Soup’s On

Mom my has always been the master chef of the family. She knows what she’s doing in the kitchen and she’s good at it! One of her many specialities is any kind of soup! When I lived at home, it seemed like every Sunday in the winter she was coming up with a new kind or making an old classic.

Inspired by her creativity, I gave it a shot last week and I made my own version of lentil soup, which was good, but it needed some work. This week, I stuck more closely to an old recipe from my Great Aunt Claire that I’ve always loved.

Prep: 10-15 mins.
Cooking time: 30-40 mins

Ingredients:

2 cloves minced garlic
1 medium yellow onion
2 celery sticks
Bouillon (amount depends on you. I used reduced sodium Better Than Bouillon and added 3 tablespoons for my 9.5 cups of water)
1/2 – 1 lb ground turkey (or sausage)
Cajun seasoning to taste
10 chopped baby carrots
2 chopped tomatoes
1 can red kidney beans (15.5 ounces)
6 chopped fingerlings
2 chopped tomatoes
3 tablespoons light cream* (optional)
Salt & pepper to taste

Yum!

Yum!

Start by chopping up the garlic, onion and celery and put it into a pot with olive oil already warmed to medium. In a separate pan, I cooked the ground turkey until there was just a little pink then I added it to the pot with the other ingredients and added cajun seasoning (I love that stuff). I let the ingredients cook just until they were about to brown on a medium temperature then I added 9.5 cups of water and the bouillon. I turned the temp to high, added the carrots and fingerlings and put the top on. Once the pot came to a boil (about 5 – 7 minutes), I turned the temp to medium and I let it cook 12 more minutes. Lastly, I added the tomatoes, beans, leftover alfredo sauce and some salt and pepper and I turned the temp to low for 5 more minutes.

If you can’t already tell, I am not a cook! I am just attempting/learning to make healthy food, but if I can make this delicious soup, ANYONE can. My recipe makes tons of soup .. too much for one person. Once everything is cool, I will make about eight different containers, putting half in the freezer for another time.

I hope all is well with you! More to come soon, I promise!

Highs and Lows

It’s been so long since my last post, it took me four times to remember my login and password for this site. This summer/fall was filled with incredible highs and extreme lows. I started this summer with a hopeful excitement, happiness and love that I honestly hadn’t felt in years. However, life happens and things change … that’s the way it goes.

On top of that, I traveled to BOSTON a few times, spent the night in Atlanta, went to New Orleans and I’ve been back and forth to Stamford, CT. While everything in life was exciting, I just didn’t enjoy it as much as I should have.

I can tell you why … I didn’t stop exercising, but I stopped enjoying it. It became a chore, instead of a release. I had so much going on that I should have relied on exercising to get me through instead of dreading it. This feeling impacted everything in my life so far beyond the hour or two I was exercising.

I’m fixing this because I need to get back my love of running, my excitement for exercising and sweating back on track. I don’t have a plan yet, but I’m working on one!

In the meantime, here are a few things I (think) I learned this summer/fall:

  • Friendship is precious, special and a gift. Cherish it and never give up. Friends are everything.  
  • You will hurt like heck the day after a two-hour trail run after not exercising that hard in months.
  • Trust your gut. If you’re questioning someones feelings/intentions, you are more than likely correct. P.S. learning that you were, in fact, right will hurt even more, but it help you to know you made the right decision.
  • People who love you are there for you through everything. They come to visit and just to give you a hug. They call to make sure you are o.k. and they have the best wisdom and advice to share.
  • Going back to Boston will feel like home, every SINGLE time.
  • If you can’t sleep at 4 a.m. and you’re in stuck in a hotel, the best thing to do is to go to the 24 hour fitness room and hop on the treadmill until you tire yourself out again.
  • Running in the streets of NOLA isn’t easy AT ALL and I don’t recommend it (but I loved the city).
  • People never really change.
  • The sooner you learn to stand up for yourself, the better/easier your life will be.

Running Day Happy

June 5th is National Running Day, but you likely know that since most people who read this blog are typically runners, people who like to exercise or they’re good family and/or friends who I force to read anything I post!

Anyways, I did a lot of things today, but running was not one of them. I ran the last two days and my ankle was feeling a little sore, so I thought it would be best to stay off it tonight.

I’m listening my body because quite frankly my running injuries are getting very expensive! Even with insurance, the cost of the walking boot I used for two days was more than my monthly car payment. Talk about painful. 

Back to running.

This evening at work, someone stopped in my office who I had never met before. He saw my numerous 13.1, 20K, 10K and 5K stickers on my wall and we struck up a 15 minute conversation about running, races, trails, etc.

What a perfect day to really feel a part of the wonderful running community. It’s crazy how much I love running, how I try to work running stories into every conversation and how I can talk to anyone (seriously, anyone) when it’s about running.

I have just three short days left until I hopefully can meet some new runner friends around my new home. I can’t wait! 

What do you love most about running? Did you run today?

Running & Clothes

I do like the detail on the back of these capris.

I do like the detail on the back of these capris.

My second day running went a little better. By my first half mile, I had already worked up to an easy jog. I kept that pace for the next two miles and finished up a 5K in 29 minutes.

I wanted to walk another mile or two after my 3.1 miles, but I decided I should wait and stretch instead.

I came home tonight to a surprise.

My first surprise was my monthly delivery from Ellie. I love the capris, especially the blue/green detail on the bottom.

My tank.

My tank.

I’m not crazy about the top only because I don’t love tanks with built in bras, but I’ll give it a try.

I also have to be honest, I don’t think the two pieces go great together.

Ellie is supposed to send an outfit, which especially helps fashion-challenged people like me, and I’m a little disappointed in the pieces I got this month.

What do you think, do these two pieces go together? Maybe I need more fashion help than I think! 

 

Winning and Taking Chances

For some strange reason, the concept of winning and taking chances came up a lot today.

Honestly, I don’t think of myself as a winner when it comes to running. I’ve never won a race, and I’m not sure that will ever happen.

I may never come in first, but I do consider trying as winning. If you asked me two years ago if I even wanted to run a half, I would have said “sure, but it’s never gonna happen.” Look how far I have come! I wouldn’t have even considered anything over a half MILE back then.

Every time I cross a finish line, I feel like I a winner no matter how many hundreds of people finished before me. That’s the amazing thing about running, you feel like a winner no matter what the actual outcome might be. 

Since I was taking chances tonight, I attempted my first run since my latest injury. It’s been long enough since I fractured my ankle, and I barely even feel the pain so I figured I could try.

I started walking for the first mile, and all felt good. By mile two, I worked myself up to an easy jog and slowly increased the speed until I reached 2.5 miles, when I decided I was done.

Nothing hurt, but I felt my muscles waking up and I didn’t want to push myself too far. I felt like a winner for trying AND for knowing when to stop. Don’t get me wrong, I would’ve loved to have logged 7 miles, but I’ll save that for tomorrow! :)

In running, what is winning for you?

In Moving Limbo

Today was supposed to be moving day. I had been counting down the days (and hours) to an extremely reduced commute, and extra hour + a day and setting up my new place, but that won’t be happening today.

There were some minor wall/electrical issues that are holding things up for another week, which really isn’t a big deal. I’m just so ready to move, to live in a strong running community, to get involved and meet new people.

The only good thing is that in CT, it’s going to be 90+ today, which isn’t ideal moving weather and hopefully next weekend will be just a little bit cooler.

To stay excited about moving, I have checked out a new gym that’s located about a half mile from my house! I know how much I’ll love being walking distance from all sorts of exercising. This gym also has a pool which will be essential to help me recover and allow me to take it easy on my hip.

I’ve also explored the roads and streets around my new place. There are some awesome running streets, rolling hills and some more challenging ones. I can’t wait to start training again.

What is the first thing (after the house) that you check out when you move? Would good running routes be considered?

I hope everyone is having a great Saturday!

I Need Your Help, Please Complete a Survey For Me

I’ve told you before that I decided to go back to graduate school, and now I’m spending my holiday weekend researching in order to write a paper!

The topic of my paper is on luxury brands. I decided to write about what I know best – EXERCISING! I’m specifically writing about Lululemon, but I’ll take any answers you can provide.

SURVEY LINK:

http://freeonlinesurveys.com/s.asp?sid=1wmlbrawpufrnua272986

If you don’t feel like completing the survey, please consider leaving a comment/quote about anything related to Lululemon.

As always, thank you so much!

All surveys responses are confidential.

Big Changes

Today I was a ball of stress and frustration. Mainly, I’m stressed about moving next week. After roughly 15 moves in my adult life, you would honestly think I have down by now, but that’s totally not the case.

Moving requires so much energy and organization. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also fabulous exercise. I’m trying to stay positive about everything that’s happening over the next few days because not only is it the right thing to do, but I’m ready for a big change.

I’m moving to make everything in my life just a little more simple. I’ll be much closer to work. In fact, if all goes according to plan I’ll save 60 – 90 minutes EVERY day, which is absolutely crazy!

My reduced commute will be good for my sanity, car and will free up time for something else, once I figure what that is I’ll let you know.

I’ll also be close to school and to the gym, which will reduce my daily miles even more.

Most importantly, I’m moving to a town with a lively sports community, and I’ve found a few different running groups that start in the next few weeks that I’m ready to join.

I really want to get involved and meet people, and I think that participating in a couple of exercise/running groups is a great, or so I hope.

Any other suggestions are welcome because I really don’t want to be stuck in my place all alone!

To work through my frustration this evening, I went to the gym let it out! However, first I had to cancel my membership, which I was less than thrilled about.

I’m so comfortable at my current gym. You may have heard me talk about my favorite treadmill or stretching mat, it’s totally weird, but it works for me.

I’m excited for a routine change, but I hope it doesn’t take too much getting used to!