Christmas in Review and What will the New Year Bring?

ChristmasFamilySelfie

That’s my sister there on the end. Isn’t she a cutie?

Hi peeps!  I am home today in between trips so I thought I should jump on and say Hello!  We had a great Christmas.  We celebrated The Lord’s birthday by making the rounds and seeing all of the family.  The kids of course got everything and more that they asked for and I got a few gems myself.  On top of gifts we had three cases of strep throat and one nasty stomach virus.  (The dang virus we are still dealing with.)  Please, please, please let this be the last of our sickness.

ChristmanEveRunChristmas Eve started out with two runs.  Both of the clubs I’m in had fun Christmas Eve runs so thankfully I was able to make both.  We probably had more than 50 runners all together.  My sister was in town so she got to come too! Unfortunately, I didn’t get a picture of Shirley’s santa boxers.  Man, they were awesome! 

We also have a really cool New Year’s Eve event planned with the Rockwall Running Club.  I’ll take some pictures and tell you all about it when I come back.  I’ll give you a hint and tell you it’s incredibly inspiring. 

So, on to New Year’s.  We are going camping again!  Are we crazy you ask?  Yes.  The answer is yes.  There is 100% chance of rain and it’s going to be cold.  The good news is, we are going with great friends, we’ll have a heated shelter and a fire, running shoes and wine.  It’ll be good.  Right?  Hmmm…  Next week I’ll be back to report on that trip as well.  I’m sure you’ll love to hear about it.

Now folks.  Everyone seems to be setting goals this year.  I’m thinking about setting some goals with my little blog here.  For one, I need to get on Pinterest.  I mean, who has a food blog that is not on Pinterest?  I also plan on more breakfast and dessert recipes.  They are out of my comfort zone so let’s take it on!  What else would you like to see? Don’t be shy!

Since we are traveling and I won’t be around again until next week I’ll leave you with this awesome picture my dear husband took of me.  I was obviously being an excellent mother and helping my children with their new presents.

MyButt

Country Style Pork Ribs

 PorkRibsFirst

Those ribs are as good as they look.  Totally tender and warm and yummy.  This recipe is similar to the beef tips.  I thought I would mix it up a bit.  I don’t usually eat a ton of pork like this because I haven’t really known what to do with it.  Oh man, now I do.

Still crazy here in my world.  I’m a creature of habit and a person with a schedule.  The whole holiday season throws me off.  That’s ok.  My hubby is home more and my workout buddies are finding all kinds of excuses to drink mimosas.  Yeah, I need to stop that.  Bottled orange juice is not exactly Paleo.  I suppose it would be weird to take Cabernet to drink after a run though.

Speaking of the holiday season.  That means the year is coming to an end.  Duh.  Everyone is all a buzz about goals.  As you know, I hit my goal of 1000 miles this year.  I am so not motivated to set another goal!  I’ve had mileage goals for probably the last four years and they are pressure.  I’m thinking I’m going to rebel and just run.  I also want to do a little more cross training. (Secretly, that’s what makes the difference come swimsuit season.)  I do, however, REALLY want to hit a sub 2:00 half marathon.  Oops.  I think I just said that out loud on the internet.  What about you?  Goals?

Well, I have a baby crying, one with mulch in his pants, one digging for snacks, clothes to fold, presents to wrap and volunteer time at church.  I guess I better get out of the blog world and take care of biz-ness!  See ya!

Paleo Country Style Pork Ribs
Super tender and savory country style pork ribs.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 11/2 lbs. country style pork ribs (or one package)
  2. 2 large onions sliced
  3. 1 apple cored and sliced
  4. 1 tbsp. avocado oil
  5. 2 tbsp. grass-fed butter
  6. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  7. 1 can of free range chicken stock (or about 11/2 cups)
  8. Salt and Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Melt butter and avocado oil in dutch oven or oven safe pot.
  2. Over medium to low heat cook onions and apples for about 45 minutes stirring often. Careful not to burn them but you want it brown and caramelized.
  3. While apples and onions are finishing season pork ribs with salt and pepper and coat with almond flour.
  4. When apples and onions are done remove and sear pork ribs on all sides.
  5. While pan is hot add chicken broth to deglaze pan and scrape to remove bits from the bottom of the pan.
  6. Add apples and onions back to pot, cover and bake in a 300 degree oven for 1.5 to 2 hours.
  7. Check occasionally and add liquid if needed.
Notes
  1. Pears can be substituted for the apples.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

Cream of Mushroom Soup

 

CreamofMushroom1

Hi guys!  Man, it’s been a busy week doing the Christmas thing.  Of course I’m still running like a crazy person but I also have to do the mom thing.  You know, buy presents, wrap presents, remember all the little things I’m supposed to take to school for Christmas parties, remember to go to the Christmas parties… you know the deal.  I would make a terrible room mom. 

So on to the Cream of Mushroom soup.  There is no reason on earth you should buy the canned stuff when you have this recipe.  It is delicious and literally takes 10 minutes.  I looked up some other paleo mushroom soup recipes and I’m sure they are super delicious but none that I found are as easy as this. 

Here’s a little recipe I’m addicted to with the soup.  Make the soup and set it aside.  Then dice and season chicken tenderloins and sear in a pan with a little butter.  Then add the soup back to the pan.  Simmer for a couple of more minutes until the chicken is done.  It’s a creamy, delicious, chicken dish.  This is my new prerace food.  Seriously.  I’ve put it over white rice for carbs but cauliflower rice would be delicious too.  Or just a giant ladle, whatever it takes to get it in your face.  

I know since I’ve been MIA you’re also dying to hear my running schedule for the week.  You are right?  Anyway, sometimes I think maybe my Coach has lost his mind.  But then I remember I haven’t died yet and New Orleans is right around the corner.  EEK! 

Tuesday (two days after a half!) – Track work.  8 miles with 5 x 1000 5k pace with 400 recovery.  BRUTAL

Wednesday – 4.5 miles easy

TiredoutThursday – 10 miles.  Our workout said with 6 40 sec bursts.  He actually meant 6 but we took it as 6 miles!  Yep we basically did 6 miles of sprint intervals.  We were the laugh of the running club.  I felt like this.  And yes, that is a cookie in my mouth.  It’s not Paleo but it is gluten free.  Shoot me.  My socks say “Steak” and “Eggs” at least.

Today was Crossfit and tomorrow is 15 miles.  Fun times!

Basically, it’s crunch time.  That’s ok.  I’m trying to get enough sleep and still keep up with life…which is dang hard sometimes.  I’m also keeping a tight reign on my diet and rolling my legs a few times a day. 

On a last note.  I’m not one of those people to be vague and mysterious, obviously.  But my immediate family got some really great news this week.  This being the interweb and all, they probably don’t want me airing business, but I do want to openly thank God for his blessings.  It doesn’t even have to do with running!  Go figure!

Cream of Mushroom Soup
Creamy soup to eat alone or use as an ingredient in dishes.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 2 tbsp. unsalted butter (grassfed)
  2. 1/4 cup blanched almond flour
  3. large handful of cremini mushrooms diced small
  4. 1 tsp. each salt and pepper. More to taste
  5. 1 tbsp. ground flax seed
  6. 1 cup unsweetened coconut milk
Instructions
  1. Melt butter over medium heat in a saucepan.
  2. Add almond flour. Stir and cook for a couple of minutes to make a roux.
  3. Add chopped mushrooms, salt and pepper. Stir and cook for another couple of minutes.
  4. Then add the coconut milk and flax seeds. Stir until it thickens.
  5. Taste test and adjust salt and pepper if needed.
Notes
  1. Seriously! That's it!
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
Let me know any other ways you use the soup!

Metro PCS Dallas Half Marathon Race Report!

 

Looking a little crazy eyes.  Hey don't judge, it was a hard run.

Looking a little crazy eyes. Hey don’t judge, it was a hard run.

Well folks I got a new shiny PR!  Woohoo!  That means I ran a Personal Best.  I needed to beat 2:11 and I got 2:04:12.  Personally I loved the race.  The course was pretty flat.  That’s all it really takes to win me over.  And there was a pretty cute guy in a speedo playing a guitar along the way.

WeRunDallasCollageThankfully, I hitched a ride with a bunch of my running buddies.  We got there super early because we all are a little neurotic and nervous on race day.  Thank goodness I have them because they are great making light of the fact we are all about to run our butts off.  We were supposed to take a big group picture with our running club but man, we couldn’t find where we were supposed to be.  Instead, we waited in line at the porta potties a few times.  If you have never run in a race, that’s what you do.  I call it nervous peeing.

Everyone said it was bad conditions.  It was misting and super humid.  Honestly, I wasn’t bothered too much.  I’ve been in worse for sure.  I planned on running a 9:45 pace for the first half and a 9:30 for the second half.  The problem was, I wanted to beat a 2:10 time and I didn’t actually do any math.  At about mile 5 the 2:10 pacer flew right on by me.  Shocked me!  So, I lit a fire under my butt and started running.  I averaged a 9:00 minute pace the rest of the race.  Brought me in at a 2:04:12. 

I know some of you reading this are way faster.  Me, however, I have never maintained that pace for that distance.  It seems that dreaded track work that we endure every week is working. 

BibandMedalsI celebrated by getting my 2013 and 2014 medal they owed me and a beer.  Then I met up with my buddies, congratulated them, and headed to the car to change so we could watch our full friends finish.  Have you ever been with six other stinky, sweaty, women all trying to completely change out of compression clothes inside of a car?  Well, I thought the race was challenging.  Oh boy.  Try to do the tight sports bra shuffle in the back seat of an SUV and let me know how it goes. 

Then we marched to the finish line and stood in the cold rain for an hour or so waiting on our full friends to finish.  It was so emotional!  Partly because I was freezing and my muscles were shutting down, but mostly because they were at the end of something they worked so long to achieve.  And they were all crying.  Man, I’m so proud of them but they scared the hell out of me for New Orleans. 

It seemed to have lit another fire under my butt.  Until January 25th I’m doing everything Coach tells me to do, keeping up with my cross training and keeping my diet in check.  Running 26.2 miles is no easy feat it seems.

 

It’s Packet Pick Up Day!!

 ExpoMeandKidsThe Metro PCS Dallas Marathon and Half Marathon is this Sunday!  So exciting!  My kiddos and I treat packet pick up day like a holiday. We get out of bed singing “It’s packet pick up day!” then we rush around to get the swag bag.  When there is an expo involved it’s especially exciting.  Don’t they look so happy?  Seriously, they really do like it.

DallasPacketThis packet was pretty cool.  I’m stoked about the number.  It looks like a fast number to me anyway.  The shirt is good too.  Win win. 

I’m all chatty about the packet but today was a little challenging to get to it!  See, I am a country girl.  Driving around in the big city with three kids that don’t think they can hear one another unless they are yelling at the top of their lungs is way harder than running a half marathon…in my opinion.  I was supposed to meet my buddies at 11 but I was an HOUR late from driving around trying to find the place.  Then driving around because I refused to pay $15 for parking.  What??  Crazy business. 

BuddiesatDallasExpoOnce we got inside it was all fun and games.  Sampled some food, got some GU, bounced on the bounce house and I scored a free shirt from Greenlayer!  Heck yeah!  You’ll be glad to know, my buddies were there.

So, race day.  First and foremost, one of my lovely running buddies has agreed to drive me.  Whew.  It’s supposed to be raining.  That’s ok, we always train in bad weather so we know what to expect.  I’ll put on a little extra body glide and use the rain as a distraction from what I’m actually doing.  My plan for this race is to PR which would be under 2:11.  I’m pretty confident I can do that.  I am not, however, going to kill myself out there.  This is a training race for me for New Orleans.  Meaning, I’m going to figure out when I need to eat before the race and ways to keep my nerves in check.  Oh man, I am a nervous nelly on race day.  That leads to bad problems…if you know what I mean…

There are 331 runners from my area doing this race.  Join me in saying a little prayer that everyone completes their race safety and has a great time doing it.  Everyone I know has worked dang hard and deserves the victory they will get on Sunday.  I know you’re stinking excited for my race report!

Apple and Spice Meatballs

 AppleandSpiceMeatballs2

 Hey folks!  These apple and spice meatballs have been a joke around this house.  I had a hard time getting them right!  No worries though.  I work hard for you making sure this stuff tastes good.  So, the hubby has been eating a lot of meatballs.  Finally, I present to you the finished product.  They are yummy.  Spicy and comforting.  I think they would make a good meatloaf as well.  Throw some tomato sauce on top, bake it and let me know how it turns out.

I had a super busy weekend which is the way I like it.  My kids went to Moms for the weekend (yay!) so I crammed as much grownup activity in as possible. 

First, the Dallas Marathon is this coming weekend.  Almost all of us are running in it so we have a taper week.  That means you cool it a little and let the legs rest.  I’m doing the half marathon so by cooling it a little we ran 13 miles.  It was supposed to be 12 but I was running my mouth and missed a turn.  We finished the run with mimosas.  Nothing like running and drinking before 8am to get your blood flowing!

SummerandMattXmasPartyThen I spent the day with the hubby Christmas shopping, and Christmas partying.  Man!  I had another mimosa at lunch.  Bad Summer!  (I’ll be reminded of those drinks during our 10 mile speed work session tomorrow.)  Hubbies’ office Christmas party was Saturday night.  It was fun to put on something besides sporty spice clothes.

Then Sunday night we had our annual Pavement Pounders Christmas party.  Can I say again how much I love my little running family?  They are a crazy bunch.  We got together for food and a gift exchange.  Really, we got together for food I think.

PPXmasPartyHere’s the thing.  All weekend I was a good little Paleo girl.  Besides the two mimosas I had it totally under control.  Omelets for breakfast.  Meat and veggies at the restaurants.  No dessert at the party.  Go me huh? Nope.  Those dang running buddies ruined it all!  Sunday night we had enough food to feed 70 people.  I am not exaggerating!  I took Paleo dishes but I stuffed my face with all of the other stuff.  Bad.  One “cheat” meal won’t kill me but if I can be honest I am kicking myself for eating THAT much in one sitting.  Dang hungry runners.  Don’t let their size fool you!  

See that girl bottom row smack in the middle?  That’s Sarah.  She’s kind of our leader.  She started the Pavement Pounder group and tries her best to keep us organized.  She also has a great blog, how my world runs, and is my sort of blog mentor.  Go check her page out!  You can blame her if I’m doing this all wrong…just kidding guys…

Apple and Spice Meatballs
Beef meatballs with a sweet and spicy kick.
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1.5 lbs. ground beef
  2. 1/2 apple diced small (skin included)
  3. 1/2 onion diced small
  4. whole jalapeno minced (seeds removed if you want it less spicy)
  5. 1 tsp. granulated garlic
  6. 11/2 tsp. salt and pepper each
  7. 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper (optional)
  8. 2 tbsp. ground flax seed
  9. 1 egg
  10. 4 tbsp. tomato sauce
  11. 1 tbsp. avocado oil
Instructions
  1. In a large mixing bowl combine all ingredients. Use your hands to mix ingredients well.
  2. Heat avocado oil in a large skillet over medium heat.
  3. Form into one inch balls.
  4. Add meatballs to heated skillet one by one making sure not to overcrowd the pan. You will have to cook in batches.
  5. Depending on your stovetop you may need to adjust the heat. If the outside is cooking too fast turn heat down.
  6. Cook meatballs on all sides until done. They can be finished in oven if desired.
Notes
  1. Eat the meatballs alone or top with your favorite Paleo topping. We actually used the tomato sauce left in the can. That alone was great.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/

“Peanut Butter and Jelly” Waffles! And…Do Something HARD

waffel2

 

I am so excited about these waffles!  Paleo waffles are not always the best.  Sorry, just being honest.  And, making any sort of batter is not usually in my comfort zone.  These, my dear, are delicious and so easy!  I made them for the kids and they devoured them.  Believe me, the kids don’t always like my food.  The poor hubby hasn’t gotten to try them yet.  This weekend he will get to try them as long as he makes them and has them ready when I get home from my run.  Spoiled maybe?  Nah.

Post Indian Run.  Goofy friends.  Not me, them.

Post Indian Run. Not so bad huh?

So, this morning we had a 10 mile tempo run on the plan.  We decided to make it an Indian Run.  Basically after warm up, you get in a line, run, and the last person has to run faster to get to the front and so on.  This drill is always a lot of fun, however, it is not easy.  Somehow, we run faster and faster as the miles tick away.  Running fast is freaking hard!  In spite of huffing and puffing and sweating in December we still had a blast.

Well, that got me thinking.  The marathon is getting closer.  For those who have been under a rock, a whole bunch of my buddies and I are running the New Orleans Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon on January 25th.  Training has been significantly harder and more time consuming than I expected.  I have spent a ridiculous amount of time running and cross training to get ready for it.  As it gets closer I find myself getting a little sad about training ending.  What?!  Who is sad about marathon training ending?? 

Let me explain.   Doing something HARD is rewarding.  Think about it.  Raising these three kids I have to be productive members of society and not be butt holes is HARD.  Everyday.  But, everyday, they give me another reason to do it.  Eating a diet that not everyone agrees with and doesn’t include classic cheeseburgers is HARD, but the way I feel and thrive is worth it.  Setting my alarm for 3:20am is plain hardcore, but I get to hang out with my crazy, early bird, buddies.  They are accountable, funny, God fearing, and a bunch of tough cookies.  I consider them my family.

My point is, just because it is uncomfortable does not mean it shouldn’t be enjoyable.  Don’t shy away from something because it’s not easy.  Embrace it and make the most of it.  Whoa!  More deep thoughts by Summer.

 

 

"Peanut Butter and Jelly" Waffles
Yields 2
Paleo waffles with a blueberry and almond butter jam.
Write a review
Print
For the waffles
  1. 1/2 ripe banana
  2. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  3. 2 eggs
  4. 1 tbsp. maple syrup
  5. 1 tbsp. melted coconut oil
  6. 1/8 tsp. salt
  7. 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  8. 1/2 tsp. baking powder
  9. 1 cup blanched almond flour
  10. oil for coating waffle iron
For the Blueberry Jam
  1. 1/2 cup blueberries
  2. 1/4 cup coconut milk
  3. 1 tsp. almond butter
  4. 1 tsp. honey
Instructions
  1. Preheat waffle iron.
  2. Add all ingredients for the blueberry jam into a small saucepan and simmer.
  3. As the blueberries heat up smash some with a spoon to release juices.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Meanwhile, in a blender add all ingredients for the waffles. Add almond flour last.
  6. Blend waffle ingredients. Use a spoon to scrap flour off of the sides of blender.
  7. Spray or brush waffle iron with oil.
  8. Pour blended batter into waffle iron careful not to overfill.
  9. Waffles only cook for a couple of minutes. They are done when golden brown.
  10. When done, use a pot holder to flip waffle out onto a plate.
  11. Top with blueberry jam.
  12. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. Recipe makes about 2 1/2 large waffles. Double if more are needed.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/
 
 

 

Balsamic Glazed Prosciutto Bites

 

ProcuittoBite1Hi guys!  Did you miss me?  I sure missed you!  I did have a super fun Thanksgiving break.  It’s over now and we are all back to the grind I suppose.  Tonight I have to gather the kids and put up the Christmas tree.  I’m not a scrooge.  I like Christmas well enough.  Some parts of it make me crazy though.  Putting up the tree with three littles is one of them.  Too many hands, the branches are itchy, it’s usually not that pretty…  Anyway, I’ll take some pictures and share my experience.  Don’t judge my tree. 

1000mileMeandDawnSo back to the details of my Thanksgiving break, I hit the 1,000 miles ran milestone!  Yay!  Earlier in the year I thought I might could do it but I started obsessing, got a little intense and got hurt.  So, I ignored that little goal until last week when I realized I was going to make it Thanksgiving morning.  The cool part is, my friend Dawn was with me when I hit my goal of 750 last year and she was there again this year.  I thought it was cool anyway.  A large number of my running buddies do run over 1,000 miles in a year but this was the first for me and man I am excited!

My sweet Mom and I and my crazy kiddos stuffing their faces.

My sweet Mom and I and my crazy kiddos stuffing their faces.

After my run I spent Thanksgiving with the family.  Part of it in Rockwall and part of it in my hometown of Marshall.  I saw on Instagram some of the Paleo people I follow stayed the course and had a Paleo Thanksgiving dinner.  Well, this girl did not.  I told you when I started this blog that I am a real person and I’m going to be truthful.  I ate like a girl smack in the middle of marathon training.  Or, I ate like a grown man who was being starved the last three months.  Either way, you get the point.  Like I have said before, I “cheat” sometimes.  However, when I say I am back at it now I am.  Now, I have to deal with a sugar craving that will take a week or so to go away.  Everyday is a new day.  If you messed up, unintentional or not, start over.  Easy as pie…oh wait.

On to my little recipe for today.  I am planning on taking these to a Christmas party I have coming up.  It’s prosciutto wrapped avocado and feta with a balsamic glaze.  Fancy huh?  I told you I am back to the grind.  I’m finishing up those waffles to post for you as well and some meatballs I almost have ready.  Yum. 

Balsamic Glazed Prosciutto Bites
Yields 24
Write a review
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 avocado
  2. 6 slices of prosciutto
  3. 1/4 cup crumbled feta
  4. 1 tbsp. olive oil
  5. 1 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  6. 1/2 tsp. pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a cookie sheet with foil.
  3. Slice avocado in half remove seed and slice avocado in skin horizontal and vertical.
  4. Use a spoon to remove avocado chunks as neatly as possible. You should get about 12 pieces per half.
  5. Slice prosciutto into quarters.
  6. Lay out 1 quarter of prosciutto, top with one avocado chunk and top with 1/2 tsp of feta.
  7. Wrap prosciutto around avocado and feta and set it on cookie sheet.
  8. Repeat until all avocado is wrapped.
  9. In a small bowl mix olive oil, balsamic vinegar and pepper together.
  10. Spoon mixture over bites. Make sure to continue mixing as you are spooning.
  11. Bake for 8 minutes.
Cut The Grain http://cutthegrain.com/