Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Waiting

    I guess you could say I am waiting. 
I have waited for a lot of things in my life. Haven't we all?
Waiting can be very difficult. Sometimes we are unsure when "it" will happen. Sometimes we do not even know if "it" will. Sometimes we know for sure "it" will happen, but we are not sure we want "it" to. 

I am coming to realize just how important waiting is in life and why God has us wait. Besides the fact that He tells us to.

Something really hit me the other day. I was driving home from the gym thinking about the thing I am waiting on and suddenly I had this image of my little 16 year old self doing that very thing... waiting. I saw myself thinking about the day I would meet the man of dreams, the man that would be my husband. I would pray to God the traits I wished he would have and daydream about how special it would be to finally know him and then marry him. I imagined it would be the most amazing feeling (and boy was it) and I.could.not.wait!

Then there was grad school. Good gosh was that the longest wait of my life to walk across that stage!!! I imagined the feeling I would have as I walked out of my last exam and as I accepted my diploma. I wanted it so bad and two years, then 1 year, then 6 months all felt so very far away.

Don't get me started on the two week taper before a marathon. Not only is everything on my body suddenly broken but I am eating like a cow and on the brink of spontaneous combustion from all the stored up energy.

Or when your growing out your hair and you convince yourself you will not be cute until it reached a certain point... 

Oh and when you think you are literally "starving" while waiting on a dinner table or for your food to get there. gahhhhhh. Ok ,maybe that one is a bit ridiculous, but seriously... you know it's true.

I could go on and on. I am sure you could to.

I'm getting somewhere, I promise. Well... at least in my brain. 
The thing is sometimes we wait and wait and wait, get what we are waiting on, then wait some more. 

What if we focused more on what we have that we waited so long to get. I'm not saying count your blessings (although that is great too). Like, really look at those things you have waited on (whatever they are) and take time to truly appreciate them and thank God each and every day. Look at them and think of those tortuous feelings you once had when waiting on them. Bottle that up and give it all back to whatever it is. Be proud of it, and if it's a human, make sure they know you are!
If we take more time doing this, that "thing" we are waiting on might not take so long. 

In fact, we may even find we didn't need it after all.

What are you waiting on lately?


p.s. for those who care...I'm not really sure what I am doing with this blog. I was getting tired of the look but there are no options on the regular blogger site that I like. I thought about changing over to Wordpress (much better but more complicated) and changing the name (I really want to change the name and domain because people call me Kim (not that I blame them) and I don't just blog about food anymore), but it is a lot of work and really intimidates me! I'm also thinking about just not blogging anymore (long story). I guess that is something I am waiting on.....  something in my brain to know what to do!























Monday, January 14, 2013

Our trip to Mexico!

I cannot believe I am just getting to posting this, but I know I will regret it if I don't. It will be fun to read about later!

We have found that we really enjoy going on vacation the week before Christmas. After, a rocky end of the year, we decided (pretty sporadically) that we needed some sunshine, blue water, and frozen drinks!

He had been waiting to wear this shirt, haha!
 So off to Cancun we went!


We had absolutely beautiful weather the entire trip with temperatures in the low 80's and a nice breeze.



This was only our second trip out of the country so we were not sure what to expect. Our first was to the Dominican Republic. I wrote about that here! We were a little nervous about the food because the Dominican food got rather old pretty fast, but Mexico did not disappoint!

I think I ate my weight in shrimp the first day!
We decided to stay at the Ibero Star after some recommendations and reading the reviews. This particular location used to be a hotel (Ibero Star bought it a few years ago), so it was different than the typical Ibero Star locations, but we really liked it and the service was amazing.





Our first night cracks me up. We literally fell asleep on this lounge, which sits right along a busy walking path by the way, for at least four hours. Yes. You read that right. We ate dinner, then plopped down on this thing around 8:30. I found it rather hilarious when we woke up at 12:30. Apparently that 3:00 AM wake up call for our flight really wore us out!!!


We woke up early each day and hit the gym or took a walk on the beach (no running for me at the time... boo), went to breakfast, then straight to the ocean or pool!




My "big kid" playing the pool games

 After a full day of sun we would get ready for dinner at one of the four restaurants. All of them were tasty, but my favorite was the Steakhouse and Mexican restaurant!




The sunsets were gorgeous...


On our second to last day, we took a day trip to downtown Cancun where we shopped and ate at Senor Frogs! We also got a Starbucks at the outdoor mall because how dare anyone go one week without a Starbucks. I swear.



Overall it was an amazing trip and great way to end 2012! We are excited to see what 2013 brings!
pooped on our last day!













Thursday, January 3, 2013

The "No Set Plan" Plan

Happy New Year! 
See ya later 2012! We had a great year full of lots of change, joy, growth, fun, and some sadness.

This time last year I had just  moved to West Virginia and was getting ready to run the Houston Marathon.  I did not really make any 2012 resolutions (except to find a job....). Boy have things changed since last year. If you would have asked me then what would be going on in my life right now, I probably would have said,

"By 2013, I will have a full-time job"  (nope)
"By 2013, I will have run another marathon and set a new PR" (definitely nope)
"By 2013, I could be pregnant" (almost worked out, but nope)

I am not a big resolution person. It is not that I don't believe in them. I have just come to realize that most of the plans I make get changed. In fact, if I had one "resolution" this year, it would be to make no set plans.

I've really been thinking about some things lately when it comes to making plans. I know that anything can happen and plans do not always work out. If I did not know this, I would be a bit ignorant.

So why not make plans and then just be accepting of  life if they change? Well, of course I do this. If I didn't, I would be one miserable person. But what if I am manipulating the plans I make to be so good that I just assume it is God at work?

This leads me to the thoughts I've been having lately. While I have always been accepting of my plans changing, I still get disappointed when they do. Here's the thing: I tend to tell God my plans and expect Him to come through for me and when He does all is great, but when He does not,  I not only get disappointed in myself, but in Him (this doesn't last long before I realize I am being dumb).

There is a great article on what I am talking about HERE!
I want to tell God the desires of my heart and be comfortable with the unknown of the future instead of finding comfort in my "supposed plans"- the plans that I assume are God's plan because in my mind they are just too good. Fully surrendering to God is just plain hard, and I imagine I will always be working on this, but I want to work harder this year. So.., there you have it, my sappy resolution.

Did you make any this year?

















Friday, December 7, 2012

Almond Flour Brownies



I really really like these for a healthier version of a brownie! They are much lower in carbohydrates and sugar than a standard brownie and contain healthy fats, protein, and fiber! 


These brownies are super moist and rich!

Almond Flour Brownies
(adapted and modified from thewannabechef.net)

Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup almond flour
  • 2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 3/4 cup Stevia (or any sweetener)
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp instant coffee (optional)
  • 1/2 cup Smart Balance Light butter (or any type butter)
  • 4 oz. semisweet baking chocolate
  • 1/4 cup chocolate chips (I used the mini version)
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray an 8x8 or 9x5 inch baking pan with non-stick spray.
  2. Combine the almond flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in large bowl.
  3. Melt the 4oz. of semisweet chocolate with the 1/2 cup butter in small bowl ( I did this in the    microwave).
  4. While the chocolate is melting, beat the eggs, vanilla, sweetener, and coffee together in a medium sized bowl.
  5. Slowly pour the melted chocolate into the egg/sweetener mixture and whisk to combine.
  6. Add the chocolate mixture into the almond flour mixture and mix until well combined.
  7. Pour batter into prepared pan and top with the chocolate chips!
  8. Bake for about 27-30 minutes. Be sure that a toothpick comes out clean and dry! (cool completely)

Enjoy!




















Friday, November 30, 2012

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins (low carb, high protein, gluten free))


You know I love all things "bready"! These muffins are delicious and filling. They are made with almond flour, which is full of healthy fat, protein, vitamins, and minerals! The protein powder is optional. I would rather just eat a few muffins by themselves and not need to add eggs or anything to get the protein I need (I try and get at least 20g protein per meal). So, choosing to add the protein is really a matter of individual taste and eating style! I bet these would do well with shredded carrots or banana instead of the pumpkin as well!

Pumpkin Zucchini Muffins (low carb, high protein, gluten free)

Ingredients:
  • 1.5 cups almond flour
  • 3 scoops vanilla protein powder (about 84g) (the added protein is optional)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp Xathan gum
  • 1/3 cup Stevia (or any sweetener)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg whites (about 6 tbsp)  
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • 1 large zucchini (chopped fine, or shredded)      


Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray muffin pan with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Combine dry ingredients in large bowl (not sweetener).
  3. Combine pumpkin, eggs, egg whites, vanilla, Stevia, and zucchini in another bowl.
  4. Add dry ingredients to wet ingredients and mix until well combined.
  5. Poor into sprayed muffin pan.
  6. Bake for approximately 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out clear and lightly brown.
Makes 12 muffins
Nutrition Information (per muffin): ~ 130 calories, 8g fat, 5.5g CHO, 11.5g protein


Enjoy!








Wednesday, November 28, 2012

I had a screw loose


We just returned from our Texas Thanksgiving. It was a busy week full of lots of driving, visiting, laughing, eating, getting screws removed, you know... the usual (but I'll get to that in a minute)

First...  some silly pictures of my wonderful family this past week. There were so many more people that I did not get pictures of (currently kicking myself)! Love them all so much!
Hope everyone had a joyful Thanksgiving with the ones you love!


I'm taking a little running break at the moment because I had a screw "back out" in my foot. I was fortunate enough to be able to take care of this while we were in Texas with my foot doctor that I know and trust. He removed it in the office (not so pleasant), and I was on my way... sexy shoe and all.

If you are wondering why in the world I have a screw in my foot, you can read about that here! Hopefully I will be back up and running within a week! Cheers to that!















Thursday, November 15, 2012

Running lately

Running has been a challenge lately.

Before I got pregnant, I had heard countless stories of women running during pregnancy. They were all very different. I was one of the women who got tired fast. My pace slowed almost immediately by at least one minute per mile and many times even more. I was completely fine with that, and would walk if I needed to. Basically, I just followed the updated information and guidance on running during pregnancy according to how my body handled it. There is a great post on that here by NYC Running Mama! I went from running an average of 40 miles per week to 25-30 pretty quickly and was able to do slow long runs of 8-12 miles on the weekends with no problems. I was marathon training when I got pregnant so this was a big drop from doing mostly 15-20 mile long runs at a much quicker pace (for me).

It has been two weeks since surgery, and I have been cleared to run for the past week. At first, when I would set out for a run, I still felt pregnant. I still struggle, but it is getting better. This is to be expected, I guess, because my HCG (pregnancy hormone) levels are still relatively high. The doctor is tracking them to make sure they go back down to zero. 

All I want to do is go run fast (for me) and long. Any runner ( or person who loves working out) will probably understand this. Running is a big release for me, and lets be honest, the past month has been one of the hardest of my life. As much as I want to go out there and get crazy, I am being honest with myself and my body. I realize it is not ready for that and I am taking it slow, building some mileage back and doing lots of strength training.
Love my new (pink!!) Brooks Pure Cadence

As much as I want to run a full  marathon this Spring, I think I am going to just stick with a half and give my body time to adjust back to normal (for now... ask me again in two months).  

With all that's gone on, I feel so much more peace. I have been surrounded by supportive friends and family, and God has once again shown me His unconditional love and His ability to heal despite my frustration. He is always faithful and reminding me that having faith does not mean I get what I want, it means I trust that God is doing what I need.