Friday, January 31, 2014

Five for Friday

Yay for Friday!  

Five fun pictures of ina

  1. Ina with Granny and Papa’s new puppy, the border collie named TamarIMG 3994
  2. Ina trying to eat an onionIMG 4003
  3. Ina throwing all the cushions off the couch while playing with an empty ketchup bottleIMG 3998
  4. Ina sucking on her toe during dinnerIMG 4018
  5. Ina resisting another bite of meatloaf - we really need to teach this girl better table manners.  IMG 4009

Five ways you can follow me on social media (I FINALLY added the media widgets to my page—>)

  1. Instagram (my favorite social network)
  2. Facebook
  3. Twitter
  4. Pinterest
  5. Email

Five ideas to make your super bowl party more fun

  1. DIY pizza bar - I love this idea and have done it for a few get togethers
  2. Play "guess the commercial."  Dan and I made this game up a few years ago - once the commercial starts, whoever yells out what company made the commercial first gets a point.  We now do it while watching any TV show.  Yep, we are cool.  
  3. Here are a few other games you could play - you could even add a little wager if you are into that sort of thing
  4. How to have a kid friendly super bowl party - this will be our first with kids - some of those ideas sound so fun!
  5. Sangria

Five “different” recipes I can vouch for

  1. Nooch popcorn - I have to remember not to lick the bowl clean
  2. Bacon brussel sprouts.  So freaking good.  The entire recipe has only 3 pieces of bacon, which go a really long way in the flavor department. IMG 4007
  3. Sweet potato-banana-peanut butter bites - Ina and I love these for breakfast or a snack
  4. This bread. I know, you probably want me to stop talking about it, but I am making another loaf today.
  5. Mighty green microwave muffin

That is all for today!  I hope you have a wonderful start to your weekend and a fun super bowl Sunday!

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Thankful Thursday - Work Edition

Today I am thankful for my job.  

You guys mostly know me as a runner / momma, but by day I am a pharmacokineticist, which is a fancy way of saying I figure out the math behind medications.  I work for a company that does phase 1 / first in human studies for drugs so we can determine what dose of a med to give in different situations.  

Of course there are days when I question my path in life, but what I need to constantly remind myself is that I have a really good job. A job I should be (and am) thankful for.  Having the flexibility to make my own hours and work from home is just the beginning.  

My employer also: 

- Pays for my gym membership (and provides a gym on site)

- Pays for half of my Weight Watchers monthly membership

- Provides on site flu vaccines and yearly wellness screens

- Pays for race entry fees (they completely paid for me to run the Groundhog Run on Sunday)

- Provides a very well stocked first aid kit.  When I was pregnant, I survived off of the Tums (which ended up giving me a kidney stone, but that is a different story), and yesterday I used a band-aide to cover up my post-race collar bone chafe.  

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-Provides me with a new personal computer every three years - I have had my Mac for 1.5 years now and it is still going strong.  

-Provide me with a salary to provide for my family

Yesterday we also had an employee all inclusive get-a-way (to the building next door) where we had a huge party.  There was beach food, 

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lawn chairs, hammocks, fruity drinks, music, dancing, and black jack.

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Guess where I was the whole time?  Well, after the food.  

Too bad it was fake money - I would have won big yesterday!

Whenever I get on the grass is greener train I am going to read this post again.  

Have a great day!

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Cords+Breakfast+Beets+Smiles

Creative title, huh?

Good morning!  Somehow I wasted most of my blogging time by reading mommy-articles, so this is going to be short and sweet.  A few thoughts / pictures from yesterday - 

-My treadmill before my 3 mile run.  

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Required - baby monitor, iPad, iPhone, headphones, iPad charger.  Ridiculous.  I actually had to take the earbuds out because they kept on shocking me!  Kind of scary.

-Breakfast -

life changing bread with bacon jam (not really a fan) on one piece and cream cheese and blueberries on the other

-Ina picture - her morning smiles give me the energy I need for the rest of the day

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- The beets strike again (<--probably the most embarrassing day of my life).

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-Our small group finished up our 6 week marriage study last night.  I think I am going to post a review soon, but I liked it.  I think it is helping me become a better wife.  

I hope you have a great hump day!  SuperBowl weekend is almost here!

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Stovetop Coconut Oil Kettle Corn

Did you know that popcorn can be popped on the stove?

You probably did know that, but I didn’t.  I thought either a microwave or some type of fancy popping contraption were required.  

I was going to order said contraption, but I remembered I need another kitchen gadget like I need a hole in my head, so I stopped myself.  

When I discovered this I started asking people if they knew, and my response was usually, “um, yes, of course I knew,” or, “duh."

Well, I didn’t know, and maybe my first 29 years have failed me, but I am not going to live in the dark any longer.  So, during my trip to Sprouts last week, I picked up some coconut oil and popping corn in the bulk bins (less than $2 per pound).

Before: 

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After:

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YUM!  

Here is what I did (adapted from Simply Recipes):

Ingredients: 1 T coconut oil; 1/4 C popping corn; 1-2 T sugar; 1/2 t salt

  • Melt 1 tablespoon of coconut oil on medium-high heat in a good sized pot with a lid
  • Add 3 kernels and cover
  • Once the 3 kernels pop, add the rest of the popcorn in a single layer, cover, and remove from heat for 30 seconds
  • Return pan to heat.  As the popcorn is popping slide pan back and forth over burner to prevent sticking.  Once there is 2-3 seconds without popping, remove from heat.
  • Pour popcorn into bowl and shake with sugar and salt.  
  • Watch Downton Abby while consuming popcorn

Try at your own risk.  Having the ability to make this deliciousness in less than 3 minutes every night is going to be VERY dangerous.  

Other thoughts:

- I didn’t run yesterday because my legs were sore from the race.  Well, my legs are more sore today, so that excuse isn’t going to work much longer.

- Ina has a sense of humor at such a young age.

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Get it?

-Breakfast yesterday was toasted life changing bread with honey goat cheese and blackberries 

IMG 3959

- My friend / neighbor Kim asked me if I wanted to run a marathon in October.  MARATHON!?!?!? I mostly do not want to, but, I kind of want to.  

Have a good day!

Monday, January 27, 2014

Kansas City Groundhog Run 2014

When I woke up yesterday morning I was thinking that the Groundhog run may be my new favorite race.  

It started at 10 - yay for sleeping in and having plenty of time to download some tunes,

IMG 3930

make some breakfast (blueberry, banana, walnut oatmeal),

IMG 3932

and hang out with the fam.

It also took place in temperature controlled caves, which meant I was able to test out the running skirt that Santa brought me.

IMG 3941

Then, I started the race and realized how hard 10ks are.  The distance is just short enough that you can push yourself the entire race.  

Before starting I saw a girl with a shirt on that read, “To give less than your best is to sacrifice the gift."

I had big plans to “just run” the race, but once I read that I felt like I needed to run fast.  So, I did, at least for me.  

IMG 3948

I beat my 10K PR from this race two years ago (<—throwback post!) by a few seconds (unofficially).  Needless to say, my legs are super sore today.  

I arrived hone to a hungry family, so we went out to Mexican for lunch.  The rest of the day was pretty productive - grocery shopping, cleaning my car (inside and out!), making dinner, and playing outside with  my love.  

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I feel like some weekends come and go with nothing to show for them, but I think we squeezed as much out of this weekend as we could.  

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Cheers to that!  

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Weekly Food and Fitness Plan #22

Good morning! 

The words are going to be few this morning, because I have a race to get to.  Here are a few pictures from the weekend so far.

Grandma watching Ina the smart way.

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Ina dominating the pool

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Dinner after the pool - chili from the freezer, baked potato and a salad kit.  

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 Princess breakfast

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More breakfast

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Junk drawer before

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Junk drawer after

IMG 3909

This kale salad

IMG 3910

Saturday night church

IMG 3912

Dancing with Nina after dinner

IMG 3920

Thanks to Stacie (Nina) and Big Dan for having us over for dinner last night. We had the most amazing lemon garlic roast chicken with corn bread and glazed carrots.  YUM.  

It motivates me to do some cooking this week!

Food

Fitness

  • Sunday: 10K race
  • Monday: 3 mile run
  • Tuesday: spin
  • Wednesday: rest
  • Thursday: 3 mile run
  • Friday: 6 mile run
  • Saturday: rest
Running with Racheal

What are you up to this week?

Friday, January 24, 2014

My Recent Kitchen Experiments + Life Changing Bread

I feel like the past few weeks of cooking have been a great success!  When Dan comes home and I tell him what we are having for dinner he gives me the questioning side eye.  However, once it is on the table, everyone is all smiles.  

He comes by it honestly.  Yesterday morning, when I was prepping the chicken marinade for dinner, my mother-in-law gave me a skeptical look and asked, “You like to experiment a lot in the kitchen, don’t you?"

This might have offended some of you, but really, I can’t blame her.  The marinade was bright green.

IMG 3846

Leprechaun chicken, anyone?

It isn’t as weird as you might think - the green color comes from blending up scallions and the chicken has an Asian taste - recipe here.  

Here is the finished product - 

IMG 3850

Not so green and very tasty!  Ina - who hasn’t ben the biggest fan of meat lately, ate the the chicken as soon as we put it on her plate.  We couldn’t get it on there fast enough.  

But that was nothing compared to the grand finale.  I made this bread.

IMG 3853

Oh this bread.  

It is called life changing bread - I actually didn’t name it that, but I would have.

Gluten free, refined sugar free.  Nuts and seeds galore.  Oh and vegan if you are into that sort of thing.  

It feels weird to call it bread, because it is seriously next level stuff.  AND extremely healthy.  

I patiently waited for it to cool last night and had one piece topped with homemade strawberry jam. 

IMG 3858

Expect to see this on the blog for the rest of its existence. Make it now.  

And because a blog post isn’t complete without a picture of Ina -

IMG 3845

She climbed the stairs and headed straight for the bathtub to play with her bath toys.  At first I was trying to stop her, but soon realized that the bathtub would keep her relatively contained, so I sat on the toilet and relaxed for a second while she played.  

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Thankful Thursday

Good morning!

Brrrrr - it is cold here in Kansas City this morning (it was 1* when I woke up!), so first of all, I am thankful to be under a warm blanket, drinking some warm coffee, in my warm house (which I don't plan on leaving all day today).

Today I am also thankful for my in-laws who are watching Ina today.

IMG 3822

They came for dinner last night and we had a great time.  

IMG 3843

Dinner was even easier because my mom made so much food the night before for small group that we had plenty sour cream noodle bake to spare, so I just steamed some broccoli, 

IMG 3830

prepped a salad (by prepped I mean cut open the bag and dumped it in a bowl), and we were ready to eat.  

So, that is a long way of saying I am also thankful for my momma!  

Today I am thankful for baby gates, outlet covers, and cabinet lockers.  Little Miss is everywhere these days and I am happy our house has the basic provisions to keep her safe.  Last night she climbed right on the couch and was reaching for the fruit bowl above the kitchen sink before I could get up from my seat.  That fruit bowl is finding a new home stat.  

Today I am thankful for a new grocery store in the area - Sprouts. 

IMG 3819

I stopped by there on my way home from work yesterday and was blown away.  I walked around in awe for a few minutes and then tried mostly to focus on the produce.  I promised myself that I would come back to look at everything else later.  

Today I am thankful for rest days.  Yesterday I didn't even think about exercise and it felt good.  I was supposed to do a sprint workout today, but I am thinking I might mix it up with a Jillian Michaels video.  

Have a great day!  What are you thankful for?

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

My Favorite Ways to Eat Quinoa

Good morning!

The other day one of my facebook friends said she had just bought quinoa and asked if anyone had any suggestions for how to use it.

It was difficult for me to keep my response comment to less than 10 sentences.  

Anyone surprised?

So, I thought I would create a little round-up of my favorite quinoa recipes.

Side note: Every time I think of quinoa now, I think of this commercial and crack up laughing.

Consequently, every time I make quinoa Dan either says, "It tastes like a dirty ol' tree branch," or "What is that, a loofa?"

Good times.

End side note.   

First off, here is a great tutorial on how to cook quinoa.  However, I always cook it in my rice cooker in the exact same way I would cook rice.  Easy peasy.

- I often use quinoa in place of rice - add a little soy sauce and sriracha and you have a tasty and filling side dish

- it can be made sweet.  Yesterday I made these breakfast quinoa bars yesterday - so good.  I also want to try this granola recipe.

IMG 3815

- This quinoa mac and cheese is one of my favorites - I usually add cooked chicken and shredded zucchini 

- Sometimes I can convince Dan to mix things up and make this quinoa fried rice (he usually likes the real deal)

- Quinoa salads are always good - I really liked this Mediterranean one

- Use it as a stuffing - like in this stuffed squash recipe - one of my summer faves.  I also want to try this meatball recipe.

That's about all I have - anyone else have any suggestions?  As you know, I love trying new recipes.

Have a great hump day.   

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Ina at the Zoo + A MUST TRY Recipe

On Sunday night Danielle asked if Ina could go to the zoo on Monday.  How fun is that?

The next morning I made sure she was all ready to go.  

Layers - check.  Cute- check.  

IMG 3808

When I dropped her off I was feeling pretty sad that I didn't get to go too, but throughout the day Danielle sent me pictures of Ina and the animals.  

IMG 3812

Now all of my co-workers know what Ina looks like when she sees the polar bear. 

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I will say it again - Ina goes to an awesome daycare.  

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I love that even though I am at work she gets the opportunity to do stuff that I would have done with her if I wasn't at work.  Did that make sense?

She was worn out when she got home and went to bed early, but not before inhaling her dinner.  By inhaling I mean yelling at me for more in between bites because I wasn't shoveling it in fast enough.

I made this 5 ingredient spaghetti squash pizza pie with turkey italian sausage and added mozzarella cheese, green peppers, and mushrooms.

IMG 3811

It was so good.  If you are looking for a paleo, gluten free, or low carb recipe, you must try it!

Oh, and I suppose that since this blog is called Running with Racheal, I should tell you that I ran 3 miles on the treadmill yesterday.  Maybe I should change the name of the blog to Eating with Racheal, or, Being a Mom with Racheal, or just, Ina.  

Thoughts?

Have a good one!

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