Do you see what I see…


Happy Friday!

Another week down, another weekend to look forward to. I woke up this morning with the intent on having pancakes for breakfast but changed my mind after I assessed my hunger level.


Before deciding on breakfast I try to take into consideration, my hunger level, my work out, lunch time, and dinner plans. Since I knew I’d be hitting the gym in less than two hours, I decided on a small bowl of cereal with lots of fruit. Don’t you just love winter fruit! I picked up a couple of pears and 1 pomegranate at Whole Foods during one of my quick frequent stops. The grocery store to me is like a playground. I could walk around it for hours checking out all the wonderful interesting things I’ve never tried.


Do you see what I see?

pom arils


ancient grain cereal

strawberry yogurt

almond butter

almond milk

I also woke up having a hard time deciding on what kind of work out I wanted to do! What’s wrong with me? I’m so indecisive today.

My options are:

Yoga? Running? Weights? or Cardio kickboxing?

I would do all of them If I had the time! But instead I decided on weights and cardio kickboxing.

Two out of four isn’t bad.

Have a great day, whatever you decide to do Smile

Digg This

Apricots, Arnica and After

Hello, hello!

I woke up this morning and hit the door running.

I covered 5 miles around the neighborhood in a little over 50 minutes. Don’t know why I’m slow lately. The thing is I don’t really feel slow, maybe I’m just enjoying the ride and taking in the scenery.

 Or maybe I need to start drinking more water?

Water before

and water after.

A couple of apricots pre-run for some quick burning carbs.

Sun-maid apricots were given the “healthy fitness award” in 2008 by Fitness magazine. I used to use energy gels during long long runs, but now I think dried fruit my be better.

I took a rawther COLD bath to ice my legs, and then rawther hot bawth with bath salts to soothe my legs. Loving this new product made by EObath salts and arnica all in one. It tingled a little bit, but my legs feel great! Sturdy and strong!!

The aroma of the eucalyptus wasn’t very prominent, I’m a sensory kinda girl. Maybe I’ll add more essential oils to the water next time.

By 9:30 breakfast was calling my name and all I wanted was a big bowl of cereal!!!

Into the bowl went:

  • 3/4 cup Natures Path Flax (it’s on the bottom)
  • 3/4 cup Peanut Butter Panda Puffs
  • 1 tbsp of fresh ground peanut butter from kroger (easy on the wallet)
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1/2 cup mixed berries
  • 1 cup almond milk

Still trying to finish off this coffee , and still don’t like it…

Watching an episode of bethenny ever after {loved her book}, then it’s time to get some work done. Can’t wait to try the skinny girl margarita, and read her new book A Place of Yes.

Happy Wednesday! Don’t work to hard 🙂

Smokey Mountain Run

 Hey y’all sorry I’ve been MIA for a while.  The hubs and I got home from Gatlinburg, Tennessee Sunday night around 11:00PM. Ever since then I’ve been trying to catch up on laundry, grocery shopping, and bill writing. You know all the fun stuff in life that has to be done or else the sky just might cave in.

Any who, we had so much fun in the Smokey’s I wanted to blog about it every night but when your 21ooft up in the mountains reception is not very good. Here are a few pics and highlights from Aunt-T’s birthday vacay.

The inside of our two-story cabin, complete with five bedrooms, living room, dining room, kitchen, breakfast nook, family room and game room. Plenty big enough for eight people. I spy a brown furry animal. BEAR!

The view from our cabin overlooking the mountain range.

There were so many nooks and crannies to explore inside,  look what I found!

Chocolate…SCORE!!! I had a few M+ M’s, blue being my favorite and 2 mini snickers bars.Do you have a favorite M+M color? Or am I just corky!?  The snickers bars were just meh, I think I’ll stick with the good stuff. Dark chocolate Endangered Species.

After we all settled in and had dinner we threw our swim suits on and jumped in the hot tub.

Saturday morning I woke up refreshed and went on my scheduled 45 minute run. The whole group was supposed to join me but I only managed to grab two of the crew. Mr. Apron and our new friend Tyrone were good sports 🙂



After the run I did three sets of 20 push ups and 2o dips.

Total run: 45 minute loop on hilly terrain

Distance: Not sure? Maybe 2 or 3 miles, due to the conditions.  I need a Garmin, desperately 

Elevation: 2168 ft. My lungs did not fail me. I actually felt pretty good.

 Temp: 42° Feels Like: 38° Humidity: 62%

Pre-fuel: The previous nights dinner. I didn’t feel like eating before the run a rare idea for me.

Whole wheat spaghetti with mixed vegetables and ground lean beef. I only had a small amount of meat, I tried to grab more of the veg.  A simple side salad drizzled with raspberry wine vinaigrette. Beverage of choice was a little vino rojo.


A bowl of Kashi with soy milk topped with a medium sliced banana, 1 tbsp Nuttzo and a sprinkle of chia seeds.

A good work out can be done anywhere, you just have to creative. Who knows you might even make a new friend along the way.

Mojo, Wine, and Cookies

Tuesday’s workout was so much fun. I did 60 minutes of Athletic Conditioning and then 45 minutes of hill repeats on the treadmill.

Before I get to Tuesday’s meals here’s a quick blurb about Athletic Conditioning:

After graduating nursing school in 2005 and gaining a TON of weight I knew something had to be done. The first thing on my, “to buy” list after getting a job was a gym membership. I had always been a runner but didn’t have (or make?) the time while in school to run or workout. I eased my way back into the gym by doing 30 minutes session on the elliptical, 30 minutes of weight machines and about 10 minutes of abs at the end. Once I felt strong enough and confident enough I took my first group fitness class, Turbo Kick.  It wasn’t until about a year later in 2006 that I started taking Athletic Conditioning. Before that I would walk by the class peek through the window hear loud music and watch the class do amazing things. I quickly decided I wasn’t ready for that haaaarrrrd level of physical activity, and would go on my merry way. To be honest I was a little scared! Can you imagine a beautiful blonde, super fit, and pregnant at that shouting out drills? When I finally stepped into class, I immediately fell in love with the structure and comradery the class brought. I may not be a professional athlete but for 60 minutes once a week I can pretend. J Every week is different, every week is challenging and that’s the whole point!  So many times we get used to repetition we forget to push ourselves.   Compared to yoga [my other love] athletic conditioning is a very much in your face approach. You do what’s asked of you and try your best because someone makes you accountable. Athletic conditioning and yoga are different in the best possible ways.

Who or what makes you accountable?

Pre-fuel AKA breakfast:

1 cup honey nut toasty O’s, 1/2 cup wheat-fuls, 1/2 cup frozen berries, 1 cup 2% organic milk, 1 tbsp Nuttzo ,  and 1.5 tbsp unsweetened shredded coconut

Post-fuel AKA lunch:

Simple salad with 2 handfuls of chopped romaine, 1 hard-boiled egg, celery, cherry tomatoes, 2 tbsp gorgonzola, and 1 tbsp of green goddess.

On the side a small orange, 1 serving of TJ’s multi-grain crackers, 1 tbsp of garlicky hummus, and a glass of sparkling water (not shown).

My lunch also consisted of a Voskos greek yogurt that I saved for a snack around 6:00.

Mr. Apron had dinner made and ready by the time little apron and I got home from choir practice.

Spicy chicken nachos with Late July Mild Green Mojo multigrain snack chips. I wish I could say I loved the chips but they were just meh, they reminded me of Doritos. Not saying anything bad about Doritos, they just had that thick powdery seasoning on top, ya know? If you want to try them for yourself  they’re on sale at whole foods (2 for $5.00).

I topped my mojo nachos with gauc, and shredded cheese. The chix and lettuce were so good I went back for seconds.

A small glass of Natale Verga Prosecco rounded out the meal. The hubs and I found it over the weekend for only $10.00 a bottle, It’s quickly becoming my new favorite sparkling wine. [great taste and bubbles]

Dessert: Oh yes I did!

Dos galletas out of a hugh jass box of cookies given to us from my mom 🙂

Happy What I ate Wednesday!

A tribute to simply breakfast

A tribute to a few of my favorite breakfast bowls and plates. 

I used to have a problem.

  • 1 cup natural O’s
  • 1/4 cup Cascadian farms vanilla almond crunch
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed berries
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup organic 2% milk

A picture of french toast before I started the blogging.

  • Trader Joe’s sprouted rye bread dredged in one egg and grilled.
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1/2 banana grilled
  • 1/4 cup almond granola
  • 1 tbsp creamy peanut butter

Even though this beater than ice cream smoothie was eaten at lunch time It would make a great breakfast on a hot day especially before a long run to keep the body cool.

In the mix:

  • 1/2 cup of plain greek yogurt
  • 1 cup of soymilk
  • 1 cup of mixed frozen berries
  • 1/2 cup frozen spinach
  • 1/2 medium frozen banana

Topped with:

  • homemade granola
  • 2 tbsp pom seeds
  • 1 tbsp of better n’ peanut butter

A mixed bowl of cereal on a a cool fal morning.

  • 1 cup Kashi Heart to Heart
  • 1/2 Yogi granola flakes
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 1 tbsp crunchy peanut butter
  • 1 cup almond milk


A one plate wonder:

  • Old-fashioned english muffin
  • 2 tbsp better n peanut butter purchased at Trader Joes. BNPB is good for those who want more peanut butter for fewer calories.
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 2 tbsp apricot granola
  • 1 tbsp local folks foods apple butter

Can you believe this picture was taken in January of 2010 nearly a year before I started the blog. So fun to take a look back.

  • probably a low-fat english muffin
  • 2 tbsp better n peanut butter
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • sprinkle of cinnamon
  • 1/2 grape fruit

A great way to jump-start start the day.

  • 1 cup natural o’s
  • 1/2 crumbled granola bar
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp peanut butter
  • splash vanilla
  • dash cinnamon


Thinking outside the box:

  • 1 cup of wheat-fuls
  • 1/2 banana sliced
  • 1/4 cup granola
  • 1 tbsp almond butter
  • 1/2 tsp chia seed
  • 1 cup soy milk

My best photo and pancake yet, organic fuel. I think I’m starting to get the hang of things.

  •  grilled organic banana slices
  •  frozen mixed berries
  • low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • sprinkle each of coconut and apricot granola.

And who could forget celebration pancakes? You should definitely make this for your children, significant other or yourself. Cause everyday should be a celebration!

  • sprinkles
  • lots of sprinkles

Another photo taken in January of 2010, buckwheat oats and veggie sausage.

  • 1/3 cup cooked buckwheat groats
  • a few strawberries
  • blood orange?
  • 1/2 cup low-fat vanilla yogurt
  • 1 tbsp pom arils


Last but not least another slice of Trader Joe’s sprouted rye. My favorite part of the dish was the cranberry jam leftover from Thanksgiving.

  • french toast
  • 1/2 mashed banana
  • 1 tbsp nuttzo
  • cranberry jam
  • sprinkle granola

I hope this gives you some breakfast inspiration for the weekend.

Happy Friday!

Outside the box

 I’m really loving the Dave Farmer podcasts. It’s so easy to get in a good stretch at home and calm the mind. Dave is great at explaining the proper position of  a pose making it  more than just move. He might spend a few minutes going over the correct way to hold your wrists while in downward facing dog, or the importance of using all four corners of the foot while in Tadasana (mountain pose).  These little adjustments make a huge difference in my practice. Whenever I go back to the studio after one or two of Dave’s Baptiste Power Vinyasa podcast, I am more prone to take my time and flow through the poses with grace. Not to say the yoga studio or instructors don’t give good prompts, it’s just that when you do something at home, whether it be working out , cooking , or crafting you do it with humility and thus it becomes practice.

For the past couple of days I’ve been practicing yoga in the morning and running on the treadmill in the evening.

 It’s been nice to break up the training and get some kinks out before going on a quality run. Now I’m not saying that yoga makes me a better faster runner, but it certainly helps with my muscle recovery and over all well-being.

A great instructor at the Y once said “your only as strong as your weakest link.” Meaning you can lift 1oo pounds or run for miles on end but if you never step outside the box to try something new you’ll be forced to use the same muscles over and over without really challenging yourself.

What if anything will you do this weekend to step outside the box?

And now before I loose you, a food sampling of the past couple of days.

Snow day breakfast: A bowl of wheat-fuls topped with 1/2 banana, 1/4 cup homemade granola,1 tbsp almond butter, and a sprinkle of chia seeds with soy milk.


Mother daughter lunch at Panera Bread. From the Pick-two combo NEW! 1/2 Thai chopped chicken salad with a cup of garden vegetable soup with pesto. Hands down the best salad I had all week. The salad consisted of fresh romaine, cilantro, a blend of grilled edemama, red bell peppers and carrots all tossed in a Thai vinaigrette. Topped with all-natural, antibiotic free chicken, cashews, and a few peanuts. February is eat out less month but can you believe I only paid $7.00 for the two of us? Before heading out to lunch I found a coupon online for a buy one pick-two get one pick-two free.


Quick and balanced dinner: California pizza kitchen with a side salad and water. Sometimes I like a thick crust and other times I enjoy the crispy cracker like texture of a thin crust. Probably didn’t need the ham…wait a minute yes I did! Anywho, the best thing about the salad besides the greenage was the return of my favorite salad dressing. Bolthouse farms yogurt ranch, mmm so good.

Happy Friday!

mid week run…

I’m in my fourth week of training for two half marathons. I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday and I still need to get in three runs before Monday.  The last time I ran was Sunday evening as the sun was setting in the cool Sonoran dessert. I will not be running outside today, too icky, and just plain cold. My plan is to run five miles on the treadmill, after my 9:15 work meeting. I like the YMCA closest to my work, it has big windows and is bright and airy.


A simple bowl of wheat-fuls with almond milk. Their not joking about the ful part, the cereal was a bit heavy. I also had a cup of joe

Love the mug, the coffee not so much. Taste like bitter water, yuck :(. I miss my Pumpkin coffee from The Fresh Market.

Todays agenda:

  • Office Meeting
  • Treadmill run
  • Shower
  • Trip to my favorite grocery store (Whole Foods)
  • Lunch
  • Unpack
  • Dinner

Happy Hump Day! 🙂

Maria TFA

Jump start

Jump Start

Rather than waiting till the first of the year I’m getting a jump-start on my Indianapolis mini-marathon training. I’ve done about 4 Indy mini’s and 2 Geist half-marathons. My goal in 2011 is to do both races, two weeks apart. If I succeed I get to be in the “Month of May Club”, have access to an awesome post race tent and earn a nice medal. I’ve tried to do it the last two years in a row but was never able to sign up for the mini before it sold out. I’m not a fast runner, and would happy just meeting or beating my previous times by a few minutes.

I went a three-mile run this morning courtesy of the treadmill. It’s cold outside!

But first I had one of these. A figgy fig.

Three miles took me about 33 minutes with a warm-up and cool-down included.

I came home, made the little apron breakfast, she requested a breakfast burrito just like yesterday’s. Showered and then made myself this awesome bowl of cereal.

  • organic o’s
  • 1/2 granola bar
  • left over fruit salad
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp vanilla yogurt
  • splash vanilla
  • dash cinnamon
  • tbsp peanut butter

It was really good but left me feeling a little empty and unsatisfied. Cereal never seems to hit the spot. I’m glad I waited until  lunch to eat again though

or else I wouldn’t have been able to eat this yummy hugh jass salad.

  • blackened shrimp
  • pecans
  • blue cheese
  • dried cranberrys
  • mandarin oranges
  • lots of green

The little apron and I had lunch with our good friends at O’Charley’s. I was pleasantly surprised at how fresh and clean tasting my food was. I don’t know where you can get strawberry’s these days but those were as fresh as they come.

Of course I had a roll.

I’m thinking a lighter dinner tonight and wine with a dear friend.

But first I promised my hubby I would run two miles with him. Do you have a workout partner, or know someone who needs one? We must take care of the ones we love.