Monday, September 30, 2013

Here we go again.....

Happy Monday y'all!! 

It's starting to feel like fall around here!!  One thing that I love about fall is the crisp, cool nights. I love to sleep with the windows open at night. We opened the windows Friday evening and left them open Friday and Saturday night. No problems Friday night. But, yesterday morning, I woke up with a sore throat and have been dealing with it since then. :-( Hot tea has been my friend since then!!

Saturday was long, slow run day for my Pathways group. They are currently training for the Tulsa Run 15k. We ran 7 miles Saturday morning.

It was a distance PR for many of them. It was about 75 degrees when we started but we had about 60% humidity which made it a little bit challenging but they all did a fabulous job!! Afterward, we all went to FirstWatch for breakfast. It was fun!!  I really enjoy working with this group. They are so determined and so much fun!!

Hubs and I did a little shopping and then we watched the OU/Notre Dame game. We went out for a little boot scootin' after the game.

Yesterday, was pretty uneventful due to the sore throat. I caught up a little bit on household chores and TV shows that I had recorded. We did a little grocery shopping but I didn't do any meal prepping. Hopefully, I'll have time to do that tonight. We watched "Iron Man 3" It was ok but the first one is still my favorite!!

Today, my Pathways group is doing speedwork at the track. Then, hubs and I are going to do Insanity plyo circuit.

I've finally got hubs interested in working out with me and I'm excited about that!!  I'm glad he's committed to improving his health and fitness!!  We decided that we're going to do Insanity with strength training built in. I run with Pathways on Monday and Wednesday. On those days, we'll do an Insanity workout. On my non-running days, we'll do strength training and abs. Saturday will be our long run days. We'll be working out 6 days each week. I'll be making out a calendar today so that it will be easy for us to keep up with.

Ok, that's all for now. Take care and have a wonderful Monday!!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Finally Friday!!

Good morning folks!!  TGIF

I'm so glad it's finally Friday!!  This has been a long, challenging, stressful week with lots of changes in healthcare affecting many jobs. I'm afraid it's going to get much worse before it gets better. And to think that I went to school to be a nurse so I would always have a job no matter where I went. Sadly, I don't think that is the case anymore. :-(

Yesterday was day #4 of the SNAP challenge. Husband is still eating the goulash for lunches and I took tuna for lunch. Today is the last day of our challenge. I'll recap later.

Tomorrow morning, we're scheduled to run 7 miles. This will be a distance PR for many of my runners. I'm excited to be leading them on this journey!!

Ok, gotta go get ready for work now.

Have a fabulous Friday!!

Thursday, September 26, 2013

SNAP challenge Day #3

Good morning folks!!

Yesterday was day 3 of the SNAP challenge. I was worried about hubs because I didn't pack his food the previous night. He packed his own food and ended up doing pretty well, actually.  I stuck to my bland baked potato for lunch and had celery/raisins/peanut butter for snacks. I think my tummy has finally started to settle down some, so today I'm taking tuna lettuce wraps for my lunch.

Tomorrow is the last day of my challenge and I'm going to have some food leftover going into next week. My goal of this challenge was to demonstrate that one could purchase healthier foods on a budget. I think that most people believe that eating healthy has to be expensive. It's true that I didn't end up with as much produce as I usually purchase, the one thing that I tend to have to throw out because it went bad before I could use it is produce! Perhaps I've been over buying! I think that it's important to meal plan and shop strategically if you're on a tight grocery budget. I also firmly believe in the "cook once, serve twice" concept. It is basically repurposing left overs to get the most bang for your buck. 

While I was doing research for my challenge, I found this blog, Cook for Good that has great tips for shopping/cooking/eating on a budget.

My Pathways group ran 4 hilly miles last night. It was a GREAT run! The hills were challenging but everyone gave it their best effort and did an amazing job!!  I'm so inspired by this group!! 

After I got home, I tried the fat burning circuit that I posted yesterday. I got 2 rounds done when I noticed that my form was poor. I was super tired so I decided that 2 rounds was better than no rounds and I called it a day!!  Hopefully, I won't feel so tired and can get in a full workout tonight, especially since I've finally got hubs motivated to work out with me!!

He bought me a weight bench for my birthday last week but I've yet to use it because he is using it!!  LOL Hey, whatever it takes to inspire him to take better care of himself I guess.

Well, I guess that's all I've got for now. Have a fantastic day!!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

SNAP challenge day 2/Workout Wednesday

Day 2 of the SNAP challenge is complete. I had to rethink my meal plans for the week as I've been having some issues with my stomach. I was planning to eat the pasta dish for but I'm beginning to realize that the gluten causes me problems. So, I took a baked potato for lunch. And I had raisins with my peanut butter/celery afternoon snack to take care of my sweet tooth problem. I'm taking a baked potato again today. If my stomach is feeling better tomorrow, I'm going to take tuna "sandwiches" as I originally planned. I had $ left over in my budget, so I grabbed a head of lettuce at the store yesterday to use for lettuce wraps instead of the bread. I spent .69 cents on it because Walmart price matched the ALDI price for it. The key to success for my hubs is to pack his lunch ahead of time, which I didn't do last night as I fell asleep watching TV. Today will be interesting to say the least for him.

And, it's WORKOUT WEDNESDAY!!  Here's what I've got for you today:

What workouts are you currently doing??

How do you save money on groceries??

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

SNAP challenge Day 1

Good morning Folks!! 

Day 1 of the SNAP challenge is complete and was successful. I packed a home made oatmeal packet for breakfast, carrot/celery with peanut butter for snacks and lunch was the chicken, rice, black beans and corn. I never felt hungry and was adequately fueled for a 3.5 mile run after work.

My husband had oatmeal, a half peanut butter sandwich, 2 boiled eggs, goulash, and carrots/celery for a snack. He complained of feeling hungry in the late afternoon but he had plenty of food to eat. He just needs to redistribute it to keep himself feeling full longer.

The only issue I can say that I experienced was in the late afternoon. I'm used to eating some type of a sweet treat in the late afternoon. Yesterday I didn't pack one and I was missing that little treat. I wasn't hungry, it was just missing something that I'm used to. I think will eat some raisins w/ my celery and peanut butter this afternoon to help satisfy that sweet tooth. Or, because we stayed under our $45 budget, I might eat an apple that I have on hand.

Let me take a moment to clarify my motives here. I'm not trying to spark a political debate about government entitlement programs. As a nurse case manager, I'm well aware that there is abuse of the system. But with 48 million hungry people in America, I think that abuse is the exception to the rule.

My goal is to demonstrate that there are better food choices than boxed macaroni and cheese, white bread and lunch meat. Processed foods might be more affordable and convenient, but they are usually high in fat, calories, carbs and sodium which can lead to health problems like obesity, hypertension, and heart disease. I'm convinced that, with proper planning, it is possible to eat healthy, nutritious food on a budget. That's what I'm hoping to prove.

I asked my friend Jessica from Carpe TheSangria to help me with this challenge. She is a registered dietician and I'm sure she is aware of the challenges that SNAP recipients face. Here's a 3 day meal plan that she came up with:

3 Day Meal Plan
Day 1:
Breakfast: 2 slices whole grain toast with peanut butter, 1 cup nonfat or 1% milk, banana
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich with canned peaches
Dinner: Bean Huevos Rancheros (recipe)
Snacks: Caesar Oyster Crackers (recipe), fruit (canned or fresh)

Day 2: 
Breakfast: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins (recipe)
Lunch: Ham and Cheese Wrap
Dinner: Mini Pizzas (recipe)
Snacks: Ants on a log (celery, peanut butter, raisins)

Day 3: 
Breakfast: Breakfast Roll-Up (recipe)
Lunch: Leftovers or Sandwich
Dinner: Skillet Stroganoff
Snacks: Caesar Oyster Crackers (recipe), fruit (canned or fresh)

Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 cup canola oil
1 tsp salt
3 cups flour (half whole wheat)
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups shredded zucchini
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Beat eggs, sugar, oil and salt until well mixed. Then add the rest of the ingredients and mix. Spray cupcake tins with non-stick spray and spoon in mixture. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees F, or until a toothpick or knife inserted comes out clean. This recipe can also be made into bread; bake for 60 minutes in greased loaf pan. 

Breakfast Roll-Up
Pinto beans, canned (or refried beans, canned)
Shredded cheese
Scrambled Eggs
Whole-wheat tortilla
Spread pinto beans, cheese, eggs and salsa on tortilla. Roll it up!

Casear Oyster Crackers
11 oz oyster crackers
1 (12 oz), packet Casear salad dressing mix (or ranch)
Put one third of the oyster crackers in a resealable gallon bag. Spray crackers with nonfat cooking spray. Sprinkle one third of dressing mix and shake gently to coat crackers. Repeat 2 more times.

Bean Huevos Rancheros
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 1/4 cups medium hot salsa
1/4 cup water
6 eggs
3/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
3-6 tortillas
Mix beans, salsa and water in a frying pan. Heat to a boil while stirring often. Break eggs one at a time and slip gently into skillet on top of bean mixture. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cover and cook for 5-8 minutes or until egg whites are firm and yolks are completely cooked. Sprinkle cheese on top of eggs and serve with warm tortillas.
Skillet Stroganoff
1 pound ground beef (no more than 15% fat)
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1 can cream of mushroom condensed soup
1/2 soup can of nonfat milk
1 can (4 oz) mushrooms, drained
1 tsp garlic powder
3-4 cups egg noodles, dry OR 1 cup brown rice
1 cup sour cream
Cook ground meat and onion in large frying pan over medium heat until meat is thoroughly brown. Stir in soup, milk, mushrooms and seasonings. Continue cooking until heated through. Cook noodles as directed and drain. Add sour cream to meat mixture just before serving. Put serving of noodles on plate and top with meat mixture.
Mini Pizzas

2 English muffins
1/2 cup pizza or tomato sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup diced vegetables (try zucchini, broccoli, tomato, onion or green pepper)
Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Cut English muffins in half and toast. Spread pizza sauce on each half. Sprinkle with cheese, arrange vegetables pieces over cheese. Place on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes or until cheese is melted. 

Monday, September 23, 2013

Weekend Recap/SNAP Challenge

Good morning folks!!

Happy fall!! We had absolutely amazingly beautiful weather here last weekend!!

I've been telling my runners that the cooler, fall temperatures would improve their performance. I don't think that they really believed me until they got to experience it first hand last Saturday.  We were scheduled to run the Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa Quarter Marathon. I really didn't have a goal time or race strategy when I started. I approached it as a training run. I met my group prior to the run. We planned to run a 12:00 minute pace and 9:1 intervals. I encouraged them to challenge themselves and to implement their own race strategies. I also told them not to be surprised if I ran faster. We started out a little faster than we planned. We took our first walk break at about 10 minutes. We did the first mile in 11:42. I knew that the last couple miles of the course was hilly so I slowed us down to a 12:00. They were running strong and actually skipped a few of the walk intervals when we got down to Riverside Drive. It was a great race and I'm really proud of my runners for challenging themselves!! 

Now, switching gears.....a couple of weeks ago, I posted about Hunger Awareness month and the changes to the SNAP program. Last week, our government pass the Farm Bill, which will decrease SNAP benefits over the next 10 years. This has been weighing heavily on my mind since I learned about it. How do you feed your family on $4 per person per day? Well, I have decided to see for myself. This week, hubs and I will be doing the SNAP challenge. I budgeted $4.50 per person x 5 days giving us $45 to spend on 5 days worth of groceries. I'm already a pretty frugal shopper and meal planner, so I felt pretty confident that I could come in below my budget. Here's what I got and spent:

Quick cook oatmeal 2.29
Raisins 1.19
Peanut butter 1.89
Bread 1.00
Celery 1.78
Carrots .49 x 2
Eggs 1.09 x 2
Frozen mixed vegetables .98
Brown rice 1.49
Can of black beans .59
Whole wheat pasta 1.00
Red beans rice mix .99
Can of mexi corn .79
1.5 lbs chicken breast 4.28
1 lb ground turkey 3.49
Canned tomatoes . 59
Tomato juice 1.39
Turkey smoked sausage 2.29
5 lb bag of russet potatoes 2.19
5 cans tuna in water 4.88

My total for all of this: $36.26

I got a loaf of bread too, it just didn't make it in the photo.
I shopped at ALDI, which helped keep my cost down. I had to go to Walmart for a few items, but I purchased store brand. I bought bulk oatmeal and made my own home made instant oatmeal packets. I "boiled" a dozen eggs to eat with breakfast or lunch or as a snack. Lunch is tuna sandwiches or peanut butter sandwiches. The turkey, frozen veggies, tomato juice and pasta was supposed to be a soup but it actually turned out more like a casserole or goulash. It is still tasty and made an LOT!! I also cooked the chicken breasts with the canned tomatoes, corn, black beans and rice. We still have the turkey sausage with black beans and rice for later in the week. For snacks, I planned carrots or celery and peanut butter, or raisins. Hubs was a little dubious about the challenge, but when he saw all the food I had packed for his lunch today, he changed his mind. I'll keep you posted on our progress daily. And I encourage you to find out more about how you can help fight hunger in America.

Have a fabulous Monday!!

Friday, September 20, 2013

Yay for Friday!!

Good morning folks!!


I'm so glad it's finally Friday!! Happy Run At Work Day!!

I won't be running at work because I'm off work all day but I will be running errands. Does that count??

I'm super excited about the weekend, even though it's going to be a whirlwind!!

I'm off work today for a dental appointment, a hair appointment, etc.

Tomorrow is the Quarter Marathon in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This event is supposed to be a training run for my Pathways group. My plan is to meet my group prior to the race and then pace them for the duration of the run. But, the weather is supposed to be beautiful tomorrow and my competitive side will most likely take over. I will probably race it trying to beat my last 10k time of 1:10

Afterward, we'll most likely meet for brunch. Then later, we plan on meeting friends and family for a little boot scooting to celebrate my birthday.

Yesterday was my birthday. I worked and it was a crazy, busy day!! I think all the patients knew it was a full moon day and took the opportunity to act all cray cray!

After work, I got a little bit of retail therapy. Then, I went to Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa for their VIP anniversary party. They are celebrating their 10 year anniversary. I absolutely love this place and these people! They do so much for the Tulsa running community!! I was thrilled to be considered a "VIP"

They had food, drinks, and gifts for us. But the most special treat of all was the guest speaker, Dick Beardsley.

Celebrating my birthday with Dick Beardsley :-)
He is so funny and inspirational!!
There's something that I need to come clean about because I haven't been completely honest. A couple of months ago, during June and July, I hit a slump. I felt burned out. I wanted to stop running because I felt that I wasn't enjoying it anymore. But I kept at it because I was coaching my group. I was discouraged with that too though and was feeling very frustrated about it. I wasn't going to coach this session. Before I had a chance to tell the program director that I wouldn't be back, he emailed me to tell me that he was changing my sweeper coach. Something clicked in my head. I thought that maybe I would give it another chance. Then I met my group. They are all so determined. I've seen them challenge themselves and it has been so inspiring to watch them. I LOVE this group!!  It was exactly what I needed to renew my love for running.
Listening to Mr. Beardsley last night, I really understood that we all experience peaks and valleys, but the important thing is that we keep going, do not stop, do not EVER give up! It was just what I needed!!
"It's those moments in life when we feel like we can't take another step, but we do, and them we take another..." ~~ Dick Beardsley
So, thank you Fleet Feet Sports Tulsa for throwing your anniversary party on my birthday. And Dick Beardsley for giving me the best birthday present EVER......HOPE!
Have a fabulous weekend!!
Have you ever met any running legends??

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Ahoy mateys!

Good morning scalliwags!!

Today is my for 2 reasons:

1: It's International Talk Like a Pirate Day!!  You can get a free doughnut at Krispy Kreme and free fish at Long John Silvers today......

2:  It's my birthday!! 

Yesterday was "Hill Day" for my Pathways group. We ran the same route we ran last week, but we ran it backwards. So now, my group has conquered Crybaby hill and Hospital hill!!  They are champs!!  It was rather humid last night which made for a challenging run but we persevered and got it done!!  I ended up walking the last few blocks due to a cramp in my foot. MORE ELECTROLYTES!!

John, taking time to smell the roses on our run

On the way home, I stopped to buy a lottery ticket because, well, why not?!

And I matched the power ball number which means I won!!

$12 whole dollars!!

Beats a jab in the eye, but I guess I won't be retiring by post card anytime soon :/
So, in that case, I guess I need to go get ready for work!

Have a squiffy day, you scurvy bilge rats!!

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Workout Wednesday #16

If you're a runner who doesn't strength train, then the question isn't if, but when you will be sidelined due to injury.

I used to look at cross training as an occasional activity. But,  I started working out on a regular basis in May and have noticed a change in my pace and endurance. Now, I encourage all my runners to cross train. I've recently started strength training with weights more than body weighted exercises and I'm really enjoying it.

Here's what I plan to try tonight after my run:

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Catching up

Hey y'all!

Did ya miss me??  Sorry for the unplanned hiatus. I know I've been a bad blogger the past few days....sawwy!!

My Pathways group has been killing it lately!!  I'm so proud of them!!  Last Wednesday, we took them up and down some of the hilliest hills in downtown Tulsa. You know if a hill has a nickname then it's probably a challenge. That would be "Crybaby Hill" just off of Riverside drive. It's steep and just when you think you're at the top, you realize that you have to turn right and you're only about halfway. I was asked to sweep with the 10:15 pace group that night. I was nervous! I wasn't sure I could maintain that pace for 4 miles with all the hills, but I stepped up to the challenge. It was hot and humid in addition to the hills, but they didn't let that stop them! They were all awesome and stepped up to the challenge!! I survived too which was a plus. :)

Saturday, we were scheduled to run 6.5 miles. We had a large group of about 30 runners. The weather was a little bit cooler but still humid. Within 1/2 mile of the store, one of the runners tripped over a crack in the sidewalk and fell. She was in a great deal of pain and unable to bear weight. I sent the group on ahead with my co-coach and I took the injured runner back to the store. After about 15-20 minutes, she was able to stand and bear weight on her own. I decided to go find my group. I thought that I could intercept them at the water stop, so I headed in that direction. I had to run 9 minute miles to catch them, but I found them just past the water stop and was able to finish the run with them. They did a great job!

Last night, they handled 3.5 miles like champs!! I have no doubt that they'll be well prepared for the Tulsa Run 15k in October.

I've asked some of my dietician friends to come up with some healthy, budget friendly meals as a follow up on my Hunger Awareness/SNAP challenge post. As soon as I have those, I'll post them for you.

And, that's pretty much all that I've been up to recently. So, now you're all "caught up"

Have a terrific Tuesday! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Hunger Awareness

It recently came to my attention that September is Hunger Awareness Month. I found out that one of my friends is on the board at the local food bank and was participating in a "food stamp challenge" I used food stamps when I was a single mother going to college and recently, my son has had to get some assistance through the SNAP program.

I asked Melody to write a guest post today summarizing her experience with the food stamp challenge. You can read about her experience here:

Food has always been a huge part of my life.  I love trying new restaurants and I like to be in the know when it comes to what restaurants and chefs are doing in Tulsa.  I eat when I’m happy and I eat when I’m sad and stressed and celebrating and commiserating.  I get a lot of joy out of eating and out of appreciating the work and ingredients that go into making good food.  So when I was trying to pick a non-profit board to join, signing on with the Community Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma (“CFBEO”) seemed like a no-brainer.  I knew the president of the board at the time and I liked the idea of working with an organization that focused on getting food to those who need it.  Although I had no idea when I signed up the magnitude of the hunger issue we were facing.


While I had always known that hunger was out there, before I joined the board of CFBEO I had no idea to what extent it was impacting those around me.  I live in the United States of America.  I just assumed that something like hunger would not be a significant issue for our country.  Heck, I was throwing away food every week that I wasn’t eating in time before it went bad.  How could there be a major hunger issue in Oklahoma, let alone in the US?  


As it turns out, Oklahoma is one of the hungriest states in the country, according to information gathered and reported by Feeding America.  In Oklahoma, 1 in 5 adults deal with hunger insecurity, not knowing where their next meal is coming from.  This increases to 1 in 4 when talking about children in the state of Oklahoma.  These numbers are 1 in 6 adults and 1 in 5 children for the nation as a whole. 

The reasons for the large number of people who are going hungry are endless.  I’m not here to debate whether it’s the person’s fault for ending up in that situation due to poor money management, or the economy’s fault for being so bad the last few years, or the government’s fault for not offering adequate programs to help the hungry.  There are lots of reasons why people end up in need.  The real issue, in my mind, is that these people have need.  However they got there, they are there.  And, for me, someone who loves food and for whom food takes up such a large part of my life, having people go hungry and who have such a love-hate relationship with food due to the lack of it, that need is something I want to try to better understand and help with, as much as I can.


There are options available to people who are struggling putting food on the table.  One of those options is SNAP (previously food stamps), the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, overseen by the US Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service.  In Oklahoma, a single person gets approximately $4 a day in SNAP benefits to be used towards the purchase of food.


$4 a day. 


In order to try to grasp what people on SNAP deal with on a day-to-day basis, I took the SNAP Challenge.  This involves living on the SNAP benefits for your area for a certain period of time – 2 days, a week, a month, etc.  I did the two day challenge and so started the night before with $8 and a trip to the grocery store. 

I normally love the grocery store.  I can, and do, spend hours going up and down every aisle looking at new products, checking out the specials, finding things I want to try.  Even if I don’t get something from every aisle, I still like to check all the aisles out – what if I miss something??  Going to the grocery store with my SNAP money in hand was nothing like my normal experience.  It was stressful and nerve racking.  I was counting every penny of the items I put in my cart and seriously considering whether the items I was selecting would provide nutritional benefits while also being sufficient enough to keep me full throughout the day but would also keep me from going over my allotted spending money.  I got to the checkout line and I was pretty sure I was over but I was hoping I wasn’t over by too much.  I ended up being exactly $1 over the limit.  So I asked the checkout person if she would take off the two $0.37 cheese sticks I had selected to go with my lunches.  It was embarrassing and frustrating to have to ask, but I didn’t want to be that far over my limit.  Taking those items out, I ended up $0.19 over and I decided that was good enough.  This is what I took home with me:


4 bananas (my only fresh produce)

Kraft spaghetti in a box

A can of tomato paste

A can of green beans

3 packages of Buddig lunch meat

A loaf of white bread

Lots of carbs, lots of sodium, not a lot of nutritional value.  But it only cost me $8.19!  My planned menus for the two days were exactly the same each day – I was going to make use of peanut butter I already had on hand and make peanut butter, banana sandwiches for breakfast.  Lunch would be a sandwich with lunchmeat only and dinner would be half the box spaghetti with half a can of green beans.  I could also have a banana as a snack during the day since I got 4 of those.  Not a lot of variety and let me tell you, I was starving by midafternoon after only having a sandwich for lunch, no chips or anything.  Plus, the lack of variety in having to eat the same exact set of meals two days in a row was monotonous and seemed to actually exacerbate the hunger I felt. 

I also ran into issues I hadn’t considered before.  The second day of my challenge we had a potluck at work for the CFO’s birthday.  I had to go outside the $4 challenge for his birthday – I’m not creative enough to come up with something to bring on $4 and feed myself that day!  The whole thing got me thinking though – with 1 in 5 Oklahoma adults impacted by hunger, that means some of my coworkers could be affected as well.  How do people on SNAP handle things like work/church/friend potlucks, lunches, birthdays, holidays, etc?  It must be so much stress for them to try to figure out ways to participate without spending too much and without letting on that they are struggling to put food on the table.  The only good thing would be that things like work potlucks would be an opportunity to get more food than a normal day!


The first night of the SNAP Challenge I went to a fundraiser for CFBEO where there was free food.  I ate as much as I could without embarrassing myself and seriously considered taking some for the road in a napkin.  Had I had family waiting for me at home that I knew was hungry, I most definitely would have been filling up my purse with the free food to take home to them.  I love events with free food as it is, if I had to live on SNAP benefits, I think I would become a regular at any and all events that offered food.  Although I also have to admit I felt a certain amount of anxiety when I was loading up my plate at the food table – what if someone asked me why I was getting food?  Would someone be able to tell I hadn’t eaten that much that day?  I was scared of being called out and someone potentially finding out I didn’t have enough to eat – and I was doing the challenge on purpose!  It wasn’t my everyday life, and yet I still felt embarrassed and nervous.


There are lots of things about hunger that I haven’t even mentioned yet.  Like the fact that hunger and obesity rates are linked due in large part to the fact that the cheapest food is also the unhealthiest.  Or the fact that children who go hungry struggle in school and have higher instances of health problems than children who don’t have to worry about where their next meal is coming from.  And don’t even get me started on the fact that beginning November 1st, SNAP benefits are decreasing approximately $36 for a family of four due to the expiration of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 increase in SNAP benefits. 


If you want to know more information, I would recommend checking out the documentary “A Place At The Table”.  It’s currently streaming on Netflix and provides an eye opening view of some of the people who are dealing with hunger every day.  Even if you don’t agree with some of the politics discussed in the movie, it’s worth checking out for the discussion of things like food deserts and to learn about people like Rosie, a little girl who is trying her best to stay positive despite not getting enough to eat every day.

There are people and programs out there that are trying to make this situation better.  CFBEO can take a $1 donation and provide 4 nutritious meals because of it.  During fiscal year 2013, CFBEO distributed more than 17.2 million pounds of food.  The Cherry Street Farmers Market here in Tulsa has a Double Up program where they give people on SNAP benefits twice the credit to use towards buying fresh produce.  “A Place At The Table” talks about local churches and other organizations providing free meals on a regular basis to anyone who needs them.  And there are ways to help the situation that don’t involve giving money.  CFBEO relies on the help of thousands of volunteers every year.  You can work in the kitchen, making meals with fresh produce that would otherwise go to waste that are then frozen and distributed to local food pantries and other organizations to provide to people in need.  Or you can help sort donated food.  You can work in the garden behind the CFBEO building, weeding, pruning and picking.  Any of those things and more are needed on an almost daily basis. 


If nothing else, please take some time and learn about the issue and the number of people affected by it.  It’s no longer an issue that is relegated to the fringes of society.  To those people who live in “poor” neighborhoods or who didn’t graduate from high school, let alone college.  This is something that is affecting people from all walks of life.  It could be someone from your church.  Or someone from the office.  Or your next door neighbor.  One day it could be you. 

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Workout Wednesday #15

Hey guys!

I hope that you're having a wonderful week, so far.

Pathways pw3 had a great run Monday night. Afterward, we went to Fassler Hall for a bite to eat/drinks. It was fun. Later, at home, I started the Beta phase of T25. Let me just tell you that beta is the real deal! I wasn't expecting much and was truly surprised!

Last night, I was supposed to do T25 speed 2.0, but I was tired. I felt like I needed a rest day. I'm having some hip pain. I started the workout but didn't finish it. :(  Sometimes you need to listen to your body. I'll try again tonight with a 4 mile run and T25 rip't circuit.

So, with football season in full swing, I thought it would be fun to try this "Football Workout" that I found!

Let me know what you think! What's on your workout schedule today?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Monday Funday

Good morning folks!!

That weekend sure flew by!!

Friday, I did another strength training/weight lifting workout. It included: a 10 minute tabata warm-up, 4 sets of 25 reverse crunches, regular crunches, bicycle crunches and toe touches. Then I did a chest and back circuit. It was rough but I got it done and loved it!!

Saturday morning, my Pathways group ran a 5.5 mile run. We actually got in 6 because we had to circle back a few times. And my husband got in a 4 mile run too!!  I'm so glad he's getting back into it!

We enjoyed our weekend at the lake. It is so difficult for me to leave that beautiful place!! I'm going to have to find a way to enjoy it even in the winter!

We didn't get home early enough for me to do any meal prepping. I'm at the mercy of the hospital cafeteria for a couple of days. Hopefully I'll have time to meal prep Tuesday evening.

My workouts this week include:

Monday: 3.5 mile run w/ Pathways, Focus T25 Beta core cardio
Tuesday: T25 Beta speed 2.0, strength/weight training
Wednesday: 4 mile run w/ Pathways, T25 rip't circuit
Thursday: T25 dynamic core, strength/weight training
Friday: T25 upper focus and core cardio
Saturday: 6 mile run with Pathways
Sunday: REST!!

I hope that you have a fabulous week!!

What's on your workout schedule this week?
What did you meal prep for the week?

Friday, September 6, 2013

Five for Friday

Good morning folks!! WOOHOO, it's finally Friday!!

Yesterday was a very long day and I was super busy, hence the missing post from me. Sawwy!

Today's post is going to be short and sweet. Today I'm linking up with Darci for her
5 on Friday linkup. Feel free to grab her button and join us if you want to!!


1: My strength training workout on Wednesday was WAY hard, but I loved it!!  I did abs, shoulders/biceps/triceps after a 4 mile progression run with my Pathways group. I'm still sore but really looking forward to incorporating more weight lifting into my workout routine. I just need MORE TIME!!

2: I've encountered some of the worst customer service in the past couple of days and have come to the conclusion that I have no patience or tolerance for it! People need to do what they say they're going to do when they say they're going to do it. No excuses! Just DO IT!!

3: And, while I'm on a rant, I just want to make it abundantly clear that I really, really despise my drive to work and the parking garage at my work! Both are frustrating beyond all belief and DANGEROUS!!

4: It's September already?! This year is flying by!!  I'm not entirely sure I'm ready for fall yet, but I did buy pumpkin spice creamer at the store yesterday ;)

5: I am leaving work early today for what I hope is my last dental appointment for a while! I'm glad to get this process completed, but I would prefer to leave early for something fun, like shopping!!

Although this was a short work week, it seems that it has been a dreadfully LONG week!!  I'm tired beyond belief!! I'm scheduled to do a 5.5 mile training run with my Pathways group tomorrow morning, then I'm relaxing!!  I'm gonna do a little boat floating since it is still technically summer and its going to be HOT here this weekend. I'm planning to do a little football "tailgating" out on the boat. That should be fun!!

Ok, that's all I got. Have a fabulous Friday/weekend!! Be safe and have fun!!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Workout Wednesday #14

Hello, hello!! Happy Hump Day!! I'm so glad we're already halfway through this short work week. I didn't feel well last night after work, so I didn't do my run with Pathways. I went home and meal prepped more turkey meatloaf muffins and stuffed peppers at my husbands request. I guess he is tired of eating sandwiches for lunch and would like to start taking healthy meals with him. :-) After that was done, I did my Focus T25 ab intervals workout that was scheduled. This is week 5 of Focus T25 which means I'm halfway through it. While I really like the length of these workouts, I am a little bit disappointed otherwise. But I don't really feel like I'm getting the results that I want/need. I'm sure that's due in part to my diet. But I'm going to have to start adding additional strength training to see any real results. My plan is to start that tonight after my Pathways run. We're scheduled to do a 4 mile progression run, which I will count as my cardio warmup. I'll do the Focus T25 Total Body circuit as scheduled. Then, I think I'll do the following Ab and upper body strength training workout.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Recap and weekly goals

Good morning folks!!  Happy Tuesday!!
We had a fabulous holiday weekend! I just wish it had been longer!! 
We started out with a run to the top of Bullet Mountain. I use the term "run" loosely as we walked some of it! It was very steep! According to my Garmin, the elevation was 1007 ft! But the views were spectacular!

Sunday morning, we did a little exploring and found ourselves on the top of what we call "the rock wall" I think it's really called Cookson Bluff. The views were spectacular but I'm a little afraid of heights, so I was on the verge of an anxiety attack the whole time we were up there (probably about 3 minutes but felt like forever)

I tried very hard to eat well. But, as usual, I failed miserably!!  I do so well through the week but blow it all on the weekends.

I meal prepped turkey meatloaf muffins and stuffed peppers with steamed squash when we got home yesterday so hopefully I'm prepared to make smart food choices this week!!

Fitness plans for the week include:

Monday: Focus T25 total body circuit
Tuesday: Pathways group run; Focus T25 ab intervals
Wednesday: Pathways group run; Focus T25 total body circuit
Thursday: Focus T25 cardio
Friday: Focus T25 total body circuit and lower focus
Saturday: Pathways group run, 5.5 miles

I hope that you all have a fantastic week. Get up and get active! Make good choices!!

What are your workout plans this week?
What did you meal prep this week??