Friday, November 30, 2012

Living Out My Suite Case (+ Whole Foods) & It's Fresh Fridays - Wk 4!

So, I've practically been living out of whole foods the past week. Not that I mind. :P I mean- I absolutely love this store. :) But, economically sometimes it's like um, "ouch!".

Monday night I had fresh peppers w/ some delicious spinach hummus. So refreshing and just what I needed after both a thoroughly emotional & physically exhausting day.

My sweet mother had major surgery on Monday so I'm out of town taking care of her, basically living at the hospital. Even with night duty (the nurses are top notch her but the thought of her being alone is not even a consideration as I love her to death!), caring for her is not a burden - not one bit. I'm so grateful that she's doing SO well and consider it a privilege to love on the woman that gave me a chance at life!

And, with last night's scare I feel a little shaken. Mom skipped the whole ICU phase after surgery but they had to move her last night and "reset" her heart. I was fine during the actual "crisis" as I was the family member in the room with her when the decision was made, but afterwards I broke down. Can't believe I'm sharing this here . . . but there you have it!

I'm like that, though - I can be fine in the middle of a situation and have the sense to act, but I have my little moment afterwards - when I'm fully processing everything that just happened. Anyone else like this? 

With all the stress that comes with watching such an intense physical battle and seeing someone you love so much go through something like this -- it makes me thankful that I know from God's Word that everything works together for good, even when I don't understand.

I was reminded by a dear friend to stay connected to the Living Water, Jesus Christ, and that my well will never dry up- never, ever if I abide in Him! I am embracing this truth and it puts a spring it my step and brings a smile to my face. Thank you, Jesus! Momma, you are so strong and I'm proud of how hard you fight and the fact that your positivity comes from your very core. :-) We're bustin' out of here sooooooon!

And, I just want to say "thank-you" and give a "hug" across cyber-space to all of my friends who have texted me, called, or sent an uplifting Bible verse for inspiration & encouragement. Even when I don't have time to answer it means so much! Probably more than you'll ever know. Pleeeeaaaaase don't stop. :)

Food report time! :P I did the Whole Foods salad bar for lunch on Tues. It's just right around the corner from the hospital which is SO nice!

. . . sipping on this green kombucha throughout the afternoon. :P

Golden Corral with my brothers & friends for dinner. :) This place is the "fried kinda style" but you really can get some good things here, if you go on the hunt! I went for the "greenhouse station" and Mexican foods. Peppers and salsa are total awesomeness!

Wednesday's lunch - I still had leftover spinach hummus in my hotel frig so I grabbed that and some more sliced peppers. A sweet someone gave me nut & rice crackers so I had some of those, too. :-)

The hotel I'm staying at has a great workout room with a huge mirror. Love it! (great help w/ form) I ran almost 4 miles this morning - it had been way too long since I'd go this far so it felt fantastic!

I'm beginning to think this is one of my ways of coping . . .

I wasn't super hungry on Wed night but could still eat. :) I did the "Take 2" at Panera Bread, choosing 2 things on the menu I've never tried before. :) The creamy tomato soup and Asian sesame salad are are a delicious combo!

Whole Foods has a great packaged bar aisle, but don't be fooled! Just because it's @ Whole Foods doesn't mean it's healthy. You still have to read those labels to check the ingredients. :P

Green powder on the road works as a substitute for my daily green smoothie! That, and lots of vitamin C along with lemon essential oil are my friends. :-) I've been diffusing in the hospital room . . . maybe I can do a post with some interesting info on this soon.

And, this? A sweet gift basket from friends - fresh fruit, water, mixed nuts, homemade oatmeal cookies, homemade raisin bread (with freshly ground wheat flour made that morning!), and homemade granola. If you judge me by friends - I'd say I'm pretty wealthy! Thank you to each of you who've sent your love. :) 

For supper tonight, I have my eye on the smoothie bar in the hospital cafeteria (Freshens). :P

Tomorrow? There's a local 5K that I'm hoping to run! We'll see how Mom is doing - she's pushing me to do it, though. That's just like her and one of the million things I love about this lady. 

So, yes - the past week has been one of the most intense and frightening experiences for me (ever!) but at the same time I have that perfect peace because God is my strength. It's not because of me - not one bit (!) and I'm praising His name for carrying me through!

With tough times we all have a choice -- we will either come out bitter or better. And really, in the simplest terms: it's our choice, although God gives us the grace. What storm are you going through and what choice are you making? 

I had a great start to the day with Psalm 18. Click to listen! Have a fantastic rest of the day and count your blessings. :-)

PS: If you're going through a difficult time, I highly recommend this book: The Land Between. I read it about a year ago and think about it's application often. It's really good, but at the same time it's something I wouldn't have understood 2 yrs ago so if you think I'm totally off the wall I can understand that, too :P

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So, I want to know about you!

Are you an oatmeal cookie addict, too? 

What do you eat under stressful circumstances?

Do you workout when things get rough? What's your outlet? 

Anyone reading this who has a family member with health challenges? 

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Link-up for Fresh Fridays (wk 4) and tell me the top 3 things that made your week fresh & fantastic!

For this week's Fresh Friday - I'm thankful for . . .

1. sweaty workouts :)
2. nutritious foods
3. festive decorations! 

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The Real Food Runner

Monday, November 26, 2012

Kale Chip - Alive & Radiant Review & Giveaway

It's time for snack revolution with Alive & Radiant (review & giveaway)! I've been a fan of their kale chips for a while now so when they sent me a box full of goodies- naturally I went over the top with excitement!!!

The plain is just that. Plain- so it has more of a distinct kale taste than the others. If you're not a fancy flavor kind of person I'd recommend this for you.

Kale chips are the perfect alternative to potato chips. :)

I was literally blown off my feet when I tried these chockalet chips. Aaah, yeaaaaah- they really taste like chocolate! Go get some right. now . :P 

I'd describe the quite cheezy as very true to it's name. The cheese flavor comes from red bell peppers, organic cashews, organic lemon juice, chia seeds & salt. Dairy free! 

You can go for a southwest ranchy flavor, if that's your style. :P 

The cheezy chipotle. Ooh, yeaah! If you're a hot sauce kind of gal (or guy) you'll want to try these, too. :) Or you can just enter this giveaway for your chance to win all of these for free!

I was really pleased with the ingredients! Mostly organic. :) 

And, they're raw, gluten free, soy free & dairy free. 

Boy approved, folks. Boy approved. :) In fact- these guys were begging me to open these so they could try them! :P 

Simply beautiful. :) Love it!

I know buying your own kale chips can be a little pricey, but you can make your own kale chips for a fraction of the cost which is really neat! I'd recommend just Googling "kale chip recipes" for some ideas. :) That is definitely a recipe share I want to do in the near future!

The Alive & Radiant giveaway winner will receive a sample packet, including:
This Alive & Radiant kale chip giveaway is valued @ over $30. Sign-up and my best to you all. :) 

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Friday, November 23, 2012

It's Dicken's Day! (and Fresh Friday :)

It's the annual Dicken's Day here in my town and we're all full of Christmas spirit!

I did a 20 min FIRM workout this morning and for breakfast I pulled out this adorable holiday cheer towel. I thought it went nicely my green smoothie . . . :P

So this afternoon was really cool! Charles Dickens' great great-grandson performed a one-man show "A Christmas Carol" free to the public at a historic church downtown.

How in the world can I describe this experience?!!! Obviously, this guy (Gerald Dickens) is related to the Charles Dickens. Maybe it's some kind of artisty/creative gene that got passed down because it was simply spectacular!

It was a really fun experience and I ran into a ton of friends and we all got to sit together which made it even more fun! 

Smiling with two of my sweet friends. :-) 


Tiny Tim! They have people dressed up as the main characters with Scrooge and the ghosts of Christmas which makes it all come alive. One year I'm going to dress up . . . 

A nice green salad alongside Thanksgiving leftovers for supper! Someone has to get up those leftover desserts . . . right?!

And - it's the most wonderful time of the year! Sorry, guys- I'm a sucker for the oldies. :) Maybe it has something to do with fun times of riding around with my Pappy and listening to his music. 

I hope your Christmas season is off to a fantastic start! The festivities have begun!!! I'm looking forward to the caroling parties, food, family and just plain fun that this month holds. 


So sorry, y'all! I completely forgot it was Fresh Friday until late today! Better late than never . . .  Link-up and tell me about your week. :) Here are my top 3:

#1 - time w/ family
#2 - hearing/seeing Charles Dickens' great great grandson in person
#3 - giving thanks on turkey day! 

What are your top 3 fresh thoughts for Friday? 

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Feast Report

Happy Thanksgiving, peoples! Today was an amazing day with friends and family. I was so excited about today that I woke up with butterflies in my stomach. :P

I did a Kelsie Daniels workout before breakfast this morning along w/ some short interval running. Felt so good! I skimped on the stretching, though - tomorrow!

So, here are the highlights in pics. :)

Every year we have a big family get together which I absolutely love! I only get to see my cousins a couple times of year so this is a really special time.

My sister and I stayed up late last night in the kitchen cookin' away! Here's what we contributed to the feast, along with recipe links that we used for ideas:

Green beans w/ slivered almonds. I loved the lemon juice flair to these!

A new recipe! The fresh parsley made this dish. :) I lightly broiled the cauliflower so it would still have some crunch (the less you cook the more nutrients preserved). Definitely making this one again! (roasted cauliflower with tahini sauce)

Mac & cheese - the vegan version! Turned out really yummy and I was thankful because it was my first attempt. :) I didn't have all the ingredients for this recipe  (smokey mac & cheese) so I subbed. Pumpkin puree is actually an awesome replaced for butternut squash! Just sayin' . . .

But, I wouldn't recommend telling people that there is pumpkin in their mac & cheese . . . lol!

Wrapping up the food this morning getting ready to head out the door to my aunt & uncle's for the family feast. :)

A full oven!

My sweet sister and mom finishing up the roasted sweet potatoes before we rushed out the door. Getting everything hot and ready @ one time can be quite the task! 

The raw pecan bars I made yesterday. :) 

There was so much food here it was almost sinful. My uncle does the turkey and we all contribute with  the side dishes. Since there are so many of us it really adds up!

There is always something to give thanks for!

Friends & family. :)  

Let's feast! 

My plate. Well . . . the first go round, I should say. :P 

Aren't these just the cutest decorations- ever! 

I love my family. :)

A table full of handsome-ness! In my opinion, at least. :P 

Mom, you are awesome. I love you SO much! 

My dessert sampler. :) Waaaaaaaaaaaah! SO GOOD!!! I grabbed a taste of most everything: rum cake, chocolate chip pound cake, the pecan bars, my grandma Mimi's famous apple cake, & a sliver of apple pie. Should I say heavenly . . . ?

We took so many pictures it's craaaazzy .

Something about a big meal makes ya tired!

Granddaughter picture w/ Granny.

And then one w/ grandma Mimi & Mom.

Everyone in one shot. Wow, what an accomplishment!

There you have it, folks! The highlights of the day minus the evening's fun w/ kicking off the holiday season watching a Christmas movie. More to come . . .

How was your Thanksgiving?