Decisions, decisions...

I saw something similar to this the other day, so I had a little fun in Photoshop last night and made my own version.  ;)


Banana Bread Muffins (with Chocolate Chips, of course)

Don't throw away your mushy, brown bananas!  Make these instead. They're super easy, you don't even need a mixer, I just use a wooden spoon. :)

You will need:

3 or 4 bananas
1/3 cup melted butter
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp baking soda
pinch of salt
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup of chocolate chips (I use the mini ones)

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Line your muffin tin with cupcake liners or parchment paper, or spray/butter a bread loaf pan if you want to make bread instead.

Mash the bananas and mix with melted butter in a bowl.  Mix in the sugar, egg and vanilla.  Add the baking soda and salt.  Add the flour and stir in chocolate chips.  Just mix together with a spoon until combined.

Add to your muffin or loaf pan.  If you're making the muffins, bake for 22 minutes.  If you'd like a loaf instead, bake for 1 hour.

Let cool for a couple minutes, then continue to cool on a cooling rack. Unless you want to eat them warm, of course.  Enjoy! :)



Ok, I'm pretty sure racing is done for the year.  Now what?  I'm the type of person that needs to train for something or I will not find a reason to work out.  I need motivation, something to work for.  I want working out to be second nature for me, like having my morning coffee.  Right now I'm finding it hard to balance my health and fitness with motherhood.  Sounds like just another excuse, I know.  I mean, it's been a challenge in itself training for the triathlon and half marathon this year.  Between drop-offs and pick-ups, nap time and breastfeeding, lunchtime and dinner planning, it's seriously a work out to fit in a work out.  I need to do something to give me a little shove, make myself accountable.

So, I'm just gonna put it out there right now... My "before" picture.  It's actually my "right now" picture.


don't laugh!

Oh Lord, I can't believe I'm putting this out there on the world wide web.  But, that gut's gotta go!  That's what three babies will do to you, I guess.  Soooo....

I want to continue running even though it's already starting to get quite chilly outside.  I suppose I'll need to incorporate some type of ab work outs, too.  I'm ready to start making more time for myself.  Here's to losing the gut!

Do you have any before/after/work in progress photos?  Please share, they're so motivating!

Oh, I have a Facebook page for Healthy. Because I Can! now.  Like me if you'd like :)


Running is ruining my life because...

My favorite jeans don't fit me anymore! Now I have to buy a smaller size.  Darn it!!


Road ID Bracelet

Better safe than sorry! I ordered a Road ID to wear when I go out for a long run (or bike, or swim for that matter).  I think I may even order one for my kids for field trips and what not.  Road ID was kind enough to give me a $1.00 off coupon code to share with you all.

Just to the Road ID website, choose your bracelet style, and customize it.  When you check out enter this code for your $1.00 off... ThanksJennifer8177806 

Hurry though, this code can only be used 20 times in the next 30 days.


Two Recipes, One Vegetable :: Sweet Potatoes

I think sweet potatoes are very underused.  They normally only make an appearance in my house on Thanksgiving.  But, I think they are so delicious and a nice alternative to regular potatoes.  With only a few more calories than a potato, sweet potatoes have almost twice the filling fiber and more beta-carotene.

The first recipe actually came home from school with my oldest son.  He (my pickiest eater) made them in class and loved them.  How could I not make something with vegetables in it that my kids would actually like?


1 cup cooked sweet potatoes, mashed
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 eggs
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
3/4 cup milk
1 teaspoon cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, grease muffin pan (or arrange paper muffin cups in pan).
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well.
3. Pour the batter into the muffin tins until 2/3 full and back for 20 - 25 minutes.  Makes 24 muffins.

So yummy with a little butter and some brown sugar.

Look at that color!
The next recipe is a little easier, and sorry, I don't have a photo because we gobbled them down before I had the chance to snap!


2-3 sweet potatoes, peeled
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees, spray the bottom of a baking pan with cooking spray to avoid sticking.
2. Cut the potatoes into french fry sized pieces.
3. Toss the fries in a mixing bowl with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
4. Arrange in a single layer on the baking sheet.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Makes 6 servings.

Try 'em, even your kids might like 'em! :)


A little motivation.

{image via Pinterest}
Sometimes I just need to remind myself that I have the ability to lace up my shoes and run.  And for that I am thankful.


My new kicks.

This past weekend I went shopping for some new running shoes.  After my epiphany, I knew what kind of shoes I was shopping for.  I had a couple of brands in mind; Nike Free, Vibram Five Fingers, and Merrell Pace Glove.

After telling the sales guy what I was looking for (something as close to barefoot as possible) he immediately brought me over to the Vibrams.  We totally bypassed the Nike Free, they had a little too much sole in the heel and that was one of the main things I wanted to avoid.  So I tried on a couple pairs of Vibrams.  Oh man, I couldn't get passed the feeling of those little toe holes!  Sure, they were fine in the store, but I can't imagine running a few miles in them, let alone a half marathon.  And quite frankly, I didn't really care for the colors they had available.  I'm sorry, but that is a factor when buying shoes, I am a girl, afterall. :)

Finally, I tried a couple pairs of the Merrell Pace Glove.  They actually do fit like a glove.  And the best part is, they have Vibram soles.  They are very light weight, lighter than any running shoe I'd ever owned.  Another plus, I don't need to wear socks and I can throw them in the wash when I need to.

So I think I got the best of both worlds here.  Light weight, "minimalistic" running shoes with Vibram soles.  And for the price of $100.00 they were the perfect match for me.  I went for a run with them on Sunday.  Got a few blisters, which is to be expected of new shoes.  I really can't believe the difference between these and my old running shoes.  Just like when I ran barefoot, I naturally wanted to land on the ball of my foot or at least flat.  And again, my heel didn't really touch the ground.  I felt like a gazelle running through the plains!  Before I felt as if I had let my feet dry in a bucket of cement then went for a run.

I'm hoping these shoes will make my runs more enjoyable.  :)


This deserves a post.

It's been AGES since I wrote on this thing.  But after my last run, I have to share.

I get horrible, horrible shin splints.  To the point that I can't walk normal for a couple of days even after the shortest runs.  I've tried everything from running at an incline on the treadmill, resting days between runs, ice, heat, stretching, complaining... None of it really has worked.  Mike recently mentioned running barefoot, which I never really considered before.  I could definitely see how it might make a difference.  When I run I land on my heal first.  My shins do not like that very much.  I have tried to make a conscience effort to land either flat or on the balls of my feet, but it takes so much concentration and effort that it just makes me more tired.

So, today I thought I'd give barefoot running a try.  During the week I run on the treadmill in my basement.  I figured I'd start off easy and do a mile on the 'mill and see how it goes...

Then, 29 minutes and 34 seconds later I ran 3.13 miles!  My fastest 5k time yet, with a 9'25"/mile pace.  I consistently run between 10 and 11 minute miles, so this is a huge difference.  I could have gone farther but I seriously blistered my toesies.  But, oh my goodness, the difference!  My feet naturally wanted to land on the balls and my heals hardly touched the ground.

My legs felt like what I presume they should feel like after a run, sore calves and thighs.  Not achy joints, i.e. hips and knees.  And the best part of all, very little shin pain.  My shins are still sore from the run I did two days ago, so it's kinda hard to tell.  At least they don't feel worse.

I'm going to shop for some of those barefoot running shoes this weekend.

Who knows, maybe I can trick my body into thinking it's a runner. :)


There's a shoe for that.

One of the million questions I have about my first sprint triathlon is... What kind of shoes do I wear?  Is there a specific type of shoe for the bike/run portion of the race?  Yes, there is.  It should to be a shoe where I won't have to deal with socks, nor laces, and can wear while biking and running.  After some research, I found the company Zoot, a Hawaii based company who specializes in gear for swimming, biking and running.

I ordered these yesterday, and they came today (thank you Zappos for your lightning fast delivery!).  I put them on and gave them a test run on the treadmill.  Quite comfortable after a mile run, even without socks.  It will take some getting used to, but overall I like them.  We'll see how the shin splints like em.  :)


Excuses, excuses...

Boy, did I try to think of every reason in the book to NOT workout today.  I have orders to fill, I have to go to the post office, I have dishes piled high (ya, like that's EVER been a priority), the list went on.  But the little voice in my head kept saying "all you need is 20 minutes"!

So that's all it took.  I ran a mile, a slow 12 minute mile, and walked a little before and after.  Poof, I'm done with my workout for the day.  Not a lot, but just enough to stay on schedule. 

Speaking of schedule, I'm still trying to figure out which training schedule I'm going to stick with.  I'll post once I do.


I'm doing it again...

No, I'm NOT having another baby!!  But just to fill you in since my last post on this blog, I did give birth to a healthy baby boy on August 31, 2010.  Brendan is a bundle of joy ready to play with his big brothers, Nathan and Ryan.

But, what I am going to do is a triathlon.  I know, after the half marathon I did in Las Vegas in December of '09 I swore I had challenged myself enough and I'd never do another one again.  But, like the title of the blog says, I'm HEALTHY, BECAUSE I CAN.  I'm 34, I have my health, I'm physically able, so I'm going to do it.

Yesterday, on the first day of the new decade, I registered for the Omaha Women's Triathlon.  This is a sprint triathlon which means it is shorter than a typical trithlon... the sprint triathlon will consist of a 750 m swim (in a lake, yikes!), about a 12 mile bike, and a 5K run.  Although I am a swimmer, I am a little freaked about swimming in open water (piranhas, ah!!).  I think I'll get over my fear by doing this triathlon.  I ran the 13.1 mile half marathon, so a 5K is a welcome change... although it is the last leg of the race so it very well might FEEL like 13.1 miles.  The part I'm most worried about is a) learning how to use the gears on a bike, and b) the transition from the swim to the bike portion of the race.  The pros already have their shoes attached to the bike!  I don't know if I'm coordinated enough for that.  We'll see.  Oh, and I don't even have a bike yet.  Well, I have my girly beach cruiser but I don't think that will suffice.

I have about 22 weeks to pull it all together.  When I trained for the half marathon I started from scratch.  So that's what I'll be doing this time around, too.  I hope to keep updating the blog, I'd love to have a record of my training.  Maybe someone else who is considering a triathlon for the first time could find some inspiration here.  Maybe.

Here we go...