Favorite Things Friday

This guy…right here. He’s a favorite and definitely at the top of list this Father’s Day and all days.  Same mischievous grin, just a little less hair these days. I’ll be at a wedding this weekend, so I’m sending my early wishes and a call on Sunday. Happy Father’s Day, Steen-o!Steen & Ro _ Father's Day

I didn’t have a post near Mother’s Day, and she deserves one, too! Seriously though, my parents are the best! I constantly hope that if I have kids, I’m as supportive and loving and all-around spectacular as my parents continue to be to my siblings and me. I could do an entirely separate post just on these two. Simply the best.

And now, Tina Turner is stuck in my head. I’ll add her to today’s list, too.

Tina Turner – Simply the Best

Enough said. This song will be making it’s way into my mixes for a long while to come.

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These workout crops. They come in “Longs,” which at 5’12” I appreciate the length. They’re on sale right now, too, for $15.  It’s about 45% off regular price, and totally worth it! Plus, ON Activewear is always on sale with hot deals. My crops and leggings from ON have lasted me a long time, too.



Rich Roll Podcast – With Robin Arzon

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I use an Ipod shuffle while I run, but sometimes I get tired of my music that’s been on there for at least four years. At the advice of many, I tried out podcasts while I was training for a half marathon this spring, and actually enjoyed it.  On my easy long run last weekend, I thought I’d try it out again. I love using Stitcher for podcasts subscriptions and recently found the Rich Roll podcast.  He talked with Robin Arzon in a recent episode, and her story is so inspiring. Without giving away too much, she left her corporate law career and became an ultra runner. Her love of running just started slowly while she was in her career, and it turned out she was really good. She was recently diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes and continues to run.  She picked up some ads with Adidas and is a regular person who made it up through the ranks organically. It’s a fun listen, whether you’re running or not. Warning…she does use some language, though, so not advised if you’ve got littles listening with you.

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

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These pancakes. So good. I don’t typically get excited about pancakes, but I’m gluten intolerant so regular pancakes are not even negotiable.  I’m always on the search for a good gluten-free (usually Paleo) recipe for the traditional breakfast foods, like these banana nut muffins I posted earlier this week. Juli from Paleomg.com created these lemon poppyseed pancakes, which have received high marks from non-Paleo eaters. (WIN!!!)  It’s tough to do, but these did it. My dad even ate them AND had seconds. Definitely add them to your breakfast menu this weekend. Add some blueberries or raspberries for extra deliciousness! Thank me later.

Happy Father’s Day weekend to all of the dads, step-dads, non-traditional dads, stand-in dads, father figures, and more!

Paleo Banana Nut Muffins

These muffins are a staple in our fridge.  I first made them for my brother and his wife. Typically, anything I “paleo-fy” just doesn’t taste like the real thing. It’s usually okayyy and edible but not delicious, and when you want some banana bread, you want some deeeelicious banana bread. He actually ate them, and I think he liked them. Definitely store these in the fridge because they’re so fresh with good ingredients that they will go bad quickly.

I found this recipe from Paleo Grubs (see here for original recipe) and have made it quite a few times.  My sister is even now making it. I like that they’re not too “egg”-y and have all natural sweeteners.  They are so easy to whip up with some of those freckled bananas on the counter.

Paleo Banana Muffins (Servings: 12)

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  • 4 bananas, mashed with a fork (the riper, the better)
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 cup almond butter*
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1/2 cup coconut flour**
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • chopped nuts of your choice (I love pecans or walnuts and just chop up whatever I have available)

Baking Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffin tin with cups. In a large bowl, add bananas, eggs, almond butter, coconut oil, and vanilla. Blend to combine ingredients – I usually just use a fork for this, especially if your bananas are ripe enough.
  2. Add in the coconut flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Blend into the wet mixture, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Distribute the batter evenly into the lined muffin tins, filling each about two-thirds of the way full.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Serve warm or store in the refrigerator for 3-4 days.

*For the almond butter, I’ve used peanut butter, which is delicious as well as sunflower seed butter.  Something with the sunflower seed butter will make these look a little green. I bet cashew butter would be delicious, too!

**For coconut flour, I usually weigh this by the gram because it’s so dense. I also like to mash it up with a fork before adding it to the wet ingredients, otherwise it tends to get really clumpy.

The first time, I subbed applesauce for the coconut oil in equal parts, and it turned out well, too!

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Also, I’ve switched to these silicone muffin liners that I really like! Check them out at World Market here. (No special kick back for me. I just really like the product.)




Serve with honey, coconut oil, or extra almond butter and jelly. Pic is from my sister when she recently made them. Seriously, so good.

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Macros (for recipe as written): 14 C/10F/5P

Macros for recipe with applesauce instead of oil: 14C/8F/5P

Oops, I Did it Again

Well, friends, I did it again…I signed up for another half marathon. Hehehe.

Good Life Halfsy  Yassssss! Good Life Halfsy. It’s happening, and it’s far enough away, I don’t have to think about it yet, can slowly amp up my endurance and only train for the final 6-8 weeks.  Twelve weeks is just too long for me.  I get distracted and bored and have time for life and good friends to talk me out of running 13.1 miles. There’s something about running in the fall that is just so exhilirating, especially in the Midwest.  It’s like you’re soaking up every last good running day before Mother Nature tells you to take it to the treadmill. Good Life Halfsy, I’m coming for you!

Since “the half” isn’t until November, I have a solid 3 months to do something else, so I’m working on my own training plan to build up my 5k.  The fastest 5k I’ve ever done “officially” was around 28:08.  It was actually what really started my love of running. I signed up on a whim for a 5k in Wichita, KS on a hot, humid June day and won my age group. I know what you’re thinking…I won my age division with that time??  I was shocked, too, but it was a small enough race that not many people signed up. I didn’t care then, and I don’t care now because that’s all it took for me to tell myself I could keep at this running stuff. Since then, I’ve run a 5k on a treadmill in 27:17 with proof…IMG_20160430_181123

Again, I know there are puuuhhhlenty of runners faster, but eyes on my own page. This is fast…for me. My goal is to drop that 27:17 down to 25:00 in 8 weeks. I don’t know if that’s possible, but I’m working on a training plan to at least knock time off of 27:17.

Here’s how the last two weeks of training went:

Week 1:  

-Monday: Rest Day

-Tuesday: X-Train 40 minutes                                                                                                             

-Wednesday: 2 miles at carb loaded pace (8:10/mile). It was supposed to be at 8:45 pace but carbs happen, and for this initial run, I loved it!!

-Thursday: 40 minutes cross training and 9Round Fitness workout. If you haven’t heard of 9Round, it’s like a box studio with cardio and kickboxing in 30 minutes. Except, you can go in at ANY time during operating hours and hop in on the circuit. You don’t have to wait for pesky class times. It’s entirely flexible to you. The trainers are awesome. The workout is fun and challenging. Most clients bust out 400 calories in only 30 min. Check it out!!       \

-Friday: 3 x (800m @ RP + 400m rest) + Strength training. I ended up running w/u of .5 at 9:31, then 800s at 8:34, 8:27, 8:19 with 9:13 pace 400s as my “rests” with a cool down of .5 at 9:31.  I also did a “push” lifting workout that focused on upper body pushing.

-Saturday: Afternoon yoga at the tavern with Live Red Roots with the following HIIT workout 3 rounds of 15 goblet squat (20#), 10 burpees, 5 lunges/leg (10# dumbbells), 10 box jumps, 15 single leg deadlift (20#)

-Sunday: 5 mile easy run at 10:10 pace…it’s hard for me to take easy runs “easy,” so this was a bit faster in 46:54 (9:08, 9:06, 9:14, 9:39, 9:35). Hills and humidity got me in miles 4 and 5.

Week 2:                                                                                                                                                        

-Monday: 20 min AMRAP (5 dead bug each side, 10 goblet squats, 5 pushups, 10 KB swings) + 10 min finisher (10 pledge plank, 12 straight legged sit-up, 20 total flutter kick, 10 reverse lunge/side, 12 knee-to-elbow plank, 20 lateral hop over cone)

-Tuesday: 3 miles at 8:35 pace with this glorious view…and wind, dust, and humidity, but who’s counting. It was supposed to be an 8:45 pace, so I’m happy.

20160613_200155 (1).jpg-Wednesday: 4 miles walking (studying for a final while I walked…I can chew gum while I’m at it, too. 😉 ) + 30 minutes on bike + 30 minute AMRAP (double front squat 30#, one-arm bent over row 15#, mountain climber, OH press #15 – 30 reps, 20 reps, 10 reps of all)

-Thursday: 9Round

-Friday: 40 min X-Train

-Saturday: 4 x (800m @ RP + 400m rest) + Strength training. I ended up running w/u of .5 at 9:31, then 800s at 8:27, 8:27, 8:00, 8:00 with rests of 200m at 4mph with a 1 mile walking cool down.  I also did a “pull” lifting workout that focused on upper body pulling.

-Sunday: I was actually just going to lift legs and do some yoga since I ran the day before but my body was telling me I had it in me.  So…I did a 5 mile easy run with a 1 mile strong finish – easy pace was about 10:00/mile (supposed to be 10:10) and last mile at 9:10. I wanted to get 60 minutes in so I just finished it out for a little further and finished by lifting legs.

I plan to make this a weekly update to keep track of my training more accurately and see what the 5k improvement looks like from week to week. Happy trails!