Pinning and Planning – December 30

After a month of trying not to overindulge, I feel like it was a losing battle.  I feel so bloated, globby and lumpy much like the Lumpy Space Princess from Adventiure Time.  “Oh my glob!  Don’t be hating on my lumps!”   

But I truly hate the lumpiness.  Maybe it’s because I’ve been unable to run for two weeks due to a nasty chest cold and I’ve not been able to burn the extra unhealthy calories. 

Well, the party is over!  The sweets and globiness have got to go!  It’s time to get back on the healthy track again; time to cut back on the carbs and attempt to eat better again.

A commitment to healthy eating again starts on Day 1 with our traditional New Year’s meal, a pot of lentil soup.  This tradition was passed onto my mom by her best friend.  Supposedly, lentil represent coins and with a bit of green such as spinach, it brings a promise of wealth in the new year.  Also in the way of tradition, we eat 12 grapes at the stroke of midnight, a Spanish custom that promises a month of good fortune with each grape.  Hey, I’ll take all the good luck I can get!

And thankfully, Publix still has lots of wonderful veggies, fish and legumes on sale to help with the healthy and wealthy part of our resolutions and commitments.  Saving pennies means keeping pennies in my pocket while keeping the calories and carbs off my plate.

S – Lamb Curry (still lots of leftovers in the freezer from Christmas)

M – Lentil and Spinach Soup with Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Salad

T – Sweet Potato Crusted Tilapia with Fingerling Roasted Potatoes and Brussels Sprouts

W – Skinnytaste’s Chicken Rollatini Stuffed with Zucchini and Mozzarella with Mashed Cauliflower

Th – Stacked Roasted Vegetable Enchiladas

F – Dinner out

Here’s to lots of luck, health, wealth and good fortune to you and yours in 2013!

What things are you cooking up this week?  Are you eating less carbs too?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve this week.

Plan your menu for the week and if you have some favorite food pins, add those too. Then, link up and share your post. If you’re not on Pinterest, send me an email and I’ll send you an invite.



Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

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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
Ingredients
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

Directions
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+

December Fitness Challenge: The Gift of Fitness

GiftofFitness_DecChallengeI racked my brain trying to come up with a reasonable and decent, worthwhile fitness challenge for December.

With a marathon next month, I didn’t want the challenge to be anything to strenuous.  I couldn’t take the chance of hurting myself, but I also needed to keep focused and something to prevent me from eating stacks of Christmas cookies.

I didn’t want to do something we’ve already done, such as burpees, planks, push-ups, yoga or  ab exercises even though I could use a push for a six-pack again.  Besides, even after all those burpees, some people still hate burpees, but oddly people love planks.

Then, it dawned on me.  Why not offer a fitness challenge that incorporates a little of everything?  Let my readers decide what they want to do, but keep encouraging them to do it.

So, my loyal Run DMT readers, I give to you “The Gift of Fitness”.  The December fitness challenge is simply a reminder to do something, anything every day.  By doing something every day, we’ll help battle the holiday bulge and kick those extra Christmas calories to the curb.

Anything goes!  Run, walk, plank, core exercises, swim, run, bike or burpee your way through December!  Pick whatever fitness keeps you on track with your fitness goals and do it.

I’m really excited about this fitness challenge and doubly excited because I’m co-hosting it with a truly inspirational and fitness junkie, Jenny of MetamorFit.  Her transformation into a fitness junkie is an incredible story and journey and she’s the perfect co-host because she already does some kind of fitness every day.

If you’re ready to give yourself the Gift of Fitness this December, join us by adding your blog title and url and/or your Twitter handle and url to the linky party below.  Then, follow @denisermt and @JennyMetamorfit on Twitter.  Use the hashtag #fitgift.

Spread the word by regifting our fitness challenge.  Share #fitgift with your readers and followers.  Blog about it and add the button to your sidebar.  Tweet it too.  “I’m giving myself the Gift of Fitness this December with @denisermt and @JennyMetamorFit. #fitgift”

Thanks for playing along and good luck!  Happy holidays!

GiftofFitness_DecChallenge


Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

peerFit Makes Fitness Hit New Heights

Thanks to my friends at peerFit, I can scratch partying on a rooftop off my bucket list now. Last Sunday, peerFit and Fitz Koehler hosted a rooftop fitness party in Hyde Park Village.  After running 12 miles earlier that day, I should skipped out I was primed and ready to go.

A sizable crowd arrived on the roof to get down and funky with fitness, but we had plenty of room on the roof to spread out to shake our moneymakers and spontaneous jazz hands.

To offer a taste of a variety of fitness programs, different instructors took turns leading the crowd.  The instructors’ high energy and enthusiasm about their classes encouraged us to keep moving.

Since I’m mostly a mother runner, I loved sampling a taste of the different types of group fitness classes that area vailable, but CXWORX totally kicked my butt.  My sad attempt at a few planks every day didn’t even come close to prepare me for the beating the CXWORX core work-out delivered.  I was sore for days.  And I loved it.

Admittedly, I’m a runner because it’s easy.  I can just get up and go.  I don’t have to constantly watch an instructor to see where to place my feet and follow along.  Although in more ways than one, there’s strength in numbers in a group fitness class.  The instructors push you.  They stretch you out of your comfort zone.  Their enthusiasm is contagious and every participant succumbs to it.  Plus, if you don’t keep moving, someone will grapevine right over you.

After an intense cardio work-out, we cooled down with some yoga and the long stretches were a welcomed sight.

Word on the street says peerFit plans to host monthly rooftop fitness parties and I hope that’s true.  But next time, how about some butler-served smoothies and protein bars at the party?

Want to make fitness fit your life?  Find a fitness class near you with the peerFit app now available for iPhone.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

A Purple Run to Cure Epilepsy

On a dark, cold early Thursday morning last week, my fellow Suncoast Striders and I officially kicked off our Wear Purple Virtual Run to Cure Epilepsy Marathon.  I was truly touched by the turn-out and the number of people that wore purple to show their support for this cause.  I am blessed to know so many caring, kind people and fortunate enough to call them “my Strider family”.

To show my appreciation to the Striders and their support, I provided a purple tailgate complete with very purple cupcakes and grape Gatorade for our post-run social hour.  Of course, I also brought the typical less purple and sugary runner supplies, such as water and bananas.

Chrissy, Maribel, Jen H and I took an easy pace through the streets of Longleaf.  Although the temperature was cooler than normal, we quickly warmed up and the layers came off revealing our more purple attire underneath.

5.8 miles
Time 58:41
Ave Pace 10:07
Max Pace 8:29

After two loops through Longleaf, we joined the rest of the Strider gang for our purple run post party.  In the daylight, it dawned on me (Ha! Ha! bad pun) I realized just how many people wore purple. It was a truly an amazing sight!

A sincere THANK YOU to David and the Suncoast Striders for making this fun purple run such a success!

If you would like to join the Virtual Run/Walk to Cure Epilepsy, there’s still plenty of time.  Register for a 5K or a marathon and then complete the distance on your own time, but be sure to finish it before November 30.  There’s even a purple bib to print out to wear when you cross that virtual finish line.

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Random Thoughts about Purple, Green and the Miles in Between and Track Tuesday

In case you haven’t heard, November is all about purple in part to spread epilepsy awareness.  Last week, my running group and I held a Purple Run to show support for this cause.  Expect a Purple Run Recap tomorrow, but in the meantime, if you are interested in joining the Virtual Purple Run for a Cause, you can sign up here.

After Halloween, I purchased purple lights on clearance, but they’ve been sitting on my dining room table.  While I was at the Pretty Muddy on Saturday, my husband hung the purple lights as a surprise.

The purple run and these purple lights are to show our love and support for my niece, Meghan and others who live with epilepsy.

Have you heard about the Slash the ‘Stache challenge?  Last week on Morning Joe on MSNBC, David Axelrod challenged Joe Scarborough to raise $10,000 to CURE (Citizens United for Research in Epilepsy).  Scarborough met the challenge and set a new goal for one million dollars.  You can help Scarborough, Axelrod and CURE reach that goal, by making an online donation here or text the word “RESEARCH” to 501501 to donate $10.

To show her support for CURE’s Slash the ‘Stache challenge, my SIL, Kirsten, created a Slash the Stache group on Facebook to encourage people to post purple ‘staches while raising money and awareness for this cause.  “Like” the page and add your own purple ‘stash with the help of PicMonkey.

I wear the Fu Manchu for Meghan.

Early Monday morning, I had my first green room experience.

Jenny of Metamorfit and I joined Channel 10 News Mom Squad.  During our panel discussion with morning news anchor, Joe Gumm, we offered our opinions and thoughts on hot topics in the news.  Check out me being a goofball at 5:40 in the morning.  As you can tell, I am definitely a morning person.  Can you believe I didn’t drink one drop of coffee?  It was so much fun, but I was so nervous and I had all this nervous energy built up in me.  I needed to run.  Next time, maybe Joe can interview me on a treadmill.

Since I had to be at the Channel 10 Studios at 5:15, Monday was a forced rest day.  Honestly, Pretty Muddy on Saturday, a 12 mile run on Sunday followed by rooftop fitness party hosted by friends at peerFit and all the planks, I couldn’t move and my plantar fasciitis heels were really hurting.  It’s the first time I’ve felt any pain in months which I believe may be a result from running in old shoes at Pretty Muddy.

12 miles
Time 2:08:32
Ave Pace 10:43
Max Pace 7:56

One day of rest helped and I had tons of energy for some sprints today.  WOOT! WOOT!

1 mile
9:32

Lap 1 – 0.25
Time 1:49
Ave Pace 7:17

Lap 2 – 0.25
Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:34

Lap 3 – 0.25
Time 1:51
Ave Pace 7:21

Lap 4 – 0.25
Time 1:50
Ave Pace 7:26

1.1 mile
Time 10:04
Ave Pace 9:09

So how did your runs, sprint and/or work-outs go this week?  Link up and tell me all about it.



To join our Track Tuesday linky party, do your speed work (at least 4 quarter mile sprints) on Tuesday or any day you that works best for you, blog about your times and remember to add our cool Track Tuesday button to your post.  Then, link up your post at either Ricole Runs or Run DMT to share Track Tuesday Speed Work Sessions.  To show support for our other virtual running partners on the Track Tuesday Team, be sure to visit the other blogs listed in the linky party.  Give them a virtual high-five and leave some comment love too.

*Also linking up at*

Stacy

Denise Mestanza-Taylor+

Pinning and Planning – November 11

I had two kids sick this past week.  Little Lion Man had a stomach bug.  Then, my oldest daughter had a sore throat which I think may have been a side effect to her flu shot.  Last week was a relatively quiet week until that point.

Then the weekend came.  I had a Pretty Muddy pre-race course preview meetup, followed by the Pretty Muddy race on Saturday, 12 miles to run on Sunday and a rooftop fitness party sponsored by my peerFit friends later that day.  I am truly amazed that I can still walk after all of that.  Although I have to admit, I’m shattered. Therefore, I’m off to bed in a little bit which is probably a good thing as I need to be up by 3:30 to be all dolled up for a Mom Squad taping at 5:15 at Channel 10.  I’m a little nervous about it.  Hopefully, I won’t sound like a complete fool.

As for this week’s menu, there’s no fooling that we will be eating well this week, thanks to all the delicious deals at Publix.  With tilapia on special as well as lots of vegetables perfect for roasting, we’ll be eating well and a bit more pescatarian this week.

M – Roasted Veggies with Goat Cheese on Pressed Cuban Bread

T – Sautéed Tilapia with Lemon-Peppercorn Pan Sauce with Couscous

W – Dinner out with friends

Th – Linguini with Roasted Campari Tomatoes and Arugula

F – Pizza

What things are you cooking up this week?  Are any of your meals related to supermarket deals?  Link up and share the delicious dishes you are pinning and planning to serve this week.



Denise Mestanza-Taylor+