You’d think I’d remember…

to take a picture of my A-M-A-Z-I-N-G dinner last night! It was so yummy! A long time ago I remember seeing a recipe on pinterest.com for mozzarella stuffed chicken. I also recall wanting to try this recipe for a long time. Yesterday during my lunch break, I looked up different recipes but many of them had TOO MANY INGREDIENTS for me. I like to bake and/or cook with anything less than 6 ingredients.

Anyway, I was talking to my colleague about it and told her I think I am just going to get chicken break, fresh mozz, and spinach then stuff the chicken with it. We then came up with the idea of adding mushrooms and minced garlic and sautéing the spinach, garlic, and mushrooms together first. So I decided that’s what I would do.

After my meeting yesterday and before yoga, I went to the grocery store and picked up…

*7 chicken tender cutlets

*fresh mozzarella

*minced garlic

*big bag of cooking spinach

*baby bella mushrooms

*asparagus

*Panko crumbs

*sweet potato

*Olive Oil Pam cooking spray

I am known for also not really measuring my ingredients and just going for what looks good (I also tend to make my own spin on a lot of recipes to make it easier for me). So I cannot give full measurements on anything I made.

First I sprayed the skilled with the olive oil spray, then I dumped in handfuls of spinach, mushrooms, and minced garlic (I just put it until I thought there was just a right amount of garlic). I let that sauté while I washed the chicken and asparagus. While it continued to sauté, I cut the ends of the asparagus, sprayed them with olive oil and them dumped them in a gallon zip lock bag that I filled with more minced garlic and the Panko crumbs (oh yea, my oven was preheating at 400 before I started everything). I shook the bag quite a bit until they were covered with some Panko crumbs and then dumped them on a cookie sheet (also sprayed with the Olive Oil pam – yes I love this stuff) and placed it in my oven (oooops I forgot to time how long it was in there but it was pretty much in there the entire time I made the chicken).

Before “stuffing” the chicken, I cleaned the sweet potato, poked it and placed that in the microwave to cook (I probably should have just baked it since my oven was on 400 degrees, but that’s just my thinking sometimes). Once I did that the “stuffing” was ready to go. I took the cleaned chicken and used Mrs. Dash unsalted and McCormick chicken grinder and put that on three pieces and on the other four I just put some Panko on them (I didn’t need to use anything to keep the Panko on since the chicken breast were a little wet). I then placed the chicken breasts down and put a thin slice of fresh mozz on each of them; I took the mixture/”stuffing” and placed that on top of the mozz. Next I folded the breast over and used a three toothpicks to hold it in place (my bf made a good suggestion for next time; he said I could have used string to make it easier for flipping…I’m not that savvy). I then placed the rolled chicken breasts in a skillet that had the Olive Oil Pam spray on the bottom and let them cook; I just kept checking the chicken to make sure it was cooking and then flipped it when it was ready. I let it cook until some of the mozzarella was getting crispy and really oozing out (I love a little burnt cheese). When the chicken was done, I checked the asparagus and that was ready to come out as well!

Once it was done…dinner was served and it was delicious. There was extra “stuffing” so my bf took that to work as a side dish along with the left over chicken. I could probably eat this every single night (and it’s pretty healthy! I didn’t use a ton of cheese I cut thin long strips and used Olive Oil spray instead of olive oil)! We were both extremely full after!

***********************

As far as my run yesterday, I ran for an easy hour. I use a heart rate monitor on my easy runs to make sure my heart rate isn’t going above the zone (recovery/easy days are important), but I think my battery is going or I didn’t soak the strap long enough. It had me with a heart rate of 102 and only burning 350 calories in one hour. I know it was an easy slow day but I don’t think I was going any slower than 8:20 pace. I guess I’ll see what happens on this run!

***********************

Sorry for another pictureless post! I’ll work on that, I swear!

What is the best meal you’ve made lately?

What’s your favorite recipe?

Anyone having work holiday parties tomorrow?

We are having ugly sweater day and cookie exchange with all the literacy and data coaches in my district. Since my office is over at the high school, the other data coach and I get to participate in TWO cookie exchanges! Maybe I’ll remember to take pictures?!?!?!

Time is flying…

Talk about how the time is absolutely flying by! I cannot believe it is Wednesday all ready! All I have to say is the weekend and this work week have kept me insanely busy!

Quick Running Recap since Friday (oh my the last time I posted! sorry family 😉

Friday ~ Nice and easy 55 minutes outside

Saturday ~ Nice and easy 50 minutes outside (45 minutes + 6×30 second striders)

Sunday ~ Awesome 13 miles group run (and to be honest it was a slower run and to be even more honest it has been much needed)

"Come for the Picture...Stay for the Run"  Group

“Come for the Picture…Stay for the Run” Group

Monday ~ One hour regular run (52 minutes + 8 minutes with my pup – he loves to run so I ran back to get him for the remaining time)

Tuesday ~ Speed Workout on the treadmill (5 minutes at 7.2, 5 minutes at 7.5, 10X1 minute hard (6:00 – 5:53 minute/mile with 7:53 minute jog), regular pace until I hit 5 miles (7:47), then from mile 5 – 6 I ran 6:55 minute mile, and finished with my cool down at 7.9 to total 7.05 miles in 51 minutes. To be honest stopping the treadmill at 51 minutes was extremely tough, I was tempted to go until 55, but I wanted to get home to see my puppy.

Yoga yoga yoga

Last week I got to yoga twice (I know a lot less than the week before), but I still made it there and it is till helpful. So far this week I haven’t made it at all. My plan was to go today but something came up I need to help with and I even had to get someone to cover my first desk shift.

I am going to try and go to a new class tomorrow night. It starts at 7:35 which is late for me considering I like to be in bed by 8:30 (ha I know pathetic lol). I am definitely going to the Friday and Saturday class so I know I will get in two sessions this week.

Other Fun Stuff

Saturday was the ugly sweater party and it was a ton of fun! I made funfetti “healthy” dip with animal crackers on the side. The hosts love this dip and so I figured it would be the perfect thing to make especially since they have Christmas FunFetti mix and Stop and Shop carries Christmas sprinkles. SCORE!

I think Brutus wanted some!

I think Brutus wanted some!

I normally don’t do selfie pictures because well for some reason I just feel strange taking them; however, I had to show my family my lovely Ugly Sweater Outfit and of course I had to have a picture of it to tease the bf with later (I also made sure to find the worst picture I could…I know I’m so sweet)!

ha ha ha

ha ha ha

DIY ugly sweater... less than $10!

DIY ugly sweater… less than $10!

This week has been hectic at work and I don’t think I have even had a lot of opportunities to read my favorite blogs. I am looking forward to Winter Vacation so I can catch up on blogs, relax, run, see friends I haven’t seen in forever, and just enjoy my time away from the “real” world!

…Oh and I will also be starting my four weeks of different gyms for free. I think my first week will be the hot yoga studio!

this face...how can you not love it?!?!?!

this face…how can you not love it?!?!?!

Have you been to any holiday parties yet?

What are you most looking forward to this “winter” break?

Miles versus Time

Happy Friday everyone!!! Anyone have fun and exciting plans this weekend? I have an ugly Christmas sweater party tomorrow night and I am stoked! I am actually making my sweater and I cannot wait to show/share the final sweater with everyone! I hope it wins the contest!!

Yesterday,  I ran for an easy hour. It was cold and windy, but I made it through! I actually just tried not to even think about the weather while I was running. I was just kind of running; I don’t even remember if I thought about anything during my run (I’m sure I did but I don’t recall).

After my run, I came home, put on some sweats and waited to go pick up my puppy! It was great seeing his cute little face and watch him jump and get excited when he saw me. The ride home he kept licking my face and trying to push himself on my lap!

**********************

http://www.runnersworld.com/running-tips/running-time-vs-distance

Often my friends ask this question….. How many miles do you do in a week? How many miles do you a day?

To be quite honest, I don’t really run miles. I run rather for my time. In HS we ran miles, my first two years of college we ran for miles, and my last two years of college we ran for time. To be quite honest running for time has helped me a tremendous amount. I don’t get crazy thinking, “OMG, I ran 6 miles and it took me 50 minutes. Now I’ll have to run faster tomorrow.” 

When I started working with my coach, my one must continue was to run for time rather than miles with the exception for Sundays. I used to go on two hours runs on Sundays until I started running with my running group. Usually we run at a place that has mile markers and well that’s that. I don’t really mind that; however, if I have to miss a group run or no one can get together (which is rare), I will go for either an hour and a half to two hours depending on what that Sunday called for.

I am pretty good at knowing my pace and how many estimated miles I have run. For example, I know 2 hours is usually anywhere from 15 – 16 miles depending on my speed for that day. If I am running a recovery run, an hour usually translate to 7 -7.5 miles and so on. Another time I will run for miles is during a workout; that is a must. If I am running on the track I will run a 15 minute warm-up (don’t know miles), do my workout (track mileage), and cool down 15 minutes (no track of mileage). If I am on the treadmill then I track mileage and to be honest…. I HATE IT! I hate being to track my pace and distance even if I know it is supposed to be an easy day. It’s just a mental battle I am continuing to overcome when it comes to running on the treadmill.

So for me, I will continue to do time instead of miles with the exception of said exceptions. 

I also DON’T OWN A GPS WATCH. I’ll be 100% honest with you, I had no idea what they were until I started coaching at Monmouth University in 2007. In HS and college they were NEVER even talked about; one of my coach in college holds many NYU records and yet didn’t believe in them. So to this day, I don’t own one and it doesn’t bother me or my coach. Maybe one day I will get one (as a present), but until then I am content without one!

Here’s an interesting article from Runner’s World Magazine on Time Versus Distance in case you want more insight then just some crazy runner blogger!

**********************

Oh and because I am truly obsessed! Look at all the chips on my VitaTop this morning! I thought yesterday’s had a lot!

I actually stopped counting how many chips!

I actually stopped counting how many chips!

Do you run for mileage or for time? Or both? Which do you prefer?

Any fun plans this weekend?

 

 

 

A little winter fun…

Good morning! I cannot believe it is Thursday all ready! Tuesday we had some heavy snowfall in NJ and my school district was one of the only districts not to close down (go figure!)! However, to be quite honest, it probably wasn’t worth a snow day; on the upside since I am no longer in the classroom the building principal came and told me and the other data coach to go home! We didn’t hesitate one moment, we took off!

It ended up being a great “snow” day (we did get snow but nothing crazy). I went home, had some delicious Sugar Cookie Sleigh Ride Tea from my awesome Foodie PenPal Jill, took a quick nap, and then the bf picked me up (he ended up getting sent home early from work – none of his workers could be out in the field, therefore, it was pointless for him to be in the office) for some shopping adventures. We ended up going to Bed Bath and Beyond, Target, and Walmart; in our trips we were looking for ways for him to organize his sneakers/shoes and his spices in his kitchen. We also went looking for ugly sweaters since we have a party this weekend. After our trips, we went to the grocery store so he could pick up ingredients to make me dinner (turkey burgers, salad, sweet potatoes), back to his house to get some things, he dropped me off at yoga (I had to work the desk), he went back to get some more stuff done, and then he picked me up and took me back home. He then cooked dinner and we enjoyed it on my couch watching TV ( I don’t eat at my kitchen table which is weird because growing up we ate at our table every night at the same time).

I also took the day off from running! It had been a week and my body was telling me it needed a day of rest. So I rested!

******************

Yesterdays run consisted of a two mile warm-up at 8:20 pace, 2X15 minutes (between 6:44 and decreasing to 6:35) with a three minute jog in between, 1.2 mile cool down at 8:20 pace (I wanted to go for 2 miles but my stomach wasn’t cooperating and I needed the bathroom ASAP; I also had to stop after my warm-up and after the workout). It wasn’t fun for my tummy yesterday (I think it was the hot sauce I poured all over the turkey burger and my salad).

I also took one hour of gentle yoga and I wasn’t so sure my stomach would make it through the class, but I had to work the 4:00 – 4:30 desk and 6:00 to 6:30 shift and I didn’t want to leave to come back. I made it through…woooo!

******************

Here’s a little WINTER FUN I am going to try. I love love love running but I also want to get stronger and try to improve my flexibility (even though I’ve been doing yoga for three years and as my running gets faster my flexibility gets worse…strange)! Once winter break starts for me, I am going to find different type of gyms in my area that have one week free trials and go to their classes. Not an actual gym gym (you know the ones with treadmills, weight machines, bikes, and all that jazz), but bootcoomps, crossfit, circuit, hot yoga (even though I work at a studio I would like to try a new place). I am going to find four gyms that have a free week pass and do a different one each week for four weeks. Now that I’ve said it, I have to do it right?!?!? 😉

oh and my breakfast because i'm obsessed and look at all those chips!

oh and my breakfast because i’m obsessed and look at all those chips!

Do any good run workouts lately?

What’s your favorite type of strength exercise?

Ever do the free week trials?

Bad Habits

Good morning!

Yesterday went by so quickly! I was busy from the minute I woke up until the minute I went to bed! It started by waking up to go to work (no delay opening for me – only school in my area with no delay!) and having my “me” time before the day gets ahead of me! I had a workshop today on all of our state testing data which was very heartbreaking. These kids work so hard and there scores don’t show for it (the district is 97% poverty and 86% spanish speaking).

After work, I rushed home to get in a run before heading to tutor a student up north. I got in 55 minutes. The student I tutor is an honor student that comes from a great area, yet he is struggling with the implementation of the new Common Core Standards (this state explains it well); most students, teachers, and administrators are struggling.

Once I finished torturing the poor kid, I drove back down by me and picked up ingredients to make my bf and me dinner. We decided once a week we will take turns cooking for each other. I made a stir fry with chicken, sugar snap peas, snow pea pods, portobello baby mushrooms, and cashews. I used a Hot Chile Pineapple Chipolte sauce from Target. It was delicious. Of course, he mentions going to get froyo from our favorite place even though I was stuffed, but I can never turn down a trip for froyo.

When we got back, I literally got ready for bed and passed out! I don’t think I stopped all day! It was a good day!

******************************

I came across this article yesterday, 10 Bad Habits (And How to Break Them). I am extremely guilty of numbers 2, 6, and 7.

2. Refueling badly. After hard runs, grab a high-carb snack, then a meal with carbs and protein to rebuild muscle.

I am VERY bad at refueling after hard runs. I usually chug some water, shower, and then make dinner hours later. Sometimes I try to quickly remind myself to even eat a handful of cereal or something just to get it in my system.

6. Being your own doctor. Runners tend to be hyperaware of their bodies, self-medicating with ice or ibuprofen to treat aches and pains. But minor injuries could turn into serious ones. Instead, see a doctor sooner rather than later. If the pain has lingered for three days, schedule an appointment.

google.com, webMD, and all that good stuff!

7. Skipping stretching. It’s okay to nix stretching before a run – in fact, static stretching when your muscles are cold is a no-no – but loosening your muscles post-run can help prevent injury.

I so bad at stretching. I know it’s something I should do. I KNOW IT IS. In college, I was captain sophomore – senior year, and I would lead stretching; however, my stretching wasn’t real stretching. It’s such a bad habit. This is why I’ve made it important to get to yoga at least 2 times a week. I am working on this!

What are you guilty of?

Anyone get any snow?

Running and Yoga in a Nutshell

Happy Monday everyone! I hope you had an awesome weekend!

As far as running, I have been just keeping myself conditioned for the next racing season. I am looking for my next goal race and I am not sure where or when it will be. I definitely know I want to start my season with a half marathon and then work on my 5k time.

Thursday ~ I did an interval workout just to make sure I am getting some speed work in. I started with a 15 minute warm up, did 10×1 minute hard (I don’t know what pace because I don’t own a Garmin)/1 minute easy, cool down home for a total of 55 minutes.

Friday ~ I did one hour of running in the rain (again) and then I went to Happy Hour Yoga Flow. The yoga class was tough, very tough! She had us doing all these crazy inversions but I felt like it was a great workout!

Saturday ~ I went for a nice easy relax fifty minute run followed by an hour of Strong Yoga with a killer instructor!

Sunday ~ Another group run (a little over 12 miles, 1:35 minutes) in the freezing cold!

Basically that’s my running and yoga in a nutshell since I last talked about what my runs were; I think I left off Wednesday. I could be completely wrong!

*************************

Sunday was our first snowfall of the season and it was absolutely beautiful! I didn’t take any photos because naturally that’s what I do. I don’t take many photos. Part of that could be the fact my iPhone is completely cracked and I just don’t care to whip it out!

After my run Sunday, I took a nice long hot bath, relaxed for a bit, and then went to Target. My goal at Target was to buy a few groceries, moisturizers (I’ve realized I’m almost 30 and it’s time to start moisturizing – I’ll talk about that more after using it for a bit), and a bath caddy. Guess what?!?!?! It was a success and I left with NOTHING extra! I even shopped around the sale items in the junior clothing department but still didn’t buy! I am so proud of myself!

I hope everyone’s Monday is off to an excellent start!

Did you get snow this weekend?

What store do you always go into and leave with more than you should?

Target and Christmas Tree Shop (I can spend hours at XMAS tree shop and every time I walk around I find something I didn’t see before)

Do any hot chocolate or jingle bell runs?

If we wait…

so.very.true

so.very.true

This is one of my absolute favorite quotes. In my opinion this is so true. Here’s a little something about me and this quote. Last year in November my ex and I decided to break up. We had been dating almost fourteen months, we had a dog together, and we basically lived together (until September when we decided to have him move back into his place (he still had it for rent) to see if we could work things out). I decided to go to therapy and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I actually think it was the absolute best decision of my life! I started basically right after our breakup and channeled a lot of my time into positive thinking, yoga, running, family, positive quotes, and figuring out what I needed. I explored things I don’t think I ever would have explored if we were together (part of break up).

I went to a Passion and Vision workshop in January with my younger sister. It was probably one of the best workshops and things I could have done for where I was at. The leader of the workshop, Erin Peluso, is a yoga instructor at the yoga studio I work the desk for. I saw a posting for this workshop on the yoga Facebook page and decided to give it a try. I made a vision board of what I envision for myself; we also took a passion and vision test. It led me to where I am today and I’m not joking (I will be doing it again for 2014).

2013 vision

2013 vision

I put on there I wanted to make $80,000 and even though I’m not making $80,000 this year, I actually went back to school and got my education supervisor certification this past summer (I all ready have a masters degree in sport psychology not education even though I’ve been an educator for 8 years). In order to obtain my supervisor certification I only needed four classes, 12 credits since I all ready had a masters and have been teaching for more than three years. So even though I won’t have made that this year, I am on my way to making that and achieving my goal. I also had a lot more of my visions come true. I ran my 1:27 in the half marathon (and to be honest I didn’t put that on there to run that time, I put it on there because it was a half marathon time, and it was a January date – 1:27:2013 (a day of a race)); my friend actually pointed it out to me when I ran my first half of the season in 1:27:53…mission accomplished. I have found myself with so many more happy moments probably more than I ever could have dreamed. My summer “love” (we met in June) has actually turned out to be an amazing guy who just makes life that much better. I’ve learned to have more patience and so much more.

I walked out to a rose on my windshield this morning. It made me realize that crappy days pass and there are far more better days!

I walked out to a rose on my windshield this morning. It made me realize that crappy days pass and there are far more better days!

I remember finding this quote while I was in the midst of deciding to go back for my supervisor certification or not and well I came across this quote at the exact time I needed it! Also at that time, my therapist discharged me (this was back in early May); she told me of all her years of therapy and working I am her hardest working client and earliest to be discharged (I am a runner; runners are overachievers). Her take on therapy is learning how to change our thoughts into positive thoughts; she doesn’t live in the past. She even loved my quotes I would come in with and wrote a bunch down and took down the website I used to find them.

Even though I still share custody my dog (that’s a whole other story) and have my down days (we all have them and I had a major down day yesterday), I remember to look at my vision board and motivation wall daily (I have a wall with quotes, goals, times, and all that good stuff – I have since added to the below picture but again I’m terrible at this). It has helped me a tremendous amount.

my motivation (much has been added since)!

my motivation (much has been added since)!

In other words what I am trying to say, if there is something you want…GO FOR IT. We will truly be waiting the rest of our lives if we don’t. We all have a fear, we all will fail, but we have to take chances. By taking chances it will help lead us to more positive places and situations! Hey, I took a chance and started this blog 😉 !

Any quotes that you have that help you get by?

What do you do for motivation?

Ever do a Passion and Vision Board?

If not, I highly suggest you do!