Friday, September 30, 2011

TRI & BE TOUGH!! (Tough Chik review/giveaway!)

As you all know by now, I am a HUGE fan of all things Tough Chik.

I have been lucky enough to work with Tough Chik and the head Tough Chik (and founder) Shannon for quite some time and I have to say it is always a pleasure to share the Tough Chik love with friends-and the blogosphere.

The Original Tough Chik, Shannon is also competing in her first triathlon this weekend! I could think of no better way to celebrate (and welcome one more to the dark side) than with a Tough Chik Tri Top review and GIVEAWAY!!!!!

While training for Timberman 70.3, Shannon so generously hooked me up with the new tri top from Tough Chik -
it was love at first sight.

I loved the color-even though it is not pink-it was vibrant. A rich, royal purple with the Tough Chik logo in white on the top front.

A black and gray "Checker flag" pattern blazes down each side.
The back is cut racer style (!) with a small but generous sized pocket
(it that an oxymoron?). There were some initial concerns about the pocket (would it cause drag during the swim sans wetsuit) but after a couple swims with it in the pool, it was not a worry for me. Plus, 97% of the time I am wearing a wetsuit for OWS.
The top has a built in shelf bra which is perfect for me since I'm built like a 12-year old boy this would eliminate the need to wear a sports bra under the tri top. Most of the tri tops I have do not have this feature (Champion Systems, Zoot, Sugoi) and I was super excited about this!! But you do not have to be rocking the A cup to take advantage of this added benefit. This top easily accommodates a to D cups.
Plus, with the dark purple color AND the lining of the shelf bra, I did not have to worry about putting on a show getting out of the water or after being doused in water on the run-meaning it's not see through like some of my tops. No need for NippleGate right.
SIDE NOTE: Shannon actually put a lot of thought into the planning here-other colors were eliminated because of this very reason. She's a smart cookie huh??
BUT--would the shelf bra hold up in training?? (yeah-pun totally intended).
Yup, it did. Very comfy and it kept the girls in place and not a single episode of chafing. Even when layered with my Garmin HR strap.
The material is, of course, high quality. It is not a thin, flimsy lycra.. This has a nice "hand" to it and just has a luxe feel to it. Nice stretch but not restrictive or binding.
I think the feature I was most impressed with about the Tough Chik tri top was the actual CUT of the garment.
It was long enough in front to not ride up and continually expose my belly (like most of my tops) and it was long enough in the back to look good and stay put.
This is actually my biggest pet peeve about most tri tops.
While my chest is built like a 12-year old boy, I do have hips and I do have a booty. Most tops are cut straight and short, thus riding up constantly.
I do not want to have to worry about pulling my top down while running.
I was not going to worry about pulling my top down over 70.3 miles either....
So after weeks of training in several tops, I knew that the race day decision was going to be a "tough"one. While I love my tri club, I don't love their top. I really wanted to wear my club colors for my first half. BUT, I do love Tough Chik and loved the fit of this tri top.
So the decision was....

I was proudly wearing purple and a smile over each of those 70.3 miles!!

This top is not limited to triathlon.

I wear this top cycling on hot days.

I weight train in this top.

I run in this top.

I hang out with Triathlon Royalty in this top.

(yes, every opportunity to use this picture huh??)

So even if you are not a triathlete, this functional garment can work for you.

Want your own Tough Chik tri top??
You can find it here!!

Wanna win some Tough Chik gear??
One lucky Miles Muscles & Mommyhood reader will win one of Tough Chik's tees!!

There are TONS of way to enter for your chance to win:

1-Mandatory: Be a follower of this blog.
2-Send your well wishes to Shannon for a great TRI this weekend!! You can find her on Twitter and on Facebook.
3-Like Tough Chik on Facebook.
4-Follow Tough Chik on Twitter.
5-Follow ME on Twitter.
6-Tell me which tee you pick if you win and WHY!
7-Place an order with Tough Chik.
8-Sign up for the Tough Chik newsletter.
9-Tell me what makes YOU a Tough Chik.
10-Share the love-Tweet, FB, share on your blog, etc. +1 entry for each way you spread the word.

BONUS: refer a new blog follower my way, have them comment that they found the blog through you and get +2 extra entries for this giveaway-for YOU and for the new follower!!

**When I hit 400 Followers, there will be an EPIC givewaway**

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bite Me!

Now that it is the "off season" I am really trying to pay attention to my nutrition and trying new things. While I am in great shape right now, I still feel like I can drop my overall body fat percentage a bit more in prep for next season. We all know that nutrition plays a huge role in this show!

I easily get stuck in a rut with the same dishes over and over-I love eating clean but I also love easy, cheap and quick!

Over the next several months I am going to be testing out new recipes and sharing the success with you!

I have two oh-so-sweet dishes to share this week and hope you enjoy them as much as I do.

Banana Bread French Toast

Monday Morning breakfast with a side of egg whites
I came up with this easy breakfast one morning when I was craving something sweet-it's easy and filling. Plus it is versatile. You could sub in peaches & pecans for a Peach Cobbler style french toast or even berries & almonds.

  • 2 slices Ezekiel bread (or other sprouted grain bread ie Trader Joe's)
  • 1 whole egg & 2 egg whites OR 1/3 cup of Egg Beaters
  • 1/2 teaspoon real vanilla extract
  • a splash of your favorite milk product (cow milk, almond milk, rice milk, soy milk)
  • dash of cinnamon
  • dash of stevia (or your favorite sweetener)
  • 1 small banana
  • handful of chopped walnuts
  • REAL Maple Syrup or honey

Heat a skillet (medium heat) and spritz with your favorite oil. I like coconut oil for this one

In a bowl, mix up your egg, cinnamon, stevia. Dip each slice of bread into the egg mixture, making sure that you get the bread well saturated.

Put each slice of bread onto the heated skillet and cook until golden on each side.
Top with banana slices, walnuts and a drizzle of maple syrup or honey.

This is great with a side of greek style yogurt too-This is the perfect recovery breakfast after an early morning training session or even just a healthy way to start your day!

Awesome Balls

photo credit: The Eat Clean Diet

I cannot take credit for this amazing goodie, snack/recovery snack. I found this on the community boards of  The Eat Clean Diet and could not wait to try it out. The original recipe called these Peanut Butter Balls but really?? That was boring. They taste like awesome. So I call them Awesome Balls. I mean really anything made with peanut butter has got to be good right??  I am going to attempt this recipe with Almond Butter too to see how that comes out! Then I can call those Awesome Almond Balls...

•1 cup crunchy style peanut butter
•1 cup honey
•1 cup non fat dry milk
•1 cup wheat germ
•3/4 cup protein powder (vanilla is what I used but sure chocolate could be yummy)
•1/4 cup sesame seeds

Mix and roll!! It can get a bit tough to mix this dough so make sure you bring your A game to the mixing bowl--call it a workout session and enjoy one of the AWESOME BALLS as a reward.

Roll the balls in the sesame seeds. Feeling frisky?? Add a dark chocolate chip to the center. AWESOME.

These store well in the fridge.

Happy Eating!!

Tell me--what is one of your favorite healthy/clean eats?? Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner or Snacks!

Saturday, September 24, 2011


Noun: An unpleasant emotion caused by the belief that someone or something is dangerous, likely to cause pain, or a threat.
Verb: Be afraid of (someone or something) as likely to be dangerous, painful, or threatening:

Fear is a powerful thing-
at times it can be paralysing.
Some fears can cause a very strong physical response.
That "fight or flight" reaction
Fear can stop you from living-in big and small ways
it can hold you back from your true potential.

Fear is the giant brick wall smack dab in the middle of the road to your own success.
Fear of failure.
Fear of rejection.
Fear of what others might think.

Imagine what you could accomplish if those fears were to evaporate--or at least diminish.

So what is it that you are afraid of??

Do you hold back leaving it all out there on race day for fear of not reaching your goal?
Are you skipping that LT Interval session on the trainer because you know it is going to be painful?
Or not giving 100% on that track workout because you fear injury?
Maybe it is being afraid to try something new.

Identify-What IS IT that you fear?
Once you are able to accurately identify what it is you fear, you can take steps to overcoming it.

Fear is a vital response to physical and emotional danger—if we couldn't feel it, we couldn't protect ourselves from legitimate threats. But often we fear situations that are in no way life-or-death, and thus hang back for no good reason.  Trauma or bad experiences can trigger a fear response within us that is hard to quell. Yet exposing ourselves to our personal demons is the best way to move past them ~ Psychology Today

Focus on the positive-
How can addressing and overcoming this fear be of benefit?
Think about it--how will you life change for the better?
Writing down all the wonderful things you will gain in your life by overcoming this fear can be a powerful. Focus on those positive things to get motivated and inspired. Revisit your list when you feel discouraged, uncomfortable or afraid.

Take Action-
By taking steps--even baby steps--towards your goals you are making progress.

Do not fear "failure". You only truly FAIL when you do not try.
Every "failure" is an opportunity to learn.
To grow.
To improve.

I have learned more through races and training sessions that would be considered "fails" than the days that went just as planned.

For many years, even in my youth, I would worry and fret about little things-tests in school, new social situations, trying out for a team, etc. I would get myself all worked up and anxious about whatever it was. My Mom would always tell me that I was creating a "doomsday" scenario--and it was true. After I would EXPERIENCE these things, I would always end up wondering why I spent so much time and energy on FEAR. Because "IT" was never as bad or as scary as I had imagined it to be.

It was not until the last couple of years that I started testing my limits, stepping out of my comfort zone and doing new things.
The first day I stepped into the gym and I full of FEAR>
afraid that the other people would wonder what that fat chick was doing
afraid that I would get laughed at
afraid that I would not know how to turn on the treadmill
THAT FEAR of simply walking into the gym held me back and stopped me from getting fit for many years.
Of course, there were many more layers of fear that kept me trapped. FEAR of change. FEAR of being vulnerable.

That is when I decided that I would start facing my fears and
"get comfortable being uncomfortable"

Little by little, I realized that I had let these fears stop me from doing so many things. I have a new sense of freedom by casting fears-both big and small-aside and facing them head on. So I am pushing my own personal boundaries and seeing where it takes me.

It has been a a work in process and I have learned that the old saying is true:
The Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself ~FDR

What "fear" is holding you back-
and what are you missing out on because of it?


Friday, September 23, 2011

Fun Foto Friday

It's FuN FoTo FriDaY!!
Today's fun is brought to you by The Mainiac Sprint Triathlon on September 17th

This was the last tri of the season for me and it was SO.MUCH.FUN!!
What a great way to end the season and spend some time with friends

Don't worry-I'm buying all the pics so I'm not really pirating these...

 Left to right:  Meg (who did IMLP this summer), Melissa (who is a rock*star and has the most amazing quads I have ever seen in my life!) Dawn (my BFF and one of the nicest peeps I know) and me.
White girls CAN jump - especially Meg! Look how much AIR that girl got

All smiles on the run-what's not to smile about. Just check out that blue ocean! This run has spectaclar views of the beaches and some amazing homes along the coast of "The Pool"

Happy Friday!
We will be celebrating fall with some apple picking and a long run :)

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Setting the Course for 2012

I cannot believe that my 2011 triathlon season is done.
It has been so much fun and this summer just flew by.
It has been an amazing year of growth-personally, professionally and physically.
I have learned so much-BUT I have already been planning 2012 for some time.

I have been setting the course and getting ready to sail into an epic year.

As I have talked about before, I have been lusting over Rev 3's Quassy race since early January and while this race did not fit into this year's schedule, this is certainly going to be an early season race for me.
This is a challenging course and I really, really want to challenge myself.
I love to eat hills for breakfast. (lunch, dinner and snacks needed for this course!)
I was not sure how I would feel after completing my first half-iron distance and now that I have that under my belt, I cannot wait to do more!!
So Quassy it is for sure-most likely the half.
THEN 2 weeks later I'm thinking-
The Patriot Half in Massachusetts. The opposite of Quassy. flat n fast
Then there is the Black Fly Triathlon extravaganza in July...a sprint, an international distance, a TT and if you are feeling really crazy there is the Lord of the Flies challenge.

And just when I did not think things could get any better...

There was the announcement of
Revolution 3 Old Orchard Beach
to take place on August 26th, 2012.

It was as if the sky opened up and the angels were singing.
A half iron distance race by Rev 3 in my own back yard.
And Revolution 3 no less.
I have several bloggy friends that are on Team Trakkers and just LOVE the Rev 3 race. Plus, I have been following the Revolution 3 race series since last year.
How amazing is that that they are coming to MAINE
I am SO.FREAKING.Excitied!!!!
(as if you can't tell--I just talked about this race last week!)

So I'm ready and excited to do Rev3OOB!!
That will be my a #1 race of the year in 2012.

I know tht I have been in talks with at least ONE follow triathlete from Texas about coming to Maine for this race! Who else is in? Let's see how many triathletes we can fit into my house!!

But what I am really excited about--

This year will be different,
I will have someone to guide me
give me direction and advice
someone I respect and admire as a woman, Mother and triathlete
a lovely gal I have been stalking following for well over a year
and now
I am pleased as punch to call her
This is a big step for me but it is something I have spent a considerable amount of time contemplating.
I believe that all things happen for a reason--and this was just one more of those things that happened when it was supposed to.
I was heading in one direction (happily-singing away) and I reached a giant fork in the road. I had to spend a great deal of time considering which direction to travel.
I am happy that I chose THIS road and I am really looking forward to working with Sonja.

New and exciting things are on the horizon and I am ready to take on new challenges, learn and enjoy the journey!!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Awesome Sauce-The Mainiac Race Report

The final tri of the 2011 season is in the bag and I went out with a bang and some bling!!

Best Buddies! Celebrating our Friendiversary!!
As I mentioned in my last post, I was feeling under the weather with some tummy issues for a couple days before The Mainiac and I my training has not been focused on short, speedy distance of late. I decided to shelve my lofty goals and just have fun.
I mean, can you not have fun at this race??

The swim in in the ocean
The bike is literally through my back yard
The run is along the ocean

The best part? The people who put on this fun race -The Northern York County YMCA (where I work!) and the Kennebunk Beach Triathlon Club-as well as those who participate!!

With Jason pre-race--it was chilly!!

I got to see so many local tri friends and catch up with everyone. I got to meet Jason, a Dailymile friend and podcaster from Up Maine.

The YMCA's Marketing Director & fellow tri Tough Chik, Kris

The Swim-1/4 mile
This year the water was amazing. Calm, comfortable and clear!! (last year it was rough seas and freezing)
I was in wave three of five-my bff Dawn (who is a far stronger swimmer than I) was drafting off the feet of SuperGirl (that's what I'll call her-she is a local rock*star and usually wins overall 99% of the time) and I drafted off Dawn's feet. Once we rounded the last buoy, SuperGirl took off and Dawn started to swim to the left. I yelled for her to come back towards me and we ended up exiting the water together, holding hands and laughing!
I know...we're awesome.
Swim Time-9:56

gotta love running in beach sand up to sandy transition area too!
T1: 1:37

The Bike-14.85 miles
Dawn beat me out of transition by 8 seconds and yelled to me "I'll see ya on the bike!"
Ahhhh, the bike. I love biking-like, really really love biking. I know this course really well and I also knew that there were some really rough sections. One part of the course is all torn up asphalt with pot holes the size of a Volkswagen bug. Then just days prior to the race, a section of pavement along the beach at Goose Rocks was torn up and down to dirt & gravel. They said it was packed but...dang, it was pretty "slick".
I just enjoyed the ride and said hi to friends volunteering along the course. Lola was supposed to be with my husband at his uncles house on the bike course but when I went by their house, they were not there.
WAAAAH! I really wanted to see my girl.
Before I knew it, the bike was done and I had fun!
Bike Time-44:04 (20.2 mph avg)
I had the 4th fastest bike split out of the gals which I am happy about. If only I had actually pushed!!

T2: 0:47

The Run-3.1 miles
As I am finding out, I cannot feel my toes or the front part of my feet for a while off the bike-it's like they are cold. But then about 1/2 mile I get feeling back in 'em and I'm good to go. I am still learning to run at a faster pace without music. Long runs-check. Short, fast runs-eeeehhhh. I miss having that driving music that helps me shut off my brain and run fast.
Regardless, I have not been training to run fast and I just ran to enjoy the day and the scenery. I cheered on other runners, thanked the volunteers and said hi to friends along the course. I'd glace at the Garmin only on occasions and would see 7:40's flashing. It did not feel like a 7:40 effort (more like 8:30) so I just went with it. Up the final hill and zipped around the corner into the shoot.
Run Time- 23:49 (7:41 avg pace)

The Finish-I'm on the right, not the tall dude! lol

Final Results: 1:20:10
29th Overall
7th Female
2nd in Age Group (35-39)

AG Podium-Awesome Melissa (3rd) and me-she is amazing!
Bring on the bling! Allison (1st in AG) and Jason (1st in AG) and me

I had a super fun day and I am pleased to close the 2011 season with this day.
It was smothered in awesome sauce!!
I got to spend the day with friends and my YMCA "family". The weather was amazing and I could not stop smiling all day.

A big bunch of awesome-Me, Angry Bob, Melissa and Dawn!

A "MARC SANDWICH"-Me, Marc & Dawn
Is there really anything better than that on race day?

I have some new goals and I know that 2012 is going to be an amazing year!!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Plaid Toenails

Last tri of the season is here...
Tomorrow is The Mainiac Sprint Triathlon!!

I had a set of lofty goals for this race but I gotta be realistic. I am 4 weeks out from Timberman 70.3 and did not spend the last 4 weeks training for speed. AND the last couple of days I have been feeling under the weather-spending yesterday afternoon and in bed with nausea and feeling dizzy.
I am feeling better today but my gut is not 100%.

None the less, I am looking forward to tomorrow's race and will have a ton of fun regardless of my performance. I have decided to set aside any ambitious time goals and enjoy the day to it's fullest.
The Mainiac is put on by my tri club-Kennebunk Beach Triathlon Club-and the YMCA-where I work, so all the cool people will be there!

I have several silly pre-race traditions I usually complete-one being painting my toenails a color that has some sort of significance on race day. For example, I did purple for Timberman to match my Tough Chik tri top.
Today's theme? Red with black plaid stripes to match the coveted Mainiac Hat the Overall Male and Female racers get. Someday that ugly hat will be mine!!!!!

It'll also be a special day since it'll be a year that I met an amazing woman-Dawn! My best friend and training buddy. Dawn is such an amazing lady-smart, ambitious, loyal, honest and REAL! She is also so much fun to be around. It is amazing how many strange parallels there are in our lives and I cannot believe we have not crossed paths sooner. As she says, it was serendipitous!! (love that word)
I joke that I am going to propose to her at the finish line or greet her with gifts and a cake.
I suggested that we race together and cross the finish line hand-in-hand.
So call me sappy but I am really glad that I have such a wonderful gal that I am lucky enough to call my friend~

Here's to many more years tearing up the streets of Southern Maine. I look forward to the day we get to Kona, even if we are pushing 95 and using walkers.

I have some pretty exciting news to share next week so make sure you check it out!
Also, this is post #200--I am going to celebrate with some kind of giveaway!
Not sure what yet, probably a mish-mash of my favorite things.

Wanna earn an extra entry or two??

-Guess my finish time for The Mainiac Sprint Triathlon!!
-Guess my exciting news!! (no, Im not pregnant!! lol)

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Famous Faces

Wow. I have been lucky to meet some really amazing triathlon royalty!
(They are royalty as far as I am concerned!!)

Did you know I am now really good friends
with Chrissie Wellington?

I spent a lot of time day dreaming about her awesomeness--
I never dreamed that THIS would happen!!

Timberman 70.3 finish better than I could have ever imagined!
We talked about PEE!!

Did you know she TWEETED the above picture of us??


See...we ARE friends :)

Yeah, yeah...I know I have posted these pictures before but heck...nothing wrong with seeing them again right??

I guess Chrissie and I are now like

 SUAR and Dean Karnazes!

if you don't already read SUAR this is a good time to go and check out her blog.
HiLaRiOs sTuFF

I'm pretty lucky to have good friends. Really good friends.
Did you know that after Timberman my friend Marc stayed and got me an autographed visor from Chrissie?? and also got an Iron*Girl sticker and had that autographed by Chrissie and Rasmus Henning?

I had NO IDEA he did this and he did not mention it until he saw me a couple days post race.
What a surprise!!
 Then he gave me these and it brought me to tears.
What an amazing friend!
Thank you Marc.

These are a few of my favorite things!

Speaking of Rasmus Henning....yup. I've got a lotta love for him too!!

Just another day with my boy "Ras"

There is a lot of white smile here!! 
I still think we make a stunning pair--or we do we look too much like brother and sister??

Of course, I gotta mention "The Master"

With "THE COACH" Joe Friel

I was blessed to kick off Winter Base Training with advice from one of the best!!

Then there was this Kona Legend, Dave Scott, that I got to chat with and ask out on a lunch date (he said yes to all four of us by the way!!)

It has been a pretty amazing year!!
My 2011 season is coming to a close soon but I'm already planning next year!

-I wonder what Famous Faces I will see in 2012-

Who's Famous Face do you want to see most?

What "celebrity" have you been excited to meet??

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Happy Thoughts = Happy Training

Are you aware of just how powerful your MIND is when it comes to fitness, training and racing?
A positive outlook can make all the difference between getting it done and getting it done RIGHT!

If you are reading my blog you are most likely someone who already trains in some way-in the gym, at home, outside. You are a runner or triathlete. Or you may be seeking to life a healthier, more active life.
I have good news for you:

Having a positive attitude towards your fitness will result in better workouts, more rewarding training sessions and sustained motivation for reaching your goals!

Who does not want to finish a grueling set of Yasso 800's with a smile?
Or know that the megalong set of LT intervals on the trainer mid-winter will payoff later in the season?
Your mind can get you through that painful set of squats!

When you love your healthy lifestyle, you are more eager to get in those quality workouts, fuel your body with clean foods AND according to one study (Annals of Behavioral Medicine) you are more likely to take the stairs, park your car further away from your destination while running errands and engage in other forms of exercise without even thinking about it!

There are also other rewards to reap-
-optimistic women had a 16% lower risk than pessimists of have a heart attack and a 14% lower risk of death for any reason*
-optimistic men & women may fight off infections better than those with a pessimistic outlook*
*information from Circulation, 2010

So how do you channel POSITIVITY into your training sessions??

1-Build upon your strengths
*From Marie-Josee Salvas Sharr, Life Coach-Take an assessment: Think of real-life situations/challenges and the skills you use to deal with them. What are those strengths that you bring to the table? (ie creativity, leadership, curiosity, persistence, being hopeful, etc) Make a plan for incorporating each strength into both your fitness and your daily life.

For example, if you notice that hope gets you through tough situations, tap into your hope by envisioning how you'll still have the same energy level 10 years from now by taking care of yourself now.
Are you Curious? Feed that curiosity by always trying something new! A new exercise, a new run route, a new healthy dish. Are you a leader? Think about what a positive example you are setting for your family by living a healthy life or reaching your goals!

I know that my training sessions are like making deposits into a savings account--I will "cash in" at a later date (on race day!) and enjoy the payout from all my hard work. While the harder training sessions may hurt, the sense of accomplishment is worth it in the long run.

2-Tune in to your workouts
"Tune into your workouts instead of always trying to tune them out" say Rob Udewitz, PhD of Behaviour Therapy of New York.
Dr. Udewitz works with many athletes and they often talk about mental struggles and self-defeating thoughts. There are 2 ways he counsels athletes and fitness enthusiasts to TUNE IN:
-Notice your thought patterns when you are planning your goals, contemplating your next move or even in the middle of your workout. Instead of self-talk riddled with "I am never going to get through this workout" or "I always let myself get distracted and take the easy way out" make statements like "I might struggle now, but I believe I can finish this workout strong" or "Even if I am tempted to give up on this goal, I'll take it day by day".
Challenge the all or nothing thinking whenever you see it creeping up.

3-Think like a Newbie!
Remember how new and exciting it was when you started? You thought like a "student", eager to study and learn as much as possible about your fitness-ie running, weight training, triathlon. Have the mindset of a beginner even if you are well beyond the beginner's level physically speaking.
Tap into that passion that got you motivated to train in the first place

4-Grow your Goals
It is important to set goals and then consistently make new goals-big and small.
I am forever making lists of things I want to achieve-it keeps me focused on what I am doing and I find it so rewarding to reach those little milestones I set for myself.
I do this on a daily basis too! For example, yesterday interval session on the treadmill was not what I had planned-I wanted to be outside-but I made the best of it and made a mini-goal to hit a sub-6 pace for one of the 2 minute intervals. I was able to get in 3 intervals at a 5:48 pace. An example of a small success that kept my outlook positive even when my training session did not go as planned.

5-Make a Mantra
Create a mantra that you can repeat when you are struggling mentally. It can be a motivational quote, lyrics from a song, a couple of words that have meaning only to you-whatever it is, make it something that you can hold onto and repeat when you feel like quitting or giving up.
I know that one mantra I use when I am in the pain locker is "Don't cry like a b!tch when you feel the pain". It is a simple lyric from a song by the Sick Puppies-it's fierce, crass, direct and it gets me through those tough sessions.


Do you stay positive when the workouts get tough?
How do YOU keep a sunny outlook?

What are some of you favorite training tips?

Share one goal you have--big or small!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

You Say Tomato-

I say-

Oven Roasted Tomatoes
Fresh Tomato Salsa

Last summer was our first attempt at a garden. It went so well we decided to upgrade this year and go bigger and plant more veggies!

We did several varieties of tomatoes, zucchini, yellow squash, several types of lettuce, radish, sweet onions, red & green peppers, banana peppers, pickling cukes, slicing cukes and lemon cucumbers along with a couple different herbs. Our bounty this year has been amazing!

All summer long we picked fresh lettuce for salads, snacked on fresh cukes, grilled zucchini and waited for the tomatoes to start turning red!

Over the last couple weeks we got what we wished for and then some...the tomato crop is BOOMING!
So many tomatoes it was time to get cooking.
I made 3 bean chili. I made homemade marinara. I made basic tomato base to freeze for future use.
Then I needed to get a little more creative.
Then it hit me-I'll make SALSA!! This was my first attempt at making salsa and I am glad I gave it a go.
So delish!! We tested it out with a small batch and liked it SOOO much, we decided to make a giant batch. And everything (except the limes) came directly from my back yard.

Fresh Tomato Salsa
3 cups chopped tomato
1 cup chopped onion (we used sweet onion)
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1-2 hot peppers* such as jalapeno, Serrano, habanero, banana peppers, etc. (we used banana peppers)
*the variety and amount of hot peppers you use depends on how hot you want it
1/4 cup chopped cilantro

2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

combine your chopped veggies and cilantro.
Dissolve the salt, pepper and cumin into the lime juice.
Mix everything together and enjoy!
Store in the fridge.

This salsa is soo good topped on grilled chicken, over brown rice or even just by itself!
I cannot tell you how many blue corn chips we sacrificed to the salsa gods this weekend!!

The second tomato preparation I tried was
Oven Roasted Tomatoes

Another first for me. I love roasting veggies--Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of any vegetable and it is a great way to bring variety to your regular rotation of veggies.
Not a fan of steamed asparagus? Try roasting it.
Sick of baked sweet potatoes? Chop some up and roast!
It really makes any old veggie taste completely different.

If you are a fan of sun dried tomatoes, you will certainly love this cost effective and easy alternative.

Preheat oven to 325*

All you need is a bunch of tomatoes, some olive oil, salt, pepper and maybe even some garlic cloves.

You can use any variety of tomato for roasting-
Cherry Tomato-cut in half
Roma Tomato-cut in half
Regular large Tomato-cut into quarters

Cut the tomatoes accordingly and toss with a generous amount of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. If using garlic, add a bunch of cloves to the mix.
Toss well so each tomato is coated in the oil and seasoning.

On a cookie sheet, place each tomato skin side down. You can use parchment paper or even foil to line the sheet if you desire.
Pop in the oven and roast for 2 1/2 hours.
They will shrink down in size and look a bit shriveled. The edges may brown and this is just fine.

These are great in sandwiches, tossed with pasta or rice or just by themselves.