01/7/15

13.1 training & being a plus-sized “runner”

I wanted to start writing training posts when I originally signed up for the Sarasota half marathon in early December (especially a post about signing up because we all know that’s the hardest part and deserves its own post!), but I just haven’t dedicated the time to actually sit down and plan it all out. Continue reading

10/5/14

Sometimes you just need to shake things up

Sometimes I feel like I’ve been on this weight loss journey my entire life. 
Well, honestly, it HAS been. 

As many of you have learned already, I have been “overweight” as long as I can remember. 
Being heavier than the average child, teenager, and young adult had far more disadvantages than the health concerns carrying extra weight brings. As most of the world knows, there is a certain stigma attached to the overweight. And because of that, I never really had a lot of friends as a child. Being overweight made me VERY shy, and embarrassed, and so I just kept to myself. I opened up a bit more in Junior High and High School, and although I was able to grow my circle of friends, as people began to date and pair off, I never even went on so much as a date in high school. 

Continue reading

01/14/14

Mental training & Week 2

When you hear the words “Mental training“, what do they mean to you?

I had Biggest Loser playing on the TV tonight, but I was also playing around on the computer, so my attention was a bit divided. However, something DID catch my interest, pulling me away from my laptop for a moment. 

Maybe you know what I’m referring to, if you too watch The Biggest Loser. It was towards the beginning of the show when the final 8 contestants got to meet and train with Apolo Ohno. They were on the spin bikes and Apolo was talking to them about “mental training”. He was telling the group that it’s not about how many miles you put in, how intense you train, or how often you workout. He stressed the fact that if your head’s not in the game, and you’re not mentally training along with your physical actions, you won’t be seeing results at 100%.  Continue reading

01/2/14

Know what you have part 2

**Disclaimer** This post covers sensitive medical and wellness related topics involving breast cancer and preventative reproductive procedures. If you feel uncomfortable discussing or reading about these topics, please skip this post. I won’t be offended because I know you’ll be back! Additionally, I am NOT a medical professional. I am simply a patient giving my opinion on how to be proactive with women’s health issues and sharing my story. Please consult your own physician before attempting any medical procedure or self-diagnosing. Thank you for understanding and please leave comments below. I’d love to hear your feedback.

Before you read Part 2, please take a moment to read part 1 of this post. Here is the link: Know you what you have part 1 Continue reading

11/10/13

Sunday markets and baking with almond meal

When I met my boyfriend, he was just about to sell the house he was living in and start shopping for a place of his own. Just a couple of months into our relationship I was tagging along with him looking at houses throughout his favorite spots in Tampa. Our love was new, and no one really knew what the future would hold. But there’s one thing he made clear: his future was with me. He knew it early on (and so did I), and we’ve been inseparable ever since.

At the time we met, Brian was living in Temple Terrace. There were some perks to living there (a nearby favorite golf course being one), but he also had his eye on the Forest Hills area of Tampa, another decision driven somewhat by the fact that most of the houses are near a golf course (can you tell he loves golf?), and the fact that the price range of houses in that area are fantastic. However when the decision was finally made, he chose a house in the Seminole Heights area; his childhood neighborhood.

If you’re from Tampa, you know the area I’m speaking of. It’s a place where time has stood still. Most of the roads are still paved in brick, many of the houses are wrapped with wide porches, graced with swings and creaky wooden floors. Yards are spacious, and nothing is cookie cutter. Each house has its own charm and uniqueness. Seminole Heights is definitely a hidden gem.

After living here for a bit of time now, I’ve grown to love the area. It’s where I work. It’s where we play. It’s where I shop, dine out and explore. There are so many hidden spots sprinkled throughout Seminole Heights, and one of my all time favorites started back up for the 2013-2014 season: the Seminole Heights Sunday Morning  Market.

SHSMM_New-LogoThe market is held the 2nd Sunday of the month from October to May, on the front lawn of Hillsborough High School on Central Avenue and Hillsborough Avenue from 9am-2pm. There are dozens upon dozens of tents, food trucks and farmer’s market booths selling everything from fresh produce and soap to local art and baked goods. Today as I walked around the market I noticed local vendors offering samples of freshly squeezed juices, homemade beef jerky, lotions, body scrubs, smoothies and more. Some of the local art featured things like metal sculptures, hand made quilts and jewelry. I love the feel of the market. Hillsborough High School is such a beautiful setting for something like this.

I was hoping to be able to score some #NSNG goodies at the market. Luckily I had some cash in my pocket because one of the first booths I stumbled across was one that featured a HUGE variety of dried fruits, vegetables and dry roasted nuts.

IMG_9037As I chatted with the owner about the market, he let me sample a few of the products. We talked a bit about NSNG and he introduced me to some delicious products that would definitely make life easier while eating this way. I walked away with THE most amazing dried pears, dried bing cherries, dried dates and dried apple rings. I also purchased some beet chips, a bag of almond meal, a bag of coconut flour, and some dry roasted pecans.

On the way out, I also purchased some fresh produce from the farmer’s market. Check out some of these veggies! I think those are hands down the largest carrots I’ve ever seen!

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Here are a few more shots from the market. I’m already thinking about my next trip in December!

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I couldn’t WAIT to get home and start working with some of the goodies I purchased. Today marks two weeks on No Sugar and No Grains, and now that I’m into a pretty good routine of what’s compliant and what’s not, I’m excited to get cooking and start experimenting with some recipe creations.

Now although #NSNG means no “bread” type items, I decided to try my hand at baking with different types of compliant flours, like coconut flour and almond meal/flour.

Now while I don’t know much about the science behind cooking with these alternative flours, I did some reading up on them tonight and realized that almond meal (ground up almonds) seems to be an excellent replacement for grain based flours. Check out this post to learn more about this versatile product.

So about those recipes… I decided to whip up two of my favorite “carbs”: fruit muffins and drop biscuits!

Oh drop biscuits. You taste so good.

You can purchase almond meal at any of your local health food stores, Whole Foods, Nutrition S’mart or places that sell bulk bin items.

Apple & Date Cinnamon Muffins
2 cups almond meal
2 eggs + 2 egg whites
1 tsp. vanilla extra
8 dates (at room temp), pitted and pureed (you can use a food processor)
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled a bit
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. pumpkin pie spice

Preheat oven to 350. Line a cupcake tin with paper liners. Add all ingredients, except for dates, into a bowl. Using a mixer (hand mixer or standing mixer), combine all ingredients well. Add dates and mix to combine. Pour tablespoon fulls of batter into the cupcake tin. Bake at 350 for 20-22 minutes, or until toothpick test comes out clean. Enjoy with butter or nut butters!

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Cheesy Drop Biscuits
2 1/2 cups of almond meal
2 eggs
1/2 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/4 cup unsweetened apple sauce
4 tbsp. melted butter, cooled
1 cup shredded cheese (I used Parmesan)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine all ingredients using a standing or hand mixer. Drop spoonfuls of biscuit dough onto greased (butter) baking sheet. Bake for 15-20 minutes until firm and golden brown. Enjoy!

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Have you ever baked with almond meal?

Steph 🙂

07/2/13

Too fat for a gym?

Lately I’ve had people searching for some interesting things that have led them to my blog.

“Am I too fat to workout at a gym?”
“Too heavy for Orange Theory?”
“Weight limit for rower”
“How to overcome humiliation at a gym”
“How much should I weigh before gym membership” Continue reading

04/28/13

Journey not finish line

I’ve come to find that no one has the answers when it comes to living a healthy lifestyle. In the end, you truly must do what works for you. We cannot depend on a new diet gimmick, weight loss tricks or the like. And although we like to take the advice of others, sometimes that advice isn’t something that will benefit you and your own journey. Continue reading