Run Find Your Happy Pace

finding my happy pace in running and life

Runfyhp Gluten-Free Spicy Pretzel Recipe

I love me some spicy, and I love me some pretzels.  However I have also been trying to get back on track with my gluten-free lifestyle.  A wonderful woman in my bible study group (Thank you Cathy) made a version of these fantastic spicy pretzels and was also nice enough to share the recipe.  You can easily make these with regular mini pretzels if gluten-free is not a concern of yours.

My recipe is based on the original but I swapped out a few things including the regular pretzels for gluten-free pretzel twists and olive oil for vegetable oil….cause I’m cool like that 😉 (or high maintenance, your choice)

They really are fantastic!  Even my kids liked them!

Let me know if you try them.

 

Runfyhp Gluten Free Spicy Pretzels

1 bag (8oz) Gluten Free mini pretzel twists (I used Snyder’s)

1/4 cup Olive oil

1 tablespoon Hidden Valley Original Ranch Seasoning Mix

1/4 teaspoon Garlic Powder

1/4 teaspoon Ground Cayenne Pepper

 

pretzel

This is all you need!

Heat oven to 200.  Mix olive oil, ranch, garlic powder and cayenne pepper in a medium size bowl.  Add pretzels and stir until all are well coated with the mixture.  They should look like this (well coated) slightly shiny

coated

 

Spread out flat on a baking sheet.

You will bake them for a total of one hour.  ***However every 20 minutes stir them around.  This will flip the pretzels and ensure that they stay well coated with the mixture during baking.

Store in an airtight container for up to 3 weeks 🙂

Enjoy!!!

 

 

 

 

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Runfyhp Healthy and Easy Christmas Morning Breakfast #glutenfree

Christmas morning at our house is exciting, fun but also…..chaotic!  This may be your house too.  So the last thing I want to do is spend a ton of time in the kitchen.  However I would like us to have a special Christmas breakfast sans boxes of artificially sweet cereal boxes strewn across the countertop.

Here is a yummy, simple and gluten free Egg Cup Breakfast.  I made ours vegetable style but you could easily add bacon or ham to the bottom of your cups!

Let me know if you try them.  Merry Christmas!

Vegetarian Egg Cups (this made 8 individual egg cups)

8 eggs

3-4 mini sweet peppers  (chopped)

1/4 cup spinach and arugula mix (chopped)

1 frozen crushed garlic cube (I used Dorot brand) cut into 8 pieces

Cheddar cheese (amount to your liking per egg cup)

* you will need a cupcake pan, obviously this wasn’t a problem in my house 😉

Spray the bottom of each cup with cooking spay (no liners needed)  Add chopped mini peppers, chopped spinach/arugula and 1/8 of the  garlic cube to each cup.  Add cheese over the veggies.  Crack an egg into each cup atop the veggies and cheese.

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Add veggies, then add cheese, then an egg on top!

 

Bake at 350 for 18-20 minutes  until the whites are cooked and the egg yolk is to your liking.  Pop them out and enjoy!  Can be served as is, with toast or add some salsa!

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Is it Time for a Change? Are you Listening to You?

I had to ask myself this tough question a few months ago.  I had run myself into a rut (literally) and it was time for some change.  I didn’t give up or give in I looked at myself and decided that it was time for a new direction.  Now my fitness is more about balance.  I run, I lift, I workout but most importantly I am happy 🙂   Does this sound like you?

As I have mentioned in previous posts this year I felt a lot of pressure to keep doing long distance running but each run felt like a chore to me.  I wasn’t enjoying the process anymore.  My race schedule just never panned out and I was getting frustrated.  All the signs were pointing in the wrong direction,  I think God was trying to tell me something….I just wasn’t listening.  I tend to be a bit stubborn like that. 😉

Life is about balance and priorities.  I needed to get my priorities straight in all aspects of my life.  God, Family and working out.  Now I am feeling re-energized and more fulfilled.  Is everything perfect?  Of course not. But now I am listening.  Are you listening to what God is trying to tell you?

 

change

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Who knew? Fermented Foods…So Very Good for You!

 

I love learning all the new things about fitness and nutrition that I have been lately.  Last weeks big find…

Fermented Foods!

We are talking things like pickles, sauerkraut, kefir and even fermented salsa!  Now don’t get me wrong I am not trying to re-invent the wheel here but I had NO idea how great fermented foods were for you.  In my new “brain preservation” quest (my grandmother and now my Mom have both suffered from Alzheimer’s/dementia so I am on a quest to save mine) I have been discovering there is a HUGE healthy gut / brain connection.  Healthy Gut = healthier brain!

So out went the gluten and wheat and in came low carb foods, healthy fats like coconut oil and now these great fermented foods.

What’s so great about fermented foods?  Well check this out:

  • They contain probiotics – Screen Shot 2014-03-26 at 10.49.15 AM

 

  • Improves Digestion
  • Rich in enzymes (enzymes help digest, absorb and utilize the nutrients in the foods you eat)
  • Fermented food lasts a long time (for months even!)
  • Fermented foods are fairly inexpensive

 

I have been including sauerkraut in my diet for over a week now.  Its tasty, healthy and low carb too!  My Bubbies brand (I have no affiliation with the company) has just 5 calories per 1/4 cup and only 1 carb. Total healthy gut score!

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Next up I am going to make homemade pickles.  My Babcia (grandmother in Polish) always had homemade pickles on hand and we just couldn’t get enough of them!  We probably went thru two jars every time we visited her.  See Babcia really does not best 🙂

Do you include fermented foods in your healthy eating plan?

If so which are your favorites?

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Low Carb Cheddar Broccoli Soup

I have a new-found love of soup.  Maybe it has a lot to do with my year of the veggies adventure, but I have found a whole new appreciation for a good hot bowl of soup.

Today we are back to cold temps after a week of high 60’s and 70’s…..sigh.  So as to make the most of this chilly day, I decided to invent the Runfyhp version of Cheddar Broccoli Soup ummmmmm, yummy.

Now if you’re a big time low-fat diet follower turn away now (or take a leap into the LCHF arena) 🙂

But let me tell you, its good.  Really, really, good!

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Runfyhp Low Carb Cheddar Broccoli Soup

3 cups (gluten-free) Vegetable Stock  ( I used Kitchen Basics unsalted veggie stock) You could use chicken stock, but my hubby is a vegetarian, so I did the nice thing and used veggie.

8 oz (1 block) Cream Cheese ( I used Philadelphia original)

4 oz Cheddar Cheese ( I used Kerrygold Reserve Cheddar 100% Natural Cheese)

2 Tbs Butter ( I used Kerrygold pure Irish butter)  you can probably use Ghee also

1/4 cup ( equal to 4 tbsp) Heavy Whipping Cream (organic if you can find it) I used Marva Maid (not organic)

14 oz frozen broccoli crowns ( you could use fresh I just didn’t have any one hand)

3 garlic gloves crushed

1 tsp Turmeric*  (organic if you can) you can omit this, but it’s really good for you  find out more about Turmeric here

1 tsp Yellow Curry (organic if you can)

1/2 tsp Ground Ginger (organic if you can)

Directions: 

Place the veggie stock and broccoli (I thawed it in the microwave first) in a pan.  Heat until the broccoli is soft but not overcooked

Add the crushed garlic, turmeric, curry and ginger.

Once the broccoli was soft I moved the mixture to the blender and pureed.  Set aside.

In a separate pan you will need to heat the shredded cheddar cheese, cream cheese, butter and whipping cream over low heat.  Be sure to stir often and don’t turn the heat up too high.  You don’t want it to burn or even bubble, just melt into a nice, delicious, gooey consistency.  You can now taste test it, oh wait that’s just me, I couldn’t resist 😉

Mix the broccoli puree into the pan with the melted cheese.  Stir and blend until well mixed and heated.  Again you do not want the heat to high.  If your mixture is too lumpy you can use an immersion blender (on low) to mix.

This recipe makes 5 servings of 1 cup each

Enjoy!!!

Nutrition Info:

**** Per Serving ( 1 cup ) ****

Cal 361

Fat  30 g

Total Carbs 8.8 g  Note:  6.4 active carbs  (carbs – fiber = active carbs)

Fiber  2.4

Protein 12.6

LOVE IT?  Pin it, Share it, Tweet it!  Thanks so much 🙂

 

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Sweet Treat – Dark Chocolate Almond Mini Cups #paleo #lowcarb

3/2014 UPDATE:  I still make (an love) these but now I leave the honey out, still just as delish!

As many of you may know I went wheat and gluten-free since early Jan 2014, mostly due to reading Grain Brain and Wheat Belly.  I never got the dreaded “carb flu” and after about 2 1/2 weeks I no longer craved carbs (bread,pasta, etc) anymore.  In fact I have been able to pass up bread, cakes (read: multiple birthdays) and even pizza!  In the past 3 weeks I have even gone LCHF (low carb / high fat)  but that is another blog all together.

I still love my sweet treat every once in a while but I don’t go for cookies, etc.  My saving grace, thank goodness, dark chocolate is still considered ok in moderation even on a low carb diet.  Yes God is good!  I found a similar chocolate recipe but tweaked it using dark cacao and lowering the amount of it in the recipe.  (Because I am cool like that.  Ok maybe not cool but I am a total dark chocoholic!  lol)  The result is divine and a great treat when I really want something sweet.  It’s simple, made with “good” fats and only 5 ingredients I think I am in love!

Remember it’s not about denying yourself treats, it’s about moderation and finding your happy pace.  

So here you go, let me know if you try it out!

(Easy Peasy) Dark Chocolate Almond Mini Cups 🙂   #paleo #lowcarb 

1/2 Cup Smooth Almond Butter (I used Barney Butter)

1/4 cup Dark Cacao (I used Hershey’s Special Dark 100% Cacao)

1/4 Cup Organic Raw Honey (I used Trader Joe’s)

1/2 cup Coconut Oil (I used Nutiva Organic Extra Virgin Coconut Oil)

1/2 tsp Pure Vanilla Extract

Add all the ingredients in a bow.  Mix until smooth. I mixed mine using my immersion blender for about 3 minutes.    I measured out  1 (one) Tablespoon of the mix and placed it into a mini cupcake liner.  Freeze.

Total number of mini cups 27 (only 24 pictured below)

NOTE:  This need to be refrigerated, however I prefer them frozen 🙂   or they may liquify.

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Below is the breakdown of the calories/fat/carbs/fiber per mini cup:  27 mini cups total

Calories 76

Fat 7 g

Carbs 4 g*

Fiber 1g

*net carbs (carbs minus fiber=) 3 net carbs / mini cup

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 LOVE IT?  PIN IT, SHARE IT, TWEET IT!  THANKS SO MUCH 🙂

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January and the Year of the Veggies and Low Carb / Gluten Free

 

So around the new year, as you may remember, I decided to make 2014 the year of the veggies.  However I also decided to go gluten-free and low carb.  Hey I don’t mess around 😉  I have never seriously considered dropping wheat before.  I mean I had heard about it (cause I don’t live under a rock)  but I had never done any serious research on the subject.  My biggest decision to take the plunge came after reading these two books

Grain Brain – by Dr. David Perlmutter, MD

Wheat Belly – by William Davis, MD

I actually read Grain Brain (click for more info) first.  It hasn’t been around as long as Wheat Belly (click for more info) But I ran across it while doing some research about Alzheimer’s / Dementia.  I am not going to get too into why in this post but lets just say the evidence is pretty convincing (for me at least) as to why I need to cut especially wheat and gluten OUT of my healthy lifestyle.

So what the heck is the Grain Brain diet?  Well my best description (remember I am not a nutritionist or dr) is that it’s sort of cross between a Paleo  / Wheat Belly diet.  One of the biggest difference from Paleo is that I can have some dairy (ie: cheese), although there are some other differences.

How’s it going?  Honestly it seems to be working out pretty darn good for me so far.  I have not had any wheat, bread or gluten in almost a month.  I thought giving up bread would be the biggest issue.  (Yes I know there are gluten-free breads out there, but you need to read the book)  I have upped the veggies big time which has helped me include lots of whole and organic foods.   In the future I do plan on making some gluten-free bread/muffins.  I figured I better completely stay away from them at first as too not crave it, soon I am going to experiment on homemade breads, etc.  And YES there must be gluten-free cupcakes!!!!

Anything but boring!  I have also tried to keep things interesting and tasty for both myself and my hubby, who I have dragged along into my journey!  It’s a tad bit harder for him because he is a vegetarian.  So now he is a low carb, gluten-free vegetarian kinda guy.  Anyway Google, Pinterest and even YouTube have become a bit of an obsession for me, lol.  I have made everything from Homemade Humus, Coconut Butternut Squash soup to baked (not fried) eggplant parmesan.  I have also had a few misses such as my failed Paleo chocolate chip cookies, but I am working on finding a better recipe for that!  However I just totally scored yesterday with Mint Chocolate Chip Paleo Ice Cream. 🙂

The hubby has been following the plan more for weight loss and I have been doing it more for future brain benefits. (remember the Alzheimer’s/dementia reference from earlier)  

Results so far?  My hubby is down about 10 lbs (he’s only been on it just shy of 3 weeks).  As for me my belly is the flattest it has been in a long time.  I haven’t weighed myself but my body composition is starting to change for sure.  Just as a reference I am still continuing to maintain my usual workouts of 5-6 days a week including both cardio and weight training.  I hope to give another update in a month or so.

So what about you?  Have you ever heard of Grain Brain or The Wheat Belly Diet?

Here are a few pics from my healthy and delicious adventure so far:

Mint Chocolate Chip Paleo Ice Cream

Mint Chocolate Chip Paleo Ice Cream

Homemade Hummus

Homemade Humus

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

Coconut Butternut Squash Soup

 

 

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What’s Best for Me in 2014?

I have been thinking about writing this blog for a while.  It’s not an easy one for me to write.  Thanks to my running buddies who I reached out to for support, I can now write it without a heavy heart. So here goes….

2014 will most likely be a nearly race-less year for me.  A time to take a step back and keep the mileage low.  I have been so blessed the past few years to have been able to run and travel to many, many races.  It helped me so much in keeping my motivation and sanity throughout my husbands many deployments.  However this year I have come up against scheduling conflicts with nearly EVERY race I have wanted to enter.  Does it hurt?  Yes to be honest it does, however I need to put my family first and I know it’s the right thing to do.  I am so proud of my kiddos and I know they won’t be “kiddos” forever.  Although the feet say go!  The heart says stay.

Am I done with running?  Hey, hey now just you wait a minute there mister!  Put your pants back on!  ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!  I just don’t see myself doing any half marathons.  I do however see some virtual races in my future 🙂   If an “actual” race comes up that I can fit in my schedule, I hope to be able to do it, if I am ready and able.  In the mean time I will continue to support others in their fundraising efforts with things like Team in Training.  

Although I know it’s the right decision it hasn’t been an easy one to admit.  I let myself fall into the trap of “racing makes me who I am” instead of  “running is a great part of who I am”.  After weeks of feeling down right sorry for myself I have finally decided to take some really good advice from the following friends:

~ The Sub 30 Club and “Suck it Up Princess!”  and keep running

and

~Courtney from So Many Miles, So Little Time, who told me “It is TOTALLY OK to not run 5 half marathons or 14 in 14 or do every online challenge you come across.”

Therefore, I am going to make 2014 a great year in so many other ways!  Physically I am using my time to get healthy (my IT band is still acting up) get stronger (more focus on weight training and yoga) and work on eating healthier (thus the year of the veggies).  I also recently went low carb, not exactly the eating style of champion runners, lol.  (more on that in future blogs.)  I am also really excited to put an even bigger effort into growing in my faith.  Because God made me to be the best me I can be whether I am running half marathons or not 🙂

So I hope you all stick with me and I promise to keep cheering you on from the sidelines!  

Have a great year everyone, no matter what you do.  Be your best, have fun and find YOUR happy pace!!!

 

 

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2014 The Year of the Veggies

I decided I really, really need to up my vegetable consumption for 2014.  The good thing about getting a little older (wait, what? did I just say that?) Backup a minute…..I mean the good thing about getting wiser 🙂  is that I really like veggies now.  Especially dark green veggies like spinach and kale.  When I was a kid I wasn’t all that fond of them or veggies in general.  Maybe my taste buds have changed, maybe I got less picky, or maybe I just finally realized how healthy veggies really are?  Probably a combo of the three.  But I am also all about simple and quick.  And my biggest issue of getting veggies into every meal is poor planning.  I am not the best meal planner on the planet, ask my family I am sure they would love to tell you all about it.

“But 2014 will be different! (she says wholeheartedly) And we shall eat all colors of the rainbow!”  

Everyone at the Runfyhp household!  

Yes even you Mr. Thirteen-year-old that gags at almost anything green.

Hooray!!!!!

(The cheering crowd roars in the background, just loud enough to cover my children’s moans of frustration, lol.)

With that being said I have found ways to kind of sneak them into my day and I will show you how you can too!

For today lets start with breakfast.  Most days (especially on workout days) I do a protein shake post workout.  This is my favorite (read simple) recipe if you want to try it:

Runfyhp Spinach / Berry Protein Shake

1 cup almond milk

1 1/2 cups raw organic spinach

1 scoop protein powder ( I use Garden of Life Raw Protein)

1 tablespoon coconut oil

1 cup mixed frozen berries

Blend it up and voila!  You first serving of veggies for the day is in the bag, or in this case your body.  Wohoo!

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What is your favorite veggie?

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Motivational Monday for the week of Thanksgiving 2013

Happy Thanksgiving week!  As we start the kickoff of this 2013 holiday season remember to be good to yourself.  Strive for consistency rather than perfection.  Although moderation is key, if you do fall off the “healthy” wagon just remember one meal is not going to make or break your goals.  Dust yourself off, get back on the wagon and keep going!

Blessings to you and yours!

MM1125

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