Cumin Rubbed Chicken Tacos

I decided to experiment with dinners this week – here’s day 1.


I essientially took chicken breasts and rubbed them with cumin.  I seared them in a pan with sunflower oil and then baked them the rest of the way at 400 F for 14 minutes.

I chopped fresh tomatoes, cucumber, and cilantro as toppings.

But the show stealer is – the sauce.

I got the original recipe from The Jerusalem Cookbook, but I tweaked it.  

  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt (I only use Fage total)
  • 1 tbsp sumac
  • 1 tbsp olive oil 
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 garlic cloves smashed or diced
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp honey

Mix it together and voila! Best sauce ever.


Husband Approved!

See you tomorrow!

Where Did The Wagon Go?

I fell off the wagon and it went far, far away.

I have to find it.

 

I don’t know if I’ve become complacent or if I’m just hungry constantly (Well I know I am), or could it be that I have become comfortable at this weight? The last one can’t be true because I kind of hate myself at this weight.  I am tired, sore, and bloated.

So how does one change?

I’m focusing on one thing at a time.  I need to get my workouts back in check.  I’m starting that today.  Once I get back in that groove, I’ll focus more on my food intake.  I need to meal prep better.  I was so good that one week, and then bam.  I was done.

Salads here I come!

My Training Plan this week:

  • Thursday: 2 min running/2 min walking 7 times for 28 minutes
  • Friday: Cross Training (Elliptical)
  • Saturday: 3 miles (1 min running, 2 min walking until completion)
  • Sunday: Cross Training (Elliptical
  • Monday: 3 min running/2 min walking 6 times for 30 minutes

Then my new WeightWatchers week begins on Tuesday.  I’d like to be smaller by my doctor’s appointment in January.  I want to show my doctor I am trying.  So that is my goal.

 

What are your goals?

 

And the beat keeps runnin’ runnin’

I follow a lot of runners on social media from when I was running regularly.  If you are just tuning into my life, in 2014 I decided to run the Marine Corps Marathon in Washington, D.C.

I had run numerous half marathons and shorter distances and felt that, because of natural progression, it was only right of me to attempt a marathon.

The training wasn’t horrible.  My longest run was 20 miles and while I hated every inch of my body after that run, I knew that on race day adrenaline would kick in and I would fly (crawl) through the last 6.2 miles.

Race day came (the day after my little sister’s wedding) and I stood at the start line (well, a good ways back) and prayed “God, just get me across the bridge in time.”  There is a bridge in DC that marks the “make it or break it” moment in the marathon.  If you get to the bridge by 1:00 pm you have successfully “beat the bridge” and will finish the race.  You could literally crawl after that point and they can’t “sweep” you (put you in a bus and thus you don’t finish).  It’s mile 20 of the race.

I had only ever run that much.

The first 13 or so miles were uneventful.  I felt fine, my legs didn’t feel heavy, but when I got to Rock Creek Park, FOR SOME REASON, everything started shutting down.  I had severe dehydration – even though I had been chugging water.  I was eating but immediately vomiting.  I started having minor hallucinations – thinking my husband was running with me, thinking it was a dream.  It was a balmy 65 degrees out for October, but I was freezing.  I actually picked up a sweatshirt off the road and put it on because I was shaking so hard.

I somehow crossed the beat the bridge space at 12:48 pm.  I was home free.  Medics kept stopping me because of my “color” or lack thereof.  Pumping myself with Gatorade I pressed on.  I crossed the finish line with a time of 6:41:29.  It was my personal best and all I could give.  I left everything on that course and I am proud of that time.

I woke up the next morning deciding to never run again.

The joy was gone.  I immediately felt like if I continued running I would have to one-up myself every time.  I would have to be better, get better, etc. with every race.  The pressure I put on myself was disgustingly heavy.  I just stopped that day.

Now, almost 2 years to the day, I found myself digging out my old running training plan that I used when I trained for my first half marathon in 2010.  I walked into the gym this past Friday, turned on my music, and just tried it.

It worked.

Sunday I went into the gym planning on just doing day two of the training plan and after I had finished it, I decided to see if I could run a mile.

I did.  Without stopping.

As tears poured from my eyes I remembered the reason why I started running and loved running.  I felt invincible.

I signed up for a 5K on January 1, 2017 because this will be my year.  This will be my time to fall back in love with running.

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Turkey Trot 10K
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FIRST HALF MARATHON
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Mother’s Day 4 Miler
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MARINE CORPS MARATHON
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Twilight 4 Miler
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Navy Air Force half Marathon
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Sunday, at the gym, before sobbing.

I will use this as my journey journal so you all can run along with me.

Let the Miles Be Ever In Your Favor.

Weekly Weigh In

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Down 1.6!  12.8 pounds lost so far!  I hit 5% lost last night!

I started crying on the scale because it seems like I have zero confidence that this will work until I see it working.  I have zero confidence in myself until I see the reaction to my hard work.

I felt like I had a pretty off week (lots of celebrating birthdays, baseball game, beer) but I stuck to my plan and it paid off.

I think what is also helping is the fact that I am cooking more.  I am cooking wholesome food too.

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This was dinner last night.  Conchiglie with yogurt, peas & chile.  It’s from a cookbook called Jerusalem (Thanks Adie for the recommendation!) and so far everything we have cooked from this book has been amazing.

Last night was no exception.

Today’s Plan:

  • Breakfast: Double protein English Muffin, coffee
  • Snack: More coffee
  • Lunch: Fruit, Cheese, Veggies, Almonds
  • Dinner: Braised chicken with various veggies
  • Activity: Elliptical
  • Water: 120 ounces

This week will be a good one because I will make it a good one.

 

Losing It All – Gaining It Back

When I lost the weight the first time, I still felt like I had ways to go.  I was a size 8 and felt just as big as I did at a size 16.  I stared in the mirror day after day and focused on what I thought my flaws were.  My legs were thick and weird looking.  I couldn’t tell (in my own mind) that they were muscular and strong.  They carried me on runs every day.  My arms were not toned, they were still soft looking.  I hated wearing sleeveless shirts  because of the ‘flab’ I saw.  I couldn’t tell how small they had gotten.  My stomach wasn’t flat and that made me self-conscious to sit  without sucking in because of the pooch that appeared.  I couldn’t tell that when I stood, I wasn’t sucking in because there was nothing to hide.

I couldn’t see how far I’d come because mentally I hadn’t moved.  I was still the size 16 girl who hated herself.  It felt that losing the weight didn’t take long, because it didn’t.  I dropped 70 pounds in the course of about 10 months.  But I couldn’t see it.  I still hated every inch.

I gained it all back because of this hate.  I gained it all back because I was not happy, even at my new weight, because to me, it wasn’t enough.

I gained it all back.

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I remember how much I hated this picture because of the roll on my stomach, and the way my hip was kicked out making it look wider.

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So what’s different?

The weight loss is going slower than before.  I’m mindfully trying to focus on changing habits over simply denying things.  I’m trying to focus on each day, each pound, as opposed to focusing on the whole lot of it.

I don’t hate myself.

I took a long time to get to the point where I could find myself beautiful in the mirror, and while there are days where I am not there, I am there more often than not.

I am focusing on accepting myself now, and changing myself to be healthy.  I want to wear all the clothes I bought before, sure.  More so, I want to be able to know that I am going to be around longer to experience more.

It’s a new WeightWatchers week and while the last two have been kind of off, I am back at it.  I’ve tracked for the day and I am excited about getting back to the gym.

Menu:

  • Breakfast: Double protein English Muffin w/ fat-free cream cheese, coffee
  • Snack: Nonfat latte
  • Lunch: Cheese, fruit, carrots
  • Snack: Potato crisps (WeightWatchers brand)
  • Dinner: Pasta with Greek yogurt sauce and sumac
  • Activity: Elliptical

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I’m in the best mindset.  I can do this.

13 Things I Wish I Had Known About Teaching, Before Actually Becoming A Teacher

I find myself on a daily basis feeling like I am trying to keep 100 corks underwater in a pool at the same time.

When I finally made the decision to become a teacher, and I applied for the program at George Mason University, I had these dreams and feelings that my days would be filled with intellectual debates over T.S. Eliot, Camus, Whitman, and the like.

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My actual thought process.

I started my education courses and all the information came easy to me.  I felt like I was made for this.

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Step aside… I got this.

Then I walked into a classroom on the first day.

  1. You Do Not Know Everything.  I was not remotely prepared to accept this.  I was teaching AP kids and thought that I would have all the information because A.) I am the teacher, B.) I have a bachelors in English, C.) I AM THE TEACHER.  Nope.  Day 1 I was stumped.  I felt shaken  because the kids were actually like “How do you not know this?”  I don’t even remember the question now, but it was enough to make me want to throw up in my mouth.
  2. Getting To School Early Does Not Mean You Will Get Everything Done (Neither does it mean that if you stay late).  I got to school religiously at 5:45 am to make copies, set up for the day, and review stuff so I felt prepared.  Tell me how I still acted like a spaz in the front of the room like I had never seen a chalk board before?
  3. You Should Never go out on school nights again.  I tried.  It turned into a disaster when my students said I looked “Dead” the next day.  Well, kids, that’s because I am.  Very different from when I worked in an office and I could stroll in and look like a zombie and people just thought I was an Engineer.  Now, I have to look alive and peppy.  24/7.
  4. Eating lunch becomes an olympic sport.  I have 25 minutes to eat my lunch, make copies, switch the board to the other grade level I teach, and use the bathroom.  I get most of my steps during this time period.
  5. Buying your own set up for technology in your classroom (i.e. printer, extra monitor, etc.) is TOTALLY WORTH IT.  I don’t care if my desk looks like an add for Staples.  I needed all of this stuff.
  6. You Will Cry At Least Once On The Way Home/At School/In The Bathroom.  I did this far too often.  At least it felt like it was far too often because once was too much for me.  I felt like I had no idea what I was doing.  I cried because I was worried that someone would find out I was this fraud and I really shouldn’t be allowed to be in charge of the next generation’s futures.  I was terrified that I’d be found out.
  7. You will not reach them all, but you will reach at least one.  That moment when you see someone get it.  That moment when Mr. Quiet all year suddenly raises his hand.  That moment when a kid says “You have given me a voice.”  You will cry.. but you will be smiling.
  8. Coffee is not an addiction it is preventative medicine.  Without it, who knows what might be done.
  9. The Librarians Are The Best People In The School.  Treat them with every ounce of respect you have in your body because they will be able to help you with everything you could possibly imagine (Including a power jump for your car).
  10. Motivational Pencils work sometimes.  My husband bought me pencils that say things like “You Are Awesome” and ‘Have a great day’.  Sometimes when I am hanging on to the end of my rope with my pinky finger, those pencils bring me back.
  11. When you are a teacher, your personal life has to take a back seat.  I have to forget about a fight I am in with a friend, or my husband, or my dog when the kids come into the classroom, because they have their own messy lives to deal with.  I need to be put together because they might be falling apart.
  12. Working out becomes therapy.  I work through everything on the elliptical.  Lesson plans, student issues, parent issues, my issues.  I hop on and 3-5 miles later I am good to go.  I’ve got the answer I need and most of the time it’s the hardest choice to make, but I at least have clarity.
  13. Having a countdown to the next time off is therapeutic.  It’s only been 13 school days and my kids have finished a book and started a research project.  I am exhausted.  But, it’s a three day weekend!

Being a teacher is more rewarding than I thought it could be.  It’s also the most scary thing I have ever done.  Everyday I feel renewed and rundown, but in the most beautiful way.