning's run was on a trail near my house with my mentor/idol/celebrity friend BJ. We ran our marathon together in 2009. We biked across FL together last October, then we RAN across FL last November. Seriously, she has seen me at my worst...and for some reason, she still wants to hang out with ME.
Bike Across FL

She hosted one of my wedding showers

We ran a marathon together with her FABULOUS daughter, Carly!
We met this morning at 7:30am and ran 8 miles. We ran the first 3.5 miles together, but her wicked trainer Vicki, KILLED her legs this week, so BJ sent me on my way. We have a pact.... If someone is slowing down, you can send the other runner along with no hard feelings. NO GUILT. NO EMOTIONS. JUST RUN. During the run, this girl ran past us and, seriously, I thought the girl was about to pass out. Someone needs to feed this girl a cookie because her emaciated body just might not survive another mile. Once BJ and I split up, my goal was to hunt this girl down and make sure she was not lying on the side of the trail. Well, the good Samaritan that I am, found her. She was still pushing and probably running an 8:00 mile pace. I saw her from a distance, chugged a GU gel and waited. I do not know about you, but when I take a GU, I can feel the caffeine and the sugar rush through my muscles. Once I felt like my blood sugar was where it needed to be, I charged. I passed her, ran up a hill (which, in FL, means an overpass that goes over a highway) and ended my run. The total run took me about 1hr and 12 minutes. The second half of the run I kept between an 8:00 - 7:20 mile pace. I was tired afterwards, but it was a great run. BJ made it through and she will probably adjust her leg workout days with the crazy trainer Vicki =) LOVE YOU VICKI !

During this run, I saw four chickens, two bunnies, and two squirrels. It was odd. The chickens were running across the trail ("why did the chicken cross the road....") and a squirrel tried to run out in front of me and stop....I am telling you, the animals were out to get us! I love this trail though, because there are bridges, trees, and lots of things to distract me. Just beautiful!

When I got home, I made myself a smoothie and actually used a measuring cup so that I could share my recipe:
1 cup almond milk
2 handfuls of spinach
1 packet of strawberry protein mix (probably like one scoop if you have a tub of mix)
1 tsp of cocoa
1 cup of frozen berries
2 tsp of splenda (I know, I know... but I am out of honey AND I do not use it often).

My only complaint is that the seeds in the blackberries got annoying. I think I am going to try to just get frozen strawberries... plus, blueberries in your teeth....just not my look. Have a great Saturday. I am hitting the books for the rest of the day. 

Family Fridays = Love and Surprises

Last night we celebrated Clay's grandmother's birthday a little early. Clay's aunt lives up north of us and came in to town to get some shopping done; she knew she was coming over for dinner with the local family, but was pleasantly surprised when we had out of town family too. I love surprises and had a hard time NOT tearing up...It was very sweet. I went over there after work and enjoyed chatting and eating fabulous, home made guacamole (I should not have eaten so much before dinner, but I am pretty sure I helped scarf the entire bowl). Clay's mom always does a great job at planning a meal that is not only scrumptious, but healthy as well. She pays such close attention to details, but in a relaxed way so everyone truly feels at home. 

"Manners are a sensitive awareness of the feelings of others. If you have that awareness, you have good manners, no matter what fork you use" - Emily Post

Here are some pictures of the table setting, minus the candles and the glasses:

Corn, Bean, Feta salad served in wine glasses - DAINTY AND TASTY!!!

Dinner consisted of marinated, grilled teriyaki salmon, green beans, asparagus (chilled with pimentos, Italian dressing, and olive oil) and fresh from Sams Club rosemary, Italian bread (YUM). A good rule of thumb when you are at a dinner party, is to fill half of your plate with veggies, 25% with carbs, and 25% with protein. Portions for meat should be about the size of your palm, bread should be about a cupped handful, and veggies.... just eat what your heart desires (unless there is butter involved)..... again, just a general guideline... I am not a dietitian, but I teach blood pressure management and diabetes education, and this is one of the topics we discuss. 

Dessert was a truffle with sugar free angel food cake, light cherry pie filling, sugar free cool whip, and a tid bit of cream cheese. This was sooooo good. The cream cheese added a richer flavor so it did not taste like a "diet" dessert, but because there was not a lot, the calories were still acceptable.... So I had two goblets.... =)

Dessert in a goblet
It was a great night and I really enjoyed visiting with Clay's family. His grandmother worked as a nurse and we spend time talking about the changes in nursing. She gave me her old nursing book when I graduated with my BSN and I was so touched. It looks like a note pad compared to the honk'n encyclopedia I had to purchase, but it is neat to look through. Taking time to listen to people who have lived life is priceless, and I am so thankful. 

What is some advice that you have been told my an older loved one?
Do you have any dinner party advice?