Monthly Archives: August 2010

Bikram Running & RPFMP

When I left work today, I was once again greeted with triple digit temps:

nice and toasty!

I did not want a repeat of my Peachy Keen “dehydration monday“, so i decided my run today would be a Treadmill run…I just forgot one small detail.

Brother: (as he walks in from work) “ummmm, do you want me to turn on the air conditioner???”

Me: *gasp* “NO! Bikram *gasp* Running!!!!”

It’s my new thing. It’s going to be BIG….just roll with it!

So let’s talk about my run real quick, shall we? I am pretty sure no treadmill is accurate, but for the sake of making me feel good about myself for a second, let’s pretend they are *spot on* with accuracy! I ran the first 4 miles in a speedy 35:29!!! I then jogged an easy .5mi @ 10min/mi pace, and then walked the last .5 for a total of 5mi/47:48.

Now let’s get to the good stuff! If you’re a new reader, you can read about RPFMP here. First though, I would like to give you a little “imaginary picture” of sorts…

Picture this, if you will:

The brother calls yesterday on his way home from training to tell you that his friend will be coming by to drop some parts for the house boat off….and that he is running late so it would be great if you could help him unload these if he doesn’t make it home in time…”they’re not heavy, just awkward for one person to move”.

Ok, no big deal…easy enough.

Keep in mind, I am in my mid-twenties and my brother is in his mid-thirties (sorry bro, I just outed you!)…so most of his friends are a)sporting the “mid-aged” look, and not well or b) happily married.

Due to these two factors, I saw no need in changing or trying to put myself together…at all.

knockknockknock“. I open the door, fully clad in my yoga pants and Cow-Town marathon shirt (if you were to guess what is covering this shirt, I’m sure you’d be right…COWS) and I immediately want to punch my brother for not warning me. It’s all fun and games until your brother’s “friend” actually turns out to be a)not mid-aged, b) not ugly and c) not married (i did the ring check) and you’re wearing a shirt with cows on it.

I did my best to “play it cool”, but seriously…how cool can you look with a shirt that showcases three cows with race bibs and tennis shoes on it….?

Lovely. Thanks, Brother.

Now that I painted that imaginary picture for you, how about some real photos? Some RPFMP (Random Photos From My Phone), perhaps? Bueno!

Let’s see where we left off…oh yes, the mid-day polka band!

what more would you expect on a Saturday afternoon though, really?

Around 15 minutes after this photo was snapped, I start hearing the oh so familiar “dun nah nah nah nah nah nah” beat and immediately recognize the “Funky Chicken” song being played… I turn around, and see this:

ok, things just got strange....

But then, what more would you expect from a place that stamps your hand with this upon showing your ID at the door:

best.handstamp.ever.

After a brief discussion with my friend Aspen, she tried to convince me that pay phones were obsolete….I had to prove her wrong:

A very classy pay phone/urinal in downtown Sac. Although not functional...they DO still exist!

Some Monkeys, just *monkeying around*…. or something:

oh dear! cover your eyes!

If you know me in real life, you know I have an mild obsession/unhealthy habit….Go-Girls. You can imagine my amusement when I stumbled across this beauty while apartment searching last fall!

i contemplated hijacking this vehicle...it's pink, and probably filled with the magic elixir.

This next one is going to make me seem like a horrible person….but let’s pretend this is a “judgment free zone” for a second and just roll with it:

I know you're probably jealous you don't have a resident bum that hangs out outside of your office building....with his 40 and jar of pickles.

anddddd last but not least:

Off to go wash off my “Bikram Running” stank,

Janna

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Peachy Keen…

It’s funny how something like this:

hot as hades!

Can make your day go from this:

it's all fun and games.....

To this, in a short amount of time:

....until you start sweating your face off.

You know what’s not peachy keen?

  • Deciding Saturday night that you would rather a) sleep in b) shop c) go to the movies instead of getting up early Sunday morning to run (in the cool weather) with Aspen.
  • What else isn’t peachy keen is….deciding to forgo a Monday morning run, with the thought of “doing it after work” running through your head.

When i got off work today, it was a nice and toasty 100*, but I had already put off my run twice, so i knew it *had* to be done.

Also not peachy keen is…

having this beat down on you....

  • feeling like your face is literally sweating off your skull

having your vision impaired from sweat and sun in your eyeballs, and running into this prickly bush!!!!!!

  • running out of water before mile 5
  • starting to see black spots around mile 5, not knowing whether it’s from the mascara you forgot to wash off quickly making it’s way into your eyeballs…..or the beginning signs of severe dehydration.

running in places that look like scary movies should be filmed there...

  • taking so many walk breaks, you lose count
  • having a rabbit pass you at mile 6... not peachy keen.

    You know what *IS* peachy keen?

    • Finishing a run you set out to do, even though basically all odds are against you and you do NOT feel like doing it, not even one bit! Peachy Keen!
    • Feeling FANTASTIC after accomplishing said run you set out to do

    and last but certainly not least….This.Smoothie. This Smoothie is certainly Peachy Keen!

    yumtastic.

    Peachy Keen Power Smoothie

    • 1c Ice
    • 1/2c plain NF yogurt
    • 1/2c unsweetned almond milk
    • 1/2 scoop protein powder
    • 1/2 tbsp xanthan gum (this makes it SO thick!)
    • 1/2 frozen banana
    • 1 small fresh peach

    So, I set out to do 10 miles, thinking “i’ll probably do like 6. it’s so effing hot.”. I ended up finishing with a major negative split. I did the first 7miles in a disappointing 77 minutes, which translates to an 11 minute mile (from all the walk breaks i took). The last 3 miles, however, were finished in…….26:38. That is an 8.79min/mile average for a total of 10.33min/mi average (i actually can’t guarantee this is correct…accountant or not, i suck at math after 10miles!). I am honestly not sure where/how i pulled out those last three miles. It must have been the visions of “Peachy Keen Power Smoothies” dancing through my head, because there really is no other explanation.

    worth every drop of sweat.

    So, what did we learn here today?

    Basically, when you are lazy/selfish and forgo your scheduled (cool) morning run, you will achieve the following:

    • you will sweat like a man
    • you will be passed by animals
    • you will suffer from possible severe dehydration/mascara eyeball poisoning (it really could go either way)
    • you will run into prickly bushes
    • you will probably still finish your run, because even though you flaked momentarily…you are not one to flake on something altogether
    • you will feel better after you get your run(or other exercise) in

    and…………

    • thick ice cold smoothies make everything better.

    I would walk 500 miles for this bad boy....

    I hope you all got something profound and life changing from this post.

    Laaaaata,

    Janna

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    Life is Peachy…Pie

    Anyone else remember that song, “Peaches” by The President’s of the United States of America? Every time I purchase peaches, this song runs through my head (“millions of peaches, peaches for me!”). Thanks a lot 90’s music.  I won’t lie though, my bestie and I  *might* have snuck into her older brother’s room to “borrow” this CD, along with “Bone Thugs N Harmony” in the 6th grade…don’t judge….and don’t act like you didn’t jam to “Crossroads” a time or two in your life.

    After X-Bike today, I decided to put on my big girl pants, ignore the fact that I was a sweaty disaster, and check out the Farmers Market just down the street from my gym that just recently started.  Boy am I glad i packed my big girl pants (and had cash in the pockets!) because this market, although small, was off the hook with good stuff!  Plus, the weather was *perfecto* for a nice cool-down shopping spree after my workout!      

    those kids playing were SO funny...

    just gorgeous out!

    I ended up with some pretty good loot!       

    holla!

    I picked up some sort of funny looking squash in the left corner (the man told me the name, but for the life of me I can’t remember), zucchini, pluots, asian pears (my FAVORITE! they are like a cross between an apple and pear…uber good!), nectarines and PEACHES!      

    come see how good we look!

    The sort of “blemished” asian pear was gifted to me by the nice lady at the booth.  She said that because it had the blemish, no one would buy it so I could have it…for free! Sweet!      

    After my excellente farmers market haul, I arrived home.starving. I quickly chopped up and devoured one of the blemished asian pears (un-pictured), but also threw together a quick and dirty veggie burger sandwich (with laughing cow, pineapple and BBQ sauce), and a white peach!  I’m telling you, adding pineapple  a “burger” to ANYTHING is BOMB!      

    LOVE white peaches!

    also LOVE BBQ sauce, obviously!

    It never fails that half my x-bike class I’m thinking about food (ok, who am i kidding…half my life i’m thinking about food).  Ever since Jenna @ Eat Live Run posted her “Peachy Keen” pie the other day, I haven’t been able to get it out of my head.  I have no desire to EAT the pie, I just want to make it (is that weird, or what!?!???).  I’ve never made a pie from scratch (isn’t that sad???) and really want to attempt this.  After my major haul at farmers market (which featured many more un-pictured peaches), I knew that this weekend was officially going to be “Life is Peachy-Pie” weekend.      

    As you’ve gathered from the last few weekends, I enjoy baking. I like having a recipe to follow, step by step (which is also how i like life…lists galore!).  I enjoy baking for others,  most of all.  Luckily, my family likes to test my recipes (and take most of the goods off my hands!).  My dad now looks forward to not having to purchase his nightly desserts, and I enjoy people enjoying my efforts.      

    Although I followed Jenna’s recipe for the filling, I went with the tried and trusted crust recipe from my Mom’s cookbook.  She was gifted this cookbook from her Mom when she got married back in 1973.   When we perused the cookbook tonight, we noted that the copyright was 1947! I have no clue what cookbook this even was, since the Cover is clearly missing (and replaced with what I could put money on being *my* handwriting with the word “Cookbook” scribbled across the front!).       

    you can't go wrong with the big green (burnt corner) cookbook! all kinds of awesome can be found in here!

    Clearly excellent meals were produced from this cookbook, as the cover is burnt, the pages are stained with various liquids and some are even torn out…all signs of a well used and loved cookbook, in my opinion (or signs of a frustrated young mother, ripping out pages of failed recipes….it could really go either way).     

    moving on…      

    THE CRUST:      

    The crust recipe called for the following ingredients:      

    2c All Purpose Flour (plus a teeny extra for rolling the dough)      

    1tsp Salt      

    1/2 tbsp sugar      

    1/3c shortening      

    "The Big Green" and all the goods

      You will also need a good/funny movie to have playing in the background:     

      

    our movie of choice. hilarious!

      Step 1: Whisk the flour, salt, and sugar  together in a medium size bowl.     

      

    whisking away, like a pro.

    Step 2: With a pastry blender(a fork will do), cut in the cold shortening until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.    **please use your imagination, as I did not picture this.** 

    Step 3: Drizzle 2 to 3 tablespoons ice water over flour. Toss mixture with a fork to moisten, adding more water a few drops at a time until the dough comes together.     

      

    ice cold water!

     **Please note the highlighter on the right…crucial to a nerdy accountant/step follower good baking.**     

      

    Step 4: Gently gather dough particles together into a ball. Wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 30 minutes before rolling.      

    we are gathered here today, to make a pie.

     Step 5: Roll out dough, and put in a pie plate.     

      

    my mom's first (and only!) "rolling pin". pretty baller, if you ask me!

    the ONLY time i'll ever be "rolling in the dough"

    apparently I was doing it wrong, because before i knew it, the mom was grabbing the makeshift rolling pin from my hands to "show me how". "from the center OUT and NEVER back and forth"... my bad!

      Step 6: Gently scoop up the dough (using a spatula) and quickly place into the pie tin.     

      

    easy does it!

      Step 7: Once dough is placed into the tin, gently shape the dough as desired      

    i learned the "poke and pinch" technique. we're very technical.

     **apparently, according to google, this is actually called “fluting”. i prefer “poke and pinch”, thanks.**    

    Viola!

      Step 8:  Score the dough, in order to allow steam from the pie to escape (ok, so this is technically for the top, but i am not sure why you score the bottom…just do it)     

      

    SCORE!

      Step 9: Cut strips of dough to use after the pie is filled.  You will notice the lack of strips i produced here…and you will see how this was remedied at the end! ;0)      

    humor me and pretend these are even.

    THE FILLING:     

      

    For the filling, I followed Jenna’s recipe almost to a T. I accidentally skipped the fresh lemon juice (even though i made a special grocery store trip JUST for the darn lemons!)      

    The filling called for the following items:      

    3 peaches, sliced      

    1/4 cup sugar      

    1.5 tbsp cornstarch      

    juice of one lemon      

    dash of ground cinnamon      

    Step 1: Pre-heat oven @ 400 degrees, and bring a large pot of water to a boil on the stove. Drop in the peaches and simmer for ten seconds. Remove peaches with a slotted spoon and peel back the skin. Rinse each peach under cold running water and then pat dry.      

    I put the peaches directly into cold water after the par boil...it didn't seem to mess things up though!

    the peeling went just peachy!

    Step 2: Slice each peach in half, remove the pit, and then slice.      

    the inside of peaches gross me out.

    Toby doodle offered his assistance. He even washed his paws.

     
     

    sliced to....perfection?

    Step 3: Toss in a bowl with the sugar, cornstarch, lemon and cinnamon. Stir to combine and set aside.      

    sugar

    cinnamon

    goodness

     Step 4: Prick the bottom of the dough with a fork (I did this during the “crust” portion) and then pour the peach filling in the dough. Set aside.      

    things finally starting to come together!

    all up in that biz-ness!

    Step 5: Grab your other hunk of dough from the freezer and roll out. Cut into long ribbons with a pastry cutter (or just a knife) and weave on top of the pie. Cut extra dough off the sides and mush together with your fingers. Weave previously cut strips on top of filling….      

    good thing i'm not a professional pie crust weaver!

    As you may have noted when I cut the strips, I was lacking….Well, friends, what else can you do in a situation like this besides pull out the dino cookie cutter!? and that’s exactly what we did…      

    this pie is now DIN-O-MIIIITE!

    Step 6: Make an egg wash with one yolk and a little warm water and gently brush all over the top of the pie.      

    it's an art, really.

    all egg glazed and shiny!

    into the oven goes the dino-pie!

    Step 7: Bake at 400 degrees for about 34 minutes or until golden.      

    I kept checking because i was just certain I would overcook and ruin it!

    nope, it turned out absolutely perfect (and adorable, i might add!)

    so stinkin cute!

    i would be lying if I said devouring the pie didn't cross my mind!

    But alas, it remained intact when I left my mom’s, another dessert gift for mi padre when I see him mañana…

    I MADE MY FIRST HOMEMADE PIE, and it wasn’t a disaster!!!! I don’t know what has come over me lately, and why I have felt the need (and enjoyed) this whole “being domestic” nonsense…perhaps it’s all part of my quarter life crisis? he he he      

    What have you been baking lately!? Any *must try* recipes to share? 

    I hope you enjoyed this most recent “Recipe by Photos” post! I am off to go dream of pies…and dinosaurs.    

    Later!      

    Janna

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    it’s the little things…

    TGIF!

    Warning: this post contains a lot of awesome (4 days worth) so it could get lengthy.

    Today started with a nice little visit to the allergist.  I don’t recall if i’ve noted it here, but in real life, you can often hear me make this bold statement: “i hate my guts!”.  It is referring to this terrible, unexplainable stomach discomfort i often have for which i can’t pinpoint the cause.  I’ve had it come and go for well over 5 years, and can’t find any definite rhyme or reason.  I’ve seen numerous doctors, and turned into quite the hypochondriac.  I think i now have “webMDitis”.  I decided earlier this week that I was going to get tested for food allergies.  I’ve often eliminated certain foods from my diet, in an effort to find the root, but to no avail. Surely an allergy test would tell me something.

    My doctor talked me into doing a full panel test, in which they test for all common allergies, including food (this was after he did a screening, and it was apparent i may have other allergies lurking….or perhaps it was just my webMDitis shining through).  SIXTY FOUR tests later and i still “hate my guts“.  ZERO of the food allergies came back positive. 

    I did find out, however, that I am allergic to basically every grass, tree, and weed in this area…and also had my future dreams of becoming a slumlord thrown out the window with the news that i am allergic to COCKROACHES. seriously!? they seriously tested me for THAT!? you can bet your butt i will be steering clear enough away from those bad boys to avoid any sort of allergic reaction on.my.own. GROSS.

    Before he ran the skin test, he conducted the routine checks. Temperature, tongue thingie, ear searching (what are they looking for in there, really?), and my vitals. 

    After he did my vitals, he asks me the following: “What’s your activity?” I reply, confused, with “excuse me?”. “What do you do for physical activity?”….. “um, i run and sometimes do a cycle class at the gym”. The doctor then replies “oh, i figured you must… you have a resting heart rate of an athlete“. 

    Although I may not always be happy with my body, or what I see in the mirror, little comments like this remind me that my hard work may not always visually show, but darn it…i’m doing good stuff for the ‘ol ticker!  It’s the little things…. =0)

    Let’s rewind so I can give a recap of my week, shall we?  I know you’ve all be sitting on pins and needles waiting for this… Speaking of needles, how about a picture of my back after they did my skin test… (i told my co-worker i wouldn’t post this, but i can’t help it… i’m gross like that).

    i do NOT have a hairy back, iPhone and bad lighting...these are the reactions to the "Grasses". i am obviously ALLERGIC.

    Tuesday, my mom decided to take the grandkids (my Nieces and Nephew) to Six Flags for one last hoorah before they head back to school.  An opportunity to have fun AND miss work!?! I’m in!

    My Mom and the kiddos...

    ....although this is more like them!

    it runs in the family!

    love these kiddos!

    We went on rides….

    "i'm not so sure about this...."

    this one made me want to ralph just watching it...

    he is such a ham!

     We could have died….

    this was the highlight of the day....really six flags? really?

    We watched the Shouka Whale Show!

    the mom and the niece!

    the whale!

    the kiddos getting SOAKED!

    We perfectly executed the “get the 7 year old a few extra inches so he can ride more rides” feat:

    Step 1: Insert folded papers/paper towels into shoe

    Step 2: replace said shoe

    Step 3: Proudly sport your vans and spiderman socks, and walk tall!

    We ate terrible (tasting and for you) and overpriced theme park food:

    mine was the unpictured cold cheese pizza. yum.

    she gets her awesomeness from her aunt.

    And we successfully tuckerd out three kids for a quiet ride home:

    my poor little monkey boy.

    sleepy bears!

    I think they’re officially ready to head back to school!  We had such a great time spending one of the kids last days before school goes back in session with them!  It’s the little things….

    In fitness news, I’ve had two speed workouts (one 3miler and one 4miler) and finally received THIS in the mail the other day:

    Yoga for Runners!

    I ordered this DVD (Christine Felstead’s Yoga for Runners: The Essentials) from Amazon last week, and it arrived Wednesday evening. I’ve done it once, so far, and absolutely LOVE it.  Although I have never really been a huge fan of Yoga (not going to lie, i found it boring) i know that nice deep stretching is UBER important to good running.  I found that this DVD really focuses on DEEP stretches that really get into those muscles you use SO much during running.  My favorite pose in the series is the “Pigeon Forward” pose (which you can find here).  If you are a runner, and would like some very good poses without purchasing the DVD, I found this link from Runners World to be SUPER helpful: Yoga for Rookie Runners

    Along with the Yoga DVD delivery, I also received these:

    Food Should Taste Good Chips!

    As you may recall, I recently won a giveaway from Janel at Eat Well With Janel for SIX “Food Should Taste Good” bags of chips. Baller!  So far I’ve sampled the “Multi-Grain” and “Blue Corn”, both of which are AMAZING!  I gifted the “Jalapeno” to the brother (not a huge fan of spicy) and he gave a thumbs up approval! THANKS JANEL!

     
    Receiving mail besides bills always makes me so stoked! It’s the little things
     
    Tomorrow I’ll be attending my FANTASTIC x-bike classes (I CAN’T wait!) and then hopefully spending some time at the nephews football games in the afternoon!  Sunday I’m *hoping* Aspen and I will get in a nice 9 miler together.  It’s been way too long since we’ve had a long run together, and I could use a good belly laugh… which is always a guarantee with that lady! It’s the little things
     
    Do you have any fun plans for the weekend!?
     
    Have a great weekend, and enjoy the little things! =o)
     
    Janna

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    RPFMP – Random Photos From My Phone

    My phone is on me at.all.times. seriously. it’s like another appendage.

    Case in point:

    third hand

    iPhone anonymous?

    my name is janna, and i'm an iPhone-aholic

    People are often joking about the amount of pictures i take on my phone/send at random times.  I probably take at least a photo a day, but usually more.  They’re sometimes of food, sometimes of funny things, sometimes random things, sometimes to show an emotion, sometimes to show an ugly outfit (don’t worry, i’m very stealthy)….I have way too many photos on my phone to even admit on here, but i love it!  I love looking back through old photos, and being reminded of funny/crazy things i’ve seen.

    I was on a walk the other night, and *almost* took a stealth photo of individuals riding by on their bikes, but thought better of it (that time)… it got me to thinking, though, and I decided that I would like to do a weekly “Random Photos From My Phone” post, where I will show a few of the strange/funny/entertaining photos I’ve taken over time.

    Here are the first I’ll share, enjoy!

    this shirt is bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S

    oh, just your typical dog, in a bar....no biggie.

    As I mentioned here, i get pooed on by birds more than your average person….

    it's like i have a target...

    attached to me...

    and my car.

    My old roomie was dog sitting this funny dog, Crow.  He was a character:

    he would SIT on the stairs. It was SO cute!

    My friends and I went to this festival of sorts, and they had a dog rescue/adoption booth set up…i came across these fellas:

    what, your dog doesn't own a hula skirt?

     I was in target one evening, and came across this scene:

    some crazy 'ish likely went down...mayhem.

    an adorable boy at farmer’s market…

    "oh, i'm just getting my weekly groceries. don't mind me"

    some of Janna’s cooking gone wrong (btw, never eat my cooking…just sayin’)….

    man down! a good pan was lost that day...

     When i was supposed to move into this particular apartment, the landlord had told me that “it wasn’t quite done…but they just had some cosmetic stuff to finish”… he did not tell me that i would have a port-a-pottie in my yard until the work was finished…(no, not for me to use.  Although, that was a fun joke to play on friends!)

    i spent the first week and a half living there with this as my view from the porch.

    and last but not least, please keep your feet off the walls!!!!

    word.

     Until next time,

    Janna

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    Coco’N’Oat Apricot Cookies

    This Monday > Last Monday, in a big way. 

    The brother and I sleep walked bounded out the door this morning to get our run on….an 8mi run, to be exact.  I was all set for a nice negative split, but then at around mi 5.5, I had to take a walk break…3 times. Sometimes, I hate my guts.  literally. I ended up finishing in 68minutes, the brother would lap me during walk breaks, so he ended up with ~9mi.  All in all it was an enjoyable run, and a great way to start the week! 

    I then stuck my finger in the ceiling fan during one of my 15 wardrobe changes.  It bled. 

    Do you do that…Change your outfit multiple times before settling? Oy. everyday when i get home, i have more clothes to hang up from my morning escapades. 

    I had one of my “Power Pina Colada’s” post run, and it was fantastic! 

    On friday, I had bookmarked a cookie recipe from PreventionRD that I knew would be perfect for my weekend Dad baking (I tend to see my dad on Sunday’s, after he attends church for a movie…I like him to leave with some treats for the week!  He’s always had a nightly “dessert”.  He’s a smart man).  I made a few adaptations to the recipe, in order to use items I had (and avoid purchasing chocolate…which is basically a disaster for me to have on in the house. lol).  

    The original recipe prepared by PreventionRD, for Toasted Coconut Chocolate Chunk Cookies was originally obtained from Cooking Light.  See my adaptations (and therefore change in nutritional information) below:  

    Coco’N’Oat Apricot Cookies  

    1 cup flaked sweetened coconut
    4.5 ounces all-purpose flour (~1 cup) 1/2 cup all-purpose flour + 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
    1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    3/4 cup packed brown sugar
    1/4 cup  50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend, softened (I actually didn’t have this, so mine utilized unsalted butter, but the nutrition stats below are with 50/50 Smart Balance Butter Blend)
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 large egg (i didn’t have eggs on hand, therefore I used 1/4c Egg Beaters)
    2 ounces  dark chocolate (70% cacao), chopped (again, chocolate is a DISASTER so i used 1/4c Smuckers Simply Fruit Apricot Preserves)
    Cooking spray  

    Directions:  

    Preheat oven to 350°.  

    Step 1: Arrange coconut in a single layer in a small baking pan. Bake at 350° for 7  8 minutes or until lightly toasted, stirring once. Set aside to cool.  

    coconut pre-toasted...i forgot to photograph the toasted...imagine this, but slightly brown.

    Step 2:Weigh or lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup; level with a knife. Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl; stir with a whisk until blended.  

    dry goods

    Step 3: Place sugar and butter in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until well blended. Beat in vanilla and egg. (***If you’re making my version, also add your Apricot Preserves at this point***)  

     

      

    wet goods

    Step 4: Add flour mixture, beating at low speed just until combined. Stir in toasted coconut and chocolate. (once again, i didn’t follow the directions and hand mixed, backward….wet into dry. it worked fine)  

    wet, meet dry

    Step 5: Drop by level tablespoons 2 inches apart onto baking sheets coated with cooking spray.  

    i really need new baking sheets that don't require foil....;0)

    Step 6:  Bake at 350° for 10 minutes or until bottoms of cookies just begin to brown. Remove from pan, and cool completely on wire racks. Yield: 24 cookies.  

    sweetbabyjesus

    yes, yes they do taste as good as they look!!!

    once again, just making certain i win "favorite kid"

    The nutritional breakdown, which can be found here is as follows:  

    Per Cookie: 99.4 calories, 2.8g Fat, 32g sodium, 20.2g Carbohydrate, .9g Fiber, 11.7g Sugar, 1.4g Protein 

    I quickly packaged the cookies up, so as to not eat them all…yes, THAT good.  15 for the dad, 3 for the mom (she wanted to try them, but didn’t want a lot!),  and 6 for my home….incase you suck at math and ran out of fingers/toes…this recipe yields 24 servings.    

    i never said i was good at wrapping.

    i should win some sort of award for this skill...;0)

    My dad called me yesterday afternoon and said “I had planned to have lunch and then a cookie…but i ended up having a cookie first.  They looked TOO good not to! They’re delicious!” 

    Another Dad approved recipe! =0) 

    Happy Monday!  

    Janna 

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    Power Piña Colada and some faves!

    Can i just say that i think it’s really funny that someone made it to my blog by searching these terms:    

    snooki wallpaper!?! this has to be for a prank...

    I am sure it directed them to this post, and i am sure they were thoroughly disappointed. he he he    

    In grand Saturday tradition, I woke up bright and early and commuted the 40 minutes to my FAVORITE gym classes, x-bike!    

    As always, it was an “I didn’t even know you could sweat from your elbows!!!” kind of class…  I spent a good portion of class numero dos daydreaming about the smoothie i would make when i returned home.  About halfway through “Dynamite” it came to me.  “Power Pina Colada Smoothie”, of course. It took everything i had to not yell out “uh, J-dawg, can we speed this class up…?  i’ve got a smoothie to make!” ;0)    

    Upon return, i tossed the following into my blender and before i knew it…a masterpiece had been created.    

    Power Piña Colada for my face:    

    • 1 1/2 c ice (i actually have no clue how much… a handful and a half?)    
    • 1/2 c plain NF yogurt    
    • 1/2 unsweetened almond milk    
    • 1/2 scoop protein power (for the muscles yo!)    
    • 1/2 frozen banana    
    • 1 slice fresh pineapple    
    • 1 tbsp Coconut    
    • 1tsp xanthan gum (again, i actually have no clue how much…)    

    once blended and cupped, i added an abundant amount more coconut.    

    I present the Power Piña Colada!        

     
     
     

    yummmmmtastic! showing off the abundant amount of coconut! i have an addiction...

    Yes, i obnoxiously placed this in front of the pool.  It was the most *tropical-ish* area i could find.    

    I am clearly obsessed with coconut these days.     

    Let me tell you about a few more of my favorite things/things i’m obsessed with as of late.  Shocker, the majority are food related…  

    This Song:

    These things:

    Fruti Bars!

     but more specifically….the Pina Colada Flavor (also the inspiration to my morning smoothie!)…   

    yes, i ate it in my car...whilst driving to work....for breakfast. stop judging me!

    Fruti Bars, which according to their website “We never use artificial dyes, artificial flavoring or any of that other stuff! Only 100% Natural Fruits picked at the peak of ripeness for the best colors and flavors. Our FRUIT FIRST ingredient list makes our products stand far above the rest!”.  Because of this, i therefore deem them quality breakfast food.    

    These Lundberg Rice chips   

    more specifically, the Seasame & Seaweed (don't knock it til you try it!!!)

    The fact that this month marked the 71st anniversary of “The Wizard of Oz”, therefore Google pimped out their site last Thursday! (fun fact, this movie is both the mom, and my bestie’s favorite movie!)    

    *there's no place like google, there's no place like google....*

    Getting weird things in the mail from my grandma (she is NOTORIOUS for this)…today it was colored pantyhose. I guess my grandma thinks i’m 79, and a “lady of the night”. *sigh*    

    gotta love her for trying... =0)

    Clouds. I have a weird obsession.    

    storm clouds

    morning clouds

    sunrise clouds

    sunset clouds

    post-storm clouds

     My Bike:

     

    The Janna Banana Bike

    Froyo:    

    enough

    said

    ?

    This Guy:

     

    my brother and i before a half in March!

    Giving Gifts:    

    Happy Birthday to The Mom!

    So, remember last post when I said I was stoked to give my mom her present?  Also, remember how i mentioned that my brother is doing his first Iron Man triathlon in November?  Well, my mom and I are officially flying to Phoenix to cheer my brother and his best friend on (plane tickets were in the card)!  We are all (brother included) SO excited for this!  I can’t wait to make signs and cheer my butt off for those guys!  I have a few funny signs in mind, but if you have *any* suggestions, let me know….we will need a lot, seeing as an Iron Man is a 2.4mi swim, 112 mi bike ride and full 26.2 marathon.  That’s A LOT of endurance (and therefore cheering) to be had.    

    Also, if you have any suggestions of places to stay in the phoenix area, PLEASE let me know.  The event is actually in Tempe, Arizona, but that is so very close to Phoenix, I think we will probably end up staying there.    

    Hope everyone is having a great weekend!  I’m off to go do another few of my favorites, walk on the bike trail and make baked goods (recipes to come!) for the Dad!    

    Lata!    

    Janna 

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    VGCC – Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Wok Steamed Collards and Quinoa annnnnnd Spring Rolls

    Longest post title EVER.

     

    First things first:  Yesterday was mi madres birthday, so HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY to THE MOM! I am so stoked to give her her gift, but since she is my one blog reader reads my blog, telling you about it will have to wait.

    This morning started out with another “Track Attack” workout with my brother and his friends.  Let me give you a little background on these fellas and their deal.  My brother and his bestie (boys can have besties…) are both very much into triathlons (both will be competing in a full iron man in November) and decided last year that the town we live in just does not have many activities geared toward fitness/outdoors, so they started a Triathlon training group.  While they don’t have a huge membership base, they have gradually been adding more and more people, and I am so proud they have stuck with it!  It is truly their passion, so for them to share their knowledge/passion with others is beyond cool!

    Although I have ZERO interest in triathlons, I participate in their running activities (Monday and Thursday, long run and speed/track workout, respectively).

    This morning, we completed close to 5 miles (they did 5, and i did a little under) consisting of warmup, drills (high knees, skips, side run, backward run, etc…which i was later informed is a variation of some “plyometrics”) speed work (400’s) and cooldown.  It was a lot of fun (although i did shout out “I’m going to leave the Track to the BOYS from now on!!!!!!!!!!” at one point… :/ ).  It was a temporary “fit” though.  Those boys are a riot, so time just FLIES out there.

    In other news…after my incident on monday, i’ve for sure been taking the slow train to work.  Although it takes a bit longer, I’ve been able to enjoy some of the scenery, and really take in the sights…including the following “seen on my drive” : 1) people picking their nose 2) crop dusters  and the best…3) a “biker” in full on leather chaps.

    Enough lolly-gagging…let’s get to the point of this post; some COOKING! More specifically, some VGCC!

    Incase you are a new reader, and haven’t a clue what “VGCC” (Veg Girls Can Cook)  is, it’s basically me and two of my best girl friends getting together at one of our houses (so far just Aspen’s) and cooking a healthy vegan meal together/catching up on life/having lots of laughs.  You can read about our first documented VGCC (Eggplant-Potato Moussaka with Pine Nut Cream) here.

    Aspen and I met at the grocery store after work, and picked up the items we needed for our night of fun.  We also ended up with some of these

    i am *obsessed* with the seaweed and seasalt flavor...don't knock it til you try it!!

    Rice Chips!

    Some of these

    spicy!

    Food Should Taste Good

    and…..some of these

    we had a "buy one get one"...so clearly we *had* to...

    ok…we have issues….

    Whilst getting our ingredients prepared, we snacked on chips (clearly the best thing to do before cooking a meal), caught up on life, learned of Aspen’s potential TV debut (more on that in the future!), shared clothes tearing stories, watched some “dating in the dark”….you know, typical Tuesday evening.

    Let’s discuss these clothes tearing stories in a bit more detail though, shall we? I know this has happened to us all….no? really? eeeeks….maybe we should lay off the chips?

    Aspen had informed me a few days prior that she had been getting ready for work, and just as bent down to fix her shoe…and she had a full on “Incredible Hulk” moment and flexed her way right out of her lovely Banana Republic work shirt.  As much as it sucks to have clothes get ruined, i can’t help but think this was quite hilarious… I mean, it was obviously a defective shirt, because as she so graciously modeled the Hulked out shirt for us (and you guys…see below), there was no way she “outgrew” the shirt and tore it by any means other than poor fabric.  Here, take a look. Not only am I AAL, but she is too…and not afraid to show it for the benefit of you readers…=0)

    The Incredible Aspen

    Toward the end of my college career, I was going out with a group of friends one evening.  We were at a local hangout, and I was just sitting there minding my own business in my pair of favorite jeans when all of a sudden, things felt a bit drafty….well, my “favorite jeans” had a tiny little hole near the fly that over the course of that evening decided to become one giant rip in the crotch.  After feeling a bit drafty, I looked down and a good portion of my leg was now visibly showing. Thank the high heavens I chose to be DD that night, and was able to hi-tail it home and change. Crisis definitely averted!

    Have you ever had a nice little clothes tearing surprise!?

    Now that we got the funny stuff out of the way, let’s get down to business:

    First, if you should decide to make these…make sure to turn on an episode of “Dating in the Dark”….which was clearly a contributing factor to the success of this meal.

    quality television...

    how ridiculous is this show? i was appalled by the men on it…jerks.

    We will start with the Spring Rolls, since you can basically make and let them sit while you make the other hot portion of the meal (unless you have 6 hands, like us…then you do it all at once!)

    I’ve always been way too intimidated to make these on my own, but absolutely LOVE them.  They are such *fresh* and light items, and go great with a ton of other dishes! This recipe was great, but I”m more stoked about the fact that I made my own Spring Rolls! With rice paper, and everything!

    This recipe for the  Spring Rolls was found in the August 2010 copy of “Cooking Light“, but I found the recipe online for you all, here.

    Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 roll and about 2 teaspoons sauce)

    Ingredients

    • Rolls:
    • 8  (8-inch) round sheets rice paper
    • 2  cups  thinly sliced Bibb lettuce leaves (about 4 large)
    • 2  cups  cooked bean threads (cellophane noodles)
    • 1  cup  fresh bean sprouts
    • 1  cup  shredded carrot (about 1 large)
    • 1/2  cup  coarsely chopped fresh mint
    • 1/2  cup  fresh cilantro leaves
    • 1/4  cup  thinly sliced green onions

    Sauce:

    • 1  tablespoon  sugar
    • 3  tablespoons  fresh lime juice (about 1 lime)
    • 3  tablespoons  water
    • 2  tablespoons  fish sauce
    • 1  garlic clove, minced
    • 1  Thai chile, thinly sliced

    ****Aspen made a “peanut sauce” that we used in place of this.  I don’t have the recipe, as she just sort of “winged it”…but I am sure I could talk her into it if you are interested…****

    Preparation

    Step 1: Although the recipe starts with “preparing the rolls”, the real step one is getting prepared….which means boiling the water for the bean thread/cellophane noodles and rice paper along with getting the fillings prepared….so slice your veggies people!

    slicing and shredding!

    Step 2: Add hot water to a large, shallow dish to a depth of 1 inch. Place 1 rice paper sheet in dish, and let stand for 30 seconds or just until soft.

    into the water goes the rice paper!

    Step 3: Place sheet on a flat surface.

    such a creepy item...

    Step 4: Arrange 1/4 cup lettuce over half of sheet, leaving a 1/2-inch border. Top with 1/4 cup bean threads, 2 tablespoons sprouts, 2 tablespoons carrot, 1 tablespoon mint, 1 tablespoon cilantro leaves, and 1 1/2 teaspoons green onions.

    fill it up!

    bean sprouts, my FAVE!

    Step 5: Folding sides of sheet over filling and starting with filled side, roll up jelly-roll fashion. Gently press seam to seal. Place roll, seam side down, on a serving platter (cover to keep from drying). Repeat procedure with remaining roll ingredients.

    my roll, sans carrots....i got better, i swear!

    ok....so i had a *few* more FAILS....it happens!

    2. To prepare sauce, combine sugar and the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk until sugar dissolves. Serve sauce with rolls.

    Nutritional Information
    Calories:      83
    Fat:              0.3g
    Protein:        2.3g
    Carbohydrate:18.5g
    Fiber:           1.1g
    Cholesterol: 0.0mg
    Iron:             0.7mg
    Sodium:       371mg
    Calcium:      22mg

    The second recipe was a bit more involved…so like the last cooking experience, I participated more in the photography….

    Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Wok Steamed Collards and Quinoa

    The Sweet Chili Lime Tofu with Wok Steamed Collards and Quinoa recipe came from VeganYumYum (I’ve recently become obsessed with the iPhone app!!!).   I was a little intimidated by this recipe as well because a) I am only a fan of Tofu if cooked *just* right b) same goes for Quinoa and c) i have never had collards….and was a bit nervous! This recipe turned out well though!  I would for sure sub another “green” for the Collards next time though…perhaps broccoli or spinach?

    Serves 2-3 (it says this, but we had a lot left….and I even took some to a co-worker the next day…I would say more like 3-4).

    1 Block Tofu, extra firm, 14 oz

    Sweet Chili Lime Sauce
    3 Tbs Sugar
    3 Tbs Reduced Sodium Tamari (or soy sauce)
    1 3/4 Tbs Fresh Lime Juice
    1/2 Zest of the Lime
    1/2 tsp Red Chili Flakes (or 1-2 fresh hot chilies, minced)
    1 Clove Garlic, pressed, optional
    1/4 tsp Salt
    4 Mint Leaves, chiffonaded

    Quinoa*
    3/4 Cup Quinoa, rubbed/rinsed in cool water, drained
    1/2 Zest Lime
    2 Bruised Cardamom Pods, optional
    1 Tiny Stick of Cinnamon (a broken piece of a larger stick), optional
    1/4 tsp Salt
    1 1/3 Cup Water

    Wok Steamed Collards
    1 Bunch Collard Greens, middle veins removed, washed
    2-3 Tbs Water
    1 Pinch Salt
    1 tsp Lime Juice

    Directions

    Step 1:  Combine all the ingredients for the quinoa in a pot that has a tight fitting lid. Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to low. Cook for 20 minutes, then turn off heat. Do not open lid. Let steam for 10 minutes before serving. (Note:  We did this first, while the rolls were being rolled, and the rest of the recipe was being done…you don’t have to watch or do anything, so this is a good item to “pre-prep”).

    Step 2:  Prepare the sweet chili lime sauce by whisking all of the ingredients together until the sugar and salt is dissolved.

    for both of us having never "zested" before...I'd say Meredith zested like a pro!

    Step 3: Drain tofu and cut it into small triangles.  slice the block into 8 rectangles, then each rectangle in half to make two squares per rectangle. cut each square diagonally to make four triangles per square. You can cut the tofu however you please, but a thinner, smaller shape will work best for this method.

    Vegan Geometry!

    Step 4: Heat a well-seasoned cast iron (I learned what “well-seasoned” meant…no THANK you!!!!) or non-stick skillet over medium heat. A 10″ skillet will fit all the tofu, so if you’re using a smaller skillet, you’ll need to do this in batches. In order to properly “dry fry” the tofu, you’ll need a pan the tofu won’t stick to even without any oil.

    our clean non "well-seasoned" skillet, thankyouverymuch.

    Step 5: Spread the tofu out in one layer in the pan. Using a spatula, press the tofu. The liquid will squeeze out and boil away, and the tofu will begin to turn golden. The more water that evaporates, the sturdier the tofu will be, so be gentle at first to prevent the tofu from breaking up. After several minutes, flip the tofu over and press the other side. After about 10 minutes of dry frying, you can turn off the heat and set the tofu aside for finishing later, or proceed to adding the sauce. (You might want to set the tofu aside before finishing in order to prepare the collards).

    Step 6: To finish the tofu, bring the pan back up to temperature if it’s not already very hot. You want to heat the pan and the tofu over high heat, making sure the tofu is hot all the way through. Add the sauce and stir to coat the tofu. Turn off the heat. The sauce will bubble up, reduce, and form a glaze. If it isn’t bubbling up and forming a glaze, turn the heat back on high and cook until the glaze is.. well.. glaze-y.

    it's getting hot in hurrrrrr....

    My job was slicing the “Collards”….sure, leave the task of the “unknown veggie” to me…

    I was quite amused by the size of these things...they're HUGE! (thatswhatshesaid)

    Step 7: Stack the collard leaves on top of each other, 3-4 at a time, and roll. Slice the roll in 3/4 inch segments. Run your knife through the chopped collards to make smaller pieces, then add them to a wok with the water, lime juice and salt. Cover with any lid that will contain the collards and cook over high heat for 3-4 minutes until the collards are steamed and tender.

    Let's Wok and Roll! (hardeeharhar)

    some steamy action!

    Step 8: For plating, arrange the collards atop of a bed of quinoa.

    Quinoa, meet collards...

    Add tofu over the top, drizzling any leftover sauce over the dish.

    professional platers, obviously

    Garnish with lime slices and mint leaves. We’re not THAT fancy! =0) Serve.

    altogether now!

    up close and personal

    the spread...and Aspen!

    the only picture where one eyeball isn't closed...and that's because it's covered! I'm also a professional at being awesome.

    Well there you have it!

    Both recipes got two thumbs up from me, and my “taste tester” co-worker!

    Have you ever made Spring Rolls!?  It was so fun, i felt like a real chef or something!

    What’s the most “intimidating” food you’ve ever made?  Of course this wasn’t the *most*, but it ranked right up there!

    TGIF(manana)!,

    Janna

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    “A Case of the Mondays” is….an understatement.

    Can I just note that I am not always a “negative nancy”, and that this post originally started as “Great Start!” when I left for work this morning, with plans of finishing the post on my lunch…my how things can change! ;0)

    sunrise view on my run this morning!

    I love when my weeks start with a nice run. Today did not disappoint. My brother and I completed a 7mi run just as the sun was coming up…and with a major negative split! At around mile 4, I started having a pretty upset stomach, and thought I would have to throw in the towel and walk back. I was able to hold it together until around mile 6, where I stopped to walk and told my brother to go on…he wouldn’t. I then kicked it into high gear (I tend to get a bit “I’ll show you!” when people tell me no…) and ran the last 1/2 mile home at full speed. He says I’m the only person he knows that kicks it up a notch when I start feeling sick (I did this during our half in March, too).

    I arrive at work not too far after 8:30 (we are expected by 8:30…but have a bit of a cushion until around 9) and whip open my locked overhead bin where my laptop is stored annnnnnd……….it’s not there. Immediately, my stomach sunk. All weekend I moved my computer around at home making a mental note to pack it up when I left out Monday morning, and somehow I forgot. I don’t normally bring my laptop home, and I knew it was probably a terrible idea. It was.

    Just as quickly as I had come in and set my purse down, I was picking it back up and letting my boss know I would be back in………an hour and a half. You see, I’m sure this did not sound like THAT big of an issue when you first started reading, but I do in fact live ~40min from my employer, and commute. I knew in my gut that things just were not right when I set out on my long trek home for the bag, but I just didn’t know how “not right” it was.

    I’m a fairly cautious person. Sure, I have my episodes of “AAL” times, but those are usually out of my control and I’m pretty “play it safe”. Today….today I threw caution to the wind. As I arrived home, it was around 9:30…I had already been up close to 5 hours at this point, and still had not *technically* made it in to work. Now, I don’t know if it was the STRONG coffee I drank, the fact that I was fired up about being so “ditzy” and forgetting my laptop, or what….but I wanted to get back to my office PRONTO.

    As soon as I saw Mr. Officer in the oncoming traffic, I knew I was toast. Friends, don’t be fooled and think they won’t drive over that center divide….they will. Just because they are not driving YOUR direction does not mean they can’t get into YOUR direction, and fast. Sure enough, Mr. Officer swiftly moves to the fast lane around the big-rig that was driving behind me, and just as swiftly back into my lane. The lights started flashing, and just like a switch to the lights, a switch to my tears was flipped and I started choking them back, telling myself to “PULL IT TOGETHER”. It’s probably so very annoying to police officers to deal with crying girls. I can’t even imagine. I’d probably be the one to tell them to man (ok, woman) up and pull it together…. for some reason though, I just couldn’t today.

    I pull out my license, registration, insurance, pictures of dead dog, race medals, volunteer certificates in preparation for him approaching my window. “Do you realize you were speeding”….”Yes Officer” (is what i should have said)…instead it was more like “yes officer, but *insert sad sob story about my computer, having to drive a god-awful amount of hours, how i volunteer, how i donate blood)…..* you get the point. I’m not proud of my actions this morning, no sir-e. He tells me he will be right back, and I can be on my way….all the while having that “I’m not mad, just disappointed” look on his face. You know the look, the one your parents would have when you did something wrong when you were a youngin’…yeah, that look.

    I sit in my car and do what any normal person does…and tries to snap a pic in her side mirror of the scene unfolding minds her P’s and Q’s…. He comes back shortly after, with his ticket book in hand. As he is having me sign the ticket, he tells me that he knocked X amount of miles (i don’t want to say the amount, for the judgment you will likely place upon me for my outrageous speed) and asks me if I will be alright to drive to work…”yes sir, I’m really sorry….” I quietly respond. He then tells me to “watch your speed, and drive safely” and sends me on my way.

    Was my speeding unnecessary…? Yes, yes it was. Was my speeding unsafe…? Yes, to me and everyone around me. Did I learn a lesson..? Yes, yes I did. Did today really stink to high heavens…? Why yes, yes it did!

    Honestly, I had a bad feeling when leaving work to return for my computer….but my bad feeling was “I’ll probably get into a wreck driving back and forth”. In a way, I’m kind of glad that I got pulled over. Yes, it sucks. It will suck having to pay my fine, it sucked having to have that look of disappointment given to me by the officer. It sucked having everyone pass me the rest of the way to work and home….but who knows? It could have saved me from something worse, and it definitely made me more aware of my driving.

    Like I told my co-workers today, “I’ve had better days, but I’ve also had much worse”….so I’ll just chalk this up to a learning experience, and move on….slowly….with grandmas in Cadillacs passing me.

    On a more positive note, I was surprised with an email from http://eatwellwithjanelblog.com/ (check her out! She is a Registered Dietitian, and has such an informative blog!), informing me that I had won her giveaway for a sample pack of FIVE “Food Should Taste Good” chips! SCORE! I can not wait to try these out! If you know me at all, you know that good food makes things better! =0) This definitely helped turn my frown upside down!

    Also, my co-worker made these pretty epic funfetti cupcakes that I ate like a lady devoured after my “incident”….

    i didn't think to snap the pic until i had practically devoured the entire thing...EPIC, i tell ya.

    Source

    How was your Monday!? Did you have a “Case of the Mondays!?” I usually love my “fresh start to the new week” days, but that day is going to be Tuesday this week!

    Off to re-start my week (aka go to BED),

    Janna

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    My legs…

    Since I haven’t shared any AAL (awesome at life) moments with you lately, I figured I’d start this post with a light hearted mood and show, quite possibly, my best AAL moment to date. Enjoy:
     

    I get pooped on by birds more than your average person. One of the many reasons I’m thankful I carry wet ones in my purse. You just never know, my friends. You just never know….I’d like to dedicate this little video to Jamie. ;0) 

    Ok, onto my legs…. 

    Last night, I was utilizing “the stick” to work out some knots my legs decided to provide me as punishment for the little track attack I put them through a few days ago (LOVE this device, btw). 

    The Stick

    source 

    As I used this bad boy on my bare legs, my instinctual critical mind stepped in, and tried to let negative (or shall I say, “fat talk”) thoughts come to the surface. 

    As you saw in my last post, I am quite the advocate for Caitlin, and  her “operation beautiful” movement, which is an effort to ELIMINATE these very thoughts my mind was trying to communicate to me. 

    “That is ENOUGH” I told myself…. “If I’m such a strong believer in Caitlin and her words of true wisdom, why am I letting these negative thoughts even cross my mind?” 

    In honor of Operation Beautiful’s “Change the Way You See, Not the Way You Look”, I started to mentally list why my legs are so wonderful, and friends…let me be the first to say, these are all facts I truly believe.

    Enjoy…. 

    My legs are strong.... and have taken me 26.2 miles at one time, helping me cross the finish line of my very first marathon.

    My legs have taken me hiking between the beautiful towns of Cinque Terre, Italy.

    more of the hike

    My legs are forgiving, and have helped me move 7 times in the past 5yrs. Thank goodness for brothers!

    My legs make it possible to have fun and play with my much younger nieces and nephew.

    My legs have helped me cover every square inch of one of my favorite places in the world, on numerous occassions!

    My legs help me feel young at heart.

    My legs have helped me prove to a (male) friend that it is entirely possible to run in heels (though not recommended).

    My legs have taken me on runs in beautiful places...

    ....and not so beautiful places.

    Though by societies standards they’ve forced upon us, my legs are not “perfect”….they are to me!  My legs are strong, and my legs are beautiful. I am  thankful that I have the ability to do things many, unfortunately, cannot… and I have my legs to thank! They are the only legs I’ll ever have (unless of course that olympic runner leg transplant comes through…) so I need to love ’em! 

    Have you ever had that “knock it off!!!” moment when negative thoughts are trying to make their way into your life? How did you conquer those?  Tell me something beautiful about YOU now! :0) 

    Happy Saturday! 

    Janna 

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