Friday, March 30, 2012

March Foodie Pen Pals

March was the first month that I participated in the esteemed #FoodiePenPals program created by the wonderful Lindsay at the Lean Green Bean. I was assigned to Holly Plant. She's @lifevision360 on Twitter. She did a fantastic job sending me goodies! Here's a shot of the whole lot.

 I got Ginger Snaps, Vanilla Almond granola, some salsa, and some almond butter (which I've always wanted to try!). I immediately cracked everything open to try a bit of each of my new food items. Everything was great.

These ginger snaps were very tasty. I make molasses ginger cookies every year for Christmas and I had an inkling that these would taste like my cookies. I was a little wrong on that count, but they were still very tasty. You could really taste the ginger in them. I also used them in a recipe earlier this week: Bavarian Beef.  It has a ginger snap gravy that absolutely makes the dish! I would have had to make my own cookies to make this recipe, so I got lucky by having received these. 

I like to put granola into Greek yogurt and eat that as an afternoon snack at work, so I was really excited to receive some new granola. It's vanilla almond, which who doesn't like that combination! I have some Greek Gods Strawberry Honey yogurt that I add this to. Have you ever put GrapeNuts into your yogurt? If you have, this is just like that, only chunkier. If you haven't tried putting granola in your yogurt, I strongly recommend that you do that as soon as you are done reading this post! If you keep plain Greek yogurt around the house, I enjoy adding a bit of honey mixed in with my yogurt and granola. It makes it sweet (I don't particularly enjoy the tang of Greek yogurt) and crunchy!  

The salsa that Holly sent me is super fantastic. She's from Texas and so I asked for something mild (because I'm a sissy) and she knocked this one out of the park. Yummy!

The one thing that I was most excited about trying was the almond butter. She sent me a recipe to go along with the almond butter - it was chocolate chip cookies. Holy bananas. Were they amazing, or were they amazing? I'm not normally a food blogger, so I did my best to show you the process. Here's the almond butter: 
And here's the cookies mixed up and scooped onto the cookie sheet (I thought about taking a shot of all the ingredients, but then I decided I wasn't patient enough to wait!). 
They don't have flour in them, it's sugar, eggs, almond butter, and most importantly... chocolate! I didn't take a photo of them as the husband person was too excited to get into them as chocolate chip cookies are his absolute FAVORITE cookie/food. 

All in all I'd say that I got a great first experience participating in the #FoodiePenPals program. I'm stoked for April! Are you interested in participating in Foodie Pen Pals? Read on for more deets about the program! 

And now it's time for some details about Foodie Penpals.  In case you’re a new reader, here’s a reminder of what the program is all about:
-On the 5th of every month, you will receive your penpal pairing via email. It will be your responsibility to contact your penpal and get their mailing address and any other information you might need like allergies or dietary restrictions.
-You will have until the 15th of the month to put your box of goodies in the mail. On the last day of the month, you will post about the goodies you received from your penpal
-The boxes are to be filled with fun foodie things, local food items or even homemade treats! The spending limit is $15. The box must also include something written. This can be anything from a note explaining what’s in the box, to a fun recipe…use your imagination!
-You are responsible for figuring out the best way to ship your items depending on their size and how fragile they are. (Don’t forget about flat rate boxes!)
-Foodie Penpals is open to blog readers as well as bloggers. If you’re a reader and you get paired with a blogger, you are to write a short guest post for your penpal to post on their blog about what you received. If two readers are paired together, neither needs to worry about writing a post for that month. 
-Foodie Penplas is open to US & Canadian residents.  Please note, Canadian Residents will be paired with other Canadians only. We've determined things might get too slow and backed up if we're trying to send foods through customs across the border from US to Canada and vice versa. So, I'm going to keep two separate lists and match US w/ US and Canada w/ Canada!
If you’re interested in participating for April, please CLICK HERE to fill out the participation form and read the terms and conditions. 
You must submit your information by April 4th as pairings will be emailed on April 5th!

I hope you'll consider participating in this great, fun program! 

Monday, March 12, 2012

Hotel exercises

I'm on the road for work this week which is very unusual for me. I am exhausted from staying up until 3:00 a.m. this morning reading a book so I wasn't going to workout tonight. I didn't do anything on the treadmill, but I did do a quick hotel room workout: squats, girly push-ups, crunches, scissor kicks/bicycles, and planks. I did a quick 3 sets of 15 each (more for the scissors/bikes) and I feel good. I think that I may have eaten too much, but I am happy that I did something.

I don't know how many of you remember January's #NoExcuses Burpee Challenge that Scott over at @YourInnerSkinny posed, but I tried to do that and didn't quite finish the whole thing. While I was psyching myself up to do my hotel room workout, I remember watching this Mike Rowe of Dirty Jobs fame video of him doing his burpees. While I didn't do burpees (because I didn't want to put my sports bra on), I did do something. And something is better than nothing, right? Tomorrow I hope to go down to the gym at the hotel and get on the elliptical or the bike. I hope that there are some weights so that I can work my mus-cles too!

Here's a few links to a couple other hotel room workouts: - A whole website dedicated to hotel room workouts. - Can be modified for those that can't do stacked push-ups, too.

All this is very motivational and if I don't go do the bike or elliptical tomorrow, chances are I'll do one of the above workouts. So tell me - what do you do for exercise when you are on the road for business or pleasure? Do you workout in your hotel room, or do you go down and just do cardio in the hotel gym?

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Rest and Prescription NSAIDs

I typed out this wonderful post the other day and it disappeared, so now I'm going to try and recapture some of that here.

I've irritated my hip flexor and it has been causing me a lot of discomfort and at times, pain. I ran last Monday and Wednesday and haven't run since. After I got off the treadmill on Wednesday I was in a lot of pain. I stretched and foam rolled and did everything that I thought would help (except, I realize now, ice) and it still hurt. I was scheduled to do a 3-mile run yesterday, but took the night off because I still was hurting.

I was tired of being uncomfortable every time I moved so I finally called my doctor yesterday and she so graciously called me in a script of Meloxicam. I took one after dinner last night and started feeling a bit better before I went to bed. I'm still a little sore today, but it is nowhere near as bad as it was last week, or even yesterday.

Tonight I have a speaking engagement after work, but I'm going to do my 3 mile run after that. I hope that I don't have any pain during my run and I'll be certain to stretch before and after my run. And if there is some pain, I'll be sure to ice. I was really worried about not being able to run because of this and I saw both of my goals for the year go out the window. But, hopefully this will help and then after my 5k at the end of the month I'll be able to rest a little bit before I start training for my half marathon.
So my question for you today is: How long do you wait before you go to the doctor when you are in pain from exercise?