Lessons I Learned About Running

Running...love it or hate it I am making it this Fantastic Friday's topic ;)

Running…love it or hate it… I am making it this Fantastic Friday’s topic 😉

All this started after I read my friend HaeWon’s post  about the start of her experience while helping her friend John do an Ultra…as in Ultra Marathon = 100 miles….yep.  100 long crazy fool miles!  Luckily HaeWon is only running the last 20 miles with him….hmmmm hahaha last 20 miles…that’s more than a MINI!

But I don’t judge.  Some think I am crazy just to run 5-6 miles per day so whatever rocks  their socks.

I encourage you to read HaeWon’s post.  She is a doctor and she could have easily talked all fancy schmancy but she explained some medical stuff about Ultras that even I (the non-medical goofball) could understand.

One thing in particular got me thinking: the runner’s stride.  Don’t change it.  I got it!  It’s been an on-going battle for me.  First off “they” tell you not to be a heel striker…bad running….but it seems most people are.  Also I tend to drag my feet.  I think I do that because I am constantly looking at the ground for fear of falling, which means I wear out my shoes in the back outside heel.  Which means I need new shoes….a lot…or so it seems.  I got new shoes last week and I have been fighting with myself to change my stride so I don’t drag anymore.  I am hurting everywhere and I hate it.

While I ran this morning I decided to just run.  Forget how I hit the ground, heel or toes first.  Just RUN.

And I did!  7 wonderful miles.  Best run I had in weeks.  The bonus is; I thought of this post while I was running (lucky you!)

this watch is at times the best invention or my worst enemy!

this watch is at times the best invention or my worst enemy!

SO here’s goes my list of things/lessons I have learned about running.  Keep in mind this is MY unprofessional and somewhat funny list.  I am not a doctor or even a running specialist, I just like to run…like Forrest Gump.

I learned:

~ to wear my sunglasses even when cloudy.  Bugs are idiots and have no clue where they are going; eyes and mouth are usually a favorite target!

~ to accept that car drivers won’t let me go even if I have the right of way, often saluting me with a one finger wave when they cut me off.  So nice and friendly!  NOT!

~ not take a deep breath while I run past the golf course because it seems most golfers are smokers…and it’s a sport??? WTH?  (don’t send hate mail about my opinion on golfers…it’s MY opinion only and I am not a golfer)

~ same goes for construction zones = smokers.

~ that I don’t like races.  I actually have zero desire to run a marathon or another mini.  Been there, done that and it’s just not for me.  I am too neurotic and the crowds freak me out.  I do small 5ks here and there for fun and even that is torture in itself.

~ that I am not big on running with other people.  I get serious anxieties about it.  Am I too fast, too slow?  How far will they want to go?  What if I crash during the run?  What if I have a bathroom emergency?  What if they think I am not a good running partner? and on and on…. (yes I am crazy)

~ that some days my body will not cooperate and I can’t put one foot in front of the other.  I just can’t run.

~ that I need to know where I am going.  I actually visualize my run before I go.  I am NOT a freelance runner.  I am way too OCD to let loose and just run amuck!

~ that some days are too hot or too cold to run outside.  Let’s be honest, you know me, too cold is never been a huge problem since I HATE cold weather.  But I have had heat exhaustion pretty much every summer since I can remember because I LOVE hot weather and I am a stubborn fool.

~ that I am not running to be in the Olympics but simply running to be healthy and it makes me happy.

~ that about 99% of land care company workers are super nice guys that will stop mowing or hedging while you run by them so you don’t end up covered in grass clippings!  thanks guys!

~ that new shoes and new socks actually make me feel like running even more!

new socks and shoes...isn't that exciting!

new socks and shoes…isn’t that exciting!

~ that I don’t need to change my stride after all.  I just need to run (or walk) the way my body wants to do it.  We don’t always have to fight what mother nature intended!

As always, I encourage you to just move.  I know running is not for everyone.  But being active should be.  Just do something.

Peace and Love,


Here is more from HaeWon’s experience (it is mind blowing to me to run 100 miles….)

Day 1 and 2

Day 3

Day 4 and 5

Can’t wait to hear how they do! 🙂



New Technology, Old Isabelle & Same Salsa

Seriously…could I possibly try to fit more into one title than this one?  It doesn’t even make sense to me.  Alas, that’s just the way I tend to be these days.  Let me break it down for you…

New Technology:

Polar Running Watch

Polar Running Watch

My new Polar watch.  Courtesy of my lovely husband.  I LOVE IT.  It took some getting use to but I think I am getting the hang of it.  I was so afraid to “start” using it that it sat on my dresser for about a week before I finally took the courage to turn it on and start pressing buttons.  I know I am kind of crazy about stuff like that.  I worry so much I might hit the wrong button/key that I stay away for as long as I can…sometimes even longer.  It is actually kind of user-friendly.  Press start and follow the prompts.  I am still having difficulties seeing exactly what I want to see while I run but I think I should be good to go soon.

Addictive?  Quite possibly.  Here’s the thing; while you run you can see your pace, your heart rate, your mileage…etc…for someone with an obsessive personality say like….ME… this can be brutal.  I want to reach certain goals, certain pace, a crazy number of calories burned, keep my heart rate at a premium level…and on and on….needless to say I about had a heart attack and about fell 3 times on my first run with this gadget because I kept on looking at it then entire run.  NOT GOOD for an accident prone girl!

my Monday run, not bad

my Monday run, not bad

timing and calorie count

timing and calorie count

Old Isabelle:

Speaking of being accident prone….

I accidentally shaved one of my eye brows.  I can’t even make that *^&# up.  Seriously.  Who in their right 43-year-old mind accidentally shaves an eye brow.  Me…that’s who.

Let me set the scene; my husband was in our bathroom taking care of looking his best (which he greatly achieves!).  He was using a small electric clipper/shaver to trim his eye brows.  I said: “oh, I have never used that to trim my eye brows, let me try it”  (this is where my husband probably thinks he should have stopped me….but he didn’t).  I grabbed the clipper and started on my right brow.  I did OK.  Then I moved on to the left.  One try…two tries…then for some reason turned it upside down and continued…and wham bam thank you ma’am shaved my eye brow off!  The end!  I panicked…Matt felt bad but knew this was par for the course with his wife and went to bed!

Think you are having a bad day?  Think again…you probably have two perfectly normal eye brows.  I don’t.  One…just one eye brow and it’s not even the good ol’ uni-brow  (which by the way I also had back in the 80’s)!

only way so far I found to hide "the" brow...sunglasses!

only way so far I found to hide “the” brow…sunglasses!

Same Salsa:

The other night I made some grilled pork chops and topped them with my “old” standard Mango Salsa .  So perfectly delicious over grilled chicken or grilled pork.  Great with tortilla chips by the pool.  Lovely fresh and gorgeous Mango Salsa.

So pretty!

So pretty!

Mango Salsa:

2 mango diced

1/2 red onion finely diced

3 tablespoons of olive oil

2 tablespoons of lime juice

1 big handful of cilantro roughly chopped

Salt and Pepper (you need at least a good 1/4 teaspoon of salt)

1 jalapeno (or less, to taste)

Mix all ingredients together and place in your refrigerator while you get the pork or chicken going.  This can be made ahead, sometimes I make it in the morning when I put the pork in the marinade.

yummy Mango Salsa

Yummy Mango Salsa

This is the picture I posted on Instagram, not perfect but somehow it seems the people enjoyed the view 😉

Printer Friendly: Mango Salsa

Note: I did have more technology hit me with my new Iphone.  Alas we have yet to see eye to eye.  I know, I have issues with change but honestly I think my phone hates me…but that’s a story for another day.

Peace and One Brow,


Speaking of Same…Katie made my Reese’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting  for our soccer team: HUGE HIT…some kids had 3 or 4 cupcakes!

best cupcakes I have ever had! :)

best cupcakes I have ever had! 🙂

Printer Friendly:  Reese’s Chocolate Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting

Juicing, Smoothies and a Giveaway

Giveaway NOW CLOSED.

Giveaway time!  You know I love a good giveaway but here is what I love about this one: it’s for your health!  That’s even better in my book!

Green Pak by Trace Minerals Research

Greens Pak by Trace Minerals Research

I am giving away a box of Greens Pak….CHOCOLATE flavor to boot!  Well in all honesty I am not giving it away….Audra from our local Country Nutrition Store  is really giving it away to one of my lucky readers!  Yes, she is that nice!  I cannot tell you how wonderful it is for us to go to our local  Country Nutrition Store and be able to ask questions about what to put in our juices or smoothies.  Mr Man found us a great green powder, maca root powder and some local bee pollen.  We would have never been able to learn so much if we didn’t ask and ask again.  Audra mentioned that our daughters would most likely love the taste of chocolate (ummmm….I LOVE the taste of chocolate!), she was correct.  This stuff tastes delicious and it’s filled with super power green supplement!  Certified Vegan.  Organic Raw Food.  Antioxidants.  Enzymes.  Probiotics.  Super Fruits.  Green Foods….etc…

Juicing and making smoothies is a HUGE fad right now.  I don’t care.  It’s a fad that’s healthy for you….we could all use a little more fruits and veggies in our diet!  The best way to boost any smoothies or juices: add some green powder.  It doesn’t taste bad, trust me!  Yes, it might make your drink look like an alien invasion but if that’s a problem then simply drink it out of a dark cup…you won’t have to look at it…problem solved….you are welcome 😉

WARNING*****HOT WATER ZONE******(meaning I might get in some with the following paragraph!)

Some people will have you believe that you need a juicer/juice extractor.  I disagree.  Not everyone can afford a $100+ juicer.  They are nice and do a great job but in reality if you have a blender you can make wonderful smoothies/juices in minutes.  You may have to sacrifice a bit in terms of texture but that can easily be fixed with adding some liquid and or yogurt for a creamy factor.  We are making delicious smoothies in our old blender, which you can find for about $20-$40. here .

Here is an example of a delicious fruit smoothie:

mmmm delicious smoothie...not very photogenic!

mmmm delicious smoothie…not very photogenic!


1 banana

3 whole strawberries (stem have lots of super powers!)

hand full of blueberries

1 kiwi (no peel…yuck…fuzzy!)

2 big tablespoons Chobani plain greek yogurt (0% non-fat or 2% low-fat)

1/2 to 3/4 cup coconut water or milk or soy milk or water or….you get the idea

1/2 cup crushed ice

1 packet Chocolate Green Pak

How to:

Put in your blender and hit blend.  Pour into a lovely (or not) glass.  Drink and feel the power!

this is not super nuclear science...go with what you like!

this is not super nuclear science…go with what you like!

kind of brownish...if using regular green powder it is SUPER green color...I kind of like that!

kind of brownish…if using regular green powder it is SUPER green color…I kind of like that!

Note: you may need to adjust the liquid depending on how thick you like your smoothies.

Win a box of delicious Chocolate Greens Pak! (Support nutrition, digestion, circulatory health and the body’s natural defenses!)

There is 30 lovely little packets per box!

There are 30 lovely little packets per box!

How to enter:

Leave a comment below 🙂

Extra entries:

Like my page on Facebook: here

Like Country Nutrition page on Facebook: here

Follow my blog via email (no worries this is top-secret stuff!) simply enter your email and follow the instructions!

Share this email with friends, family, frienemies, fauxfriends….etc….

PLEASE put a comment for each “action” I know… I know…. such work!  😉  Contest ends on Monday Feb. 25 2013 (midnight).  Winner will be announced on Tuesday Feb. 26 2013

Giveaway open to residents of the lovely United States of Americool and my birth land Coolnada (aka USA & Canada)

Peace out friends,


Note:  yes, we have a lovely local health food store and they are awesome.  Sadly….unless you live in the Greenwood vicinity or near their Decatur, IL location, I strongly suggest you find a local health food store and start asking questions about your health.  It matters.

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with

Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

My husband and I have been researching food…not in the sense of new food to eat, cook or bake with but more what food does to your body.  For example, some food has natural anti-inflammatory benefits: Tumeric is one.  We are forever intrigued with using natural resources to cure any ailment our family might have.  I hate taking medications, it is against everything I believe.  I don’t like the side effects or the possibility of more damage without an actual cure.  We have been looking for books at our local library, there are plenty out there to keep us busy during the ugly winter months!

As you know, I love making everything from scratch.  Yes, I am the annoying mom who makes the granola bars, the bread, I love to make dinner every night…blah blah blah…I know this is not for everyone, but it’s for me.  That’s the way I grew up.  I never had take-out until I was in college and my roommate Helen informed me of a world I had been missing….my mom was also the crazy lady who even made her own egg rolls, fried rice and sweet and sticky spareribs .  I am not saying you should make everything from scratch, I am simply suggesting that we need to worry more about what we put in our bodies before we head to the doctor for some medicine to feel better.  Yes, I am getting off my soap box…simply because I have a great recipe to share with you 😉

During this little research I found a lovely recipe.  I thought it would be a nice treat for the family since we have been eating lots of good “green healthy” food lately and very little sweets.  Turns out this recipe is amazing.  I decided I should share it with you as well.

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

I love this cake, and I think it happens to be quite photogenic!

From: Power Foods  from the editors of Living Well Magazine.


1/2 cup olive oil, plus more for pan

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled), plus more for pan

1 cup walnuts

1 tablespoon freshly grated orange zest, plus more for garnish

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs

1 cup packed light-brown sugar

3/4 cup fresh orange juice

Confectioners’ sugar, for garnish

1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar

How to:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Brush cake pan with oil, line bottom with parchment; oil and flour parchment and pan.  Place walnuts in food processor and pulse until finely ground (be careful not to overprocess); set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together orange zest, flour, baking powder, salt, and ground walnuts.  Make a well in the center of flour mixture and stir in eggs, brown sugar, orange juice, and oil until just moistened; do not overmix.

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer...going old school!

nothing pleases me more than not using my mixer…going old school!

gently mixing, gorgeous amber color!

gently mixing, I love the gorgeous amber color!

mix no more....you have arrived!

mix no more….you have arrived!

Pour batter into prepared pan and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean, 40 to 45 minutes.  Let cool in pan 10 minutes; transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.

ready, set, bake

ready, set, bake

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

my house smells like heaven! Look at this perfect little cake!

I had to give you a side view...absolutely stunning!

I had to give you a side view…absolutely stunning!

In a small bowl, stir together yogurt and confectioners’ sugar.  Before serving, dust cake with confectioners’ sugar.  Serve with sweet yogurt garnished with orange zest, if desired.

Time to treat yourself!

Time to treat yourself!

Note: This dessert is all about happiness.  Not just the taste but because it’s loaded with vitamins B12 (from the yogurt) and C (orange juice), folate (OJ, again), and omega-3 fatty acids (walnuts).  Nutrients shown to boost your mood.  🙂

Printer Friendly: Orange-Walnut Olive Oil Cake with Sweet Yogurt

Peace and Happiness Always,


Working Out: Truths I know

I have been neglecting this whole subject for too long.

Here goes.

working out!?? Cooper is stretching for the occasion!

#1. Working out won’t make you skinny or thin.  It’s going to make you healthy.  That’s the best and only reward you should be striving for.

#2. Starting is hard.  Starting over is nearly impossible.  Seriously.  If you decide to take a “little break” from working out you will regret it.  So, if for some reason you have either an injury or a malaise of sort, find another way to move…and move it!

#3. Smoking ,doing drugs (illegal especially!??) and working out cannot and will never be compatible.  Yes, I left out alcohol.  I am weird and crazy but not a lunatic!  MODERATION! ~in alcohol is what I mean!

#4. You might and probably will never get the “runner’s high” so many people talk about.  It’s illusive at best, completely personal and ultimately irrelevant to why you should work out.

#5.  Chances are you won’t look your best when you work out.  I sweat like a “lady of the evening in church” NOT pretty or attractive.  Bottom line, you are there to workout and be healthy, not to meet people….but by all means wear deodorant…that’s just living in polite society!

#6.  Working out doesn’t give you the free pass to pig out.  It doesn’t work that way.  Stopping at the “golden arches” once you leave the gym so you can stuff your face with a larger than your head burger (as if that was real meat!) and a coke you could swim in, well friends that’s just plain ridiculous.

#7.  Start today.  Not tomorrow.  Not next week.  NOW.  Be healthy right now.  Chances are if you make a date in the future you will break it.  NOW is the time to make better choices.

what might happen if you workout…forget the bruise…smiling…that’s what happens!

I am sure you have heard enough.  I just wish everyone took a moment to take care of themselves.  I know it is not easy.  Trust me.  I know.  Everyday I make the effort and make the choice to be healthy.  It is a choice, mine and yours 🙂

Peace and Love,


I have to exercise in the morning before my brain figures out what I’m doing.  ~Marsha Doble

Gym Etiquette and Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread

Reese's Peanut Butter Bread

Why together? Well, since this is pretty much me ranting and complaining about poor gym etiquette, I figured I should end with something delicious. This is to make you forget that I have pet peeves that are somewhat compulsive and over the top. Please enjoy the 7 deadly sins (as per Isabelle) of gym etiquette.

1- Nudity: I am comfortable with my body.  I am not a prude.  I shower and change at the gym.  I am of the “we have the same bits and pieces” school of thought.  BUT, the walking around in the nude for 30 minutes between everyone, talking to everyone and “propping” your leg up on the bench while talking in your birthday suite makes me UNCOMFORTABLE.

2- Lockers: 1 person= 1 locker.  This is not your house nor your personal closet, you are not moving in, you are working out, showering and getting on with your life.

3- Saving Equipment: NOT GONNA HAPPEN.  This is not 4th grade P.E., this is not recess, your friends will have to find themselves their own treadmill, this is the one I am using, move your towel.

4- Sweat: I sweat like a “lady of the evening” in Church on Sunday….I wipe my sweat off of every piece of equipment I use.  If I wanted to deal with your sweat we would be married.

5- Dropping Weights: OK so you are not Arnold Schwarzenegger, this is not Venice Beach, don’t drop the weights on the floor like you are Hulk Hogan.  If you have to drop it you shouldn’t be lifting it in the first place.

6- Talking: this one is difficult….I don’t mind talking but some people strike up a conversations with you at the weirdest time: while you are sitting (i.e. relaxing) in the sauna or while you are mid run on the treadmill (trying not to fall off)  or while you are lifting weights.  I am not being rude if I don’t answer…. I AM WORKING OUT…if you want to have a social conversation, let’s go have a coffee at Starbucks, they love people who stay and talk for hours.

7- Cell phones…especially that blue tooth, ear “thingy”….OMG seriously!  For the love of God, I do not need to hear you yapping on your cell phone to your bestie for 1 hour while I am working out.  I always have headphones on and I still hear you over my music.  Also talking being people’s back while you are pretending to be working out is tacky.  I don’t want to hear you and by the way YOU LOOK LIKE A FOOL!

Back to what is far more interesting…and I thank you from the bottom of my heart for listening to my complaints.  I feel better.

I found this AMAZING recipe on Cookies and Cups Blog, please go check out her delicious blog: Cookies and Cups

Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread


3 very ripe bananas, mashed (I keep my “unwanted” bananas in my freezer, please see: Good Old Banana Bread )

1/2 cup peanut butter

1/4 cup oil

1 egg

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 1/2 cups of all-purpose flour

1/2 tsp baking soda

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

8 oz bag of Reese’s Mini cups

How to:

Preheat oven to 350 degree F.  Grease your loaf pan with butter or cooking spray.  Set aside.

In a medium bowl whisk together your flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt, set aside.  In a large bowl stir together your bananas, peanut butter, oil, egg and sugars.  Pour your dry ingredients into your wet ingredients and stir until just combined. Batter will be lumpy.  Fold in your Reese’s Mini cups and spread batter into prepared pan.

lovely batter

Bake for 1 hour or until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean.  Let cool in pan for 10 minutes.

house smells amazing

look at this delightful madness....oh my!

Serve and hide a piece for later, I am not kidding….you’ll see why!  Then you’ll thank me for telling you to do so.

Printer friendly: Reese’s Peanut Butter Bread

Peace and Etiquette,


p.s. Again: thank you for letting me vent…I hope I didn’t offend anyone…if I did, I am sorry….this is just my experience with etiquette…everyone has their own! 🙂

Change is good….right?

Disclaimer #1: This is NOT a product endorsement.  This is NOT a product review.  This is me trying to get shoes that work for me.  I don’t have any connections with any of the companies I will talk about….although for the right price…I am YOUR GIRL! 😉  Yes, I can be bought!

Disclaimer #2: I am NOT a doctor…I know; hard to believe, right?  I am a runner, a mom, a wife, a cook, an eater, an exercise freak, a lover of all sports wear, a wine drinker, a food nerd….still not a doctor!

I got new shoes….or I should say Mr. Man bought me new shoes for my birthday.  They are (in my opinion) a bit expensive, I would have never had the guts to buy them for myself.  Yet, when my husband buys them for me I am totally guilt free!  Same bank account but no guilt!

The t-shirt is a joke, you know how I like to talk a little trash to motivate myself.  I finally took a picture BEFORE I went for a run as opposed to after when I am all sweaty and gross.  I even brushed my hair for you guys! 🙂

let's face it: I am NOT a model...this is the best pose I could come up with!

I do love all my Nike tees and running shorts….just an FYI 😉

NEW SHOES: Newton running shoes….awesome…BUT you must break them in a mile at a time.  Geez o Pete!  I do love them.  I even did a better time running my last 5mile run.  So much fun!  The shoes are really light and they help you with the way you run.  More of a toe first type of running as opposed to heel first running (which is not good!)  I didn’t have a problem adjusting to the difference in running because I am a toe runner anyway, but new shoes always require a period of adjustment.

light, comfortable and overall great running shoes

newton running

Last shoes: Asic’s 2160: great for my feet….not so much on the knees.  I still wear these when I do the elliptical because I want to keep my “Newton” for running.  I do love the Asics.  They were extremely easy to run in and they are very comfortable.

Comfortable, nice toe box and good arch support

asics america

Prior shoes (for about 10 years!): Saucony Grid: Perfect for my knees until my body decided to get old and cause plantar fasciitis…nice!  As I said I wore this brand for 10 years, running in the Florida heat and I didn’t have a problem until recently.  It might all be in my head!

light and great on my knees


This is our shoe graveyard:

I am fully aware that it's a total mess....but I can't be bothered to fix it

Don’t go sending me emails telling me this is an extensive and outrageous amount of shoes.  They are not all mine.  Some were mine and I ran the life out of them.  Some are my kids.  Some were left here.  Some are hand me downs from friends…etc…but I keep them all because we live on 5 acres, we have a chicken coop, we have creek near by, lots of corn fields and a HUGE soccer center by our front yard….we need crappy shoes!

Moral of the story: I am not Cinderella and it seems not just ONE shoe is perfect.  I need to try a few to figure out what I need…and even more so what I need for each activity it seems.  I encourage you to try not only different shoes but different activities, exercises, programs….etc…get out there and move a little more 🙂

Peace and Love,

Dr. Isabelle (medical license found in a box of Cracker Jack’s along with driver license, marriage license….what?! KIDDING)


Such a simple word.  Such a simple action.  A no-brainer?  Yet we all forget to do it…deeply.  Shouldn’t it be automatic?  Why is it the first thing we tell ourselves when something goes wrong?  Just breathe….

I am not talking about the body’s continuous action of breathing.  I am talking about the real deep breath that calms your mind and soul.  When everything is a whirlwind around you and you can’t even put a small thought together.  You need to really breathe.

I breathe….a lot.

I can breathe when I look at this picture.  This is our backyard at dawn.  Matt took this picture and to this day it is the most talked about picture I put on Isabelle at home’s Facebook page.

Sunrise at home

When things get out of control around me, just like they do for everyone else, I simply try to remind myself to breathe.  Take a few deep careful breaths to ease the madness.  I encourage you to actually think about your breathing.  I know it sounds kind of odd but it will make a huge difference in everything you do.  I can see a difference in my workouts, my runs, when I drive, when I cook….you get the idea.

I know I didn’t come up with an amazing scientist discovery or the best new recipe for a burger. I simply needed to remind myself how I truly need to breathe….deeply breathe.  You might as well be part of the fun! 😉

Peace and lots of love,


I took a deep breath and listened to the old bray of my heart:  I am, I am, I am.  ~Sylvia Plath

Stretching…if I must…


that's Riley NOT stretching... 🙂

YES. It is a must.  I am really really really bad about stretching.  That is usually the first thing I skip when I am running out of time at the gym or even at home when I run.  I just want to get going.  That being said I know too well that when I don’t stretch I do pay a price.  First of all, (and selfishly) when I do stretch on a regular basis: I look leaner.  THAT is enough (not that I am so vain) for me to be on board of the stretching wagon (is there such a place?).

Benefits of stretching…let me count the ways (can you tell I like lists and counting…mmm….I know it does say something about me)

1. Leaner muscle (I know I already said it but come on! LEANER!)

2. Clears your mind

3. Increased circulation to the different parts of your body

4. Increased energy level (from increased circulation!)

5. Better Coordination

6. Increased range of movement in the joints

7. Reducing muscle tension from exercise

8. Improving your future performance

9. Lowering the risk of activity based injuries

10. Better posture

11. Stress release (think yoga)

12. Time to mentally prepare (pre-workout stretch) or evaluate (post workout)

13. Greater sense of well-being

14. Better balance

15. Good for your heart (makes a happy heart!)

So, before you skip out on taking 5 minutes before and after your workouts or runs, think of all the good things you will be missing out on!

Let’s get stretching!  Let’s get moving! Go for a walk!  Breath in and breath out!

Peace and lean,



I think I can dance.  As previously stated I love to dance for my lovely daughters while I cook breakfast.  But I am not so completely delusional to think I could be a backup dancer for Britney…Many of my close friends and mostly my family would tell you that I cannot dance.  Sometimes they just take their honesty way too far! 😉

My friend Nancy is a Zumba instructor and she teaches at our local community center.  Her class is always “sold out”….because she ROCKS!   I love to try new exercises.  So when she offered for me to come try her new “non-stop” class, well I had to go and check it out.

So I got myself all Zumbaed up (I know it’s not a word) and headed out in the cold lonely night…it wasn’t but it makes for a better story!  It actually was a lovely warm late afternoon drive!

What is Zumba?

Zumba \ˈzäm-bə, ˈzōm-\ (gumba, sumba) is the name of a dance fitness program, created by dancer and choreographer Alberto (“Beto”) Perez in Columbia during the 1990s. Zumba was marketed by entrepreneur Alberto Perlman, 1. who made the concept popular through dance classes as well as branded merchandise.2.The program combinesLatin andinternational music with dance in an effort to make exercise fun. Zumba classes are offered through licensed instructors in more than 100,000 fitness center locations in 110 countries with ten million participants.3. DVDs are also available for learning at home.

Here is the official Zumba web site: Zumba USA

Well, I had a blast and I sweated like crazy!  I love it!  I think what I like the most is actually the relaxed atmosphere.  It is much less structured than weight lifting or aerobics.  In fact, the instructor is there to lead you but does not tell you how to do all the exact moves.  You simply follow their lead.  The music is upbeat with (usually) a latin flair.  I encourage you (once more) to get out of your comfort zone and try it out.  I had fun and the hour went by so fast.

I know...I think it's hysterical as well!

🙂 can you picture me?!!

My friend Nancy has a new blog called Burgers2broccoli, it is great to hear her talk about her weight loss, healthy choices and Zumba….and lots of great fitness tips!

Here it is: Burgers 2 Broccoli

Peace and “shake it up”,