Run DMT has MOVED!

While it may seem like I’ve disappeared from the blogosphere, Run DMT is still going strong!

Your favorite Tampa Bay mom on the run is still running, concocting recipes, sharing race recaps and writing product reviews.

Keep up the pace and read all the fun Run DMT adventures over at

Thanks for stopping by and I hope to see you on the flip side!


Season’s Heatings! {Holiday Halfathon Recap}

When I registered for the Holiday Halfathon earlier in the year, I had no intention to aim for a PR.  With these plantar fasciitis feet, my PR days are gone, however, I expected to beat my time from three years ago.  Since I was pregnant, I could totally redeem that time even with bad heels.

Being a stunner runner, my attire is crucial next to the training.  Chrissy, Maribel and I wanted to match, so we decided on homemade tutus with striped furry stockings and a red wicking running shirt.  I added a little sequined clip-on Santa hat to my ensemble to finish my sporty Santa Baby look.

Lots of our Strider friends were also at this race as well as many of my runner blogger friends, Katrina of Sneakers and Fingerpaints and Beth of Discom-BOB-ulated Running.  Everybody looked so festive in their holiday attire.

About 4 miles into the race, I was dying from a heat stroke.  Usually, December races are cooler, but with the warmer weather, overcast and humidity, it felt like we were running in a Santa sauna.  I haven’t exposed my post-pregnancy belly in a sports bra in public, but I didn’t care.  I stripped off that shirt faster than a Catholic school girl at a frat party and then, I rolled down my cute striped socks.

Although Chrissy had been suffering from a sinus infection, she looked like a rock star out there.  She showed those bridges that she was the boss and she smiled the whole time.

The bridges were another reason I didn’t anticipate a PR.  I didn’t even want to push myself on that course.  I just wanted to finish better than I did three years ago.

Between the bridges and the heat, I needed to walk a large portion of the course.  Another runner on the course ridiculed Chrissy and I every time we walked the course.  John teased us about our tutus and socks having superpowers, but I don’t think so.  Those furry striped socks were my kryptonite!

Eventually, Chrissy and I caught up to Marie who was struggling due to a nasty bronchial infection.  Poor thing!  You know speedy little Marie is not up to par if she’s pacing with me.

Even with all the bridges, that last mile had to be the toughest for me.  We ran for a short distance on a sidewalk and then final half mile led us along a sandy, soft uneven trail covered with pine needles.  It was difficult to judge my footing and I stumbled a few times.  I decided to walk the trail and then I ran the last stretch to the finish line.  I suppose my tutu did give me some superpowers because I saved a sprint just for John.  I finished a few seconds before him and I beat my time from three years ago by nearly 30 minutes!

13.1 miles
Gun Time 2:26:55 
Chip Time 2:26:36
Ave Pace 11:13

We lost Maribel early in the race, but after we crossed the finish line, we all ran back to meet her.  The week prior to the race, her knee had been giving her a lot of grief and now, Maribel was really hurting.  When she spotted us, her spirits lifted and she sprinted the final stretch of her first half marathon.  Once past the finish line, we all cried in a huddled, blubbering mess for Maribel and everyone’s accomplishments and then we helped poor Maribel hobble over to the picnic tables to ice her knee.

Poor sick speedy Marie could barely talk.

I just wanted JM’s cookie cake beer.

At the post-race party, I found Jina of Behold the Turtle and we posed for a quick photo.  I loved her reindeer shirt!  As you can see, I was still so hot after the race and I was looking real hot in my white, very see through sports bra.  Yep, I’m a classy act.  Thank goodness for Cliff Shots covering my ta-tas like pasties!

I am so making Santa’s naughty list this year.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

A Healthier Holiday Table with Spinach Chicken Sausage Egg Cups

ACS-BadgeWhen the American Cancer Society asked me to contribute a recipe for A Healthier Holiday Table, I was honored.  After watching my aunt lose her life to cancer, it became my goal to educate myself and others about ways to live in a word without cancer and ultimately celebrate more birthdays.

Here are a few easy steps to reduce your risk so that you and your loved can celebrate more birthdays together:

  • Maintaining a healthy weight can reduce your risk of many types of cancer. Here are ideas on how to eat healthy and get active.
  • Did you know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk? The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Here are two resources filled with ideas for upping your fruit and vegetable consumption through the day.
  • Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Here are some innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake.
  • Limit how much processed meat and red meat you eat. Some studies have linked eating large amounts of processed meat to increased risk of colorectal and stomach cancers.
  • Drink no more than 1 drink per day for women or 2 per day for men. Alcohol raises the risk of cancers of the mouth, pharynx (throat), larynx (voice box), esophagus, liver, breast, and the colon and rectum.
  • Stock your kitchen with a variety of foods that you can throw together for healthy meals in a hurry. Keep these foods on hand for fast meals on busy nights.
  • Did you know that being physically active can reduce your risk of several types of cancer, including breast, colon, endometrial, and prostate?  The Society recommends that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate intensity or 75 minutes of vigorous intensity activity each week (or a combination of these), preferably spread throughout the week. Here are some tips to help you fit exercise into your busy schedule.

However, holiday office parties and last minute marathon shopping can often make it difficult to adhere to the previous checklist.  By preparing quick and easy healthy meals, you can maintain a healthier table during the holidays.

My Spinach Chicken Sausage Egg Cup recipe is perfect for potlucks and since these egg cups freeze nicely, they’re great for quick breakfasts on the go.  Simply store them in freezer-safe food storage bags and heat them up when you want a healthy breakfast bite in a pinch.

Spinach Chicken Sausage Egg Cups
2 slices whole grain bread
½ cup baby spinach
2 Tbsp reduced fat cheddar cheese
1 link al fresco Country Style Breakfast Chicken Sausage, quartered
2 large eggs
2 egg whites
1 Tbsp non-fat milk
Pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray.

Using a 2-inch cookie cutter, cut two circles in each slice of bread.  Lay one circle in each prepared muffin cup.

Lay one to two leaves of baby spinach on top on each bread circle.  Add a few pieces of sausage and a few sprinkles of cheddar cheese.

In a bowl, whisk together eggs, egg whites and skim milk.  Add cayenne, salt and pepper.  Pour a quarter of mixture into each muffin cup.  Bake for 20-25 minutes or until firm.  Serve with avocado slices and tomato like from Pearland TX.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

30 Days of Giving – 2012

Having participating in the 30 Day Giving Challenge for four years now, the challenge has become such an integral part of the holidays, equally important as the turkey and its fixings in November.  To some, it may appear as a huge chore or extra burden to take on during the holidays, but honestly, giving is the easy part.

As a mom, my day revolves around caring for others, however, during this challenge, I find myself daily redirecting my attention to people large and small outside my nuclear family.  I wake up each morning and ask myself, “How can I give to someone today?  What can I do to let someone know they are valued and loved?  How can I make a stranger smile?”

In noble attempt, I try to plan the days, but of course, life gets in the way.  I’ve learned to be flexible and go with the flow of life and let the cards gifts fall where they may.

Here are the 30 gifts my children and I gave this year.

    • Purchased a meal ticket at my supermarket to benefit a needy family.
    • Volunteered at my kids’ school and contributed to a Thanksgiving feast.
    • Gave the gift of humility by wearing a purple mustache on my Facebook profile to benefit Slash the Stache and promote epilepsy awareness and the Slash the Stache fundraiser.
    • Texted “RESEARCH” to 501501 to make a $10 donation to CURE and epilepsy research.

  • Provided and delivered a Thanksgiving meal to a family need.
  • Volunteered at a water station at the Women’s Half Marathon.
  • Donated new clothes and toys to Metropolitan Ministries.
  • Purchase toys at the Dollar Store to benefit Operation Home Front.
  • Donated gently used running shoes to needy high school track students.
  • Sent a Thanksgiving card to my grandmother.
  • Purchased a Hanukah gift for a family in need.
  • Gave baked cookies and a thank you note to my kids’ teachers.
  • Downloaded O Holy Night performed by Ladywell Primary School from iTunes to raise money for meningitis research.
  • Downloaded Happy Hanukah performed by Matisyahu from amazon to benefit Hurricane Sandy victims.
  • Purchased meal vouchers for families in need through Groupon’s Feeding America program.
  • Sent $10 egifts to my Facebook friends via Feed It Forward program.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Feta

PhotobucketSimple is key for me.  Probably like many of you, my day is non-stop from the moment I wake-up to the time I crash at night.  Although I spend plenty of time planning our meals, carving out time to cook dinner becomes the real chore.  Often times, I find myself preparing dinner while helping my kids with homework which means dinner can’t be too complicated.

However, I don’t want to sacrifice taste for simplicity.  Thank goodness meals like this offer both.  It’s quick and easy to whip but the flavors give the illusion that you’ve been working on this dinner all day.

Roasted Tomatoes with Shrimp and Reduced Fat Feta

(Adapted from Real Simple)
1 pint cherry tomatoes, cut into halves
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 lb medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
½ cup chopped fresh parsley
Juice of one lemon
1 cup reduced fat feta, crumbled

Heat oven to 450° F.

Toss tomatoes in a large bowl with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper until even coated.  Place the tomatoes in a large baking dish. Roast on in oven for 20 minutes.

Remove baking dish from oven and stir in the shrimp, parsley, and lemon juice. Sprinkle with the Feta.

Return the dish to oven until the shrimp are cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. Serve warm with the crusty bread or over rice.

Thanks for joining our weekly Friday Food Fight! Can’t wait to see what everyone is flinging this week!

*Also submitted at*

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Halloween Head

It’s only October 1st, but my house was decorated a week ago.  I’m worst than the kids when it comes to the holidays.  Halloween is no exception.  My head is full of Halloween already.  Yep, I’ve got a Halloween Head.

I’ve already decided on our couple’s costume for the adult Halloween party.  I actually decided on it months ago after watching the iCarly Halfoween episode.  That’s right. My costume was inspired by a children’s television show.  I will be sushi and Allan will be my sushi chef.

I also need two more costumes for the Living Dead Challenge at the end of the month.  It’s the Frankenfooter Half Marathon, but with an added challenge.  For the Living Dead Challenge, I will be running in the 5K the evening before the half.  That’s why I need two costumes.  I’m leaning towards the Sun Drop girl for the 5K, but I’m still not sure about the half.  Maybe a devil?  My friend, Chrissy, is dressing as Wonder Woman, so I’m considering another superhero costume, like Batgirl or Supergirl.

If you aren’t familiar with the Sun Drop girl, here’s a small taste.  She’s definitely me or more like she’s channeling me because that chick stole my moves.  No one can drop it like it’s hot or pop it like this mother runner.

For the next four Music Mondays, I will be sharing my favorite Halloween jamz.  I would love to hear what Halloween songs move your spirit.  Link up and play along…if you dare.  Muhahahahahahaha!

Visit Xmas Dolly and Jade Louise Designs for more Music Monday.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Dine Out for No Kid Hungry

I fed starving children today.  What did you do?

No, I didn’t breastfeed them.  My inappropriately placed sticker is more than a pastie.  It represents several restaurants across the country participating in the Dine Out for No Kid Hungry program.

“Every September, Share Our Strength’s Dine Out For No Kid Hungry™ brings together thousands of restaurants and their customers to raise funds for Share Our Strength’s No Kid Hungry campaign. This year, more than 6,500 restaurants are extending their participation through the end of September.”

While staying in Anna Maria Island, my girlfriends and I happened upon the Sandbar and learned about its involvement with the program.  With every grouper or hamburger purchase, the Sandbar will donate $1 to Dine Out For No Kid Hungry.

Even one dollar can go a long way as one in five children in the U.S. struggles with hunger.  That equals 16 million children.  Therefore, “every gift helps us connect hungry kids to the food they need”. – No Kid Hungry

There is still plenty of time to participate.  The Dine Out For No Kid Hungry program runs through to the end of September.  So dine out and do some good in your ‘hood today.

Find a restaurant near you here.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

9/11 Memorial

This morning, I realized that I never shared my photos from NYC.  Since next Tuesday is the anniversary of the attacks on September 11, I thought it fitting to share photos of our visit to the 9/11 Memorial.

When visiting the memorial, visitors must request tickets from the preview site, which are free and only require reserving a day and time.

Before entering the site, everyone undergoes airport-like security.  Allan and I utilized the time to remind our girls to be respectful and on their best behavior as this place was hallowed ground like that of a cemetery.

Thousands of people died here.  Many heroes, firefighters and police officers, risked their lives to save others.  Some loved ones were never found and some remains are still buried here.

We told the girls that they might see people making rubbings of their loved ones’ names.

We also explained that this is a very sad place and they should expect to see people crying and mourning for their loss.

But I don’t think my children expected to see their own mom cry.  It was such a somber experience and I became overwhelmed with emotion.  I found myself tearing up quite a few times as images of that horrific day eleven years ago flashed in my mind.

Through it all, one tree survived.

Ghostly names chiseled into granite cascade into an abyss of where the north and south towers once stood.

Though much of the memorial site still needs to be completed, I applaud the city of New York for the magnificent memorial they built to honor those lost as a result of the attacks on 9/11 and the lives lost during the bombing in 1993.


Never forget.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+