Five on Friday – 5 blog posts that are worth reading

Hi there!

Happy Friday!!


(Seriously, I really was. No joke.)

So, I want to share with you a few (or five) blog posts that I’ve read recently that I think are definitely worth adding to your reading list.

PS: I follow some absolutely amazing bloggers!

Being proud of your body is nothing to be ashamed about

Jennifer at Wine to Weightlifting wrote this post a few days ago and I just think it’s brilliant.

All too often, women (and men – I’m not forgetting or glossing over the fact that men deal with this issue too) struggle with body issues.

Part of that comes from fashion magazines and models and people we see in movies and on television – their bodies are portrayed as what is considered “beautiful” and what we all should strive to be. And that’s just impossible for most of us. I mean, for one thing, we don’t have access to personal trainers, personal photographers, airbrushers, etc. And, and least in my case, that’s not my personal career choice.

Go through the grocery store or the Wal-Mart and look at those magazines there by the registers. Articles like “Best and Worst Beach Bodies,”  “baby bump or burrito?”, “You’ll never believe who gained 110 pounds!” fly out at us attempting to draw us in while showing us that the public only likes a perfect body.

And then there are the commercials for this diet system or that miracle fat-absorbing pill. I could go on. It just frustrates me. Because I’ve dealt with those issues.

I’ll be honest – I have a booty. It wasn’t always cool to have a booty. Like back when I was in high school. I got made fun of for it – called “bubble butt” or “BB” (for short). I was super self-conscious about what I wore and where I went and who might be walking somewhere behind me. And you know what? You can’t “diet” a booty away.

I just have to say thank you to Sir Mix-a-Lot and J.Lo. for showing the world that having a booty is NOT a bad thing. 🙂

The Problem I Have With ‘The Pornographication of Fitness’

And speaking of causing body issues, especially in women……

Taylor at Lifting Revolution responds with her take on Tosca Reno’s article “The Pornographication of Fitness Needs to Stop.”

I’ll let you read the original and Taylor’s response. Let me know what you think.

In my opinion, if you came from the fitness model environment and KNOW what it does to the body image of many women and are potentially in a position to make changes to the way women’s bodies are portrayed in magazines, then I think you should do something instead of just talking (slightly hypocritically) about it. Again, my opinion. Your opinion may differ.

Happy Weight Series: Improving Body Confidence

Are you sensing a theme here?

Alex at Delicious Knowledge shares her thoughts on improving body confidence.

Seriously people, we have to stop the “fat” talk.

Fat is something we eat, not something we are.

Choose FOOD, Not Drugs, For Weight Loss

Meet Alysia at Slim Sanity (clever name, isn’t it?!)

And, back to those “quick-fix diet” thingies. Seriously, they don’t work.

Food works. Um, real food, that is. Exercise works. Moderation works. HARD WORK and TIME works.

Okay, okay, okay. I’m off my soap box. This next one is food related but not body image related. If you have kids, you’ll probably appreciate it. If you know anyone with kids, you might appreciate it. If you enjoy eating, you might appreciate it. 🙂

What Registered Dietitians Feed their Kids

I have many friends who say “but he/she’s so picky” when it comes to feeding their kid(s).

Hell, I’m pretty picky at times when it comes to feeding ME.

Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean asked some of her RD friends what THEY feed their kids and got some interesting answers.

I think this information is great, not only for parents trying to navigate the land of convenience and quick dinners and avoid all the processed food choices, but also for ANYONE who’s interesting in making some changes to their diet. I mean, we’re all kids when it comes to trying new things. Maybe we should approach changes in our diets the same way we would approach introducing change to someone who has no control over his/her life. Just a thought. 🙂

 Talk to me: Have you read anything interesting lately? Anything that made you think? Anything that made you change your perception of something?

Running naked and eating right


Happy first Thursday of 2014!


I hope you had a safe and fun New Year’s celebration! 🙂

I hit the road this morning for a short run. I actually forgot to charge my Garmin so I ran naked.

Um, not naked as in “not wearing any clothes” but naked as in “not wearing a watch.”


Do you know how cold it is out there?

Get your mind out of the gutter.

Anyway, do you ever do that? You should! It’s quite liberating!

I’m sure running in your birthday suit would also be quite liberating. Until you got arrested. Then, not so liberating any more. So, I don’t recommend THAT kind of running naked.

Running without a watch also gives you a chance to run by feel rather than being so focused on running a specific pace.

It’s good for you both physically and mentally. It pulls you out of your head and just puts you out there IN the run.

So, there’s 9 days until the Mississippi Blues marathon!!

I’ve only got one longish run before I really taper next week.

Because it was a short-ish run this morning – I just did 5 miles – I fueled up with some orange juice and a handful of raisins.

If you’re just getting in to running, or your trying to use running as a weight loss tool, you want to make sure you’re fueling your body properly both pre- and post-run.

You certainly don’t want all that hard (and FUN!) work to go to waste. Or, to your waist! 😉

So, the general rule of thumb is, if you’re running less than 30 minutes, you probably don’t need a snack before you head out the door.

If you’re running longer or harder (hills, tempo run, etc), you want to grab a 100-200 calorie snack about an hour before your run.

Now, if you’re like me and you run early in the morning, getting up to eat a snack an hour before a run just isn’t going to happen.

I mean, seriously.

If you’re heading out on your run at 4:30am, who wants to be up at 3:30 just to eat?!


Um, yeah, not me.

That’s why I choose orange juice. It gets the calories and carbs through my system quickly. The raisins hold me through the run.

Of course, if I wake up STARVING, I’ll usually eat a banana and/or a spoonful of peanut butter and skip the OJ and raisins.

For longer runs, I’ll usually have small bowl of cereal with some blueberries or strawberries or some instant oatmeal.

What? It’s early in the morning. You think I’m going to COOK up some oatmeal on the stove?


This is NOT the time to eat Fiber One.

Well, at least not for me. You could have an iron stomach and handle it well but, generally, too much fiber before a run can make a tummy feel really blech.

I don’t like blech.

In fact, I don’t like blech so much that I pack my own food when I travel for races. I’m sure the TSA folk think I’m strange for having packets of oatmeal, Justin’s peanut and almond butters, Larabars and Jelly Bellys in my bag. Don’t care.

Now that you’ve run and you’re back home, what should you eat?

If you’ve done a short, easy-ish run (and yes, easy/hard is different for everyone so you will need to learn to listen to your body), you’re probably fine with just drinking some water (rehydration is KEY! You don’t want to feel bad later. It’s not fun. Trust me.) and then grabbing a healthy breakfast after a shower, etc.

If you’ve done a hard/long run, you want to fuel within 30 minutes to an hour of your workout. Your muscles need it even if your stomach thinks it doesn’t.  Again, trust me. If you don’t fuel then, you’ll eat the entire McDonald’s menu later. And then your belly will REALLY hurt.

You want to aim for a ratio of 4:1 carbs:protein. I don’t know why that is the magic number but it is. Science is awesome. And chocolate milk is the BOMB-diggity after a workout and gives you the right amount of fuel. This one is my favorite! It’s the perfect size!


If you’re not a fan of chocolate milk (seriously, there are people out there who actually don’t like it. like my uncle. he’s strange.), try to keep your snack around 200 calories.  Then, a few hours later, eat a healthy snack/small meal and continue on with your day.

If you’re like me (okay, fine, I have a somewhat disagreeable tummy), you’re probably going to feel a little ick after an especially long run (for me, that’s a marathon) and you don’t want to eat anything AT ALL.

Don’t do that. It’s bad.

If you can’t do chocolate milk, make a fruit smoothie and add a scoop of your favorite protein powder. Or, if you’ve traveled for a race and you can’t just whip up a fruit smoothie, maybe you should have remembered to pack your blender.  Ha! I’m kidding. 🙂  You should check out the selections by Naked Juice, Odwalla, and Bolthouse Farms. Many of those have a great blend of fruit (and vitamin C!) and have a shot of protein to help refuel your tired muscles. Just make sure you watch the serving size or you may bounce off the walls because of all the sugar!

And then, don’t forget to stretch!


I get a lot of information from Runner’s World. They have a plethora of articles on nutrition for runners, how to fuel for various races and distances, suggestions for both pre- and post-workout meals, etc.  I am not an expert on this subject nor am I an expert on nutrition although I DID stay at a Holiday Inn Express last night. No, not really. 🙂 I try to make as many healthy choices as I can and I have learned my own requirements through trial and error and listening to my body (most specifically – my tummy) but I have taken guidance/ideas from them and tried them out. You have to find what works for you as far as what fuels you properly before a workout and what your tummy can handle post-workout.

Question: What’s your favorite blend of fruit smoothie?

– jennifer

Home. And our first dinner – BBQ Baked Beans with Sausage

Good morning!

It’s so early.

so early


I would really prefer to still be sleeping.

But, I woke up.

We officially became homeowners yesterday!!!


Of course, we don’t have our furniture yet so we’re living off the stuff we have in our little camper.


Which includes air mattresses.

That, of course, deflate slowly as the night goes on.

The house has hardwood floors.


BUT! I love my house!!

It was so nice to cook in a real kitchen last night!

OH! So, yesterday, I caught a glimpse inside one of the hotel rooms near ours when the maid was cleaning and we were getting all of our crap out of our room. That room had a full on (okay, so it was miniature but still) stove with 4 burners (4!) and AN OVEN!!!  That is so unfair!!!  All we had was that 2 burner stove and a microwave.  They had an oven!!! Yes, it’s water under the bridge at this point but … still.  An oven would have made those 11 days a whole lot tastier! 🙂

Anywho, I got to cook in MY kitchen last night!

I pulled the pots, pans and utensils from my camper and got down to business.

It was awesome.

I made BBQ Baked Beans & Sausage from Eating Well.


It was delicious!

I couldn’t find plain chicken sausage so I used Johnsonville Chipotle Monterey Jack Cheese sausage.


Interestingly enough, this was the first time I’ve ever cooked with collard greens.


Note: if you are not sure how your family will like the collards, use less than the recipe calls for. Trust me.

Or, you could also use kale, if you prefer.


We had leftovers because we’re not football players.

And, we all chowed down on the corn muffins I made.


I only have small plastic containers from the camper.

So, I have 3 containers of leftovers.


Question: Would you believe I haven’t even had a cup of coffee yet?!?!

– jennifer