28 March, 2012

Spring Has Sprung!

For the past few weeks, we have experienced record breaking warm temperatures here in West Michigan.  Typically it's still quite cool here in March, highs are typically in the 40's.  Well, not this year...for the past 2 weeks, temperatures soared into the 80's!  It was incredible--I was wearing shorts, tank tops, and flip flops in Michigan!  This week the temperatures are down to the 50's or 60's, still above average!  I'm thankful for the warm weather, and so are the flowers (or weeds) in my front yard!

22 March, 2012

Cleaning up

Over the past few weeks I've really been thinking about how I'm fueling my body.  I do a great job with exercising daily, and I do okay with eating, but I feel like I should be doing more.  If I spend so  much time working out (which I love!), I think I should also be more conscious of what I'm eating.  I know that because I'm a runner and currently doing the Bootcamp program (which is fairly intense!), I need to fuel my body with healthy food to encourage optimal performance and muscle growth and repair.

I feel like I lie to myself about what I really eat.  I tell myself I eat healthy, yet I hear of people who limit themself to one sweet snack/treat a week, while mine is more like one a day.  I don't feel like I have to measure up to those people, but I think I can do better!  Most of the time, I really do eat a healthy and balanced diet, but like most people I have weak spots.  I can go an entire day eating healthy foods, but if you were to put a piece of cake in front of me, I would eat it.  I'm not saying eating cake is bad, but I do think that some of the ingredients could have a negative effect on my body.  I know I eat way too much processed food (thought I eat very few of the ones listed below)! 
I've looked into doing cleanses, or diets, but I don't want to be on a diet.  This needs to be a way of life, not a temporary thing.  I've looked into Paleo or Vegan diets, but I feel like those are so restricting.  I'm definitely not ready to cut out entire food groups, especially ones that do still have health benefits.

I'm going to begin focusing on eating whole foods. Mostly fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. I'd like to completely cut out processed foods, especially those that contain refined sugars and high-fructose corn syrups. I know there are arguments for and against all kinds of sugars, but I'm trying to find something that works for me. I think this is going to be a bit of a challenge because I do use sugar and white flour in a lot of my blog recipes, so I'm going to have to either control how much of that I eat, find substitutes, or not eat what I bake!
I'm curious if you follow a Paleo, Vegan, or Whole foods diet... What kind of advice do you have for me?  What kind of challenges do you face?  And, most importantly, do you have any good recipes to share with me?

If you don't follow one of those diets, do you watch what you eat?  Does it matter to you?

17 March, 2012

Mind Games

I ran approximately 4.7 miles yesterday.  I realized it was a run of mind-over-matter.  The first 3/4 of a mile went great, I was keeping a good pace and felt good.  Then I got hit with bad stomach pains, it wasn't like cramps, just pain.  I'm assuming my breakfast just didn't sit well with me.  I pushed on, but I know my pace drastically slowed.  After another 1/2 mile, I knew I needed to stop.  I stopped on a bridge and waited for the pain to go away, it slowly did and so I walked for a little while.  I felt good enough to run again, but my mind just wasn't in the game.  My goal when I left my house was 5 miles, so I really wanted to hit that, but I just wasn't feeling it anymore.  I ended up running most of the way home, but it was one of those runs where I'd tell myself that I'd run to the next tree and then walk.  Then I'd walk to a mailbox and run to the next tree, or something like that.  I had to find some way to keep on going!  I did make it home and was feeling pretty good by time I ran up our driveway.  After I got home I realized how much of a mind game this run was, my legs felt great, I probably could have kept going, but my mind just wasn't in the game.  I know everyone has bad run days, so I'm hoping that my next run on Monday is much better.

I still haven't picked a half marathon, but I'm thinking I might do one in September.  It's local, so I wouldn't have to travel a couple of hours and stay in a hotel for it.  I'm positive I'll be ready after 6 more months of training, but I am actually thinking that's too far away.  Hmmmm.....

This week's Bootcamp workouts were awesome!  I can tell that I'm improving and doing better on the workouts than I did last week, so I love that aspect.  I've adjusted the workouts to fit my training schedule: Mondays I run, Tuesdays I do Workout A, Wednesdays I do spin class and speed work, Thursdays is Workout B, Fridays is my long run, and Saturdays I do Workout C.  It feels good to have a great plan in place.  Monday begins week 3 of Bootcamp, and that means new workouts begin.  I'm looking forward to seeing what Tina has planned for us!

12 March, 2012

Friend Makin' Monday: Bookworms

Ahh...Monday already. Did you miss out on your hour of sleep this weekend?  Mike and I didn't...I set my alarm on my phone to wake us up at 8:30 (new time), so we'd have plenty of time to get ready for church.  We typically are awake by 8:30 but I figured with the time change we might need the alarm.  Well, I woke up at 8:20, according to Mike's alarm clock and I had to think twice.  I checked my phone, and it also said 8:20, so I asked Mike if he had already changed his alarm clock.  He hadn't, so I got a little confused.  After resetting my phone, it turned out that my phone never skipped the hour, so it was actually 9:20.  We jumped out of bed and began getting ready...we did still make it to church on time!

In other news, it was exactly 4 years ago today, March 12 (2008) that Mike asked me to be his girlfriend.  I'm so glad I said yes :)  Look at where God's brought us so far!

And now, on to Friend Makin' Mondays.  I am really diggin' the new design Kenlie made!
If you’ve taken part in FMM then you know the rules. If you’re new, please take a moment to answer this week’s question on your own blog then add your link in the comments section  at: so we can all see your FMM questions and answers. Please invite your blog readers to add their links here too so everyone has to opportunity to be seen. The idea is to connect with other awesome bloggers so take a moment to post your own FMM post and comment on a couple of other posts. Now it’s time for this week’s topic!

FMM: Bookworms (Revisited)

  1. How often do you read for pleasure?  I don't have a whole lot of time to read, so when I get a chance to, I'm always reading for pleasure!  I love to read, I just wish I had more time to do it!  Anyone wanna come clean my house for me?
  2. Are you currently reading a book? If so, which one? I just finished reading The Help on Friday.  It was awesome, and now I can watch the movie!  I think the next book I'll read is the first of the Hunger Games.
  3. Do you subscribe to any magazines and/or newspapers? If so, which ones? I do subscribe to magazines and the local newspaper.  I think I probably get 5 or 6 magazines a month including Shape, Fitness, Taste of Home, and Glamour.
  4. Do you prefer reading traditional books or using an e-reader?  I think they both have their appeal.  Mike got me a Nook for Christmas so I'm just getting used to reading on it.  I think it will be super convenient for travelling.  But, there's also just something special about having a traditional book to flip through!
  5. How often do you go to the bookstore?  Almost never!
  6. Do you read at the gym? No.  I don't think you get as good of a workout if you're distracted by a book.  Besides, I can't read while running because I bounce too much.  I listen to music instead.
  7. Have you ever been a member of a book club?  Nope.
  8. Do you wear glasses when you read? I wear contacts all day, so I guess yes.
  9. Has anyone read the Hunger Games? If so, would you recommend it?  See #2 :)
  10. What is your favorite thing about reading?  I love the feeling of being involved in the lives of the characters.  I feel like I know them and they're my friends!
Now it’s your turn! Don’t forget to come back and link up in the comments! Happy Monday!

06 March, 2012


I did something big the other day...I signed up for bootcamp! 

Ok, wait, before you start freaking out, not the bootcamp you're probably thinking of.  I'm not joining the military (though it was considered in high school!)  I'm doing bootcamp with a group of awesome bloggers!

One of my favorite fitness bloggers, Tina, has put together an incredible program to help people acheive their workout goals.  It's very similar to the Accountability Adventure I've done a few times with the ladies at church.  Tina has spent a ton of time creating workouts for us, and now it's up to us to follow through.

Bootcamp runs for 8 weeks, and it started yesterday.  It's perfect timing for me, because it will end right before Mike and I leave for vacation.  Hopefully I'll be in awesome shape by then.  (Don't get me wrong--I do like how I look, but I'd love to be more toned!)

Each week will consist of 3 workouts that Tina put together.  We'll also have cardio days as well as a rest day.  This is awesome for me, because I can continue to train for a half-marathon while participating.  (My training has been slacking lately as I've been sick and still car-less so I can't get to the gym!)  We also have 2 individual goals that we will work toward over the course of the bootcamp.  My goals are to drink 6-8 glasses of water a day and to take a daily multivitamin.

I did my first workout routine yesterday morning, and I can definitely feel it in my legs.  I'm already in good shape (probably the best shape/fitness level of my life), but I know there's so much room for improvement.  If I'm feeling a workout, I know it's working muscles I may have ignored for a while, and so for me the pain is awesome. 

Over 300 other bloggers are participating and the amount of support is just incredible! I'll definitely keep you updated on my progress and how the workouts are going over the next 8 weeks.

What have you done for your health today?

01 March, 2012


It's been a while since I've had time to paint, and I was recently inspired to paint on canvas.  I'd never done it before, but once I got the idea into my head, I couldn't get it out.  I love how it turned out!

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