Mid-Week Break

Daily affirmations

My mom has always told me about (harped on) the power of positive affirmations. Telling me to say things like, “I turn this to good” when something isn’t going my way. It’s not something I’ve ever really bought into. Perhaps because it’s a little too vague. Because I don’t know how to turn whatever the specific situation is to good. I’m practical. I like to have action steps.

Recently, I started working with a health/weight loss coach through a free mobile app pilot that my work is offering. (hey, why not, right?) She suggested we do a daily goal check in. It reminds me of the positive affirmations my mom tells me about, but I like it much better. When we first talked, she listened to what I was doing and why, and framed it as a list of goals. I get them in my email every morning and I’m supposed to read them out loud and report back that I did it.

Here’s my list:

I am embarking on this journey…

  • to improve my overall health.
  • to look better.
  • to continue to increase my level of confidence.
  • to feel happier in my own body.
  • to continue increasing my physical activity.
  • to train for a half marathon.

I find that I’m actually really liking this task. (And maybe I really am committing that to that half marathon this year??) It helps to start my day hearing my goals in my own voice. It sets an intention for the day.

Have you tried any strategies like this? Have they worked?

Recipe Monday

Turkey and Spinach Meatballs

I’m usually not a big fan of touching raw meat. In fact, I’ll go way out of my way to avoid it – think rubber gloves, awkward use of two forks. But I have made these meatballs twice now and willingly smushed raw ground turkey around in my hands. I guess I just like them that much.

The first time I made them, I followed the recipe as directed here. But this time, I decided to make Italian meatballs to pair with spaghetti squash. I like both versions of the recipe.



  • 1 lb 93% lean ground turkey
  • 3/4 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 cup fat free milk
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • 1/4 onion, minced
  • 1 box frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and extra liquid squeezed out
  • Hearty shakes garlic powder, dried oregano and basil
  • 1 cup spaghetti sauce


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8 x 8 pan with cooking spray.
  • Combine all ingredients except sauce in bowl. Mix well with your hands.
  • Form 16 meatballs. Top with sauce.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until cooked through.

Quick-glance nutrition information (from myfitnesspal app)

Per meatball | Calories: 70 | Fat: 2.5 grams | Carbs: 5.3 grams | Protein: 7 grams

Adapted from here.

Week In Review

A Run Outside! and An Ongoing Obsession

Today was a good end to the weekend. Waking up to snow, cooking and cleaning all day… none of that could put a damper on the glorious sunshine and 40 degree weather. I went for a run outside!

3.3 mils of sun!

3.3 mils of sun!

It was actually kind of rough. My legs felt tired pretty quickly. The treadmill is turning me into a pansy. But soon enough (almost) all runs will be outdoor runs!

Meanwhile, in the dressing room…

Another thing that popped up again this week is my obsession with buying workout clothes. At first I was buying them because I needed them when I joined the gym. And then I needed stuff for running when I started running. Then I needed fall/early winter running clothes. Now I just like buying exercise clothes. And Kohl’s got new stuff in.

At least I didn't buy all of it...

At least I didn’t buy all of it…

I was shopping like I had a 30% off coupon. And I didn’t. There’s just something fun about a cute new outfit to get your sweat on in. Where do you go to get the best deals on workout clothes?

Mid-Week Break

Thoughts Of Spring

Okay, winter. I’ve had enough. I don’t want to be cold anymore. I’m sick of having dry, flaky skin around my nose. My nails are getting so brittle that they’re chipping and peeling again. And my car is not handling the sloppy roads well.

I’m crying “uncle.”

And I’m starting to think about spring and the return of a lush, green world. I’ve already got a gardening yen going. I’m starting to think about what vegetables I want to grow this year. Is it worth it to do zucchini again? My plot is small and it takes over. I can’t wait to pick out annuals for my front garden.

I want to feel the sun on my bare skin.

I’m also thinking of finally signing up for a CSA share this year. I guess it’s been on my bucket list. I’ve been curious about them for years now. I’ve checked out the offerings of local farms. But I’ve always been a bit intimidated by the cost and the possibility of overwhelming amounts of vegetables that I might not know what to do with.

I found one at a local farm that offers half shares, AND they include fruit in their shares. I think this is the right choice for me. I’m this close to putting down a deposit this weekend. I think it could be fun, challenging and healthy.

Have you gotten a CSA share before? Did you enjoy it?

Recipe Monday

Quinoa with Kale and Feta

You know when you see a recipe and you know it’s going to be good? I knew this Quinoa Salad with Kale and Feta was going to be so good, and I’m not sure why because I honestly wasn’t sure if I liked kale. I think I cooked with it once or twice before and couldn’t remember the outcome. But it seems like everyone trying to be healthy bows down to kale, and quinoa… and I already love quinoa, so… this had to be a winner, right?

It looks pretty, too!

It looks pretty, too!

And oh man, it was. I haven’t tried it cold yet (for the salad part), but warm, this made the perfect side dish for my single gal Valentine’s Day dinner for one. I paired it with some oven baked chicken tenders (“breaded” with almond meal). I was in healthy meal heaven.


  • 1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  • 1/2 tbs olive oil
  • 1/4 red onion, diced small
  • 1 container baby kale (5 oz.)
  • salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup feta crumbles
  • 1/4 cup sliced or slivered almonds
  • 1-2 tbs fresh lemon juice


  • Cook quinoa according to directions. Once water is absorbed, remove from heat and pour dried cranberries over quinoa in pot. Put a piece of paper towel over the top of the pot and place lid back on. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil in skillet and saute the onion until it begins to soften
  • Add kale to the pan and cook until wilted
  • Pour quinoa and cranberries into large bowl. Add kale and onions, top with almonds and feta. Mix well. Season with salt, pepper and lemon juice to taste and mix well.

Quick-glance nutrition information (from myfitnesspal app)

Servings: 8 (about 4.5 oz – sorry, I weighed instead of measured!) | Calories: 147 | Fat: 4.8 grams | Carbs: 21.4 grams | Protein: 5.3 grams

Originally from here.

Week In Review

Blame It On Jumping

I almost passed out during my workout Saturday morning. Twice. At first I couldn’t figure out why I was feeling so crappy. I was extra sweaty. I blamed it on doing an exercise that involves jumping. I hate jumping. I had to lie down twice with my knees up. I was embarrassed.

After I got home (and texted a nurse friend), I realized my mistake. I had overslept a little and rushed to get ready. And in my haste, I didn’t hydrate properly. Sure, I drank a bit of water. But not my normal amount before a morning workout, and I paid dearly for that that deviation. I felt weak and slightly woozy for the rest of the morning, and I sucked down tea and water while running my errands. By the afternoon I felt better, but I know I won’t be making that mistake again.

Or so I think. Because this wasn’t my first brush with nearly passing out due to dehydration. The same friend can vouch for close calls on the plane to Vegas and on a sand bar in the middle of the ocean in the Dominican Republic. Why are the signs of dehydration so insidiously imperceptible?

Even if I can’t learn this lesson myself, I hope you take something away from it. It’s better to be safe (and drink extra water) than sorry (with your vision blacking out).